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Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?

There is a country within the country in the USA with around 5 million citizens. It can be called "Classified America."

News Corporatism Recommended Links The Deep State Do the US intelligence agencies  influence the US Presidential elections ? The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Nation under attack meme Steele dossier FBI Mayberry Machiavellians
News Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Recommended Links Total Surveillance Inverted Totalitarism Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State The woulr as the Grand Chessboard of American Empire and its intelligence services Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections
Resurgence of neofascism How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Machiavellism US and British media are servants of security apparatus Facebook as Giant Database about Users FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and DNC leak saga Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition
CIA hacking and false flag cyber operations Media-Military-Industrial Complex Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war MSM as fake news industry NeoMcCartyism JFK assassination as a turning event in US history History of American False Flag Operations
Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The attempt to secure global hegemony Frustrated underachievers NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
US and British media are servants of security apparatus Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism The Real War on Reality Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy National Security State Color revolutions Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
Who will guard the guards themselves?

There is a country within the country in the USA. It can be called "Classified America".  It has population of around 5 million people and controls the other 320 million. Almost 5 million people is more more then 1% of population. And now it becme a formidable political force that strives to become a kingmaker. much like Praetorian Guard in ancient Role it is clearly out of control of elected government and has its own, sometimes nefarious agenda.  All-in-all this is the fastest growing part of media-military-industrial complex.

After creation such powerful agencies as FBI adn CIA inevitable try to to extent and enhance there position and influnece4 and this process logically leads that at some point they start to control bigger and bigger  chunk of the US political life and the institution of Presidency become mostly a decoration, a Potemkin village to provide legitimacy for the ruling elite represented by the "deep state" with the intelligence agencies in the driving seat.   It took CIA less then 20 years to reach this point from its creation by President Truman and 1963.  John Edgar Hoover was the first FBI director who dies in his position in 1972 at the age of 77 with no previous President able to depose him, because of dirt he collected on them.

A January 2016 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says more than 4.9 million people in the USA have some sort of government security clearance. About 1.4 million of those have "top secret" clearance.... Most security clearances are held by government workers. They hold 2,757,333 "confidential/secret" clearances and 791,200 clearances designated as "top secret." Contractors claim 582,524 "confidential" clearances and 483,263 "top-secret" ones. There is another general category of people who hold 167,925 "confidential/secret" clearances and 135,506 top-secret. See Security clearances held by millions of Americans for more details.

This "inner state" represented by holders of security clearance controls such areas of US public life as two most important newspapers (NYT, WaPo) several TV channels (MSNBC, CNN) as well as (if we believe recent stories about ) elections. That might well be a sign that  the "national security state" has  gone rogue and the tail is wagging the dog. 

Hierarchy

A security clearance is granted to an individual and generally recognizes a maximum level of clearance. Exceptions include levels above compartmentalized access or when an individual is cleared for a certain type of data. The President of the United States may be given access to any government or military information that they request if there is a proper "need to know", even if they would not otherwise be able to normally obtain a security clearance were they not the President. Having obtained a certain level security clearance does not mean that one automatically has access to or is given access to information cleared for that clearance level in the absence of a demonstrated "need to know".[12] The "need-to-know" determination is made by a 'disclosure officer,' who may work in the office of origin of the information. The specified "need to know" must be connected to the prospective user's mission, or of necessity for the integrity of a specified security apparatus. the system is pretty Bisantium and include multiple levels tha tparciallyh intersect

  1. Controlled Unclassified: "Controlled Unclassified" does not represent a clearance designation, but rather a clearance level at which information distribution is controlled. Controlled Unclassified designates information that may be illegal to distribute. This information is available when needed by government employees, such as the USA's Department of Defense (DoD) employees, but the designation signifies that the information should not be redistributed to users not designated to use it on an operational basis. For example, the organization and processes of an information-technology system may be designated Controlled Unclassified to users for whom the operational details of the system are non-critical.
  2. Public Trust Position: Despite common misconception, this designation is not a security clearance, and is not the same as the confidential designation. Certain positions which require access to sensitive information, but not information which is classified, must obtain this designation through a background check. In the USA, Public Trust Positions can either be moderate-risk or high-risk.[13][14]
  3. Confidential: This is hierarchically the first security clearance to get, typically requiring a few weeks to a few months of investigation. A Confidential clearance requires a NACLC investigation which dates back 7 years on the subject's record and must be renewed (with another investigation) every 15 years.
  4. Secret: A Secret clearance, also known as Collateral Secret or Ordinary Secret, requires a few months to a year to investigate, depending on the individual's background. Some instances wherein individuals would take longer than normal to be investigated are many past residences, having residences in foreign countries, having relatives outside the United States, or significant ties with non-US citizens. Unpaid bills as well as criminal charges will more than likely disqualify an applicant for approval. However, a bankruptcy will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and is not an automatic disqualifier. Poor financial history is the number-one cause of rejection, and foreign activities and criminal record are also common causes for disqualification. A Secret clearance requires a NACLC, and a Credit investigation; it must also be re-investigated every 10 years.[15] Investigative requirements for DoD clearances, which apply to most civilian contractor situations, are contained in the Personnel Security Program issuance known as DoD Regulation 5200.2-R, at part C3.4.2
  5. Top Secret: Top Secret is a more stringent clearance. A Top Secret, or "TS", clearance, is often given as the result of a Single Scope Background Investigation, or SSBI. Top Secret clearances, in general, afford one access to data that affects national security, counterterrorism/counterintelligence, or other highly sensitive data. There are far fewer individuals with TS clearances than Secret clearances.[16] A TS clearance can take as few as 3 to 6 months to obtain, but often it takes 6 to 18 months. The SSBI must be reinvestigated every 5 years.[15] In order to receive TS clearance, all candidates must participate in an oral SF86 review that will later be adjudicated.[citation needed]
  6. Compartmented: As with TS clearances, Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearances are assigned only after one has been through the rigors of a Single Scope Background Investigation and a special adjudication process for evaluating the investigation. SCI access, however, is assigned only in "compartments". These compartments are necessarily separated from each other with respect to organization, so that an individual with access to one compartment will not necessarily have access to another. Each compartment may include its own additional special requirements and clearance process. An individual may be granted access to, or read into, a compartment for any period of time.

Among other things Top secret clearance required to access:

Such compartmentalized clearances may be expressed as "John has a TS/SCI", whereby all clearance descriptors are spelled out verbally. For example, the US National Security Agency once used specialized terms such as "Umbra",[17][18][19] This classification is reported to be a compartment within the "Special Intelligence" compartment of SCI.[20] The various NSA compartments have been simplified; all but the most sensitive compartments are marked "CCO", meaning "handle through COMINT channels only".

The US Department of Defense establishes, separately from intelligence compartments, special access programs (SAP) when the vulnerability of specific information is considered exceptional and the normal criteria for determining eligibility for access applicable to information classified at the same level are not deemed sufficient to protect the information from unauthorized disclosure. The number of people cleared for access to such programs is typically kept low. Information about stealth technology, for example, often requires such access.

Area-specific clearances include:


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Old News ;-)

[Nov 09, 2019] Donald Trump s Only Crime Is Defending Himself by Daniel McCarthy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Impeachment is a game that Democrats are playing with Donald Trump, and the game's only rule is "heads I win, tails you lose." ..."
"... : by telling the president that he was not a subject of the probe and then refusing to issue a statement to that effect, Comey was making the point: Trump might be the country's elected executive, but men like Comey were the government. Officials could leak, they could issue anonymous quotes prejudicial to the president, and all Trump could do was wait until Comey decided to clear his name. ..."
"... by the time he issued his report, the protracted investigation, and all the hype about Trump and Russia that it sustained, had done its political damage and hammered the lesson home. Republicans suffered a bloodbath in the 2018 midterms, and the next president would think twice-and then twice again-about treating an FBI director as his underling. ..."
"... On January 11, 2017, Politico ran a news story under the headline "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire." The story documented Ukraine's meddling on behalf of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern summarized the findings: ..."
"... Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found. ..."
"... Trump was within his rights as president to demand answers from Ukraine. And if he stood to benefit politically it was because Ukraine had already involved itself in American politics on the side of Democrats: severing those dubious ties and preventing further manipulation of U.S. elections would necessarily come at the expense of the party that Ukrainians had cultivated when Barack Obama was in power and which they had hoped to keep in power by helping Hillary Clinton ..."
"... Ukraine may have failed to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016, but Democrats hope to use Ukraine to remove Trump now, either through impeachment-a longshot-or by weakening him and the GOP ahead of the 2020 election. And Democrats hope that Republican senators will be so embarrassed and perhaps divided by a trial in the Senate that they will lose control of that chamber in 2020, too. They know Trump will keep fighting, and the harder he fights, the more he refuses to play by the rigged rules of the game, the more opportunity Democrats see to frame his defensive moves as outrageous and impeachable offenses. With Nixon and Watergate, the cover-up was often said to be worse than the crime. With Trump, there is no crime, but his defiant acts of self-defense are enough to convict him-or so the Democrats and their allies hope. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

With Trump, there is no crime, but his defiant acts of self-defense are enough to convict him -- or so the Democrats and their allies hope.

by Daniel McCarthy
,

With Trump, there is no crime, but his defiant acts of self-defense are enough to convict him-or so the Democrats and their allies hope.

Impeachment is a game that Democrats are playing with Donald Trump, and the game's only rule is "heads I win, tails you lose." The president is familiar with these rules by now, as they're the same ones that governed the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. FBI Director James Comey told Trump at the outset that he was not a target of the investigation.

Yet anonymous quotes and other questionably sourced reports continued to appear in the press claiming that Trump was a Russian asset-as Hillary Clinton might bluntly put it-and so the president asked Comey to say in public what he had told him in private. Comey refused, and Trump soon fired him.

This act of self-defense, or pique, depending on your point of view, triggered calls for the appointment of a special counsel to take over the investigation-which ballooned from an investigation that didn't center around Trump into one in which Trump's behavior toward Comey was grounds for investigating the president. Comey had made a power play: by telling the president that he was not a subject of the probe and then refusing to issue a statement to that effect, Comey was making the point: Trump might be the country's elected executive, but men like Comey were the government. Officials could leak, they could issue anonymous quotes prejudicial to the president, and all Trump could do was wait until Comey decided to clear his name.

Other politicians might play by those rules out the desire for self-preservation. Trump chose not to. And so, an ex-FBI director, who may have had hopes of becoming director once again, took over the investigation. Comey would not go unavenged. Mueller ultimately found nothing criminal or meriting a recommendation of impeachment in Trump's behavior. But by the time he issued his report, the protracted investigation, and all the hype about Trump and Russia that it sustained, had done its political damage and hammered the lesson home. Republicans suffered a bloodbath in the 2018 midterms, and the next president would think twice-and then twice again-about treating an FBI director as his underling.

The Ukraine corruption that is at the heart of the Democrats' impeachment project involves the same logic if somewhat different players. On January 11, 2017, Politico ran a news story under the headline "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire." The story documented Ukraine's meddling on behalf of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern summarized the findings:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

If a foreign power involves itself is a U.S. election like that, shouldn't America ask questions? And shouldn't aid money to that foreign power be held up until those questions were answered-not least because withholding those funds might be necessary to compel cooperation with the investigation and to get the foreign interest to mend its ways? The questions Trump had to ask in this case, however, involving what ties Ukrainians had to prominent Democratic Party figures, could and would, of course, be portrayed by Democrats and the media sympathetic to them as a kind of election interference in its own right. Why, Trump was demanding a quid pro quo from Kiev-the funds in return for information about the Democrats or an investigation that would embarrass a possible 2020 nominee.

Again, as Trump's enemies would have it, he loses if he acts (by firing Comey, by urging Kiev to look into questionable behavior by or benefiting Democrats), and he loses if he doesn't act (and simply accepts mischaracterizations of the Russia investigation in the press or Kiev's intrigues with Democrats). Trump has a predilection to defy his enemies-something they might now have come to count on-so rather than taking the beating they want to mete out to him, he hits back, and then they cry foul. The media intensifies its insinuations that Trump has broken one or more laws (though just which law remains vague and hardly even argued, let alone proven), and the president's foes reach for their institutional weapons: the special counsel provisions and now impeachment proceedings. When Republicans do not go along with the kangaroo court, well-paid ex-conservatives are hauled out to bemoan the lost integrity of a party whose last president misled the country into ceaseless wars in the Middle East-with these very same ex-conservatives having led the cheers for those interventions.

Trump was within his rights as president to demand answers from Ukraine. And if he stood to benefit politically it was because Ukraine had already involved itself in American politics on the side of Democrats: severing those dubious ties and preventing further manipulation of U.S. elections would necessarily come at the expense of the party that Ukrainians had cultivated when Barack Obama was in power and which they had hoped to keep in power by helping Hillary Clinton.

Ukrainians are only acting in self-interest here: they understandably want to enlist U.S. power in every way possible as a check upon Russia. The prospect of American politics taking a turn toward rapprochement with Russia stirs Ukraine to take one side in our elections and Russia to take another. This is an old familiar pattern in American politics-as old as the Washington and Adams administrations, when revolutionary France and counter-revolutionary England had interests in our elections, and America's ideological factions were inclined to favor one power or another. Neutrality was the course that George Washington urged, and by and large, it was the one that won out, even when the French-sympathizing Thomas Jefferson and James Madison came to power.

A lesson from George Washington would stand the leaders in Washington, DC in good stead today. But Democrats in Congress have other ideas: Ukraine may have failed to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016, but Democrats hope to use Ukraine to remove Trump now, either through impeachment-a longshot-or by weakening him and the GOP ahead of the 2020 election. And Democrats hope that Republican senators will be so embarrassed and perhaps divided by a trial in the Senate that they will lose control of that chamber in 2020, too. They know Trump will keep fighting, and the harder he fights, the more he refuses to play by the rigged rules of the game, the more opportunity Democrats see to frame his defensive moves as outrageous and impeachable offenses. With Nixon and Watergate, the cover-up was often said to be worse than the crime. With Trump, there is no crime, but his defiant acts of self-defense are enough to convict him-or so the Democrats and their allies hope.

nopeace > jeremypw • 2 hours ago

The Jan 2017 piece referenced above disproves your entire post. It points out that Democrats used Ukraine n the 2016 election (long before Trump ever the Ukraine or Biden entered the race.

BTW, there wasn't just one country where the drug-abusing, bad discharged Biden-boy made gross amounts of money from countries trying to buy influence in the Obama administration through his father. There were several, including China. The difference is that his father admitted on video to threatening withdrawing billions in U.S. aid if the prosecutor of his son was not fired. True quid pro quo.

[Nov 09, 2019] The Media's Obsession With Personalities Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself. ..."
"... Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter if it were a hack or a leak by an insider. That's because the emails WikiLeaks released were accurate. When documents check out it is irrelevant who the source is. That's why WikiLeaks set up an anonymous drop box, copied by big media like The Wall Street Journal and others . Had the emails been counterfeit and disinformation was inserted into a U.S. election by a foreign power that would be sabotage. But that is not what happened.

The attempt to stir up the thoroughly discredited charge of collusion appears to be part of the defense strategy of those whose reputations were thoroughly discredited by maniacally pushing that false charge for more than two years. This includes legions of journalists. But principal among them are intelligence agency officials who laundered this "collusion" disinformation campaign through the mainstream media.

Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy.

Stone may be just a footnote to this historic partisan battle that may scar the nation for a generation. But he has the personality to be the poster boy for the Democrats' lost cause.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

[Nov 09, 2019] Possible republican counter gambit -- sacrifice Trump and win elections

Notable quotes:
"... "John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be 'Very, Very Worried" ..."
"... If he does not go for a second term, his enemies will go after him legally and he would be without the protection of being President. The establishment would pin anything that they can (or make up) so as to teach any other future Presidential candidate that you do not become so without getting the nod from them first. So Roman that. ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

FreeMarketApologist , November 8, 2019 at 3:29 pm

"John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be 'Very, Very Worried"

Way back when, it was taken as mostly-gospel that Trump was surprised as anybody that he won, and that he didn't really want the job. While it appears that he's having lots of fun being #1, maybe he's not so worried about an impeachment, because it will get him out of the White House, and back to making money. Impeachment could be Donald and the Repub's wet dream: they get rid of an odious figurehead (but one who has given them everything they have wanted), they get Mike Pence to finish off the term and run in 2020, and he can claim he was unjustly removed from office, all the while raking in the $$ from speaking engagements, new TV shows, merch sales, and additional influence peddling.

urblintz , November 8, 2019 at 5:19 pm

I've always felt that Trump's best move would be to not run again. It would be perfectly in character for him to say "been there done that" and exit with his middle finger extended. He's done it his whole life and his "brand" for those who ever bought it to begin with would be even stronger. Successful impeachment might slow him up a bit but does anyone really think he's just gonna go away with his tail between his legs after he leaves the White House? He's shameless and unless he goes to jail he will be with us forever which, loved or hated, is the only thing that matters to him

Carolinian , November 8, 2019 at 5:24 pm

This of course is the true hope of the impeachers–that he will just quit–since they know he won't really be impeached. They look fondly to the Nixon precedent.

HotFlash , November 8, 2019 at 9:13 pm

He won't do it if he thinks they want it.

The Rev Kev , November 8, 2019 at 6:25 pm

If he does not go for a second term, his enemies will go after him legally and he would be without the protection of being President. The establishment would pin anything that they can (or make up) so as to teach any other future Presidential candidate that you do not become so without getting the nod from them first. So Roman that.

[Nov 09, 2019] UN says 12,800 13,000 killed since April 2014. That's not enough. So Congress bought a pile of Javelin AT munitions

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

shinola , November 8, 2019 at 3:26 pm

From the Medium article "John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be Very, Very Worried"

"I don't think dirt-digging would offend Bolton. What would offend Bolton is interrupting military supplies to a country in a deadly battle with Russia. Doing something that for whatever reason appeases Putin," Thielmann said."

The country referred to is Ukraine. I guess I've missed all the msm articles detailing all those deadly clashes between Russian & Ukrainian military units along with casualty figures and all that. I suppose I need to pay closer attention (or something).

Misty Flip , November 8, 2019 at 5:46 pm

UN says 12,800–13,000 killed since April 2014. So Congress bought a pile of Javelin AT munitions, the ones with a top attack flight profile that will place a high explosive shape-charge of molten copper through tops of young Russian tank commanders' heads, who are sons of Putin's base, if there was a mechanized push further into Ukraine. [The political tolerance window for which is narrowing.]

Our benevolent leader said, "Hold-on. You gotta first get your FBI to clear my campaign and come up with some trumped-up charges against my political opponent. My FBI won't do it." Congressional impoundment, solicitation of a bribe for personal gain, and abuse of power. In any case, Ukraine's getting a smaller pile of missiles until next year, so, gross incompetent moves, both domestic and abroad.

Darthbobber , November 8, 2019 at 8:43 pm

You recall that the Obama administration opposed giving Ukraine any lethal assistance?

Congress has just come up with an excellent method of giving the Russians a lot of free Javelins if there were a serious fight. Which there continues to be no sign of.

Darthbobber , November 8, 2019 at 8:38 pm

The great bulk of (pro-government) Ukrainian casualties occurred in the course of ill-advised and poorly conducted offensives against the breakaway republics. When it only defends, the Ukrainian side doesn't suffer casualties. Because nobody attacks it.

[Nov 09, 2019] Right, one of his possibly effective lines of defense could be that he indeed made that request for the benefit of the country, and that it was just an unfortunate coincidence that it was regarding a political opponent. And he would have some backing evidence in the form of his other unusual requests like pressuring Sweden to release the rapper and all that.

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Drake , November 8, 2019 at 2:25 pm

"Trump is guilty of Bribery and Extortion."

I guess what I'm having trouble with is -- is there any foreign policy involving financial or military leverage that isn't bribery and/or extortion? The Marshall Plan? Alliance for Progress? Sanctions of any kind? Aid to Israel and Egypt? What isn't bribery and extortion? If it doesn't involve quid pro quo, then it's charity. I just can't see what Trump is supposed to be guilty of except making this transparent.

John Beech , November 8, 2019 at 2:31 pm

It's all a big joke. Impeach Trump, quickly move on Pence, and presto, President Pelosi (note the awesome alliteration) takes office! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

turtle , November 8, 2019 at 5:26 pm

The distinction I've heard being made is whether the bribery (or whatever they decide to call it) happened for personal gain or the public's/nation's gain. What's being alleged here is that this was a case where it was for personal gain.

In other words, whatever shady tactics a public representative uses to obtain concessions is just fine if it's to benefit those he or she represents, but not fine if it only benefits the representative him or herself.

I think this line of argument actually makes some sense, so I'm starting to come around to the idea of this impeachment.

Pat , November 8, 2019 at 7:02 pm

Clinton, Military aid to Saudi Arabia, Saudi donation to Clinton Foundation.
Biden threat to withhold aid from Ukraine unless prosecutor fired, son gets to keep five figure job AND stay out of Ukrainian prison.

I am pretty sure a fair case could be made for some other items in the Middle East and South America especially when you look at post government employment and positions.

If I thought any of this would actually change business as usual in DC, I would be all for it. But just as with Benghazi, those in charge of the investigation are trying to take out limited targets while keeping changing SOP out of it.

It is political show and directed by a group of people who should be limited to the same power I have, one vote.

turtle , November 8, 2019 at 7:40 pm

Unfortunately what you say rings true about the usual players trying to selectively prosecute. But at what point do (did?) we just throw our hands up and say (said?) "forget it, let's just ignore this part of the law (constitution)" even in the face of clear evidence that it happened?

As I learn more, this is starting to look to me like a clearer case for an impeachment trial than there was against Clinton, or even against Nixon, since bribery is very specifically mentioned in the constitution as a justification for impeachment (as opposed to the less specific "high crimes and misdemeanors", which I presume is what those other two cases fell under).

redleg , November 8, 2019 at 7:35 pm

If that's the case, then Trump's team has to show that the Bidens were being investigated for corruption. I'm sure that the GOP would gladly include a show-trial of sorts into impeachment proceedings to demonstrate this was the case even if it wasn't.
This whole thing is ridiculous and will only serve to boost Trump, especially when the Dems (again) force-feed a conservative through the convention as their nominee.

turtle , November 8, 2019 at 7:48 pm

Right, one of his possibly effective lines of defense could be that he indeed made that request for the benefit of the country, and that it was just an unfortunate coincidence that it was regarding a political opponent. And he would have some backing evidence in the form of his other unusual requests like pressuring Sweden to release the rapper and all that.

I also agree that this whole thing could possibly boost him, but not necessarily. It may well enrage his base, but it may turn away people in the middle who are still open to solid arguments and evidence.

I don't think the whole thing is ridiculous anymore, and feel that Pelosi decided that she finally had something substantial to start impeachment after talking about it for so long.

polecat , November 8, 2019 at 6:24 pm

The only things he is guilty of, is being an uncouth D.C. outsider that relishes pulling festering scabs off of the tony eastcoast pearl-clutchers, and giving the one-finger salute to California liberals ("I • Drink • Your • Impeachment • MILKSHAKE !, Nancy .. I DRINK IT UP siffft !!) .. when he's not bullchinashopping the Brunch Crowd, swilling the Dom Perrier before making off with the Belgian Waffles.

Titus , November 8, 2019 at 9:18 pm

Mhmmm, it's not a joke. As it seems received wisdom here @NC that trump will be re-elected, & liberal Dems don't get it & lefty can't get elected, what harm is there in holding trump accountable for something, whether you understand it or not, for something that he is actually responsible for?

It matters not if every other president is equally guilty which they are not. There are prices to be paid.

[Nov 09, 2019] Trump will go, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will stay

Nov 09, 2019 | www.thenation.com

"To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. "

We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

§ We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report.

Jeffrey Harrison says: November 6, 2019 at 9:30 pm

There are no more "honorable members of the Senate", Mr. Cohen. The members of both houses of Congress are partisan hacks who know nothing of how to run a country or exist in a multipolar world, they only know how to get elected.

[Nov 09, 2019] Facebook Scrubs All References To Alleged Whistleblower Eric Ciaramella

Nov 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Facebook Scrubs All References To Alleged Whistleblower Eric Ciaramella by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/08/2019 - 16:45 0 SHARES

Facebook announced on Friday that it would be removing an posts which name alleged Trump-Ukraine whistleblower Eric Ciaramella .

" We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower's name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in the debate ," Facebook said in a statement in which they claim it violates their "coordinating harm" policy which prohibits content 'outing of witness, informant, or activist.'

On Wednesday, the social media giant removed ads naming Ciaramella which had been viewed several hundred thousand times according to the Washington Post .

On Friday, Breitbart ' s Allum Bohkari reported that the news outlet's posts containing references to Ciaramella had been scrubbed from the site.

Wednesday evening, Facebook removed Breitbart posts reporting on the fact other respected news outlets have reported the identity of the alleged whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella. Any Facebook user who attempts to click on that article on Facebook is now given a message that says, "this content isn't available at the moment."

To be clear, Breitbart did not "out" the alleged whistleblower but did provide additional relevant reporting about him ; he is, after all, a public figure, having served on the National Security Council . Moreover, his name has been used in the Mueller report (p283) and Ambassador Bill Taylor's testimony .

Administrators of Breitbart News' Facebook page began receiving notifications on Wednesday evening stating that Breitbart's page is "at risk of being unpublished" but were not given any details as to why, or even which posts were allegedly at issue. - Breitbart

Of note, it is not against the law for anyone except the Inspector General to disclose a whistleblower's name.

" There is no overarching protection for the identity of the whistleblower under federal law ," said attorney Dan Meyer, the former executive director of the intelligence community whistleblower program, adding "Congress has never provided that protection."

[Nov 09, 2019] We did torture some folks and according to the guy who scanned every page of the torture memos it was much worse than we were led to believe

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984
“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.” -- Arundhati Roy -- Arundhati Roy
Notable quotes:
"... @irishking ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

irishking on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 8:29am

one more time

@Reverend Jane Ignatowski

god bless Harry Shearer

https://youtu.be/hIeTimus0-s

#5.1.1

people are doing things in banks that they shouldn't be doing

Welcome to the We Tortured Some Folks School of Minimization, where you too can learn to master the deceptive art of manipulative psychological abuse!

I see you, Holder, how you're trying to lie people into believing the bankster crimes are the same kind of petty theft as hungry people stealing food. That's some straight up evil shit, man.

This video is most excellent

@irishking

We did torture some folks and according to the guy who scanned every page of the torture memos it was much worse than we were led to believe. There is a video coming out soon about the torture report and it's findings. I don't remember where I read that and saw the trailer, but if I find it again I will post it.

Remember that the CIA broke into congress' computer files to see what was there and no one was held accountable for it. DiFi made a big deal of looking outraged, but.... yeah, we tortured some folks. The thing is that we still are.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

[Nov 08, 2019] One simple question about the USA foreign policy for Trump accusers

Nov 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Drake , November 8, 2019 at 2:25 pm

"Trump is guilty of Bribery and Extortion."

I guess what I'm having trouble with is -- is there any foreign policy involving financial or military leverage that isn't bribery and/or extortion? The Marshall Plan? Alliance for Progress? Sanctions of any kind? Aid to Israel and Egypt?

What isn't bribery and extortion?

If it doesn't involve quid pro quo, then it's charity.

I just can't see what Trump is supposed to be guilty of except making this transparent.

[Nov 08, 2019] On Schumer's concern for the welfare of whistleblowers

Nov 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark

Schumer's concern for the welfare of whistleblowers may appear somewhat belated and unconvincing, given his previous pronouncements about Snowden, Assange and Manning, but I suppose we should all welcome a sinner come to repentance (or whatever the kosher equivalent is.)
Seamus Padraig

Chuck is now the ' shomer ' (guardian) of wistleblowers.

[Nov 08, 2019] Establishment s Coup Attempt Is Approaching End Game

This is Pelosi attempt to score some political points for coming elections, but it can backfire in Republicans in the Senate deside to wipe the floor with her and Schiff.
It would be totally ridiculous, unprecedented, and farcical for the losing party to impeach a president
Nov 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

stevek9 4 days ago

There was definitely treason all right, by elements of the CIA, FBI, and DNC, working with MI5 and Ukrainian oligarchs, to first interfere in the 2016 election in favor of Clinton, and after the surprise loss, to overturn the results with the ridiculous Russia-gate (and now Ukraine-gate) hoaxes.

Trump is an idiot, but his enemies are far worse.

J.E.Adams 4 days ago • edited
The Democrats will destroy themselves.Wikipedia: "Hoist with his own petard" is a phrase from a speech in Hamlet that has become proverbial. The phrase's meaning is literally that the bomb-maker...is blown up ("hoisted" off the ground) by his own bomb, and indicates an ironic reversal, or poetic justice.
The Other Sands 3 days ago
So if Trump's behavior is all kosher, I guess the DNC should hold a press conference tomorrow to officially ask every foreign country to search for dirt on Trump, his kids, Kushner, and their companies. They have been sleazing around a lot of countries making "deals" for a long long time.

If it is okay to ask foreign countries for help with domestic elections, the Dems should get all over that right away. Hmmmm, I wonder if Trump has offended any foreign countries in the last couple of years, who might like to help usher him out of office...? China, Mexico, half of Europe. Their intelligence agencies should give the DNC a call.

RCPreader The Other Sands 2 days ago
Too late; they did that long ago.

Re Ukraine alone, both Hillary and Senate Democratic leaders pressured it for dirt on Trump.

TISO_AX2 marqueemoons 2 days ago
Hypocrisy is in the eye of the beholder too, I guess. Unless you can define how the Federal Bribery Statute has historically been applied to US presidents dealing for foreign leaders. I'm sure the readers would be interested in seeing you make that case.

Asking for cooperation from an ally in exposing corruption has never been "charged" any other US president. If you want examples of other presidents' quid pro quos, just ask. Foreign aid is a political quid pro quo (as we have VP Joe Biden bragging about on camera). It is not, however, extortion in the jurusprudential meaning of the term. It's reckless and dishonest to claim that it is.

The Pandora's Box of criminializing heretofore normal presidential activities is one of the more egregious examples of leftwing ideologues scorching the earth of America's government.

George Hoffman 3 days ago
I sat out the last presidential election, because both candidates who were running were unacceptable to me, but Pat's analysis has cut through all the propaganda surrounding this clumsy coup attempt to overturn the choice that American voters made for who they wanted as their next president.

[Nov 08, 2019] Steve Bannon predicts Trump impeachment fallout in Fox News exclusive

YouTube
Bannon point: Debate all you want, Bidens are corrupt, investigate them first....
Notable quotes:
"... "Joe Biden is a hand grenade and Hunter is the pin". ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.youtube.com

supaglide , 4 days ago

Dems know that this is their last straw, they're going all in on this one and will ultimately fail AGAIN. Americans are sick of their non-stop BS.

Pj Cramer , 4 days ago

I never believe the polls , they are usually wrong.

America 1776 , 23 hours ago

"Joe Biden is a hand grenade and Hunter is the pin".

BK , 4 days ago

This impeachment is ridiculous. I don't trust this Fox poll. It's ridiculous.

D. L. Scruggs A Disciple Of Christ , 2 days ago

They think that we won't do anything if they impeach. They are very mistaken!

[Nov 08, 2019] There's no whistle to blow because there was no deal by Dan Bongino

This is an interesting, informative interview. The list of Adam Schiff lies is growing. It might reach critical mass soon.
If impeachment reach the Senate trail, identity of whistleblower should be revealed so that the President can face his accuser
Nov 08, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Fawnlee Greene , 3 days ago

Dan Bongino is the best and few commentators that Fox News has that speaks the truth.

Lone Ranger , 3 days ago

Schiff is protecting himself and the rest of the deepstate traitors...

Paul H , 3 days ago

"The White House always cooperates with congressional subpoenas." -- Donald Trump, October 2, 2019

USA Heart , 3 days ago

He's not a whistleblower!! He's a leaker, who's been fired before for leaking!!

matthew1995king , 3 days ago

Isn't perjury an impeachable offenses? Why isn't adam schift impeached?

[Nov 08, 2019] Did Biden pushed Provisional goverment of Yatsenyk-Turchinov for actions that helped to start the civil war in Ukraine? What is the real nature of the EuroMaydan coup d' tat which was spearheaded by Obama administration ?

Nov 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

steven t johnson 11.08.19 at 4:36 pm 77

...As for the notion that Biden started the civil war in Ukraine? Nonsense. What really kick started that was the attack on Russian speakers launched as the first order of business. Killing a bunch of people in Odessa by setting a building on fire and trapping them inside was motivation too.

Lee Arnold@72 speaks of democratic process. and Russian expansion. Both are imaginary. The process in Ukraine is fascist. It's true that the open fascists are not at the top, but then, this was true of Franco's Spain, where the Falange party was not on top either. But only a swindler would deny Franco's Spain was fascist.

The idea there was no rebellion against the fascists in Kyiv is preposterous on the face of it. Further, Kharkov nearly went with Donetsk and Lugansk, but the national government managed to keep control. There is no sane scenario where a Russian invasion doesn't take Kharkov, which shows it wasn't Russian invasion that started it. And, conclusively, incorporating Donetsk and Lugansk means ending the war in some fashion that leaves essential control to Moscow. Whatever military assistance Russia gives the rebels is about making sure they don't go too the left in fighting the fascists and making sure there are no embarrassing wave of Russian-speaking refugees from Ukrainian fascism. Endless war is not incorporation. It just means Putin is a fool for thinking one side won't eventually collapse. Lastly, as to Crimea, the simple truth is that the establishment of liberal democracies generally demands consolidation of the national territory, which generally demands redrawing boundaries and ethnic cleansing. The insistence that Ukrainian fascists have a "right" to make Russians in Crimea second-class citizens because of old maps is not becoming.

[Nov 08, 2019] When is a Whistleblower, not a Whistleblower by Renée Parsons

Notable quotes:
"... Bravo Renée: I loved this article, not least because I loathe Adam Schiff with a vengeance ..."
"... The USA is a deeply divided country. Split from the top to the bottom. The 'liberal' coastal cities on collision course with the rest of the country. ..."
"... The Democratic leadership have accepted that their real chances of winning the next presidential election are small, unless the economy goes into a sharp decline and the voters turn against Trump in their millions. This isn't happening. So Trump stands a really good chance of winning in 2020. Just a year from now. ..."
"... So, if the chances of defeating Trump democratically at the coming election are looking 'problematic' and increasingly remote; the alternative is to remove him from office by impeachment where the Law is used instead of the voting system, which is far harder to control these days. ..."
"... The real scandal over Ukraine lies in Biden threatening to withhold $1 billion from the country unless the prosecutor investigating Biden Junior was sacked – something he openly and publicly bragged about. ..."
"... That's all very nice but this individual is a spy, not a "whistleblower". ..."
"... Was he part of the 'taskforce' or is he part of the diversion from that taskforce or indeed the conspiracy against Ukraine by Obama/Clinton nazi promoting Nuland & co? ..."
www.zerohedge.com

For those readers who care more about Donald Trump, Obama's legacy or the Republican/Democrat parties rather than the Rule of Law and what remains of the US Constitution, the following scenario should be a Giant Wake up Call.

As the result of an anonymous "whistleblower" Complaint filed against President Trump on August 12, the House Intel Committee conducted a series of closed door hearings that violated Sixth Amendment protections while relying on an anonymous WB.

Right away, those hearings morphed into an impeachment inquiry that took on the spectacle of a clumsy kerfuffle not to be taken seriously – except they were.

There is an essential Ukraine backstory which began with the US initiating the overthrow of its democratically elected President Yanukovych in 2014.

Fast forward to Russiagate followed by Ukrainegate and an impeachment inquiry with Trump telling newly elected Ukraine President Zelensky in their now infamous July 25th conversation:

I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation in Ukraine; they say Crowdstrike. The server they say, Ukraine has it<."

In a nutshell, possession of the CrowdStrike server is crucial to revealing the Democratic hierarchy's role in initiating Russiagate as the Democrats are having a major snit-fit that now threatens the constitutional foundation of the country.

On October 31st the House voted to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry based on still mysterious Whistleblower's allegations. At the time, there was still no confirmation of who the shadowy Whistleblower was or whether a Whistleblower even existed.

It is a fact that most whistleblowers bring the transgression proudly forward into the public light for the specific purpose of exposing the deeds that deserve to be exposed. At great personal cost, they then provide a credible case for why this offense is illegal or a violation of the public trust and deserves to be made public.

This alleged WB, however, defies the traditional definition of a WB who most often experiences the wrong-doing first hand and from a personal vantage while revealing said wrong-doing as a function within an agency of their employment.

This WB's identity has been protected from public disclosure by TPTB, shrouded in mystery and suspicion as if fearful of public scrutiny or that his 'truth' would crumble under interrogation and not be greeted with unanimity. What is clear is that this WB had no direct experience but only second-hand knowledge of events which is defined as 'hear say' evidence. While inadmissible in a Court of law, why should 'hear say' be allowed when the subject is as profound as impeachment of a President?

Real-life CIA whistleblower Jon Kiriakou who served 22 months in prison, suggested this " whistleblower is not a whistleblower but a anonymous CIA analyst within the Democratic House staff ." When was the last time a real whistleblower was 'protected' by the government from public exposure.

There has been no explanation as to why this informant's identity is necessarily been kept secret – and not just from the public but from Members of Congress especially as Republican Members have been unable to question him.

There has been no further information regarding a second "Whistleblower" who allegedly came forward to corroborate the first WB although why it is necessary to corroborate that which has already been publicly revealed remains questionable.

In a once unimaginable example of CIA–Democratic collusion, it turns out that the identity of the alleged WB is not such a secret after all.

Far from the public eyes of Americans, there has been a coordinated effort to stifle any exposure of his identity; presumably to prevent any revelation of the underpinnings of exactly how this convoluted scheme of malfeasance was organized. And as his name and political history within the Obama Administration and Democratic party are publicly scrutinized, it makes perfect sense why the TPTB would prefer to prevent public hearings or keep the WB's identity under wraps.

His identity should have been public knowledge weeks ago and yet it took Real Clear Investigations , an alt-news website to publicly reveal what has been well known within the DC bubble for some weeks.

The answer to the title question is that this WB is instead a very well connected partisan lackey and CIA operative.

The alleged WB is said to be a 33 year old CIA analyst by the name of Eric Ciaramella who was an Obama White House holdover at the National Security Council until mid 2017.

Consequently, he has deep partisan ties to former VP Joe Biden, former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice as well as the DNC establishment. And here's where it get especially interesting; Ciaramella specializes in Russia and Ukraine, is fluent in both languages, ran the Ukraine desk at the Obama NSC and had close association with Ukrainian DNC hyper-activist Alexandra Chalupa.

Ciaramella's bio reads like a litany of the political turmoil that has consumed the nation for the last three years as it is reported that he had a role in initiating the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy while at the Obama White House and worked with Biden who was the Obama point-person on Ukraine issues in 2015 and 2016 when $3 billion USAID funding was being embezzled.

Clearly, Ciaramella has a wealth of information to share regarding the Biden Quid pro Quo scandal which is currently being muzzled by the corporate media.

With Ciaramella's identity revealed, a former NSC staffer who was present during the Trump-Zelensky July 25th conversation testified that he saw nothing illegal in the talk. Tim Morrison told the House Intel Committee that " I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed" and that the transcript of the call which was declassified and released by the White House " accurately and completely reflects the substance of the call."

As a result, Ciaramella is now refusing to publicly testify before the House or Senate Intel Committees.

More recently, Mark Zaid, attorney for Ciaramella has said that his client would accept written questions from Republicans on the House Intel Committee and that his client " wants to be as bipartisan as possible throughout this process while remaining anonymous ."

Seriously? He's got to be kidding.

Did the reality of being required to testify in public just recently dawn on Ciaramella or was he not expecting that his every word and utterance would be scrutinized before the entire world? Is he so unfamiliar with the Sixth Amendment that he believes a Defendant's right to confront his accuser should not apply to him or in a Presidential impeachment inquiry?

Did he actually believe he could make anonymous impeachment accusations against the President of the US without a ripple or without having to directly face questions from House and Senate Republicans? Who did he think would protect him from public scrutiny?

Given Ciaramella's extensive partisan history since 2015 and his national security experience with Susan Rice in the Obama White House, it will be interesting if he receives a mention in the IG report on the abuse of FISA warrants and whether Ciaramella's name has moved to the top of the Durham interviewee list.


Stephen Morrell

These inquiries always spiral out of the control of their instigators, and this one is becoming positively delicious.
Seamus Padraig
Regarding the transcript of Trump's call, please tell me: what law/statute did he break? In order for there to be a high crime or misdemeanor, there must first be some kind of crime or misdemeanor.
Tom
You cannot be serious! How about EXTORTION? As in holding up the money from Ukraine until they agreed to look into his prime political opponent in the upcoming election (Biden). That's a crime.

Or perhaps they will call it BRIBERY. That's a crime also.

See:
The Actual Laws Trump Has Broken, Just With the Ukraine and China Affairs, Could Land Him 10 Years in Prison
October 10 2019
https://theintercept.com/2019/10/10/trump-crimes-law/

Or moving on, how about receiving money from foreign interests in the form of forbidden EMOLUMENTS, through, at a minimum, his Washington hotel or the foreign visitors spending heavily at his gold courses? These venues generate revenue for the Trump organization, which he never divested himself from.

And then there are the campaign finance crimes. See:
https://www.citizensforethics.org/a-campaign-to-defraud-2/

Take your hands off of your ears and remove the wool from your eyes.

JudyJ
Tom

You mention "Bribery", and you mention "receiving money from foreign interests" both in the context of Trump. I'm sorry but from where I stand there are far stronger suggestions of that in the context of Biden and the undenied international connections of his son. You appear to be taking the position that however serious the inferred misdemeanours (let me use the term 'corruption') of Biden are, he does whatever he does – unlike Trump, of course – to "put the health of the country first" (your words @ 8.41) and are by definition not deserving of investigation. He's all heart, isn't he? Foolish of me not to see this.

Tom
Biden isn't VP any longer. The Republicans had complete control of Congress AND the presidency for 2016/2017. If they wanted to investigate Biden, that would have been your best the time to do it. So why do you supposed they didn't investigate Biden then? Might it be that while Biden may have taken advantage of his political position, as so many politicians do, what he did was not judged to be illegal. Personally, I don't give a rat's arse about Biden one way or another.

The attempts by you and others in your camp and Trump himself to muddy the impeachment investigation and direct attention elsewhere are so transparent as to be almost ludicrous.

You need to focus on what is most import to the USA and the people of this country – the clear and present danger that President Trump represents!

Seamus Padraig
Here's the full transcript of the call with Zelensky. Now tell me: where's the "bribery" and "extortion" there? Trump just asked Zelensky a favor–that's all.
Tom
You never watched any mafia movies have you? Did you know that people have been convicted of murder and sent to death row when they never even found the body? It's called circumstantial evidence. The same legal concept applies to Trump's conversations. Trump thought he was being slick by not explicitly mentioning that the Ukraine president HAD to do this favor for him to get the allocation released to him. 'Hey, I need ya to do me a favor first'

But just as with circumstantial evidence, a direct request is not necessary. An implied one will do just as well. You are way out of your league trying to play lawyer here!

Martin Usher
I daresay they can get him on Emoluments and exceeding Constitutional authority. Impeachment isn't like a criminal trial, its really about whether the official went against their oath to "protect and defend the Constitution". This is the bit that President Trump doesn't quite understand; everyone who's part of government swears an oath to protect and defend the Constitution (so do naturalized citizens, BTW) and its this that they're loyal to, not an individual. The individual only holds power because the Constitution gives it to them -- temporarily. (At the time of the founding of the US this was a bit of a novelty, the idea that you owe fealty to an abstract concept rather than an individual, and many people even in this country still don't get it.)

Ultimately, though -- as we found with Clinton in the 90s -- its going to come down to "Because We Can". Personally I'd rather not bother, I'd just collect the information, put it out there and let the electorate decide what's best for the country, but I'm not running the show.

Martin Usher
This really didn't turn into an impeachment enquiry until the issue was forced by media partisanship. President Trump has already crossed numerous boundaries that would get a normal President into trouble and Ukraine was just another straw for the camel to carry. Next year is an election year and its starting to look like the Democrats could field an actual donkey and still win the Presidency.

What's probably more damning than the whistleblower's original complaint is the testimony of Marie Yovanaovitch, the US ambassador to Ukraine who had the rug pulled out from under her earlier this year. I don't want to comment on her role in that country or the US's role in bringing 'freedom and democracy' (aka "total chaos and economic ruin"), its more about the way that ill informed tweets and media punditry by Fox News commentators such as Sean Hannity are undermining the work of the State Department. Some might say this is a good thing but I personally believe that all this screwing around, both with foreign relations and the economy, is doing the US demonstrable harm and probably needs to have a stop put to it sooner rather later. This is not reality TV, this is serious stuff.

Those who've read my posts on this site will know that I've never been a fan of Russiagate or interested in a renewed Cold War, its a road to nowhere. This is why I don't see the 'hand ofPutin' everywhere, he's not the contemporary Illuminati and probably doesn't smoke (so no smoke filled rooms). However, if I wanted to play international zero sum I would suggest that all Putin (and Xi) needs to do to 'win' is to do nothing, just stand well back because the inevitable meltdown is going to get really messy.

Tim Jenkins
Bravo Renée: I loved this article, not least because I loathe Adam Schiff with a vengeance, as does anybody with the slightest degree of scientific & analytical know how: yet you managed to avoid any partisan accusations and mentioning his name: which would have been impossible in my case

Quality journalism Renée and the head of the House Intelligence Committee should be immediately investigated, prosecuted and may I add, Not thrown in Prison, but Shot at Dawn, for TREASON USA

Something I used to write regularly in the Guardian, before they banned me, was
Never in the field of Human Conflict, has so much been owed by so few to so many

MichaelK
The USA is a deeply divided country. Split from the top to the bottom. The 'liberal' coastal cities on collision course with the rest of the country.

The Democratic leadership have accepted that their real chances of winning the next presidential election are small, unless the economy goes into a sharp decline and the voters turn against Trump in their millions. This isn't happening. So Trump stands a really good chance of winning in 2020. Just a year from now.

The party top wants another 'conservative' and 'safe' candidate like Clinton so they can keep control of the party and banish the 'dangerous left' once more. Only the party activists don't want another 'Clinton' candidate that'll lead them towards another defeat.

So, if the chances of defeating Trump democratically at the coming election are looking 'problematic' and increasingly remote; the alternative is to remove him from office by impeachment where the Law is used instead of the voting system, which is far harder to control these days.

This process, removing political leaders using the Law, because they are corrupt, has been used in several countries recently, for example in Brazil, where Lula was imprisoned and unable to stand for election after a questionable trial.

Now, it's the turn of the USA. Whether the millions of Trump supporters will simply sit back and watch this kind of 'legal coup' unfold, is another story.

mark
I think the reason for impeachment is not a substitute for an elusive electoral victory on the part of the democrats. It is actually far worse than that. It is a case of "either we get him, or he gets us." "Either we walk over him, or he walks over us." They are simply trying to save their skins.

The Clinton/ Biden clans and their minions are now looking at serious jail time in a winner-takes-all, high stakes, no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners zero sum game. The Deep State, the Spooks, the Dirty Cops, Wall Street, MIC, Hollywood and the MSM, and the Democrat establishment, tried to rig the election to prevent Trump winning.

Having failed to achieve this, they tried to sabotage and delegitimise his administration by the Russiagate hoax, planting spies in the White House, and corrupt and politicised investigations and prosecutions of senior officials, using perjured and fabricated "evidence" from dubious foreign sources (Steele, Dearlove, MI6, Ukraine.)

This is now a busted flush. Russiagate has been comprehensively debunked, however much the MSM tries to pretend otherwise. Their criminality and corruption is being steadily and methodically exposed for all the world to see.

Trump knows that impeachment would be just the beginning, not the end. They would not be content to remove him from office, Nixon style. They want him broken, to make an example of him. They want him in jail, bankrupt, his businesses broken up and his assets confiscated, his children and his friends in jail with him. They won't settle for anything less than this.

The somewhat pathetic "Ukrainegate" saga is a smokescreen that his been thrown up in desperation at short notice to try to snatch victory from defeat. It is becoming less and less credible as more facts emerge. It seems to be based on little more than second or third hand gossip from rabidly anti Trump sources, and is rapidly being discredited. No matter how much the MSM tries to big this up, it will run its course leaving the anti Trump conspiracy even more nakedly exposed.

Trump and Barr have only to keep up the pressure to turn the tables.

Not that anyone should have any sympathy for Trump and his cronies. They all belong in jail, as do the anti Trump faction. Ideally, they should all go to jail. It's a pity they can't all lose.

If you think it's all dirty and down in the gutter now, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Let dog eat dog.

George Cornell
As your namesake Twain said, the more I see of people, the more I like of dogs. This is more akin to cannibalism? I agree that we are just seeing the opening warmup acts now. But more like unscripted unrehearsed professional wrestling every day.
nwwoods
Jail time? DC political elites? Not gone happen.
Tim Jenkins
MK Ultra good comment, upon which I could expand, but I don't want to give the game away, because I reckon Trump's planning, timing and strategy is unstoppable, after he wins the next election.

All will see and pretend that they knew all along what he was doing & going to do. I should add, I'm on record @TheGuardian, stating that he would definitely win in 2016, well in advance and nobody believed me, though it was easy to see & calculate, with sound analysis of the key factors. It was obvious and I switched off, long before the announcement,
that he'd won, when they were still predicting HRC, knowing I was right, on that night.

I will tell you this much: It would be very silly of him to 'fire' the FED, before the elections 😉

phree
I have to disagree with Kiriakou and the author on this one. I'm a lawyer and I've been involved in whistleblower cases on both sides. MANY whistleblowers do not want to go public. I'd say at least 50% in my experience. And most whistleblowers have personal interests in addition to wanting to protect the public interest -- they are looking for a pay day.

Plus, these attacks on this whistleblower for bias or lack of first hand knowledge really miss the point: His claims have been almost entirely verified. There clearly was a quid pro quo (not that one is necessary) as admitted by Mulvaney (before he tried to walk it back) and Sondland, and testified about by others involved with Ukraine at the time. Since many National Security people were aghast at these actions (including that die hard liberal Bolton), and Guliani says everything he was doing was on behalf of his private client, there is no reason to think that this was a matter of national security policy.

Indeed, the memo of Trump's phone call demonstrates the quid pro quo to any reasonable person -- it certainly would be enough to indict a gangster. Do me a "favor" if you want me to sell you missiles? That's not enough? Really? Especially when in order to buy the missiles you need the military assistance money Trump was blocking.

Bbbbut what about the Bidens some whimper. Investigate them through proper channels, not by blackmail through a back channel.

So, save your hair pulling for a whistleblower who's claims turn out to be false.

Northern
Your moral condemnation is evidently selective.

Bbbut what about the quid pro quo you whimper? Why don't you find some ordinary Ukrainian citizens and ask them which was the greater evil; being thrust into civil war by rampaging mobs of US sponsored neo-nazis, or the neo-nazi's not getting paid on time? Go re-asses your moral compass you fascist sympathizer.

mark
The real scandal over Ukraine lies in Biden threatening to withhold $1 billion from the country unless the prosecutor investigating Biden Junior was sacked – something he openly and publicly bragged about.
Tom
Biden wasn't alone. Much of the rest of Europe was making the same call because the prosecutor himself was corrupt. And why didn't the Republicans take this up when they had full control of Congress during 2016/2017? I bet you can't come up with any kind of sensible answer!
Tim Jenkins
Use your real name or you are talking BOLLOCKS !
nwwoods
That's all very nice but this individual is a spy, not a "whistleblower".
Tom
Doesn't matter. Is the information correct? That's what you SHOULD be focusing on but then you won't like how that further sullies the already awful reputation of your deity Trump.
mark
Schumer's concern for the welfare of whistleblowers may appear somewhat belated and unconvincing, given his previous pronouncements about Snowden, Assange and Manning, but I suppose we should all welcome a sinner come to repentance (or whatever the kosher equivalent is.)
Seamus Padraig

Chuck is now the ' shomer ' (guardian) of wistleblowers.

Dungroanin
Was he part of the 'taskforce' or is he part of the diversion from that taskforce or indeed the conspiracy against Ukraine by Obama/Clinton nazi promoting Nuland & co?

The report is – if not a whitewash – going to ruin as many trousers and underwear as any explosive diarrhetic fart!

From Barry's stupid peace prize – to our stupid DS outlaws.

Especially if the tories carry on as they have started this election – with masterful pratfalls, foot-in-mouths and devious lying, cheating and hiding.

A change is coming!

Petra Liverani

When is a Whistleblower, not a Whistleblower?

When they've been employed by the CIA I'd say very, very rarely.

Real-life CIA whistleblower Jon Kiriakou who served 22 months in prison

Did he now? 22 months in prison and sentenced on 22 October. They love their 22s. Just as Chelsea had 22 charges laid against her, was 22 at the time of her leaking and spent 22 hours a day in prison for some of her alleged 7 year sentence.

His Wikipedia story does not sound in the least compelling. He allegedly disclosed the torture of Abu Zubaydah, accused of being an aide to Osama bin Laden. So if bin Laden was an agent how real is Zubaydah?

On December 10, 2007, Kiriakou gave an interview to ABC News[16] in which he described his participation in the capture of Abu Zubaydah, who was accused of having been an aide to Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Kiriakou said that he did not witness Zubaydah's interrogation, but had been told by CIA associates that it had taken only a single brief instance of waterboarding to extract answers:

He was able to withstand the waterboarding for quite some time. And by that I mean probably 30, 35 seconds and a short time afterwards, in the next day or so, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate.[17]

Following the interview, Kiriakou's accounts of Abu Zubaydah's waterboarding were widely repeated and paraphrased,[Note 1][6] and he became a regular guest expert on news and public affairs shows on the topics of interrogation and counter-terrorism.

In 2009, however, it was reported that Abu Zubaydah had been waterboarded at least 83 times,[18] and that little or no useful additional information may have been gained by "harsh methods" of interrogation.[19][20] Kiriakou had been under the mistaken belief that Zubaydah was waterboarded only once, and even that single instance he had described as a form of torture while expressing reservations about whether the value of the information obtained was worth the damage done to the United States' reputation.[citation needed]

Kiriakou has said that he chose not to blow the whistle on torture through internal channels because he believed he "wouldn't have gotten anywhere" because his superiors and the congressional intelligence committees were already aware of it.[21]

OMG! Does the theatre ever stop?

Tim Jenkins
"OMG! Does the theatre ever stop?"

yep, it does actually: when you finally suss out what Bill Binney was telling you all about; about 6 years before you profess to have taken an interest in the events leading up to and including those that occurred on the 11th sept. 2001 and of course, the missing D.o.D $$$TRILLIONS$$$ and what they spent the money on >>>

Like "Parallel Platforms" !

mark
What's a mere missing $21 trillion between friends? Probably just fallen down the back of the sofa. Along with the 140 tons of Libyan gold and the 1,500 tons of German gold and the Ukrainian gold and the gold from WTC 7 and the Venezuelan gold .. There's a perfectly simple explanation for everything if you look hard enough.
mark
China is the biggest gold producer in the world, with over 400 tons a year, none of which is ever seen outside the country. There has been speculation that their holdings are over 10,000 tons, but nobody really knows. This follows the historical pattern over thousands of years, China exporting silk, spices, quality ceramics and tea, and taking silver bullion in payment. Europe was drained of silver until the looting of the New World. Some people believe that America has 8,300 tons, a figure unchanged since 1971. But then again some people believe in fairies and Father Christmas.

Democrats?. You just stand back and watch them implode. It's painful to watch some days I'll tell ya

George Cornell
Debbie does the Dems. Wasserperson Schultz , where are you when your party needs some deep corruption?

[Nov 08, 2019] Sen. Johnson All whistleblowers are not created equal - YouTube

Notable quotes:
"... Eric Ciaramella is not a 'whistleblower", he's a participant of coup d'etat. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Jeton Ademaj , 12 hours ago

Eric Ciaramella is not a 'whistleblower", he's a participant of coup d'etat.

Jacob Allen , 12 hours ago

He tweeted back in 2017, "the coup begins". If that doesn't scream deep state, I don't know what does.

Joe Zappa , 10 hours ago

"How much U.S. taxpayer aid went to a Ukrainian company that was paying Joe Biden's son while Joe Biden was in charge of the aid?" Steve Hilton

Larry Johnson , 11 hours ago

Eric Ciaramella is a SPY CIA ANALYST in COLLUSION with Joe Biden John Brennan Adam Schiff COUP PLOT.

[Nov 08, 2019] Deep State On The National Security Council Colonel Vindman Is An Expert With An Agenda by Philip Giraldi

Keeping an émigré in charge of the foreign policy towards that country. What could go wrong?
Notable quotes:
"... Vindman apparently sees Ukraine-Russia through the established optic provided by the Deep State, which considers global conflict as the price to pay for maintaining its largesse from the US taxpayer. Continuous warfare is its only business product, which explains in part its dislike of Donald Trump as he has several times threatened to upset the apple cart, even though he has done precious little in reality. Part of Vindman's written statement (my emphasis) is revealing: ""When I joined the NSC in July 2018, I began implementing the administration's policy on Ukraine. In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to US government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine's prospects, this alternative narrative undermined US government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine." ..."
"... Alexander Vindman clearly was pushing a policy that might be described as that of the Deep State rather than responding to his own chain of command where it is the president who does the decision making. He also needs a history lesson about what has gone on in his country of birth. President Barack Obama conspired with his own version of Macbeth's three witches – Rice, Power and Jarett – to overthrow the legitimate government of Ukraine in 2014 because it was considered to be too close to Moscow. The regime change was brought about by "mavericks" like the foul-mouthed neocon State Department officer Victoria Nuland and the footloose warmonger Senator John McCain. Vice President Joe Biden also appeared on the scene after the "wetwork" was done, with his son Hunter trailing behind him. Since that time, Ukraine has had a succession of increasingly corrupt puppet governments propped up by billions in foreign aid. It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe. ..."
"... Colonel Vindman, who reported to noted hater of all things Russian Fiona Hill, who in turn reported to By Jingo We'll Go To War John Bolton, was in the middle of all the schemes to bring down Russia. His concern was not really over Trump vs. Biden. It was focused instead on speeding up the $380 million in military assistance, to include offensive weapons, that was in the pipeline for Kiev. And assuming that the Ukrainians could actually learn how to use the weapons, the objective was to punish the Russians and prolong the conflict in Donbas for no reason at all that makes any sense. ..."
"... Vindman's concern is all about Ukraine without any explanation of why the United States would benefit from bilking the taxpayer to support a foreign deadbeat one more time. One wonders if Vindman was able to compose his statement without a snicker or two intruding. He does eventually go on to cover the always essential national security angle, claiming that "Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Absent a deterrent to dissuade Russia from such aggression, there is an increased risk of further confrontations with the West. In this situation, a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression ." ..."
"... The combined visions of Russia as an aggressive, expansionistic power coupled with the brave Ukrainians serving as a bastion of freedom is so absurd that it is hardly worth countering. Russia's economy is about the size of Italy's or Spain's limiting its imperial ambitions, if they actually exist. Its alleged transgressions against Georgia and Ukraine were both provoked by the United States meddling in Eastern Europe, something that it had pledged not to do after the Soviet Union collapsed. Ukraine is less an important American ally than a welfare case, and no one knows that better than Vindman, but he is really speaking to his masters in the US Establishment when he repeats the conventional arguments. ..."
"... Alexander Vindman does not say or write that the incorporation of Ukraine into NATO is his actual objective, but his comments about "integrating with the West" and the "Euro-Atlantic community" clearly imply just that. ..."
"... A certain colonel named "Colonel" Vindman is secretly running the White House's foreign policy with a secret globalist agenda right under the Donald Trump's nose (a "colonel" who, by the way, is about as battlefield hero as Melania Trump). The outcome? The American foreign policy in shambles, a total sham, a farce on steroids, a schizo chaos of competing special interests, payola, kickbacks, quid-pro-quo big-fish-eats-small clusterfuck, foreign influence-peddling and deepstatism. ..."
"... "It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe" (Ukraine). Well done boys. Another Libya? There is a pattern here. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The current frenzy to impeach President Donald Trump sometimes in its haste reveals that which could easily be hidden about the operation of the Deep State inside the federal government. Congress is currently obtaining testimony from a parade of witnesses to or participants in what will inevitably be called UkraineGate, an investigation into whether Trump inappropriately sought a political quid pro quo from Ukrainian leaders in exchange for a military assistance package.

The prepared opening statement by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, described as the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council (NSC), provides some insights into how decision making at the NSC actually works. Vindman was born in Ukraine but emigrated to the United States with his family at age three. He was commissioned as an army infantry officer in 1998 and served in some capacity in Iraq from 2004-5, where he was wounded by a roadside bomb and received a purple heart. Vindman, who speaks both Ukrainian and Russian fluently, has filled a number of diplomatic and military positions in government dealing with Eastern Europe, to include a key role in Pentagon planning on how to deal with Russia.

Vindman, Ukrainian both by birth and culturally, clearly was a major player in articulating and managing US policy towards that country, but that is not really what his role on the NSC should have been. As more than likely the US government's sole genuine Ukrainian expert, he should have become a source of viable options that the United States might exercise vis-à-vis its relationship with Ukraine, and, by extension, regarding Moscow's involvement with Kiev. But that is not how his statement, which advocates for a specific policy, reads. Rather than providing expert advice, Vindman was concerned chiefly because arming Ukraine was not proceeding quickly enough to suit him, an extremely risky policy which has already created serious problems with a much more important Russia.

Vindman apparently sees Ukraine-Russia through the established optic provided by the Deep State, which considers global conflict as the price to pay for maintaining its largesse from the US taxpayer. Continuous warfare is its only business product, which explains in part its dislike of Donald Trump as he has several times threatened to upset the apple cart, even though he has done precious little in reality. Part of Vindman's written statement (my emphasis) is revealing: ""When I joined the NSC in July 2018, I began implementing the administration's policy on Ukraine. In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to US government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine's prospects, this alternative narrative undermined US government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine."

Alexander Vindman clearly was pushing a policy that might be described as that of the Deep State rather than responding to his own chain of command where it is the president who does the decision making. He also needs a history lesson about what has gone on in his country of birth. President Barack Obama conspired with his own version of Macbeth's three witches – Rice, Power and Jarett – to overthrow the legitimate government of Ukraine in 2014 because it was considered to be too close to Moscow. The regime change was brought about by "mavericks" like the foul-mouthed neocon State Department officer Victoria Nuland and the footloose warmonger Senator John McCain. Vice President Joe Biden also appeared on the scene after the "wetwork" was done, with his son Hunter trailing behind him. Since that time, Ukraine has had a succession of increasingly corrupt puppet governments propped up by billions in foreign aid. It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe.

Washington inside-the-beltway and the Deep State choose to blame the mess in Ukraine on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the established narrative also makes the absurd claim that the political situation in Kiev is somehow important to US national security. The preferred solution is to provide still more money, which feeds the corruption and enables the Ukrainians to attack the Russians.

Colonel Vindman, who reported to noted hater of all things Russian Fiona Hill, who in turn reported to By Jingo We'll Go To War John Bolton, was in the middle of all the schemes to bring down Russia. His concern was not really over Trump vs. Biden. It was focused instead on speeding up the $380 million in military assistance, to include offensive weapons, that was in the pipeline for Kiev. And assuming that the Ukrainians could actually learn how to use the weapons, the objective was to punish the Russians and prolong the conflict in Donbas for no reason at all that makes any sense.

Note the following additional excerpt from Vindman's prepared statement: " .I was worried about the implications for the US government's support of Ukraine . I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained ."

Vindman's concern is all about Ukraine without any explanation of why the United States would benefit from bilking the taxpayer to support a foreign deadbeat one more time. One wonders if Vindman was able to compose his statement without a snicker or two intruding. He does eventually go on to cover the always essential national security angle, claiming that "Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Absent a deterrent to dissuade Russia from such aggression, there is an increased risk of further confrontations with the West. In this situation, a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression ."

The combined visions of Russia as an aggressive, expansionistic power coupled with the brave Ukrainians serving as a bastion of freedom is so absurd that it is hardly worth countering. Russia's economy is about the size of Italy's or Spain's limiting its imperial ambitions, if they actually exist. Its alleged transgressions against Georgia and Ukraine were both provoked by the United States meddling in Eastern Europe, something that it had pledged not to do after the Soviet Union collapsed. Ukraine is less an important American ally than a welfare case, and no one knows that better than Vindman, but he is really speaking to his masters in the US Establishment when he repeats the conventional arguments.

It hardly seems possible, but Vindman then goes on to dig himself into a still deeper hole through his statement's praise of the train wreck that is Ukraine. He writes "In spite of being under assault from Russia for more than five years, Ukraine has taken major steps towards integrating with the West . The US government policy community's view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity. The United States and Ukraine are and must remain strategic partners, working together to realize the shared vision of a stable, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine that is integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community ."

Alexander Vindman does not say or write that the incorporation of Ukraine into NATO is his actual objective, but his comments about "integrating with the West" and the "Euro-Atlantic community" clearly imply just that. The expansion of NATO up to Russia's borders by the rascally Bill Clinton constituted one of the truly most momentous lost foreign policy opportunities of the twentieth century. The addition of Ukraine and Georgia to the alliance would magnify that error as both are vital national security interests for Moscow given their history and geography. Vindman should be regarded as a manifestation of the Deep State thinking that has brought so much grief to the United States over the past twenty years. Seen in that light, his testimony, wrapped in an air of sanctimoniousness and a uniform, should be regarded as little more than the conventional thinking that has produced foreign policy failure after failure.


DEDA CVETKO , 2 minutes ago link

Exactly 100 years ago, in 1919, a certain colonel named "Colonel" House was secretly running the White House's foreign policy with a secret globalist agenda right under the Woodrow Wilson's nose (a "colonel" who, by the way, was neither an army officer, nor the battlefield hero - in fact, he was about as much of a colonel as Colonel Parker). The outcome? The post-World War 1 "new world order" (which was neither new, nor order, nor global in any sense) that was a nightmare on steroids, a humpty-dumpty Frankenstein that gave birth to both Nazism and Bolshevism as well as Globalist Elitism, American Exceptionalism, and New Deal Neoliberalism and was every satanist's wet dream. Short of procreating Beelzebub and Baphomet, "Colonel" House just about did 'em all.

Fast forward 100 years, back to the future: year 2019 AD. A certain colonel named "Colonel" Vindman is secretly running the White House's foreign policy with a secret globalist agenda right under the Donald Trump's nose (a "colonel" who, by the way, is about as battlefield hero as Melania Trump). The outcome? The American foreign policy in shambles, a total sham, a farce on steroids, a schizo chaos of competing special interests, payola, kickbacks, quid-pro-quo big-fish-eats-small clusterfuck, foreign influence-peddling and deepstatism.

So, yes, Karl Marx was, for once, right. History really does repeat itself. It first comes as a tragedy and then returns the second time around as an inbred farce. Or a slapstick.

East Indian , 4 minutes ago link

Keeping an émigré in charge of the foreign policy towards that country. What could go wrong?

youshallnotkill , 7 minutes ago link

Born in the Ukraine, and Jewish. So the knives are out - who cares that he is a vet awarded with a Purple Heart.

Someone Else , 4 minutes ago link

A vet with a Purple Heart can be a piece of crap just like anyone else. Neither status is akin to sainthood. In fact this guy should be ashamed of the way the US government has wronged Ukraine and he is a damned big part of it.

Soloamber , 9 minutes ago link

It is absolutely mind boggling how the Democrats get away with making up false claims over and over but the real losers are voters who are paying useless jack asses to do nothing. What has the House done ? Further testimony to the farce is Mr. Magoo , Sessions , thinking he might have some contribution to make .

Bear , 7 minutes ago link

Useless jackasses and exceptionally dangerous

J S Bach , 14 minutes ago link

From wikipedia...

Alexander Semyon Vindman (né Aleksandr Semenovich Vindman) and his identical twin brother Yevgeny were born to a Jewish family in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic , Soviet Union .

JLM , 20 minutes ago link

"It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe" (Ukraine). Well done boys. Another Libya? There is a pattern here.

Soloamber , 20 minutes ago link

And Vindman sat with his whistle up his *** while Biden played pay to play and blackmailed Ukraine into dropping the investigation of the company his under qualified over paid son sat on. Biden let his ego overtake reason and admitted on tape what he did . Held back payment to Ukraine unless a judge was off the case .

What did Vindman do about that ? Was he in on it ? Vindman is a patsy and a gossip . Nothing more . OK except for lying about his deep Democrat attachments . The guy looks like a deer in headlights but he is just being used .

Vooter , 23 minutes ago link

So the entire "Deep State" is basically just populated by monkeys...

Bear , 5 minutes ago link

Too generous a description ... Rats is better

Omega_Man , 26 minutes ago link

don't all the *** spies have an agenda?

Demologos , 26 minutes ago link

Vindman is a pasty-faced lying asshat. Later I'll let you know how I really feel.

East Indian , 4 minutes ago link

Keeping an emigre in charge of the foreign policy towards that country. What could go wrong?

Someone Else , 4 minutes ago link

A vet with a Purple Heart can be a piece of crap just like anyone else. Neither status is akin to sainthood. In fact this guy should be ashamed of the way the US government has wronged Ukraine and he is a damned big part of it.

[Nov 08, 2019] More Evidence that The Comey FBI was a Malevolent Clown Show by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... "The "crazies in the basement" is an expression that was coined originally by some unknown member of George W's administration. It used to designate the small clique of Neo-Cons who had found their way into Bush junior's team of advisors, before they rose to dubious fame after the 9/11 attacks. ..."
"... Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, at the time Colin Powell's chief of staff, described their status enhancement from "lunatic fringe" to top executives in the White House with his Southern sense of humor, adding that they had become almost overnight what was henceforth called the Cheney "Gestapo". And what happened over the weekend in the Middle-East – and in D.C. – certainly looked like a distant but distinct reminder of that period in the early 2000s when "crazies" coming right out of a dark basement took over the policy agenda on questions that would require adult supervision." ..."
"... Both in Canada and the States men and women of Eastern European background have risen to positions of influence in the respective administrations. I'd argue that that has not been uniformly beneficial. Not when those men and women enlist under the crazy banner. ..."
"... To a great degree American foreign policy no longer operates in the interests of the broad mass of the American people. It too often plays to the obsessions inherited from Old Europe. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Brent , 06 November 2019 at 03:04 PM

From what I have read, I gather that the FBI in the Mueller / Comey era has made extensive use of "perjury traps". They then threaten charges to get someone to "flip" on someone bigger, in this case Trump. Flynn wouldn't flip even when they threatened to go after Flynn's son. So they decided to "F" him, as stated by Andrew McCabe.

The FBI has been thoroughly disgraced, and Wray is incapable of cleaning it up. He just wants to keep the dirt under the rug. It is too late for that, it is all coming out. US citizens deserve to know how dirty our FBI and CIA are - they are criminal organizations.

Factotum said in reply to Brent ... , 06 November 2019 at 05:45 PM
I am reminded of Susan MacDougall in the Clinton Whitewater case, decades ago -she claimed "they' were trying to make her flip too - can't remember who was on which side, but was it also government prosecutors against a vulnerable individual who they had hope to break to get the goods they decided they wanted? If so, I guess we need generational reminders of the awesome and terrifying powers of an overly powerful "government".
confusedponderer -> Factotum... , 07 November 2019 at 06:35 AM
Factorum,
re: I guess we need generational reminders of the awesome and terrifying powers of an overly powerful "government".

I'd put it more precise - "the awesome and terrifying powers of ANY overly powerful "government".

If it's an Obama FBI crew getting after you or a Trump FBI crew - it must be very bad every time, guilty of anything or not. A classic case of how really bad it can get is Brazil's evangelical Bolsonaro. Iirc a Brazilian TV station had reported that his son was likely deeply involved in the murder of a left politician or reporter in Brazil, a deed done by former Brazilian cops who also happened to call Bolsonaro's house.

Bolsonaro simply freaked out and was not interested at all in any investigation. or the question whether the report was accurate. He simply threatened the TV station that, when reelected, he would nullify their media license. He showed no interest in any reality or facts but was just trying to brutally silence and intimidate the media outlet he doesn't like. He also suggested that his son should become Brazil's ambassador to the US. Probably a perfect job since Trump doesn't have any problems with the Saudi murder prince MbS as well.

A crook by the book ...

Anon said in reply to Factotum... , 07 November 2019 at 01:55 PM
K.T. McFarland (whose name comes up every now and then in this matter) has some pertinent thought to on how the government used its power against Flynn:
"KT McFarland speaks for first time about Michael Flynn" , Fox News interview, 2019-11-05
Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 06 November 2019 at 04:07 PM
Is it just me (wink, wink) but I find it completely coincidental that both Strzok (100%) and Pientka (likely) are of Polish origins. Could it be my Russian paranoia. Nah, I am being unreasonable--those people never had a bad feeling towards Trump's attempts to boost Russian-American relations with Michael Flynn spearheading this effort. Jokes aside, however, I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle. I can only imagine how many "free" promotions and awards can be attach to this thing as a free ride.
English Outsider -> Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) ... , 07 November 2019 at 09:19 AM
Your comment brings to mind the outdated Russophobia of many in positions of influence within the American administration. I couldn't remember who coined the term "the crazies in the basement" as applied to the more hawkish elements in US politics. I thought it had been an American Admiral. I had no luck finding a reference so I googled it. Still no joy with the American admiral, but the list thrown up had near the top of it this informative quote from Patrick Bahzad.

"The "crazies in the basement" is an expression that was coined originally by some unknown member of George W's administration. It used to designate the small clique of Neo-Cons who had found their way into Bush junior's team of advisors, before they rose to dubious fame after the 9/11 attacks.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, at the time Colin Powell's chief of staff, described their status enhancement from "lunatic fringe" to top executives in the White House with his Southern sense of humor, adding that they had become almost overnight what was henceforth called the Cheney "Gestapo". And what happened over the weekend in the Middle-East – and in D.C. – certainly looked like a distant but distinct reminder of that period in the early 2000s when "crazies" coming right out of a dark basement took over the policy agenda on questions that would require adult supervision."

Both in Canada and the States men and women of Eastern European background have risen to positions of influence in the respective administrations. I'd argue that that has not been uniformly beneficial. Not when those men and women enlist under the crazy banner. Or, to put it more soberly, form part of the neocon wing of those administrations. Though I, as an outside observer, might be prejudiced here because I happen not to get on very well with Brzezinski and his copious output.

Allowing for that prejudice, which I confess runs very deep, I still think that to an extent American foreign policy has been hijacked by Eastern European emigres who themselves retain some of the prejudices and mindset of another age and place.

Looking at it from afar, the influence of some Eastern European emigres on American foreign policy has been uniformly deleterious. And that from a long way back and no matter whether those emigres are in Washington or Tel Aviv.

It cannot but help be distorting, that influence. It's not merely that unexamined Russophobia is embedded in the DNA of many Eastern Europeans. There's a narrow minded focus on aggressive Machtpolitik, bred from centuries of violent territorial disputes with neighbors.

That, transferred to the world stage as it must be when it infects the foreign policy of the United States - because that is a country that cannot but help be at the centre of the world stage - distorts US foreign policy. To a great degree American foreign policy no longer operates in the interests of the broad mass of the American people. It too often plays to the obsessions inherited from Old Europe.

In the most famous of his speeches Churchill spoke of the time when, as he hoped, "the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

Let the historians dispute as they will, that is what happened. And continued to happen for half a century and more. But there was a price few noticed. The New World might have stepped forward to rescue the old, but it carried back from that old world a most destructive freight.

akaPatience , 07 November 2019 at 03:22 AM
If all of this corruption were carried out to entrap or thwart a liberal Democrat instead of Trump and his associates, we all know the MSM would be banging a drum of utter outrage, 24/7. We'd never hear the end of a story such as this -- that the FBI misidentified the authors of Flynn's interview notes. Unbelievable.

A while back, I recall reading about a sexual discrimination or harassment case involving FBI's Andrew McCabe in which Gen. Flynn intervened on behalf of the female accuser, and it was thought by some that the bogus charge against the general was in part an act of revenge on McCabe's behalf. There are so many dots out there, unconnected, because the MSM is doing its best to suppress the truth.

How long can they continue to hear, see and speak no evil if the you-know-what hits the fan? I guess we're going to find out.

Fred -> akaPatience ... , 07 November 2019 at 09:41 AM
akaPatience,

How do you know the FBI/DOJ and our wonderful allies never did this to a Democratic politician before? Keeping them in office and subject to extortion to get favorable policies in place would be far more effective than removing someone from office. Perhaps we should ask Jeffrey Epstein just what those politicians and businessmen were doing on that island, that manions in NYC or the one in Paris.....

jd hawkins , 07 November 2019 at 04:11 AM
" I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle".

Guess the neo fbi is enjoying it too________ or not so much!!!

JohninMK , 07 November 2019 at 07:49 AM
Is this just a situation where the DoJ are giving the judge an easy way out to throw the case for a technical reason?

This would leave Flynn high and dry without his innocence having been proved having just got off on a technicality. Also the DoJ would not be exposed to having to produce all the damning stuff that the Honey Badger wants out in public.

Very interesting to see which way Judge Sullivan goes now. Wonder if he wants another Powell book.

Fred -> JohninMK... , 07 November 2019 at 09:36 AM
JohninMK,

Which country are you from where people have to prove innocence rather than prosecutors prove guilt? A technicality - do you mean that as a joke since this is obviously criminal misconduct by the FBI/DOJ; or do you really believe they made a mistake that went undiscovered through the entire Mueler probe, congressional testimony and a couple years worth of legal discovery by defense counsel?

Flavius , 07 November 2019 at 10:59 AM
The manner in which Comey and his select team of officials engineered the Flynn 'interview' was contemptible, but not surprising. The group had been steeping in politics from the moment Comey agreed to the Clinton e-mail case under the conditions he did. The special organization he created, an FBI within the FBI operating out of HQ, the administering of 'blood oaths', etc, only made matters worse, or better, depending on one's political point of view. The only thing lacking was secret hand shakes.
In my now outdated experience, the charge of lying to the FBI was viewed as B.S., period; it was never even contemplated as as a stand alone charge. Separated from a substantive charge, it is worse than B.S.
There are several things wrong about the Flynn interview. Among them: if there was indeed a reason for a strategy session to deceive Flynn about his possibly requiring a lawyer, that reason to the fair minded person meant there should have been no need for a strategy session: the interview required telling Flynn that he had the right to a lawyer; he should have been told the purpose of the interview, ie what it was he was suspected of having done wrong and that the import of his answers was sufficiently serious that if he didn't tell the truth he could be charged with lying; if there was uncertainty whether Flynn had told the truth, as apparently there was because the 302 was subjected to editing and reediting, itself highly irregular, the proper way to have resolved any question would have been to reinterview Flynn, not tailor the paperwork to support the charge; if in fact Flynn did lie, what was the harm caused by the lie, or put another way, what would have been the outcome if Flynn had told the truth.
On the subject of recorded interviews, I am of uncertain mind. There is a before interview; there is an after interview. Electronics change the dynamics of the interview itself, and it may be to the advantage of the person interviewed and it may be to his or her disadvantage. If an interview is fairly played, there should be no need to record it; if the interview is intent on something other than fair play, he will find some way to game the electronics. Electronics are no panacea to instilling integrity where integrity is not otherwise to be found.
David Habakkuk , 07 November 2019 at 11:00 AM
Larry,

The 'honey badger' was a species unknown to me, but having looked that animal up, it seems an apt comparison.

Indeed, at the risk of being frivolous, I am tempted to quote the Kipling refrain about the 'female of the species' being 'deadlier than the male.' It seems to me quite likely that people at the FBI, and elsewhere, are still finding it difficult to grasp what has hit them.

Something which interests me greatly is the possible knock-on effects of Ms. Powell's breakthroughs in exposing the conspiracy to frame Michael Flynn on other cases, notably those in which Ty Clevenger and Steven S. Biss are involved.

The pair are representing Ed Butowsky and Devin Nunes, and also, crucially, Svetlana Lokhova, in her case against the 'ratfucker' – the term used in the 'Complaint' – Stefan Halper and some of the MSM organisations who have collaborated in his 'dirty tricks.'

In all of these cases, material freely available on the 'Courtlistener' site is a mine of fascinating information.

Of particular interest at the moment, I think, are the efforts of Clevenger to 'prise open' the cover-up over the role over Seth Rich in leaking the materials from the DNC which the conspirators falsely alleged were hacked by the Russians, and that about the circumstances of his murder.

These efforts have been aided by a remarkable 'hostage to fortune' given by Deborah Sines, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in D.C. who was assigned to the Rich case.

On 8 October, Clevenger produced motions to 'accept supplemental evidence' and 'permit discovery' in the case he has himself brought against the DOJ, FBI and NSA. (His filing is freely available at https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6775665/clevenger-v-us-department-of-justice/ .)

The 'supplemental evidence' in question appeared back in July in Episode 5 of the podcast 'Conspiracyland' which Michael Isikoff produced for 'Yahoo! News'. In this, Ms. Sines recycled the familiar disinformation from Andrew McCabe to the effect that it had been established that there was no connection between Rich and Wikileaks.

She then suggested that the FBI had indeed examined his computer, but solely because someone had been trying to 'invade his Gmail account and set up a separate account after Seth was murdered.' The supposed purpose of this activity, by a 'foreign hacker', was 'so they could dump false information in there.'

As Clevenger pointed out, this claim is rather hard to reconcile with the FBI's insistence that it has no records pertaining to Rich, and makes the Bureau's refusal to search its Computer Analysis Response Team ("CART") for relevant records, and the Washington Field Office for email records, look even more suspicious than it already did.

From the 'Courtlistener' pages it also appeared that, following a telephone conference, Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom ruled that the statement by Ms. Sines did not rise to the 'level of bad faith' required to justify the 'discovery' that Clevenger sought, on the basis of it.

Also freely available on 'Courtlistener', however, is an 'Unopposed motion for stay' which Clevenger filed on 30 November. From this, we learn that Judge Bloom had 'noted that Ms. Sines' statements were not made under oath, further suggesting that the Plaintiff might try to obtain a sworn statement from Ms. Sines.'

In response, Clevenger made clear that he intended to subpoena that lady for a deposition, in the relation to the defamation cases brought against Michael Gottlieb et al, and also David Folkenflik et al, where he is representing Ed Butowsky.

Accordingly, he asked the Court to stay his own case 'until the deposition of Ms. Sines can be arranged and the transcripts can be produced.' Apparently, there was no objection from the DOJ, FBI, and NSA.

In addition, Clevenger asked the court to take 'judicial notice' of the fact that, in her reply dated 24 October to the lawyers for the USG, 'attorney Sidney Powell laid out damning evidence that high-ranking FBI officials systematically tampered with records and hid exculpatory evidence for the purpose of framing the defendant, retired General Mike Flynn.'

So it looks as though what the 'honey badger' has been digging out in relation to Flynn may help in the burrowing efforts of others in related matters – who may be in a position to return the favour.

Increasingly, it seems not entirely unthinkable that the cumulative effect of of the cases in which Powell, Clevenger and Biss are involved may blow open the whole conspiracy against the Constitution, irrespective of whether or not Horowitz, Barr and Durham are prepared to go substantially beyond a 'limited hangout.'

Another important, and neglected, aspect here relates to the cases still ongoing against Steele and Orbis in London – that brought by Aleksej Gubarev, and that by the Alfa oligarchs. It is material that libel laws on this side are noticeably less favourable to defendants than on yours – not least in that the 'fair report privilege' retains its original narrower construction here.

Unfortunately, we do not have here any equivalent to 'PACER' and 'Courtlistener.' The last I heard about the Gubarev case was in the spring, when his American lawyers suggested that it should come to court before Xmas.

It would not at all surprise me if it was postponed. Ironically, however, I now think that it may be quite likely that his British lawyers see delay as being in Gubarev's interests.

A critical point is that Steele is making no attempt to defend the accuracy of the claims about the involvement of Gubarev and his companies in hacking in the final memorandum in the dossier.

It seems quite likely that what is coming to light as the result of the lawsuits on your side may make it materially more difficult to mount any credible case that these were not very seriously defamatory.

There have been repeated attempts to locate the dossier attributed to Steele in another version of a familiar 'Russophobic' narrative, suggesting that he was deliberately fed disinformation by his Russian contacts as part of an 'active measures' campaign.

In my view, these are largely BS. However, a possible partial exception has to do with the claims about Gubarev, which follow on from the those made in Company Report 2016/086, which is dated 26 July 2015.

My suspicion has long been that the sloppy misdating – 2016 is clearly meant – reflected the fact that the document was part of a panic-stricken response to the murder of Rich, which had taken place on 10 July. What I may well have happened is that FBI cybersecurity people, who had been cultivating sources among their FSB counterparts, put out an urgent request, which generated material that went into the dossier.

If that was the case however, it would have been likely that some of their informants were playing a 'double game.' And my suspicion is that, when a further request was put in, following Trump's election victory, those making it were fed a 'baited hook' about Gubarev, very likely cast in the hope of producing something like the outcome that materialised.

I noted with interest that both Devin Nunes and Lee Smith are now expressing scepticism about the notion that Steele's role was in actually authoring the dossier, rather than taking ownership of a compendium essentially produced within Fusion GPS.

Another ground for believing this was put into sharp focus with the publication by 'Judicial Watch' in September of – heavily redacted – versions of reports from Steele circulated in the State Department prior to the dossier.

(See https://www.judicialwatch.org/tag/christopher-steele/ )

These clarify a matter which has long puzzled me about the memoranda. Normally, one would expect the product of a serious business intelligence company to be properly presented, on headed stationery, without elementary errors. And one would not expect a numbering which suggests that the documents made public are part of a much larger series.

A document dated 13 June 2014, headline 'RUSSIA-UKRAINE CRISIS: Kremlin Emboldened to Challenge USG Sanctions and Anti-Russian Leverage On Financial Markets', which is labelled 'Report ID: 2014/130a', suggests that we are actually dealing with a format used in an information service sent out to a large number of clients. Precisely what this would not contain was material attributed to highly sensitive sources.

So the clumsy imitation of this formatting in the dossier gives further reason to believe that it was produced by people other than Steele, who were trying to attribute authorship to him.

A further implication is that Steele may have ended up left facing libel charges in relation to claims for which he was not actually responsible.

In addition to those about Gubarev, the use of the transliteration 'Alpha' instead of 'Alfa' for the Fridman/Aven/Khan group makes me think that the author of the relevant memorandum was not a native English speaker, but someone used to thinking in Russian and/or Ukrainian.

If so, the memorandum may be part of 'Ukrainegate', which, unlike 'Russiagate', looks like being a real story.

And here, of course, the question of what became of Seth Rich's laptop, and what information the FBI is concealing about it, is again critical.

It would not in the least surprise me if the kind of traces described by Ms. Sines are actually really present on some hard drive.

If however they are, a quite likely explanation is that Alperovitch and his Ukrainian 'partners-in-crime' organised a hack, after the leak was discovered, as part of the more general attempt to obfuscate the truth.

Factotum , 07 November 2019 at 12:56 PM
Why does the media and virtually every pundit commenting on the Ukrainian phone call intentionally avoid any mention of Trump's Crowdstrike "favor" request?

[Nov 08, 2019] "Coup has started" Tweet by "whistleblower" attorney 10 days after Trump took office Sharyl Attkisson

Nov 08, 2019 | sharylattkisson.com

There has been extensive reporting alleging that Ukraine conspired with the Democratic National Committee to help Hillary Clinton win against Trump.

A Politico investigation concluded in 2017:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found. A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation. The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort's resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump's campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine's foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia's alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.

Politico, January 11, 2017

Still, Trump critics insist the pressure the president exerted on Ukraine, and the desire to receive dirt on Biden for 2020, was implicit.

The same month of Zaid's 2017 "coup" tweet, Sen. Charles Schumer, a leader in the Democrat party, issued a public warning to Trump that if he took on the intelligence community, it has " six ways from Sunday " to "get back at you". MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow asked Schumer, "What would the intelligence community do?" Schumer answered, "I don't know," but went on to say the intel community was very upset with Trump.

On Aug. 15, 2016, after FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok and his FBI girlfriend Lisa Page met with Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok texted Page that they couldn't take the risk of Trump getting elected without having "an insurance policy" in place.

Another figure, Benjamin Wittes, chose the same phrase. In October 2016, in his Lawfare blog, Wittes wrote : "What if Trump wins? We need an insurance policy against the unthinkable: Donald Trump's actually winning the Presidency."

Wittes has acknowledged being a good friend of fired FBI Director James Comey . Wittes spoke to a New York Times reporter about Comey's interactions with President Trump , right after Robert Mueller 's appointment as special counsel.

In a 2016 blog post, Wittes wrote that his vision of an "insurance policy" against Trump would rely on a "Coalition of All Democratic Forces" to challenge and obstruct Trump, using the courts as a "tool" and Congress as "a partner or tool." He even mentioned impeachment -- two weeks before Trump was elected.

Read more: What would the intelligence community's "insurance policy" against Trump look like? Click the link below.

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/401116-what-would-the-intelligence-communitys-insurance-policy-against-trump

[Nov 08, 2019] More Evidence that The Comey FBI was a Malevolent Clown Show by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Nov 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Brent , 06 November 2019 at 03:04 PM

From what I have read, I gather that the FBI in the Mueller / Comey era has made extensive use of "perjury traps". They then threaten charges to get someone to "flip" on someone bigger, in this case Trump. Flynn wouldn't flip even when they threatened to go after Flynn's son. So they decided to "F" him, as stated by Andrew McCabe.

The FBI has been thoroughly disgraced, and Wray is incapable of cleaning it up. He just wants to keep the dirt under the rug. It is too late for that, it is all coming out. US citizens deserve to know how dirty our FBI and CIA are - they are criminal organizations.

Factotum said in reply to Brent ... , 06 November 2019 at 05:45 PM
I am reminded of Susan MacDougall in the Clinton Whitewater case, decades ago -she claimed "they' were trying to make her flip too - can't remember who was on which side, but was it also government prosecutors against a vulnerable individual who they had hope to break to get the goods they decided they wanted? If so, I guess we need generational reminders of the awesome and terrifying powers of an overly powerful "government".
confusedponderer -> Factotum... , 07 November 2019 at 06:35 AM
Factorum,
re: I guess we need generational reminders of the awesome and terrifying powers of an overly powerful "government".

I'd put it more precise - "the awesome and terrifying powers of ANY overly powerful "government".

If it's an Obama FBI crew getting after you or a Trump FBI crew - it must be very bad every time, guilty of anything or not.

A classic case of how really bad it can get is Brazil's evangelical Bolsonaro.

Iirc a brazilian tv station had reported that his son was likely deeply involved in the murder of a left polician or reporter in Brazil, a deed done by former brazilian cops who also happened to call Bolsonaro's house.

Bolsonaro simply freaked out and was not interested at all in any investigation or the question whether the report was accurate. He simply threatened the tv station that, when reelected, he would nullify their media license.

He showed no interrest in any reality or facts but was just trying to brutally silence and intimidate the media outlet he doesn't like.

He also suggested that his son should become Brazil's ambassador to the US. Probably a perfect job since Trump doesn't have any problems with the Saudi murder prince MbS as well.

A crook by the book ...

Fred -> confusedponderer... , 07 November 2019 at 09:37 AM
confusedponderer,

Thank goodness the German government has never done anything like this.

confusedponderer -> Fred ... , 07 November 2019 at 11:47 AM
Fred,
Thank goodness the German government has never done anything like this ?

Please enlighten me, I am curious and must have missed it - and I live in Germany.

If you want to go back to Attila, Genghis Khan, Adolf or Honnecker - please spare me since about all of that happened long before I was born (and two of those are huns or mongols) and is utterly irrelevant here.

Bolsonaro-isms on the other hand "happen right now" and are an example of pretty obvious abuse of power to cover up crimes like political murder and to permanently silence critics and/or inconvenient media.

In context of Factotum's point that is relevant.

Fred -> confusedponderer... , 07 November 2019 at 05:57 PM
Confused,

There has been plenty of abuse of government power and it doesn't all require a bullet in the back or investigators/prosecutors making false claims. I'm on the road but will write something up about that over the weekend.

Anon said in reply to Factotum... , 07 November 2019 at 01:55 PM
K.T. McFarland (whose name comes up every now and then in this matter)
has some pertinent thoughta on how the government used its power against Flynn:
"KT McFarland speaks for first time about Michael Flynn" , Fox News interview, 2019-11-05
Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 06 November 2019 at 04:07 PM
Is it just me (wink, wink) but I find it completely coincidental that both Strzok (100%) and Pientka (likely) are of Polish origins. Could it be my Russian paranoia. Nah, I am being unreasonable--those people never had a bad feeling towards Trump's attempts to boost Russian-American relations with Michael Flynn spearheading this effort. Jokes aside, however, I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle. I can only imagine how many "free" promotions and awards can be attach to this thing as a free ride.
English Outsider -> Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) ... , 07 November 2019 at 09:19 AM
Your comment brings to mind the outdated Russophobia of many in positions of influence within the American administration.

I couldn't remember who coined the term "the crazies in the basement" as applied to the more hawkish elements in US politics. I thought it had been an American Admiral. I had no luck finding a reference so I googled it. Still no joy with the American admiral, but the list thrown up had near the top of it this informative quote from Patrick Bahzad.

"The "crazies in the basement" is an expression that was coined originally by some unknown member of George W's administration. It used to designate the small clique of Neo-Cons who had found their way into Bush junior's team of advisors, before they rose to dubious fame after the 9/11 attacks. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, at the time Colin Powell's chief of staff, described their status enhancement from "lunatic fringe" to top executives in the White House with his Southern sense of humour, adding that they had become almost overnight what was henceforth called the Cheney "Gestapo". And what happened over the weekend in the Middle-East – and in D.C. – certainly looked like a distant but distinct reminder of that period in the early 2000s when "crazies" coming right out of a dark basement took over the policy agenda on questions that would require adult supervision."

Both in Canada and the States men and women of Eastern European background have risen to positions of influence in the respective administrations. I'd argue that that has not been uniformly beneficial. Not when those men and women enlist under the crazy banner. Or, to put it more soberly, form part of the neocon wing of those administrations. Though I, as an outside observer, might be prejudiced here because I happen not to get on very well with Brzezinski and his copious output.

Allowing for that prejudice, which I confess runs very deep, I still think that to an extent American foreign policy has been hijacked by Eastern European emigres who themselves retain some of the prejudices and mindset of another age and place.


Looking at it from afar, the influence of some Eastern European emigres on American foreign policy has been uniformly deleterious. And that from a long way back and no matter whether those emigres are in Washington or Tel Aviv.

It cannot but help be distorting, that influence. It's not merely that unexamined Russophobia is embedded in the DNA of many Eastern Europeans. There's a narrow minded focus on aggressive Machtpolitik, bred from centuries of violent territorial disputes with neighbours.

That, transferred to the world stage as it must be when it infects the foreign policy of the United States - because that is a country that cannot but help be at the centre of the world stage - distorts US foreign policy. To a great degree American foreign policy no longer operates in the interests of the broad mass of the American people. It too often plays to the obsessions inherited from Old Europe.

In the most famous of his speeches Churchill spoke of the time when, as he hoped, "the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

Let the historians dispute as they will, that is what happened. And continued to happen for half a century and more. But there was a price few noticed. The New World might have stepped forward to rescue the old, but it carried back from that old world a most destructive freight.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> English Outsider ... , 07 November 2019 at 01:04 PM
Very well put. No better example, apart from being utter academic failure, expected from "white board" theorists with zero understanding of power, exists of this than late Zbig. Only blind or sublime to the point of sheer idiocy could fail to see that Brzezinski's loyalties were not with American people, but with Poland and old Polish, both legitimate and false, anti-Russian grievances. He dedicated his life to settling whatever scores he had with historic Russia using the United States merely as a vehicle. So do many, as you correctly stated, Eastern European immigrants to the United States. They bring with them passions, of which Founding Fathers warned, and then infuse them into the American political discourse. It finally reached it peak of absurdity and, as I argue constantly, utter destruction of the remnants of the Republic.
David Habakkuk -> Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) ... , 07 November 2019 at 01:15 PM
Andrei and EO,

I wrote what follows before reading Andrei's response to EO, but do not see much reason to change what I had written.

When in 1988 I ended up working at BBC Radio 'Analysis' programme because it was impossible to interest any of my old television colleagues in the idea that one might go to Moscow and talk to some of the people involved in the Gorbachev 'new thinking', my editor, Caroline Anstey, was an erstwhile aide to Jim Callaghan, the former Labour Prime Minister.

As a result of his involvement with the Trilateral Commission, she had a fascinating anecdote about what one of his fellow members, the former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, said about another, Zbigniew Brzezinski: that he could never work out which of his country's two traditional enemies his Polish colleague hated most.

Almost a generation after hearing her say this, in December 2013, I read an article Brzezinski published in the 'Financial Times, headlined 'Russia, like Ukraine, will become a real democracy.'

(See https://www.ft.com/content/5ac2df1e-6103-11e3-b7f1-00144feabdc0 .)

Unfortunately, it is behind a subscription wall, but it clearly expresses its author's fundamental belief that after all those years of giving Russia the 'spinach' treatment – to use Victoria Nuland's term – it would finally 'knuckle under', and become a quiescent satellite of the West.

An ironic sidelight on this is provided in a recent article by a lady called Anna Mahjar-Barducci on the 'MEMRI' site – which actually has some very useful material on matters to do with Russia for those of us with no knowledge of the language – headlined 'Contemporary Russian Thinkers Series – Part I – Renowned Russian Academic Sergey Karaganov On Russia And Democracy.'

Its subject, who I remember well from the days when he was very much one of the 'new thinkers', linked to it on his own website, clearly pleased at what he saw as an accurate and informed discussion of his ideas.

(See http://karaganov.ru/en/news/534 )

There is an obvious risk of succumbing to facetiousness, but sometimes what one thinks are essential features of an argument can be best brought out at the risk of caricaturing it.

It seems to me that some of the central themes of Karaganov's writing over the past few years – doubly interesting, because his attacks on conventional Western orthodoxies are very far from silly, and because he is a kind of 'panjandrum' of a significant section of the Russian foreign policy élite – may be illuminated in this way.

So, attempting to link his Russian concerns to British and American ones, some central contentions of his writings might be put as follows:

'"Government of the people, by the people, for the people' looked a lovely idea, back in 1989. But if in practice "by the people" means a choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn, how can it be "for the people?"

'Moreover, it turned out that our "deplorables" were always right, against us 'intellectuals', in grasping that, with "Russophobes" running Western policy, a "real democracy" would simply guarantee that we remained as impotent and humiliated as people like Brzezinski clearly always wanted us to be.

'Our past, and our future, both in terms of alliances and appropriate social and political systems, are actually "Eurasian": a 'hybrid' state, whose potential greatest advantage actually should be seen as successfully synthesising different inheritances.

'As the need for this kind of synthesis is a normal condition, with which most peoples have to reckon, this gives us a very real potential advantage over people in the West, who, like the communists against whom I rebelled, believe that there is one path along which all of humanity must – and can – go.'

At the risk of over-interpreting, I might add the following conclusion:

'Of course, precisely what this analysis does not mean is that we are anti-European – simply that we cannot simply come to Europe, Europe come some way to meet us.

'Given time, Helmut Schmidt's fellow countrymen, as also de Gaulle's, may very well realise that their future does not lie in an alliance with a coalition of people like Brzezinski and traditional "Russophobes" from the "Anglosphere".

'And likewise, it does not lie with the kind of messianic universalist "liberalism" – and, in relation to some of the SJC and LGBT obsessions, one might say "liberalism gone bonkers" – which Putin criticised in his interview with the "Financial Times" back in June.

(This is also behind a subscription wall, but is available at http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60836 . It is well worth reading in full.)

An obvious possibility implicit in the argument is that, if indeed the continental Europeans see sense, then the coalition of traditional 'Anglophobes' and the 'insulted and injured' or the 'borderlands' may find itself marginalised, and indeed, on the 'dustbin of history' to which Trotsky once referred.

Of course, I have no claims to be a Russianist, and my reading of Karaganov may be quite wrong.

But I do strongly believe that very superficial readings of what was happening when I was working in the 'Analysis' office, back in 1988-9, have done an immense disservice alike to Britain and the United States.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> David Habakkuk ... , 07 November 2019 at 01:33 PM
David, Karaganov is an opportunist, granted a smart one. But the events of two days ago with Putin and Lavrov being personally present at the unveiling of the monument to Evgenii Primakov in a front of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs speaks, in fact screams, volumes. You know of Primakov's Doctrine. It is being fully implemented as I type this and it means that the West "lost" (quotation marks are intentional--Russia was not West's to lose) Russia and it can be "thankful" for that to a so called Russia Studies field in the West which was primarily shaped and then turned into the wasteland, in large part thanks to influx of East European "scholars" and some "Russian" dissidents which achieved their objectives by drawing a caricature. They succeeded and Russia had it with the West.
Vig said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 08 November 2019 at 08:45 AM
DH, appreciate your comment. Haven't read the MEMRI paper yet. Scanned the first page though.

Karaganov is an opportunist, granted a smart one. ... You know of Primakov's Doctrine. It is being fully implemented as I type this and it means that the West "lost" (quotation marks are intentional--Russia was not West's to lose)

Well, two things sticked out for me during Tumps reelection campain.
1) on the surface he stated, he wanted closer relations to Russia. Looked at more closely, as should be expected, maybe. They were ambigous. If I may paraphrase it colloguially: I meet them and, believe me, if I don't get that beautiful deal, i'll be out of the door the next second.
2) he promised to be enigmatic, compared to earlier American administrations. In other words, hard to read or to predict. Guess one better is as dealmaker. But in the larger intelligence field? Enigmatic may well be a commonplace. No?

Otherwise, Andrei, I would appreciate your further elaboration on Karaganov as opportunist.

That said, would you please explain why

Petrel said in reply to Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) ... , 07 November 2019 at 11:03 AM
Andrei: Strzok and Pientka come from Galicia -- the westernmost portion of what is now Ukraine -- that was acquired by Empress Maria Theresa in the mid - 18th century.
Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> Petrel... , 07 November 2019 at 01:06 PM
Andrei: Strzok and Pientka come from Galicia

Well, that explains a lot. Not all of it, but a lot.

David Habakkuk -> Petrel... , 07 November 2019 at 01:25 PM
Petrel,

I have been curious about precisely where both Srzok and Pientka came from, but have not had time to do any serious searches.

What is the actual evidence that they have Galician origins?

And, if they do, what are these?

I would of course automatically tend to assume that Polish names mean that their origins are Polish.

But then, if this is so, why are they enthusiastically collaborating with 'Banderista' Ukrainians?

It has long been a belief of mine that one of Stalin's great mistakes was to attempt to incorporate Galicia into the empire he was creating.

Had he returned it to Poland, the architects of the Volhynia massacres of Poles – as also of the massacres of Jews in Lviv/Lvov/Lemberg – could have gone back to their old habits of assassinating Polish policemen.

Petrel said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 07 November 2019 at 05:50 PM
Andrei Martyanov & David Habakuk:

I first picked up the Galician connection in an article by Scott Humor: " North America is a land run by Galician zombies " -- published by The Saker on July 4, 2018. It seems that Galicians, especially those that arrived after WWII, migrate into security positions such as ICE / FBI / NSA etc. It may have to do with a family history of work in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Regrettably, I am not from Eastern Europe and cannot help you further about the Bortnicks, the Gathkes, Buchtas, and so on.

akaPatience , 07 November 2019 at 03:22 AM
If all of this corruption were carried out to entrap or thwart a liberal Democrat instead of Trump and his associates, we all know the MSM would be banging a drum of utter outrage, 24/7. We'd never hear the end of a story such as this -- that the FBI misidentified the authors of Flynn's interview notes. Unbelievable.

A while back, I recall reading about a sexual discrimination or harassment case involving FBI's Andrew McCabe in which Gen. Flynn intervened on behalf of the female accuser, and it was thought by some that the bogus charge against the general was in part an act of revenge on McCabe's behalf. There are so many dots out there, unconnected, because the MSM is doing its best to suppress the truth.

How long can they continue to hear, see and speak no evil if the you-know-what hits the fan? I guess we're going to find out.

Fred -> akaPatience ... , 07 November 2019 at 09:41 AM
akaPatience,

How do you know the FBI/DOJ and our wonderful allies never did this to a Democratic politician before? Keeping them in office and subject to extortion to get favorable policies in place would be far more effective than removing someone from office. Perhaps we should ask Jeffrey Epstein just what those politicians and businessmen were doing on that island, that manions in NYC or the one in Paris.....

jd hawkins , 07 November 2019 at 04:11 AM
" I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle".

Guess the neo fbi is enjoying it too________ or not so much!!!

JohninMK , 07 November 2019 at 07:49 AM
Is this just a situation where the DoJ are giving the judge an easy way out to throw the case for a technical reason?

This would leave Flynn high and dry without his innocence having been proved having just got off on a technicality. Also the DoJ would not be exposed to having to produce all the damning stuff that the Honey Badger wants out in public.

Very interesting to see which way Judge Sullivan goes now. Wonder if he wants another Powell book.

Fred -> JohninMK... , 07 November 2019 at 09:36 AM
JohninMK,

Which country are you from where people have to prove innocence rather than prosecutors prove guilt? A technicality - do you mean that as a joke since this is obviously criminal misconduct by the FBI/DOJ; or do you really believe they made a mistake that went undiscovered through the entire Mueler probe, congressional testimony and a couple years worth of legal discovery by defense counsel?

Flavius , 07 November 2019 at 10:59 AM
The manner in which Comey and his select team of officials engineered the Flynn 'interview' was contemptible, but not surprising. The group had been steeping in politics from the moment Comey agreed to the Clinton e-mail case under the conditions he did. The special organization he created, an FBI within the FBI operating out of HQ, the administering of 'blood oaths', etc, only made matters worse, or better, depending on one's political point of view. The only thing lacking was secret hand shakes.
In my now outdated experience, the charge of lying to the FBI was viewed as B.S., period; it was never even contemplated as as a stand alone charge. Separated from a substantive charge, it is worse than B.S.
There are several things wrong about the Flynn interview. Among them: if there was indeed a reason for a strategy session to deceive Flynn about his possibly requiring a lawyer, that reason to the fair minded person meant there should have been no need for a strategy session: the interview required telling Flynn that he had the right to a lawyer; he should have been told the purpose of the interview, ie what it was he was suspected of having done wrong and that the import of his answers was sufficiently serious that if he didn't tell the truth he could be charged with lying; if there was uncertainty whether Flynn had told the truth, as apparently there was because the 302 was subjected to editing and reediting, itself highly irregular, the proper way to have resolved any question would have been to reinterview Flynn, not tailor the paperwork to support the charge; if in fact Flynn did lie, what was the harm caused by the lie, or put another way, what would have been the outcome if Flynn had told the truth.
On the subject of recorded interviews, I am of uncertain mind. There is a before interview; there is an after interview. Electronics change the dynamics of the interview itself, and it may be to the advantage of the person interviewed and it may be to his or her disadvantage. If an interview is fairly played, there should be no need to record it; if the interview is intent on something other than fair play, he will find some way to game the electronics. Electronics are no panacea to instilling integrity where integrity is not otherwise to be found.
David Habakkuk , 07 November 2019 at 11:00 AM
Larry,

The 'honey badger' was a species unknown to me, but having looked that animal up, it seems an apt comparison.

Indeed, at the risk of being frivolous, I am tempted to quote the Kipling refrain about the 'female of the species' being 'deadlier than the male.' It seems to me quite likely that people at the FBI, and elsewhere, are still finding it difficult to grasp what has hit them.

Something which interests me greatly is the possible knock-on effects of Ms. Powell's breakthroughs in exposing the conspiracy to frame Michael Flynn on other cases, notably those in which Ty Clevenger and Steven S. Biss are involved.

The pair are representing Ed Butowsky and Devin Nunes, and also, crucially, Svetlana Lokhova, in her case against the 'ratfucker' – the term used in the 'Complaint' – Stefan Halper and some of the MSM organisations who have collaborated in his 'dirty tricks.'

In all of these cases, material freely available on the 'Courtlistener' site is a mine of fascinating information.

Of particular interest at the moment, I think, are the efforts of Clevenger to 'prise open' the cover-up over the role over Seth Rich in leaking the materials from the DNC which the conspirators falsely alleged were hacked by the Russians, and that about the circumstances of his murder.

These efforts have been aided by a remarkable 'hostage to fortune' given by Deborah Sines, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in D.C. who was assigned to the Rich case.

On 8 October, Clevenger produced motions to 'accept supplemental evidence' and 'permit discovery' in the case he has himself brought against the DOJ, FBI and NSA. (His filing is freely available at https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6775665/clevenger-v-us-department-of-justice/ .)

The 'supplemental evidence' in question appeared back in July in Episode 5 of the podcast 'Conspiracyland' which Michael Isikoff produced for 'Yahoo! News'. In this, Ms. Sines recycled the familiar disinformation from Andrew McCabe to the effect that it had been established that there was no connection between Rich and Wikileaks.

She then suggested that the FBI had indeed examined his computer, but solely because someone had been trying to 'invade his Gmail account and set up a separate account after Seth was murdered.' The supposed purpose of this activity, by a 'foreign hacker', was 'so they could dump false information in there.'

As Clevenger pointed out, this claim is rather hard to reconcile with the FBI's insistence that it has no records pertaining to Rich, and makes the Bureau's refusal to search its Computer Analysis Response Team ("CART") for relevant records, and the Washington Field Office for email records, look even more suspicious than it already did.

From the 'Courtlistener' pages it also appeared that, following a telephone conference, Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom ruled that the statement by Ms. Sines did not rise to the 'level of bad faith' required to justify the 'discovery' that Clevenger sought, on the basis of it.

Also freely available on 'Courtlistener', however, is an 'Unopposed motion for stay' which Clevenger filed on 30 November. From this, we learn that Judge Bloom had 'noted that Ms. Sines' statements were not made under oath, further suggesting that the Plaintiff might try to obtain a sworn statement from Ms. Sines.'

In response, Clevenger made clear that he intended to subpoena that lady for a deposition, in the relation to the defamation cases brought against Michael Gottlieb et al, and also David Folkenflik et al, where he is representing Ed Butowsky.

Accordingly, he asked the Court to stay his own case 'until the deposition of Ms. Sines can be arranged and the transcripts can be produced.' Apparently, there was no objection from the DOJ, FBI, and NSA.

In addition, Clevenger asked the court to take 'judicial notice' of the fact that, in her reply dated 24 October to the lawyers for the USG, 'attorney Sidney Powell laid out damning evidence that high-ranking FBI officials systematically tampered with records and hid exculpatory evidence for the purpose of framing the defendant, retired General Mike Flynn.'

So it looks as though what the 'honey badger' has been digging out in relation to Flynn may help in the burrowing efforts of others in related matters – who may be in a position to return the favour.

Increasingly, it seems not entirely unthinkable that the cumulative effect of of the cases in which Powell, Clevenger and Biss are involved may blow open the whole conspiracy against the Constitution, irrespective of whether or not Horowitz, Barr and Durham are prepared to go substantially beyond a 'limited hangout.'

Another important, and neglected, aspect here relates to the cases still ongoing against Steele and Orbis in London – that brought by Aleksej Gubarev, and that by the Alfa oligarchs. It is material that libel laws on this side are noticeably less favourable to defendants than on yours – not least in that the 'fair report privilege' retains its original narrower construction here.

Unfortunately, we do not have here any equivalent to 'PACER' and 'Courtlistener.' The last I heard about the Gubarev case was in the spring, when his American lawyers suggested that it should come to court before Xmas.

It would not at all surprise me if it was postponed. Ironically, however, I now think that it may be quite likely that his British lawyers see delay as being in Gubarev's interests.

A critical point is that Steele is making no attempt to defend the accuracy of the claims about the involvement of Gubarev and his companies in hacking in the final memorandum in the dossier.

It seems quite likely that what is coming to light as the result of the lawsuits on your side may make it materially more difficult to mount any credible case that these were not very seriously defamatory.

There have been repeated attempts to locate the dossier attributed to Steele in another version of a familiar 'Russophobic' narrative, suggesting that he was deliberately fed disinformation by his Russian contacts as part of an 'active measures' campaign.

In my view, these are largely BS. However, a possible partial exception has to do with the claims about Gubarev, which follow on from the those made in Company Report 2016/086, which is dated 26 July 2015.

My suspicion has long been that the sloppy misdating – 2016 is clearly meant – reflected the fact that the document was part of a panic-stricken response to the murder of Rich, which had taken place on 10 July. What I may well have happened is that FBI cybersecurity people, who had been cultivating sources among their FSB counterparts, put out an urgent request, which generated material that went into the dossier.

If that was the case however, it would have been likely that some of their informants were playing a 'double game.' And my suspicion is that, when a further request was put in, following Trump's election victory, those making it were fed a 'baited hook' about Gubarev, very likely cast in the hope of producing something like the outcome that materialised.

I noted with interest that both Devin Nunes and Lee Smith are now expressing scepticism about the notion that Steele's role was in actually authoring the dossier, rather than taking ownership of a compendium essentially produced within Fusion GPS.

Another ground for believing this was put into sharp focus with the publication by 'Judicial Watch' in September of – heavily redacted – versions of reports from Steele circulated in the State Department prior to the dossier.

(See https://www.judicialwatch.org/tag/christopher-steele/ )

These clarify a matter which has long puzzled me about the memoranda. Normally, one would expect the product of a serious business intelligence company to be properly presented, on headed stationery, without elementary errors. And one would not expect a numbering which suggests that the documents made public are part of a much larger series.

A document dated 13 June 2014, headline 'RUSSIA-UKRAINE CRISIS: Kremlin Emboldened to Challenge USG Sanctions and Anti-Russian Leverage On Financial Markets', which is labelled 'Report ID: 2014/130a', suggests that we are actually dealing with a format used in an information service sent out to a large number of clients. Precisely what this would not contain was material attributed to highly sensitive sources.

So the clumsy imitation of this formatting in the dossier gives further reason to believe that it was produced by people other than Steele, who were trying to attribute authorship to him.

A further implication is that Steele may have ended up left facing libel charges in relation to claims for which he was not actually responsible.

In addition to those about Gubarev, the use of the transliteration 'Alpha' instead of 'Alfa' for the Fridman/Aven/Khan group makes me think that the author of the relevant memorandum was not a native English speaker, but someone used to thinking in Russian and/or Ukrainian.

If so, the memorandum may be part of 'Ukrainegate', which, unlike 'Russiagate', looks like being a real story.

And here, of course, the question of what became of Seth Rich's laptop, and what information the FBI is concealing about it, is again critical.

It would not in the least surprise me if the kind of traces described by Ms. Sines are actually really present on some hard drive.

If however they are, a quite likely explanation is that Alperovitch and his Ukrainian 'partners-in-crime' organised a hack, after the leak was discovered, as part of the more general attempt to obfuscate the truth.

Factotum , 07 November 2019 at 12:56 PM
Why does the media and virtually every pundit commenting on the Ukrainian phone call intentionally avoid any mention of Trump's Crowdstrike "favor" request?

[Nov 08, 2019] Inconvenient Truths by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. ..."
"... We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. ..."
"... We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. ..."
"... Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been. ..."
"... However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained , ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising. We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain. We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report. And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis -- anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria -- will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations -- and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.

Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.

However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

[Nov 07, 2019] Nunes Schiff is a fact witness to this disaster - YouTube

Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Dale Rhode Hard Luck Cowboy , 1 day ago

Schiff has made a career out of shady politics. It's his expertise...

Graham Sclater , 16 hours ago

"Whistleblower," the most overused word of fantasy in 2019....

Esra Erimez , 1 day ago

Whistleblower: Eric Ciaramella. Dossier 2.0

Chris C , 1 day ago

v> I keep hearing responses that this impeachment process is about 'procedure'. Are there criminal/ prosecutable consequences for pushing forth this impeachment process on an unfounded basis or political bias? How about false accusations and claims by Schiff? If this is just a stall to impede the progress of the President to prevent his and our success, especially with all the malfeasance and corruption that is being exposed the last three years from his opposition and previous administration, can and will there be legal consequences to Schiff and company's incompetence, ineffectivenesss, abuse, and attacks? What is it that can be held legally against those who have been pushing this impeachment without proper basis, just their contempt for the man with over 60 million votes who won an election rigged against him? Will there be an impeachment in every future administration on this current basis?

Jerri Croft , 1 day ago

Rep Nines is a hellluva fighter. Thank you sir

James Simmons , 1 day ago

Why is a man who has an obvious conflict of interest being allowed to chair the inquiry? Is this the American way? Apparently so.

[Nov 07, 2019] Steve Bannon sounds off on Russia probe, impeachment inquiry

YouTube

Poni Gurll , 1 week ago

When Schiff's mouth is moving, you know he's lying. Again.

June Martin , 1 week ago

Totally agree with Steve Bannon. Adam Schiff is a criminal that needs to be dealt with starting with taking away his security clearance.

Living Amongst Them , 1 week ago

Schiff is a "tool" of the SWAMP and he is a liar that cannot be trusted by anyone. The Demo-rats are done politically for a long time to come! Fact.

nymfe1 , 1 week ago

60 Minutes (Of Lies) interviewed Joe Biden allowing him a platform to do damage control about his crimes in Ukraine & spread lies against the Justice Department!

Bill Nelson , 3 days ago

Schiff: "Bill Barr is weaponizing the Justice Department". Wasn't it Stalin who said, "Accuse your enemies of what you are guilty of"?

[Nov 07, 2019] Only Bannon mentions CrowdStrike. Cooper is trying to present he this whole thin that Trump going after Biden. Biden is ideal opponent for Trump. And CrowdStrike is much more important

This is not an interview. They do not listen to each other. And only Bannon mentions CrowdStrike. Cooper is trying to present he this whole thin that Trump going after Biden. Biden is ideal opponent for Trump. And CrowdStrike is much more important
Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

A. G. T. , 2 days ago

Cooper, we had the Mueller investigation, impeachment hearing after hearing, opposition to supreme court picks etc. Aren't you interested in the truth, why can't investigations be launched in the other direction. Honest question! Why can't democrats be investigated? As if they could do no wrong! America has a problem within the DNC and with leftist politics.....

Eric Grosch , 2 days ago

ionlink " data-sessionlink="itct=CBQQtnUiEwi4paSI1tnlAhWF9ZwKHZhDBgw" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0HRyTTIyBA&t=232s"> 3:52 4:09 : Cooper: "the president has access to--we have corruption-fighters in the Treasury-Department. He could have called up Steve Minuchin and said, 'You know what? Give me a list of most corrupt players in Ukraine. I'll talk to the president about it.' He didn't. The only thing he cites as a favor is crowd-strike server Biden." Cooper exhibits a fundamental misunderstanding of the organizational hierarchy of the executive branch of the federal government. Subordinate federal officers, such as Treasury Secretary Minuchin and his "corruption-fighters," serve at the pleasure of the president. Trump could dismiss Minuchin any time. Minuchin serves the president. The president does not serve or take orders from his cabinet-officials. The president is not obliged to delegate tasks to his subordinates, though he may choose to do so, at his pleasure. The primary responsibility for enforcing law is the president's, not his subordinates' . Again, it is not the business of the US to investigate or prosecute corruption among Ukrainian officials. That is President Zelensky's duty. Trump''s duty is to investigate and prosecute corruption of US officials. 5:58 : Cooper: "Democrats would argue with you, saying, 'you know what hurts the United States is using taxpayer-money as a weapon, against an ally, who's fighting our enemy..' It's not like it's Donald Trump's money, saying, buying information about the Bidens." It's not only Trump's money, but he has a share in it, as a US taxpayer. As president, he is the custodian of that aid, until it is transferred to Ukraine. He has a duty to treat it prudently. Donald Trump prudently and judiciously delayed transfer of the aid to Ukraine until he was reasonably sure, from assurances from anti-corruption President Zelensky, that the aid would serve the purposed intended, to defend Ukraine against Russia, not vanish into the pockets of corrupt Ukrainian or US officials. That delay is rational, given the long track-record of Ukrainian corruption. Trump did not use the aid "as a weapon." 6:28 : Cooper: "...cite some specific thing. There's no evidence...The president hasn't cited any evidence. He's just throwing this out and he said, 'Oh, in China too.' He hasn't cited anything. There's no facts." Again, Cooper exhibits his fundamental misunderstanding of fundamental principles. Trump was calling for an investigation. He has not concluded anything yet. The infamous videotaped statements of Joe Biden that he threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine, unless the Ukrainians fired the prosecutor who was investigating his son's gas-company and that, within six hours, that prosecutor was fired and the aid delivered, raises suspicion of corruption, but only suspicion. The purpose of a criminal investigation is to collect and ascertain evidence. At the instigation of an investigation, the evidence is obviously not collected or ascertained yet. That collection and ascertainment comes with the passage of time and the effort of investigators. 8:51 Cooper: "I think a kid, being on a board, I think it's shady. I think it makes no sense." Bannon: "Shady? It's corrupt." Precisely, but only suspicion of corruption. Before, Cooper was objecting that Trump cited no evidence, because he, Trump, only had tentative suspicion of Biden's corruption, not conclusive evidence. In the last passage, Cooper concedes precisely the same sort of suspicion. He thus arguably contradicted himself.

[Nov 07, 2019] Steve Bannon predicts Trump impeachment fallout in Fox News exclusive

YouTube
Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

supaglide , 4 days ago

Dems know that this is their last straw, they're going all in on this one and will ultimately fail AGAIN. Americans are sick of their non-stop BS.

Pj Cramer , 4 days ago

I never believe the polls , they are usually wrong.

America 1776 , 23 hours ago

"Joe Biden is a hand grenade and Hunter is the pin". 😂☠️💯👏

BK , 4 days ago

This impeachment is ridiculous. I don't trust this Fox poll. It's ridiculous.

D. L. Scruggs A Disciple Of Christ , 2 days ago

They think that we won't do anything if they impeach. There very mistaken!

[Nov 07, 2019] Why neoliberal DemoRats claim that arming Ukraine is a good thing?

Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 11.05.19 at 1:54 pm 96

'No, you don't. It's both psychologically possible and not at all inconsistent to object to a general strategy, and to object how the strategy is being used for personal gain.'

Possible but not likely. How many establishment Dems (or even non-establishment Dems) have indicated that they have any objections to arming the Ukrainians? That would be in the region of about 'none', I would imagine. While what I assume your position is logically consistent (although bizarre .'I think it's disgusting that the US is giving weapons to the Ukrainians although I'm not prepared to do anything about that, but Trump, who threatened to stop doing this, he must be impeached, because he was threatening to stop arming the Ukrainians, which, to repeat, I approve of, for the wrong reasons.' .it's a logically consistent but deeply weird argument), it's very obviously not the Democrats' position.

The Democrats position is that arming the Ukrainians is a good and moral thing to do and that Trump is terrible for threatening to stop it, which is far simpler, far more logical and, if one ignores its flagrant immorality, far easier to 'swallow'.

As always 'reversing the polarities' gives clarity (imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13 .what would we think of Putin?).

It's not even clear what motive Trump has. Biden has as much chance of being President as I have, he won't be the Presidential candidate, this wasn't an 'attack' on him, it was an attack on his son, who Biden could easily distance himself from even on its own terms the accusation make absolutely no sense. It does, however, focus a laser like light on the Bidens's activities in the Ukraine, which may not be something that the Democrats really want to happen, for all kinds of reasons.

[Nov 07, 2019] Deep State On The National Security Council Colonel Vindman Is An Expert With An Agenda

Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Deep State On The National Security Council: Colonel Vindman Is An "Expert" With An Agenda by Tyler Durden Thu, 11/07/2019 - 23:05 0 SHARES

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The current frenzy to impeach President Donald Trump sometimes in its haste reveals that which could easily be hidden about the operation of the Deep State inside the federal government. Congress is currently obtaining testimony from a parade of witnesses to or participants in what will inevitably be called UkraineGate, an investigation into whether Trump inappropriately sought a political quid pro quo from Ukrainian leaders in exchange for a military assistance package.

The prepared opening statement by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, described as the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council (NSC), provides some insights into how decision making at the NSC actually works. Vindman was born in Ukraine but emigrated to the United States with his family at age three. He was commissioned as an army infantry officer in 1998 and served in some capacity in Iraq from 2004-5, where he was wounded by a roadside bomb and received a purple heart. Vindman, who speaks both Ukrainian and Russian fluently, has filled a number of diplomatic and military positions in government dealing with Eastern Europe, to include a key role in Pentagon planning on how to deal with Russia.

Vindman, Ukrainian both by birth and culturally, clearly was a major player in articulating and managing US policy towards that country, but that is not really what his role on the NSC should have been. As more than likely the US government's sole genuine Ukrainian expert, he should have become a source of viable options that the United States might exercise vis-à-vis its relationship with Ukraine, and, by extension, regarding Moscow's involvement with Kiev. But that is not how his statement, which advocates for a specific policy, reads. Rather than providing expert advice, Vindman was concerned chiefly because arming Ukraine was not proceeding quickly enough to suit him, an extremely risky policy which has already created serious problems with a much more important Russia.

Vindman apparently sees Ukraine-Russia through the established optic provided by the Deep State, which considers global conflict as the price to pay for maintaining its largesse from the US taxpayer. Continuous warfare is its only business product, which explains in part its dislike of Donald Trump as he has several times threatened to upset the apple cart, even though he has done precious little in reality. Part of Vindman's written statement (my emphasis) is revealing: ""When I joined the NSC in July 2018, I began implementing the administration's policy on Ukraine. In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to US government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine's prospects, this alternative narrative undermined US government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine."

Alexander Vindman clearly was pushing a policy that might be described as that of the Deep State rather than responding to his own chain of command where it is the president who does the decision making. He also needs a history lesson about what has gone on in his country of birth. President Barack Obama conspired with his own version of Macbeth's three witches – Rice, Power and Jarett – to overthrow the legitimate government of Ukraine in 2014 because it was considered to be too close to Moscow. The regime change was brought about by "mavericks" like the foul-mouthed neocon State Department officer Victoria Nuland and the footloose warmonger Senator John McCain. Vice President Joe Biden also appeared on the scene after the "wetwork" was done, with his son Hunter trailing behind him. Since that time, Ukraine has had a succession of increasingly corrupt puppet governments propped up by billions in foreign aid. It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe.

Washington inside-the-beltway and the Deep State choose to blame the mess in Ukraine on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the established narrative also makes the absurd claim that the political situation in Kiev is somehow important to US national security. The preferred solution is to provide still more money, which feeds the corruption and enables the Ukrainians to attack the Russians.

Colonel Vindman, who reported to noted hater of all things Russian Fiona Hill, who in turn reported to By Jingo We'll Go To War John Bolton, was in the middle of all the schemes to bring down Russia. His concern was not really over Trump vs. Biden. It was focused instead on speeding up the $380 million in military assistance, to include offensive weapons, that was in the pipeline for Kiev. And assuming that the Ukrainians could actually learn how to use the weapons, the objective was to punish the Russians and prolong the conflict in Donbas for no reason at all that makes any sense.

Note the following additional excerpt from Vindman's prepared statement: " .I was worried about the implications for the US government's support of Ukraine . I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained ."

Vindman's concern is all about Ukraine without any explanation of why the United States would benefit from bilking the taxpayer to support a foreign deadbeat one more time. One wonders if Vindman was able to compose his statement without a snicker or two intruding. He does eventually go on to cover the always essential national security angle, claiming that "Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Absent a deterrent to dissuade Russia from such aggression, there is an increased risk of further confrontations with the West. In this situation, a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression ."

The combined visions of Russia as an aggressive, expansionistic power coupled with the brave Ukrainians serving as a bastion of freedom is so absurd that it is hardly worth countering. Russia's economy is about the size of Italy's or Spain's limiting its imperial ambitions, if they actually exist. Its alleged transgressions against Georgia and Ukraine were both provoked by the United States meddling in Eastern Europe, something that it had pledged not to do after the Soviet Union collapsed. Ukraine is less an important American ally than a welfare case, and no one knows that better than Vindman, but he is really speaking to his masters in the US Establishment when he repeats the conventional arguments.

It hardly seems possible, but Vindman then goes on to dig himself into a still deeper hole through his statement's praise of the train wreck that is Ukraine. He writes "In spite of being under assault from Russia for more than five years, Ukraine has taken major steps towards integrating with the West . The US government policy community's view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity. The United States and Ukraine are and must remain strategic partners, working together to realize the shared vision of a stable, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine that is integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community ."

Alexander Vindman does not say or write that the incorporation of Ukraine into NATO is his actual objective, but his comments about "integrating with the West" and the "Euro-Atlantic community" clearly imply just that. The expansion of NATO up to Russia's borders by the rascally Bill Clinton constituted one of the truly most momentous lost foreign policy opportunities of the twentieth century. The addition of Ukraine and Georgia to the alliance would magnify that error as both are vital national security interests for Moscow given their history and geography. Vindman should be regarded as a manifestation of the Deep State thinking that has brought so much grief to the United States over the past twenty years. Seen in that light, his testimony, wrapped in an air of sanctimoniousness and a uniform, should be regarded as little more than the conventional thinking that has produced foreign policy failure after failure.


DEDA CVETKO , 2 minutes ago link

Exactly 100 years ago, in 1919, a certain colonel named "Colonel" House was secretly running the White House's foreign policy with a secret globalist agenda right under the Woodrow Wilson's nose (a "colonel" who, by the way, was neither an army officer, nor the battlefield hero - in fact, he was about as much of a colonel as Colonel Parker). The outcome? The post-World War 1 "new world order" (which was neither new, nor order, nor global in any sense) that was a nightmare on steroids, a humpty-dumpty Frankenstein that gave birth to both Nazism and Bolshevism as well as Globalist Elitism, American Exceptionalism, and New Deal Neoliberalism and was every satanist's wet dream. Short of procreating Beelzebub and Baphomet, "Colonel" House just about did 'em all.

Fast forward 100 years, back to the future: year 2019 AD. A certain colonel named "Colonel" Vindman is secretly running the White House's foreign policy with a secret globalist agenda right under the Donald Trump's nose (a "colonel" who, by the way, is about as battlefield hero as Melania Trump). The outcome? The American foreign policy in shambles, a total sham, a farce on steroids, a schizo chaos of competing special interests, payola, kickbacks, quid-pro-quo big-fish-eats-small clusterfuck, foreign influence-peddling and deepstatism.

So, yes, Karl Marx was, for once, right. History really does repeat itself. It first comes as a tragedy and then returns the second time around as an inbred farce. Or a slapstick.

East Indian , 4 minutes ago link

Keeping an emigre in charge of the foreign policy towards that country. What could go wrong?

youshallnotkill , 7 minutes ago link

Born in the Ukraine, and Jewish.

So the knives are out - who cares that he is a vet awarded with a Purple Heart.

Someone Else , 4 minutes ago link

A vet with a Purple Heart can be a piece of crap just like anyone else.

Neither status is akin to sainthood.

In fact this guy should be ashamed of the way the US government has wronged Ukraine and he is a damned big part of it.

youshallnotkill , 59 seconds ago link

He served our nation with distinction, and his testimony is in line with what we heard from the diplomats and Sandberg who keeps twisting himself into a brezel.

Soloamber , 9 minutes ago link

It is absolutely mind boggling how the Democrats get away with making up

false claims over and over but the real losers are voters who are paying useless jack asses to

do nothing. What has the House done ?

Further testimony to the farce is Mr. Magoo , Sessions , thinking he might have some contribution to make .

Bear , 7 minutes ago link

Useless jackasses and exceptionally dangerous

youshallnotkill , 5 minutes ago link

If the claims were false you'd have a point.

youshallnotkill , 10 minutes ago link

And the Strategic Culture Foundation has no agenda (*cough* Russia) whatsoever.

/s

harleyjohn45 , 12 minutes ago link

Col. Vindman needs to retire. Pronto.

Bear , 6 minutes ago link

Retire to Kiev

The Merovingian , just now link

Correction, he needs to be retired permanently.

J S Bach , 14 minutes ago link

From wikipedia...

Alexander Semyon Vindman (né Aleksandr Semenovich Vindman) and his identical twin brother Yevgeny were born to a Jewish family in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic , Soviet Union .

Every. Single. Time.

When you put most of the pieces of the "Deep State" puzzle together, you realize that the picture it finally reveals is a giant Star of David.

core68 , 19 minutes ago link

My head is reeling from these stupid conspiracies

JLM , 20 minutes ago link

"It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe" (Ukraine). Well done boys. Another Libya? There is a pattern here.

Soloamber , 20 minutes ago link

And Vindman sat with his whistle up his *** while Biden played pay to play and blackmailed Ukraine

into dropping the investigation of the company his under qualified over paid son sat on .

Biden let his ego overtake reason and admitted on tape what he did . Held back payment to Ukraine unless a judge was off the case .

What did Vindman do about that ? Was he in on it ?

Vindman is a patsy and a gossip . Nothing more . OK except for lying about his deep Democrat attachments .

The guy looks like a deer in headlights but he is just being used .

Vooter , 23 minutes ago link

So the entire "Deep State" is basically just populated by monkeys...

Bear , 5 minutes ago link

Too generous a description ... Rats is better

Omega_Man , 26 minutes ago link

don't all the *** spies have an agenda?

Proofreder , 9 minutes ago link

CONGRATULATIONS -

Managed to grab the 4th post in just a few seconds for your Jewz insertion. Keep up the bad work, true professional that you are - BTW, how much in American money ??? Per word or post ???

Another dipshitz, another thread; FOAD, please soon.

Demologos , 26 minutes ago link

Vindman is a pasty-faced lying asshat. Later I'll let you know how I really feel.

ken , 29 minutes ago link

Bind man, oVEY!!!

Kan , 31 minutes ago link

Every single player in this whole thing is CFR, but you still call them deep state like its some sort of guessing game at who they are.

East Indian , 4 minutes ago link

Keeping an emigre in charge of the foreign policy towards that country. What could go wrong?

Someone Else , 4 minutes ago link

A vet with a Purple Heart can be a piece of crap just like anyone else.

Neither status is akin to sainthood.

In fact this guy should be ashamed of the way the US government has wronged Ukraine and he is a damned big part of it.

Soloamber , 20 minutes ago link

And Vindman sat with his whistle up his *** while Biden played pay to play and blackmailed Ukraine

into dropping the investigation of the company his under qualified over paid son sat on .

Biden let his ego overtake reason and admitted on tape what he did . Held back payment to Ukraine unless a judge was off the case .

What did Vindman do about that ? Was he in on it ?

Vindman is a patsy and a gossip . Nothing more . OK except for lying about his deep Democrat attachments .

The guy looks like a deer in headlights but he is just being used .

[Nov 06, 2019] Don't make the same stupid assumptions twice

Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.05.19 at 5:50 pm 5

nastywoman 11.05.19 at 8:12 am

You have a realistic nickname I would say :-). The level of your detachment from reality is pretty amusing, not to say more. The feelings your posts incite are pretty eloquently reflected in the following comment ;-) :

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/civil-war-begins-when-the-constitutional-order-breaks-down/

Rick Porter > Mark B. • 20 hours ago

You two idiots show your lack of knowledge and understanding of rural culture now and southern culture during the civil war. Your elite attitudes were what nearly lost the civil war for the North during the first part of the war. A lack of understanding of the Souths strengths at the start of the civil war and rural cultures strengths now.

Your ignorance now is as blatantly stupid as many people during the first Battle of Bull Run thinking it would be a quick short war. It turned out to be much different.

Don't make the same stupid assumptions twice. If you imagine you can blissfully live on the coasts and discount the middle parts of the country your very ignorant. Shutting down travel between the coasts and any economic activity accross middle America would bring urban areas to heal very quickly.

All of us in flyover country would get along just fine without the coasts.

[Nov 06, 2019] US foreign policy is driven by "diaspora politics"

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Petri Krohn , Nov 5 2019 22:40 utc | 14

A SPY AND A TRAITOR

A week ago I commented on the Vindman story:

US foreign policy is driven by "diaspora politics" - double traitors who first betrayed their home country and are now betraying the US in the name of their nationalist Nazi ideology and their desire to wage war on Russia.

My friend George Eliason has expanded on the topic.

Alexander Vindman – Why Diaspora Ukrainians are Driving Sedition

Was it Vindman's American patriotism or Diaspora nationalism that led him to share the Oval Office transcript with Ukraine's president?

[Nov 06, 2019] Adam Schiff Announces First Public Impeachment Hearings

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

After weeks of secretive impeachment proceedings from which House Democrats have largely excluded Republican lawmakers, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced on Twitter Wednesday that his committee will hold its first public impeachment hearings next week .

Unsurprisingly, those with the most damaging testimony will be peddled out, while witnesses who gave exonerating testimony such as special envoy Kurt Volker and Ambassador Gordon Sondland are notably absent from the roster.

First up? On Wednesday, November 13 the panel will hear from Bill Taylor - the top US diplomat in Ukraine who told house investigators last month that he believes there was a quid pro quo between the Trump administration and Ukraine.

Amb. William B. Taylor, Jr.

Taylor notably expressed his concerns in a Sept. 9 text message to US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, saying: " I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. "

To which Sondland, dictating from Trump, replies " Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind, " adding "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text."

Sondland, meanwhile, 'updated' his earlier testimony to clarify that he told a top Ukrainian official that the country would need to commit to investigating former VP Joe Biden and other Democrats in exchange for the release of nearly $400 million in US military aid.

"I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks," said Sondland. That said, Sondland also testified that his quid pro quo comments were his opinion, and that President Trump specifically said he did not want one.

Also testifying next Wednesday will be State Department official George Kent , who testified that he was told to "lay low" on Ukraine matters, before being edged out on Ukraine policy by Sondland according to the New York Times .

Lastly, recalled US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch will testify on Friday . She privately told House investigators that Rudy Giuliani and his associates led a campaign to have her ousted based on claims that she was blocking Ukraine from investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company paying Hunter Biden to sit on its board.

[Nov 06, 2019] This is a pro-wrestling type of exercise, a dirty media-oriented trick designed to increase the chances of Dem neoliberal candidate (supposedly Warren) to win the 2020 election?

Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.05.19 at 7:22 pm

arcseconds 11.05.19 at 8:31 am

@libkez #80:

A good politician should of course be sensitive to both public opinion and to potential allies, so of course Pelosi should take into account Republicans who might want to nail Trump. If there were enough of those in the Senate, he might even get removed from office!

Do you suggest that this is not a pro-wrestling type of exercise, a dirty media-oriented trick designed to increase the chances of Dem neoliberal candidate (supposedly Warren) to win the 2020 election? And that Schiff serves any other role then reincarnation of Maddow, and want to get to the bottom of the dirty deals between the US officials and their Ukrainian puppets both adamant to fleece Ukrainian population via the debt trap and enrich themselves in the process (the standard of living in Ukraine dropped probably two times after 2014 and now is on the level of central African countries ($2 a day or so for bottom 50%) , while currency depreciated around 300%) ?

And truth be told Warren is just a careerist with sharp elbows, who does not challenge the establishment narrative (kind of Eisenhower republican) and while like Trump during election campaign she attacks FIRE sector, she most probably will fold in best Obama "change we can believe in" fashion and will continue imperial foreign policy, while giving some necessary but limited relief to deplorables domestically in order to prevent mass protests. I want to be wrong is this assessment, but we have what we have.

I would recommend you to read Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc., which might help to educate you about intricacies of the US neoliberal political scene. Among other things, he provides an interesting assessment of "MadCow" style media personalities and their assigned roles: FOX vs. MSBNC with Maddow "a depressingly exact mirror" of Hannity. Both Sean and Rachel maintain the bipartisan consensus for ever-increasing military budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of and tax breaks for multinationals and FIRE sector.

And how the range of opinions has been artificially and skillfully narrowed and emasculated long before you get to hear it.

The idea is to manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent. That's by-and-large is what the impeachment process is about.

[Nov 06, 2019] This is not about Russia, or Ukraine, or quid pro quo in supplying weapons to Ukraine (it is unclear why Liberasts (note the Russian term) think that it is a good thing; it does not change the balance of power in the region and they might ends in the hands of Ukrainian far right; kind of Christian Taliban

Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.06.19 at 7:56 am 8

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Faustusnotes 11.05.19 at 2:28 am

I can't take anyone seriously once they start denying the Russian influence operation.

Even if we abstract from a distinct neo-McCarthyism smell of such a statement, you are completely out of touch with reality.

This is not about Russia, or Ukraine, or quid pro quo in supplying weapons to Ukraine (it is unclear why Liberasts (note the Russian term) think that it is a good thing; it does not change the balance of power in the region and they might ends in the hands of Ukrainian far right; kind of Christian Taliban ) .

This is about out of control intelligence agencies (and first of all CIA) as well as factions of neoliberals/neocons in the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and Pentagon who want to prevent any change of the USA imperial policies.

In other words, this is about well-being of a loyal (and well paid) imperial troops who want to preserve their franchise and money flows despite the obvious signs of weakening and/or disintegration of the US led global neoliberal empire (China, Russia, Iran and other "axis of resistance" states; frictions with EU, Brexit, etc ) by deposing the current "Emperor" and installing their own puppet. Kind of Praetorian Guard ( https://www.britannica.com/topic/Praetorian-Guard ) revolt in a modern incarnation.

[Nov 06, 2019] Trump's Impeachment Lures Democrats Into A Cold War Mentality

As if they even left this mentality ;-)
Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
by Tyler Durden Tue, 11/05/2019 - 22:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Aaron Maté via TheNation.com,

The hawkish mindset that liberals have embraced threatens not just their own political fortunes but also global peace...

Last week's vote by House Democrats to formally open an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump followed testimony that appeared to boost their case. Several US officials told Congress that the Trump administration sought to leverage US military aid to pressure Ukraine into opening politically tainted investigations. But liberals cheering on these developments should be mindful of their limitations -- and their potential consequences. The available testimony does not strike me as being as damning for Trump as it is being portrayed. More importantly, even if that proves to be a faulty interpretation, the impeachment frenzy is enrolling liberals in a dangerous Cold War mentality that could threaten their own election chances in 2020.

The Democrats' theory of the case is plausible: At the same time as Trump's chosen point man, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, pressured Ukraine to launch politically beneficial investigations, the president froze military aid as a tool of added leverage. But although the available testimony helps the impeachment case so far, we have not uncovered a smoking gun.

Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, says that Sondland told him that the military assistance was conditioned on a Ukrainian pledge to open investigations into Burisma, the company where Hunter Biden got his lucrative board seat, and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US election. Taylor also offered the first known testimony that this demand was made explicit to the Ukrainian side: According to Taylor, National Security Council aide Tim Morrison told him that Sondland directly communicated the quid pro quo to Andriy Yermak, an aide to Ukraine's prime minister, Volodymyr Zelensky, at a meeting in Warsaw in September 1.

Morrison corroborated Taylor's testimony in his appearance last week. But we do not yet know whether Morrison witnessed the Sondland-Yermak conversation that he told Taylor about, or is relying on his recollection of what Sondland told him. This would allow Sondland to claim that Morrison misinterpreted him.

What is certain is that Morrison left some wiggle room for Trump. His opening statement says that he and Taylor "had no reason to believe that the release of the security sector assistance might be conditioned on a public statement reopening the Burisma investigation" until he spoke to Sondland in Warsaw on September 1. "Even then," he added, "I hoped that Ambassador Sondland's strategy was exclusively his own," and not Trump's. According to CNN, Morrison testified that he tried to find out whether Sondland was relaying demands to the Ukrainian side on Trump's behalf, or was "going rogue" as a "free radical." The fact that Morrison suspected that Sondland's "strategy was exclusively his own" means that his testimony did not directly implicate Trump. And it leaves Trump with the leeway to claim that Sondland, and perhaps Rudolph Giuliani, were indeed "going rogue."

It is perfectly reasonable to deduce from all of this that what Sondland relayed -- if that is what he did -- is exactly what Trump intended. Or indeed that Sondland was acting on Trump's orders. But a case that can only be made from inference may have limited impact beyond those who have already made up their mind. Even if Trump knew exactly what Sondland was doing, Morrison's testimony leaves him with the opportunity to throw Sondland under the bus. For his part, Sondland has said through his attorney that he rejects Taylor's characterizations and does not recall the Warsaw conversation that Taylor (and now Morrison) claim to have heard about.

For Taylor and Morrison's testimony to prove dispositive -- and to make a convincing case to the broader US public and the Senate Republicans who will decide Trump's fate -- corroborating testimony or evidence will have to emerge that Trump explicitly linked the military aid to investigations of Biden and that this demand was explicitly communicated to the Ukrainian side.

That corroboration has yet to come from Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has said that it did not feel pressured. The New York Times reported that Ukrainian officials were made aware that US military aid was on hold by the first week in August, earlier than previously known. Yet communications between US and Ukrainian officials, the Times writes, "did not explicitly link the assistance freeze to the push by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani for the investigations." Nor was the aid freeze mentioned in Trump's July 25 phone call with Zelensky.

Yermak, reached via WhatsApp, did not respond to The Nation 's request for comment. His testimony will now be critical. As will follow-up testimony by Sondland. Perhaps Taylor and Morrison are accurately recounting Sondland's words. Or perhaps Sondland will contradict them, or claim that they are conflating the investigations that Trump sought from Ukraine. As I've argued previously , demanding an investigation of documented ( and openly acknowledged ) Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 elections is different from demanding one of a political rival.

All of this positions us for a "he said, he said" impeachment scandal: The question of whether or not Trump is guilty of attempting to extort Ukraine could come down to which US bureaucrat, one chooses to believe.

There is no reason to put faith in Sondland, who, in line with a longstanding tradition in US diplomacy, owes his plush diplomatic posting to a lucrative campaign donation to the winning presidential candidate. But before we embrace bureaucrats Taylor, Morrison, and another key witness, NSC official Alexander Vindman, as liberal heroes, it is worth taking stock of their impartiality and espoused views. Despite efforts to portray them as nonpartisan civil servants, the trio's opening statements show them to be Cold Warriors devoted to continuing the US-Russia proxy war in Ukraine. As their testimony makes clear, that proxy war was imperiled by the very action that Trump took -- briefly freezing the military aid that they all unabashedly support.

In the case of Taylor , arming Ukraine was a condition of his willingness to serve in the job. When the Trump administration asked him to take the position in Kiev, Taylor recalls thinking, "I could be effective only if the US policy of strong support for Ukraine were to continue." Taylor even told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, "If US policy toward Ukraine changed, he would not want me posted there and I could not stay." No wonder then, that Taylor was upset when he began to hear rumblings that US military assistance to Ukraine was in jeopardy.

Another star witness, Vindman, offers a similar outlook . Russia, he says, "has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy" necessitating "a deterrent." To Vindman, that deterrent is "a strong and independent Ukraine," which, he believes, is "critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression." Morrison concurs, declaring that the administration's policy "was to make sure the United States' longstanding bipartisan commitment to strengthen Ukraine's security remained unaltered." In his view, "security sector assistance is, therefore, essential to Ukraine."

Given their open dedication to ensuring the continuation of US military aid to Ukraine, it is reasonable to question if the trio's interpretations of decisions and conversations about freezing military aid were colored by their own policy preferences. As The Washington Post put it , Vindman "told lawmakers that he was deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy." While undoubtedly many Democrats and Republicans share Vindman's foreign policy views, it should be up to the president, not unelected bureaucrats, to decide US foreign policy.

Even if their recollections are accurate, the consequence of embracing their collective worldview is worth considering. We do not need wade far into the intricacies of the Russia-Ukraine conflict to know that the position of Taylor, Vindman, and Morrison -- and by extension, the entire liberal political and media establishment now cheering them -- is well to the right of what the Democratic Party embodied just one administration ago.

The very US military assistance that Trump froze is the same that President Barack Obama refused to provide during his last years in office. Obama feared, as The New York Times noted in 2015, that US weapons sent to Ukraine " would only escalate the bloodshed " in the Donbass and possibly "[end] up in the hands of thugs " (a likely reference to far-right Ukrainians, which proved prescient).

In refusing to send that US military aid, Obama rejected intense pressure from the bipartisan DC foreign policy establishment. This includes Taylor himself, who, as he notes in his opening statement, unsuccessfully lobbied Obama to arm Ukraine. Taylor's contemporaneous view is captured in a December 2014 letter he wrote to The Washington Post . Taylor denounced an opinion article, co-authored by a former Obama State Department official, that had opposed sending US arms to Ukraine and advocated an agreement between NATO and Russia to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. Backers of such steps, Taylor wrote, are "advocating that the West appease Russia. Now is not the time for appeasement."

The very fact that Ukrainegate now has Democrats advocating a policy that Obama rejected should be enough to spark consideration of whether briefly not arming Ukraine is really the issue on which to pin removing a president from office. Moving toward impeachment over Ukraine policy also has potential electoral consequences: In 2016, voters rejected the neoconservative worldview that national security bureaucrats like Taylor, Vindman, and Morrison now espouse. Trump, after all, campaigned on improving ties with Russia and falsely presented himself as an opponent of the hawkish legacy that these star impeachment witnesses embody. On this note, the fact that John Bolton may become the Democrats' next star witness might also hasten some reflection.

The Cold War mindset that liberals have embraced threatens not just their own political fortunes but also global peace. Lost in the outrage over Trump's potential -- and ultimately unrealized -- interruption of US military assistance to Ukraine is that Zelensky, the new Ukrainian president, openly campaigned on ending the war with Russia that this military assistance fuels. Zelensky is now under heavy pressure from Ukraine's far right to abandon his pledge to make peace with Moscow. It does not bode well for Zelensky's chances if the official opposition party of his US patron is effectively joining hands with his country's own right-wing forces to continue the war.

The dangers extend beyond Ukraine's borders. The day after the House impeachment vote, Russia warned that there is not enough time left to renegotiate the New START Treaty, the last remaining accord limiting the US and Russian nuclear arsenals, before it expires in 2021. The treaty's demise, The New York Times notes , would leave the world's top two nuclear powers "free to expand their arsenals without limits" on "the most powerful weapons both sides can launch." According to Vladimir Leontyev, Russia's top arms control official, the Kremlin hopes to renew or revise the accord, but "the US administration is silent about it." The Russians' impression, Leontyev added, is that the Trump White House "is organically against any restrictions being imposed on the United States."

The Russian warning, the Times adds, is "the latest in a sobering list of signals that the great powers appear headed for a new arms race ," following Trump's earlier withdrawal from another critical nuclear accord, the INF Treaty. It is also the latest in a long list of Trump administration policies that have escalated tensions with nuclear-armed Russia -- including authorizing the US military assistance to Ukraine that Obama once opposed and that Democrats now seek to impeach him over. The fact that this list includes increasing the threat of nuclear conflict should be sobering to any liberal who continues to push the falsehood that Trump does Russia's bidding -- all the more so given that the propagation of this falsehood helps worsen, rather than reduce, those tensions.

There is another list worth being mindful of: The many Trump administration scandals that Ukrainegate, like Russiagate before it, overshadows. The day after the House impeachment vote also coincided with the end of the comment period for a Trump administration plan to cut food programs for low-income Americans. According to government estimates, around 3 million recipients face the loss of food stamp benefits and close to 1 million children are at risk of losing automatic placement in federal school lunch programs.

"Instead of declaring a war on poverty, this president has declared war on our most vulnerable citizens," Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH), the chairwoman of the House Agriculture Committee's subcommittee on nutrition, said last month . That is undoubtedly correct, which makes it all the more puzzling that Democrats are preoccupied with an impeachment scandal that overshadows Trump's attacks on the vulnerable and encourages him to escalate wars abroad. The same goes for their stance on Syria, which saw bipartisan opposition to an announced US withdrawal but next to no opposition to Trump's sudden reversal with the explicit aim of stealing Syria's oil .

It is true that polls currently show that a majority of Americans support impeachment . It is also encouraging that Democratic presidential candidates are sidelining the impeachment drama to focus on serious policy issues on the campaign trail. At the same time, it appears that Democrats are not moving the needle in the battleground states that will decide the next election. A new New York Times /Siena College poll of the six closest swing states that went Republican in 2016 finds that Trump's "advantage in the Electoral College relative to the nation as a whole remains intact or has even grown since 2016."

With 2020 on the horizon, the dangers of the Democratic establishment's priorities cannot be emphasized enough.


Lord Raglan , 17 minutes ago link

I find it hard to believe, as the author says, that a majority of Americans support impeachment. That's because no one would know why. It hasn't been disclosed or revealed what "crime" Trump committed. That leaves the question: Impeach him for what exactly?

What they aren't telling you is the poll probably asks, "If Pres. Trump was guilty of a serious felony, do you think he should be impeached?" To which a majority would answer, "yes"

Mike Rotsch , 30 minutes ago link

More importantly, even if that proves to be a faulty interpretation, the impeachment frenzy is enrolling liberals in a dangerous Cold War mentality that could threaten their own election chances in 2020.


Are you kidding me? They already ******* lost.

We gave them a serious ear, they fucked everything up, and this is their reaction to the world finally giving them the finger. The worse they behave, the better. If we're lucky, we'll end up with a civil war and subsequent ******* purge, so that our future is sealed for the next 50-100 years.

Lord Raglan , 27 minutes ago link

I'm 64 years old, a veteran, but I'd still go hand-to-hand with that ******* fat insubordinate traitor Col. Vindman. What a piece of **** he is. He should be deported back the Ukraine. As far as I'm concerned, he forfeited his citizenship here..........and people say we shouldn't criticize him. ********.

TeraByte , 46 minutes ago link

Cold war and the current insane lunatism do not make a perfect match. We are residing in an era of denial of all proven experimental science, but it would be nice too witness, what future historians will write about this epoch of a rock bottom of the Western civilization after 250 years of scientific progress.

J S Bach , 1 hour ago link

"Trump's Impeachment Lures Democrats Into A Cold War Mentality"

Liberals are always in war mode ... incessantly pushing pushing pushing for their destructive communist agenda. Think about it... they're NEVER satisfied. When was the last time you ever heard of a Leftist willingly giving an inch of ground on their ideologies or platforms? Never. Conservatives, on the other hand, have acquiesced so much in the last 50 years, that the term which defines them no longer has any meaning. There's nothing left to "conserve". I mean, John F. Kennedy was FAR more "conservative" by today's standards than ANY mainstream Republican politician. That is why the terms "populist" or "nationalist" are better labels for those on the right who truly want to change things.

tardpill , 1 hour ago link

George Carlin, George Carlin - We Like War

We like war! We're a war-like people! We like war because we're good at it! You know why we're good at it? Cause we get a lot of practice. This country's only 200 years old and already, we've had 10 major wars. We average a major war every 20 years in this country so we're good at it! And it's a good thing we are; we're not very good at anything else anymore! Huh? Can't build a decent car, can't make a TV set or a VCR worth a ****, got no steel industry left, can't educate our young people, can't get health care to our old people, but we can bomb the **** out of your country all right! Huh? Especially if your country is full of brown people; oh we like that don't we? That's our hobby! That's our new job in the world: bombing brown people. Iraq, Panama, Grenada, Libya, you got some brown people in your country, tell them to watch the **** out or we'll goddamn bomb them! Well when's the last white people you can remember that we bombed? Can you remember the last white--- can you remember ANY white people we've ever bombed? The Germans, those are the only ones and that's only because they were trying to cut in on our action. They wanted to dominate the world! ********! THAT'S OUR ******* JOB! !

one of my fav rants of his

Lonesome Cowboy Burt , 32 minutes ago link

He must have forgotten about Serbia/Yugoslavia?

Angry White Guy , 47 minutes ago link

The real problem is they appear to still be largely half the country. We keep letting more of them invade...demographics is destiny....I'm beginning to believe it's already a foregone conclusion.

LookAtMeme.com , 29 minutes ago link

I don't know. Seems like when they're approached properly there's plenty of motivation to walk away. Every person who bothered to make and upload a video probably represents hundreds or thousands of others.

#WalkAway Campaign

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDb4InP9mRZR9oogD1b2dOQ/videos

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one."― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

ebworthen , 1 hour ago link

The Democrats haven't had a ******* clue since J.F.K. in 1963.

Charlie_Martel , 52 minutes ago link

JKF was so clueless he asked the FBI to help him dismantle the CIA not knowing they are one in the same and they whacked him in broad daylight.

beenlauding , 35 minutes ago link

So sad, one lone gunman-so much destruction.

[Nov 06, 2019] Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts: Read Excerpts of Sondland's and Volker's Testimonies

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 05, 2019 at 01:34 PM

Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts: Read Excerpts of Sondland's and Volker's Testimonies

House investigators on Tuesday released transcripts from two more closed-door depositions.

Gordon Sondland's Testimony
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/05/us/politics/sondland-testimony-transcript-impeachment.html

Kurt Volker's Testimony
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/05/us/politics/volker-testimony-transcript-impeachment.html

[Nov 06, 2019] A Timeline Of Joe Biden's Intervention Against The Prosecutor General Of Ukraine

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Nov 5 2019 22:32 utc | 13

Right on cue Sondland changes gears from drive to reverse:

Sondland Acknowledges 'Quid Pro Quo' In Reversal To Trump-Ukraine Testimony

House Democrats on Tuesday released excerpts of closed-door depositions with former US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker, as well as revised testimony from US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland which was a complete reversal from what he said in text messages revealed last month as well as prior testimony.

In them, Sondland reveals in four new pages of sworn testimony he told a top Ukrainian official that a meeting with President Trump may be contingent upon its new administration committing to investigations Trump wanted, according to the New York Times.

Mr. Sondland provided a more robust description of his own role in alerting the Ukrainians that they needed to go along with investigative requests being demanded by the president's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. -New York Times

Bloomberg reports "Sondland testified that a promise by Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son and the 2016 election was a condition that "would have to be complied with" for the country's leaders to get a meeting with Trump."

"That was my understanding," he said.

SO if that is Sondland's [mis]understanding, let's compare. Read his Sept 9 text message to Taylor.

Pat Buchanan wants to know Where are the high crimes?

The image of Biden and son in link, speaks truth. Take a look.

These are the offenses designated in the Constitution for which presidents may be impeached and removed from office.

Which of these did Trump commit?[.]

According to his accusers in this city, his crime is as follows:

The president imperiled our "national security" by delaying, for his own reasons, a transfer of lethal aid and Javelin missiles to Ukraine -- the very weapons President Barack Obama refused to send to Ukraine, lest they widen and lengthen the war in the Donbass.

Now, if Trump imperiled national security by delaying the transfer of the weapons, was not Obama guilty of a greater crime against our national security by denying the weapons to Ukraine altogether?

The essence of Trump's crime, it is said, was that he demanded a quid pro quo. He passed word to incoming President Volodymyr Zelensky that if he did not hold a press conference to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and son Hunter, he, Zelensky, would not get the arms we had promised, nor the Oval Office meeting that Zelensky requested.

Again, where is the body of the crime? [.]


By the way, what was Biden doing approving a $1 billion loan guarantee to Petro Poroshenko's regime, which was so corrupt that it ferociously fought not to fire a prosecutor whose dismissal all of Europe was demanding?

Should Biden be nominated and elected, a special prosecutor would have to be appointed to investigate this smelly deal, as well as the $1 billion Hunter got for his equity fund from the Chinese after his father visited the Middle Kingdom.[.]


[Nov 06, 2019] 'Coup Has Started' Whistleblower's Attorney Vowed To 'Get Rid Of Trump' In 2017

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Democratic operative attorney representing the anti-Trump whistleblower vowed to " get rid of Trump ", and said that the " #coup has started " in 2017 tweets.

Whistleblower attorney Mark S. Zaid

Mark Zaid, the John Podesta, Clinton and Schumer-linked attorney who founded the anti-Trump nonprofit 'Whistleblower Aid' in 2017, tweeted "It's very scary. We will get rid of him, and this country is strong enough to survive even him and his supporters. We have to. "

As Fox News reports, Zaid remarked in July 2017 " I predict @CNN will play a key role in @realdDonaldTrump not finishing out his full term as president. "

The posts, which came shortly after President Trump fired then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates for failing to defend federal laws in court, are likely to fuel Republican concerns that the whistleblower's complaint is tainted with partisanship.

"The whistleblower's lawyer gave away the game," the Trump campaign's communications director, Tim Murtaugh. told Fox News. "It was always the Democrats' plan to stage a coup and impeach President Trump and all they ever needed was the right scheme. They whiffed on Mueller so now they've settled on the perfectly fine Ukraine phone call. This proves this was orchestrated from the beginning."

Trump has repeatedly accused Democrats and partisans in the intelligence community of effectively plotting a coup against him, through selective leaks and lengthy investigations. - Fox News

"45 years from now we might be recalling stories regarding the impeachment of @realDonaldTrump. I'll be old, but will be worth the wait," he tweeted in June 2017 .

Hilariously, Zaid describes himself as a "non-partisan" attorney "handling cases involving national security, security clearances, govt investigations, media, Freedom of Information Act, & whistleblowing, according to Breitbart 's Aaron Klein, who noted that Zaid's "Whistleblower Aid" organization is heavily tied to far-left activist organizations and Democratic policies.

Whistleblower Aid was founded in September 2017 in the wake of Trump's presidency to encourage government whistleblowers to come forward.

The group did not sit around waiting for whistleblowers. Upon its founding, Whistleblower Aid actively sought to attract the attention of Trump administration government employees by reportedly blasting advertisements for its whistleblower services on Metro trains, using mobile billboards that circled government offices for 10 hours a day, and handing out whistles on street corners as a gimmick to gain attention.

When Whistleblower Aid was first formed, the main banner for the mission statement of its website contained clearly anti-Trump language.

"Today our Republic is under threat. Whistleblower Aid is committed to protecting the rule of law in the United States and around the world," read the previous statement which can still be viewed via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. - Breitbart

Zaid is also founder and director of the James Madison Project , which still lists Democratic operative John Podesta as a member of its board in a hidden area of the website ( archive here ).

[Nov 06, 2019] Rand Paul 'Subpoena Whistleblower, He May Be Involved In Corrupt Ukraine Dealings'

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has called on Congressional Republicans to subpoena the anti-Trump whistleblower, suggesting he may be involved in corrupt business dealings in Ukraine .

In a Tuesday interview, Paul said that the whistleblower - reported to be CIA officer Eric Ciaramella - " is a material witness to the possible corruption of Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, " and that Congress should investigate the whistleblower's ties to the Biden family and Burisma holdings , the Ukrainian gas company that paid Hunter Biden to sit on its board, according to BuzzFeed .

" [The whistleblower] might have traveled with Joe Biden to Ukraine for all we know . We should look at his writings. We should know all of this stuff to see whether or not he has any intersection with Burisma and with Hunter Biden," said Paul.

The president's most ardent supporters in Congress have long insisted the real corruption in Ukraine was done by former vice president Joe Biden and his family rather than by President Donald Trump. Many have also called for outing the anonymous intelligence official who filed a whistleblower complaint alleging Trump demanded a political quid pro quo from the Ukrainian government -- an investigation into the Biden family in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid. But, until now, they had not brought those two lines of attack together. - BuzzFeed

When asked if he has any evidence for his suppositions, Paul said " We don't know unless we ask. "

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was surprised at Paul's comments, saying "He needs to tell us. You can't ask a judge. You can't ask members [of Congress], ' Do you want to subpoena this guy? ' He might be this, he might be that."

Both Graham and Paul do agree, however, that the whistleblower's identity should be officially made public , with Paul telling reporters that he "probably will" disclose his name.

"I'm more than willing to, and I probably will at some point. ... There is no law preventing anybody from saying the name," said Paul.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/99cj1NJEQGE

Other lawmakers such as Sen. Mitt Romney, Roy Blunt, John Cornyn and Lisa Murkowski say he should remain anonymous. The whistleblower's attorney, Mark Zaid, said that Paul and others are using disinformation to distract from the substance of the allegations.

"I imagine at some point soon our client will be accused of masterminding JFK's assassination as well," he said. "Any Member of Congress who pushes to expose the whistleblower will not only undermine the integrity of the system but will be disgracing their office and betraying the interests of the Constitution and the American people."

[Nov 05, 2019] Most Americans Have 'Little To No Trust' In Impeachment Process, Would Rather Let Voters Decide In 2020

Nov 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

According to the survey, 73% of those polled have little to no trust in how the House impeachment inquiry has been conducted to date, while 59% say it would "make more sense" to wait until next year's election . The same poll found just 44% of Americans think that Trump should be impeached and removed from office .

"Even many who would like to impeach Trump seem to feel that beating him at the polls in 2020 is actually a better strategy for ousting him from office," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

What's more, 71% of respondents think it's unlikely the Senate would vote to remove Trump - which, as Nancy Pelosi warned, would simply empower Republicans after Democrats can't tank Trump for asking Ukraine to investigate whether former VP Joe Biden and his son Hunter engaged in a quid-pro-quo to personally enrich themselves.

That said, just over half of Americans think its a good idea for the House to conduct the inquiries, even if many of those people have 'little to no trust' in it!

Those who approve of the job Trump is doing rose to 42% from 41% in September, while 51% disapprove, down from 53% in September.

Of those who approve, 62% can't think of anything he could do that would cause them to stop supporting him .

Methodology: The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 with a national random sample of 908 adults age 18 and older. The margin of error for the total sample is ± 3.3.

[Nov 05, 2019] Establishment's Coup Attempt Is Approaching End Game

Nov 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

"Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

These are the offenses designated in the Constitution for which presidents may be impeached and removed from office.

Which of these did Trump commit?

According to his accusers in this city, his crime is as follows:

The president imperiled our "national security" by delaying, for his own reasons, a transfer of lethal aid and Javelin missiles to Ukraine -- the very weapons President Barack Obama refused to send to Ukraine, lest they widen and lengthen the war in the Donbass.

Now, if Trump imperiled national security by delaying the transfer of the weapons, was not Obama guilty of a greater crime against our national security by denying the weapons to Ukraine altogether?

The essence of Trump's crime, it is said, was that he demanded a quid pro quo. He passed word to incoming President Volodymyr Zelensky that if he did not hold a press conference to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and son Hunter, he, Zelensky, would not get the arms we had promised, nor the Oval Office meeting that Zelensky requested.

Again, where is the body of the crime?

Did Zelensky hold the press conference Trump demanded? No.

Did Zelensky announce Ukraine was investigating the Bidens? No.

Did Zelensky get the Oval Office meeting? Yes.

Did Zelensky get the U.S. weapons? Yes, $400 million in arms and Javelin missiles.

Where then is the crime? When was it consummated?

Or was this a thought crime, a bluff to get Zelensky to look into how Hunter Biden got a $50,000-a-month seat on the board of the most corrupt company in Ukraine, days after Joe Biden was in Kyiv threatening to block a $1 billion loan guarantee to the regime.

By the way, what was Biden doing approving a $1 billion loan guarantee to Petro Poroshenko's regime, which was so corrupt that it ferociously fought not to fire a prosecutor whose dismissal all of Europe was demanding?

Should Biden be nominated and elected, a special prosecutor would have to be appointed to investigate this smelly deal, as well as the $1 billion Hunter got for his equity fund from the Chinese after his father visited the Middle Kingdom.

Given last week's party-line vote in the House, where all but two Democrats voted to proceed with the inquiry, the impeachment of President Donald Trump seems baked in the cake. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's designation of Adam Schiff to head the investigation tells us all we need to know about the sincerity of her pledge to make the inquiry bipartisan.

Suppose Zelensky had agreed to an investigation into how Hunter Biden, with no experience in the energy industry, got his sweetheart deal.

Would that be impeachable for Trump? How so?

Does not the U.S. have a right to put conditions on its foreign aid and to seek guarantees that our money will not be used as graft to grifters?

A few of those listening in on Trump's phone call with Zelensky have gone public asserting that withholding the arms transfer to Kyiv imperiled our national security.

But if east Ukraine rises up and secedes from Kyiv, as Kyiv itself seceded from the Russian Federation at the end of the Cold War, how does any of that endanger America's national security? Did not George H.W. Bush himself warn, three decades ago, that a declaration of independence by Ukraine from the Russian Federation would constitute an act of "suicidal nationalism"?

And who does the Constitution charge with making the decisions as to whether military aid goes to Ukraine?

The president, or some NSC staffer who sits on the Ukraine desk?

Since the U.S.-backed overthrow of the pro-Russian regime in Kyiv in 2014, and Vladimir Putin's counter-seizure of Crimea and support for pro-Russian secessionists in Donetsk and Luhansk, there has been a debate in the USA over how to deal with this faraway problem.

Obama decided not to send lethal aid or tank-killing Javelin missiles, lest the U.S. arms escalate a war between Russia and Ukraine that Kyiv could not win.

The Republicans argued the issue at their Cleveland convention. Trump's team won that argument, but lethal aid and Javelin missiles were eventually sent to Kyiv. Now Trump has sent even more weapons.

But again, the authority to make this decision resides in the Oval Office, not in the NSC, not in the CIA, and not with those in the "deep state" who have their own settled view of what U.S. foreign policy should be.

The authority lies with the elected president of the United States.

This impeachment battle will almost surely reach the Senate.

And in the end it will be about what it has been about since the beginning: An attempt by the deep state and its media, bureaucratic and political allies to overturn the democratic verdict of 2016 and to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

The establishment's coup attempt is now approaching end game.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. T

[Nov 05, 2019] Anti-Russian hysteria and the extensive disinformation campaign probably stems from a 'Five Eyes' strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Notable quotes:
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8

james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.


semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9

james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

They're the nuclear rival that don't import many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


/div> " The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 , Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

" The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 | Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:
  • its purposes were not entirely charitable
  • one of its most significant activities, a project known as Integrity Initiative, did not provide public benefit in furtherance of the charity's purposes
  • private benefit to charity trustees was not incidental to the charity's activities that advance its charitable purpose

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

  • the charity has ceased to undertake any activity related to the Integrity initiative, and this is now undertaken by a non-charitable entity having no legal connection to the charity
  • the charity has ceased to remunerate any of its charity trustees
  • the charity is taking external guidance on governance
  • some charity trustees are to stand down as soon as replacement charity trustees can be identified

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

div
NoOneYouKnow , Nov 4 2019 18:27 utc | 1
Thanks, B. It's a pity the people of the UK have no foreseeable recourse to stop shadow government operations like this that exist to disinform the people of the UK.
div> Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3
At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter , there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.
james , Nov 4 2019 18:50 utc | 4
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale? i agree with @ 1 - noyk - it is unfortunate the uk people are used as guinea pigs on such a regular basis.. i suspect a similar exercise is in operation in canada and the west, although it seems the msm fulfills this role here...
NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5
Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf
erik , Nov 4 2019 18:54 utc | 6
It seems that often products or organizations, which contain superlatives or anodyne expressions in their names, are generally sketchy...
karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 19:19 utc | 7
The Federalist declares it's published a scoop :

"CIA, FBI Informant Was Washington Post Source For Russiagate Smears."

The article details a segment of Russiagate's overall unraveling and outs WaPost's David Ignatius as part of Operation Mockingbird. And I see no reason to dispute the item's conclusion:

"These close connections between the Washington Post's Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities, and the false reporting that has taken place over the last three-plus years, raise grave concerns that the warfare of the soft coup aimed at President Trump includes using the media to push propaganda."

The longer the above conclusion's denied, the wider the polarization becomes between those guided by facts and those following media fantasies.

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8
james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonetization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.

semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9
james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

they're the nuclear rival that don't manufacture many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

David G , Nov 4 2019 20:13 utc | 10
The OSCR report includes the Institute for Statecraft's own description of its purposes, but nothing about its actual operations, other than the ones now being deemed unsatisfactory under the charities law.

So now that the Institute has committed not to run the Integrity Initiative, and not to enrich its trustees, what are its legitimate "charitable" activities that OSCR is kindly allowing it to continue with?

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

James , Nov 4 2019 20:31 utc | 12
As an Irish citizen, I think the British deep state - the original deep state -have been very successful at demonising the enemies of 'freedom' and 'civilisation', the Irish yes, also the Indians, Africans, Germans, french, Spanish, Muslims and now the Russians. Our enemies are not each other rather the deep state. Let's recognise who our real enemy is
Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
james , Nov 4 2019 21:18 utc | 15
@8 ben / @ 9 semiconscious / @ 11 chet380.. yes, there is that too, but is that it? money as ben says rings true for me mostly... that is mostly how i see this...the agencies seem to be a front for western oligarchs.. the kleptomaniacs want access to all russian resources and have yet to be successful in getting it.. they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine.. the 2014 coop was meant to solidify more of that and poke russia in the eye too..

@ 13 joost... i would watch out for your cat! alas, we all seem to agree it is about wanting to loot russia... we share a similar viewpoint.. it is really sick how so many are ignorant pawns, or worse in all of this.. no wonder i make next to no money working in the music industry... i am in the wrong game and don't share a lack of ethics on such display with all these losers..

Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Jen , Nov 4 2019 21:34 utc | 17
Reading through the OCSR's document at the PDF link in B's post, I am surprised (should I be?) that during the entire decade-long period when the Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity, the OCSR did not see fit at any time to remind the organisation of its responsibilities to keep proper records of its activities and decision-making, to provide a proper formal and transparent structure for its activities that could be shown to demonstrate a public benefit, and to have proper formal structures generally for its day-to-day running and governance activities. The Scottish public have every right to hold the OCSR to much higher standards of being a regulatory organisation making sure that charities are run properly as charities and not simply accept those charities' word that they will improve their operations when they have spent 10 long years taking money (some of it taxpayers' money) and misusing it.
Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 21:46 utc | 18
james @15:
they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine..

Ukraine is an economic disaster. Donbas and Crimea were the most valuable parts.

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 22:31 utc | 20
james @4

You ask too many questions... isn't it clear?

We hate THEM 'cause THEY hate US.

/snarc

Seriously, we've seen the movie and read the book. This is how "Red Scare" McCarthyism works.

!!

james , Nov 5 2019 0:10 utc | 21
@18 jr... disaster capitalism at its finest!!

@ 20..lol.. that is true... can't ver ask too many questions! and, it has been a repeat of mccarthyism.. it's bizarre to see so many otherwise intelligent people swallow this crap.. i think of emptywheel and how i used to think she was smart.. she is so busy looking at the trees, she's incapable of seeing the forest..

james , Nov 5 2019 0:21 utc | 22
@16 trisha... thanks... as i have mentioned here at moa numerous times, the book 'paris 1918' by Margaret Macmillan is an excellent book that gives an overview and discusses exactly what you are talking about.. i can't recommend the book enough..
https://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/1135/Paris-1919
Ash Naz , Nov 5 2019 0:55 utc | 23
I ploughed through the Kit Klarenberg piece on Sputnik that b linked to and would have wept at the Orwellian inversions of truth in the OIP's 'mission statment' if I'd had any tears left after enduring the recent decades of lies and projection of the Empire's propaganda machine. The Mighty Wurlitzer at corporate-speak indeed. In fact all I could do was laugh like Group Captain Mandrake in Dr Strangelove when confronted with the madness of General Ripper.

Tragically, the opening paragraph of their statement sounded like something Caitlin Johnstone might pen, urging our side to be wary and vigilant of the propaganda of them .

"Democracy cannot thrive without honest, accurate and freely available information about the world around us We need to know where our information is coming from, we need to know the motives (good, bad or neither) of those providing the information, and be in the habit of thinking critically about everything we read and hear. Every one of us has the right to be properly informed – that knowledge gives us strength. Every one of us shares responsibility for informed engagement and critical thinking, to challenge the powerful and uncover the truth An engaged population, equipped with clarity and the truth, is the foundation for a world where we can all enjoy greater equality and greater peace."

"critical thinking"
"challenge the powerful"
"uncover the truth"

They are taking the tools that we need to deal with their perfidy, and pretending that they need to use them to "challenge the powerful and uncover the truth". I found this Orwellian inversion of the truth so chilling that I could only laugh.

In all seriousness, I can only presume that they actually believe their own lies.

vk , Nov 5 2019 3:10 utc | 26
The Wolfowitz Doctrine (1992) states that Russia should remain America's main enemy for the forseeable future because it inherited the USSR's nuclear arsenal. At least this is the official rationale.

But there may be another reason. Courtesy from Pepe Escobar's facebook page:

Francis Fukuyama interview: "Socialism ought to come back"

Trisha , Nov 5 2019 4:08 utc | 29
@22 James ... thanks for the "Paris 1919" book reference, luckily it's available at my local library. For a detailed history of (sadly) another in a long list of America's criminal acts of aggressive war, I highly recommend Russian Sideshow: America's Undeclared War, 1918-1920 by Robert L. Willett.
nietzsche1510 , Nov 5 2019 7:15 utc | 33
they are attacking Russia because they know that only military force can stop the collapse the fake Dollar & all the Jewish printed wealth which goes with it. "yes, the Dollar is our money, but, it is your problem" sort of imposed doctrine of the last half-century is coming to an end & no naval carriers could stop its fall.

[Nov 05, 2019] Close connections between the Washington Post's Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities

Nov 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 19:19 utc | 7

The Federalist declares it's published a scoop :

"CIA, FBI Informant Was Washington Post Source For Russiagate Smears."

The article details a segment of Russiagate's overall unraveling and outs WaPost's David Ignatius as part of Operation Mockingbird. And I see no reason to dispute the item's conclusion:

"These close connections between the Washington Post's Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities, and the false reporting that has taken place over the last three-plus years, raise grave concerns that the warfare of the soft coup aimed at President Trump includes using the media to push propaganda."

The longer the above conclusion's denied, the wider the polarization becomes between those guided by facts and those following media fantasies.

[Nov 05, 2019] The Foreign Policy Blob Versus Trump by Hunter DeRensis

Oct 30, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Ever since the whistleblower complaint from inside the CIA first surfaced against President Donald Trump, a steady stream of national security and State Department officials have testified about their consternation at his dealings with Ukraine. The dominant impression that they have left, however, is that they are blurring the line between what constitutes unsavory behavior when it comes to pressuring Ukraine for information on domestic political opponents, on the one hand, and what are legitimate policy disagreements. Indeed, it appears that they are, more often than not, substituting their own political judgments for the president's when it comes to the conduct of American foreign policy-something that should concern Democrats as much as Republicans. A whole caste of government officials seems to believe that for an American president to aim to improve relations with Russia is an illegitimate, even treasonous, aspiration.

Today was no exception. Consider the testimony of State Department official Catherine Croft. In her brief opening statement, she declared, "As the Director covering Ukraine, I staffed the President's December 2017 decision to provide Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank missile systems. I also staffed his September 2017 meeting with then-President Petro Poroshenko on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Throughout both, I heard-directly and indirectly-President Trump describe Ukraine as a corrupt country." The implication was that Trump had no business complaining about corruption in Ukraine. But why not? The persistence of corruption, which President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected by an overwhelming majority to combat, is hardly a secret.

Perhaps even more revealing was Croft's declaration to the House Intelligence Committee that in November 2018 the White House refused to approve the release of a statement condemning Russia for seizing three Ukrainian ships located close to Crimea. It sounds damning at first glance. But once again, why shouldn't Trump have practiced restraint in this instance if he was intent on improving relations with Russia, a platform that he was elected on? As it happens, the Zelensky campaign depicted the ship incident as a political provocation on the part of the Poroshenko government.

The implicit assumptions that appear to guide these veteran members of the bureaucracy were even more obvious in the case of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman. As the media has underscored, he is the first person to testify in the impeachment inquiry who participated in the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Initially, Trump's defenders sought to portray him as guilty of "espionage" or dual loyalty because he emigrated to America as a toddler. But this was always preposterous. More telling is that Vindman, no less than Croft, epitomizes a mindset that seems to regard a deviation from the strictures of the foreign policy establishment as by definition unacceptable.

In his opening statement, Vindman declared, that Ukraine is a "frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression." He added, "the U.S. government policy community's view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the promise of reforms will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity." But what if Trump has a different view of matters than the "U.S. government policy community's view"? After all, Trump was elected in part on his explicit declarations that he would not rely on the experts who had plunged America into Iraq and Libya.

Consider as well the attention that Vindman has lavished upon Trump's phone call with Zelensky. According to Vindman, portions of the call he considered important were not included in the document kept by the government that was released to the last month. This includes President Trump claiming there are recordings of former Vice President Joe Biden discussing Ukrainian corruption, and President Zelensky specifically referring to Biden's son's company, Burisma Holdings. The document released by the administration includes Zelensky talking about "the company" and Trump saying, "Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution," which is an interpretation of a video of Joe Biden describing how the Obama administration made firing Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin a prerequisite for receiving foreign aid. Vindman's recollection of the call does not change the substance of what was already understood. However, the changes in language are being portrayed as more analogous to Richard Nixon editing the White House tapes than the routine process that produced a routine document. "Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, who heard President Trump's July phone call with Ukraine's president and was alarmed, testified that he tried and failed to add key details to the rough transcript," blared the New York Times headline.

For two months, major media outlets have described the document as a "transcript," as a shorthand term. But as the document, and TNI's previous reporting makes clear, it is not a transcript in the strict sense of the term. "This is what's known as a memorandum of conversation: MEMCON. It is a standard tool that is used throughout the government and the procedures can vary from agency to agency, or who your boss is. But generally, they're all done about the same way," explains Peter Van Buren, a former Foreign Service Officer in the State Department.

"In my own experience in government for 24 years it's a pretty standardized practice. The idea is, for all sorts of reasons, most interactions are not recorded. Instead, they're memorialized through this process of MEMCON. Typically, while there are many people who may be listening in or present at a meeting, someone (or sometimes two people) are designated as official notetakers and they take down the conversation. And they're not trying necessarily to get an exact word-for-word account, but they're certainly trying to get an idea for idea. And in many cases when you're dealing at the White House level, they are getting it pretty much word for word," Van Buren tells TNI.

As a participant on the phone call, Vindman would have been one of the early editors. As the process continued, officials higher than him made changes, just like the editor of a magazine would for a writer. The precise reasons for the changes are open-ended and probably unknowable. There exists no evidence that the changes were nefarious or anything other than mundane word choice. The document released to the public is the official U.S. government record of what happened.

John Marshall Evans, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer and Ambassador to Armenia, narrows down what should be the focus of this inquiry-and what it's actually becoming. "The issue is indeed not one of policy, which the President can change, but of the purpose that was pursued in the July 25th call: whether it was in the national interest or a private gain," he says. So far, no one has shown that Trump demanded that the Ukrainian government produce a specific result or fabricate evidence about the Bidens.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is supposed to hold a House vote on the impeachment inquiry tomorrow, after a barrage of criticism from Republicans for moving forward without one. Whether the open hearings and public testimony will provide any more substance than a parade of national security bureaucrats ventilating their grievances about a president who sought to take a different course in foreign policy is questionable.


Sean.McGivens 3 days ago ,

Vindman declared, that Ukraine is a "frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression.

Complete bull. The truth is that there is no Russian aggression. What we're seeing from Russia is actually pushback against American aggression. The US is trying to turn Ukraine into a NATO member, knowing that doing so would severely undermine Russia's national security. The American goal is to reduce Russia's influence in world affairs, and to be in geostrategic position to relate to Russia coercively. Little wonder, then, that Russia lashed back by taking Crimean and Donbass.

For Vindman to assert that Ukraine is "bulwark against Russian aggression" and a matter vital to the US's national interests only goes to prove that America is under the influence of liars. The American people are being mislead about the truth.

Ukraine's on Russia's front door step. It overlaps with Russia territorially, demographically, and geopolitically. By entering Ukraine for strategic reasons, the US has provoked and threatened Russia. There is no justification for this reckless foreign policy move by the US.

Terry 4 days ago ,

First off, 'improving relations with Russia' does NOT mean doing whatever is best for Russia at our expense. Every foreign policy move this president has made has only benefited Russia, not the US! Secondly, I have slowly but surely become convinced Trump is a wholly owned subsidiary of Putin Inc. I don't know what Putin has on Trump (but I think money laundering would be a solid guess) or if it's the promise of Putin's blessing for a Trump Tower Moscow, but whatever it is, he has Trump in his back pocket. And lastly, if everyone has not figured out all The Donald cares about is money in his pocket they are fools. Face it, writer, you either have bought that bag of magic beans Trump sold the electorate in the last election or you are being willfully blind to who and what this 'man' is.

Sean.McGivens Terry 3 days ago ,

First off, 'improving relations with Russia' does NOT mean doing whatever is best for Russia at our expense.

That's confusing. How exactly is America doing something for Russia at the expense of the US? If you really believe this, then you've been fooled by American propaganda into thinking that Ukraine is an extension of the continental US. The reality, of course, is that Ukraine is on the other side of the world, and does not in any way matter to America's vital national interests.

In Ukraine, America is overstretching its ambitions, and is behaving like an aggressor.

Terry Sean.McGivens 3 days ago ,

Let's start with the sanctions passed by Congress on Russian oligarchs for invading the Ukraine. Somehow, they just weren't imposed until Trump was forced to. Then there is the deliberate sabotage of all of our alliances. Now it's stabbing the kurds in the back so Putin and Erdogan can split that area up between them. The only thing Trump, Turkey and Russia have in common are Trump Tower Istanbul and his desire for Trump Tower Moscow. He is, quite literally selling us out.

P.S. Nice try, Russkie, but it wasn't us who invaded and seized Crimea and western Ukraine. That was you. We may stick our noses into world affairs more than we should, but we have not stolen any land or resources of any country we are in. Get right down to it, if it wasn't for your nukes, we'd put you down like a rabid dog. Don't think we can? Your economy is the size of our state of Georgia and it ain't even close to the top. Just another commie basket case.

Yuki 5 days ago ,

The "Trump Foreign Policy" itself is doing splash damage on US Power.

[Nov 05, 2019] American Conspiracies Cover-Ups

Nov 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

American Conspiracies & Cover-Ups by Tyler Durden Tue, 11/05/2019 - 00:10 0 SHARES Authored by Douglas Citignano via Off-Guardian.org,

In today's world, the phrase "conspiracy theory" is pejorative and has a negative connotation. To many people, a conspiracy theory is an irrational, over-imaginative idea endorsed by people looking for attention and not supported by the mainstream media or government.

History shows, though, that there have been many times when governments or individuals have participated in conspiracies. It would be naïve to think that intelligence agencies, militaries, government officials, and politicians don't sometimes cooperate in covert, secretive ways.

Following are five instances when it's been proven that the government engaged in a conspiracy.

THE GULF OF TONKIN RESOLUTION

On August 4, 1964, Captain John J. Herrick, the commander of the USS Maddox, a US Navy vessel that was on an intelligence-gathering mission in the Gulf of Tonkin, reported to the White House and Pentagon that North Vietnamese patrol boats had fired torpedoes at his ship, and, so, the Maddox had fired back.

Two days later, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara testified to the Congress that he was certain that the Maddox had been attacked. On August 7, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed, the Congressional act that allowed President Johnson free reign to commence war; Johnson immediately ordered air strikes on North Vietnam and the Vietnam War -- which would eventually kill fifty-eight thousand Americans and two million Asians -- was underway.

Since then, it has been shown and proven that no North Vietnamese boats ever fired on the Maddox, and that McNamara had been untruthful when he testified before Congress. According to the official publication of the Naval Institute,

once-classified documents and tapes released in the past several years, combined with previously uncovered facts, make clear that high government officials distorted facts and deceived the American public about events that led to full US involvement in the Vietnam War."

In the weeks prior to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, South Vietnamese ships had been attacking posts in North Vietnam in conjunction with the CIA's Operation 34A. According to many inside sources, the Johnson administration wanted a full-scale war in Vietnam and through Operation 34A was trying to provoke North Vietnam into an attack that would give Johnson an excuse to go to war. But when McNamara was asked by the Congress on August 7 if these South Vietnam attacks had anything to do with the US military and CIA, McNamara lied and said no.

Within hours after reporting that the Maddox had been attacked, Captain Herrick was retracting his statements and reporting to the White House and Pentagon that "in all likelihood" an over-eager sonar man had been mistaken and that the sonar sounds and images that he originally thought were enemy torpedoes were actually just the beat of the Maddox's own propellers.

Herrick reported that there was a good probability that there had been no attack on the Maddox, and suggested "complete reevaluation before any action is taken."

McNamara saw these new, updated reports and discussed them with President Johnson early in the afternoon of August 4. Even though this was so, on the evening of August 4, President Johnson went on national television and announced to the American public that North Vietnam had engaged in "unprovoked aggression" and, so, the US military was retaliating.

A few days after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Johnson remarked, "Hell, those damn stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish."

Recently, new documents related to the Gulf of Tonkin incident have been declassified and according to Robert Hanyok, a historian for the National Security Agency, these documents show that the NSA deliberately "distorted intelligence" andand "altered documents" to make it appear that an attack had occurred on August 4.

When President Lyndon Johnson misrepresented to the American public and said he knew that North Vietnam had attacked a US ship, and when Defense Secretary Robert McNamara lied to the Congress and said he was sure that the Maddox had been attacked and that the CIA had nothing to do with South Vietnam aggression, and when NSA officials falsified information to make it appear that there had been an attack on the Maddox, that was a government conspiracy.

OPERATION NORTHWOODS

In 1962, the most powerful and highest ranking military officials of the US government, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, felt strongly that the communist leader Fidel Castro had to be removed from power and, so, came up with a plan to justify an American invasion of Cuba.

The plan, entitled Operations Northwoods, was presented to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, and was signed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lyman L. Lemnitzer.

Operations Northwoods was a proposal for a false flag operation, a plan in which a military organizes an attack against its own country and then frames and blames the attack on another country for the purpose of the purpose of initiating hostilities and declaring war on that country.

The proposal was originally labeled Top Secret but was made public on November 18, 1997, by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board. The complete Operation Northwoods paper was published online by the National Security Archive on April 30, 2001, and this once-secret government document can now be read by anyone.

The actions that General Lemnitzer and the other chiefs wanted to d to take under Operations Northwoods are shocking. According to the plan, CIA and military personnel and hired provocateurs would commit various violent acts and these acts would be blamed on Castro to "create the necessary impression of Cuban rashness and irresponsibility" and "put the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances."

One of the most ambitious plans of Operation Northwoods was to blow up a plane in midflight. The strategy was to fill a civilian airplane with CIA and military personnel who were registered under fake ID's; an exact duplicate plane -- an empty military drone aircraft -- would take off at the same exact time.

The plane of fake passengers would land at a military base but the empty drone plane would fly over Cuba and crash in the ocean, supposedly a victim of Cuban missiles. "Casualty lists in US newspapers" and conducting "fake funerals for mock-victims" would cause "a helpful wave of national indignation" in America.

The Operation Northwoods proposal also states: "We could blow up a US ship and blame Cuba." Whether the ship was to be empty or full of US soldiers is unclear. The document also says: "Hijacking attempts against US civil air and surface craft should be encouraged."

Some of the recommendations of Operation Northwoods would have surely led to serious injuries and even deaths of Cuban and American civilians. The plan suggests:

We could sink a boatload of Cubans on route to Florida (real or simulated)."

And:

We could foster attempts on lives of anti-Castro Cubans in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized We could explode a few bombs in carefully chosen spots."

Lemnitzer and the chiefs wanted many of these staged terrorist attacks to be directed at the Guantanamo Bay United States Naval Base in Cuba. The plans were:

When Secretary of Defense McNamara was presented with the Operation Northwoods plan, he either stopped and rejected the plan himself or passed it on to President Kennedy and JFK then rejected it. But if Kennedy and McNamara had agreed with the plan, then the Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to begin enacting Operation Northwoods "right away, within a few months."

Even though Operation Northwoods was never initiated, when the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the other highest-ranking military officials of the United States Government planned to organize violent attacks on Americans and anti-Castro Cuban citizens, knowing those attacks could severely injure and kill those citizens, and when they planned to blame those attacks on Cuba and then use that as an excuse to invade Cuba, that was a government conspiracy.

FBI AND THE MAFIA

In March 1965, the FBI had the house of New England organized crime boss Raymond Patriarca wiretapped and overheard two mobsters, Joseph Barboza and Vincent Flemmi, asking Patriarca for permission to kill another gangster, Edward Deegan. Two days later, Deegan's blood-soaked body was found dead in a Boston alley.

Within days, an official FBI report confirmed that Joseph Barboza and three other mobsters were the murderers. Instead of those men going to prison for murder, though, three years later a man named Joseph Salvati was brought to trial for the murder of Edward Deegan. At that trial Joseph Barboza testified and lied that Salvati was one of the murderers. On the basis of Barboza's testimony, Joseph Salvati was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

At that time, in the mid 1960s, the FBI was being pressured more and more to do something to stop organized crime. The bureau began using members of the mafia -- criminals and murderers -- to inform against fellow mafia members. Joseph Barboza was one of these FBI-protected, paid informants. The FBI didn't want Barboza to go to prison for the murder of Deegan because they wanted him to continue infiltrating the mafia and testifying against other mafia members.

The bureau, apparently, did want a conviction in the Deegan murder case, though, and, so, let Barboza lie under oath and let a man they knew to be innocent, Joseph Salvati, go to prison.

The Witness Protection Program was first created for Joseph Barboza, and Barboza was the first mafia informant to be protected under the program. After helping to convict a number of mobsters, Barboza was sent off to live in California. While under the Witness Protection Program, Barboza committed at least one more murder, and probably more.

On trial for a murder in California, FBI officials showed up for Joseph Barboza's trial and testified on his behalf, helping Barboza to get a light sentence.

Joseph Salvati ended up serving thirty years in prison for a murder that he was innocent of. During that thirty-year period, lawyers for Salvati requested documents from the FBI that would have proved Salvati's innocence, but the bureau refused to release them.

Finally, in 1997, other evidence came forth suggesting Salvati's innocence and the governor of Massachusetts, William Weld, granted Salvati's release. A few years later, the FBI was ordered to release all its reports on the case; hundreds of documents showed the FBI knew that Barboza was a murderer, that he had murdered Edward Deegan, and that Joseph Salvati had had nothing to do with the crime.

Salvati was exonerated in a court of law, and was eventually awarded millions of dollars in a civil lawsuit against the government. (Three other defendants were also exonerated. At the 1968 trial, Joseph Barboza had testified that three other men -- men who were also not guilty -- had participated in Deegan's murder. These three innocent men were, with Salvati, also sent to prison.)

Perhaps the most shocking thing that the FBI documents showed, though, was that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover himself knew Salvati was innocent and that Barboza had killed Deegan.

Hoover was working closely, almost daily, with the agents handling Joseph Barboza, and it was probably Hoover directing the operation. The congressional committee that investigated the case was the House Committee on Government Reform and Congressman Dan Burton was the chairman.

When asked by CBS's 60 Minutes journalist Mike Wallace "Did J. Edgar Hoover know all this? " Burton replied:

"Yes . . . It's one of the greatest failures in the history of American justice J. Edgar Hoover knew Salvati was innocent. He knew it and his name should not be emblazoned on the FBI headquarters. We should change the name of that building."

Congressman Burton claimed there was evidence that there were more cases when the FBI did the same sorts of things they did in the Joseph Salvati case; when Burton and his committee requested the files on these cases, the Attorney General and the White House refused to release them.

When FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and top FBI officials let a known murderer lie and perjure himself in a courtroom, when they let four men they knew to be innocent suffer in the hell of a prison cell for thirty years, and when they deliberately covered that up for decades, that was a government conspiracy.

THE MANHATTAN PROJECT

In 1939, Albert Einstein and two other European physicists sent a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt informing Roosevelt that the German government was working on developing the science that could lead to the creation of a nuclear bomb. FDR immediately formed a committee to look into the idea of the US government making an atomic bomb.

In 1942, the Manhattan Project, the United States program to build a nuclear bomb, headed by General Leslie R. Groves of the US Army Corps of Engineers, was formed.

The program existed from 1942–1946, spent two billion dollars, had plants and factories in thirty cities, and employed 130,000 workers. But virtually no one knew about it. The Manhattan Project is considered the "Greatest Secret Ever Kept."

The US government wanted to keep the Project a secret lest Germany or one of America's other enemies found out about it and built -- more quickly -- a larger, better bomb. In the early 1940s, when American scientists began working on splitting atoms and nuclear fission, US government officials asked the scientists to not publish any reports on the work in scientific journals. The work was kept quiet.

In 1943, when newspapers began reporting on the large Manhattan Project construction going on in a few states, the newly formed United States Government Office of Censorship asked newspapers and broadcasters to avoid discussing "atom smashing, atomic energy, atomic fission . . . the use for military purposes of radium or radioactive materials" or anything else that could expose the project. The press kept mum. The government didn't talk about the Manhattan Project, the press didn't report on it, and the public knew nothing about it.

Not even the 130,000 Manhattan Project laborers knew they were building an atom bomb.

In 1945, a Life magazine article wrote that before Japan was attacked with a-bombs, "probably no more than a few dozen men in the entire country knew the full meaning of the Manhattan Project, and perhaps only a thousand others even were aware that work on atoms was involved."

The workers were told they were doing an important job for the government, but weren't told what the job was, and didn't understand the full import of the mysterious, daily tasks they were doing. The laborers were warned that disclosing the Project's secrets was punishable by ten years in prison, and a hefty financial fine.

Whole towns and cities were built where thousands of Manhattan Project workers lived and worked but these thousands didn't know they were helping to build nuclear bombs.

The Manhattan Project finally became known to the public on August 6, 1945, when President Harry Truman announced that America had dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

Truman, himself, had not been informed of the Manhattan Project until late April 1945.

When the government kept the purpose of the Manhattan Project a secret from the press, from the public, from America's enemies, from Harry Truman, and even from the 130,000 laborers who worked for the Manhattan Project, that was a government conspiracy.

THE CHURCH COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION

In the early 1970s, after the Watergate affair and investigative reports by the New York Times, it became apparent that the CIA and other US intelligence agencies might be engaging in inappropriate and illegal activities. In 1975, the Church Committee, named after the Committee's chairman Senator Frank Church, was formed to investigate abuses by the CIA, NSA, FBI, and IRS.

The Church Committee reports are said to constitute the most extensive investigations of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Many disturbing facts were revealed. According to the final report of the Committee, US intelligence agencies had been engaging in "unlawful or improper conduct" and "intelligence excesses, at home and abroad" since the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt.

The report added that "intelligence agencies have undermined the Constitutional rights of citizens" and "checks and balances designed by the framers of the Constitution to assure accountability have not been applied."

One of the most well-known revelations of the Committee was the CIA's so-called "Family Jewels," a report that detailed the CIA's misdeeds dating back to Dwight Eisenhower's presidency. The committee also reported on the NSA's SHAMROCK and MINARET programs; under these programs the NSA had been intercepting, opening, and reading the telegrams and mail of thousands of private citizens.

The Church Committee also discovered and exposed the FBI's COINTELPRO program, the bureau's program to covertly destroy and disrupt any groups or individuals that J. Edgar Hoover felt were bad for America. Some of the movements and groups that the FBI tried to discredit and destroy were the Civil Rights movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr.

The most alarming thing that the Church Committee found, though, was that the CIA had an assassination program. It was revealed that the CIA assassinated or had tried to assassinate Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Raphael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, General Rene Schneider of Chile, Fidel Castro, Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, and other political leaders throughout the world.

The Committee learned about the different ways the CIA had developed to kill and assassinate people: inflicting cancer, inflicting heart attacks, making murders look like suicides, car accidents, boating accidents, and shootings. At one point, CIA Director William Colby presented to the Committee a special "heart attack gun" that the CIA had created. The gun was able to shoot a small poison-laden dart into its victim. The dart was so small as to be undetectable; the victim's death from the poison would appear to be a heart attack, so no foul play would be suspected.

In response to the Church Committee report, in 1976 President Gerald Ford signed Executive Order 11,905, which forbade employees of the US government from engaging in or conspiring to engage in political assassinations.

In that same year, the Senate approved Senate Resolution 400, which established the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the committee responsible for providing vigilant oversight over the intelligence agencies.

Many former CIA employee-whistleblowers and other people, though, claim that US intelligence agencies are still acting in improper ways. In 2008, it was revealed that the CIA had hired Blackwater, a private company made up of ex-Navy Seals, to track down and assassinate suspected terrorists.

Later in the 2000s, when the Congress formed a committee to investigate if CIA waterboarding and other methods of interrogation constituted torture, congressmen complained that they couldn't get to the bottom of the matter because CIA officials and the CIA director were lying to the congressional committee.

Forty-five years after the revelations of the Church Committee, it seems US intelligence agencies are still engaging in covert and improper conduct.

When US intelligence agencies and the CIA plot to influence the affairs of foreign nations, when the CIA plots assassinations and assassinates foreign leaders and political dissidents, when the CIA develops new ways to kill and assassinate and interrogate and torture, and when the CIA keeps all that from Congress, the press, and the public, that's a government conspiracy.

* * *

If these five instances of government engaging in conspiracies have been proven to be true -- and they have been -- isn't it logical to assume that government agencies may have engaged in other conspiracies? It is the very nature of intelligence agencies and militaries to act in secretive, conspiratorial ways.

The phrase "conspiracy theory" shouldn't have a negative connotation. Politics always plays out with backroom handshakes. It is the suggestion of American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups that government agencies and officials and the special interests that influence them are often engaging in conspiratorial actions, and that conspiracies have been behind some of the most iconic and important events of American history.

A conspiracy theorist was regaling a friend with one conspiracy theory after another. Finally, the friend interrupted and said, "I bet I know what would happen if God Himself appeared out of the sky right now, looked down at us, and said, 'There is no conspiracy.' I bet you would look up and say, 'So the conspiracy goes higher than we thought.'"

Perhaps if the Almighty appeared to inform us that politicians and governments and government officials don't act in secretive, covert, conspiratorial ways, then we could accept that.

But when the evidence indicates otherwise .

Theories questioning if multiple people might have shot at JFK, or if interior bombs brought down the World Trade Center, or if somebody was able to rig the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections can make for dramatic, sensational storytelling.

But it is not the purpose of American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups to be sensational; the purpose of this book is to talk about "conspiracy realities" that can hopefully give us a deeper and more meaningful understanding of politics.

If elements in the intelligence agencies participated in assassinating President Kennedy, then how can the intelligence agencies be better controlled? If elements in the government allowed or caused 9/11 to happen to give us an excuse to go to war in the Middle East, then how much of the War on Terror is disinformation and propaganda?

If presidential elections can be rigged, then how can we have fairer, uncorrupted elections? If secretive influences behind the scenes, a Deep State, are controlling our social, political, and financial systems for their own selfish purposes, then it would benefit us to expose who and what these secretive influences are.

American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups may give us a glimpse into the way that government and politics work.

Or don't work.

* * *

This is an extract from American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups , by Douglas Cirignano published by Simon&Schuster . It can be purchased in hard copy, digital and audio-book form through Amazon and other booksellers.

[Nov 04, 2019] Why the large part of the US elite wants to depose Trump

Nov 04, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.05.19 at 1:14 am (no link)

likbez 11.04.19 at 5:13 pm @90

Lee A. Arnold 11.04.19 at 1:10 pm

So the next question is, WHY did they hate Trump at that time?

That's the key question and I do not have an answer to it.

One, not very convincing hypothesis that tries to explain this strange situation was proposed by Prof. Harry Targ:
https://mronline.org/2019/10/23/united-states-foreign-policy-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow/

The dispute was not over whether the United States should continue to pursue empire but rather how to continue to achieve it. The debates were occasioned by the rise of the countries of the Global South, the societally wrenching experience of the Vietnam War, the growth of power and influence of the former Soviet Union, and since its collapse, the emergence of China as a new global economic, political and military power. In addition, the new international economy was becoming more global, that is to say more interconnected. Debates about strategy, tactics, surfaced between the neoliberal globalists who emphasized so-called free trade, financial speculation, and the promotion of a neoliberal agenda that advocated for the privatization of all public activities by states and the development of austerity policies that would shift wealth from the many to the few. The international debt system would be the vehicle for pressuring poor and rich countries to transform their own economic agendas. This faction dominated United States foreign policy making for generations, particularly from Reagan to Clinton to Obama. In political/military terms, they have sought to push back challengers to neoliberal capitalism: Russia, China, populist Latin American countries, and they have advocated advancing US economic interests in Asia and Africa. Many of the institutions of the neoliberal globalists, sometimes called the "deep state" include the CIA, NSA, and other security agencies.

In the analysis of Prof. Targ article in https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/11/the-empire-trump-and-intra-ruling-class-conflict/ they characterize Trump faction of the US elite the following way:

On the other hand, as Targ explains, are the Trumpian, "America First" nationalist capitalists. This faction of the ruling class, while also supporting global dominance and a permanent war economy (military-related spending will consume 48 percent of the 2020 federal budget) favors trade restrictions, economic nationalism, building walls and anti-immigrant policies.

Although Trump is inconsistent, bumbling and sometimes contradictory, he's departed from the neocon's agenda by making overtures to North Korea and Russia, voicing doubts about NATO as an expensive relic from the past that is being dangerously misused outside of Europe, not being afraid to speak bluntly to EU allies, frequently mentioning ending our "endless, ridiculous and costly wars," asserting that the U.S. is badly overextended and saying "The job of our military is not to police the world."

I would add that Trump is also an "American exceptionalist" but ascribes a very different provincial meaning to the term, something closer to a crabbed provincialism, an insular "Shining City on a Hill," surrounded by a moat.

[Nov 04, 2019] Dershowitz Weaponizing Impeachment Against Political Opponents

Nov 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Dershowitz: Weaponizing Impeachment Against Political Opponents by Tyler Durden Mon, 11/04/2019 - 13:19 0 SHARES Authored by Alan Dershowtiz via The Gatestone Institute,

The constitutional power to impeach a duly elected president was intended by the Framers of the Constitution as a neutral, non-partisan tool of last resort to be used against only criminal incumbents in extreme cases. It is now being deployed as a partisan weapon that can be used routinely against presidents of a different party from those who control the House of Representatives.

Under the views of some members of Congress, any time the House is controlled by one party, a simple majority can properly vote to impeach. As Congresswoman Maxine Waters put it :

"Impeachment is about whatever the Congress says it is. There is no law."

She is wrong. The Constitution is the law and she is not above it.

The recent partisan misuse of this emergency power began with the impeachment of former President William Jefferson Clinton by the Republican-controlled House in 1998. Clinton did not commit an impeachable offense, even if he feloniously lied under oath about his sex life. Such perjury, if it occurred, would satisfy the definition of a "crime," but not meet the required Constitutional criteria of a "high crime and misdemeanor." If President Clinton committed a crime, it would be a low crime related to his sex life and comparable to the low felonies -- adultery and paying off an extortionist -- committed by Alexander Hamilton when he was Secretary of the Treasury. Had Hamilton payed the extortionist from Treasury funds, as he was falsely accused of doing, he would have been guilty of an impeachable high crime.

To be impeached, a president must commit a crime (misdemeanor is a species of crime) and the commission of that crime must also constitute an abuse of office. An abuse of office without an underlying crime is a political sin, but not an impeachable offense.

This very issue was debated at the Constitutional Convention, where one delegate proposed "maladministration" as the criteria for impeachment and removal of a president. James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, strongly objected on the ground that so vague and open-ended a criterion would have the president serve at the will of Congress and turn us from a Republic with a strong president into a parliamentary democracy in which the chief executive can be removed by a simple vote of no confidence. Instead, the Convention adopted strict prerequisites for impeachment: treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. The House is no more empowered to substitute its own criteria for those enumerated in the Constitution than the Senate would be to change the 2/3 vote requirement for removal to a simple majority or a 3/5 super majority. Congress is not above the law. It is bound by what the Framers accepted and cannot now apply the criterion the framers explicitly rejected.

Those who characterize the impeachment and removal process as completely political are wrong as a matter of constitutional law, even if they are right in describing the reality of how it is being currently misused. Advocates of this view misquote Hamilton in Federalist #65.

Hamilton did characterize the criteria for impeachment as "political," but only in the sense that they relate to "injuries done immediately to the society itself." He then immediately rejected the view that the process should be partisan, based on "the comparative strength of parties," rather than on "the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt." He called that the "greatest danger" and demanded "neutrality toward those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny." Those who misquote and misunderstand Hamilton wrongly conflate the words "political," by which he meant governmental, and "partisan, " by which he meant related to the comparative strength of parties and factions.

It is difficult to imagine a greater breach of Hamilton's principles than the recent House vote along party lines (with two exceptions, both opposing impeachment) to open a formal impeachment investigation against President Trump. The vote was determined exclusively by the "comparative strength of parties," as was the vote to impeach President Bill Clinton two decades ago.

A partisan House vote to impeach President Trump, followed by a partisan Senate vote to acquit him, would not only hurt the Democratic Party -- as the votes in the Clinton case hurt the Republican Party -- it would damage our constitution and further polarize our already divided nation.

Most important, misusing the impeachment power in a partisan manner would pose, in the words of Hamilton, "the greatest danger" to our Constitution.

[Nov 04, 2019] Attorneys Admit 'Whistleblower' Had Contacts With Other Presidential Candidates

Nov 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Attorneys Admit 'Whistleblower' Had Contacts With Other Presidential Candidates by Tyler Durden Mon, 11/04/2019 - 11:40 0 SHARES President Trump has continued to his attacks on the Democrats' "impeachment resolution" proceedings, and in particular the so-called 'whistleblower' and the irrelevance of his (or her) thoughts and feelings...

" What I said on the phone call with the Ukrainian President is "perfectly" stated. There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning. This is just another Democrat Hoax that I have had to live with from the day I got elected (and before!). Disgraceful!"

" The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable! Where is the 2nd Whistleblower? He disappeared after I released the transcript. Does he even exist? Where is the informant? Con!"

And, interestingly, this follows a statement from the attorneys representing the whistleblower acknoweledging that their client "has come into contact with presidential candidates from both parties."

This is the full statement :

In light of the ongoing efforts to mischaracterize whistleblower #1's alleged "bias" in order to detract from the substance of the complaint, we will attempt to clarify some facts.

First , our client has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign, or party.

Second , our client has spent their entire government career in apolitical, civil servant positions in the Executive Branch.

Third , in these positions our client has come into contact with presidential candidates from both parties in their roles as elected officials – not as candidates.

Fourth , the whistleblower voluntarily provided relevant career information to the ICIG in order to facilitate an assessment of the credibility of the complaint.

Fifth , as a result, the ICIG concluded – as is well known – that the complaint was both urgent and credible.

Finally , the whistleblower is not the story.

To date, virtually every substantive allegation has been confirmed by other sources. For that reason the identity of the whistleblower is irrelevant.

* * *

Except the motivations of the whistleblower are relevant, as Dan Bongino noted on Fox this morning:

" There is no Whistleblower. There is someone with an agenda against Donald Trump. What he was blowing the whistle on didn't happen. We have the transcript of the call. This is all a farce and no Republican should forget that."

[Nov 04, 2019] Ukrainegate, or the Coup Against President Donald Trump -- Phase Three (Part I)

Oct 31, 2019 | larouchepac.com
PDF icon 20191031-ukrainegate.pdf by Barbara Boyd, barbara@lpac-organizers.com - Be the first to be notified when we release the next parts, text sc20 to (202)609-8371 - text stop to leave at anytime. Part 2 is now available.

A parade of Washington's unelected diplomatic elite has been appearing before the House Intelligence Committee in a tiny room in the House basement, a SCIF (sensitive compartmented information facility), walled off from the world by a blanket of electronic security to enforce absolute, total secrecy. There, in a proceeding reminding most of the British Star Chamber, they are making claims against a man they hate, a man whom the voters elected in 2016 to throw them all out of any power whatsoever over the nation -- the President of the United States. Here is how America voted.

Here is a map of US counties, colored red and blue to indicate Republican and Democratic majorities respectively. Source: personal.umich.edu

They are claiming that President Trump withheld necessary military aid for Ukraine in exchange for a promise by the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden and his cocaine-addled son, Hunter. This is the so-called "impeachment inquiry" which follows two previous impeachment campaigns in sequence, launched by the Democrats and the Anglo-American defense and intelligence establishment on the day Donald Trump won the election.

In this brief we will show you that Donald Trump should have withheld military aid from the Ukrainians, but for a reason different than that stated. And, we will demonstrate that Joe Biden should be investigated, for supervising a coup, led by neo-Nazis in Ukraine, which has collapsed that country. Thousands have been killed or fled the country. Many of the foreign policy mandarins now testifying against Trump were Biden's managers of that horrific crime, and other similar crimes, which have created America's "forever" wars.

Joe Biden otherwise played a key role as Obama's Vice President in the 2016-2017 illegalities against candidate and President-elect Donald Trump, actively joining a small group of "principals" (John Brennan, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, James Clapper, Jim Comey) discussing and implementing the intelligence feed for a propaganda campaign intended to defeat Trump by smearing him as a Russian agent. These conversations included Susan Rice, Avril Haines, and Lisa Monaco from the White House side, in addition to Joe Biden. Biden also played a significant role in the attempted coverup of the White House's direct role in the 2016 foreign interference operation against Donald Trump.

After the string of illegalities against Trump, which continued through his firing of FBI Director James Comey, and after the brutal Robert Mueller inquisition , which destroyed many lives but came up empty as to any crimes by the President, we have now entered phase three of the coup against the President. As Congressman Al Green (D-TX) and even Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have admitted: impeachment now is necessary because, without it, Trump will win a second term. The same sentiment was pronounced by the British House of Lords in their 2018 "UK Foreign Policy in a Shifting World Order," in an order to their American satrapy: a second Trump term must not happen.

Everyone who has appeared before the House Intelligence Committee so far, is up to their ears in U.S./British regime-change operations, particularly the one conducted by the Obama Administration in 2013-2014 in Ukraine, where Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland engineered regime change on Russia's border, using Neo-Nazis as muscle, and creating a post-coup vassal-state which included the very same Neo-Nazis as government officials. Joe Biden, who served as the Obama Administration's "point man" on Ukraine, and Biden's State Department, National Endowment for Democracy, and Atlantic Council buddies misnamed their atrocity, the "Revolution of Dignity." Victoria Nuland, the case officer with Joe Biden for the coup, says the United States spent $5 billion dollars in creating this fiasco. Her figures do not include substantial funds delivered by the British government and NATO, along with George Soros and other privateers.

Show Nuland and Biden's Nazi's in Ukraine

The post-coup government was a coalition government of the Svoboda (neo-Nazi and fascist) Party and the Fatherland Party led by the corrupt former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko was a U.S./British asset. This coalition of parties filled government posts, contrary to the Ukrainian Constitution and declared war on the citizens in the Eastern part of the country.

Dmytro Yarosh became leader in 2007 of Tryzub (Stepan Bandera Trident) and then head of the Right Sector in November 2013, the Stepan Bandera Trident being the basis of the Right Sector. Earlier, on July 17, 2013, at the Tryzub training camp, he made a speech calling for a national revolution in Ukraine, and an end to the "Russian Empire." After the February 2014 coup, elements of the Right Sector came to be absorbed into various quasi-official military battalions, like the Azov Battalion, in the National Guard of Ukraine.

Andriy Parubiy founded the Ukrainian Patriot (UP) youth group in 1999, and the Svoboda Party, whose name and symbols were taken directly from the Nazis. In 2016, using his street cred for leading the neo-Nazis who were the muscle for the violent actions in the Maiden, Parubiy became chairman of Ukraine's Parliament. In the immediate post-coup government he was Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council.

Yuriy Lutsenko was founder of the government-overthrow movement called TUR (Third Ukrainian Re-public) which cited, as its heritage two earlier Ukrainian republics as, first, that of 1917, and second, the 1941 Hitlerite Bandera-Stetsko Ukrainian State. Yaroslav Stetsko was Bandera's deputy, and the declared head of the 1941 state; his widow Slava Stetsko, continued his work. After playing a major role in the Maiden coup, Lutsenko became, until recently, prosecutor General under Petro Poroshenko.

Oleksandr Turchynov , a parliamentarian for the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) Party, was Speaker of the Rada, and was unconstitutionally installed as Acting President on Feb. 26, 2014, after the Feb. 18-22 coup, by a coalition government of the Svoboda (Neo-Nazi) and Fatherland parties. Today, Turchynov is Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

Arseniy "Yats" Yatsenyuk , former Economics Minister committed to imposing the IMF's austerity looting policy through the EU Association Agreement, then became a parliamentarian for the Batkivshchyna Party, was unconstitutionally in-stalled on Feb. 26, 2014, as Prime Minister by the Batkivshchyna/Right Sector coalition. He held the position until April 2016. He is now Mayor of Kiev.

Oleh Tyahnybok was a parliamentarian for the Right Sector, regards Russia as Ukraine's biggest threat. Collaborated closely with John McCain, Victoria Nuland, and other leading U.S. officials on the on the U.S.-lead coup in Ukraine.

There is a direct line between Stefan Bandera and the key U.S. operatives in the coup. Nadia Diuk , who case officered the coup from the National Endowment for Democracy here, cut her teeth at Prolog Research as a young Ukrainian émigré in London in 1984. Prolog Research was the CIA front group of Mykola Lebed.

Like other regime-change wars, most prominently Iraq, this one installed a government of colonial administrators, and resulted in a perfectly predictable, violent insurgency from those sections of Ukraine that would never agree to an occupation government, particularly after being attacked by the coup's "Right Sector" neo-Nazis. In Ukraine, this insurgency involved the Russian-speaking population of Eastern Ukraine, the Donbass, where, after the coup, the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk declared themselves autonomous Republics. There is plenty of evidence that the insurgency was provoked to facilitate a full-scale ethnic cleansing of this asset-rich area which formerly housed that nation's manufacturing capacity and skilled workforce.

March in Kiev on anniversary of the birthday of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera (depicted on flag), January 2015, Photo: All-Ukrainian Union

The conflict in the Donbass has killed over 13,000 people to date. And the coup resulted in the further disintegration of Ukraine into Europe's poorest country. The operation replaced one set of corrupt oligarchs who stole the country's riches after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but were considered "soft" on Russia, with a different set of oligarchs who have voiced a desire to go to war with Russia, while continuing the stealing.

Biden, Ukraine, and Burisma

This is the context for the real Joe Biden corruption story in Ukraine and his son's estimated $3 million dollar haul from one of the largest and most corrupt Ukrainian gas and oil companies: Burisma . This is a story about the obsession of Joe Biden and others who went out to cripple Russia's economy by shutting down the gas transit lines that pass from Russia, through Ukraine, to Europe, while supplying Ukraine through Western oil companies shepherded into the country by Biden, along with a scheme for fracking in the war-torn Donbass. They pursued this while overtly threatening Russia with nuclear war, facilitated by their new vassal state, Ukraine, on Russia's border -- placing the entire world in jeopardy by their madness. To accomplish his gas gambit, Biden had to capture Burisma.

Then Vice President Joe Biden with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Secretary of State John Kerry, Ambassador Victoria Nuland, and others in a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on February 7, 2015.

Many of the British and American intelligence operatives who accomplished the Ukraine "regime change" in 2014, turned their attention, in 2016, to destroying the political candidacy of Donald Trump, smearing him as a Manchurian candidate because he publicly stated a desire for better relations with Russia.

When Rudy Giuliani started to investigate Kiev's role in the illegal 2016 attempt to defeat Donald Trump, he touched a "third rail" of British and American intelligence, one that goes all the way back to British and American adoption and support of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) led by Stepan Bandera and Mykola Lebed. Bandera was an MI-6 agent, Lebed became CIA. Earlier, during World War II, in collaboration with the Nazis, they slaughtered thousands of Poles and Jews -- all in the name of defeating Russia. The Right Sector groups used by Joe Biden for the coup and subsequently installed in the government, idolize Stepan Bandera.

Now that Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham have, as anticipated, undertaken a full criminal investigation of the U.S., British and other intelligence figures who led the 2016-2017 effort to defeat Donald Trump and subvert his presidency, the Ukrainian aspect of this operation has become a very, very hot potato.

The appearance of the bogus Ukraine-aid "whistleblower" -- himself, we now know, a CIA agent, expert in Ukraine, who previously worked with Joe Biden in the Obama White House -- represents an effort to block this story from serious investigation at all costs. It also aims to delegitimize the entire Barr/Durham criminal investigation, as well as the imminent report of the Justice Department's Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Both DOJ investigations center on illegalities in the first stage of the coup against Trump, prior to Mueller's appointment as Special Counsel. And, most important, the bogus impeachment "inquiry" is yet another full-spectrum information-warfare operation, using the media, fed by cascading, 24/7 bogus headlines and leaks from the intelligence community and the Democrats in Congress, to tank the President's standing with the American people and either impeach him or defeat him in 2020.

The Present Charade

We now know that the bogus whistleblower worked, covertly, with Congressman Adam Schiff's staff to launder leaks about the President's July 25th phone call with incoming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, into a new bogus narrative about the President. This whistleblower is represented by a law firm that has actively sought whistleblowers from the intelligence agencies against the President, posting leaflets and billboard ads outside the agencies and offering to cover any and all expenses.

Paul Sperry, in an October 30th article at Real Clear Investigations , states that everyone in Washington and the national news media "knows" that the bogus whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella. If true, it only highlights the scandal embodied in the sham impeachment proceedings being run by the Democrats, it is the equivalent of a hand grenade. Ciaramella worked in the Obama White House with Susan Rice, John Brennan and Joe Biden on Ukraine. He also worked with Alexandra Chalupa, who ran Ukraine's illegal 2016 election interference in the United States on behalf of Hillary Clinton. According to a former NSC official, he got caught leaking to the media as an Obama holdover at the NSC under Trump, where he chaired the Ukraine desk. His leaks framed the totally bogus narrative that Putin caused the firing of James Comey by Trump. Rather than being fired,
Ciaramella returned to the CIA and his close friends, according to Sperry's story, joined Adam Schiff's House Intelligence Committee, a most convenient setup.

The bogus whistleblower was also assisted by a new Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, who dubbed this bogus complaint "credible" and "urgent." Atkinson migrated from the leadership of the National Security Division of the Justice Department -- a central control point in Phases 1 and 2 of the coup -- to the IG post, and promptly rewrote the rules so that whistleblower complaints could be based on total hearsay and gossip, rather than first-hand knowledge. In Atkinson's January 2019 confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner (D-VA) charged him with a mission of protecting whistleblowers first and foremost. This was most strange coming from a committee that has repeatedly acquiesced in the destruction of actual whistleblowers such as Tom Drake, Bill Binney, Jeff Sterling, and Julian Assange. It suggests that a new "insurance policy" was being worked on already by the higher echelons of the intelligence community and the most corrupted committee in the Senate.

Surprise: the Transcript

To the surprise of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the coup's strategists, the President released the actual transcript of his July 25th phone conversation with President Zelensky, which, in any reasonable culture, should have ended the entire affair. The bogus whistleblower's gossip was proven demonstrably false by the transcript. Washington, D.C. is not, presently, such a culture.

In the call, President Trump congratulated Zelensky on his victory in the parliamentary elections, and Zelensky promptly announced that he would be reforming his government to clean up its legendary and horrific corruption. The President and Zelensky discussed the fact that the United States is shouldering the burden of support for Ukraine, while Germany and other European countries, which have the most immediate strategic interest, are not contributing enough.

In the portion of the call the Democrats are trying to make an impeachable crime, President Trump said he was concerned about Ukraine's intervention into the 2016 U.S. election on behalf of Hillary Clinton and expressed concern that Zelensky is surrounded by some of the same people who conducted those activities. Trump asked whether the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server examined by CrowdStrike is in the possession of a Ukrainian oligarch. He asks Zelensky to work with Attorney General Barr, who is conducting the investigation into the 2016 presidential election illegalities. He characterizes this request to investigate possible Ukrainian illegalities in the 2016 election, and to speak with Attorney General Barr, as doing him (Trump) a "favor."

The "favor," it is clear, had nothing to do with the 2020 elections or asking Ukraine to "attack" Democrats and Joe Biden, as repeatedly mischaracterized by Democrats and the bogus whistleblower. Instead, it had to do with investigating the ongoing coup in the United States which threatens this nation's very existence .

It is Zelensky who brings up Rudy Giuliani, the President's lawyer, who has been conducting his own investigation of Ukraine's interference on behalf of Hillary Clinton since January of 2019. The President then says that he had heard that a very good prosecutor in Ukraine was shut down by some very bad people, and that the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was bad news, as were the people she was dealing with. The President then relates that Joe Biden bragged about stopping the prosecution of Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden sat on the Board. He says that whatever Zelensky can tell Attorney General Barr about this would be great. Zelensky responds that Marie Yovanovitch was a bad ambassador as she admired Petro Poroshenko, the previous President, and refused to accept Zelensky's election.

That's it. There was absolutely nothing illegal or wrong here, despite the hair-on-fire headlines fulminated daily by the news media and Adam Schiff -- the same "walls closing in" nonsense that occurred daily during Russiagate. There is no reference to, "if you do this, I'll do that." In fact, the Ukrainians were not even aware that the lethal military aid they were expecting had been placed on temporary hold.

Unfortunately, the President, after the call, approved the lethal military aid to Ukraine which Congress' war-mongers had ordered up in their continuing destructive madness about "Russia, Russia, Russia." The aid was issued without any requirement whatsoever that Ukraine produce anything to meet President Trump's concerns about 2016 election interference or the corruption surrounding Burisma and/or Joe Biden. The aid was issued without any real guarantees in place to ensure that lethal weaponry would not be put in the hands of the various Neo-Nazis integrated into Ukraine's National Guard and militias, and who are now arrayed against President Zelensky himself, charging that his effort to settle the war in the Donbass is a sell-out to Russia.

Now if the President and his supporters choose to tell the real and whole truth to the American people about what the Ukraine issue is really all about, the impeachers, so desperate to block this from coming to light, will have hoisted themselves on their own petard in true Shakespearian fashion, in the best boomerang imaginable. That story, the real story about Joe Biden, Ukraine corruption, and the Ukrainian role in the effort to fix the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton, is what we will set forth, in summary fashion, in what follows.

[Nov 04, 2019] Ciaramella (if it was he) probably was a Brennan spy in the West Wing, which Peter Strzok and Lisa Page named "Charlie" That created a huge problem for impeachment.

Nov 04, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.04.19 at 7:03 am (no link)

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Lee A. Arnold 11.03.19 at 7:19 pm

Then the Ukraine whistleblower story broke in September

The problem here is that the person in question does not fit well the definition of "whistleblower" unless you want to change the meaning of this word.

A more plausible hypothesis is that Ciaramella (if it was he) was a Brennan spy in the West Wing, which former key FBI Russaigaters Peter Strzok and Lisa Page named "Charlie".

And now evidence emerges that "former CIA Director John Brennan reportedly created and staffed a CIA Task Force in early 2016 that was named, Trump Task Force, and given the mission of spying on and carrying out covert actions against the campaign of candidate Donald Trump." https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/11/growing-indicators-of-brennans-cia-trump-task-force-by-larry-c-johnson.html#comments

If