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Demonization of Putin

Reuters/David W Cerny

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Pathological Russophobia of the US elite

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Europe has manufactured an artificial "Russian enemy"
 in order to create an artificial "European identity"

Guy Mettan

Demonization of Putin is integral part of policy of the US and British elite toward Russia, designed to weaken, and, if possible, dismember the Russian state. It is also an instrument of increasing national unity by creating a demonized external enemy.

Russophobia of the US elite should be understood in the context of Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism as Russia represent an obstacle for complete domination of the globe by the US neoliberal empire. Nothing personal here, just business. Recent statements by Putin made at Valday club in Sochi (October 24, 2014) also do not produce any love to Putin from the global and first of all the USA neoliberal elite as well as London-based financial oligarchy. Not accidentally for both the US and GB elite Putin is a "Great Satan".

Like anti-Semitism, Russophobia is based on standard mechanism of Demonization (Wikipedia):

In colloquial usage, the term demonization is used metaphorically to refer to propaganda directed on delitimization of particular individual or group.

Delegitimization is the psychological process which undermines or marginalizes an individual or entity by presenting value judgments as facts which are construed to devalue legitimacy. The ultimate goal of justifying harm or war.

The concept applies to a wide spectrum of social contexts but generally means categorization of individual or groups into extreme social categories which are ultimately excluded from society. Delegitimization provides the moral and the discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways.

It is related to stereotyping in a sense that it leads to prejudice when people emotionally react to the name of the person, ascribe evil intention and characteristic to the person or group without evaluating objective evidence.

As always in such cases three-letter agencies are in the vanguard of such complains (Is the CIA Running a Defamation Campaign Against Putin - Russia Insider)

A major topic in the Russian media is mystification with how Putin is portrayed in the Western media. Wildly popular at home, and seen as a decent, modest, an admirable person, and Russians don't understand how there can be such a disconnect with Western impressions.

Recently, leading Russian commentators and politicians have been suggesting that this can only be explained by a deliberate campaign to defame Putin, by governments or other groups.

Yesterday, at a briefing to foreign journalists, Sergey Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff, arguably the 2nd most powerful man in Russia, spoke of an "information war" consisting of "personal attacks" on Putin.

The western media hit a new low...
>The day before another member of Putin's inner circle, Vyasheslav Volodin, made similar remarks, telling foreign journalists "an attack on Putin is an attack on Russia."

The logic, they argue, is that by defaming the leader of a country, you weaken his power domestically by undermining popular support for him, and internationally, by rallying popular opinion to support policies against that country. The ultimate goal, they argue, is to weaken the country itself. They also talk about regime change.

They argue that if one looks at the facts, that there is evidence of ongoing character assassination which cannot be explained by a vague popular zeitgeist in the West, but is more likely the result of a dedicated effort to introduce this defamation into the news flow.

Newsweek has been one of the most virulent Putin-bashers for years

The issue of manipulation of news by intelligence services has been in the news recently with revelations that the CIA and German Secret Service (GSS) have long-running programs to influence how media executives and top journalists convey and interpret the news, including direct cash payments.

Here are some examples they point to:

RI sat down with The Saker, a leading analyst of Russia in international affairs, and asked him what he thinks:

So, is there any credence to this line of thinking, or is this conspiracy theorists running wild?

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the US is waging a major psyop war against Russia, although not a shooting war, for now, and that what we are seeing is a targeted campaign to discredit Putin and achieve "regime change" in Russia or, should that fail, at the very least "regime weakening" and "Russia weakening".

And the Economist has been the very worst of them all...

So this is a US government program?

Yes, Putin is absolutely hated by certain factions in the US government two main reasons:

1. He partially, but not fully, restored Russia's sovereignty which under Gorbachev and Yeltsin had been totally lost … Russia then was a US colony like Ukraine is today … and,

2. He dared to openly defy the USA and its civilizational model.

… a free and sovereign Russia is perceived by the US "deep state" as an existential threat which has to be crushed. … this is a full-scale political assault on Russia and Putin personally.

So what the Russians are saying, that the constant personal attacks against Putin in the global media are partly the result of deliberate efforts by US intelligence services, … basically, planted stories…

Yes, absolutely

It seems like “Operation Mockingbird” all over again… Are you aware of other instances aimed at Putin?

(Editors Note: Operation Mockingbird was a CIA program started in the 1950s to influence the US media, which was gradually exposed by investigative journalists starting in the late 60s, culminating in sensational televised congressional hearings in 1975 which shocked the nation, forcing the program’s termination. Critics maintain that the same tactics have continued since, under different programs. Wikipedia)

Yes, of course. Since this defamation has very little traction with the Russian public … Putin's popularity is higher than ever before .., there is an organized campaign to convince them that Putin is "selling out" Novorussia, that he is a puppet of oligarchs who are making deals with Ukrainian oligarchs to back-stab the Novorussian resistance…

… So far, Putin's policies in the Ukraine have enjoyed very strong support from the Russian people who still oppose an overt military intervention…

… but if Kiev attacks Novorussia again - which appears very likely - and if such an attack is successful - which is less likely but always possible - then Putin will be blamed for having given the Ukrainians the time to regroup and reorganize.

Warm and fuzzy...

So you are saying that if the Ukrainian military strengthens its position enough to deliver a serious blow to the East Ukrainians, the US can use this as a method to strike at Putin’s support base…

Yes, that’s right ... there are a lot of "fake patriots" in Russia and abroad who will reject any negotiated solution and who will present any compromise as a "betrayal". They are the "useful idiots" used by western special services to smear and undermine Putin.

Is it limited to government special ops, or are there other groups who might have an interest in doing this?

Yes, well here is something that most people in the west don’t appreciate… there is a major behind-the scenes struggle among Russian elites between what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" (basically, those who support Putin) and what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (those whom Putin refers to as the "5th column).

The western media talks about this as the struggle between Russian liberals and conservatives, reformers and reactionaries, right?

Well its sort of like that, but not exactly…

The former see Russia's future in the Russian North and East and want to turn Russia towards Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world, while the latter want Russia to become part of the "North Atlantic" power configuration.

The Atlantic Integrationists are now too weak to openly challenge Putin - whose real power base is his immense popular support - but they are quietly sabotaging his efforts to reform Russia while supporting anti-Putin campaigns.

Regarding the revelations of CIA activities in Germany, do you think this is going on in other countries, in the US?

I am sure that this is happening in most countries worldwide. The very nature of the modern corporate media is such that it makes journalists corrupt.

As the French philosopher Alain Soral says "nowadays a reporter is either unemployed or a prostitute". There are, of course, a few exceptions, but by and large this is true.

This is not to say that most journalists are on the take. In the West this is mostly done in a more subtle way - by making it clear which ideas do or do not pass the editorial control, by lavishly rewarding those journalists who 'get it' and by quietly turning away those who don't.

If a journalist or reporter commits the crime of "crimethink" he or she will be sidelined and soon out of work.

There is no real pluralism in the West where the boundaries of what can be said or not are very strictly fixed.

Ok, but is it like what has been revealed in Germany, …similar specific operational programs in France, the UK, Italy, Latin America, etc.

Yes, one has to assume so – it is in their interests to have them and there is no reason for them not to.

As for the CIA, it de-facto controls enough of the corporate media to "set the tone". As somebody who in the past used to read the Soviet press for a living, I can sincerely say that it was far more honest and more pluralistic than the press in the USA or EU today.

Joseph Goebbels or Edward Bernays could not have imagined the degree of sophistication of modern propaganda machines.

If the US is doing it, can't one assume other governments are too? Are the Russians doing it against western leaders?

I think that all governments try to do that kind of stuff. However, what makes the US so unique it a combination of truly phenomenal arrogance and multi-billion dollar budgets.

The US "deep state" owns the western corporate media which is by far the most powerful media on the planet. Most governments can only do that inside their own country ... to smear a political opponent or discredit a public figure, but they simply do not have the resources to mount an international strategic psyop campaign. This is something only the US can do.

So foreign governments are at a great disadvantage in this arena vis-a-vis the US?

Absolutely.

Quotes from Putin speech and answers to the questions at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

 


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[Jul 20, 2018] Habakkuk on metadata

Notable quotes:
"... There is a pattern of abuse of formerly well regarded institutions to achieve the propaganda aims of the Deep State establishment. The depths that were plumbed to push the Iraq WMD falsehoods are well known. Yet no one was held to account nor was there any honest accounting of the abuse. There have been pretenses like the Owen inquiry that you note. ..."
"... It seems that we are marching towards a credibility crisis similar to what was experienced in the Soviet Union when no one trusted the contents in Pravda. ..."
"... What is to be gained by the leadership in Britain in promoting these biological weapons cases since Litvinenko? In the US it is quite apparent that the Deep State have become extremely powerful and the likelihood that Trump recognizes that resistance is futile is very high. Schumer may be proven right that they have six ways from Sunday to make you kowtow to their dictats. ..."
"... I agree that taken by itself, the Dzerzinsky thing would be an anomaly only and could be dismissed as "black humor" of a kind often found in hackers. However, taken with all the other evidence produced by Adam Carter, it becomes much more obviously an attempt to support a false flag "Russian hacker" narrative that otherwise is porous. ..."
"... You want us to believe that the GRU are so sloppy and so inexperienced that they would launch a hack on the DNC and not take every measure to ensure there was no link whatsoever to anything Russian? Any former intel officer worth a damn knows that an operation to disrupt the election in a country the size of the United States would start with a risk/reward assessment, would require a team of at least 100 persons and would not be writing any code that could in any way be traced to Russia. ..."
"... Doctrine-mongering and repeating birth of new faux-academic "entities", such as a "hybrid war" (any war is hybrid by definition), is a distinct feature of the Western "political science-military history" establishment. Galeotti, who for some strange reason passes as Russia "expert" is a perfect example of such "expertise" and doctrine-mongering. Military professionals largely met this "hybrid warfare" BS with disdain. ..."
"... I have to say that the more I look into this whole Russiagate affair, which is mostly in the minds of democrats (and a few republicans) and the MSM, the more it seems that there is indeed a foreign conspiracy to meddle in the internal affairs of the US (and in the presidential elections) but the meddling entity is not Russia. It is the British! ..."
"... So many (ex-) MI6 operators (Steele, Tait, etc) involved in the story. It is interesting that the media don't question the intense involvement of the British in all this. And of course, the British haven't been laggards in adding fuel to the fire by the whole novichok hoax. ..."
Jul 20, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

As some commenters on SST seem still to have difficulty grasping that the presence of 'metadata' alluding to 'Iron Felix' in the 'Guccifer 2.0' material is strong evidence that the GRU were being framed over a leak, rather than that they were responsible for a hack, an update on the British end of the conspiracy seems in order.

If you look at the 'Lawfare' blog, in which a key figure is James Comey's crony Benjamin Wittes, you will find a long piece published last Friday, entitled 'Russia Indictment 2.0: What to Make of Mueller's Hacking Indictment.'

Among the authors, in addition to Wittes himself, is the sometime GCHQ employee Matt Tait. It appears that the former head of that organisation, the Blairite 'trusty' Robert Hannigan, who must know where a good few skeletons are buried, is a figure of some moment in the conspiracy.

(See https://www.lawfareblog.com... .)

It was Matt Tait who, using the 'Twitter' handle @pwnallthethings, identified the name and patronymic of Dzerzhinsky in the 'metadata' of the 'Guccifer 2.0' material on 15 June 2016, the day after Ellen Nakashima first disseminated the BS from 'CrowdStrike' in the 'WP.'

The story was picked up the following day in a report on the 'Ars Technica' site, and Tait's own account appeared on the 'Lawfare' site, to which he has been a regular contributor, on 28 July.

(See https://arstechnica.com/inf... ; https://www.lawfareblog.com... .)

According to the CV provided in conjunction with the new article:

'Matt Tait is a senior cybersecurity fellow at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously he was CEO of Capital Alpha Security, a consultancy in the UK, worked at Google Project Zero, was a principal security consultant for iSEC Partners, and NGS Secure, and worked as an information security specialist for GCHQ.'

As I have noted before on SST, a cursory examination of records at 'Companies House' establishes that 'Capital Alpha Security', which was supposed to have provided Tait with an – independent – source of income at the time he unearthed this 'smoking gun' incriminating the GRU, never did any business at all. So, a question arises: how was Tait making ends meet at that time: busking on the London underground, perhaps?

(See https://beta.companieshouse... .)

Actually, there has been a recent update in the records. Somewhat prematurely perhaps, there is an entry dated 24 July 2018, entitled 'Final Gazette dissolved via compulsory strike-off This document is being processed and will be available in 5 days.'

The document, when available, may clarify a few loose ends, but the general picture seems clear. Last November, Tait filed 'dormant company accounts' for the company's first year in existence, up until February 2017. One can only do this if one has absolutely no revenue, and absolutely no expenditure. Not even the smallest contract to sort out malware on someone's computer, or to buy equipment for the office.

He then failed to file the 'Confirmation statement', which every company must is legally obliged to produce annually, if it is not to be struck off. This failure led to a 'First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off' in May.

It is, of course, possible that at the time Tait set up the company he was genuinely intending to try to make a go of a consultancy, and simply got sidetracked by other opportunities.

However – speaking from experience – people who have set up small 'one man band' companies to market skills learnt in large organisations, and then go back into such organisations, commonly think it worth their while to spend the minimal amount of time required to file the documentation required to keep the company alive.

If one sees any realistic prospect that one may either want to or need to go back into the big wide world again, this is the sensible course of action: particularly now when, with the internet, filing the relevant documentation takes about half an hour a year, and costs a trivial sum.

However, Tait may well anticipate that there is there will never be any call for him to go back into the big wide world, as the large organisation in which he has now found employment is part of a 'Borgist' network. So much is evident from another entry on the 'Lawfare' site:

'Bobby Chesney is the Charles I. Francis Professor in Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas School of Law. He also serves as the Director of UT-Austin's interdisciplinary research center the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. His scholarship encompasses a wide range of issues relating to national security and the law, including detention, targeting, prosecution, covert action, and the state secrets privilege; most of it is posted here. Along with Ben Wittes and Jack Goldsmith, he is one of the co-founders of the blog.'

(See https://www.lawfareblog.com... .)

Also relevant here is the fact that, rather transparently, this placing of the GRU centre stage is bound up with the attempt to suggest that there is some kind of 'Gerasimov doctrine', designed to undermine the West by 'hybrid warfare.'

Unfortunately, the original author of this claptrap, Mark Galeotti, who, I regret to say, is, like Tait, British, has now recanted and confessed. In March, he published a piece on the 'Foreign Policy' site, under the title: 'I'm Sorry for Creating the 'Gerasimov Doctrine'; I was the first to write about Russia's infamous high-tech military strategy. One small problem: it doesn't exist.'

(See https://foreignpolicy.com/2... .)

If anyone wants to grasp what the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General Valery Gerasimov, was actually saying in the crucial February 2013 article which Galeotti was discussing, and how his thinking has developed subsequently, the place to look is, as so often, the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth.

Informed discussions by Charles Bartles and Roger McDermott are at https://www.armyupress.army... ; http://www.worldinwar.eu/wp... ; and https://jamestown.org/progr... .

In relation to the ongoing attempt to frame the GRU, it is material that, in his 2013 piece, Gerasimov harks back to two pivotal figures in the arguments of the interwar years. Of these, Georgy Isserson, the Jewish doctor's son from Kaunas who became a Civil War 'political commissar' and then a key associate of Mikhail Tukhachevsky, was the great pioneer theorist of 'deep operations.'

The ideas of the other, Aleksandr Svechin, the former Tsarist 'genstabist', born in Odessa into an ethnically Russian military family, who was the key opponent of Tukhachevky and Isserson in the arguments of the 'Twenties, provided key parts of the intellectual basis of the Gorbachev-era 'new thinking.'

The 'Ars Technica' article in which Tait's claims were initially disseminated opened:

'We still don't know who he is or whether he works for the Russian government, but one thing is for sure: Guccifer 2.0 – the nom de guerre of the person claiming he hacked the Democratic National Committee and published hundreds of pages that appeared to prove it – left behind fingerprints implicating a Russian-speaking person with a nostalgia for the country's lost Soviet era.'

In his 2013 article, Gerasimov harks back to the catastrophe which overcame the Red Army in June 1941. Ironically, this was the product of the Stalinist leadership's disregard of the cautions produced not only by Svechin, but by Isserson. In regard to the latter, the article remarks that:

'The fate of this "prophet of the Fatherland" unfolded tragically. Our country paid in great quantities of blood for not listening to the conclusions of this professor of the General Staff Academy.'

As it happens, while both Svechin and Tukhachevsky were shot by the heirs of 'Felix Edmundovich', the sentence of death on Isserson was commuted, and he spent the war in prison and labour camps, while others used his ideas to devastating effect against the Germans.

Quite clearly, the 'Guccifer 2.0' persona is a crude fabrication by someone who has absolutely no understanding of, or indeed interest in, the bitter complexities of both of the history of Russia and of the 'borderlands', not only in the Soviet period but before and after.

Using this criterion as a 'filter', the obvious candidates are traditional Anglo-Saxon 'Russophobes', like Sir Richard Dearlove and Christopher Steele, or the 'insulted and injured' of the erstwhile Russian and Soviet empires, so many of them from the 'borderlands', of the type of Victoria Nuland, or the various Poles, Ukrainians and Balts and Jews who have had so much influence on American policy.

(I should note that other Jews, not only in Russia, but outside, including in Israel, think quite differently, in particular as they are very well aware, as Isserson would have been, of the extent to which 'borderlands' nationalists were enthusiastic collaborators with the Germans in the 'Final Solution'. On this, there is a large and growing academic literature.)

It is not particularly surprising that many of the victims of the Russian and Soviet empires have enjoyed seeing the tables turned, and getting their own back. But it is rather far from clear that this makes for good intelligence or sound policy. We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide .


blue peacock , 2 days ago
How does the objective truth get disclosed in an environment of extreme deceit by so many parties?

How to trust western intelligence when they have such a long and sordid track record of deceit, lies and propaganda? At the same time there is such a long history of Russian and Chinese intelligence and information operations against the west.

Then there is the nexus among the highest levels of US law enforcement and intelligence as well as political elites in both parties and key individuals in the media complex.

We are living in a hall of mirrors and it seems the trend is towards confirmation bias in information consumption.

richardstevenhack , 2 days ago
Excellent post, especially the debunking of the 'Gerasimov doctrine' which I always thought was more hand-waving and Russian mind-reading.

It's important to realize that there are a number of people in the infosec community who have biases against Russia, just as there are in the general population. Then there are more cautious people, who recognize the difficulty in attributing a hack to any specific person absent solid, incontrovertible, non-circumstantial and non-spoofable (and preferably offline) evidence.

Tait doesn't appear to be one of the latter. Thomas Rid would be another. There are others.

Jeffrey Carr is one of the latter, and his familiarity with intelligence matters is clear from his organization of the annual "Suits and Spooks" Conference. I believe he was the first to raise questions about the DNC hack which didn't pass his smell test.

There are also a number of companies in infosec who rely on latching onto a particular strain of hacker, the more publicly exploitable for PR purposes the better, as a means of keeping the company name in front of potential high-profile and highly billable clients. CrowdStrike and its Russia obsession isn't the only one that's been tagged with that propensity.

Mandiant could be referred to as the "Chinese, all the time" company, for example. Richard Bejtlich was at Fireeye and the became Chief Security Officer when they acquired Mandiant. He spent quite a bit of effort on his blog warning about the Chinese military buildup as a huge threat to the US. He's former USAF so perhaps that's not surprising.

Bottom line: Confirmation bias is a real thing.

David Blake -> richardstevenhack , 5 hours ago
One quick way to know their bias is the AC test. Google their name plus "Atlantic Council". Ridd fails badly.
Barbara Ann , 2 days ago
Glad David's comment has been reproduced as a post in its own right, this is a critically important topic. IMO Matt Tait plays the role of midwife in this conspiracy. His Twitter thread

View Hide

mlnw , 2 days ago
The Comey, Brennan, Mueller claim - indeed a central one upon which the recent indictment rests- that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian State agent that hacked the DNC- was discredited and put to rest last year by the forensics conducted by Bill Binney and his colleagues. The Guccifer 2.0 metadata was analyzed for its transmission speed, and based on the internet speeds to and from numerous test locations abroad and in the U.S., it was determined to have been impossible for the so-called Guccifer 2.0 to have hacked the DNC computers over the internet. The transmission speed however did correspond to the speed of the transfer to a thumb drive. Additionally, it was found that the data had been manipulated and split into two parts to simulate a July and a September transfer, when in fact the parts merge perfectly as single file, and where, according to Binney, the probability of the split being a coincidence would be 100 to the 50th power.

As for the crude trace fingerprints (e.g. the referencing of Dzerzinsky), one of the Wikileaks data dumps (Vault 7 Marble) during a period when Assange was negotiating with the Administration - there were two at the time (Vault 7 Marble and Vault 7 Grasshopper), the release of which apparently enraged Mike Pompeo- was designed to obfuscate, fabricate and frame countries such as Russia, Iran or North Korea by pretending to be the target country, including in the use of target's alphabet and language.

VIPs has written numerous articles on this in Consortium News. See also the report by Patrick Lawrence Smith in The Nation at: https://www.thenation.com/a... . (It was apparently so hot at the time- and disputed by several other VIPs members- that The Nation sought an independent assessment by third party, though those comments were easily addressed and dismissed in seriatim by Binney in an annex to the article.)

Binney has explained his forensic analysis and conclusions at numerous forums, and in a sit-down with Secretary Pompeo in October, 2017- though Mueller, the FBI, and mainstream and some of the alternative press seem either deaf, dumb and blind to it all, or interested in discrediting the study. The irony is, I'd venture to guess, that Binney, with his 40 years of experience, including as Technical Director and technical guru at the NSA, is, even in retirement, more sophisticated in these matters than any one at the Agency, or the FBI, or CIA, or certainly, the Congressional Intelligence Committees. So, it is astounding that any or all of them could have, but did not, invite him to testify as an expert.

Moreover, the NSA has a record of every transmission, and also would have it on backup files. And, the FBI has been sitting on Seth Rich's computer and his communications with Wikileaks, and presumably has a report that it has not released. And of course, as Trump asked in his press conference, where's the DNC server, any or all of which would put this question to rest.

A recent interview with Binney can be found at:

Play Hide
mlnw -> mlnw , 2 hours ago
The last clause of the first paragraph should have said: "according to Binney, the probability of the split being a coincidence would be one over 100 to the 50th power
Jack -> David Habakkuk , a day ago
David

There is a pattern of abuse of formerly well regarded institutions to achieve the propaganda aims of the Deep State establishment. The depths that were plumbed to push the Iraq WMD falsehoods are well known. Yet no one was held to account nor was there any honest accounting of the abuse. There have been pretenses like the Owen inquiry that you note.

We see the same situation of sweeping under the rug malfeasance and even outright criminality through obfuscation and obstruction in the case of the meddling in the 2016 election by top officials in intelligence and law enforcement. Clearly less and less people are buying what the Deep State sells despite their overwhelming control of the media channels.

It seems that we are marching towards a credibility crisis similar to what was experienced in the Soviet Union when no one trusted the contents in Pravda.

What is to be gained by the leadership in Britain in promoting these biological weapons cases since Litvinenko? In the US it is quite apparent that the Deep State have become extremely powerful and the likelihood that Trump recognizes that resistance is futile is very high. Schumer may be proven right that they have six ways from Sunday to make you kowtow to their dictats.

Fred -> Jack , a day ago
Jack,

"Yet no one was held to account"

That was one of the changes being hoped for when Obama was first elected. Instead we got little, except for things such as bailed out bankers and the IRS scandal which lasted until the end of his 2nd term. The panic from the left over the 2016 election issues the are still going on is that the expected candidate isn't in office and they are being exposed. Whether they get prosecuted is another story.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/...

TTG , a day ago
I think Matt Tait, David Habakkuk and many others are reading far more into this Dzerzinsky thing than what it warrants. The government dependent ID cards used by my family while I was working as a clandestine case officer overseas were signed by Robert Ludlum. Intelligence officers often have an odd sense of humor.

On a different note, I fully endorse David Habakkuk's recommendation of the writings of Bartles, McDermott and many others at the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth. They are top notch. I learned a lot from Tim Thomas many years ago.

richardstevenhack -> TTG , a day ago
I agree that taken by itself, the Dzerzinsky thing would be an anomaly only and could be dismissed as "black humor" of a kind often found in hackers. However, taken with all the other evidence produced by Adam Carter, it becomes much more obviously an attempt to support a false flag "Russian hacker" narrative that otherwise is porous.

I believe there is a phrase going something like "an attempt to add verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative."

Publius Tacitus -> TTG , a day ago
TTG,

You want us to believe that the GRU are so sloppy and so inexperienced that they would launch a hack on the DNC and not take every measure to ensure there was no link whatsoever to anything Russian? Any former intel officer worth a damn knows that an operation to disrupt the election in a country the size of the United States would start with a risk/reward assessment, would require a team of at least 100 persons and would not be writing any code that could in any way be traced to Russia.

smoothieX12 . , a day ago
Unfortunately, the original author of this claptrap, Mark Galeotti, who, I regret to say, is, like Tait, British, has now recanted and confessed.

Doctrine-mongering and repeating birth of new faux-academic "entities", such as a "hybrid war" (any war is hybrid by definition), is a distinct feature of the Western "political science-military history" establishment. Galeotti, who for some strange reason passes as Russia "expert" is a perfect example of such "expertise" and doctrine-mongering. Military professionals largely met this "hybrid warfare" BS with disdain.

ancient archer , a day ago
I have to say that the more I look into this whole Russiagate affair, which is mostly in the minds of democrats (and a few republicans) and the MSM, the more it seems that there is indeed a foreign conspiracy to meddle in the internal affairs of the US (and in the presidential elections) but the meddling entity is not Russia. It is the British!

So many (ex-) MI6 operators (Steele, Tait, etc) involved in the story. It is interesting that the media don't question the intense involvement of the British in all this. And of course, the British haven't been laggards in adding fuel to the fire by the whole novichok hoax.

This needs to be looked at in more detail by the alternative media and well informed commentators like the host of this site.

[Jul 20, 2018] A comment from Spooks Spooking Themselves

Notable quotes:
"... Guccifer 2.0's American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA: https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/05/guccifer-2-0s-american-fingerprints-reveal-an-operation-made-in-the-usa/ ..."
"... Sez who, ask I? Sez the trustworthy American media that would never lie to the public, sez they. You know, professional paragons of virtue like Rachel Maddow and her merry band. ..."
"... These old pols recognise a good demonizing when they see it, especially when directed at them. ..."
"... our democracy WAS hijacked, but it was NOT by the Russians. ..."
Jun 09, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , May 31, 2018 at 4:53 am

Guccifer 2.0's American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA: https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/05/guccifer-2-0s-american-fingerprints-reveal-an-operation-made-in-the-usa/

Realist , May 31, 2018 at 9:21 am

Unfortunately, what this guy says is what most Americans still seem to believe. When I ask people what is the actual hard evidence for "Russiagate" (because I don't know of any that has been corroborated), I get a response that there have been massive examples of Russian hacks, Russian posts, tweets and internet adverts–all meant to sabotage Hillary's candidacy, and very effective, mind you. Putin has been an evil genius worthy of a comic book villain (to date myself, a regular Lex Luthor). Sez who, ask I? Sez the trustworthy American media that would never lie to the public, sez they. You know, professional paragons of virtue like Rachel Maddow and her merry band.

Nobody seems aware of the recent findings about Halpern, none seem to have a realistic handle on the miniscule scope of the Russian "offenses" against American democracy. Rachel, the NY Times and WaPo have seen to that with their sins of both commission and omission. Even the Republican party is doing a half-hearted job of defending its own power base with rigorous and openly disseminated fact checking. It's like even many of the committee chairs with long seniority are reluctant to buck the conventional narrative peddled by the media. Many have chosen to retire rather than fight the media and the Deep State. What's a better interpretation of events? Or is one to believe that the silent voices, curious retirements and political heat generated by the Dems, the prosecutors and the media are all independent variables with no connections? These old pols recognise a good demonizing when they see it, especially when directed at them.

Personally, I think that not only the GOPers should be fighting like the devil to expose the truth (which should benefit them in this circumstance) but so should the media and all the watchdog agencies (ngo's) out there because our democracy WAS hijacked, but it was NOT by the Russians.

Worse than that, it was done by internal domestic enemies of the people who must be outed and punished to save the constitution and the republic, if it is not too late. All the misinformation by influential insiders and the purported purveyors of truth accompanied by the deliberate silence by those who should be chirping like birds suggests it may well be far too late.

[Jul 20, 2018] The Day That Guccifer 2.0 Quit Hacking The DNC

So the DNC announced Russia hacked them, and "proved" it with a file they say was stolen. But that file was not the DNC's. So the "proof" of Russia hacking the DNC is nonexistent.
Notable quotes:
"... they cite an anonymous former DNC official who asserts that Guccifer 2.0's first document (the Trump opposition report) did not originate in the DNC as initially reported. ..."
"... The importance of this contradiction, combined with earlier allegations of hacking the DNC made by Guccifer 2.0, cannot be overstated. ..."
"... " There were signs of dishonesty from the start. The first document Guccifer 2.0 published on June 15 came not from the DNC as advertised but from Podesta's inbox, according to a former DNC official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press." ..."
"... By classifying Guccifer 2.0's claim to have obtained the Trump Opposition Report through a breach of the DNC as a sign of dishonesty, the Associated Press uses the Guccifer 2.0 persona's widely held claim as an example of contradiction with their new version of the 'official' Russian hacking narrative. In so doing, the AP makes the hacking allegations entirely nebulous: a fantasy narrative that can be neither proven nor disproven but easily edited and rearranged when convenient. Incredibly, the AP's article also contradicts the claims made by the DNC themselves, and so-called papers of record, including the Washington Post. ..."
"... [Fancy Bear] broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files. It was this breach that set off the alarm. The hackers stole two files,[Shawn] Henry said." ..."
"... "Investigators would have been able to rapidly determine if there were textual differences between Guccifer 2.0's document and the DNC's. If there were no textual differences, an initial determination might have been difficult, because Guccifer 2.0 went to some trouble to obscure internal metadata, known as Revision Save ID's (RSID's), which can be used to uniquely identify sections of text that have been changed and added into a Word document. However, when the Podesta emails were published in October 2016, investigators should have been able to source Guccifer 2.0's document to the Podesta emails quickly. They would have been able to do this before the 2016 election, a full year ahead of the AP report." [Emphasis Added] ..."
"... Ultimately, it is the DNC's claim that they were breached by Russian hackers, who stole the Trump opposition report, which directly belies their allegation - because the document did not come from the DNC, but from John Podesta's emails. ..."
"... What is interesting here is that the AP admits that such elements of the document's publication had been fabricated, but did not then follow that realization by questioning other possibly fabricated elements of the documents, such as the Russian-language error messages. The AP certainly did not concern themselves with why a Russian state-sponsored hacker would benefit from airbrushing "confidential" onto such a report. Their claim that it was to attract media attention seems quite weak. ..."
"... AP surmised that Guccifer 2.0 "air-brush[ed]" the word "confidential" into the document to "catch the reporter's attention." Both Carter and the Forensicator have explained that Guccifer 2.0 used a complex process, involving an intermediate template document, to inject this "alluring" fake. The Forensicator told this author that they take the position that this intermediate template file (ostensibly needed to add "CONFIDENTIAL" to the document) had an additional purpose. ..."
"... The Forensicator explained that, for some readers and researchers, the copy/paste of an intermediate (RTF) copy of the Trump opposition report into a template document might be interpreted simply as an unconventional method for injecting "confidential" into 1.doc. However, the Forensicator added, it can also be interpreted as a "cover" for the final copy/paste operation which was a necessary step in the evolution of Guccifer 2.0's first document. It was needed to embed the Russian error messages into the final document (1.doc). ..."
"... In their full analysis, the Forensicator wrote that it was surprising that neither outlet reported on the easily viewed "Last Saved By" property, which listed "Феликс Эдмундович" (aka "Iron Felix") as the user who last saved the document. This unique name was noticed by various social media observers that same day and by Ars Technica the following day. How did the journalists miss this, and why? ..."
"... Both Gawker and The Smoking Gun published Guccifer 2.0's Trump opposition report in full as a PDF file. Their PDF files have the now infamous Cyrillic error messages in them; they appear in the last few pages of their PDF files. Ars Technica dubbed these error messages, "Russian fingerprints." ..."
"... Ars Technica reported on Guccifer 2.0's publication of the Trump Opposition Report the day after Guccifer 2.0 arrived on the scene. They quickly noted that there were Russian language error messages in the PDF file posted by Gawker. They also noticed that when they viewed 1.doc themselves, they didn't see the Russian error messages. The Forensicator told Disobedient Media that this was because Ars Technica used Word for Windows, which displayed the error messages in English. ..."
"... So the DNC announced Russia hacked them, and "proved" it with a file they say was stolen.But that file was not the DNC's. So the "proof" of Russia hacking the DNC is nonexistent. ..."
May 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Disobedient Media recently reported on discoveries made by the Forensicator in their report, Media Mishaps: Early Guccifer 2 Coverage . In our previous coverage of the Forensicator's work, we discussed the essential role played by the media in ensuring that the Guccifer 2.0 persona received wide recognition by successfully linking Guccifer 2.0's documents with the DNC's claims that Russian state-sponsored hackers had breached their servers.

This report will focus on an unreported story: After the fact, the DNC quietly changed an important theme in their Russian hacking narrative. Initially, the DNC passively supported the notion that Guccifer 2.0 stole a copy of a Trump opposition report by penetrating the DNC at the behest of the Russian state. Then over a year later, an un-named ex-DNC official tells us that this document in fact came from Podesta's emails, not the DNC. This single statement by a DNC official invalidated the circumstantial evidence that had been used to support the DNC's Russian hacking claims, and represents a groundbreaking contradiction that has gone unobserved by establishment press outlets.

This report will also discuss numerous mistakes made by various legacy press outlets in their obsessive focus on the Russian hacking narrative and their rush to judgment in the matter.

A Late (and Quiet) Change in the DNC Russian Hacking Narrative

In November 2017, the DNC changed their Russian hacking narrative via their proxies in the legacy media. The Associated Press published, Inside story: How Russians hacked the Democrats' emails ; they cite an anonymous former DNC official who asserts that Guccifer 2.0's first document (the Trump opposition report) did not originate in the DNC as initially reported.

The importance of this contradiction, combined with earlier allegations of hacking the DNC made by Guccifer 2.0, cannot be overstated.

The Associated Press wrote in November 2017:

" There were signs of dishonesty from the start. The first document Guccifer 2.0 published on June 15 came not from the DNC as advertised but from Podesta's inbox, according to a former DNC official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press."

By classifying Guccifer 2.0's claim to have obtained the Trump Opposition Report through a breach of the DNC as a sign of dishonesty, the Associated Press uses the Guccifer 2.0 persona's widely held claim as an example of contradiction with their new version of the 'official' Russian hacking narrative. In so doing, the AP makes the hacking allegations entirely nebulous: a fantasy narrative that can be neither proven nor disproven but easily edited and rearranged when convenient. Incredibly, the AP's article also contradicts the claims made by the DNC themselves, and so-called papers of record, including the Washington Post.

By returning to the genesis of the Russian hacking narrative, we find that the AP's November report runs contrary to the DNC's initial claims, as reported by The Washington Post , in an article titled, Russian Government Hackers Penetrated DNC, Stole Opposition Research On Trump . When reviewing this early history of the matter, it becomes clear that it is logically impossible to separate the Guccifer 2.0 persona from the allegations of a Kremlin-backed hack of the DNC. Critical statements in that initial report by the Washington Post are highlighted below for emphasis:

"Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach

[Fancy Bear] broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files. It was this breach that set off the alarm. The hackers stole two files,[Shawn] Henry said."

By taking this later (2017) stance, the Associated Press contradicts the "official" Russian hacking narrative involving Guccifer 2.0 (as implied by the DNC's own security firm) and which had, until that point, been characterized by the corporate press as Russian-hacking-gospel-truth. By seamlessly excising Guccifer 2.0 from culpability within a new timeline of events, the Associated Press makes the entire hacking story a fantasy narrative that can be neither proven nor disproven but must not be questioned.

The Forensicator explained to Disobedient Media:

"Investigators would have been able to rapidly determine if there were textual differences between Guccifer 2.0's document and the DNC's. If there were no textual differences, an initial determination might have been difficult, because Guccifer 2.0 went to some trouble to obscure internal metadata, known as Revision Save ID's (RSID's), which can be used to uniquely identify sections of text that have been changed and added into a Word document. However, when the Podesta emails were published in October 2016, investigators should have been able to source Guccifer 2.0's document to the Podesta emails quickly. They would have been able to do this before the 2016 election, a full year ahead of the AP report." [Emphasis Added]

The Forensicator then referred this author to a table in his report, depicting the metadata for Podesta's version of the Trump opposition report:

As we can see, the document was saved by Tony Carrk, who worked as Research Director for Hillary for America at the time. This document was attached to this Podesta email .

The Forensicator continued, saying: "We can see that Mr. Carrk made some change that took less than one minute to complete. If investigators compared Carrk's version of the document to the original DNC document, they should have been able to quickly determine that Guccifer 2's document is sourced from Podesta's emails and not directly from the DNC. For this, an RSID correlation would have probably been telling."

Why did the DNC, their security consultant firm Crowdstrike, and government investigators wait so long to tell us that Guccifer 2.0 did not obtain their copy of the Trump opposition report directly from the DNC? Why did Crowdstrike tell the Washington Post that the opposition report files had been stolen specifically from the DNC network if that were not the case?

The legacy press chorus had initially linked Guccifer 2.0's first document, and the "Russian fingerprints" therein to the Trump opposition report that the DNC claimed to have been stolen by Russian state-sponsored hackers. What prompted them to change their story, contradicting not only Guccifer 2.0 but the DNC themselves? Should we now assess the DNC's claim that the document had been taken by Russian hackers to be untrue?

Ultimately, it is the DNC's claim that they were breached by Russian hackers, who stole the Trump opposition report, which directly belies their allegation - because the document did not come from the DNC, but from John Podesta's emails.

Is it possible that Mueller's investigation may have taken a closer look into the origin of Guccifer 2.0's initial document, realizing that it was sourced from Podesta's email? The DNC and government investigators may have then decided that the best way to obscure the resulting contradictory evidence was by letting it quietly leak via a "former DNC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity," in the November 2017 article published by the Associated Press.

Given the repeated contradictions from the DNC and corporate media in their description of Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential race, how can the public be expected to believe that their other claims have any legitimacy whatsoever?

The AP's November 2017 article also noticed that Guccifer 2.0's first published document contained the word CONFIDENTIAL, while the original document did not. This was old news to anyone who had been paying attention; Adam Carter analyzed this artifact nine months earlier:

What is interesting here is that the AP admits that such elements of the document's publication had been fabricated, but did not then follow that realization by questioning other possibly fabricated elements of the documents, such as the Russian-language error messages. The AP certainly did not concern themselves with why a Russian state-sponsored hacker would benefit from airbrushing "confidential" onto such a report. Their claim that it was to attract media attention seems quite weak.

AP surmised that Guccifer 2.0 "air-brush[ed]" the word "confidential" into the document to "catch the reporter's attention." Both Carter and the Forensicator have explained that Guccifer 2.0 used a complex process, involving an intermediate template document, to inject this "alluring" fake. The Forensicator told this author that they take the position that this intermediate template file (ostensibly needed to add "CONFIDENTIAL" to the document) had an additional purpose.

The Forensicator explained that, for some readers and researchers, the copy/paste of an intermediate (RTF) copy of the Trump opposition report into a template document might be interpreted simply as an unconventional method for injecting "confidential" into 1.doc. However, the Forensicator added, it can also be interpreted as a "cover" for the final copy/paste operation which was a necessary step in the evolution of Guccifer 2.0's first document. It was needed to embed the Russian error messages into the final document (1.doc).

Once again, establishment media failed to pursue their cited evidence with due diligence. This is a grave mistake, especially given the way in which Guccifer 2.0's alleged 'hacking' has been used as a major bolstering point for increased tensions between the United States and Russia.

Initially, Gawker and The Smoking Gun Didn't Notice Iron Felix

Guccifer 2.0 made his noisy debut on June 15, 2016 (the day after the DNC publicly claimed it had been breached by Russian state-sponsored hackers). It also appears that Guccifer 2.0 gave advanced copies of their doctored version of the Trump opposition report to two media outlets, The Smoking Gun and Gawker.

In their full analysis, the Forensicator wrote that it was surprising that neither outlet reported on the easily viewed "Last Saved By" property, which listed "Феликс Эдмундович" (aka "Iron Felix") as the user who last saved the document. This unique name was noticed by various social media observers that same day and by Ars Technica the following day. How did the journalists miss this, and why?

Initially, Gawker and The Smoking Gun Didn't Notice the Russian Error Messages

Both Gawker and The Smoking Gun published Guccifer 2.0's Trump opposition report in full as a PDF file. Their PDF files have the now infamous Cyrillic error messages in them; they appear in the last few pages of their PDF files. Ars Technica dubbed these error messages, "Russian fingerprints."

Although both outlets reviewed this document in some detail, neither outlet noticed the Russian error messages in their first reports. The Forensicator suggests that, given their choice of word processing applications, they would have seen the Russian error messages, if only they had viewed the last few pages of each file. That is, unless (perhaps) they received their PDF's directly from Guccifer 2.0 or another third party and they just passed them along.

Ars Technica was Confused When They Didn't See the Russian Error Messages in Guccifer 2.0's Word Document

Ars Technica reported on Guccifer 2.0's publication of the Trump Opposition Report the day after Guccifer 2.0 arrived on the scene. They quickly noted that there were Russian language error messages in the PDF file posted by Gawker. They also noticed that when they viewed 1.doc themselves, they didn't see the Russian error messages. The Forensicator told Disobedient Media that this was because Ars Technica used Word for Windows, which displayed the error messages in English.

Ars Technica suggested that The Smoking Gun's PDF may have been generated by Guccifer 2.0 on a system that had Russian language settings enabled.

While this explanation appears reasonable, it is surprising (if that was the case) that Gawker didn't tell us that their PDF came directly from Guccifer 2.0 . The Smoking Gun also published a PDF with Russian error messages in it. Are we to believe that The Smoking Gun also received their PDF from Guccifer 2.0 or a third party, and failed to report on this fact?

IVN: Did Gawker Outsource Their Analysis to Russia?

An obscure media outlet, Independent Voter Network , raised various theories on the initial reporting done by The Smoking Gun and Gawker. One of their wilder theories suggested that Gawker had outsourced their analysis to a Russian sub-contractor. The Forensicator evaluated that claim, ultimately concluding that Independent Voter Network had gone on a wild goose chase because the "clue" they followed pointed to Gawker's document management service known as "DocumentCloud." DocumentCloud uses a technology that they call "CloudCrowd," which is what IVN saw in the PDF that Gawker uploaded. The Forensicator referred to a DocumentCloud job advertisement for confirmation of his conclusion.

The Forensicator told Disobedient Media: "We found CloudCrowd; it is not an outsourcing company. Probably not Russian, either."

Business Insider: Did Guccifer 2.0 Photoshop "Confidential" Into his Document Screenshots?

When Business Insider noted the presence of "CONFIDENTIAL" in Guccifer 2.0's document, they claimed that Guccifer 2.0 might have "photoshopped" his screenshots (placed on his blog site) to create the watermark and page footer with "confidential" in them.

The Forensicator countered that claim by pointing out that the Business Insider journalist likely viewed the document with "Full-Screen Reading" selected.

This mode will disable the display of the watermark and page headers and footers when viewed by the journalist, but they will be displayed when printed to PDF. No Photoshop required.

Conclusion

The close timing of the DNC announcement and Guccifer 2.0's publication of the Trump report, as well as reports of "Russian fingerprints" in those documents, created a strong link between Guccifer 2.0 and the Russian hackers who allegedly stole DNC files. Over a year later, the Associated Press tells us that this first narrative was wrong, contradicting the DNC's claims as well as much of the early legacy press reports on the issue. Must we concurrently accept the narrative that Russians hacked the DNC if claims that they had done so were not only based on flimsy evidence but have now been contradicted completely?

As far as documented evidence of election interference goes, one does not have to stray far from the actors in the Russian hacking saga to discover that the DNC and establishment Democrats were, instead of victims of meddling, the perpetrators of such abuse of the American Democratic process. In 2017 the NYC Board of Elections admitted that it had illegally purged hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters from the election roles, preventing them from voting in the 2016 Democratic primaries. This abuse of power represents just one in a constellation of legitimate examples of abuse that took place at the hands of corporatized Democrats in order to unfairly and illegally ensure a Clinton nomination.


GunnyG Wed, 05/23/2018 - 18:28 Permalink

Podesta the Molesta gets the Vince Foster invitation to jog at Fort Marcy Park very soon.

honest injun Wed, 05/23/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

This is too complicated for the average demon rat nitwit to follow. They don't want to know this so showing them facts has to be dumbed down. Otherwise, all new revelations will be ignored.

DrLucindaX Wed, 05/23/2018 - 19:10 Permalink

Really good work and reporting here that will never be understood by the masses. Everything that's going on is far too complex, too many moving parts, too much compartmentalization. Trump is doing a good job dumbing it down.

Justapleb Wed, 05/23/2018 - 19:54 Permalink

So the DNC announced Russia hacked them, and "proved" it with a file they say was stolen.But that file was not the DNC's. So the "proof" of Russia hacking the DNC is nonexistent.

Gotta dumb it down.

[Jul 20, 2018] Is President Trump A Traitor Because He Wants Peace With Russia by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Looks like MIC is a cancel of the society for which there is no cure....
While this jeremiad raises several valid point the key to understanding the situation should be understanding of the split of the Us elite into two camp with Democratic party (representing interests of Wall Street) and large part of intelligence communality fighting to neoliberal status quo and Pentagon, some part of old money, part of trade unions (especially rank and file members) and a pert of Republican Party (representing interests of the military) realizing that neoliberalism came to the natural end and it is time for change which includes downsizing of the American empire.
This bitter internal struggle in which neoliberals so far have an upper hand over Trump administration and forced him into retreat.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump is a traitor because he wants peace with Russia. ..."
"... The Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, and the North Koreans, as well as the rest of the world, desperately need to notice the extremely hostile reaction to peace on the part of the US Democratic Party, many members of the Republican Party, including the despicable US Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and the Western Presstitute Media, a collection of people on the CIA payroll according to the German newspaper editor, Udo Ulfkotte, and the CIA itself. ..."
"... Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the rest of the corrupt filth that rules over us are all in the pay of the military/security complex. Just go and investigate the donations to their re-election campaigns. The 1,000 billion dollar budget of the military/security complex, amplified by the CIA's front corporations and narcotics business, provides enormous sums with which to purchase the senators and representatives that the insouciant American voters think that they elect. ..."
"... Therefore, the American public gets not representation, but lies that justify war and conflict. The military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned the American people to no effect, is in desperate need of an enemy. In obedience to the military/security complex, the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes have made Russia that enemy. If Trump and Putin do not understand this, they will easily be made irrelevant. ..."
"... They both can be assassinated, and that is what the statements from Pelosi, Schumer, McCain, Lindsey Graham, et. al., repeated endlessly in the propaganda ministry that is the Western press, encourages. ..."
"... The Supply-Side Revolution ..."
"... When the combination of tax cuts with defense budget cuts came up for a vote, the legendary senator Strom Thurmond, a 48-year member of the US Senate from South Carolina, tapped me on the shoulder. He said: "son, never set your senator up against the military/security complex. He will not be re-elected, and you will be out of a job." I replied that we were just establishing for the record that under no conditions would the Democrats, who wanted more government, vote for a tax rate reduction even if there was a case that it would cure stagflation. He replied: "son, the military/security complex doesn't care." ..."
"... Later as a member of a secret presidential committee, I saw how the CIA attempted to prevent President Reagan from ending the Cold War. ..."
"... Today, right now, at this moment, we are faced with a massive effort of the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, the Democratic Party, and the presstitute media to discredit the elected President of the United States and to overthrow him in order that the utterly corrupt elite that rule American can continue to hold on to power and to protect the massive budget of the military/security complex that, along with the Israel Lobby, funds the elections of those who rule us. ..."
"... There is no institution in America, government or private, that can be trusted. Any government or person who trusts America or any Western country is stupid beyond belief. ..."
"... The entire Russiagate hoax is an orchestration by the military/security complex, led by John Brennen, Comey, and Rosenstein. The purpose is to discredit President trump for two reasons. One is to prevent any normalization of relations with Russia. The other is to remove Trump's agenda as an alternative to the agenda of the Democratic Party. ..."
"... President Trump is almost powerless. Putin, the Chinese, the Iranians, and the North Koreans should recognize this before it is too late for them. President Trump cannot fire and arrest for high treason Mueller and Rosenstein. ..."
"... Reckless and irresponsible comments about treason from former CIA director Brennan, and other ranking public figures, echo similar inflammatory rhetoric from far-right-wing rabble rouser Gen. Edwin Walker, and other members of the John Birch Society, in the days before Pres. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. ..."
"... What's going on in the United States of America beats the band what happened under Joe McCarthy. The witch hunt against a sitting President by 95 percent of the media, major government institutions such as the criminal CIA, FBI, DOJ and the rest of the crooked Intel community plus the rascals in the US Congress can only happen in a totalitarian society, which the US is. ..."
"... The Brennan, Clappers, Obamas, Clintons, Comeys, Rosenstein and their many subordinate political Mafiosi should be put behind bars instead of running from one TV station to the next and lay the ground for a possibly Trump assassination. ..."
"... As Mr. Rogers correctly states, President Trump is almost powerless. These US fools even try to breed discord between the so-called nationalists and the globalists in Russia for which Medvedev stays. He once served US interests more than Russian ones when he was Prime Minister and got flattered by the ineffable Bill Clinton. ..."
"... So what do we see now ? Putin aiding Trump in steering the USA away from trying to control the whole world, an effort that is destroying the USA, but Deep State does not mind. In this way Russia indeed meddles in USA politics. Trump now invited Putin to come to Washington, the MH17 statement is withheld, the hysteria at CNN is such that MH17 is not even mentioned. In stead: Trump must be mentally deranged. ..."
"... Gore Vidal said there's only one party in America, it's the Money Party and it has two branches. It is even more true today than when he said it. There is no Left or Right anymore, only the question, is it good for Israel? And the American people be damned. ..."
"... Trump is completely powerless to do anything about these two. And this has gone on for a year and a half. ..."
"... It's clear though that Trump believes he has forced his opponents to play a bad hand in their outlandish craze the past week. It's why he doubled down and invited Putin to Washington near the 2018 election time. He perceives this as a chance to re-enact the 2016 election and coast to victory. The establishment is insane, and if he brings their insanity out it plays to his favor. ..."
Jul 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

The US Democratic Party is determined to take the world to thermo-nuclear war rather than to admit that Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election fair and square. The Democratic Party was totally corrupted by the Clinton Regime, and now it is totally insane. Leaders of the Democratic Party, such as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, my former co-author in the New York Times, have responded in a non-Democratic way to the first step President Trump has taken to reduce the extremely dangerous tensions with Russia that the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes created between the two superpowers.

Yes, Russia is a superpower. Russian weapons are so superior to the junk produced by the waste-filled US military/security complex that lives high off the hog on the insouciant American taxpayer that it is questionable if the US is even a second class military power. If the insane neoconservatives, such as Max Boot, William Kristol, and the rest of the neocon scum get their way, the US, the UK, and Europe will be a radioactive ruin for thousands of years.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives, declared that out of fear of some undefined retribution from Putin, a dossier on Trump perhaps, the President of the United States sold out the American people to Russia because he wants to make peace: "It begs the question, what does Vladimir Putin, what do the Russians have on Donald Trump -- personally, politically and financially that he should behave in such a manner?" The "such a manner" Pelosi is speaking about is making peace instead of war.

To be clear, the Democratic Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives has accused Donald Trump of high treason against the United States. There is no outcry against this blatantly false accusation, totally devoid of evidence. The presstitute media instead of protesting this attempt at a coup against the President of the United States, trumpet the accusation as self-evident truth. Trump is a traitor because he wants peace with Russia.

Here is Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) repeating Pelosi's false accusation: "Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous behavior is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump." If you don't believe that this is orchestrated between Pelosi and Schumer, you are stupid beyond belief.

Here is disgraced Obama CIA director John Brennan, a leader of the fake Russiagate campaign against President Trump in order to prevent Trump from making peace with Russia and, thus, by making the world safer, threatening the massive, unjustified budget of the military/security complex: "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to and exceeds the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors. It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???"

Here are many more: https://www.infowars.com/meltdown-left-seething-over-trump-putin-summit/

And here is more from the CIA bought-and-paid-for BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44852812

NOTICE THAT NOT ONE WESTERN MEDIA SOURCE IS CELEBRATING AND THANKING TRUMP AND PUTIN FOR EASING THE ARTIFICIALLY CREATED TENSIONS THAT WERE LEADING TO NUCLEAR WAR. HOW CAN THIS BE? HOW CAN IT BE THAT THE WESTERN MEDIA IS SO OPPOSED TO PEACE? WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION?

The Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, and the North Koreans, as well as the rest of the world, desperately need to notice the extremely hostile reaction to peace on the part of the US Democratic Party, many members of the Republican Party, including the despicable US Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and the Western Presstitute Media, a collection of people on the CIA payroll according to the German newspaper editor, Udo Ulfkotte, and the CIA itself.

Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the rest of the corrupt filth that rules over us are all in the pay of the military/security complex. Just go and investigate the donations to their re-election campaigns. The 1,000 billion dollar budget of the military/security complex, amplified by the CIA's front corporations and narcotics business, provides enormous sums with which to purchase the senators and representatives that the insouciant American voters think that they elect.

Do you know how large 1,000 billion is? You would have to live for thousands of years and do nothing for 24/7 except count to reach that figure. It is a sum that nurtures the recipients, and the recipients regard it as worth protecting.

Therefore, the American public gets not representation, but lies that justify war and conflict. The military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned the American people to no effect, is in desperate need of an enemy. In obedience to the military/security complex, the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes have made Russia that enemy. If Trump and Putin do not understand this, they will easily be made irrelevant.

They both can be assassinated, and that is what the statements from Pelosi, Schumer, McCain, Lindsey Graham, et. al., repeated endlessly in the propaganda ministry that is the Western press, encourages. Trump can be assassinated or overthrown in a political coup for selling out America to Russia, as members of both political parties claim and as the media trumpets endlessly. Putin can be easily assassinated by the CIA operatives that the Russian government stupidly permits to operate throughout Russia in NGOs and Western/US owned media and among the Atlanticist Integrationists, Washington's Firth Column inside Russia serving Washington's purposes. These Russian traitors serve in Putin's own government!

ORDER IT NOW

Americans are so unaware that they have no idea of the risk that President Trump is taking by challenging the US military security complex. For example, during the last half of the 1970s I was a member of the US Senate staff. I was working together with a staffer of the US Republican Senator from California, S. I. Hayakawa, to advance understanding of a supply-side economic policy cure to the stagflation that threatened the US budget's ability to meet its obligations. Republican Senators Hatch, Roth, and Hayakawa were trying to introduce a supply-side economic policy as a cure for the stagflation that was threatening the US economy with failure. The Democrats, who later in the Senate led the way to a supply-side policy, were, at this time, opposed (see Paul Craig Roberts, The Supply-Side Revolution , Harvard University Press, 1984). The Democrats claimed that the policy would worsen the budget deficit, the only time in those days Democrats cared about the budget deficit. The Democrats said that they would support the tax rate reductions if the Republicans would support offsetting cuts in the budget to support a balanced budget. This was a ploy to put Republicans on the spot for taking away some groups' handouts in order "to cut tax rates for the rich."

The supply-side policy did not require budget cuts, but in order to demonstrate the Democrats lack of sincerety, Hayakawa's aid and I had our senators introduce a series of budget cuts together with tax cuts that, on a static revenue basis (not counting tax revenue feedbacks from the incentives of the lower tax rates) kept the budget even, and the Democrats voted against them every time.

When the combination of tax cuts with defense budget cuts came up for a vote, the legendary senator Strom Thurmond, a 48-year member of the US Senate from South Carolina, tapped me on the shoulder. He said: "son, never set your senator up against the military/security complex. He will not be re-elected, and you will be out of a job." I replied that we were just establishing for the record that under no conditions would the Democrats, who wanted more government, vote for a tax rate reduction even if there was a case that it would cure stagflation. He replied: "son, the military/security complex doesn't care."

My emergence from The Matrix began with Thurmond's pat on my shoulder. It grew with my time at the Wall Street Journal when I learned that some truthful things simply could not be said. In the Treasury I experienced how those outside interests opposed to a president's policy marshall their forces and the media that they own to block it. Later as a member of a secret presidential committee, I saw how the CIA attempted to prevent President Reagan from ending the Cold War.

Today, right now, at this moment, we are faced with a massive effort of the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, the Democratic Party, and the presstitute media to discredit the elected President of the United States and to overthrow him in order that the utterly corrupt elite that rule American can continue to hold on to power and to protect the massive budget of the military/security complex that, along with the Israel Lobby, funds the elections of those who rule us. Trump, like Reagan, was an exception, and it is the exceptions that accumulate the ire of the corrupt leftwing, bought off with money, and the ire of the media, concentrated into small tight ownership groups indebted to those who permitted the illegal concentration of a once independent and diverse American media that once served, on occasion, as a watchdog over government. The rightwing, wrapped in the flag, dismisses all truth as "anti-American."

If Putin, Lavrov, the Russian government, the traitorous Russian Fifth Column -- the Atlanticist Integrationists -- the Chinese, the Iranians, the North Koreans think that any peace or consideration can come out of America, they are insane. Their delusions are setting themselves up for destruction. There is no institution in America, government or private, that can be trusted. Any government or person who trusts America or any Western country is stupid beyond belief.

The entire Russiagate hoax is an orchestration by the military/security complex, led by John Brennen, Comey, and Rosenstein. The purpose is to discredit President trump for two reasons. One is to prevent any normalization of relations with Russia. The other is to remove Trump's agenda as an alternative to the agenda of the Democratic Party.

President Trump is almost powerless. Putin, the Chinese, the Iranians, and the North Koreans should recognize this before it is too late for them. President Trump cannot fire and arrest for high treason Mueller and Rosenstein. And Trump cannot indict Hillary for her numerous unquestionable crimes in plain view of everyone, or Comey or Brennan, who declares Trump "to be wholly in the pocket of Putin," for trying to overthrow the elected president of the United States. Trump cannot have the Secret Service question the likes of Pelosi and Schumer and McCain and Lindsey Graham for false accusations that encourage assassination of the President of the United States.

Trump cannot even trust the Secret Service, which accumulated evidence suggests was complicit in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

If Putin and Lavrov, so anxious to be friends of Washington, let their guards down, they are history.

As I said above, Russiagate is an orchestratration to prevent peace between the US and Russia. Leading military/security complex experts, including the person who provided the CIA's daily briefing of the President of the United States for many years, and the person who devised the spy program for the National Security Agency, have proven conclusively that Russiagate is a hoax designed for the purpose of preventing President Trump from normalizing relations between the US and Russia, which has the power to destroy the entirety of the Western World at will.

Here is the report from the retired security professionals who, unlike those still in office, cannot be fired and deprived of a careet for telling the truth: https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2018/07/15/memo-to-the-president-ahead-of-mondays-summit/

Here is what the clued-in Russian Defense Minister Shoigu has to say about the aggressive actions of the West against the Russian homeland: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/13/defense-minister-shoigu-on-moscow-vision-security-problems.html

If Putin doesn't listen to him, Russia is in the trash can of history.

Keep in mind that no media informs you better than my website. If my website goes down, you will be left in darkness. No valid information comes from the US government or the Western presstitutes. If you sit in front of the TV screen watching the Western media, you are brainwashed beyond all hope. Not even I can rescue you. Nor God himself.

Americans, and indeed the Russians themselves, are incapable of realizing it, but there is a chance that Trump will be overthrown and a Western assault will be launched against the handful of countries that insist on sovereignty.

I doubt that few of the Americans who elected Trump will be taken in by the anti-Trump propagana, but they are not organized and have no armed power. The police, militarized by George W. Bush and Obama, will be set against them. The rebellions will be local and suppressed by every violation of the US Constitution by the private powers that rule Washington, as always has been the case with rebellions in America.

In the West, which the Russians are so anxious to join, all freedoms are dead -- freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of inquiry, freedom of privacy, freedom from arbitrary search, freedom from arbitrary arrest, along with the Constitutional protections of due process and habeas corpus. Today there are no countries less free than the United States of America.

Why do the Russian Atlanticist Integrationists want to join an unfree Western world? Are they that brainwashed by Western Propaganda?

If Putin listens to these deluded fools, Putin will destroy Russia.

There is something wrong with Russian perception of Washington. Apparently the Russian elite, with the exception of Shoigu and a few others are incapable of comprehending the neoconservative drive for US world hegemony and the neoconservative determination to destroy Russia as a constraint on US unilateralism. The Russian government somehow, despite all evidence to the contrary, believes that Washington's hegemony is negotiable. (Republished from PaulCraigRoberts.org by permission of author or representative)


nagra , July 20, 2018 at 4:46 am GMT
is big question even if Trump wants peace at all. Trump has shown his real face on the very beginning when he said that they are going to talk about "his friend" Xi, making Putin very uncomfortable and throwing some worms in Russia~China relationship in front of cameras for all to see

Trump came to the meeting in hope to impress Putin with his cowboy arrogance, He now says that he'll be Putin's worst enemy ( if he don't bow to him I guess : ). all Trump cares about is his ego, nothing else too sweat mouthed sleazy person

Sparkon , July 20, 2018 at 4:57 am GMT
Reckless and irresponsible comments about treason from former CIA director Brennan, and other ranking public figures, echo similar inflammatory rhetoric from far-right-wing rabble rouser Gen. Edwin Walker, and other members of the John Birch Society, in the days before Pres. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
RobinG , July 20, 2018 at 5:10 am GMT
@geokat62

Okay then! Cue the real story of [lying filth] Bill Browder, a film by Andrei Nekrasov. Watch and share before it disappears!

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/lQ3qEwX66pIL/

The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes

Ludwig Watzal , Website July 20, 2018 at 5:41 am GMT
What's going on in the United States of America beats the band what happened under Joe McCarthy. The witch hunt against a sitting President by 95 percent of the media, major government institutions such as the criminal CIA, FBI, DOJ and the rest of the crooked Intel community plus the rascals in the US Congress can only happen in a totalitarian society, which the US is.

The Brennan, Clappers, Obamas, Clintons, Comeys, Rosenstein and their many subordinate political Mafiosi should be put behind bars instead of running from one TV station to the next and lay the ground for a possibly Trump assassination. Trump is portrayed by these crooks as a "traitor." In the US, traitors usefully deserve death. If these political Mafiosi don't bring down Trump "legally," they will hire a kind of Lee Harvey Oswald who "shot" JFK.

As Mr. Rogers correctly states, President Trump is almost powerless. These US fools even try to breed discord between the so-called nationalists and the globalists in Russia for which Medvedev stays. He once served US interests more than Russian ones when he was Prime Minister and got flattered by the ineffable Bill Clinton.

Let's wait and see what happens in the upcoming mid-term elections. If the Dems win both Houses of Congress, Trump is done. The obstructionists will have the upper hand. If they can't remove him from office "legally," there will be a hitman out there somewhere.

RealAmericanValuesCirca1776Not1965 , July 20, 2018 at 6:49 am GMT
President smugly making peace with the Russian nation that was supposed to be the evil enemy in a 3rd and final brother war to devastate the white race beyond recovery.

Little upstart in the Democrat party making left wing politics less palatable to the masses with her heavy handed socialist rhetoric. All while preaching BDS and anti-Israel sentiment too, representing Frankenstein's CultMarx monster turning on it's creator.

And fewer and fewer people on all sides buying what the American Pravda is selling with each passing day. The resulting hysteria is both par for the course and downright delectable.

jilles dykstra , July 20, 2018 at 7:24 am GMT
" Apparently the Russian elite, with the exception of Shoigu and a few others are incapable of comprehending the neoconservative drive for US world hegemony and the neoconservative determination to destroy Russia as a constraint on US unilateralism. " My idea is that many in Russia understand quite well, this is why they demonstrate Russia's military capabilities frequently. Why does Putin support Assad and Syria ? Not because he likes these countries, but because he understands that if these countries also get the USA yoke the position of Russia and China deteriorate.

Putin is careful not to give USA public opinion more 'reason' to fear Russia. Already a few years ago something fell into the E part of the Mediterranean. It was asserted that Russia had intercepted a USA missile fired from Spain to Syria. USA and Israel declared that an excercise had been held. Putin said nothing.

Despite all that NATO does at Russia's borders Putin does not let himself be provoked. MH17, I suppose Putin knows quite well what happened, Russia has radar and satelites, yet Putin never gave the Russian view.

So what do we see now ? Putin aiding Trump in steering the USA away from trying to control the whole world, an effort that is destroying the USA, but Deep State does not mind. In this way Russia indeed meddles in USA politics. Trump now invited Putin to come to Washington, the MH17 statement is withheld, the hysteria at CNN is such that MH17 is not even mentioned. In stead: Trump must be mentally deranged.

Tsar Nicholas , July 20, 2018 at 7:48 am GMT
Another fine piece from PCR. It is a shame that trolls have caused him to avoid comments.
NoseytheDuke , July 20, 2018 at 8:03 am GMT
Good to see PCR accepting comments again. It's not just the Dumbocruds, it's the Rupuglicunts too. Follow the money, it's coming from the same sources. Gore Vidal said there's only one party in America, it's the Money Party and it has two branches. It is even more true today than when he said it. There is no Left or Right anymore, only the question, is it good for Israel? And the American people be damned.
Anonymous [337] Disclaimer , July 20, 2018 at 8:20 am GMT

Is President Trump A Traitor Because He Wants Peace with Russia?
The Democrats say he is

The Democrats -- and their wholly-owned MSM -- will call Trump any name that'll stick. It means little. Even if Trump got everything he wanted on immigration, that particular toothpaste is already out of the tube and unless we send back some of the millions of illegal third-world squatters we've no hope of recovering the United States of America.

If you want to talk treason, you need look no further than the Hart-Celler Act of 1965, whereby the plan was laid to replace the population of this nation with third-world refuse, which guaranteed cheap labor for GOP capitalists and endless political support for Democrat traitors.

Oh yeah, it's going swimmingly.

Robert Magill , July 20, 2018 at 9:36 am GMT
Fact 1: Russia's Defense Dept. IS a defense dept. Our alleged Defense Dept. is a War Dept. Nuff said.
Fact 2: Don't invade Russia.
Fact 3: Don't invade Russia.
RobertMagill.wordpress.com
Biff , July 20, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT

HOW CAN THIS BE? HOW CAN IT BE THAT THE WESTERN MEDIA IS SO OPPOSED TO PEACE? WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION?

Money

Moi , July 20, 2018 at 11:08 am GMT
@Tsar Nicholas

For a country that cares little about morality, it really does not matter whether Trump, Hillary, Obama or anyone else is the leader.

geokat62 , July 20, 2018 at 11:13 am GMT
@RobinG

As the saying goes "timing is everything." I have to admit I was incredulous that you were somehow able to link to a functioning version of the Nekrosov film. I've been trying to get my hands on that documentary for the last few years, but to no avail. I finally managed to read a comment on another blog that recommended that people who were interested in viewing the film could do so by reaching out to the producer to request a personalized link, after which you had to request a password from another individual affiliated with the film.

I managed to do all of that a few weeks ago and was able to watch the video on Vimeo for the full 2 hours. It was riveting, to say the least. After viewing it again, I thought about making it available to others. Due to the pressures by Browder and his lawyers, however, Nekrosov was prevented from making his film available to a wider audience. He got around this limitation by making it available for private viewing only. And to prevent a private viewer from uploading it onto the internet he cleverly placed a watermark on each film, indicating the owner of each copy of the video by displaying a number on the screen. I was surprised to see the version you linked to indeed has this watermark shown on the screen. Somehow, this did not deter the individual tied to that number from uploading it and being the one identified as doing so. That said, I'm glad the film is more widely available as it should be viewed by as many people as possible so that they can realize what a despicable liar Browder really is and how the passage of The Magnitsky Act was a travesty of justice which must be reversed.

Reactionary Utopian , July 20, 2018 at 11:35 am GMT
"Do you know how large 1,000 billion is? You would have to live for thousands of years and do nothing for 24/7 except count to reach that figure. It is a sum that nurtures the recipients, and the recipients regard it as worth protecting."

Tens of thousands of years. At one count per second, 31,687 years and a few months.

Sally Snyder , July 20, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT
Here is an interesting look at how the anti-Russian narrative began in the United States and who really rigged the 2016 U.S. election:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-genesis-of-russian-interference.html

Main Street America is being manipulated into believing that Russia is the enemy, giving Washington a complete...

Jake , July 20, 2018 at 11:49 am GMT
"In the West, which the Russians are so anxious to join, all freedoms are dead -- freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of inquiry, freedom of privacy, freedom from arbitrary search, freedom from arbitrary arrest, along with the Constitutional protections of due process and habeas corpus."

True. That is the Anglo-Zionist Empire. That is what the WASP Empire delivers, and it does so to destroy more conservative national and local cultures so their peoples are tossed into the melting pot and reduced into a goop easy to rule.

Oliver Cromwell taking Jewish money, allying with Jews so he would have the funds to wage permanent war against the vast, vast majority of non-WASP whites within his reach: that is the definition of WASP culture; that picture tells you what it always will do.

nagra , July 20, 2018 at 12:14 pm GMT
@RobinG

to everyone who make such movies

make something serious about Obama and Hillary destroying whole African country of Libya killing Colonel Gaddafi on the street, which is greatest war crime in the 21st century so far or, Bill Clinton bombing Bosnian Serbs '95 opening the door to jihadis to continue behead people in the middle of the Europe or, Bill Clinton and Nato bombing Serbia '99 to give "Kosovo" independence killing many civilian and destroying infrastructure on purpose or Madeline Albright confessing killing half of million Iraqi kids on the camera or, Bush and or Bushes or those such Bill Browder are just small dirty fish who in comparison is almost not worth filming I appreciate the effort but get seriously real if you are about to get truth to people

annamaria , July 20, 2018 at 12:22 pm GMT
@Ludwig Watzal

"The Brennan, Clappers, Obamas, Clintons, Comeys, Rosenstein and their many subordinate political Mafiosi "

What is going on in the US is systematic. Assange, an investigative journalist who became the light of truth worldwide, is under a grave danger from US' and UK' Intelligence Communities of the non-intelligent opportunists and real traitors: https://www.rt.com/news/433783-wikileaks-assange-ecuador-uk/

Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton, who was criminally negligent with regard to the most important classified information, has been protected by the politicking Brennan, Clapper, and Mueller: " it was over 30,000 emails , emails that were sent through to Hillary Clinton through the unauthorized server and unsecured server and every email she sent out.

There were highly classified -- beyond classified -- top secret-type stuff that had gone through that server. an instruction embedded, compartmentalized data embedded in the email server telling the server to send a copy of every email that came to Hillary Clinton through that unauthorized server and every email that she sent out through that server, to send it to this foreign entity that is not Russia." http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/07/congressional-record-transcript-on-chinagate.html

The Awan Affair, the most serious ever violation of national cybersecurity, has demonstrated the spectacular incompetence of the CIA and FBI, which had allowed a family of Pakistani nationals to surf congressional computers of various committees, including Intelligence Committee, for years. None of the scoundrels had a security clearance! Their ardent protector, Wasserman-Schultz (who threatened the DC Marschall) belongs to the untouchables, unlike Assange: https://www.theepochtimes.com/awan-congressional-scandal-in-spotlight-as-president-suggests-data-could-be-part-of-court-case_2500703.html

Ilyana_Rozumova , July 20, 2018 at 12:27 pm GMT
Trump and Putin made a mistake. I do not understand how it could have happened. They should have issued communiqué that they have agreed to work toward peace and relieve tensions and suppress conflicts around the world. (I do not have a time for now to write more.) (sorry)
Carroll Price , July 20, 2018 at 12:30 pm GMT
@Eagle Eye

Don't give FDR too much credit. He didn't approve the Normandy invasion until well after Russia had destroyed the German army.

Zogby , July 20, 2018 at 12:36 pm GMT
If Rosenstein & Mueller had done what they did with the publication of the indictments a few days before the summit -- and were North Koreans -- they'd be in front of a firing squad within 24 hours. Trump is completely powerless to do anything about these two. And this has gone on for a year and a half. This is not a strength of democracy.

The US today is like Venezuela was shortly after Maduro was elected (by a narrow margin) -- after Chavez's death -- and before violence eventually broke out. The losing opposition refused to accept the result and tensions simmered for a long time.

Or after Morsi was elected in Egypt and before the military coup. The victory was narrow, the opposition refused the to accept the result and tensions simmered for a long time.

Or maybe like Bush vs Gore. Bush was kinda saved by 9/11 which completely changed the atmosphere.

Who knows what will happen. It's clear though that Trump believes he has forced his opponents to play a bad hand in their outlandish craze the past week. It's why he doubled down and invited Putin to Washington near the 2018 election time. He perceives this as a chance to re-enact the 2016 election and coast to victory. The establishment is insane, and if he brings their insanity out it plays to his favor.

Russ , July 20, 2018 at 1:04 pm GMT
@Sparkon

https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/3975-deep-state-delirium

Brennan, the Communist. The linked article begins with that and proceeds from there in a first-rate deep-state summary.

Den Lille Abe , July 20, 2018 at 1:04 pm GMT
The reception of the Trump- Putin meeting is breathtaking. I have in my 61 years never witnessed such a hate and slander in the MSM. I have after this begun to actually dismiss that Americans are sensible people! They have completely forgotten the cost of the Civil War. We in Europe have not forgotten the cost of war and are not going there again. Ever.

The US has become a lunatic asylum with nuclear weapons, never mind Kim Jong Un, look a squirrel! But the US is a threat to humanity, included it's protegé Israel, the new Apartheid state.

Harold Smith , July 20, 2018 at 1:43 pm GMT
"Is President Trump A Traitor Because He Wants Peace with Russia?"

Wait; what?

From badmouthing Russia to appointing Russophobes to high office, to imposing sanctions, to illegally seizing Russian diplomatic property, to committing war crimes in Syria, to a provocative military buildup in Europe, to arming the illegitimate Ukrainian "government," etc., presidential poseur Orange Clown has spent 99% of his "presidency" so far antagonizing Russia; apparently trying to provoke some kind of Russian military response.

If it was anyone else other than Vladimir Putin calling the shots in Russia, WW3 probably would've happened already. Yet PCR claims Orange Clown wants peace with Russia?

Note to PCR: It is Vladimir Putin who wants peace, not presidential poseur Orange Clown. If Orange Clown has had some kind of spiritual epiphany/change of heart, he's going to have to show good faith by taking some kind of unambiguous action; posturing won't suffice.

Mike P , July 20, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

There is a lot of truth in what you say, but it does not account for the fight we are currently witnessing. Two factions in the Money Party are at war with each other. Neither one is willing to level with the public as to its true aims and motives -- they are fighting viciously but under the bed sheets, which is why the spectacle looks so unhinged and silly.

AnonFromTN , July 20, 2018 at 2:28 pm GMT
It appears that he is trying to save the US from financial collapse. Hence, he is a traitor to MIC, particularly to the obscenely greedy Pentagon contractors. The US presidents and Congress always pandered to MIC first and foremost. He broke (or at least tried to break) the pattern.
Anonymous [166] Disclaimer , July 20, 2018 at 4:48 pm GMT
@Den Lille Abe

Don't blame all Americans. Forty-eight percent of us voted for Trump; it is very likely that more than half of the rest voted for Hellary only with great reluctance, owing largely to the unprecedented campaign of vilification directed at Trump. The point is: a very large majority of people in this country are nowhere near as insane as the media and elites are -- in fact, we're still nowhere near insane enough for their taste!

[Jul 20, 2018] 'Make them pariahs': how shaming Trump aides became a resistance tactic by Sam Wolfson

Hat tip to caucus99percent.com
Notable quotes:
"... @snoopydawg ..."
"... @gulfgal98 ..."
"... The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce. ..."
Jul 11, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

After another week saw leading Republicans accosted in public places, many on the left are arguing that harassment is legitimate

The day after Sarah Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia, Maxine Waters, the representative for the California 43rd who has become a leader of the anti-Trump resistance within Congress, addressed a rally in Los Angeles. Up until that point, national Democratic leaders had mostly urged respectful protest in response to the Trump administration.

"Let's make sure we show up wherever we have to show up," she said to cheers from the crowd. "And if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome any more, anywhere."

In the days that followed, other leading Democrats, among them Nancy Pelosi and David Axelrod, distanced themselves from the comments and called for civility. Trump personally attacked Waters, calling her an "extraordinarily low IQ person". But Waters gave voice, and perhaps legitimacy, to what has become a prominent form of activism since Trump took office: accosting members of his team in public places.

Over the weekend, Steve Bannon was called "a piece of trash" by a heckler at a bookstore; a bartender gave Stephen Miller the middle finger, apparently causing Miller to throw away $80 of sushi he'd just bought in disgust; and Mitch McConnell was chased out of a restaurant in Kentucky by protesters, who followed him to this car yelling "turtle head" and "we know where you live".

These follow similar encounters for other members of Trump's top team. The homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, was confronted by protesters chanting "shame" while she ate at a Mexican restaurant. Last week, Scott Pruitt was accosted by Kristin Mink while he was eating lunch. Mink, a teacher, held her two-year-old child as she asked him to resign "before your scandals push you out". Days later, Pruitt did resign, and although he was probably asked to do so by Trump, in his letter he cited "the unrelenting attacks on me" as his reason for leaving.

After each case, the merits of such an approach have been debated – many have called for civility or argued that protesters leave themselves open to attack if they pursue Trump-like techniques. There has been some consensus that encounters like Mink's, which are eloquent and non-aggressive, are more acceptable than when protesters chant personal attacks or use threatening language

... ... ...

Submitted by edg on Thu, 07/19/2018 - 2:08pm
If you stand with Markos ... @Wink

... you don't stand with most of C99 and most of progressive society. He is wrong, on this and many other things. Where was his (and your) outrage when Obama was droning American citizens, destroying Libya and creating Europe's current refugee crisis, and helping Saudi Arabia wreak havoc on Houthi civilians? How many pies did he throw then? How many Obama administration officials did he publicly shame?

Submitted by snoopydawg on Thu, 07/19/2018 - 1:37pm Would that have gone for shaming members of Obama's @Wink

administration too? He did many of the same things that Trump is doing to immigrants. He deported more of them then any president including 56% of them who hadn't committed any crimes. How about shaming them for his drone policies, killing 3 Americans without due process, bombing wedding parties and then the people who came to their rescue? Or the many, many other things he and his admin members did that were absolutely heinous?

Should we have done that to the people in the Bush administration too or how far back should we have been shaming people who worked in a president's administration?

Maybe we should be shaming the democrats who have been voting with the republicans to pass Trump's legislation, cabinet picks and justices? Where would it stop?


Submitted by thanatokephaloides on Thu, 07/19/2018 - 5:49pm

where it stops @snoopydawg

Maybe we should be shaming the democrats who have been voting with the republicans to pass Trump's legislation, cabinet picks and justices? Where would it stop?

Where it should -- with the non-voluntarily-complicit.

Submitted by Amanda Matthews on Thu, 07/19/2018 - 9:50pm When political life is reduced to @Wink

the publicly harassing, embarrssing, and running off the oposition then we're really fucked. Or do you seriousy think those tactics won't be repaid in kind?

on public shaming.
#7
Especially in public restaurants.
There is no better way to protest this admin than to shame them in a public place, confront them while they attempt to swallow a bite of pork chop.

up 0 users have voted. --

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa Submitted by gulfgal98 on Thu, 07/19/2018 - 12:00pm Critical thinking skills seem to be non-existent over there.

Again, Markos and his staff refuse to discuss policy from a positive perspective. Instead, they focus their readers on the outrage de jour and tribalism. The entire purpose of that site is a massive propaganda push designed to keep us divided. And the narrative they keep pushing are not only divisive, but extremely dangerous.

I rarely go there any more, mostly because I would like to keep as many of my remaining brain cells intact. But when I have visited that place, it is a very frightening place to see how Markos (post purge) has herded the remaining members into a small corral, all of them nodding in agreement with whatever gruel Markos and his front pagers are serving up. Submitted by snoopydawg on Thu, 07/19/2018 - 6:29pm Daily Kos should change its name to @gulfgal98

The Daily Tabloid. Or The Daily Gossip because of some of the topics covered there. The new McCarthyism will destroy this country even more:

BAR Book Forum: Jeremy Kuzmarov's and John Marciano's "The Russians are Coming, Again"
"The American people have been constantly manipulated and made to fear the Russian threat when it is the United States that has been the aggressive power."

In this series, we ask acclaimed authors to answer five questions about their book. This week's featured authors are Jeremy Kuzmarov and John Marciano . Kuzmarov is Jay P. Walker Assistant Professor of American History, University of Tulsa. Marciano is Professor Emeritus at SUNY Cortland. Their book is The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce.

Roberto Sirvent: How can your book help BAR readers understand the current political and social climate?

Jeremy Kuzmarov and John Marciano: Our book provides a historical perspective on contemporary affairs by showing how the Russo-phobia that has been prevalent in our political discourse over the last four to five years has deep and long historical roots, and has often been used by government leaders to turn public attention away from domestic inequalities by channeling societal resources towards the military sector. During the early Cold War, a period of labor militancy and momentum for the expansion of the New Deal was destroyed by McCarthyism and the Cold War.The Korean War brought on huge military budgets that have never left us and an expansion of the U.S. overseas military base network. These policies were underlain by exaggerated views about the Soviet Union which were stoked by political elites, who had worked for companies that reaped enormous profit from the permanent warfare state. The same forces are behind the renewed efforts to demonize Russian President Vladimir Putin and exaggerate the Russian threat, with serious adverse consequences for society that have already been evident. The consequences include a revitalization of the arms race, waging of proxy wars, and a further poisoning of the domestic political culture through the reinvigoration of a McCarthyist discourse and tactics.

"During the early Cold War, a period of labor militancy and momentum for the expansion of the New Deal was destroyed by McCarthyism and the Cold War."

More: https://www.blackagendareport.com/bar-book-forum-jeremy-kuzmarovs-and-john-marcianos-russians-are-coming-again up

[Jul 20, 2018] If GRU list is not authentic this will backfire as conditions of working of US diplomats in Moscow will be became much worse. There might be some other forms of revenge. If the GRU list is authentic, it exposes the USA ability to penetrate that organization, leading to Moscow tightening up security to the detriment of American intelligence by Philip Giraldi

The "Deep state" honchos who created this indictment have a working assumption that the USA remain a sole superpower and that everything is permitted, even if this is a provocation/false flag operation conducted solely for internal consumption. That might be the assumption that is no longer true.
Notable quotes:
"... The document itself also provides no information on how the Russian officers and their positions were identified, which suggests that it could have been a US hack or agent in place, either run by CIA or NSA, that came up with a list of those individuals connected to GRU cyber operations. That would be information involving sources and methods, codeword protected material beyond Top Secret. ..."
"... Beyond what is or is not contained in the document itself, there is a clear misunderstanding regarding how a sophisticated intelligence organization, which certainly includes the GRU, operates. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation . ..."
Jul 19, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The quote was extracted from: The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity The Establishment Strikes Back

... ... ...

The document itself also provides no information on how the Russian officers and their positions were identified, which suggests that it could have been a US hack or agent in place, either run by CIA or NSA, that came up with a list of those individuals connected to GRU cyber operations. That would be information involving sources and methods, codeword protected material beyond Top Secret.

If the GRU list is authentic, it would expose US ability to penetrate that organization, leading to Moscow tightening up security to the detriment of American intelligence. But it might alternatively be suggested that the drafters needed a group of plausible Russians and used a generic list provided by either CIA or NSA to come up with the culprits and then used those identities and the detailed information regarding them to provide credibility to their account. What they did not do, however, is provide the actual evidence connecting the individuals to the "hack/interference" or to connect the same to the Russian government. If the information in the indictment is completely accurate, which may not be the case, there is some suggestion that alleged Moscow linked proxies may have deliberately sought to undermine the campaign of Hillary Clinton to favor Bernie Sanders, but absolutely no evidence that they did anything to help Donald Trump.

Beyond what is or is not contained in the document itself, there is a clear misunderstanding regarding how a sophisticated intelligence organization, which certainly includes the GRU, operates. If there had been a large-scale Kremlin sanctioned plan to disrupt the US election, it would not be run by twelve identifiable GRU officers working with what appears to be only limited cover and resources. If the facts are correct, the activity might have been a routine probing, collecting and selective dissemination of information effort that all intelligence agencies engage in. The United States does so routinely in many countries, interfering in elections worldwide, far more than Russia with its limited resources, and even carrying out regime change.

If the Kremlin's objective were truly to undermine American democracy, a task that is already being undertaken very ably by the GOP and Democrats, hundreds of officers would be involved, all working under deep cover and operating securely out of dispersed sites. And no one involved would be using computers connected to networks that could be penetrated to enable personal identification or discovery of the ultimate source of the activity. Everyone would be working in alias on stand-alone machines and the transmission of information would be done using cut-outs to break any chain of custody. A cut-out might consist of using thumb drives to transmit information from one computer to another, for example. There would be no sending or receiving of information by channels that could be identified by NSA or CIA and compromised.

So the idea that the United States government identified twelve culprits who were responsible for trying to overthrow American democracy is by any measure ludicrous, if indeed there was a major plan to disrupt the election at all. The indictment is little more than a political document seeking to undermine any effort by Donald Trump to establish rapprochement with Vladimir Putin. It will also serve to give fuel to the Democrats, who are still at a loss to understand what happened to Hillary Clinton, and Republican hawks like John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse who persist in seeking to refight the Cold War. As Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin said in their Helsinki press conference, the coming together of the leaders of the world's two most powerful nuclear armed countries is too important an opportunity to let pass. Cold Warriors in Washington should take note.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .

[Jul 20, 2018] Inside WikiLeaks Working with the Publisher that Changed the World by Stefania Maurizi

Jul 20, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

For instance, I was a partner in the publication of the emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign manager, which were published by WikiLeaks shortly after the infamous Access Hollywood video revealed candidate Donald Trump making rude remarks about women.

Many media outlets continue to report that the Podesta emails were released only minutes after the Access Hollywood video aired, hinting at some sort of coordination between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign. In a indictment issued last Friday, Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, charged 12 officers of the Russian military intelligence service, GRU, for having allegedly hacked both the DNC and Podesta emails and allegedly passed them on to WikiLeaks for publication.

I have no idea who WikiLeaks' sources were for the Podesta emails: the whole concept of WikiLeaks is based on the submission of secret or otherwise restricted documents by anonymous sources. Assange said numerous times that his source for the Clinton emails was not the Russian government nor a state party.

As I worked on the Podesta emails, I do know that their publication was not a last-second decision. I had been alerted the day before, and their staggered release was a choice WikiLeaks made after the organization was harshly criticized by mainstream media for publishing the DNC documents all at once. This time the emails would trickle out to make them easier for the public to digest. But that was criticized too by the U.S. media and the Democrats as an attempt to leave Clinton bleeding a few weeks before the elections.

... ... ...

Russia perceives Assange as a sort of Western dissident. The country definitely loves the idea of "Western dissidents" and is happy to stick a finger in the eyes of the West by assuring wide coverage for Assange and his organization. Russia media highlights the contradictions in Western democracies which, while preaching aggressive journalism and the protection of journalistic sources, have instead put Chelsea Manning in prison, charged Snowden, investigated WikiLeaks for the last eight years and has kept its editor arbitrarily detained with no end in sight.

Stefania Maurizi works for the Italian daily La Repubblica as an investigative journalist, after ten years working for the Italian newsmagazine l'Espresso. She has worked on all WikiLeaks releases of secret documents, and partnered with Glenn Greenwald to reveal the Snowden files about Italy. She has also interviewed A.Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistani atomic bomb, revealed the condolence payment agreement between the US government and the family of the Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto killed in a US drone strike, and investigated the harsh working conditions of Pakistani workers in a major Italian garment factory in Karachi. She has started a multi-jurisdictional FOIA litigation effort to defend the right of the press to access the full set of documents on the Julian Assange and WikiLeaks case. She authored two books: Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti Italiani and Una Bomba, Dieci Storie, the latter translated into Japanese. She can be reached at stefania.maurizi@riseup.net

[Jul 20, 2018] Trump Stays Defiant Amid a Foreign Policy Establishment Gone Mad The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, ..."
"... . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com. ..."
Jul 20, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Trump Stays Defiant Amid a Foreign Policy Establishment Gone Mad By Patrick J. Buchanan July 20, 2018, 12:01 AM

lev radin / Shutterstock.com "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Under the Constitution, these are the offenses for which presidents can be impeached.

And to hear our elites, Donald Trump is guilty of them all.

Trump's refusal to challenge Vladimir Putin's claim at Helsinki that his GRU boys did not hack Hillary Clinton's campaign has been called treason, a refusal to do his sworn duty to protect and defend the United States, by a former director of the CIA.

Famed journalists and former high officials of the U.S. government have called Russia's hacking of the DNC "an act of war" comparable to Pearl Harbor.

The New York Times ran a story on the many now charging Trump with treason. Others suggest Putin is blackmailing Trump, or has him on his payroll, or compromised Trump a long time ago.

Wailed Congressman Steve Cohen: "Where is our military folks? The Commander in Chief is in the hands of our enemy!"

Apparently, some on the left believe we need a military coup to save our democracy.

Not since Robert Welch of the John Birch Society called Dwight Eisenhower a "conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy" have such charges been hurled at a president. But while the Birchers were a bit outside the mainstream, today it is the establishment itself bawling "Treason!"

What explains the hysteria?

The worst-case scenario would be that the establishment actually believes the nonsense it is spouting. But that is hard to credit. Like the boy who cried "Wolf!" they have cried "Fascist!" too many times to be taken seriously.

A month ago, the never-Trumpers were comparing the separation of immigrant kids from detained adults, who brought them to the U.S. illegally, to FDR's concentration camps for Japanese Americans.

Other commentators equated the separations to what the Nazis did at Auschwitz.

If the establishment truly believed this nonsense, it would be an unacceptable security risk to let them near the levers of power ever again.

Using Occam's razor, the real explanation for this behavior is the simplest one: America's elites have been driven over the edge by Trump's successes and their failures to block him.

Trump is deregulating the economy, cutting taxes, appointing record numbers of federal judges, reshaping the Supreme Court, and using tariffs to cut trade deficits and the bully pulpit to castigate freeloading allies.

Worst of all, Trump clearly intends to carry out his campaign pledge to improve relations with Russia and get along with Vladimir Putin.

"Over our dead bodies!" the Beltway elite seems to be shouting.

Hence the rhetorical WMDs hurled at Trump: liar, dictator, authoritarian, Putin's poodle, fascist, demagogue, traitor, Nazi.

Such language approaches incitement to violence. One wonders whether the haters are considering the impact of the words they so casually use. Some of us yet recall how Dallas was charged with complicity in the death of JFK for slurs far less toxic than this.

The post-Helsinki hysteria reveals not merely the mindset of the president's enemies, but the depth of their determination to destroy him.

They intend to break Trump and bring him down, to see him impeached, removed, indicted, and prosecuted, and the agenda on which he ran and was nominated and elected dumped onto the ash heap of history.

Thursday, Trump indicated that he knows exactly what is afoot, and threw down the gauntlet of defiance: "The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war," he tweeted. "They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I'll probably have a good relationship with Putin."

Spot on. Trump is saying: I am going to call off this Cold War II before it breaks out into the hot war that nine U.S. presidents avoided, despite Soviet provocations far graver than Putin's pilfering of DNC emails showing how Debbie Wasserman Schultz stuck it to Bernie Sanders.

Then the White House suggested Vlad may be coming to dinner this fall.

Trump is edging toward the defining battle of his presidency: a reshaping of U.S. foreign policy to avoid clashes and conflicts with Russia and the shedding of Cold War commitments no longer rooted in the national interests of this country.

Yet should he attempt to carry out his agenda -- to get out of Syria, pull troops from Germany, and take a second look at NATO's Article 5 commitment to go to war for 29 nations, some of which, like Montenegro, most Americans have never heard of -- he is headed for the most brutal battle of his presidency.

This Helsinki hysteria is but a taste.

By cheering Brexit, dissing the EU, suggesting NATO is obsolete, departing Syria, trying to get on with Putin, Trump is threatening the entire U.S. foreign policy establishment with what it fears most: irrelevance.

For if there is no war on, no war imminent, and no war wanted, what does a War Party do?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

[Jul 20, 2018] Russophobia is running amok in this country

Jul 20, 2018 | twitter.com

VICE News ‏ Verified account @ vicenews Jul 17

There's a small but vocal group of American scholars who say that anti-Russian hysteria is on the rise. We met with two of them to hear their admittedly unpopular case for the rightness of Russia.

(via @HBO ) pic.twitter.com/sm6pmhmEkO

-- VICE News (@vicenews) July 17, 2018

[Jul 19, 2018] Putin Asked Trump Permission to Interrogate Obama's Ambassador

Notable quotes:
"... McFaul: "Russia made the whole story up." Typical projection. And Browder only became a critic of Putin (the russian justice system) after his criminal enterprise was uncovered. ..."
"... As a "red blooded, Bible believing American", one who has served under oath, and know the duties and penalties, I suggest it's perhaps the best "diplomatic move" seen since Mr. Putin took up the Secretary of State's offer, took Syria's chemical weapons, and took up truly ridding the Nation of terrorists, both those of Saudi, and those my own government made. ..."
Jul 19, 2018 | russia-insider.com

This is pure brilliance on Russia's part. It wont happen, but it draws attention to the Browder story, and discredits McFaul by association. Very smart. Update : It appears Michael McFaul is really getting nervous, tweeting like a teenager on meth tonight:

"I hope the White House corrects the record and denounces in categorical terms this ridiculous request from Putin. Not doing so creates moral equivalency between a legitimacy US indictment of Russian intelligence officers and a crazy, completely fabricated story invented by Putin"

me title=

With The White House flip-flopping back and forth on what was actually said - and meant to be said - in Helsinki, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dropped the latest tape-bomb to blow the establishment's mind during to today's press conference.

Sanders reported that President Trump is open to a proposal from Vladimir Putin to let Russian authorities question the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul .

While Trump reportedly made no commitments to Putin, the Russian president offered to allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller to observe interrogations of the 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted by a U.S. grand jury last week for hacking Democratic Party email accounts.

Trump called it an "interesting idea" and an "incredible offer" at the news conference.

Sanders left the press corps dangling by concluding that:

"The president will work with his team and we'll let you know if there's an announcement on that front."

As The Hill reports, Russia state-owned outlet RT reported that Russia wanted to question McFaul and the author of the so-called Steele dossier, Christopher Steele, among others in its investigation into American financier Bill Browder.

Browder is a prominent critic of Putin who lobbied on behalf of the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions against Russia.

McFaul has denounced the possibility of his being questioned by Russian officials, and has called on Trump to condemn the proposal .

"Putin has been harassing me for a long time," McFaul said on Twitter on Wednesday.

"That he now wants to arrest me, however, takes it to a new level. I expect my government to defend me and my colleagues in public and private ."

And went on...

Does he seem nervous to you?


Source: Zero Hedge Putin Asked Trump Permission to Interrogate Obama's Ambassador This is pure brilliance on Russia's part. It wont happen, but it draws attention to the Browder story, and discredits McFaul by association. Very smart. Tyler Durden 11 hours ago | 1,727 41 MORE: Politics Update : It appears Michael McFaul is really getting nervous, tweeting like a teenager on meth tonight:

"I hope the White House corrects the record and denounces in categorical terms this ridiculous request from Putin. Not doing so creates moral equivalency between a legitimacy US indictment of Russian intelligence officers and a crazy, completely fabricated story invented by Putin"

With The White House flip-flopping back and forth on what was actually said - and meant to be said - in Helsinki, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dropped the latest tape-bomb to blow the establishment's mind during to today's press conference.

Sanders reported that President Trump is open to a proposal from Vladimir Putin to let Russian authorities question the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul .

While Trump reportedly made no commitments to Putin, the Russian president offered to allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller to observe interrogations of the 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted by a U.S. grand jury last week for hacking Democratic Party email accounts.

Trump called it an "interesting idea" and an "incredible offer" at the news conference.

Sanders left the press corps dangling by concluding that:

"The president will work with his team and we'll let you know if there's an announcement on that front."

As The Hill reports, Russia state-owned outlet RT reported that Russia wanted to question McFaul and the author of the so-called Steele dossier, Christopher Steele, among others in its investigation into American financier Bill Browder.

Browder is a prominent critic of Putin who lobbied on behalf of the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions against Russia.

McFaul has denounced the possibility of his being questioned by Russian officials, and has called on Trump to condemn the proposal .

"Putin has been harassing me for a long time," McFaul said on Twitter on Wednesday.

"That he now wants to arrest me, however, takes it to a new level. I expect my government to defend me and my colleagues in public and private ."

And went on... Does he seem nervous to you?


Source: Zero Hedge

ole • 11 hours ago ,

McFaul: "Russia made the whole story up." Typical projection. And Browder only became a critic of Putin (the russian justice system) after his criminal enterprise was uncovered.

mis dos centavos • 11 hours ago ,

Considering McFaul is just another Pyatt, all his 'Russia made up" nonsense is hardly worth an afterthought. He's in dirt up to his ears.

mis dos centavos mis dos centavos 11 hours ago ,

Only reason he couldn't get to square one pulling off a Pyatt was because he had no banderite fascist-style goon squads in Russia under his command.

mis dos centavos mis dos centavos 11 hours ago ,

Think about that one, Mr. McFoul. It's not only Russia that can read you like a book.

mis dos centavos mis dos centavos 9 hours ago ,

I did like this one review of your insightful book, Mr. McFoul. If I send you the review, will you sign it? I'd be honored. Russia's Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin By Michael McFaul, Cornell University Press, 2001
http://exiledonline.com/mik...

This book is a four-hundred page testimonial to the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the American Russia-watching mafia. In its pages, Michael McFaul condemns himself again and again with staggering non-sequiturs, self-serving lies, crude misrepresentations of his own past and the recent history of Russia, and repeated failures to meet even the most basic standards of academic rigor.

tom 11 hours ago ,

Mr McFaul seems to be unfamiliar with the concept of law and a justice system. If he is indicted by the Russian courts and required for questioning, why is that any different from Russian "suspects" being indicted by US courts and required for questioning? Until the justice system has made its inquiries and run its course, no one can know for sure whether Mr McFaul is guilty of crimes or not. So why does he demand total immunity from justice in such a peremptory, entitled way?

Surely it can't be because he feels that Americans are in any way "superior", "exceptional", or immune from justice? Surely Mr McFaul isn't a crude common-or-garden racist? Surely...?

jsinton tom 8 hours ago ,

The rub here is the ambassador enjoys diplomatic immunity from prosecution for events that might have occurred during his tenure in Moscow from Russian courts. If the Trump DOJ decides he should face the music then he has no immunity.

Bad boy!! Otto!! tom 6 hours ago ,

Your third question answers your second question almost perfectly. Because he feels that Americans are in every way "superior", "exceptional", and should be immune from justice, no matter how heinous the crimes they have committed. There fixed it for ya. :-)

Brian Eggar 5 hours ago ,

What a circus and what a lot of clowns. As they say, nobody is above the law or at least they shouldn't be. I would say that Mr McFaul does protest too much and judging by his rattled statements appears that he has something to hide. Getting back to basics where is the $400K and how did it get there and did any go missing on the way?

David James 7 hours ago ,

Bonobo Administration exempt from Law, Prosecution or scrutiny---via the CIA.

Truth • 11 hours ago ,

McFaul is a bag boy shabbos goy for the Jooz that are trying to re-steal (1917, 1991, 2014) Russian wealth. Browder was a discarded Rothschild foreskin.

Constantine BMWA1 6 hours ago ,

Earl Browder was lauding Soviet Russia and its successes. He didn't fleece the Russian people. His grandson is a parasite that hates Russia and has siphoned his ill-gotten gains from the country. No comparison.

Kjell Hasthi 8 hours ago ,

The interesting side of the story is Trump can say yes as president. Not much Michael McFaul can do then? It will turn MSM Media upside down. Btw. NSA can give tips to the Russians about what to ask. They know everything. Assad probably would also like to question McCain regarding illegal stay in Syria

Tommy Jensen Kjell Hasthi 5 hours ago ,

What I like most of all is Trump´s comment "an interesting idea and an incredible offer". ha ha ha ha ha ha. It will probably not be possible to realize, but it shows Trump is not stupid at all.

Merijn 10 hours ago ,

Pay Back Time: Puppeticians will be taken out... One at the time...the Longer the Fun will Last...Russia just make all their Lies Visible... it is a very Strong Weapon... People are Tired and fed up with Liars, Traitors & Deceivers... Yesterday they caught our Foreign Minister Blok with some nice Statements...He's like a gut-Shot animal at the moment...one more Trick and He is Exit....just keep an eye on him...

https://www.aljazeera.com/n...
Stef Blok... You are a complete idiot... take your stuff and Buzz Off...the IMF or the European Union always can use Some Retarded Ex-Puppeticians Like You...

Ray Douglas 4 hours ago ,

I wouldn't advise Trump to go to Dallas.

Koroviev,Behemoth&Woland LLP 5 hours ago ,

View Hide

Snowglobe 20 minutes ago ,

Lee Stranahan Exposes Bill Browder, The Man Mentioned By Putin In Helsinki Summit Play Hide

Solzhenitsyn fan • an hour ago ,

Putin is not 8 Dan for nothing! Absolutely brilliant!

In the news:
https://www.smh.com.au/worl...

"Trump invited Putin to Washington for summit: White House". Washington: President Donald Trump invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Washington for a summit in the northern autumn. "In Helsinki, @POTUS agreed to ongoing working level dialogue between the two security council staffs," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a tweet on Thursday. "President Trump asked @AmbJohnBolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway.

Sanders announced the invitation less than an hour after the Republican-led Senate effectively rebuked President Donald Trump for considering Russia's request to question US officials, giving voice to growing unease over the president's relationship with Putin following their summit in Helsinki on Monday...

Bobbie Taylor an hour ago ,

Russia should be allowed to question McFaul. We should honor the treaty. Unfortunately, the intelligence agencies have more power than the president at this point. They want to assassinate him.

Haut 4 hours ago ,

Everything about this guy just smells, Foul Lol

John McClain 4 hours ago ,

As a "red blooded, Bible believing American", one who has served under oath, and know the duties and penalties, I suggest it's perhaps the best "diplomatic move" seen since Mr. Putin took up the Secretary of State's offer, took Syria's chemical weapons, and took up truly ridding the Nation of terrorists, both those of Saudi, and those my own government made.

I was afraid for a bit, Syria was going to be broken, and I've served beside Syrian Army in Beirut, I respect them highly, consider them among the best professionals, as the world can easily see they are, and I hate what a criminal cadre are doing to my Country, while we enjoy our sit/coms and beer, and eat snacks and get fat.

God Bless Russia and President Putin, "it take's a man to make a man", is an old saying, and the same is true for Nations, I expect.
Semper Fidelis,
John McClain
Vanceboro, NC, USA

Snowglobe 4 hours ago ,

LOL! Thank you Mr. Putin! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Keep poking these idiots with a stick. :-)

Tommy Jensen Lycan Thrope 5 hours ago ,

There is only one solution for uncle Sam.
View Hide

Maria Angelica Brunell Solar Lycan Thrope 4 hours ago ,

You did not understand the proposal. Russian police interrogates the indicted Russian officials, and Mueller and team can be given permission to enter Russia and watch the interrogations. American police interrogates Browder and accomplices, and Russian police can be given permission to enter the US and watch the proceedings. Completely fair and transparent, according to existing Treaty between the 2 countries. Nobody can be extradited, because there is no extradition treaty between the countries.

Leon • 6 hours ago ,

If Russia is doing killing and poisoning, how come Soros and Browder are not killed, if anybody deserves - here are two biggest criminals and both of them are Joos.

[Jul 19, 2018] America Overrules Trump No Peace with Russia by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... The governments of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, if their countries are to survive, must give up their deluded hopes of reaching agreements with the United States. No such possibility exists on terms that the countries can accept. ..."
"... American foreign policy rests on threat and force. It is guided by the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, a doctrine that is inconsistent with accepting the sovereignty of other countries. ..."
"... The Russians -- especially the naive Atlanticist Integrationists -- should take note of the extreme hostility, indeed, to the point of insanity, directed at the Helsinki meeting across the entirety of the American political, media, and intellectual scene ..."
"... There is no support for Trump's agenda of peace with Russia in the US foreign policy arena. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, spoke for them all when he declared that "We must deal with Putin's Russia as the rogue state it is." Russia is a " rogue state" simply because Russia does not accept Washington's overlordship. ..."
"... There is no support even in Trump's own government for normalizing relations with Russia unless the neoconservative definition of normal relations is used. By normal relations neoconservatives mean a vassal state relationship with Washington. That, and only that, is "normal." Russia can have normal relations with America only on the basis of this definition of normal. Sooner or later Putin and Lavrov will have to acknowledge this fact. ..."
"... A lie repeated over and over becomes a fact. That is what has happened to Russiagate. Despite the total absence of any evidence, it is now a fact in America that Putin himself put Trump in the Oval Office. That Trump met with Putin at Helsinki is considered proof that Trump is Putin's lackey, as the New York Times and many others now assert as self-evident. That Trump stood next to "the murderous thug Putin" and accepted Putin's word that Russia did not interfere in the election of the US president is regarded as double proof that Trump is in Putin's pocket and that the Russiagate story is true. ..."
Jul 19, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

The governments of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, if their countries are to survive, must give up their deluded hopes of reaching agreements with the United States. No such possibility exists on terms that the countries can accept.

American foreign policy rests on threat and force. It is guided by the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, a doctrine that is inconsistent with accepting the sovereignty of other countries. The only way that Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea can reach an agreement with Washington is to become vassals like the UK, all of Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

The Russians -- especially the naive Atlanticist Integrationists -- should take note of the extreme hostility, indeed, to the point of insanity, directed at the Helsinki meeting across the entirety of the American political, media, and intellectual scene. Putin is incorrect that US-Russian relations are being held hostage to an internal US political struggle between the two parties. The Republicans are just as insane and just as hostile to President Trump's effort to improve American-Russian relations as the Democrats, as Donald Jeffries reminds us .

The American rightwing is just as opposed as the leftwing. Only a few experts, such as Stephen Cohen and Amb. Jack Matlock , President Reagan's ambassador to the Soviet Union, have spoken out in support of Trump's attempt to reduce the dangerous tensions between the nuclear powers. Only a few pundits have explained the actual facts and the stakes.

There is no support for Trump's agenda of peace with Russia in the US foreign policy arena. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, spoke for them all when he declared that "We must deal with Putin's Russia as the rogue state it is." Russia is a " rogue state" simply because Russia does not accept Washington's overlordship. Not for any other reason.

There is no support even in Trump's own government for normalizing relations with Russia unless the neoconservative definition of normal relations is used. By normal relations neoconservatives mean a vassal state relationship with Washington. That, and only that, is "normal." Russia can have normal relations with America only on the basis of this definition of normal. Sooner or later Putin and Lavrov will have to acknowledge this fact.

A lie repeated over and over becomes a fact. That is what has happened to Russiagate. Despite the total absence of any evidence, it is now a fact in America that Putin himself put Trump in the Oval Office. That Trump met with Putin at Helsinki is considered proof that Trump is Putin's lackey, as the New York Times and many others now assert as self-evident. That Trump stood next to "the murderous thug Putin" and accepted Putin's word that Russia did not interfere in the election of the US president is regarded as double proof that Trump is in Putin's pocket and that the Russiagate story is true.

[Jul 19, 2018] The Russian US Election Meddling Big Lie Won't Die by Stephen Lendman

Notable quotes:
"... Propaganda works, proved effective time and again – why it's a key tool in America's deep state playbook. ..."
"... Virtually anything repeated enough, especially through the major media megaphone, gets most people to believe it – no matter how preposterous the claim. ..."
"... Normalized relations with Russia and world peace are anathema notions in Washington. Bipartisan neocons infesting the US political establishment want none of it. America's hegemonic aims matter most – wanting dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations. Endless wars of aggression, color revolutions, and other unlawful practices harmful to human rights and welfare are its favored strategies. ..."
Jul 19, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Propaganda works, proved effective time and again – why it's a key tool in America's deep state playbook.

Virtually anything repeated enough, especially through the major media megaphone, gets most people to believe it – no matter how preposterous the claim.

Not a shred of evidence suggests Russia meddled in America's political process – nothing.

Yet an earlier NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed most Americans believe the Russia did it Big Lie. A months earlier Gallup poll showed three-fourths of Americans view Vladimir Putin unfavorably.

Americans are easy marks to be fooled. No matter how many times they were deceived before, they're easily manipulated to believe most anything drummed into their minds by the power of repetitious propaganda – fed them through through the major media megaphone – in lockstep with the official falsified narrative.

America's dominant media serve as a propaganda platform for US imperial and monied interests – acting as agents of deception, betraying their readers and viewers time and again instead of informing them responsibly.

CNN presstitute Poppy Harlow played a clip on air of Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asking Putin in Helsinki the following question:

"Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?"

Putin said: "Yes," he wanted Trump to win "because he talked about bringing the US-Russia relationship back to normal," as translated from his Russian language response.

Here's the precise translation of his remark:

"Yes, I wanted him to win, because he talked about the need to normalize US-Russia relations," adding:

"Isn't it natural to have sympathy towards a man who wants to restore relations with your country? That's normal."

Putin did not address the fabricated official narrative notion that he directed his officials to help Trump win. Yet CNN's Harlow claimed otherwise, falsely claiming he ordered Kremlin officials to help Trump triumph over Hillary.

He did nothing of the kind or say it, nor did any other Kremlin officials. No evidence proves otherwise – nothing but baseless accusations supported only by the power of deceptive propaganda.

Time and again, CNN, the NYT, and rest of America's dominant media prove themselves untrustworthy.

They consistently abandon journalism the way it's supposed to be, notably on geopolitical issues, especially on war and peace and anything about Russia.

After rejecting, or at least doubting, the official narrative about alleged Russian meddling in the US political process to aid his election, Trump backtracked post-Helsinki – capitulating to deep state power.

First in the White House, he said he misspoke abroad – then on CBS News Wednesday night, saying it's "true," deplorably adding:

Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, and he "would" hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for the interference – that didn't occur, he failed to stress.

Here's his verbatim exchange with CBS anchor Jeff Glor :

GLOR: "You say you agree with US intelligence that Russia meddled in the election in 2016."

TRUMP: "Yeah and I've said that before, Jeff. I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true, yeah."

GLOR: "But you haven't condemned Putin, specifically. Do you hold him personally responsible?"

TRUMP: "Well, I would, because he's in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes."

GLOR: "What did you say to him?"

TRUMP: "Very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling. We can't have any of that – now look. We're also living in a grown-up world."

"Will a strong statement – you know – President Obama supposedly made a strong statement. Nobody heard it."

"What they did hear is a statement he made to Putin's very close friend. And that statement was not acceptable. Didn't get very much play relatively speaking. But that statement was not acceptable."

"But I let him know we can't have this. We're not going to have it, and that's the way it's going to be."

There you have it – Trump capitulating to America's deep state over Russia on national television.

From day one in power, he caved to the national security state, Wall Street, and other monied interests over popular ones.

The sole redeeming part of his agenda was wanting improved relations with Russia and Vladimir Putin personally – preferring peace over possible confrontation, wanting the threat of nuclear war defused.

Despite tweeting post-Helsinki that he and Putin "got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match," his remarks on CBS News showed he'll continue dirty US business as usual toward Russia.

Anything positive from summit talks appears abandoned by capitulating to deep state power controlling him and his agenda.

Normalized relations with Russia and world peace are anathema notions in Washington. Bipartisan neocons infesting the US political establishment want none of it. America's hegemonic aims matter most – wanting dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations. Endless wars of aggression, color revolutions, and other unlawful practices harmful to human rights and welfare are its favored strategies.

Will Americans go along with sacrificing vital freedoms for greater security from invented enemies – losing both? Will US belligerent confrontation with Russia inevitably follow? Will mushroom-shaped denouement eventually kill us all?

*

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org ( Home – Stephen Lendman ). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net .

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html "

[Jul 19, 2018] America Doesn't Need Another Weakling NATO Ally The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... In contrast, the transatlantic alliance should advance American and European security. Absorbing former members of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union, thereby pushing the alliance up to the Russian Federation's border, proved to be a foolish move because it violated assurances made to Russian leaders. Despite being former KGB, Vladimir Putin never appeared to be ideologically antagonistic toward America. However, when he perceived Washington's behavior as threatening -- including dismembering Serbia, backing revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, and promising to include both nations in NATO -- it encouraged him to respond violently. ..."
"... Admitting new members is never costless. Aid will be necessary to improve their militaries. Moreover, newer members sometimes become the most demanding, like the Baltics and Poland, which insist that they are entitled to American bases and garrisons. ..."
"... Continuing expansion also reinforces the message that NATO is hostile toward Russia. That's the only country allies are joining to oppose, after all. Obviously, there are plenty of other reasons Moscow should distrust the United States, but reinforcing negative perceptions for no benefit at all is bad policy. ..."
"... The Mouse that Roared ..."
"... Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of ..."
Jul 19, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

America Doesn't Need Another Weakling NATO Ally Macedonia is the latest nation invited into the alliance, but how does that enhance America's (or Europe's) security? By Doug Bandow July 19, 2018

Utenriksdept / cc At last week's NATO summit, President Donald Trump denounced the allies for taking advantage of American taxpayers. Then he approved their latest subsidies. He even agreed to invite a military weakling, Macedonia, to join NATO, which will add yet another nation to our military dole.

When George Washington warned Americans against forming a "passionate attachment" to other countries, he might have been thinking of the Balkans. Indeed, a couple decades later, John Quincy Adams criticized proposals to aid Greece against the Ottoman Empire, which then ruled that region. America "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy," he intoned.

On into the 20th century, the Balkans were in turmoil. Germany's "Iron Chancellor," Otto von Bismarck, warned that "the great European War would come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans." That's exactly what happened in 1914.

It took decades and two world wars for the Balkans to stabilize. But after the Cold War ended, Yugoslavia, which had emerged from Europe's previous convulsions, broke apart. One of the smaller pieces was Macedonia.

The battles among the Serbians, Croatians, and Bosnians were bloody and brutal. In contrast, Macedonia provided comic relief. The small, mountainous, landlocked nation of two million people won its independence without a fight in 1991, though Athens launched a verbal and economic war against Skopje over the latter's use of the name "Macedonia."

Perhaps modern Greeks feared that a resurrected Alexander the Great would lead the newly freed Macedonian hordes south and conquer Greece. Skopje entered the United Nations under the provisional name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM. In June, after only 27 years, the two governments agreed that Macedonia/FYROM would be called the Republic of North Macedonia -- though the decision must still be ratified by the Macedonian people in a referendum.

More serious was the insurgency launched by ethnic Albanians who made up about a quarter of the nation's population. The battle two decades ago over Kosovo inflamed ethnic relations in Macedonia, eventually resulting in a short-lived insurgency. Although the fighters disarmed, Skopje's politics remained nationalist and difficult. Last year, a more liberal administration took over, but the country's democratic institutions remain fragile.

Indeed, Freedom House only rates the nation "partly free." The group cites voter intimidation, political patronage networks, violent protests, and problems with judicial impartiality and due process. Particularly serious were the threats against press freedom, which led to a rating of "not free" in that area. While NATO's newer members tend to score lower than "Old Europe," as Donald Rumsfeld once referred to the original allies, Macedonia is a step further down. Only Turkey, an incipient dictatorship, is worse: it almost certainly would not be considered for membership today.

None of this mattered last week, however. After suffering Trump's many slings and arrows, alliance members approved an invitation for Skopje to join NATO. Macedonian lawmaker Artan Grubi called it "our dream coming true. We have been in the waiting hall for too long."

That's because Macedonia had hoped for an invite back in 2008 at the Bucharest summit, but was blocked by Athens over the name dispute, and has wanted to join ever since. Macedonia's Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska said, "With NATO membership, Macedonia becomes part of the most powerful alliance. That enhances both our security and economic prosperity." Money and status are expected to follow.

But how would this benefit the United States and other NATO members? James Ker-Lindsay at the London School of Economics made the astonishing claim that "opening the way for the country to join NATO would be a big win for the organization at a crucial time when concerns over Russian influence in the Western Balkans are growing in many capitals." As Skopje goes, so goes Europe? Not likely. If Washington and Moscow are engaged in a new "great game," it is not a battle for Macedonia.

In fact, Macedonia is a security irrelevancy, destined to require American aid to create the pretense that its military is fit for the transatlantic alliance. Skopje spent just $112 million on its armed forces last year, ahead of only one NATO member, Montenegro. That was barely 1 percent of its GDP, putting Macedonia near the back of the NATO pack.

With an 8,000-man military, one is tempted to ask, why bother? But then one could similarly pose that query to several other NATO members. Skopje's military is roughly the same size as Albania's, slightly bigger than Slovenia's, and about four times the size of Montenegro's. None will be of much use in a conflict with the only conceivable threat, Russia.

So why bring Macedonia into NATO?

Some American policymakers see alliance membership as a means to socialize nations like Macedonia, helping them move towards democracy. However, the European Union, which sets standards governing a range of domestic policies, has always been better suited to this task, and EU membership imposes no security obligations on Washington. With the name controversy tentatively resolved, Skopje could begin the EU accession process -- if the Europeans are willing. That is properly their -- not Washington's -- responsibility.

In contrast, the transatlantic alliance should advance American and European security. Absorbing former members of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union, thereby pushing the alliance up to the Russian Federation's border, proved to be a foolish move because it violated assurances made to Russian leaders. Despite being former KGB, Vladimir Putin never appeared to be ideologically antagonistic toward America. However, when he perceived Washington's behavior as threatening -- including dismembering Serbia, backing revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, and promising to include both nations in NATO -- it encouraged him to respond violently.

The Balkans are peripheral even to Europe and matter little to America's defense. The states and peoples there tend to be more disruptive and less democratic than their neighbors, reflecting the region's unstable history. (North) Macedonia's 8,000 troops aren't likely to be reborn as the Spartan 300 and hold off invading Russians. So why should America threaten war on Skopje's behalf?

Admitting new members is never costless. Aid will be necessary to improve their militaries. Moreover, newer members sometimes become the most demanding, like the Baltics and Poland, which insist that they are entitled to American bases and garrisons.

Expansion also complicates alliance decision-making. No doubt, Washington wishes its European allies would do what they're told: spend more, shut up, and deploy where America wants them. That doesn't work out very well in practice, alas, as Trump has discovered in Europe (though nations with smaller militaries are more likely to acquiesce than nations with bigger ones). An organization of 30 members, which NATO will become if Macedonia is added, is a more complex and less agile creature than one of 16, the number that existed before NATO raced east.

Continuing expansion also reinforces the message that NATO is hostile toward Russia. That's the only country allies are joining to oppose, after all. Obviously, there are plenty of other reasons Moscow should distrust the United States, but reinforcing negative perceptions for no benefit at all is bad policy.

Finally, expanding the alliance is nonsensical in light of the president's criticisms of the Europeans. Hiking U.S. military spending, increasing manpower and materiel deployments in Europe, and adding new members all contradict his demand that the allies do more and signal that the president is not serious in his demands. That leaves the Europeans with little incentive to act, especially since most of their peoples perceive few if any security threats.

Yet again President Trump has been exposed as a thoughtless blowhard. His rabid supporters have likely enjoyed his confrontational rhetoric, but he has done nothing to turn it into policy. The Europeans need only wait for his attacks to ebb and then they can proceed much the same as before. The status quo will continue to reign, impervious to change.

Montenegro always resembled the Duchy of Grand Fenwick from the delightful novel The Mouse that Roared . Macedonia is the Duchy of North Grand Fenwick, a slightly larger neighboring state with similar features but additional problems. Neither is remotely relevant to American security. America doesn't need yet another security black hole as an alliance partner.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire .

[Jul 19, 2018] A Tale of Two Poisonings by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... Repeated requests by Russia to obtain a sample of the alleged nerve agent for testing were rejected by the British government in spite of the fact that a military grade nerve agent would have surely killed both the Skripals as well as anyone else within 100 yards. As the latest British account of the location of the alleged poison places it on the door handle of the Scripals' residence, the timetable element was also unconvincing. That meant that the two would have spent three hours, including a stop at a pub and lunch, before succumbing on a park bench. Military grade nerve agents kill instantly. ..."
"... Nevertheless, the politically weak May government, desperately seeking a formidable foreign enemy to rally around against, insisted that Russia, almost certainly acting under orders from Vladimir Putin himself, carried out the killing of a former British double agent who had been released from a Kremlin prison in a spy swap and who was no longer capable of doing any damage to Russia. Putin apparently did all that in spite of the fact that he had an election coming up and would be the host of the World Cup in the summer, an event that would be an absolute top priority to have go smoothly. ..."
Jul 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

Poisoning enemies has a long history with Augustus Caesar's wife Livia allegedly a master of the art, as were the Borgias in Renaissance Italy. Lately there has been a resurgence in allegations regarding the use of poisons of various types by several governments. The claims are particularly damaging both morally and legally as international conventions regard the use of poisonous chemical compounds as particularly heinous, condemning their use because they, when employed in quantity, become "weapons of mass destruction," killing indiscriminately and horribly, making no distinction between combatants and civilians. Their use is considered to be a "war crime" and the government officials who ordered their deployment are "war criminals," subject to prosecution by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

There are two important poisoning stories that have made the news recently. Both are follow-ups to reporting that has appeared in the news over the past few months and both are particularly interesting because they tend to repudiate earlier coverage that had been largely accepted by several governments as well as the media and the chattering class of paid experts that appears on television.

The first story relates to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March. There was quite a bit that was odd about the Skripal case, which relied from the start " on circumstantial evidence and secret intelligence." And there was inevitably a rush to judgment. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson blamed Russia less than forty-eight hours after the Skripals were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury England, too soon for any chemical analysis of the alleged poisoning to have taken place.

British Prime Minister Theresa May threw gasoline on the fire when she addressed Parliament shortly thereafter to blame the Kremlin and demand a Russian official response to the event in 36 hours, declaring that the apparent poisoning was "very likely" caused by a made-in-Russia nerve agent referred to by its generic name novichok. The British media was soon on board with a vengeance, spreading the government line that such a highly sensitive operation would require the approval of President Vladimir Putin himself. The expulsion of Russian diplomats soon followed with the United States and other countries following suit.

Repeated requests by Russia to obtain a sample of the alleged nerve agent for testing were rejected by the British government in spite of the fact that a military grade nerve agent would have surely killed both the Skripals as well as anyone else within 100 yards. As the latest British account of the location of the alleged poison places it on the door handle of the Scripals' residence, the timetable element was also unconvincing. That meant that the two would have spent three hours, including a stop at a pub and lunch, before succumbing on a park bench. Military grade nerve agents kill instantly.

The head of Britain's own chemical weapons facility Porton Down even contradicted claims made by May, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, and British Ambassador in Moscow Laurie Bristow. The lab's Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead testified that he did not know if the nerve agent was actually produced in Russia, a not surprising observation as the chemical formula was revealed to the public in a scientific paper in 1992 and there are an estimated twenty countries capable of producing it. There are also presumed stocks of novichok remaining in independent countries that once were part of the Soviet Union, to include Russia's enemy du jour Ukraine, while a false flag operation by the British themselves, the CIA or Mossad, is not unthinkable.

Nevertheless, the politically weak May government, desperately seeking a formidable foreign enemy to rally around against, insisted that Russia, almost certainly acting under orders from Vladimir Putin himself, carried out the killing of a former British double agent who had been released from a Kremlin prison in a spy swap and who was no longer capable of doing any damage to Russia. Putin apparently did all that in spite of the fact that he had an election coming up and would be the host of the World Cup in the summer, an event that would be an absolute top priority to have go smoothly.

Now there has been an actual death in Amesbury near Salisbury that has been attributed to novichok. On June 30 th , Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were admitted to hospital after being found unconscious. Sturgess died eight days later. The May government has not yet blamed it on Putin or even on a clumsy Russian operative that might have inadvertently left behind a vial of poison or a used syringe, though Home Secretary Sajid Javid came close to that when he suggested that Russia was using Britain as a "dumping ground for poisons." Police suggestions that the poisoned couple appear to have handled novichok infused material of some kind before succumbing appears to be contradicted by inability to find the actual source of the alleged exposure.

British government dancing around the issue notwithstanding, there have been suggestions that the closest source of more novichok might well be the U.K. government labs at nearby Porton Down, only seven miles from Salisbury and Amesbury, which increases suspicion about the original story promulgated by Downing Street. Would the British government actually poison an expendable ex-Russian spy and his daughter to divert attention from a domestic political problem at home? It's worth considering as the "blame it all on Putin narrative" becomes even less credible.

The second story comes from Syria, where there is also a Russian hand as Moscow is aiding the government of Bashar al-Assad. The by now notorious April 7, 2018 alleged chemical attack on the rebel-held Syrian city of Douma was widely blamed by Western countries and the mainstream media on Assad's forces. This resulted in a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to order massive U.S.-led retaliatory airstrikes against targets reportedly involved in chemical production in and around Damascus.

Trump blamed "animal Assad" for "using nerve agents" and both the media and most European governments followed that line, concluding that Damascus had ordered the chemical attacks a mere moments after videos purporting to show scores of chemical attack victims first surfaced from rebel sources, long before U.S. intelligence could have made its own assessment. A 5-page White House assessment released on April 13th, just days after the alleged attack asserted that sarin was used at Douma , claiming that "A significant body of information points to the regime using chlorine in its bombardment of Duma, while some additional information points to the regime also using the nerve agent sarin."

Independent sources warned at the time that not a single neutral observer was on the ground to confirm that chemical agents launched by the Syrian government had, in fact, been used, but were ignored. All of the sources reporting the attack were either affiliated with the rebels who occupied the area or were not physically present in Douma.

Now, finally, three months later, there has been a credible independent report on what was determined about the attack through chemical analysis of traces recovered in Douma. A preliminary report published last Friday by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found no traces of any nerve agent like sarin at the site. The OPCW report states this clearly : "No organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties."

This means that the Trump Administration claimed to have details relating to an event in a foreign country that it did not know and could not actually confirm to be true. And it used that as a justification for ordering an airstrike that killed people and destroyed targets in Syria. Will the White House respond to the OPCW report and apologize, possibly to include reparations for an unjustified attack on another sovereign nation? Don't hold your breath.

The Salisbury and Douma attacks are illustrative of just what happens when a government is prepared to dissimulate or even lie to go the extra mile to make a case to justify preemptive action that otherwise might be challenged. Theresa May is, unfortunately, still in power and so is Donald Trump. In a better world an outraged public would demand that they be thrown out of office and even possibly subjected to the tender ministrations of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. With power comes accountability, or at least that should be the rule, but it is a dictum that has for some time been ignored. Even given that, one might hope that the blunders will not be repeated, but there is not even any assurance that either May or Trump is much given to "lessons learned" or that a Mike Pence or Boris Johnson would be any better. That is our tragedy.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.


FKA Max , Website July 17, 2018 at 4:29 am GMT

Putin apparently did all that in spite of the fact that he had an election coming up and would be the host of the World Cup in the summer, an event that would be an absolute top priority to have go smoothly.
[...]
Would the British government actually poison an expendable ex-Russian spy and his daughter to divert attention from a domestic political problem at home? It's worth considering as the "blame it all on Putin narrative" becomes even less credible.

Mr. Giraldi,

these were my thoughts at first too, but I looked into the case quite extensively over the last several weeks and came to the conclusion that Putin actually had more of a motive than the British government, et al.

This is my evolution on the Skripals' case:

On Skripal I'm not entirely certain, since I haven't really looked into the case. Also the timing of the incident seems to be not what Putin would have chosen, in my opinion, since it was too close to the soccer World Cup events/celebrations in Russia, and Putin usually tries to be conciliatory with the West before big sporting events like that in Russia, e.g. when he released Khodorkovsky early before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, for example.

https://www.unz.com/article/revisiting-litvinenko-what-really-happened/#comment-2401031

As I said before, I was agnostic about the Skripal case and tried to keep an open mind about it and not reflexively blame it on (the) Russians (government), but you providing me with this additional information makes me actually more of a believer in the official Western narrative now.

https://www.unz.com/article/revisiting-litvinenko-what-really-happened/#comment-2401541

I'm reaching here, and this is pure speculation on my part, but could it be that the Skripals were poisoned ( March 4, 2018 ) by Putin, et al. to distract from the 200+ Russian mercenaries allegedly killed by U.S. airstrikes in Syria ( February 7, 2018 ) http://www.unz.com/tsaker/book-review-losing-military-supremacy-the-myopia-of-american-strategic-planning-by-andrei-martyanov/#comment-2406731 before the Russian election ( March 18, 2018 )?

https://www.unz.com/article/revisiting-litvinenko-what-really-happened/#comment-2407120

Repeated requests by Russia to obtain a sample of the alleged nerve agent for testing were rejected by the British government in spite of the fact that a military grade nerve agent would have surely killed both the Skripals as well as anyone else within 100 yards.

They mention that only 3 known cases of Novichok agent poisoning had been treated before the cases of the Skripals, so there was very little guidance and experience to go on in how to treat Yulia and her father. https://www.unz.com/article/revisiting-litvinenko-what-really-happened/#comment-2401824

Skripals doctor: 'We expected them not to survive' – BBC News

tac , July 17, 2018 at 5:25 am GMT
@FKA Max

You should watch a recent interview with Walter Litvinenko (father of the deceased Alexander Litvinenko) to hear his startling admissions:

jilles dykstra , July 17, 2018 at 7:17 am GMT
It was hilarious to watch yesterday evening, as the presidential plane had been underway for two and a half hours, the consternation on CNN.
As I expected, the vague accusations about Russian meddling in the elections continued this morning, on CNN.
I remember an interview on CNN before the elections, someoen said 'if Trump wins', the two of CNN burst into laughter.
I do hope Trump survives, politically and fysically.
Luckily is it not very ease to murder a president these days.
On top of that, Sept 11 made many all over the world quite suspicious.
I for one never believed that Russia would be so stupid as to try to murder two former spies in such a stupid way, and without any motive.
MH17 is a similar case.
Assad also is not stupid, he had no interest whatsoever to use poison gas in Syria.
How Arafat died we still do not know, that was done professionally, or maybe not, if I had to kill him I would try to make his death look natural, a clear cause.
Who had a motive is quite clear.
Greg Bacon , Website July 17, 2018 at 9:18 am GMT
Until the unhinged May lets Yulia go free–if she's still alive–and go back to Russia and tell her side of the story, nothing will change.

The so-called Deep State and its willing toady, the corrupt, lying MSM are accomplices in this False Flag and they are the ones that should be in the dock at the ICC. But since the ICC is part of the Deep State, don't expect this to happen.

This Russian bashing has gotten completely out of hand. And now that Putin has stated that the sleazy Russian thief oligarch Browder helped launder 400 million to the DNC-Clinton Mob, it's going to get very interesting, if not dangerous for humanity.

They need a BIG distraction to get the sheeple's thought off the truth that there is NOTHING to the Putin-Trump election meddling, anything might happen, even a repeat of the Israeli masterminded 9/11 False Flag.

Does 'Lucky Larry' own anymore asbestos-laden skyscrapers?

EliteCommInc. , July 17, 2018 at 10:02 am GMT
i would love to make a formal complaint about conspiracies because there are people who will and do make trouble for others. it has taken me a long time to come to that place – but it is no joke as dr. geraldi no doubt knows.

however, one needs the evidence and what has been lacking in all these accusations whether its russia and us elections, chemical weapons in syria, or supposed poisoning of three people formerly associated with russia, there is suspicion, and there is narrative, but little in the way of facts. and if any of these accusations were concerning single individual battling mere gossip and innuendo or other nefarious behaviors, i have learned to discount nothing. look if you can't bring a coupon into a store, wait for coffee without people launching into fits of fear of life . . . then who knows what triggers people's self defense. it apparently dos not take much for the supposed superior people to make their inferiors look off kilt. i just take it granted that when i leave my house, on occasion, i have visitors – as "nutty" as that sounds.

but these cases have multiple researchers and resources to bar on the matter and yet, the evidence is either mere narrative, contradicted or has a variety of explanations just as reasonable or more reasonable. but what we have is an entire population engaged in manufacturing not one but several cases in which the president of the us actually engaged in treason based on sketchy financial dealings with russian banks and financial elites.

and i think this article makes the case that people with power who engage in wielding accusations should be held to the standard of providing evidence. and while i am a little uncomfortable with our president engaging in open debate with our intel community from overseas, his objection is well put. the process of evidence collection and by independent objective observers is unreasonable. yet he found it quite convenient to buy the argument by the same intel agencies for said use in syria. the election is over, but the war about the election, the level of dislike of the elected , i think it is fair to say has never been so widespread and deep such that members of the government or government agencies would sign up to press the matter.

and quip reflctions about the damage being done and "it's all in one's head" just are insufficient to address the issues.

frankly, i think the country's not outraged because they are "drama fatigued" last week in attempting to capture a stray kitten who disappearance has me overly stretched – i never used to like cats – bells rang and doors closed indicating that she had in fact been enclosed on the patio – around two am or so – only to discover a cute little skunk was the detainee. whose release required navigating around the house twice because the door locked actually worked. sometimes the evidence doesn't doesn't reveal what was expected.

as for the kitten, evidence suggests she managed to punch her way through a steel mesh garage vent. now i suspect that someone recently punched a hole in those mesh barriers, but that is speculation on my part, even likely speculation. however, minus the proof that is all it is. a mysterious frustrating event.

who knows maybe the cat and the skunk are pals.

All we like sheep , Website July 17, 2018 at 10:47 am GMT
With the sad demise of the woman of the couple, the continuing make-up story in MSM makes the twist that the nerve agent was found in a perfume bottle. While of these two non-Russian people (who allegedly were former drug-addicts) one may suspect that they pick up any strange bottle from the ground and have a sniff at it, this is completely surrealistic in the case of the Skripals. The difference couldn't be bigger between these two couples. Anyhow, the clue that brings them four together is the vicinity of Porton Down, where chemical weapons are stored & tested.
dearieme , July 17, 2018 at 10:55 am GMT
If I had to guess at what's been going on in Salisbury I'd wonder if a lunatic/evil employee at Porton Down has smuggled out something nasty and is amusing himself with it.
Moi , July 17, 2018 at 11:15 am GMT
Mr. Giraldi, you're telling me the American and Brit governments lie. Who'd have thunk

ps: do we still have people locked up in Gitmo without being charged of a crime? Just wondering

prusmc , Website July 17, 2018 at 11:52 am GMT
@All we like sheep

The author laments that May and Trump are still in office.
She will last longer than he will. Trump will be out in three months either by impeachment and conviction or by other means. None of this clandestine stuff like poisoning but by a military coup. I remember the era of 7 Days in May but that was not serious just a storey teller weaving a good yarn. Today, we have members of Congress and large numbers of the media(probably over 50 percent) calling for a Armed Forces take over.
The probable stumbling block is how to skip Pense and go directly to Speaker Paul Ryan. Or how to dispense with the chain of succession entirely and enshrine Hilary or recall Obama until the emergency is over.
Is Mad Dog the man or will McMaster lead the coup? Remember, anyone wearing more than one star made the elite grade during the Obama regime and some of the one stars had formative years as O-6 and O-5 while Obama ruled supreme.

The Alarmist , July 17, 2018 at 11:52 am GMT

"Military grade nerve agents kill instantly."

Quickly, not instantly. If you had an atropine pen handy, you might survive, though it would leave you immobilised and dazed. If the Skripals were dosed, it would likely have been at or near the bench where they were found. Residue on their clothing might be weak enough to not kill the constable.

Michael Kenny , July 17, 2018 at 12:34 pm GMT
Clearly, Putin's American supporters see the summit as a flop from their champion's point of view.
Tyrion 2 , Website July 17, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
@The Alarmist

The only thing the Salisbury incidents provide evidence for is that our culture is prone to hysterical outrage over anything relating to Russia or Putin.

And that's true even if it were rogue elements in the Russian security services.

ploni almoni , July 17, 2018 at 1:44 pm GMT
@FKA Max

Similarly, I was initially skeptical about the Moon landings but with time I have to the conclusion that they are plausible.

rbc , July 17, 2018 at 1:47 pm GMT
What I really loved about the coverage of the Skripal "poisoning" were the pictures of the cops wearing hazmat suits to clean up the park bench. In the same shot birds were hopping around apparently unaffected by the deadly nerve gas. So we're to believe that this stuff could kill a big cop but not a 2 pound pigeon .
Jake , July 17, 2018 at 3:16 pm GMT
British secret service and its 3 main children – CIA, Mossad, Saudi General Intelligence Agency – are morally capable of committing any horror imaginable against civilians, even their own.

The Anglo-Zionist Empire is desperate to find the One Ring That Rules Them All.

Jake , July 17, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
@rbc

That's no more absurd than thousands of things promoted as truth by the WASP empires over the past 400 years.

Felix-Culpa , July 17, 2018 at 4:15 pm GMT
@Jake

Yes, like that the Protestant Revolt which still gets called a "Reformation" was anything other than a looting operation.

AnonFromTN , July 17, 2018 at 4:22 pm GMT
@Biff

That's so naïve. When you commit a crime and have witnesses in your custody, you make sure they never talk. "Elementary, Watson", as Holmes used to say.

jacques sheete , July 17, 2018 at 4:24 pm GMT

Shaping a story to fit the agenda

That's why we have "journalists" and "historians," mass media and skoolink (yooniversities included), and I find it amazing that the stories change as fast as the agendas.

edNels , July 17, 2018 at 5:32 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

Oh "These Kids today" that old refrain again, and it's getting old too, all the emphasis on kids anyway, from concerns about posterity, to the unending posturing about faux parent related concerns sublimated in one way or another to the other mantra: " oh the Children" thing that phony liberal types do.

But to the point:

What a pity Western "Intelligence" seems to have never heard the story of The Boy Who Cried 'Wolf'.

When do these little monsters ever get a chance to hear childhood stories nowadays glued to their carry style devices, wearable devices, soon inserted devices , to hear any of the old wisdom? It now isn't all that likely. It is more the kids teaching the kids in a modern high tech reality version of Lord of the Flies scenario.

When they are inevitably inducted into the professions as they will, replacing remnants of earlier generations that maybe still had been somewhat exposed to folk tales and stories, or better TV of earlier times, well, don't be surprised that the rank and file of the intelligence industry, like elsewhere is unable personally to easily navigate anything, much less possessing inborn sensibility gained from age old culture and all that. Could it be in the whole Fake News genre too, it seems to indicate some dialectic flaw in thinking, (a priori as it were.) I feel like it's coming from youngsters lacking any frame of reference/experience blundering, not being held to account!
The Brat Pack was given free reign and away they go arrogant to a fault

What was folk knowledge is a cumbersome, anachronistic, vestigial relic of another era, sought to be replaced soon, by robots.

Who needs the f'n brats ?

Bill jones , July 17, 2018 at 5:47 pm GMT
The political filth really have no shame, do they?
chris , July 17, 2018 at 6:12 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

I think we know that Arafat was poisoned.

exudd1 , July 17, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
@Fran Macadam

Well said. Agree completely. Thanks.

Z-man , July 17, 2018 at 6:41 pm GMT
@prusmc

None of this clandestine stuff like poisoning but by a military coup. I remember the era of 7 Days in May but that was not serious just a storey teller weaving a good yarn. Today, we have members of Congress and large numbers of the media(probably over 50 percent) calling for a Armed Forces take over.

Watching too many old movies now , haven't we? LOL!!

The probable stumbling block is how to skip Pense and go directly to Speaker Paul Ryan. Or how to dispense with the chain of succession entirely and enshrine Hilary or recall Obama until the emergency is over.

Ok, now you need to be put down or at least committed. LOL

FKA Max , Website July 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm GMT
@tac

I'm glad Litvinenko Sr. is taken care of in his old age by the Russian state:

BAD CHEMISTRY? Ft. Walter Litvinenko, Father of Alexander Litvinenko

Although he chose to leave Russian of his own will, the authorities were unlikely to welcome him back and his dramatic u-turn looks like a calculated attempt to smooth the way for his return to the country of his birth.

Clearly relishing Mr Litvinenko senior's propaganda gift in the run-up to a presidential election expected to be won by Vladimir Putin next month, Russian state TV said the unhappy exile had run out of money and that electricity and gas had been cut off to his tiny Italian flat for non-payment of bills.
[...]
Alexander Goldfarb, the co-author of a book about the murder and a friend of the late Litvinenko, accused Russian TV of acting in an irresponsible and inhumane manner, saying the Kremlin's propaganda chiefs had exploited his grief and troubled psychological condition.

"They used the troubled psychological state of an elderly man for propaganda purposes in order to whitewash Alexander's killers," he said.

"Walter is going through a really tough time in connection with his wife's death a few months ago and feels lonely. It happens with old people."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9057560/Alexander-Litvinenkos-father-calls-his-son-a-traitor.html

Salisbury poisoning: Skripals 'were under Russian surveillance' – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44717835

http://www.unz.com/article/revisiting-litvinenko-what-really-happened/#comment-2403171

Skripals 'were under Russian surveillance' – BBC Newsnight

Newsnight's Diplomatic and Defence Editor, Mark Urban, reveals that the Skripals 'were under Russian surveillance' and that he personally had several meetings with Sergei Skripal last year.

AnonFromTN , July 17, 2018 at 7:01 pm GMT
@Bill jones

Did they ever have shame? The world would be much better place if they did.

Bill Jones , July 17, 2018 at 7:40 pm GMT
@FKA Max

"Newsnight's Diplomatic and Defence Editor, Mark Urban, reveals"

Newsnight's Diplomatic and Defence Editor, Mark Urban, claims

there, fixed that for you.

Sean , July 17, 2018 at 8:52 pm GMT
Did you hear the one about the couple who found a bottle of perfume?

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6794418/police-have-grainy-cctv-of-russian-spooks-who-carried-out-novichok-attack-on-ex-spy-sergei-skripal-and-his-daughter/

As Mad Frank said, two men together always looks suspicious. https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2018/mar/06/russian-spy-mystery-cctv-emerges-of-two-people-police-are-looking-for-video

I am very embarrassed for the GRU , they are even more incompetent than the French Secret Service combat swimmers who blew up the that Greenpeace ship. Russia should have sent a Spetsnaz veteran with his trusty entrenching tool to deal with Skripal. Or maybe one of their Kamikazi exploding dogs.

ThreeCranes , July 17, 2018 at 9:18 pm GMT
@tac

Maybe Putin did have them killed or poisoned because Russian intelligence had uncovered their plot to explode a dirty bomb in London which had been set up so as to implicate the Russians. The plotters were foiled and hoist by their own petard.

AnonFromTN , July 17, 2018 at 10:10 pm GMT
@Sean

I tell you a secret. GRU agents, on direct orders from Putin, killed JFK, burnt Giordano Bruno, crucified Christ, and poisoned Socrates. What's more, they are also responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Didn't you suspect that?

Sean , July 17, 2018 at 10:16 pm GMT
@Tyrion 2

Rogue elements once, but not twice. Why is anyone's guess, the eliciting of hysterical outrage ?

Sean , July 17, 2018 at 10:29 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Russia seems to be burning its bridges with the West, which may be a deliberate long term strategy by Putin.

Sean , July 17, 2018 at 10:45 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

I did not even know those you named had ever been in the GRU, let alone they were British moles.

If you wake up and there is snow all over the ground, that is circumstantial evidence that it snowed in the night. When a Russian poisons Russians there is not all this Technical Tom sophistry, and motive is important especially when it supports the circumstantial evidence.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/indepth/brilliant-russian-engineer-poisoned-dozens-of-his-colleagues-at-top-secret-defence-plant-and-left-them-bald-in-botched-revenge-plot-aimed-at-his-boss/ar-AAvHyBm

Prison is full of people who say they are innocent.

unseated , July 18, 2018 at 12:20 am GMT
@prusmc

Trump will be out in three months either by impeachment and conviction or by other means.

I have a friend who said that to me a year ago and another who said it six months ago.

Colin Wright , Website July 18, 2018 at 2:13 am GMT
' Theresa May is, unfortunately, still in power and so is Donald Trump. In a better world an outraged public would demand that they be thrown out of office '

At least in the case of Trump, the problem with rejecting him is, as it always has been, the alternative.

It's literally oppressive that to date, no superior alternative to Trump has emerged. However, like it or not, one hasn't.

bjondo , July 18, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT
@FKA Max

Alexander Goldfarb the promoter of Pussy Riot?

He's certainly legit.

AnonFromTN , July 18, 2018 at 2:55 am GMT
@Colin Wright

Is there a superior alternative to May? If there is, why didn't Brits get rid of that embarrassment? Next to her even John Major looks like an outstanding statesman.

Wally , July 18, 2018 at 2:58 am GMT
@Colin Wright

said:
"It's literally oppressive that to date, no superior alternative to Trump has emerged. However, like it or not, one hasn't."

You mean that little rich 'Marxist' Latina is not a viable alternative?

'Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 'girl from the Bronx,' raised in one of wealthiest US counties'

https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/06/30/report-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-the-girl-from-the-bronx-raised-in-one-of-wealthiest-us-counties

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says: 'Occupy All ICE Offices, Borders, U.S. Airports', 'Occupy All of It'

https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/07/17/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-occupy-all-ice-offices-borders-u-s-airports-occupy-all-of-it/

Intelligent Dasein , Website July 18, 2018 at 3:03 am GMT
Every time I think about it, I do find it truly astonishing that we (the USA) launched a missile salvo into Syria based on an obvious and now proven false flag, and very few people seem to care. This is one of those glaring, "hidden in plain sight" contradictions to the narrative which tells me that, while the Deep State is finally losing some ground, its liquidation is far, far from over and all kinds of things are going to fall apart as this thrashing monster slowly sinks beneath the waves.
Wally , July 18, 2018 at 3:07 am GMT
@prusmc

said:
"Trump will be out in three months either by impeachment and conviction or by other means. "

Yawn. Heard that on election night

'The Left needs to face reality: Trump is winning' : https://nypost.com/2018/06/30/the-left-needs-to-face-reality-trump-is-winning/

Wizard of Oz , July 18, 2018 at 3:24 am GMT
@dearieme

Yes, interesting that PG has only now brought to a UR article that rather obvious possible connection between Porton Down and the nearby poisonings.

I don't think it is one of his major areas of attention. Why else would he include with Trump the unfortunate May as someone he would like to see people rise up against and throw out of office for offences unstated?

Wizard of Oz , July 18, 2018 at 3:27 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

Her performance on Skripal right or wrong is hardly worth mentioning when deciding whether and when she has to go. Compared to Brexit give it a 2 per cent weighting.

Colin Wright , Website July 18, 2018 at 3:29 am GMT
@Wally

My guess is that we haven't heard the last of Ms. Hyphen-Cortez.

"Ocasio-Cortez hedges criticisms of Israel– 'I may not use the right words'
US Politics Philip Weiss on July 15, 2018

Rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex, soon to go to Congress from NY, all but apologized for using words "massacre" and "occupation" about Israel, saying she spoke as an "activist," and she is no expert on the Middle East and is willing to "learn and evolve." '

She's trainable.

NoseytheDuke , July 18, 2018 at 4:26 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Her performance has included telling bald-faced lies, lies that are easily exposed as lies too. This is rarely if ever going to add weight to any personal brand, let alone that of a political leader. She's toast!

byrresheim , July 18, 2018 at 11:45 am GMT
@Felix-Culpa

Indeed, sir.
Indeed.

L Garou , July 18, 2018 at 12:55 pm GMT
The sun never sets on the crimes of the British Empire..

[Jul 19, 2018] Lawmakers, Media Look to Undermine US-Russia Detente by Jason Ditz

Notable quotes:
"... That's because US hostility toward Russia being what it is, there is an incredible amount of bipartisan comfort with continuing that acrimony. Trump faced condemnations for even attending the summit, and more still for getting out of it without picking a fight with Putin. ..."
"... Media coverage of the summit was uniformly negative, parroting disputed allegations of election meddling. ..."
"... Allegations of meddling in the 2016 election have become "unquestionable" in the mainstream, both as a talking point and as a justification for picking new fights with Russia. ..."
Jul 17, 2018 | news.antiwar.com

Congress looks to counter Trump's diplomatic overtures with hostile actions

Monday's summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin ended with a relatively modest press conference. Things went well, by both leaders' accounts, and it represented a small but significant attempt at improving bilateral relations from their recent lows.

Deals were said to have been reached on cooperation on some fronts. Putin says he even told President Trump he intends to extend the New START nuclear treaty that is set to expire in 2021. But don't expect any positive coverage of the talks in the press, let alone any votes of encouragement from the US Congress.

That's because US hostility toward Russia being what it is, there is an incredible amount of bipartisan comfort with continuing that acrimony. Trump faced condemnations for even attending the summit, and more still for getting out of it without picking a fight with Putin.

Media coverage of the summit was uniformly negative, parroting disputed allegations of election meddling. Fox News' Chris Wallace interviewed Vladimir Putin, and failing to get Putin to admit to anything, reporters praised Wallace for " giving Putin the grilling Trump won't ."

Lawmakers were, of course, lining up to go after Trump over the summit. But now that the summit is over, their attention has shifted to trying to pass legislation that would attempt to undermine whatever modest progress toward a rapprochement Trump can be said to have made.

Speaker Paul Ryan termed Russia "a menacing government," and Congress is considering more sanctions, more hearings, and potentially even some non-binding resolutions endorsing the intelligence community's allegations against Russia. Which is really the center of most of the efforts to stop diplomatic progress. Allegations of meddling in the 2016 election have become "unquestionable" in the mainstream, both as a talking point and as a justification for picking new fights with Russia.

Trump has long expressed interest in improving ties with Russia, and this summit was actually one of his first real opportunities at doing so. Yet it will be difficult for this progress to have any permanence with everyone else so united in undermining it.

[Jul 19, 2018] Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far by Thomas Knapp

Notable quotes:
"... They secured and and announced the indictments "with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States." ..."
"... That language is from 1799's Logan Act (18 U.S.C. § 953). Its constitutionality is suspect and no one has ever been indicted under it in the 219 years since its passage. Rosenstein and Mueller aren't likely to be the first two, and may not even technically have violated its letter. But I'd be hard put to name a more obvious, intentional, or flagrant act in violation of its spirit. ..."
Jul 16, 2018 | original.antiwar.com
Friday the 13th is presumably always someone's unlucky day. Just whose may not be obvious at the time, but I suspect that "Russiagate" special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein already regret picking Friday, July 13 to announce the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers on charges relating to an embarrassing 2016 leak of Democratic National Committee emails. They should.

Legally, the indictments are of almost no value. Those indicted will never be extradited to the US for trial, and the case that an external "hack" – as opposed to an internal DNC leak – even occurred is weak at best, if for no other reason than that the DNC denied the FBI access to its servers, instead commissioning a private "cybersecurity analysis" to reach the conclusion it wanted reached before hectoring government investigators to join that conclusion.

Diplomatically, on the other hand, the indictments and the timing of the announcement were a veritable pipe bomb, thrown into preparations for a scheduled Helsinki summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

House Republicans, already incensed with Rosenstein over his attempts to stonewall their probe into the Democratic Party's use of the FBI as a proprietary political hit squad, are planning a renewed effort to impeach him. If he goes down, Mueller likely does as well. And at this point, it would take a heck of an actor to argue with a straight face that the effort is unjustified.

Their timing was clearly intentional. Their intent was transparently political. Mueller and Rosenstein were attempting to hijack the Trump-Putin summit for the purpose of depriving Trump of any possible "wins" that might come out of it.

They secured and and announced the indictments "with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States."

That language is from 1799's Logan Act (18 U.S.C. § 953). Its constitutionality is suspect and no one has ever been indicted under it in the 219 years since its passage. Rosenstein and Mueller aren't likely to be the first two, and may not even technically have violated its letter. But I'd be hard put to name a more obvious, intentional, or flagrant act in violation of its spirit.

Rosenstein and Mueller are attempting to conduct foreign policy by special prosecutor, a way of doing things found nowhere in the US Constitution. Impeachment or firing should be the least of their worries. I'm guessing that there are laws other than the Logan Act that could, and should, be invoked to have them fitted for orange coveralls and leg irons pending an appointment with a judge.

That they even have defenders is proof positive that some of Trump's most prominent opponents consider "rule of law" a quaint and empty concept – a useful slogan, nothing more – even as they continually, casually, and hypocritically invoke it whenever they think doing so might politically disadvantage him.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism . He lives and works in north central Florida. This article is reprinted with permission from William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.

[Jul 19, 2018] Trump-Putin summit induced the neoliberal ruling classes hystreria or How to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Extracted from: Trump's Treasonous Traitor Summit or How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism by CJ Hopkins

So it appears America and democracy have miraculously survived the dreaded Trump-Putin summit or Trump's meeting with his Russian handler, as the neoliberal ruling classes and their mouthpieces in the corporate media would dearly like us all to believe. NATO has not been summarily dissolved. Poland has not been invaded by Russia.

The offices of The New York Times , The Washington Post , CNN, and MSNBC have not been stormed by squads of jackbooted Trumpian Gestapo.

The Destabilization of the Middle East, the Privatization of Virtually Everything, the Conversion of the Planet into One Big Shopping Mall, and other global capitalist projects are all going forward uninterrupted. Apart from Trump making a narcissistic, word-salad-babbling jackass of himself, which he does on a more or less daily basis, nothing particularly apocalyptic happened.

And so, once again, Western liberals, and others obsessed with Donald Trump, having been teased into a painfully tumescent paroxysm of anticipation of some unimaginably horrible event that would finally lead to Trump's impeachment (or his removal from office by other means) were left standing around with their hysteria in their hands. It has become a sadistic ritual at this point like a twisted, pseudo-Tantric exercise where the media get liberals all lathered up over whatever fresh horror Trump has just perpetrated (or some non-story story they have invented out of whole cloth), build the tension for several days, until liberals are moaning and begging for impeachment, or a full-blown CIA-sponsored coup, then pull out abruptly and leave the poor bastards writhing in agony until the next time which is pretty much exactly what just happened.

In the days and weeks leading up to the summit, the global capitalist ruling class Resistance deployed every weapon in its mighty arsenal to whip the Western masses up into a frenzy of anti-Putin-Nazi fervor. While continuing to flog the wildly popular baby concentration camp story (because the Hitler stimulus never fails to elicit a Pavlovian response from Americans, regardless of how often or how blatantly you use it), the corporate media began hammering hard on the "Trump is a Russian Agent" hysteria. (Normally, the corporate media alternates between the Hitler hysteria and the Russia hysteria so as not to completely short-circuit the already scrambled brains of Western liberals, but given the imminent threat of a peace deal , they needed to go the whole hog this time and paint this summit as a secret, internationally televised assignation between Hitler and well, Hitler).

[Jul 19, 2018] Peter van Buren on Trump-Russia Hysteria by Scott

Notable quotes:
"... We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People ..."
"... This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Zen Cash ; The War State , by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com ; Roberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc. ; NoDev NoOps NoIT , by Hussein Badakhchani; LibertyStickers.com ; and ExpandDesigns.com/Scott . ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | scotthorton.org

Peter van Buren discusses the media reaction to President Trump's recent meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. He compares the entire story of Russian collusion to the birther conspiracy movement , in that swaths of Americans have been swept up in a campaign against the president with very little real evidence presented to support the claims. Van Buren argues that the divisiveness about Trump being a Russian agent is harmful for the country, and at this point Robert Mueller and the intelligence community need to "put up or shut up" -- either present the clear evidence that Trump worked with the Russians, or admit that there is no such evidence. He goes on to discuss the DNC email leak, Hillary Clinton's private email server, and the recent indictment of 12 Russian operatives.

Discussed on the show:

Peter Van Buren worked for 24 years at the Department of State including a year in Iraq. He is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and the novel Hooper's War . He is now a contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine. Follow him on Twitter @WeMeantWell .

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Zen Cash ; The War State , by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com ; Roberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc. ; NoDev NoOps NoIT , by Hussein Badakhchani; LibertyStickers.com ; and ExpandDesigns.com/Scott .

Check out Scott's Patreon page.

[Jul 18, 2018] The neoliberal elite and MSM turned the majority of Western liberals into paranoid McCarthyite fanatics denouncing anyone who questions the honesty of the US Intelligence Community as a "traitor," and seeing Russians and Nazis coming out of the woodwork

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Extracted from: Trump's Treasonous Traitor Summit or How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism by CJ Hopkins

On the morning of the summit, Charles M. Blow, maestro of alliteration and subtlety, in The New York Times (which, we must remember, holds itself to the highest journalistic standards and in no way resembles a rabble-rousing tabloid), published this impassioned piece entitled " Trump, Treasonous Traitor ," accusing the President of "betraying the nation," and basically demanding that he be tried for treason. "America is under attack," Blow announces, "and its president absolutely refuses to defend it."

If Mother Jones ' David Corn has his way, Senator Rand Paul, who Corn denounces as "a traitor," would also be taken outside and shot for the crime of noting that the Attack on America® Russia allegedly perpetrated is fairly standard clandestine behavior, engaged in by most developed nations, including the United States of America, whose history of election interference, coup-fomenting, assassinations, and other, more hamfisted forms of regime change is common knowledge, or at least it was, until the ruling classes and the corporate media turned the majority of Western liberals into paranoid McCarthyite fanatics denouncing anyone who questions the honesty of the US Intelligence Community as a "traitor," and seeing Russians and Nazis coming out of the woodwork.

[Jul 18, 2018] US Media is Losing Its Mind Over Trump-Putin Press Conference

Notable quotes:
"... Special to Consortium News ..."
"... was no longer online ..."
"... If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Volume 24, Number 199 -- –Independent Investigative Journalism Since 1995 -- –July 18, 2018

US Media is Losing Its Mind Over Trump-Putin Press Conference July 16, 2018 • 316 Comments

The media's mania over Trump's Helsinki performance and the so-called Russia-gate scandal reached new depths on Monday, says Joe Lauria

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The reaction of the U.S. establishment media and several political leaders to President Donald Trump's press conference after his summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday has been stunning.

Writing in The Atlantic , James Fallows said :

" There are exactly two possible explanations for the shameful performance the world witnessed on Monday, from a serving American president.

Either Donald Trump is flat-out an agent of Russian interests -- maybe witting, maybe unwitting, from fear of blackmail, in hope of future deals, out of manly respect for Vladimir Putin, out of gratitude for Russia's help during the election, out of pathetic inability to see beyond his 306 electoral votes. Whatever the exact mixture of motives might be, it doesn't really matter.

Or he is so profoundly ignorant, insecure, and narcissistic that he did not realize that, at every step, he was advancing the line that Putin hoped he would advance, and the line that the American intelligence, defense, and law-enforcement agencies most dreaded.

Conscious tool. Useful idiot. Those are the choices, though both are possibly true, so that the main question is the proportions never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people."

As soon as the press conference ended CNN cut to its panel with these words from TV personality Anderson Cooper: "You have been watching perhaps one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader, surely, that I've ever seen."

David Gergen, who for years has gotten away with portraying himself on TV as an impartial political sage, then told CNN viewers:

" I've never heard an American President talk that way but I think it is especially true that when he's with someone like Putin, who is a thug, a world-class thug, that he sides with him again and again against his own country's interests of his own institutions that he runs, that he's in charge of the federal government, he's in charge of these intelligence agencies, and he basically dismisses them and retreats into this, we've heard it before, but on the international stage to talk about Hillary Clinton's computer server "

" It's embarrassing," interjected Cooper.

" It's embarrassing," agreed Gergen.

Cooper: "Most disgraceful performance by a US president."

White House correspondent Jim Acosta, ostensibly an objective reporter, then gave his opinion: "I think that sums it up nicely. This is the president of the United States essentially taking the word of the Russian president over his own intelligence community. It was astonishing, just astonishing to be in the room with the U.S. president and the Russian president on this critical question of election interference, and to retreat back to these talking points about DNC servers and Hillary Clinton's emails when he had a chance right there in front of the world to tell Vladimir Putin to stay the HELL out of American democracy, and he didn't do it."

In other words Trump should just shut up and not question a questionable indictment, which Acosta, like nearly all the media, treat as a conviction.

The Media's Handlers

The media's handlers were even worse than their assets. Former CIA director John Brennan tweeted : "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors,.' It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???"

Here's where the Republican Patriots are, Brennan: " That's how a press conference sounds when an Asset stands next to his Handler," former RNC Chairman Michael Steele tweeted.

Representative Liz Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president, said on Twitter: " As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am deeply troubled by President Trump's defense of Putin against the intelligence agencies of the U.S. & his suggestion of moral equivalence between the U.S. and Russia. Russia poses a grave threat to our national security."

All these were reactions to Trump expressing skepticism about the U.S. indictment on Friday of 12 Russian intelligence agents for allegedly interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election while he was standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the press conference following their summit meeting in Helsinki.

" I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia, Trump said. "I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today."

The indictments, which are only unproven accusations, formally accused 12 members of the GRU, Russian military intelligence, of stealing Democratic Party emails in a hacking operation and giving the materials to WikiLeaks to publish in order to damage the candidacy of Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton. The indictments were announced on Friday, three days before the summit, with the clear intention of getting Trump to cancel it. He ignored cries from the media and Congress to do so.

Over the weekend Michael Smerconish on CNN actually said the indictments proved that Russia had committed a "terrorist attack" against the United States. This is in line with many pundits who are comparing this indictment, that will most likely never produce any evidence, to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. The danger inherent in that thinking is clear.

Putin said the allegations are "utter nonsense, just like [Trump] recently mentioned." He added: "The final conclusion in this kind of dispute can only be delivered by a trial, by the court. Not by the executive, by the law enforcement." He could have added not by the media.

Trump reasonably questioned why the FBI never examined the computer servers of the Democratic National Committee to see whether there was a hack and who may have done it. Instead a private company, CrowdStrike, hired by the Democratic Party studied the server and within a day blamed Russia on very dubious grounds.

" Why haven't they taken the server?" Trump asked. "Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I've been wondering that. I've been asking that for months and months and I've been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know, where is the server and what is the server saying?"

But being a poor communicator, Trump then mentioned Clinton's missing emails, allowing the media to conflate the two different servers, and be easily dismissed as Gergen did.

At the press conference, Putin offered to allow American investigators from the team of special counsel Robert Mueller, who put the indictment together, to travel to Russia and take part in interviews with the 12 accused Russian agents. He also offered to set up a joint cyber-security group to examine the evidence and asked that in return Russia be allowed to question persons of interest to Moscow in the United States.

" Let's discuss the specific issues and not use the Russia and U.S. relationship as a loose change for this internal political struggle," Putin said.

On CNN, Christiane Amanpour called Putin's clear offer "obfuscation."

Even if Trump agreed to this reasonable proposal it seems highly unlikely that his Justice Department will go along with it. Examination of whatever evidence they have to back up the indictment is not what the DOJ is after. As I wrote about the indictments in detail on Friday:

" The extremely remote possibility of convictions were not what Mueller was apparently after, but rather the public perception of Russia's guilt resulting from fevered media coverage of what are after all only accusations, presented as though it is established fact. Once that impression is settled into the public consciousness, Mueller's mission would appear to be accomplished."

Still No 'Collusion'

The summit begins. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The indictments did not include any members of Trump's campaign team for "colluding" with the alleged Russian hacking effort, which has been a core allegation throughout the two years of the so-called Russia-gate scandal. Those allegations are routinely reported in U.S. media as established fact, though there is still no evidence of collusion.

Trump emphasised that point in the press conference. "There was no collusion at all," he said forcefully. "Everybody knows it."

On this point corporate media has been more deluded than normal as they clutch for straws to prove the collusion theory. As one example of many across the media with the same theme, a New York Times story on Friday , headlined, "Trump Invited the Russians to Hack Clinton. Were They Listening?," said Russia may have absurdly responded to Trump's call at 10:30 a.m. on July 27, 2016 to hack Clinton's private email server because it was "on or about" that day that Russia allegedly first made an attempt to hack Clinton's personal emails, according to the indictment, which makes no connection between the two events.

If Russia is indeed guilty of remotely hacking the emails it would have had no evident need of assistance from anyone on the Trump team, let alone a public call from Trump on national TV to commence the operation.

More importantly, as Twitter handle "Representative Press" pointed out: "Trump's July 27, 2016 call to find the missing 30,000 emails could not be a 'call to hack Clinton's server' because at that point it was no longer online . Long before Trump's statement, Clinton had already turned over her email server to the U.S. Department of Justice." Either the indictment was talking about different servers or it is being intentionally misleading when it says "on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third party provider and used by Clinton's personal office."

This crucial fact alone, that Clinton had turned over the server in 2015 so that no hack was possible, makes it impossible that Trump's TV call could be seen as collusion. Only a desperate person would see it otherwise.

But there is a simple explanation why establishment journalists are in unison in their dominant Russian narrative: it is career suicide to question it.

As Samuel Johnson said as far back as 1745: "The greatest part of mankind have no other reason for their opinions than that they are in fashion since vanity and credulity cooperate in its favour."

Importance of US-Russia Relations

Trump said the unproven allegation of collusion "has had a negative impact upon the relationship of the two largest nuclear powers in the world. We have 90 percent of nuclear power between the two countries. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous what's going on with the probe."

The American president said the U.S. has been "foolish" not to attempt dialogue with Russia before, to cooperate on a range of issues.

"As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics or the media or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct," Trump said. "Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia forwards the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."

This main reason for summits between Russian and American leaders was also ignored: to use diplomacy to reduce dangerous tensions. "I really think the world wants to see us get along," Trump said. "We are the two great nuclear powers. We have 90 percent of the nuclear. And that's not a good thing, it's a bad thing."

Preventing good relations between the two countries appears to be the heart of the matter for U.S. intelligence and their media assets. So Trump was vilified for even trying.

Ignoring the Rest of the Story

Obsessed as they are with the "interference" story, the media virtually ignored the other crucial issues that came up at the summit, such as the Middle East.

Trump sort of thanked Russia for its efforts to defeat ISIS. "When you look at all of the progress that's been made in certain sections with the eradication of ISIS, about 98 percent, 99 percent there, and other things that have taken place that we have done and that, frankly, Russia has helped us with in certain respects," he said.

Trump here is falsely taking credit, as he has before, for defeating ISIS with only some "help" from Russia. In Iraq the U.S. led the way against ISIS coordinating the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces. But in the separate war against ISIS in Syria, Russia, the Syrian Arab Army, Kurdish forces, Iranian troops and Hizbullah militias were almost entirely responsible for ISIS' defeat.

A grand deal? (Photo: Sputnik)

Also on Syria, Trump appeared to endorse what is being reported as a deal between Russia and Israel in which Israel would accept Bashar al-Assad remaining as Syrian president, while Russia would work on Iran to get it to remove its forces away from the northern Golan Heights, which Israel illegally considers its border with Syria.

After a meeting in Moscow last week with Putin, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he accepted Assad remaining in power.

" President Putin also is helping Israel," Trump said at the press conference. "We both spoke with Bibi Netanyahu. They would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel. In that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel. Israel will be working with us. So both countries would work jointly."

Trump also said that the U.S. and Russian militaries were coordinating in Syria, but he did not go as far as saying that they had agreed to fight together there, which has been a longstanding proposal of Putin's dating back to September 2015, just before Moscow intervened militarily in the country.

" Our militaries have gotten along probably better than our political leaders for years," Trump said. "Our militaries do get along very well. They do coordinate in Syria and other places."

Trump said Russia and the U.S. should cooperate in humanitarian assistance in Syria.

" If we can do something to help the people of Syria get back into some form of shelter and on a humanitarian basis that's what the word was, a humanitarian basis," he said. "I think both of us would be very interested in doing that."

Putin said he had agreed on Sunday with French President Emmanuel Macron on a joint effort with Europe to deliver humanitarian aid. "On our behalf, we will provide military cargo aircraft to deliver humanitarian cargo. Today, I brought up this issue with President Trump. I think there's plenty of things to look into," Putin said.

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 .

If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

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Show Comments


Gary Weglarz , July 18, 2018 at 1:06 am

I'm really hard pressed to come up with anything to be optimistic about given the dire nature of our current global and national predicaments combined with the bat-sheet crazy nature of our current version of the mass psyche. About the only bright spot I can find is that it is really encouraging to read the overall high quality of the comments here at CN, which suggest that I can look forward to taking part in some wonderful future conversations in "the camps."

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 9:36 pm

new Reuters poll: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-voters/majority-of-americans-think-trump-mishandling-russia-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUSKBN1K72T1?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter

AnthraxSleuth , July 17, 2018 at 10:15 pm

What an unbelievably slanted poll.

"The Reuters/Ipsos poll gathered responses from 1,011 registered voters throughout the United States, including 453 Republicans and 399 Democrats. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 4 percentage points."

Independents/anaffiliated make up more than 42% of the registered voters currently in the USA.

irina , July 17, 2018 at 11:09 pm

"medium = Social / source = Twitter"

Babyl-on , July 17, 2018 at 9:35 pm

I think we should take heart that they are such a small group – loud yes, they have the corporate press, but it is not a big group and they have already lost the narrative. This has to be the end for them, they have no political support for impeachment after all this screeching articles can't even get introduced mostly the "resistance" isn't even trying – they know they don't have evidence.

The scream these words TREASON and COLLUSION but they are powerless politically to do anything. So a "treasonous" president goes on. Clearly they are at their wits end their heads have actually exploded. The powerful "liberal" cabal which has run Washington for decades is disintegrating before there very eyes. Clinton is the witch – Trump is the water.

A , July 17, 2018 at 11:33 pm

Okay , I get it, I will go down , but I am not going down by the orange shit head. You guys win, you wanted your Cheeto to give us some love, and tax breaks , favorable trade deals, get rid of people like me , be besties with Russia, kill everyone from central America. Cool. You guys win. I hope you are happy , apparently you have achieved what you wanted.

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Thanks, Drew and Realist, i just read Finian Cunningham's essay at Information Clearing House. Yes, this is indeed scary. It does appear a coup is being planned. All the more reason for us to speak up. The thought of Mike Pence is scarier than Trump.

willow , July 17, 2018 at 9:30 pm

I was a Sanders supporter and donor who voted for Trump because he promised diplomacy, whereas Hillary wanted a no-fly zone in Syria, and her proven track record of supporting illegal regime change in Iraq, Honduras, Libya, Ukraine and Syria. She was a faux progressive and ultimate racist in that she has the blood of countless brown people (mostly women and children) on her hands. What is really scary and disheartening is that the pro-WW3 propaganda seems to be working if the reader comments from the NYT and WaPo are accurate gauges of public perception. The verdict of commenters in corporate media websites is unanimous: Trump is a traitor for committing the crime of détente. Consortium news readers are informed because we search truth in alternative media. I hope it's not naïve to believe we are the silent majority and most Americans still possess the common sense and critical thinking skills necessary to see through the hysteria even if they don't venture to sites like Consortium news.

AnthraxSleuth , July 17, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Don't worry yourself too much. The highest rated MSM news shows only garner about 1.2 million viewers. That's far less than 1% of the American population.
The MSM fancy themselves what they have not been in decades; Relevant.

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 7:44 pm

That was good, mrbt (not enough vowels for me). Yes, we are in a jalopy headed for a cliff. Instead we get a cliffhanger with this Mueller intel fiasco. I misspoke with the bank bailout, of course, it was 2009 just after Obama got into office; he told those banksters, "I'm the only one between you and the pitchforks". Now it seems like we're on a roller coaster ready to jump the track!

mrtmbrnmn , July 17, 2018 at 7:33 pm

This disgraceful and obscene display of pants-wetting by the MSM over the Trump-Putin meeting and press conference was pre-planned and essentially pre-scripted to advance the deep state regime change op against Trump (and ultimately Putin). I was trying to imagine these journalistic malpracticers prepped to embarrass and humiliate Obama in a similar setting by asking questions like: "Mr Obama, which do you prefer, watermelon or chicken bones?"

It is clear beyond doubt that we are helpless passengers in the back seat of the out of control jalopy that is America, barreling helter skelter down the highway bound to hell and total collapse. The Dementedcrats need to get off the crack pipe and the unconscionable CIA thug John Brennan might benefit from a frontal lobotomy to get him to chill out.

irina , July 17, 2018 at 8:32 pm

the best description i've read of this insanity is : 'the MSM is (p-faced) drunk on its own p . . . " with appreciation to the commentor who wrote that !

It sounds like Lisa Page is, unlike Strzok (remember him, from late last week ?) cooperatively providing information which might implicate China as the 'party which got the 30,000 emails'. Perhaps this is what Trump & Putin talked about ? In which case, The Donald's walking back his press conference comments may be only a temporary feint. If true, Lisa will need excellent protection and a new name !

irina , July 17, 2018 at 8:38 pm

Link to above :

https://truepundit.com/fbi-lisa-page-dimes-out-top-fbi-officials-during-classified-house-testimony-bureau-bosses-covered-up-evidence-china-hacked-hillarys-top-secret-emails/

If true, that would make a nice hangover for the MSM !

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 7:29 pm

Something big may be in the works, as Stephen says. Now Veterans Today says that a move on Iran by the US was discussed at Helsinki, and they think that Putin would capitulate in some sort of trade-off -- what, to get off their backs? Putin is much smarter than that. Zero Hedge just reports that Russia has dumped all their US Treasury bonds, further stating that Russia's close ties to China indicate a trial run on the market preparatory to China dumping their pile, too. What many feel the big event is really another economic meltdown, as nothing was done in the 2008 Obama crisis except bail out the banks, which went right back to their chicanery. The western Deep State always sets up for war to divert attention from internal crisis.

Deniz , July 17, 2018 at 6:59 pm

I get far more concerned when the press, intelligence agencies and various other DC gangsters lavish praise on Trump. Judging by their reactions, it seems likely that Trump must have actually brought us closer to peace.

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Stephen J, excellent verse as usual, "Blame It On Putin". It was reported that "the lights went out" in the White House when Trump did his U-turn on Russian election meddling. Was that supposed to be symbolic of something?

Stephen J. , July 17, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Thanks Jessika. I believe something big is in the works. The powers that be have had things their own way for so long. The corporate media monopoly are their mouthpieces and are barking like dogs in a frenzy in case they lose their bones. The bones being the millions dead from planned wars and blood soaked profits that attained to the corporate cannibals. Enemies are needed to continue the corrupt system. The War Criminals are getting desperate, the gangsters war is just starting. Unfortunately we are all Prisoners of "Democracy"
https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-prisoners-of-democracy.html

Antiwar7 , July 17, 2018 at 6:22 pm

David Gergen says Trump acts "against his [Trump's] own country's interests of his own institutions [including] these intelligence agencies."

There's the rub, isn't it? The interests of our country and of those institutions: are they the same?

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 6:59 pm

Also worth, sorry for broken record but, using Trump's unique "awfulness" as justification for vigilante-style "trial in the press" or manipulated/propagandized "public opinion" there's a deep deep antidemocratic anti-due process or rule-of-law desperation here which has had "liberal" (or "illiberal") precedent we've already seen in "political correctness" and #metoo (emanating from the "progressive camp" often justified by the awfulness / despicable-ness of those they despise.

This is a very very sad devolution (or arguably the unmasking) of the Democratic Party (I vote the latter).

mike k , July 17, 2018 at 6:13 pm

Trump mumbled some sort of half maybe apology about questioning Russian meddling. But he will contradict that apology just as quickly. They are really having trouble pinning this guy down on anything. His enemies want to nail him, but he just keeps moving. For a fat guy, he is pretty nimble.

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Now, Trump says he misspoke and "accepts US intel on Russian election meddling"! I guess he got anothet 'trip to the woodshed', as Skip Scott has often said. James Howard Kunstler is right, it's a "Clusterfuck Nation". Well, the Russians are smart enough never to trust the US.

irina , July 17, 2018 at 9:49 pm

He got the truth out first and for that I have to give him kudos.
He probably knew backtracking and its attendant issues was
Inevitable. Very nice that power went out while he said he misspoke.

as WaPo itself says, "Truth Dies in Darkness".

Drew Hunkins , July 17, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Look, this is getting frightening.

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed a group think/mob mentality like what's occurring over Russiagate and the overriding Russophobia fueling it all. This is washing over virtually all planks of the political spectrum. We just had a damaged and awful president try to do one of the very few things he actually gets right: make rapprochement with Moscow; he was subsequently browbeaten, smeared and viciously attacked by every single mainstream Western media outlet on the planet. Not just news media, but also the entertainment media are completely on board -- Kimmel, Fallon, Colbert, Maddow, etc.

To say one kind word about Putin or the modicum of detente that Trump just unsuccessfully tried to pull off is to be mocked, ridiculed, scoffed at and laughed at by liberal leaning friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

The militarist-corporate propaganda during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq War pales in comparison to this new and scary McCarthyism that has permeated everything.

I'm 47 y.o. and never experienced anything like this.

The liberal intelligentsia who are falling for this and propagating this have some of the hottest places in heII waiting for them.

Deniz , July 17, 2018 at 5:31 pm

If you think the overwhelming majority of the US cares about what the press and politicians think, then I would suggest you spend less time with Democrats. I dont agree with many Republican platforms, but on the reliability of media, they are far more prescient than the Democrats. I wonder if it is because they have more first-hand knowledge than the Democrats because they tend to send their kids to the meat grinder oil, wars more frequently than Democrats.

Drew Hunkins , July 17, 2018 at 5:40 pm

The best thing we have going right now Deniz is the cynical and skeptical attitude of much the hardworking American population.

The Russians certainly aren't the ones who foisted this unconscionable inequality on the U.S. population, nor was it the Russians who caused the American heartland to deteriorate into a wasteland of service sector employment and Oxy dependence. It wasn't Putin who mired recent American college grads in deplorable debt in the range of $30,000 to $400,000, nor was it Putin who demanded that millions of Americans go without adequate healthcare coverage.

It's economic inequality and it's political enablers who are stalking the towns and cities of America, not the Russian military.

John P , July 17, 2018 at 6:37 pm

That is the real problem, so why arn't kids, their parents and the poor out on the streets like those of my generation during the Vietnam war stiring things up. Is it social media which kills the urge to go out and protest and make yourself heard? Get the money and business influence out of modern day politics, Raise hell !

irina , July 17, 2018 at 8:15 pm

There was a DRAFT during the Vietnam war. That made a huge difference.
And, I think we were actually better informed than today's young people.
Bringing the war live into people's living rooms was New Thing back then,
and we paid attention. Now, we are habituated and just tune out bad news,
unless it happens to be a domestic shooting spree or other home turf stuff.

willow , July 17, 2018 at 9:36 pm

Irina below is right. The draft was the difference. People would wake up and engage if we had the draft. We have an economic draft today. It's the only option for poor and lower class kids who will never afford college. It's unfortunate that identity politics doesn't include the socioeconomic bias of targeting of poor kids being used as cannon fodder

irina , July 17, 2018 at 11:12 pm

And moreover, the draft was based on a birthdate lottery.

All in the luck of the draw. (And of course, economic standing
since there were college deferments, etc. etc.)

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 5:49 pm

I'm 71, Drew, and can tell you that the darkest days of the Vietnam War were not as scary. Our power structure has taken McCarthyism as practiced during the Korean Conflict and doubled down on it, directing its kinetics at the office of the presidency. This is as close to a civil war or an actual coup d'etat that I have ever seen, much more divisive and explosive than Nixon and Watergate. Someone claiming authority they do not have may soon make a move against Trump. They've stirred up enough hate by the mob to mask their motives.

Drew Hunkins , July 17, 2018 at 6:02 pm

Thanks for kicking some historical info to this Gen Xer. You make some very interesting (and quite scary) points.

Over at 'Information Clearing House' the always excellent Finian Cunningham has just penned a dynamite and trenchant essay on a possible pending coup against Trump.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Thanks. I always read your spot-on posts at the ICH website, Drew.

Drew Hunkins , July 17, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Thanks Realist.

In solidarity,

Drew Hunkins
Madison, WI

Dave P. , July 17, 2018 at 7:13 pm

Yes. This excellent article by Finian Cunningham really nails it.

Monoloco , July 17, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Trump derangement syndrome is so powerful, it turns liberals into neocons.

KiwiAntz , July 17, 2018 at 7:27 pm

Drew your absolutely correct, this is a unprecedented groupthink & dangerous propaganda on a scale that's never existed before! It's mass hysteria on steroids! And all because of the simple fact that Trump, a man who was never supposed to win the Election over the anointed candidate, crooked Hillary Clinton occurred! Trump must be removed by a slow motion coup by any means possible? Whether it's by undermining his authority or belittering his character. If that doesn't work they will take the JFK removal method? As Stalin stated, death is the solution to all problems, no man, no problem? It's frightening where all this fake Russiagate nonsense is going to lead us, it's almost as if they want to start the next great extinction event by starting WW3 & a Nuclear War with Russia? The arrogance of America & its Deepstate, Propagandist MSM & political system is going to be the death of us all!

Miranda Keefe , July 17, 2018 at 4:58 pm

I guess Trump is now caving into the Deep State and the media.

Maybe he's afraid if he doesn't he'll die of a 'heart attack'- no way they'd do it with a bullet from a patsy- they don't want him to be a martyr.

https://www.facebook.com/CBSNews/videos/10155975560905950/?t=20

Banger , July 17, 2018 at 4:08 pm

I don't know that to say. Whatever was left of the republic is either gone or doomed. If we have a mainstream media that is so nakedly attempting a coup d'état or calling for one with such universal fury based on little evidence and just embroidering one myth over another then I will have to just focus my energy elsewhere. My comrades on most of the left have, despite decades of proof that the media is deeply dishonest and constantly howling for one war after another the only hope is to batten down the hatches and just survive the next decade through local efforts. The sad part is I oppose many of Trump's policies but this isn't about policies–this is about re-invigorating American militarism and imperialism.

I've been around a lot of crises but nothing like this madness.

Stephen J. , July 17, 2018 at 3:53 pm

As usual the "media impostors" and propaganda pushers blame Putin.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
January 10, 2017
"Blame It" On Putin

There is endless wars and devastation around the world
Western war criminals have their war banners unfurled
Millions dead and many millions uprooted
And the financial system is corrupted and looted
"Blame it" on Putin

The war criminals are free and spreading bloody terror
And their dirty propaganda says Putin is an "aggressor"
These evil plotters of death and destruction
Should be in jail for their abominable actions
But, "Blame it" on Putin.

The American election is won by Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton loses and gets politically dumped
The media is frenzied and foaming at their mouths
They are crying and lying, these corporate louts
They "Blame it" on Putin

Hollywood, too, is getting in on the act
The B.S. merchants are able to twist facts
In their fantasy world of channel changers
They do not approve of a political stranger
They "Blame it" on Putin

The spymasters and their grovelling politicians
All agree that "their democracy" is "lost in transmission"
Their comfortable and controlled system is now in danger
And these powerful parasites are filled with anger
They "Blame it" on Putin

One loose canon talks and babbles of "an act of war"
Could nuclear hell be started by a warmongering whore?
If the madmen of the establishment get their way
Could we all be liquidated in the nuclear fray?
"Blame it" on Putin

There is no doubt that the ruling class
Are all worried about saving their ass
Could there be huge changes and still more coming?
Is the sick and depraved society finally crumbling?
Hey, "Blame it" on Putin
[more info at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/01/blame-it-on-putin.html

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 3:46 pm

This just in: (NYT headline / top of page)

Trump Backtracks on Russian Meddling
Under Fire, He Says He Accepts U.S. Intelligence Reports

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 4:03 pm

and then
Guardian:

Trump flips – then flips again – a day after downplaying Russian interference
President says he supports US intelligence consensus on 2016 election – but then says 'it could be other people also'

(oh, nevermind)

Miranda Keefe , July 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm

I heard him say that. He meant that Russia did it and others could also have been involved.

Will , July 17, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Perhaps New York magazine has it right? "The president isn't a traitor: He's just constitutionally incapable of processing simple information, or prioritizing the national interest above his own egoistic desires." or more maybe New York's earlier article from last week suggesting Trumpkin has been a Russian intelligence asset since 1987 is true.

One thing's for sure: Trumpkin borrowed 100's of millions from shady Russian bankers and other oligarchs, some of whom seem to have laundered a bunch of money through Trump's real estate holdings by buying condos for dollars on the penny. If you foliks don't see that as being at least somewhat on the same level as Dick Cheney holding those un-exercised Halliburton stock options at the time Haliburton was servicing the Iraq invasion

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Or Hillary exchanging access to the State department for donations

Gregory Herr , July 17, 2018 at 7:40 pm

"Cheney has pursued a political and corporate career to make himself very rich and powerful. He is the personification of a war profiteer who slid through the revolving door connecting the public and private sectors of the defense establishment on two occasions in a career that has served his relentless quest for power and profits."

https://www.commondreams.org/views05/1117-22.htm

Profiting from the death and destruction of a heinous war of aggression that Cheney himself played a key role in instigating can in no way be compared with shady business dealings. I harbour disdain for shady businessmen who cheat property owners, honest contractors or workers. But that type of wrongdoing pales in comparison to the wicked malfeasance of Cheney (or the Bush family for that matter).

Before you "process" any more simple "information" from New York magazine Will, I suggest you take note of the GIGO truism and check yourself for leakage.

Jerry Alatalo , July 17, 2018 at 3:28 pm

It seems President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador might have the perfect solution for his "problem" in London.

Free Julian Assange, Allow him to walk out of the Ecuadorian Embassy with all the proper rights available for any innocent man or woman on Earth.

Immediately upon Mr. Assange's exit, allow William (Bill) Browder to enter and occupy the same room at the Ecuadorian Embassy – whereupon Mr. Browder will reside at that address until July 2024, punished under the identical treatment and conditions as Julian Assange.

"Problem solved" – President Moreno!

David Otness , July 17, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Not much to say but the USA has gone bat-shit cray-cray.
I'm going to be delighted to be excised from many so-called "friends" – friends of mob mentality.
The US media and Intel complex have induced a national psychosis and a likely Constitutional crisis.
Keep yer powder dry.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 3:04 pm

I'd guess half the country considers this -- in the end -- just more partisan theatrics sad to suspect that they actually are the "sane ones" It's ennui versus cynicism as to which is more deadly .

KiwiAntz , July 17, 2018 at 7:47 pm

The scary thing is, Americans second amendment right to bear arms against enemies both domestic & foreign! There's a Edward Abbey saying that a days "a Patriot must always be ready to defend his Country against his Govt"! How long will it be before American citizens reach a tipping point where they recognise that it's enemies are its own domestic leaders & institutions such as the false corporate propagandist MSM & corrupt Politicians in both Republican & Democratic Parties who are undermining & sabotaging their human rights as free people! How long will it be before they say enough's enough we can't stomach this anymore?

Larry Gates , July 17, 2018 at 2:37 pm

In the Odyssey a witch-goddess named Circe turned Odysseus' men into pigs. I think Trump is a modern day sorcerer. In the GOP primaries he turned his more intelligent and more experienced competitors into incoherent cartoon characters. He has done the same to the entire Democratic establishment, and he has done it to the entire mainstream press. There is no effective opposition because politicians and the media have become stark-raving mad – wild swine, just as dangerous as the monster they oppose. We are in America's darkest hour and only half the blame goes to the vulgarian in the White House.

The Ministry of Truth has declared that seeking détente with Russia is an act of treason. And peace is war. Long live Oceania!

jsinton , July 17, 2018 at 6:14 pm

I love it.

BobS , July 17, 2018 at 2:37 pm

The POTUS stood on foreign soil and announced to the world that the leader of one of our historical adversaries was more credible than the US intelligence services.
If it walks like a traitorous duck, and quacks like a traitorous duck, ..

anon , July 17, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Then it is a traitorous troll.

Gregory Herr , July 17, 2018 at 7:47 pm

That's rich! Do please grace us with an explanation as to why "credible" is an adjective aptly applied to either the FBI or the CIA.

Dario Zuddu , July 17, 2018 at 2:33 pm

Excellent piece. Fortunately, there is still someone here retaining sanity.
The only thing I have to add is that, most regrettably, it is not only the media and opportunistic politicians that have lost their minds on this matter.
Large segments of the public appear to have too.
Just take a look at the readers' comments on the very same type of press coverage that is indicted by Mr. Lauria.
They overwhelmingly level the same one sided, unbalanced, shallow, wrong-headed and hysterical attacks on Trump as the press articles they comment – and for the same completely questionable reasons.
Accusations of Trump "surrendering to Putin", being a "traitor" for siding with Russia instead of the US intelligence community (on a totally unproven matter, by the way; and since when the US intelligence community is necessarily more reliable than foreign leaders on these matters?) are the norm in the readers' comment (as well as in the mostly recommended ones).
Incredibly, the same public that lambasted at the intelligence community for its appalling record on Iraq, now does not even want to consider that same community's obvious self interest in Russia-bashing.
In the USA, who stands the most to loose from a possible pacification of foreign relations with the biggest military counterpart, i.e., well, Russia?
This question just rings as troubling now as it did at the onset of the cold war.
Yet, nobody seems to wonder it.

Banger , July 17, 2018 at 4:23 pm

It's just over for those of us on the old left. The Orwellian nature of the media has taken hold and we are powerless against it. We have a population utterly uncurious of facts or history, logic or science, rationality or erudition. It's over. People want to belong, want to share their anger at whatever enemy there is no matter how ludicrous is that threat from the enemy. This is how the oligarch has decided to use Trump's election–first to divide us on tribal grounds and second to invent some enemy that uses all the mythology of Hollywood villains with Russian accents. It's working and it means the oligarchs are unassailable and now are able to control public opinion with a bunch of gestures on the screen and the population will bark on command. Goebbels is, somewhere, cackling with delight.

We will be lucky if we avoid war, fortunately the professional military understands the situation much better than the civilian leaders and have put brakes on our drift into permanent major war everywhere.

Paula Densnow , July 17, 2018 at 2:19 pm

The US media tries to browbeat Trump into saying that he stole the 2016 election with the help of Putin, and when he refuses to do that, they call him a traitor.
We live in an insane asylum.

Will , July 17, 2018 at 3:31 pm

No, trump is clearly a traitor.

Beard681 , July 17, 2018 at 9:07 pm

To who? The military industrial complex? Bill Browder who renounced his citizenship to avoid Taxes? Certainly not average US people for whom Russia poses no credible threat.

Robin Harper , July 17, 2018 at 10:31 pm

Gee, if this is all made up, explain this: (And keep in mind, to get an indictment, you MUST have proof.)

The full list of known indictments and plea deals in Mueller's probe:

Total of indictments (so far) – 35.

1) George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, pleaded guilty in October to making false statements to the FBI.

2) Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December to making false statements to the FBI.

3) Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chair, was indicted in October in Washington, DC on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and false statements -- all related to his work for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign. He's pleaded not guilty on all counts. Then, in February, Mueller filed a new case against him in Virginia, with tax, financial, and bank fraud charges.

4) Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort's longtime junior business partner, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. But in February he agreed to a plea deal with Mueller's team, pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge.

5-20) 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign. The companies involved are the Internet Research Agency, often described as a "Russian troll farm," and two other companies that helped finance it. The Russian nationals indicted include 12 of the agency's employees and its alleged financier, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

21) Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller.

22) Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates and another unnamed person based in Ukraine.

23) Konstantin Kilimnik: This longtime business associate of Manafort and Gates, who's currently based in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with attempting to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses in Manafort's pending case this year.

24-35) 12 Russian GRU officers: These officers of Russia's military intelligence service were charged with crimes related to the hacking and leaking of leading Democrats' emails in 2016.

Two ex-Trump advisers lied to the FBI about their contacts with Russians:
Michael Flynn Mario Tama/Getty

No, Trump didn't 'steal' the election. The presidency was handed to him – by Putin.

skipNclair , July 17, 2018 at 2:01 pm

The US media lost its mind long ago.

didi , July 17, 2018 at 1:46 pm

What has happened on this trip of President Trump is simple. The axis Washington-EU/NATO has been thrown under the bus., It has been replaced by the axis Washington-Moscow. Whether that is a cause to rejoice remains to be seen. Rejoicing now is wildly premature. Axes can break.
There will be expectations of better lives by the Russian people. What if that does not happen? There have been far more uprisings and revolutions in Russian history than in ours.

lizzie dw , July 17, 2018 at 1:34 pm

To respond to one commenter's suggestion that the US get rid of the electoral college; if one looked at the map of the US on post-election morning, one saw that practically the entire country was coloured red – only the coasts were blue. If we went the "popular vote" route, every president would be elected by the coastal states because that is where most of the people live. The coastal population does not represent the country. In my opinion, since we want to have a representative government we need the electoral college so that each state gets to vote. The people in each state can direct the vote of their state.

didi , July 17, 2018 at 1:51 pm

Sorry Lizzie. The population of all states represent our nation. That is why the vote count, while it does not elect the President and Vice President, is not wholly without meaning. Governing totally against the views of the majority of voters implies that they are wrong and stupid. That is my view. It is also arrogant.

strngr-tgthr , July 17, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Thanks you! The MAJORITY should ALWAYS rule. There should be no acceptions especially for President of the United States. Too few people speak this TRUTH! In this day an age there is no reason to have any system or institutions in place that does not speak for the MAJORITY! Electoral College down!

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Never heard of the "tyranny of the majority", eh? It's a genuine problem with democracy it's quite possible that many issues would never have reached majority status -- slavery would never have been abolished (so much fuss about a regional "peculiar institutution"),

""The notion of the tyranny of the majority was popularised by the 19th century political thinkers Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America) and John Stuart Mill (On Liberty). It refers to a situation in which the majority enforces its will on a disadvantaged minority through the democratic process.""

The vote of far too many would be rendered irrelevant if there were no proportional representation mechanism in place too much of those disenfranchised by the elimination of the electoral college are already amongst the have-nots of our country, at the further hungry end of income inequality (some do better than other by providing "services" -- vacation homes/destinations and cheap labor -- to the oligarchs. -- those coasts are where the money and jobs are wealth

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 3:08 pm

handy maps . Trump won 85% of the land mass .
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/16/us/politics/the-two-americas-of-2016.html

JoeD , July 17, 2018 at 3:12 pm

The electoral college DOES NOT prevent the "tyranny of the majority" because you do not have equal voting. If every state cast the same number of votes then you have equal voting. Because each state has different number of electoral votes based on their populations, candidates can spend their time in a few states while ignoring others.

A national popular vote restores equality

A national popular vote means 3rd party candidates can win because there is no more electoral strategy or asinine argument of red state / blue state.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 5:12 pm

We've never had such a system, wise guy. The Senate is inherently undemocratic, based on states' rights, not one man one vote. Moreover, judges are not elected but appointed by the executive and confirmed by the legislature. Having the president chosen by the Congress, as is done in all parliamentary systems, would be "tidier" ("fairer?") than the present system, but we've lived with this mess since 1789 and several times have been governed by a "minority president" without the world coming to an end. The rules were no excuse for a coup d'etat then, nor are they now.

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:22 pm

The Constitution allows Amendments to change with changing times. The vote has been given to free men without property, freed slaves and women. More than 10% of Presidents did not win the plurality of votes. If people truly want their votes to count more, they can work to amend the Constitution, or vote with their feet and move to states where their votes count more.
A much bigger issue is the lack of proportional voting practiced by most real Democracies around the world. Gerrymandering districts can result in the party getting the least votes (of the two) in a state still winning the most representatives. Proportional voting would eliminate this problem, but was outlawed by LBJ in favor of first-past-the-post, winner takes all Districts.

Jim in NH , July 17, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Sorry, Didi, but our federal constitutional republican form of government is neither stupid nor arrogant.

It is a well designed construct that binds together the entire nation, not only the people but the states, into an organic being. The electoral college consciously factors in the fact that we are a union of states, not only a union of "demos" (people). That is why the "New Jersey plan" at the Federal Convention was a high point in your high school civics class. The states are intended to mean something in our federal republican form of government.

Indeed, for those who view the massive growth of our federal government into an imperial hegemon over the past century or so, it is no small coincidence that the balance constructed by the founders was tipped in favor of Washington, and BIG MONEY, by the passage of the 17th Amendment in 1912. That amemdment (for the popular election of Senators instead of their being appointed by state legislatures as written in the constitution) inexorably led to the growth of our imperial state; immediately thereafter came the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, enactment of a the personal income tax to replace import tariff's to fund the federal government, our engagement in WW 1, and increasing alliance with the British Empire that lasts today in our "special relationship", the NATO alliance, and the Anglo American hegemon.

It is also no coincidence that the root source of "Russia-gate" and "Trump Derangement Syndrome" is a sustained effort by British Intelligence, in cahoots with US deep state intelligence that works not for the people of the US but for the Anglo-American empire of western capital centered on Wall Street and the medieval City of London. That is why the "golden shower dossier" was written by a British intelligence officer (Steele), that the basis for the deep state rat Strzok to spy on Trump was an Australian "diplomat" (read spy) Downer, friend of the globalist Clintons, and US deep state intelligence operatives attempted entrapment of Trump campaign supporters (such as by Stefan Halper, an Mi-6 and CIA asset).

The entire attack to undermine the results of the Electoral College triumph of Donald Trump is directed by Anglo-American deep intelligence assets, working for the globalist western capitalist cabal, that cannot permit a mere president to alter their globalist plans; ergo, deep state rats Brennan and 10 hand picked analysts come up with "Russian collusion", unleasigh Mueller (protector of the Whitey Bulger Winter Hill Gang), Strzok, Rosenstein, etc. to to find a basis to neuter, if not impeach, the constitutionally elected President.

Indeed, Pres. Washington foresaw such an eventuality of foreign influence tainting our Republic; see his Farewell Address at Paragraphs 32-39. Indeed, his prescience amazing; read these warnings:

"So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite
nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing
into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without
adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which
is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained,
and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it
gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or
sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of
a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or
foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened
and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of
seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards
a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people
ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of
republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence
to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another
cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on
the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its
tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests."

Indeed, if any nation can be found to be interfering in our domestic politics and seeking to influence the actions of the President, or more precisely to have him removed from power, it's not Russia, its the United Kingdom.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Interesting, thank you. I will read up on the 17th. I've blamed the "federalization" of politics for a lot of the apparent decline in citizen interest in Democracy as state and local influence "on people's lives" seemed to have been ceded over to the fed not entirely a bad thing (when it comes to civil rights, equal opportunity and federal funding for stuff states could never afford) still, I think something encouraged a complacent electorate even if the educational values of unions (voting for your interests rather than against) signifies.

backwardsevolution , July 17, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Jim in NH – brilliant post! Thank you. Everybody should read it.

Fred , July 17, 2018 at 10:08 pm

If three million more voted for Hillary than Trump, then majority of voters are wrong and stupid. Good thing the Electoral College saved us from ourselves.

Dave P. , July 18, 2018 at 1:26 am

A very good observation indeed.

BobS , July 17, 2018 at 2:42 pm

" one saw that practically the entire country was coloured red – only the coasts were blue."
Right, "only the coasts". The ones where nearly 50% of the US population live.

irina , July 17, 2018 at 8:09 pm

And that 50% mostly live in big cities which would not survive long
without the rural areas which provide the resources to support them.

Fred , July 17, 2018 at 10:09 pm

They actually think food comes from the supermarket Irina.

irina , July 17, 2018 at 11:17 pm

And you buy it with EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards.

JoeD , July 17, 2018 at 3:06 pm

The coasts were not blue. Clinton got the west coast. Trump won most of the east: FL, GA, SC, NC and they split Maine. Trump won 30 out of 50 states. There were also less people who voted in 2016 than did in 2012 and in 2008.

So it does not follow Clinton would win if there was a National Popular vote.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 3:22 pm

It's actually worse than it appears on a state-by-state map Clinton won densely populated areas of California, but on a precinct by precinct map https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/04/is-this-the-ultimate-2016-presidential-election-map/521622/ (note says map was an "amateur effort" but there may be others) ..

Our electoral system(s) have very serious problems voter access (and apathy) and gerrymandering probably top the list, but that "neoliberal income inequality" appears to color/overlay everything

Bob Van Noy , July 17, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Great article and commentary CN, many thanks. There is an excellent comment by Craig Murray at his site and one should not miss the commentary there either

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/07/detente-bad-cold-war-good/#tc-comment-title

Jamie , July 17, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Liberals should be ashamed of themselves. They voted a Russian bribery hag Hillary and now go far-right John Birch in drumming up war with Russia -- just because Trump hurt their feelings by beating Hillary. Sad!

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 12:42 pm

couple of polls .
from the Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/07/poll-prri-republican-democratic-voter/565328/
appears to be at 68% for democrats, / 22% for Republicans

from Gallop (H/T Dave Sirota Twitter): https://news.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx (bit unsure of unsure of date, looks like May 2018) (doesn't reach full integer)

I was impressed on the eve of 2016 election how ineffective Clinton's constant beating on Obama's drum wrt to Russia-Russia-Russia had been I don't remember the polls but the numbers for "major concern" iirc were low, around maybe 12% (after months and months)

I think the media is drunk on their own piss . I remember feeling frustrated when Gore (who had a better case for "stolen electoin" imho) walked away my suspicion is that on completion of the Mueller inquiry this is going backfire badly . even if Manafort gets decades in prison for money laundering

Anon , July 17, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Debate: Is Trump-Putin Summit a "Danger to America" or Crucial Diplomacy Between Nuclear Powers?

Glenn Greenwald and another thoughtful dude, Joe Cirincione. All substance and strong disagreements without shouting or personal attacks.

Greenwald:

I also think that that last point that Joe made is actually an important one, and it does put people like me into a difficult position, which is, you know, on the one hand, of course I don't think that Donald Trump is well intentioned and is going to have the diplomatic skill to negotiate complicated new agreements of trade and of arms control with very sophisticated regimes like the one in North Korea, or at least complicated regimes in North Korea, or in Russia. On the other hand, as we've been discussing, unfortunately, he's the only game in town. There is nobody else who's saying that we ought to question NATO. Democrats, when you say we ought to question NATO, act like you've committed blasphemy. There is nobody else talking about tariffs and the unfairness of free trade agreements, except for a couple of fringe people within the Democratic Party. Just like this week, when he said that the European Union was a foe, what he said was something that for a long time on the left was really kind of just uncontroversial orthodoxy, which is that of course the European Union is an economic competitor of the U.S., and a lot of what their trade practices are do harm the American worker. We put up barriers against Chinese products entering the U.S., and yet the EU buys them and then sells them into the U.S., indirectly helping China circumvent those barriers in a way that directly harms U.S. workers. This is something that people like Robert Reich and Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders have been talking about for a long time. So it does make it very difficult when the only person who's raising these kinds of issues and talking about these things-we need to get along better with Russia and China, we need to reform these old, archaic, destructive institutions-is a megalomaniac, somebody who's completely devoid of any positive human virtue, which is Donald Trump. So it puts you in the position of kind of trying to agree with him, while knowing that he's really not going to be able to do anything about those in a positive way.

On the other hand, I don't feel comfortable being aligned with people like Bill Kristol and David Frum and all of those Bush-era hawks who are now the best friends of MSNBC and the Democratic Party, either, because they're not well intentioned, either. And so, what I try and do is use Donald Trump and the kind of shifting alliances, that we started off by talking about, to open up a lot of the debates, that will remain closed if you only look at U.S. politics through the prism of the 2016 election and Republicans versus Democrats. And I think the most important point is the one that, as I said, Joe made just this week, which is that until the Democratic Party figures out-and this is true not just of Democrats but of center-left parties all throughout Europe and here in Brazil-until they figure out how again to reconnect, not with the highly educated class and the rich and the metropolitan enclaves, but with the working class of these countries, that feel trampled on and ignored, and for that reason are turning to demagogues, we're going to have more Donald Trumps and worse Donald Trumps, not just in the United States, but throughout the world. And that is, for me, the greatest problem that we face politically

Democracy Now

Part One – There's an intro of about 2 min before debate starts:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK_D4yaTae4

Part Two
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1iq_c3AyGs

TIEDE , July 17, 2018 at 11:03 am

This is the best article I've read on the topic, hands down.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 11:38 am

No question about that, TIEDE, but considering the pitifully low standards applied to what emanates from the wreckage of the American mass media, Mr. Lauria really didn't have much competition to beat. Of course, no matter how deserved, he will not be winning any Pulitzers, since mediocre groupthink, especially of the warmongering variety, is the new standard of excellence in American letters.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 12:45 pm

As others have noted, it "treason" isn't impeachable, what is? If not now, when?

Should we go off and invade Somalia in retaliation? The anti-Trump/Democrats are undermining their own credibility -- not to mention the press, whose credibility might reach nosedive if they still had much of an audience .

More ridiculous than GWB after 09/11 . which reminds me that Trump keeps reminding me of want-to-share-a-beer-with GWB but stupider and with less "fund of knowledge"

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 5:26 pm

And how are these "others" defining "treason?" Whatever they say it is, and without any evidence that it genuinely occurred? This is not a case of treason, it is a case of attempted mob rule, like the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. The vile media acts as the bull horn of the seditionists, they show some insurrectionists making a hullabaloo on your television screen, and the coup plotters point and say, "see, it's treason, off with his head!" Meanwhile, your government has been stolen yet again because some insiders didn't like the results.

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:42 pm

To have treason you must have a declared war and a declared enemy. If you look at the list of people convicted of treason in the US, there are what, a dozen?
The President has broad powers of foreign policy (and immigration) which may be a bad thing, but I applaud Trump's peace overtures to North Korea and Russia as well as Obama's (reviled by many of the same warmongers) deal with Iran. Unfortunately all these deals are President-specific and undercut by un-elected Intelligence agencies with agendas of their own, and politicians taking money from the MIC and foreign lobbyists with war profiteering agendas. No one can believe a President no matter how well meaning and sincere. Clinton abrogated Reagan's deal with Gorbachev, almost destroying Russia, as did Obama reneging on the deal with Gaddafi, destroying Libya. Clearly the best option is to build up a cache of nuclear arms and to use them if necessary to protect sovereignty.

gailstorm , July 17, 2018 at 10:53 am

At least Cooper used a small window – there haven't been many U.S. Russia summits – but Fallows? Uh, 9/11 and the Saudis anyone? More evidence there than Russian collusion and three Presidents – including Trump – have given that a pass.

Jessika , July 17, 2018 at 10:50 am

Treason-schmeason, Dave! You don't seem to know much about the real history of the US government, only the manufactured one of the powers in charge. Pick up a copy of Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick's book "The Untold History of the United States".

As for the vaunted democracy these talking bobbleheads and puppet politicians go on about, we don't hear them speaking about lobbying, do we, or Citizens United or McCutcheon vs Buckley decisions of the Supreme Court? It's not even the Electoral College that skews the vote and takes democracy out of the citizens' decisions -- it's lobbying, which is legalized fraud and bribery. No, they go on and on about Russia, Russia, Russia, all to make sure folks look somewhere else while they continue the hijacking.

Dave , July 17, 2018 at 10:35 am

What is amazing is how you and so many GOP are actually defending Russia! This was treason!

Deniz , July 17, 2018 at 10:53 am

What is amazing is the extent that the Democrats are lied to, and the extent that they believe those lies. I am awestruck by the complete and utter brainwashing of a democratic, educated country by the CIA. Getting Republicans, who are inclined to think negatively of foreigners is one thing, but Liberal Democrats, who profess to believe in education and equality becoming the brown shirts, it never occurred to me that was possible.

By the way, i am speaking as a former Democrat, Obama voter.

gailstorm , July 17, 2018 at 10:58 am

Yes, it is quite frightening. I think Trump is dangerously inept but reading the intelligence report on Russia released Jan., 2017 was the most frightened I have ever been as an American. It provided no evidence (apparently keeping things top secret is more important than alleged election tampering which should give cause to thought right there) and instead laid out a game plan for attacking dissenters of U.S. foreign policy.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 11:18 am

Maybe it's just wishful thinking, because I am one too, but it seems the country must be full of former Democrats (and thoroughly disillusioned Obama voters), or at least we should be if we want to survive over the long term. Hillary was just another pack of lies (and threatened violence) too far, which is why she lost. Had NOTHING to do with Russians hacking elections, influencing the vote or stealing our democracy. That is simply the revisionist bullshit in the aftermath of her self-inflicted debacle, as she persists in dragging down the party, the country and maybe the world out of self-centered petulance.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 11:24 am

Unless you are trying to be sarcastic, Dave, you added an extraneous letter to the word you should really want. What Mr. Lauria has written here is pure "reason," not "treason." Go back and consider all the relevant issues again, this time accurately.

Daniel , July 17, 2018 at 1:12 pm

I guess Dave forgot that our intelligence agencies have lied us into war in the past.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 5:29 pm

And YOU are prosecuting Russia on what EVIDENCE? None! That is madness and the ticket to war. You are just the sort of pawn to make Goebbels tremble with delight, Dave.

Samuel , July 18, 2018 at 12:34 am

I am not American but like so many out there, am concerned by what is going on in your once beautiful country. It amazes to realize that people have chosen to bury truth and reason for hatred's sake. How can one hope to build a secure, prosperous democracy based on a fraudulent lie? If one can pick a leaf from the Iraqi war it is that one should never believe unquestioningly everything that comes from the intelligence community. That deception resulted in perhaps millions dead. This time round it might result in billions dead including Americans. Is that what people like Dave want? Could this be a secret conspiracy to bring destruction to the entire universe? To what ends?

David G , July 17, 2018 at 10:00 am

Trump's actual treason:
-- turning environmental policy over to the biggest polluters
-- turning financial regulation over to parasitic elites
-- turning education policy over to anti-public, pro-charter grifters
-- turning the FCC over to the big telecoms
-- turning the Iran-nuke deal over to Netanyahu

What gets Trump called a traitor by the Beltway blob:
-- wanting to talk with Russia, and holding a Soviet/Russia summit just like every president since FDR

Wotta country!

Karen , July 17, 2018 at 11:06 am

Exactly!

BrianS , July 17, 2018 at 7:54 pm

Don't relish the me too, or "same here" moniker, but: Exactly!

mike k , July 17, 2018 at 9:39 am

The enemies of Peace, having failed to prevent the Putin/Trump summit, are now busy saying that it was a disaster, and that it was meaningless – two seemingly discordant observations. The real religion of America is WAR. Anything that smacks of peace is Heresy!

David G , July 17, 2018 at 10:08 am

"The stories of how North Korea is now violating an imaginary pledge by Kim to Trump in Singapore are even more outrageous, because big media had previously peddled the opposite line: that Kim at the Singapore Summit made no firm commitment to give up his nuclear weapons and that the 'agreement' in Singapore was the weakest of any thus far."

-- Gareth Porter

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/13/the-medias-brazen-dishonesty-about-north-korean-nuclear-violations/

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 11:02 am

Yeah. The lunatics would have the world believe that Trump was a cowardly traitor because he didn't i) berate President Putin to his face for rigging the election in his favor (as did the impertinent network goon Chris Wallace whom Putin totally pwned, though absolutely unbeknownst to the American jingoist corp) and ii) summarily declare war on the Russian Federation to cap everyone's day of fun and games. Insults and war seem to be what the imbeciles so passionately want. I wish I could give them their suicidal war that didn't involve me, my relatives, friends and other innocent bystanders, but that's not how it works and they will eagerly take us all down if given the chance. We are seeing war fever sweep across a crazed nation led astray by the worst demagogues to come down the pike since the "Greatest Generation" got an invite from Uncle Sam to Hitler's big dance. Everybody is a flag waving blood-lusting maniac, from the corporate boardrooms, to the residue of what is left skulking around the fake newsrooms, to the cocky stand-up comedians now inhabiting every late night channel spewing trash and attitude without having the first clue. Must be as invigorating as sucking in the cordite-perfumed air of Berlin circa 1939. The pity is that this time the glorious experience will be so short once the rockets are launched. Almost seems a waste to squander the experience on a bunch of lame brains who probably assume they can get their ticket price back if they don't fully enjoy the show.

Dave P. , July 17, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Realist, As always, your comments are stunningly accurate, and have literary flavor as well. It is really getting there as you have described.

As Gore Vidal wrote long ago, this brainwashing started long time ago during the nineteenth century when they started inoculating the innocent American population against socialism and all that, the ideas which were sweeping across Europe in that century. Here we are now, it is almost a crazed Nation. My wife reads L.A. Times religiously and being a Hillary fan has been watching CNN, MSNBC, Judy Woodruff and other channels like these.

It is not going to end up pretty, the atmosphere is frightening.

Doran Zeigler , July 17, 2018 at 9:32 am

I consider my politics as beyond progressive, and I am definitely not a Trump cheerleader, but I must say that this article by Consortium News is by far the most balanced and fair article I have read on the Trump/Putin press conference. Did the Russians hack Clinton's emails? Most likely. Were the hacks responsible for Clinton's defeat -- not on your life. Hillary offered nothing other than the same old tired rhetoric and hostilities toward Russia. She basically defeated herself.

The fact that Clinton won the popular vote by three million should dispel any notion that the Russian hacks were effective. What this does say is that we should get rid of the antiquated and unfair Electoral College. The press conference was not the venue to grill or attempt to embarrass Putin, besides, Putin could hurl those same accusations at the US for not only interfering in the Ukraine election, but also contributing millions of dollars to it. Putin, if he wanted, could point to NATO creeping up to Russian borders when NATO had promised years ago not to go beyond unified Germany. The Russians have a multitude of complaints, but are more diplomatic than the provocative Americans and would rather not solve these problems in the press.

Is Trump a bumbler -- no doubt. The conference was not the place to air America's dirty laundry or bring up his usual complaints. All of this hoopla is a dog and pony show, a theatrical media event to distract the American people from their real problems like a collapsing economy made worse by Trump's tariffs, like the bloated military budget, the horrific income inequality, the rise of poverty, and an endless stream of worsening problems of which neither party has a solution. It is the old sleight of the hand trick -- watch the hand I wave in front of you face, but pay no attention to the hand that is stealing you blind.

I am at least happy to see a media outlet that has broken from the pack of running lemmings that are not heading for a cliff, but are running in a small circle.

Daniel , July 17, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Where is the evidence that Russia, rather than an insider like Seth Rich, released the emails?

Assange has all but verbally confirmed it was Seth Rich, not Russia.

Zinny , July 17, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Begs the question; Why doesn't the NSA either confirm or deny the download?

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:50 pm

Why doesn't Mueller offer Assange immunity to testify? Sounds like Mueller may offer the Podestas (Manafort's partners in crime in the Ukraine) immunity to testify against Manafort.

TragiCom , July 17, 2018 at 9:28 am

You'd be forgiven if you thought Brennan's rant was an episode from 'Who is America'!!

Brennan & co. behaving absolutely like unaccountable gangsters. Very dangerous gangsters. Nuclear armed gangsters.

Herman , July 17, 2018 at 9:25 am

"The indictments, which are only unproven accusations, formally accused 12 members of the GRU, Russian military intelligence, of stealing Democratic Party emails in a hacking operation and giving the materials to WikiLeaks to publish in order to damage the candidacy of Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton. The indictments were announced on Friday, three days before the summit, with the clear intention of getting Trump to cancel it. He ignored cries from the media and Congress to do so."

The most blatant and desperate effort to date to sabotage détente, any effort to cooperate on crucial issues. The media and its sources are hysterical but scary as hell. Using words like treason without a peep from the media or anyone in Washington is also scary as hell.

Didn't watch much of the news but curious about CNN, turned it on to watch Blitzer and Rand Paul exchange. Last question do you trust our security folks or Putin. The patriots versus the devil. Rand Paul ignored it and earlier pointed to our less than Simon pure history of trying to meddle in elections. Hell we ran the campaign of the greatest thief in Russian history, Yeltsin.

Bottom line, folks will do anything to stop the President's efforts to improve relations with Russia. It began before the inauguration and has not let up since.

There is reason to use the word treason but it is not Trump's.

Nancy , July 17, 2018 at 11:12 am

It's a bizarre world when Donald Trump is actually the voice of reason in the USA. The corporate media (including our "public" networks) are running around with their hair on fire at the thought of the two nuclear nations having a rational relationship. Why can't the public see the insanity of what's going on?

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:53 pm

Sedition is the more accurate word for those in the Intelligence agencies seeking a soft coup.

richard vajs , July 17, 2018 at 8:54 am

The US Media lost its mind about two years ago. After all this time they are still trying to change the 2016 election. It was plain then – a dirt-bag vs. a fool. The US Media had a dog in that fight – the dirt-bag. What is driving them insane is that the "fool" has survived their best efforts to destroy him – should have been easy, but it is not. So the insane manipulators are going for the throat now – TREASON. It is all ridiculous – America has deep economic problems that need to be addressed, namely the terminal income inequality that exists. Killing the fool and re-elevating the dirt-bag will accomplish nothing but give the U S Media and the elites they represent another fifteen minute stroll on the decks of the Titanic

Charron , July 17, 2018 at 8:24 am

The corporate press has been shocked that President Trump would not believe the findings of his own intelligence. Never once has anyone in the Corporate press ever noted that out intelligence sources, the CIA in particular lied when they said Iraq had WMDS. It was a terrible lie. And even if you prefer to believe that the intelligence community had merely made a mistake, our invasion cost us over 3trillion dollars, cost thousands of American soldiers their lives, and ended up causing the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and has ignited the middle east, resulting in the rise of ISIS. But no one in the corporate press sees fit to even mention the fact that the CIA claimed were a "slam dunk." Nor has anyone in the corporate press mentioned the fact that James Come, when he was in the FBI, who headed up the Anthrax investigation fingered the wrong man, though he had said when questioned if he had the right man, said he was absolutely certain that Hatfiield was the man who spread the Anthrax. The government settled the false charges against Hatfiled for 5.82 million, as it turned out a fellow named ivans. P.S. Robert Mueller was the head of the FBI during most of the investigation. And let me make this clear, I also think Trump is a scoundrel, but the members of our corporate press are scoundrels too.

gailstorm , July 17, 2018 at 11:09 am

That the parroted information that got us into Iraq was a lie was widely reported and the intelligence debunked in independent media at the time. There was no mistake. The information was out there but went ignored by the mainstream media. But it goes back further. Yugoslavia, the first Gulf War erroneous reporting on such issues has been consistent at CNN.

AnthraxSleuth , July 17, 2018 at 3:18 pm

You could not be more wrong about the Anthrax.
Comey and co. ignored a material witness in that case (me) that caught Hatfill snooping around my house in November of 2001. Approx. a month and a half after I received an anthrax letter. Mr Comey's Anthrax investigation was no such thing. It was just like Hillary's email investigation. It was a "matter" not an investigation.
An investigation would have included having agents pay a visit to the man (me) that gave them Hatfill's last name 7 months before his name became public. I was able to do that b/c I when I caught him snooping around my house he was arrogant enough to wear his army jacket. Guess what is on your army jacket? Your last name.
MR. Comey's Anthrax matter also ignored when I informed the FBI that Ottillie Lundgren and Cathy Nugyen had posted on the same internet message board at the same time and to the same article that I did.
Mr. Comey and Mr. Mueller lied then and are lying now.

For kicks and giggles you can hear Hatfill admit that he was in North Carolina at the time I caught him snooping around my house in NC here .
https://youtu.be/fSfcIh1WCdg?t=1640

Mike , July 17, 2018 at 8:01 am

"The queen of diamonds the queen of diamonds"

padre , July 17, 2018 at 7:41 am

You ain't seen nothing yet, wait till your allies come tot their senses!

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 7:38 am

Who is Bill Browder and what was his role in the election and the new cold war? A very incomplete answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgPQZCkkMZo (38:00-48:00)

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Well now I feel silly. I just saw the ZeroHedge piece and understand that Robert Parry wrote often about Browder, so presumably most visitors of this site are familiar with the name. I'll have to look for those articles. Is Browder in the same league as Soros?

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 1:25 pm

Webb: "Trump and Putin are closing in on this Brennan/Browder gang; that's why you had that incredible reaction from Brennan "

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjvVeS_vPQw

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 1:32 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRFy-hoFsck

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 6:46 am

Stephen Cohen: Relations between US and Russia more dangerous than ever before, including during Cuba Crisis. (!!)

(starting ca. 5:00) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0UiEYK7Es4

Wendi , July 17, 2018 at 3:47 am

Ditto what (almost) everyone else says.

Putin tried to make the point that private citizens are not the state in a country. A private citizen doesn't speak official government words.
Russian billionaires perhaps poured money into election campaigns. If so, the head of state is not to blame, nor is the crime done by authority of the government.
Putin said Browder evaded Russian taxes and laundered $1.2 bn into USA, and moved one-third = $400 mn to Clinton's campaign.
Netted him $800 mn. With one-eighth of that Browder bribed Congress to enact Magnitsky (sp) proclamation to spur sanctions.

Russia filed criminal warrants with US under the 1999 treaty (Putin cited) to question Browder and bring charges; unlawfully ignoring them, US violated treaty.

Browder money 'meddling' in 2016 campaigns is NOT 'Putin dunnit' and NOT 'Kremlin dunnit' and NOT 'Russia dunnit.' Only truthfully, 'Russian Browder dunnit.'

In reflection, is Warren Buffett the US Gov't or are his actions the USG acting? Whatabout Bezos, is he USG Authority?; he owns the WashPost. Sulzberger, Mercers, Kochs, Murdoch(!), frickin Bill Kristol, Rash Lamebrain, Bloomberg, Bill Gates fer gawdsakes -- are they 'America' or 'the President/Administration?'
Is what's good for Mary Barra's security good for our National Security? No, no, and see this:
http://www.businessinsider.com/sun-valley-conference-2018-attendees-photos-2018-7#youtube-ceo-susan-wojcicki-is-already-decked-out-in-a-sun-valley-2018-hat-2

Trump's right for peace, but deplorable (almost) every other way.

If he did 'collude and conspire' that seems the least of his crimes. Impeach him for being morally unfit. Cripes, he was named in Florida court indictments as co-defendant against charges of rape and abuse of 13- and 14-yo girls; his partner Jeffrey Epstein was convicted and did time. Forget Russia, Trump's is a sex pervert, racist, and fascist -- unfit for office.
https://www.justice-integrity.org/1445-welcome-to-waterbury-the-city-that-holds-secrets-that-could-bring-down-trump

No link but find July 10 item at ClubOrlov.com titled, Taking Refuge in Insanity. It may be solace for Joe, in a way, and moreover a general understanding of media cohort insanity.
If understanding is possible.

And MOST I stopped to say Thank You, thank you Joe Lauria. Your work brought me deep relief and it's refreshing.
_____

PS, I predict the 12 indicted Russians do get their day in US courtroom to defend themselves with lawyers rightfully allowed to question (Mueller's) prosecution witnesses and testimony, and to present defense , and (Mueller's) prosecution loses there.

PPS, any rich moneybags domestic or foreign who aimed to spend in 2016 to hurt Hillary or help Donald be elected,
put all the money into Bernie's campaign: split the left vote and the rightist candidate skulks into office. Vice versa, Dems in 2020 may prop up a Republican candidate on the left of Trump; split the R's vote between soft and hard rightwingers.

exiled off mainstreet , July 17, 2018 at 2:25 am

Who are the traitors? Those who seek war with a nuclear power or those who wish to solve the problems. What about Browder's $400,000,000 to the Clinton campaign. Putin wouldn't make such a statement if there were nothing to back it up, though Mueller is willing to lay unsubstantiated charges which go against proven evidence that the DNC leak was from a thumb drive, not internet transmission. In any event, why is it so bad that the crimes of the DNC were revealed? I guess the truth is dangerous to the yankee form of "managed democracy."

Alcuin , July 17, 2018 at 2:10 am

I don't know if it's true or not, but I once read that Nicholas II actually ordered the de-mobilization of the Russian army on the eve of WWI, but that his order was ignored by his subordinates who were eager for war. Trump in his interview with Hannity implies at one point that he doesn't have full control over the military -- that the belligerent rhetoric has been having practical and dangerous consequences. Frightening. Starting at ca. min. 5. https://youtu.be/dRMW4knpiUo

Zhu Ba Jie , July 17, 2018 at 1:22 am

Just for sh*ts & giggles, try listening to prophecy preachers like Bro. Stair at http://www.overcomerministry.org (Do NOT belive them!) Such folks have radically different assumptions. Listening will clear your intellectual pallette, so to say.

David G , July 17, 2018 at 1:11 am

Others may not feel the connection strongly, but watching today's (yesterday's now) media meltdown flashed me back to the day of Colin Powell's Iraqi WMD presentation to the U.N.

I watched that live, and even at the time – before the specific fabrications were exposed – it was such a self-evidently lame effort that I was genuinely surprised and confused when all the media people instantly hailed the its supposedly irresistible power in making the case for the coming war. And it's not like I went into the day with such a high opinion of the corporate media.

As with Trump in Helsinki, it was clear the media was activating a pre-arranged narrative (approval then, opprobrium now) rather than genuinely reacting to what they had seen and heard.

Jared , July 17, 2018 at 6:48 am

That is an excellent assesment.
That is the dumbfound aspect the blatantly preconceived and coordinated attack on the public dialog.
I feel certain the media is being required to sacrifice its reputation for the purpose of distracting the public from some issue. I dont thing the anderson coopers realise that this is the purpose they belive they are simply acting as political assasins of the enemy.
Maybe is niave of me but is it possible this is simply to defray discussion of dnc communications and dnc conspiring by which they pretty much destroyed the democratic brand? Of course there are also the globalists concern with nationalism and populism and mic with concern fear of outbreak of peace.

gailstorm , July 17, 2018 at 11:23 am

The average journalist, mostly print but even regional TV, statistically makes less money than school teachers. It's quite different at the national TV level. They are paid ridiculously well and maybe coincidentally (maybe not) removed from the ground work among the masses. The system has rewarded them so there is natural bias toward the status quo (something that exists to a degree in objective journalism to begin with). They likely aren't aware but they are hired and keep their jobs based on questions they are not likely to ask. It's corporate America. Just as in low level administrative job hiring at large companies, blandness and safe get the jobs.

Chumpsky , July 16, 2018 at 11:23 pm

"Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia forwards the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."

A page taken out of JFK's playbook.

No wonder the democrats/MSM/Deep State are so disturbed and ready to shoot the messenger. He's encroaching on their sanctified turf!

Jean , July 16, 2018 at 11:43 pm

Actually they now work for those who killed JFK

The ironies never end

David G , July 17, 2018 at 12:25 am

The full Trump quote, as it appears above:

"As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics or the media or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia forwards the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."

Question for those who have seen the video: were these prepared remarks, or were they spontaneous?

I appreciate them either way, but if Trump crafted those lines on the fly I really might have to give the cheeto-faced, ferret-wearing shitgibbon (thank you, Scotland!) a fresh look.

Nora De Groote , July 17, 2018 at 3:44 am

I was thinking the exact same thing when reading that quote. That doesn't seem like his rhetoric at all. The "good thing bad thing" is where you have his level of "eloquence" again. Regardless, even if he had to memorize the statement beforehand, he still scored in my book.

Vivian O'Blivion , July 17, 2018 at 7:10 am

"cheeto-faced, ferret-wearing, shitgibbon" as a Scotsman I can only apologise for my compatriots sickeningly sycophantic language. We are normally less diplomatic in our appraisals. In Scotland, if you hear the word "f**k", it's just to let you know a noun is coming.

Zim , July 17, 2018 at 9:00 am

It's hard to believe that statement came out of Trumps mouth. But I believe it to be spot on.

Tom Van Meurs , July 17, 2018 at 2:38 am

To Chumpsky : A very courageous statement of Trump! He is no fool . You can't tell a bonk from its cover,

David G , July 16, 2018 at 11:12 pm

Lauria: "The media's handlers were even worse than their assets."

Zing! Props to you, Joe.

David G , July 16, 2018 at 11:00 pm

I haven't read the article or the comments yet, but I want to chime in now:

I've been watching MSNBC on and off all day, and the summit has clearly caused their brains (already in parlous condition) to completely liquefy.

"Treason! Worse than Watergate *and* 9/11!!"

Demented.

tom , July 17, 2018 at 10:07 am

+1

Lois Gagnon , July 16, 2018 at 10:38 pm

Once again, the hypocrisy of the media is on full display. Every president including this one pays total fealty to the criminal state of Israel which we know has interfered in the US political process, not to mention sinking a US naval vessel. But heaven forbid there be diplomatic talks with Putin who has bent over backwards to accommodate the US when he can. So far all he's gotten is sand kicked in his face.

The behavior of the media and its fellow juvenile delinquents in Washington are an embarrassment. They are without realizing it, making Trump look presidential. You can't make this sh*t up.

mike k , July 16, 2018 at 10:35 pm

The Evil Monsters destroying our world with their greed and violence are being flushed into the open. But will the brainwashed masses be able to see this? That is the crucial test that humanity faces at this time. The Rulers will go all out to spin this in their favor, and if that fails, they will probably try to assassinate this dangerous man, President Donald Trump.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Meanwhile, while everyone is focused on Trump and Putin's summit, the real power of collusion is hard at work.

https://ahtribune.com/us/israelgate/2369-useful-idiot-trump.html

I'm posting this, because while it's appropriate we talk at length about the disgraceful reception Trump got for his trying to wage peace, we should not lose sight to what country is using the U.S, as it's useful idiot.

Besides that, an article such as what Phil Giradi wrote should not go unnoticed thank you once again MSM for being the jerks you are. Did the MSM ever hear of the word 'reporting'? Thank you Joe Lauria & the Parry family for being here when we need you the most. I don't know what I'd do without the Consortium. Hey kudos to you too Robert Parry, your still number one with me.

Joe Tedesky , July 17, 2018 at 9:14 am

Moonofalabama has the strategy right.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/07/helsinki-talks-how-trump-tries-to-rebalance-the-global-triangle.html#more

Joe Tedesky , July 17, 2018 at 9:17 am

Surprisingly Professor Coke, says this

https://www.juancole.com/2018/07/shocked-bromance-netanyahu.html

Howard Mettee , July 16, 2018 at 10:09 pm

Thank you Joe,

For trying to restore a note of sanity and balance in the crucible of journalistic/political dialogue between Russia and the US centers of power, where we sense the truth will be lost in white hot bombast, and the accepted narrative of reality will be decided by the heads pushing the correct emotional buttons to fit their nationalistic needs, and their needs for continued employment. Who can forget the last time all 17 intelligence services were of one mind on weapons of mass destruction – that turned out to be nonexistent! Let's hope we can catch our breath before we trip into a patriotic war that destroys civilization.

John P , July 16, 2018 at 11:20 pm

Excuse me, but the intelligence service was turned upside down by Bush and his team inserting their own officials to sensor what was released. The Agencies were very upset that the truth wasn't coming out, and you had the Valerie Plame incident also.
From Slate: "Trump and Putin Met in Helsinki's Hall of Mirrors. Here Are the Highlights." ends with the following:
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
On a related note, Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who set up that Trump Tower meeting by promising Trump's son that it was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump," just tweeted that Putin had lied earlier in the day when he said he did not know that Trump would be in Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.
Rob Goldstone @GoldstoneRob
President Putin just stated that he had no idea Donald Trump was in Moscow in 2013. I know for sure that he did and tell the full story in my soon to be released book "Pop Stars, Pageants & Presidents: How an Email Trumped My Life"
1:16 PM – Jul 16, 2018
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
There may not have been collusion but I think we can say there probably was interference, voting machines and misinformation spread by agents throughout the social communications media of today. And Putin did admit late, that he was for Trump not Hillary.

If there was funding from Russia to the Democrats as some say, and Putin is truthful that he preferred Trump then why did they give money to the Democrats? Was it to designed to undermine Hillary through its exposure.

Others complain about the timing of the 12 Russian agents, but that was no different from the timing of the Hillary email story release shortly before the election.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 17, 2018 at 1:44 am

"Putin Stole the Election" is fantasy fiction, just like "Obama is a Kenyan" was.

Typingperson , July 17, 2018 at 1:46 am

So you're OK with Hillary using an illegal, off-the-books email server to do pay-to-play arms deals with shitty countries like Saudi Arabia–that gave millions of $$ to Clinton Foundation in return?

If lawfully using a govt server, Hillary"s emails would be subject to FOIA petitions. By USA citizen taxpayers and reporters. Her emails as Sec of State are the property of the American people, who paid her salary. That's what people still don't get.

She used a private server to keep secret the illegal, pay-to-play arms deals–in return for payola bucks to Clinton Foundation.

And Obama turned a blind eye for 4 years. His specialty: Suck-up talking while turning a blind eye.

To Hillary"s incompetence and murderous corruption, to his weekly drone-murders, and to accelerated deportation of innocent immigrants–and ICE separating parents from kids.

While starting 5 new wars on top of Iraq and Afghanistan–including ongoing genocide of Yemen.

Obama was a good boy for the deep state / war profiteers. And he collected his $60M "book contract." Bribe.

Bill , July 17, 2018 at 3:59 pm

"So you're OK with Hillary using an illegal, off-the-books email server to do pay-to-play arms deals with shitty countries like Saudi Arabia–that gave millions of $$ to Clinton Foundation in return?"

How is that different from Trumpkin or Bush doing much the same thing?

Tony Frede , July 17, 2018 at 1:50 am

Maybe it doesn't make sense because Russia never really worked for either side.

Ron Johnson , July 17, 2018 at 6:48 am

Tracing who, exactly, did the hacking is always difficult because the evidence left behind is usually impossible to trace. In the case of the hacking or attempted hacking of certain states' data, the only evidence that it was the Russians came from Russian language characters in the code. Slam dunk, right? Well no, since our CIA/NSA admitted to using exactly such techniques to misdirect researchers away from their own hacking.

If you read deeper into the story of how the Russians funded Clinton, you'll find that it was not the Russian government. Putin pointed out that the money was made 'illegally' in Russia and sent out of the country 'illegally', ending up in Clinton's campaign.

There are a number of differences between the indictments of the Russians and the release of information in the Hillary e-mail investigation. First, there is no chance the Russians will ever end up in a U.S. court so it is an indictment with no future. Second, Comey, a supporter of Hillary, made the announcement and subsequently cleared her, probably to save his own career because the field office that was doing the investigating was about to go public with his dereliction of duty in the Clinton investigation. Subsequent investigations have revealed how the highly politicized FBI and DOJ went out of their way to protect Clinton. Mueller's indictments, on the other hand, are just pure political malfeasance.

John P , July 17, 2018 at 7:20 pm

Zhu Ba Jie, I never said that Russia influnced the results of the election. It probably didn't. But what I do think is that the Russians are probably laughing at how didvided America has become. Neoliberalism which caters to busines rather than liberalism which caters to the people and the country as a whole is destroying society. People need to get on the streets and voice their concerns, Get together and form rallies like those who spoke out against the Vietnam War.
Is it social media that makes people babble and rave rather than be active out there getting the much needed attention?
Gather fo support a greener world, a fairer more benevolent world. To get local economies going putting money in needy people's pockets is far better than trickle down or financing and support for big business. The poor will spend it locally and that's good.
Get out there and make a stir. Trump ain't going to help you. Get rid of PACs, superPACs and other big donor money pots for a start start. Bernie Sanders and now some new young people are seeing the light. Get in there and help them along. Get out on the streets and shout for change!
Throw away the smart phone and get marching!

John P , July 17, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Also, Ron Johnson , I'm not American, I didn't know the full story of the mob money and Hillary. My choice was Bernie Sanders never Hillary or Trump. My fear is, the way things are going, it's like the period between the great wars and the effects of poverty and big business. Support for the needy and the busting up of big business were two steps which helped the world climb out of the mire. Perhaps we need to add robotics to the list. People need work and a purpose.

Larry Gates , July 16, 2018 at 9:59 pm

Donald Trump is a vile human being, and I disagree with 98% of what he says and does, but today he was right and everyone else was wrong. I've been on a trip in my car most of the day, listening to public radio. It was an endless orgy of misinformation and deep-state propaganda. PRI was as insane and dangerous as Fox News on a really bad day. I'm starting to think that nuclear war is a more immanent danger than global warming. It isn't just Rachel Maddow who has gone off the deep end. It is the entire national media. What kind of country have we become? Pray for peace.

strngr-tgthr , July 16, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Larry – Don't buy the Trump CoolAid He is completely wrecking are world order. Last month was Kim, this month was Putin and now this! Look:

White House Orders Direct Taliban Talks to Jump-Start Afghan Negotiations

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/15/world/asia/afghanistan-taliban-direct-negotiations.html

He is meeting with all the dictators of the world now! Guaranteed he will have Assad at the White House before we can get him impeached. This is 100% out of Putin's play book. He is a trader to American Values. Never have we sunk so low, dissing are true allies and honoring thugs, killers and despots! 110% vile!

Joe Lauria , July 16, 2018 at 11:00 pm

Do you mean like Pinochet, Somoza, Galtieri, Rios Montt, Suharto, Mobuto, shall I go on?

Joe Lauria , July 16, 2018 at 11:02 pm

And it is about time there are direct talks with the Taliban. The U.S. has lost in Afghanistan. It has to try to get something out of it.

strngr-tgthr , July 16, 2018 at 11:23 pm

We are in Afghanistan for woman's rights! "Hillary: justified by the desire to emancipate Afghan women." And we have all seen the concern that Trump has for woman (Billy Bush – Babies at the Border, shall I go on?) 120% vile!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jul/20/hillary-clinton-afghan-women-taliban

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 3:54 am

You are totally deluded, Mr. Man Without Vowels in His Name, if you think we are in Afghanistan to promote women's rights. I'm sure you still faithfully watch the Jay Leno Show to stay apprised of Mrs. Leno's featured assessment of that crusade. Ranking light years ahead of your purported reason for the last 17 years of war in the Hindu Kush are i) the planned oil and gas pipelines*, ii) the proven deposits of rare earth elements essential to modern electronic devices, and iii) the immediate proximity to Iran, Russia, China and Pakistan giving Washington the ability to raise hell from its many military bases in Afghanistan on a moment's notice (all part of Obama's infamous "Pivot to Asia," which implied far more than a new cadre of Peace Corp workers–more like, we can buy any locals we need with the pallets of Franklins we now air drop on a routine schedule).

* Read "Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden" by Brisard and Dasquie, it's still relevant 17 years later, while Hillary's "feminist" credentials remain completely irrelevant.

Gene Poole , July 17, 2018 at 5:48 am

An analysis of this contributor's writing style reports a 98.3% likelihood that he/she is Donald Trump.

Larry Gates , July 17, 2018 at 8:04 am

The United States has been "honoring thugs, killers, and despots" at least since Allen Dulles became the director of the CIA in the 1940s. America is an expansive empire, controlled by our corporate oligarchy. It's all about their money and power. They talk about human rights, but that is just a cover for their greed. Much of Trump's foreign policy is bad, but it is simply a logical continuation of the foreign policies of Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Negotiations with Putin is a step in the right direction and the Orange Beast deserves credit for it. It looks to me like it is you, not me that has swallowed the Kool-Aid.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 11:02 am

The Taliban, in the last week – 10 days, has said they will not negotiate as long as the USA occupies Afghanistan This was abbreviated in most headlines to say that the Taliban refuse to negotiate.

The Americans have launched the "time to negotiate with the Taliban" trial balloon before -- "tragically" coming to nothing.

We (USA) interfere when the Baghdad government attempts their own negotiations. (or simply do things that encourage retaliatory attacks) . Now ISIS in the mix.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 17, 2018 at 1:47 am

We've become a theater state. A powerful performance is what matters.

Susan Sunflower , July 17, 2018 at 11:08 am

Indeed. The histrionics of the last 48 hours have been beyond belief and credulity. The hardcore news-as-scandal-addicted will stay tuned, but I lost respect for some "stars" of the news in ways that won't be forgotten I keep expecting Maddow to either use hand puppets or present "crime reenactment" videos, along with her other show-and-tell visual aids.

BBC is just as bad in terms of prejudice but at least present a professional facade .DW and France 24 are alternatives as is the (much too short, almost every hour on the hour) RT headline news. RT's interview and talk shows are excellent and quite sober. It's not that they aren't slanted, they're just not insulting to the audience.

HiggBo , July 17, 2018 at 10:10 am

Maybe now you will think about the things these very same people said about him. Maybe they arent true either.
Hint: The vast majority arent.

Deniz , July 16, 2018 at 9:59 pm

They are losing their minds over Putins announcement of the $400 milion that was transferred Clinton through Browder.

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:01 am

Seems Hillary learned a lot from Chinagate (where the Clintons paid the illegal donations from a foreign nation back AFTER winning the Election). And China only received military technology, offshored jobs and permanent favored nation trading status in return. Win-win.
You can be sure Hillary will claim that $400 million, if ever traced to her despite bleach bitting all her records, was for the Clinton Foundation Campaign and it was just an inadvertent mixup.

PuddinNTain , July 16, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Thank you for this reasoned piece amidst a plethora of madness. Most of my friends and colleagues who identify as Democrats, liberals, progressives, haters of Trump, etc, people I have the most in common with, politically speaking, have completely lost their freaking minds over this stuff. Critical thinking? Who needs it! Mueller and the intelligence community have surely seen the light since the "Iraq has WMDs" days.
Exactly when did the intelligence community, the sellers of lies and perpetrators of regime change world-wide, become a friend to the American people?

Drew Hunkins , July 16, 2018 at 9:49 pm

"He had a chance right there in front of the world to tell Vladimir Putin to stay the HELL out of American democracy,.."

What democracy? 99% of the candidates' campaigns have been almost completely funded by Wall Street, the blood thirsty giant defense contractors, or paranoid and hegemonic Zionist sociopaths.

It's been proven in a recent academic study by Princeton political scientists (and long lamented before these guys got on the case by such luminaries as Michael Parents, S. Wollin, James Petras, N. Chomsky, Vidal, Hedges) that the American citizenry has absolutely no influence whatsoever regarding poltico-economic decisions that emanate from Washington, they're drowned out by big business and the imperialist ruling elites.

So I ask this warmongering Russophobic talking head once again: what democracy? What democracy do you speak of? The same democracy that mires millions of newly college grads with $30,000 to $500,000 in student loan debt, or the same democracy that's witnessing close to 50% of the entire population living close to the poverty level, or that has tens of millions of its denizens without adequate healthcare coverage

Drew Hunkins , July 16, 2018 at 9:55 pm

typo: such luminaries as Michael Parenti, S. Wollin, James Petras

The editor regrets the error.

John P , July 16, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Trump ain't going to help you on that one. You need to get together with others work to get rid of PACs and Super PACs. In most western countries they wouldn't be allowed.

Sam F , July 17, 2018 at 7:20 am

The political parties are also corrupt, taking donations fed back directly or indirectly from government funding of contractors. These are extensive rackets supported by half the population, who have never worked for anything but a political gang operation, and really believe in gangs.

michael , July 17, 2018 at 7:11 am

Why are you bringing up "ponies" that we will never have, when Hillary's private club (or so the judge ruled when Bernie's supporters tried to fight their fraud, saying private clubs can do what they please, particularly picking potential presidents) was hacked into by those supercompetent Russians? Much akin to the Nigerian guy who's been trying to help me collect money from some dead rich relative I didn't know I had. Still waiting, but I'm sure if this was a fraud Mueller and our Intelligence agencies would be all over it, just like Hillary's Private Club, the DNC. The Russians didn't steal any money from Hillary, as far as I know, or there would have been War!

gcw919 , July 16, 2018 at 9:29 pm

These media "pundits" are truly an embarrassment. They become apoplectic about "possible" Russian hacking in our elections, but one can search in vain for their comments about our own interference in Ukrainian politics, and many other countries around the globe. (eg, Victoria Nuland, Hillary's pit bull, gloating about the US spending $5 billion in "support" of Ukrainian democracy). Its as if real concerns, such as nuclear annihilation, or catastrophic climate change, were afterthoughts. We are certainly living in mystifying times.

Mike From Jersey , July 16, 2018 at 10:16 pm

I think the same thing. The whole "election meddling" hoopla, even if it was true, pales to insignificance in light of what we are actually doing.

We have a base – a military base – in Syria. We weren't invited. We didn't get permission to set up a base. But we set up a military base in another country while announcing that that country's leader "must go." And now – with a total absence of evidence – we have the gall to condemn Russia for "meddling in our democracy."

What is wrong with these people? Can't they see the utter hypocrisy in it all?

AZ_bob , July 16, 2018 at 11:29 pm

I tell people all the time, if Russia did put their thumb on the scale, then hey – I guess "What Goes Around, Comes Around" huh? If you CAN'T take it, DON'T dish it out. Quite simple, really

irina , July 17, 2018 at 1:28 am

The US media's hysterical (in the unfunny sense) response to "Russian meddling"
is very like the husband who catches his wife cheating on him and goes totally postal,
although he himself has been cheating on her ever since their courting days . . .

Tony Frede , July 17, 2018 at 1:53 am

No they don't see the hypocrisy. A large percentage of the population suffers from a severe Irony Deficiency and that can't be cured.

Layne , July 17, 2018 at 6:55 am

I beat my head against the wall with the very same question! Thanks for sharing..

Tristan , July 16, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Thank you for doing the real journalism needed for readers to gain perspective and understanding. It is important to call out propaganda in the face of facts. One thing that stands out significantly is the statement by Trump, "I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics." Even if only partially pursued, the goal of peace is indeed a very worthy endeavor. In fact, this is one of the first times in recent memory that a US president has used the word "Peace".

I don't like the majority of what the Trump administration is doing, it is important to stick to the facts and support efforts that could lead to a reduction of the tensions and hostility which dominate current US / Russia relations.

F. G. Sanford , July 16, 2018 at 9:22 pm

"A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russia, but it is good for the world."

I could hear in the inflection of that sentence the profoundly courageous and confidently certain voice of John F. Kennedy. Gergen, Amanpour, Cooper, Cheney, Brennan, Clapper and the rest of them be damned. The usual suspects, the bought and paid-for mouthpieces of the "deep state" raised their reptilian ire in the expected reprehensible fashion. War is what keeps them on the "payroll", and they'll tell any lie it takes to keep those checks rolling in. Despicable. It seems likely that their vitriol may stem as much from fear of exposure as anything else.

I think President Trump gave a laudable and compelling performance. It's a tragedy that this article will probably not get the circulation it deserves. Thanks to Joe Lauria for having the guts to write it.

Litchfield , July 16, 2018 at 9:43 pm

Amen.

jaycee , July 16, 2018 at 10:15 pm

Cheers. I noticed the same JFK echo in that sentence.

Brennan and the whole lot of those pundits sound exactly like the paleolithic right from the 50s and 60s, the ones who insisted MLK was a communist and were so effectively personified by Sterling Hayden in the Dr Strangelove film.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 10:35 pm

Here ya go F.G. your on par with Paul Craig Roberts.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/07/16/is-president-trump-a-traitor-because-he-wants-peace-with-russia/

Enjoy my man. Joe

Dave P. , July 16, 2018 at 11:52 pm

Yes. I agree completely.

W. R. Knight , July 16, 2018 at 9:22 pm

I recall about 16 years ago when the U.S. media almost unanimously reported, with absolute certainty, that Saddam Hussein was harboring numerous weapons of mass destruction. I also recall their fervent calls for regime change because Hussein was a threat to our national security. There were a few voices who spoke against it, but they were drowned out by MSM. It would appear that U.S. media is adamantly against anyone who is opposed to war. Is it because war is so profitable for the media, or is it because war is so profitable for their masters?

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 9:08 pm

Hey, Johnmichael, you must know that the US is headed by an oligarchy, UK too, France, etc. What runs the world is banks and multinational corporations. The US could actually be called a corporatocracy, because the people have very little say in their government. Yes, media bashers do bash media when they lie because they are supposed to ferret out facts but they don't, they serve their money masters. They all use "Goebbels style" messaging, Putin the least, i notice. It's a western script.

Steve , July 16, 2018 at 9:08 pm

Everything the Main Stream media says about Trump applies ten times over to themselves, the presstitutes that they are useful Idiots of the Corrupt New World Order.

Bob In Portland , July 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm

A look at Mueller's career will go far in explaining why Mueller is handling this and what he won't see while investigating:

https://caucus99percent.com/content/what-mueller-wont-find

If you haven't read this, please do.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 9:40 pm

I did Bob, and I'm encouraging more to read it. Joe

Dave P. , July 17, 2018 at 3:30 am

Bob – Yes, I have read the article about Mueller's career.

backwardsevolution , July 17, 2018 at 5:08 am

Bob in Portland – excellent read! Thank you. Mueller is like a fixer, a sweeper, someone who cleans up and, as you said, moves investigations away from the CIA.

"He knew where to look and where not to look."

No doubt he's a valuable asset to the Deep State. Not a nice man.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 8:39 am

Great work!

Yes, Mueller's a master of misdirection. Was it Parry who noted (likely others as well) that reporting is now less about lying than deliberate omission. Hard to fact-check what ain't there (vs. a lie which lays out data which can be tested) Knowledge IS power: we are not to have knowledge.

Bob Van Noy , July 17, 2018 at 9:34 am

Thanks to all in this thread. I filed this statement recently here, and it was edited out. I'll try again because it's appropriate.

A relatively vibrant Press was modified violently in the days and weeks following November 22, 1963. Some careers were enhanced, some lives were lost. If some contemporary student of History or Journalism wanted to study the decline of American Democracy they might begin by reading all of the linked article below about a Journalist named Penn Jones

http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKjonesP.htm

W. R. Knight , July 16, 2018 at 8:59 pm

As much as I loathe Trump, I have to admit this is one time I agree with him. No matter how much Trump screws up, the simple fact is that no one is 100% wrong, and it's important to recognize when they are not wrong.

I don't agree that the Russians are our enemy. I don't believe they are our friends, but there's a large gap between an enemy and a friend and I place the Russians somewhere in that gap. I don't deny that they hacked into the DNC database, but that doesn't rise above my threshold of significance and certainly doesn't hold a candle to all the U.S. interference in the politics of most of the world's nations (which includes deposing democratically elected presidents). And finally, I don't believe in gunboat diplomacy and I agree that it's better to talk with the Russians than it is to beat the war drums and seek more confrontation.

Having said that, I deplore Trump's behavior toward our European, Canadian and Mexican friends, and his domestic policies are the worst of any in the last 100 years. But as much as I deplore this buffoon, I believe that he is right in attempting to normalize relations with Russia.

Litchfield , July 16, 2018 at 9:49 pm

"I don't deny that they hacked into the DNC database,"

Well, you should, because there is zero evidence of a Russian hack.
On what basis in the world do you so confidently assert that you "do not deny" something that is untrue?
The evidence is of an inside leak.
Please, learn the difference between the two, a hack and a leak.

Nancy , July 17, 2018 at 11:38 am

Another indication of the insidious power of the media over common sense.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 3:22 am

Of course it is entirely within the interests of America to have free and friendly relations with Russia. Why? Not only because peace beats the hell out of war, especially the nuclear variety, but because we, along with the rest of the world, need Russia's vast resources in a planet rapidly being depleted of everything essential to modern technology. If they don't sell their products to the West on the open market because Washington thinks it can steal them after some kind of "regime change," all those essential goodies will go to China, India and the other peoples of the East whom we look down upon, and are also fixing to mess with.

From all I have gleaned, Russia has always aspired to be a part of the West, ever since Peter the Great opened Russia to Europe, but Washington thinks that being a member of team West means being a totally subservient vassal to it and only it. Look at how shamelessly Washington has abused the interests of the EU in its efforts to subjugate Russia. There is mostly one party that threatens the future of Western prosperity and moral values: the United States, or rather its government. Its motives are uncontested power and greed to benefit its small clique of decadent aristocrats.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Why would anyone believe the Liars' Club (the CIA) about anything? Their successes are more shameful than their failures.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 8:43 am

Ah, but successes and failures are not ours to judge, no, it is for the ruling elite to judge, and given that their power and wealth has but steadily increased it is safe to say, under their measuring, that the CIA has been quite successful.

Johnmichael2 , July 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Putin brilliantly heads an Oligarchy. Trump obsequiously admires Putin because he too, by all of his actions to date, aspires to the same power. To all of you media bashers, who are on a very strange campaign of denial, don't forget that Trump and his Goebbels style messaging received prime time from the electronic media throughout the campaign and was probably key to the win.

The real Deep State is the multinational world order of capitalism, which doesn't care what type of government it owns. Yet CN seems totally oblivious to their existence. If the media is to blame for anything, it is that their coverage tends to be controlled by ratings; in other words, by money, and the Deep State controls the money.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 8:52 pm

The US has oligarchic since 1789.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 8:53 pm

Goebbels was far smarter and articulate than Trump.

Danny , July 17, 2018 at 9:57 pm

the free $2B from the same media now screeching for his head? (Fox excepted) the 35-40 minutes dedicated to his empty podium while Sanders talked? I have some REALLY bad news for you 'bout who was behind that

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 8:44 pm

I highly recommend reading James Howard Kunstler's piece on Russia Insider, "Idiotic Russia Meddling Hoax Kept Alive by Trump-Putin Summit". On his blog 'Clusterfuck Nation' he titles it "12 Ham Sandwiches with Russian Dressing". Kunstler is a great cynicist humorist called a dystopian by the NYT. This piece he just published is one of the best and will undoubtedly be picked up by others. Has a funny cartoon on Russia Insider for a musical based on the Mueller never-ending saga. At least it's a few cynical laughs for this sorry affair.

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2018 at 10:00 pm

https://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/styles/1200xauto/public/russia_follies_mueller_trump_hillary-1024x751_0.jpg?itok=mrheD4D_

Lester D , July 16, 2018 at 8:41 pm

Mass hysteria is a frightening spectacle to behold. The power with which it grips the minds of virtually everyone is beyond belief. As I watched the media coverage of Helsinki unfold, it seemed the media minions were perceptibly working themselves into a collective frenzy, a totally berserk, bonkers group who were bidding the price of tulips up to a million each. The ironic aspect of all this to me is that even if the commie bastards did what we say they did would it have made any difference? And if indeed it was they who hacked HC's "personal" email files and made them available to Wikileaks, I'm glad as Hell they did.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 8:56 pm

It would not make any difference. We Americans are to blame for our own follies and mistakes.

KiwiAntz , July 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm

It's Washington & the MSM's mass hysteria, not the common folk who couldn't give a rats ass about this lunacy? Ask the ordinary citizen in the US or Worldwide what they care about? It's not the never ending Russiagate BS spewed out by the MSM or corrupt DEMS! It's about, how will my Family be housed, Fed, & cared for! How will I support myself & my Family's needs & wants! THATS WHAT WE CARE ABOUT, WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE FAKE RUSSIAGATE NONSENSE & it's BS! But what do these MSM idiots know, they think their smarter than those who voted for change & are getting that with Mr Trump!

David G , July 17, 2018 at 12:01 am

Right on, Lester D.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 8:39 pm

I'm starting to get hopeful about Trump after a lot of doubts.
Whatever his limitations, he at least has some common sense. This is something we would never have seen happen with Crooked Hillary Clinton, ever. Somebody had to listen to Putin, who actually has quite a lot of sensible things to say about this, and is a very intelligent and articulate politician.
Given enough time, Trump might actually figure things out in Washington before he leaves office and sees all the treasonous forces in the permanent security state. I didn't vote for either Clinton or Trump in '16 but if he listens to Putin and gives peace a chance, this will mend all cracks with me.
Maybe they should put up a fence around CNN headquarters and call in a battalion of psychs to provide mental health treatments to the war profiteers and talking heads.
I voted for peace. I want to see peace. Kudos to Trump and Putin for bringing an oasis of sanity to the world. Nuclear war is bad for our kids. I am very relieved to see this happening. Even General Eisenhower could not buck the Military Industrial Complex in 1959 when he tried to reach detente with Khrushchev. Trump will go down in history as a great president if he can pull this off.

mike k , July 16, 2018 at 8:38 pm

The incredible ugliness of the media, spy agencies, military figures, and politicians is unfortunately only the tip of a huge iceberg. Underneath all that is the deep state oligarchs, who are willing to sacrifice billions of lives and the very continuation of life on our precious planet – just to fulfill their insatiable greed for wealth and power. These evil monsters are the real enemies of Humanity.

Lolita , July 16, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Not only the U.S. Media, but also the Canadian, French, British etc that is, the agitprop tools for NATOland/Soros, ready for selective and well rehearsed indignation, on cue.

Frances , July 16, 2018 at 10:06 pm

Yes, Australian media and politicians too.

Lolita , July 17, 2018 at 12:17 am

Tonight CBC The National managed to invite a "balanced" panel to discuss the Trump-Putin press conference: a researcher from Stratfor and a journalist from the Washington Post!!!! LOL

Lolita , July 17, 2018 at 5:32 pm

And when CBC's narrative and their fake-debate in the National is challenged in the comment section the CBC sycophants know only one action:

"Your account has been banned until 10/15/2018. Reason: We have banned this account for 90 days because we believe it is in violation of our Terms of Use, specifically repeated off-topic comments, uncivil comments, and personal attacks. For more information, please visit: http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/submissions.html ."

All of this to mask political censorship
In my last posts, I quoted Joe Lauria and they did not like it one bit:
"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

Good Bye ICIJ

KiwiAntz , July 17, 2018 at 2:16 am

And add NZ's Media to that shameful list of Propagandists telling lies & expecting us to belithis tripe!

Mike Lamb , July 16, 2018 at 8:23 pm

The calls of President Trump being a traitor mimic those of the calls that President Eisenhower was a traitor back in the 1950s.
But what can you expect from the cult followers of the former Goldwater girl who have done their best to turn the Party of Gene McCarthy into the Party of Joe McCarthy?

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Dems have GOP lite for a long time, at least since Reagan.

Pandas4peace , July 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Americans need to turn off their damn television sets.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm

I canceled my cable subscription three months ago and haven't missed it one bit.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 2:53 am

One needs to keep apprised of the lies that the enemies of humanity so effectively spread through their propaganda in order to counter them.

Besides, if you ever need a good emetic, there is always the opportunity to tune in Rachel Maddow until your stomach upchucks its contents.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 8:51 am

Ha ha! The Rachel Maddow weight loss program!

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 9:01 pm

Good idea. I quit watching regularly in the '70s. But does make one somewhat alienated from everyone else.

Freedom lover , July 16, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Actually I have Direct TV and for a change I can tune in to channel 321 RT America and listen to some real news instead of the 24-hr fake news on the rest of the channels.

Skip Scott , July 17, 2018 at 6:55 am

Last night I blocked CNN on the TV where I am currently forced to reside. I am the only one with the p/w to unblock it. Take that CNN!!!

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 8:13 pm

Well said, as always, Realist, but the scary part is to read the vitriolic anti-Trump responses indicating the 'liberals' would actually rather risk war! I just read a few of them and honestly wonder if there's any hope for this country, maybe we will have to take some harsh lessons that will be meted out. They do not realize that they are assisting in bringing down every one of us with their hate. The controllers who play them love it.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 8:47 pm

The danger is that they will bring their war hysteria into the next election and get someone elected that is even worse than Hillary would have been.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 9:02 pm

I'm not convinced that anyone is control. "Time and chance come to them all."

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 2:46 am

My, how we have come full circle, Jessika. So, now it's the "liberals" who would rather be "dead" than "red?" That used to be the far right John Birchers back in my youth. (Not that anyone anywhere on the planet is a genuine "communist" any longer, not even in Cuba or North Korea.) I just wish there was some mechanism to allow them to self-immolate without killing or harming the rest of us nearly 8 billion human beings. They have some potent demons colonizing what passes for their minds. Perhaps they could use a convincing exorcist to drive the Hillary entity out of their system.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 8:54 am

All comes in cycles. Dixiecrats, anyone?

Brad Owen , July 17, 2018 at 12:09 pm

EXACTLY. Actually, FDR was the "Bernie Sanders" of his day, and completely turned the Party upside down with his "New Deal for the forgotten man" (Labor and farmers). The traditional D-Party was the party of southern plantation aristocracy and their money handlers on Wall Street, and the original R-Party contained the fire-breathing radicals within its ranks.

jose , July 16, 2018 at 8:10 pm

It is my understanding that Russia and US are holding approximately 90% of nuclear weapons worldwide. In a sane world, The US media should be commending Trump for trying to reach an agreement regarding denuclearization with Putin. Nonetheless, Trump is being grilled for doing what almost the entire planet is seeking: a world free of nuclear weapons. Indubitably, US national media are very busy undermining Trump's efforts to reduce the scorch of nuclear war. Do the US media think that in a nuclear exchange humans will survive? We will all lose.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 8:54 pm

No, the elites on both sides of the political spectrum are living in a mythical Hollywood rich man's fantasy world believing that the worst that can happen to them is they will retreat to their luxury underground cities and live out the nuclear war, communicating with their nuclear subs, while the rest of us paeons fry. They don't care about us, at all. They are congenital psychopaths.
It sounds crazy because it is, and it is hard for the rest of us to believe they could be so foolish. They are fatally misguided in their beliefs that this would ever work and be good for them.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 9:34 pm

I think your right. Joe

Jean wyman , July 16, 2018 at 9:53 pm

Good comment Jose. In answer to your observations, I'd pose a question: what was Obusha thinking when he proposed a 3TRILLION dollar upgrade of America's nukes? Who exactly was it that he was placating and that T-rump isn't.

Skip Scott , July 16, 2018 at 8:09 pm

When the talking heads said that Trump trusted Putin more than his own Intelligence Agencies, I screamed at the TV, "ME TOO!". I can think of no clearer sign that the CIA is still embedded with the MSM. Discussion of the history of our Intelligence Community in both the near and distant past, and it's utter lack of trustworthiness, is a forbidden topic. My only hope is that enough people actually listened to what Putin said, instead of the talking heads' rantings, and saw for themselves that Putin is a rational and fair-minded leader. The near hysteria of Anderson Cooper and his ilk is a sure sign that their grip on the narrative is slipping.

jose , July 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm

I concur with your post. Personally, I rather listen to Putin than the US national media. You are correct to assert that "Putin is a rational and fair-minded leader" You would have to be mentally retarded to pay any heed to US national media that have proven to be a tool of those controlling the livers of power. Well done, Skip.

Joe Lauria , July 16, 2018 at 9:04 pm

"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:07 pm

Anderson Cooper, the grandson of Gloria Vanderbilt, and great-grandson of robber baron railroad mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt is CIA trained in Operation Mockingbird.
https://youtu.be/w8NTLVOjas8

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm

I said that once, and got booed out of the room. Joe

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 9:28 pm

Skip I hear ya, but allow me to tell you what I saw, and heard today. So after Trump made his remarks about trusting, or not trusting, certain intelligence data, I while driving in my car heard callers calling in to the local talk show. The callers who expressed themselves the way we do on this comment board were berated by the callers who thought this kind of talk (like we here on CN talk) was treasonous by all known treasonous standards. The callers who sounded like we do here were labeled as their being crazed Trump supporters, and yet all of them said of how they don't even necessarily like Trump, but right is right and left is now warmongering. None of the other opposing callers bought this denial of Trump, as they just fluffed it off, as Trump supporters hiding behind whatever it was their suppose to be hiding behind. Facts are painfully ignored, especially when it comes to analyzing Trump.

I see the MSM pundits and the strongly patriotic lying legislators taking Trump's remarks while calling him a trader, as the launching of a great American vs American social confrontation. This new confrontation will pit brother against brother, child against parent, and wife against husband . just ask my wife. The discontent is about where we were back during the Vietnam years, as the only thing missing are the peace marchs. This time our civil war will be fought strictly on a social level, aided by an instigating MSM, as division messes up any real citizen advocacy as the citizen may require to straighten out any of this disconnection of their society or that's at least the way I see it.

We citizens are officially at war with each other. We will all look back upon this period of our evolvement, and laugh over the Facebook censorship, and dream of a time when it was merely just about politics, and taxes. We are moving in a direction where the National Security Deep State is beating up an outsider maverick, and this maverick is now in the Deep States crosshairs. It's darn strange, and I swear if something awful were to happen to President Trump that the MSM would encourage us Americans to make Trump's ugly fate a new national holiday . I think there are many among this Deep State cabal who still celebrate with joy the sad happenings of November 22nd, 1963.

The empire is finally going down, and we are all witnessing it first hand. Joe

Dave P. , July 17, 2018 at 4:14 am

"I see the MSM pundits and the strongly patriotic lying legislators taking Trump's remarks while calling him a trader, as the launching of a great American vs American social confrontation. This new confrontation will pit brother against brother, child against parent, and wife against husband . just ask my wife. . . ."

Good observation Joe. It already started happening some time back in our home. A truce was reached with a compromise that my wife would not watch CNN, MSNBC . . . when I am around the house and I will not read CN and make comments, at least when she is around. This morning my wife went to our retired neighbor's house to watch these channels with her. Both of them have been feeling today as if some tragedy has happened.

That is what this two years of Russia Gate hysteria fueled by the Media and Politicians has done to the people. Today was probably the worst day; they are really messing up the population. It is even worse than those cold war days of 1950's which I have read about. And there is no end in sight.

Joe Tedesky , July 17, 2018 at 9:02 am

Dave I swear we live in the same house. Joe

Tristan , July 16, 2018 at 9:34 pm

Aye aye! Well put, I concur.

Lyle Courtsal , July 16, 2018 at 8:09 pm

Killary had a crap platform. That is why she lost. If the platform was something progressives could support, then people would come out and vote for her. Her record of dependability is crap; just a double talking republican liar. No good. That's why she lost. I didn't vote for her and won't vote for her if she is forced on us again. Lyle Courtsal http://www.3mpub.com

jose , July 16, 2018 at 8:20 pm

You are correct Lyle about Hillary's lost. I would like to add the following:Vladimir Putin has not meddled in the US election, Hillary Clinton has. Leaked emails reveal that the popular socialist Bernie Sanders had his chance of becoming president stolen from him by Hillary Clinton and her associates at the Democratic National Committee. If defrauding democracy is worth going to war over, certainly it is worth going to jail over. Millions of Americans had their votes stolen.

Litchfield , July 16, 2018 at 10:34 pm

Yes, I listened to some of her campaign speeches, and they were embarrassingly awful, and empty of ideas except inciting horror of "Le Trump"! She was truly pathetic in her confidence that she was in the in-group, addressing others in the "in-group," thus not needing to actually campaign.
Recently Hillary was awarded the Radcliffe medal, and she spoke at Radcliffe Day. I was horrified that she was given this honor. I heard that she read from a Teleprompter. That indicates to me that she was and is indeed not physically up to the challenges of the office, quite apart from her many other deficits.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 9:07 am

I wouldn't vote for a mass murderer. If you cannot fundamentally be for peace then all else, no matter how wonderful it sounds (it could be) has nowhere to anchor.

John V. Walsh , July 16, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Great column.
There is no doubt that the Summit moved us away from confrontation with Russia which holds the grave danger of going nuclear.
Bravo for Trump and the brave words he spoke.
Now it is up to us.
If we wish the process to continue which these meetings with Putin initiated, let us raise our voices in support.
If we wish to let the neocons, "Deep State," Dem and GOP elites to stop the process, let us stay silent.

Dan Kuhn , July 16, 2018 at 8:05 pm

I read the New York times and the comments to the editorial. This is my comment.

The comments here sound like a lynch mob working themselves into a frenzy to hang someone. Proof? Who needs any dang proof. Clapper the guy who admitted lying to Congress under oath said Trump was guilty and thats good enough for the people who commented here. The Intelligence Agencies that lied to get the USA to invade Iraq with their WMD claims say he is guilty, well that must be proof then.
This goes to show that Barnum was right, there is a sucker born every minute. But a whole nation suckered into believing this nonsence about Russia having Trump elected with not one shred of evidence presented? Even Barnum would have been shocked and surprised at that one.

Dan Kuhn , July 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Sorry the reply was to a story on the front page.

backwardsevolution , July 16, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Good comment, Dan Kuhn.

Realist , July 17, 2018 at 2:27 am

Well, I guess that influential people on the inside figure that the "reign of terror" worked out so well in effecting regime change during the French Revolution that they'd give it another go approximately two centuries later approximately a hundred years after the Bolshevik Revolution, so maybe this is a natural phenomenon with a periodicity of about 100 years. Perhaps Hillary thinks she's gonna pick up the pieces as the next Napoleon after the revolution burns itself out. More like her fate will be as the next Robespierre, hoisted on her own guillotine.

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 9:11 am

Yes, the cycle is tied to the controlling currency, the USD in current day form. That control is rapidly slipping away. The crooks are pulling the fire alarms in the bank and running out the back door and the public is looking for safety from the crooks' army (MSM, "authority figures" etc.).

George , July 16, 2018 at 8:00 pm

There is nothing left to say.
The summit only leaves one to speculate.

Realist , July 16, 2018 at 7:57 pm

It would seem that there is not a single independent, unbought, honest, objective journalist left working for the corporate mass media in America. They are all mere puppets delivering the propaganda and fake analysis demanded of them by the oligarchy that owns them. It's absolutely stunning how lock-step they all are in maintaining the false narrative cooked up by the careless and arrogant tyrants who threw away a sure thing (Hillary's coronation) by pressing too hard to give her what they thought was the biggest patsy (Trump) in the clown show called the presidential election. They were so confident they actually allowed the ballots to be counted and have been scrambling to undo the results using every possible mechanism and pretext ever since. If there is one thing the American people can count on in the future, it is that no election will ever again be semi-free, fair and not rock-solid rigged with the contrived results agreed upon months before the charade of elections ever goes on.

A rational mind might say, well, give us more reasonable candidates, those in tune with the problems of the voters (mostly caused by government), and give us more of them, more parties, more platforms, more options. That is exactly what they intend to avoid. They tried to force feed us Hillary as the only acceptable figure running for the position, but enough people saw through that and chose the fellow they wanted us to abhor after they deliberately built him up to help the despised Hillary. Now absolutely every loyal apparatchik in the elite establishment, and most especially the media–the essential propagandists, are working 24/7 for regime change in Washington, what they perceive as the necessary first step towards regime change in Moscow and later Beijing. Only then will the NWO–in which they give all the orders and control everything and everybody–be complete.

I tell you, the reach of their tentacles and the uniformity of response amongst their minions is impressive in a most foreboding way. They will brook NO peaceful co-existence with any geopolitical "partners" or competitors and will not give even the slightest iota of respect to our own elected leader, not even to his office out of formal courtesy. Rather than "going high" when he "goes low," they choose to up the ante in ad hominem insults and political thuggery. The power structure in this country has become irretrievably warmongering neo-con and ruthlessly imperialistic. The most catastrophic consequence will be to see the dissolution of civilisation itself as the myriad of environmental, population and resource crises hit the planet full on as the century unfolds, for thuggery, tyranny and simplistic political slogans are not the solutions for escaping the impending bottleneck with an actual future still remaining for humanity.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 8:42 pm

Hey Realist you brought back memories of the 2016 presidential election to when Trump was given 4.9 billion dollars worth of free air time (JP Sottile quoted the 4.9). As it has been written about of how early on the Clinton campaign thought Trump was the best to run up against, because who in their right mind would take the Trumpster serious, was the go to mindset among the DNCer's. So the MSM turned on the cameras at Trump rallies believing that given enough rope that Trump would hang himself. The backlash that came from this, was mind boggling on many levels. One no one likes Hillary, number two no one likes the MSM. So with that the MSM, and Hillary's bend strategy was what loss the election for the Democrats, and oh yeah then there's Bernie.

I don't think in total we Americans are all living on the same planet. Joe

Mike From Jersey , July 16, 2018 at 8:55 pm

I am absolutely appalled by the behavior of the American media. They are acting like Trump is a disgrace to the country but the MSM is a disgrace to journalism.

I don't even like Trump but – to me – he is coming out better in this exchange.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:17 pm

Excellent statement.

Sam F , July 16, 2018 at 9:29 pm

Indeed the US mass media are no more than propagandists for the arrogant tyrants of its government. But despite US bluster and economic arm-twisting, educated people know that BRICS cannot be dominated so imperialism is theater not policy. Over 20-40 years, the US can only choose cooperation or self-embargo. Few educated people believe the recycled hysteria of invisible threats.

The enmity of the PTB toward Russia and Korea always starts with and returns to the Mideast and centers upon Israel, which controls the US mass media and both political parties, and thereby appoints the politicians who control the military budget and agenda. Indeed "no election will ever again be semi-free." The MIC is large and will attack small countries anywhere, but it is the servant of Israel.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 17, 2018 at 2:22 am

People who complain aboutIsrael somehow never mention Dispensationalism, Christian Zionism, etc.

Sam F , July 17, 2018 at 6:26 am

Thank you for mentioning those; I did not have room in that comment.
Israel also substantially controls the Christian z leaders.

Dave P. , July 17, 2018 at 4:28 am

Wow! Great comments Realist.

j michael king , July 16, 2018 at 7:54 pm

I thought Mueller was playing politics to announce the indictments of 12 Russians mere hours before Trump met Putin more and more I'm losing faith in Mueller and the Democrats who have damn near destroyed their party themselves

Seer , July 17, 2018 at 9:17 am

If the fact that the Dems managed to undermine the people's choice for president (Sanders) isn't enough to convince you that the Dems are destroyed then I don't know what to tell you.

I'm almost certain that the CIA had a hand in that: consider their infiltration into the MSM (ensuring that Sanders was not talked about). Not only was the CIA involved in trying to derail Trump, but it was active in preempting Sanders. For sure, having meddling in BOTH parties would likely bring out real pitch forks: when it's just one party it's easy to use the other party to offset the anger. Joe, if you're reading these comments (still), I'd love to get your take on this "theory."

jean , July 16, 2018 at 7:52 pm

I never imagined I would cheer on Trump ..but that took guts .

Don DeBar , July 16, 2018 at 7:52 pm

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1018955906690584576

robira , July 16, 2018 at 7:27 pm

Thanks for this report, Mr. Lauria; you're certainly of stronger mettle than me. I would not have withstood the noxious exhalations of the US newsmedia (which itself now openly includes newly "retired" intelligence agents as commentators) you've described in this article; the anecdotes alone almost had me hurling my phone across the room.
Thank you for performing a valuable public service with this report. Peace.

Gary Weglarz , July 16, 2018 at 7:21 pm

Welcome to what passes for "reality" in 2018 America. If the stakes for humanity were not so frightfully high these bizarre, slapstick, nonsense comments from the MSM talking heads would be knee-slapping hilarious in their total off the charts lunacy and patent absurdity. What can one say? Wow – off the freaking charts! You simply can't make this stuff up! Words are inadequate in an age of mass delusion posing as sanity!

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm

I think your words "total off the charts lunacy and patent absurdity" are as adequate as they come in this situation.

Litchfield , July 16, 2018 at 10:42 pm

Not only absurd, though, but also deeply isulting, treasonous, really horrendous that our national-level journalists arrogate to themselves the right to diss, insult, accuse, charge, condemn, vilify, etc. the president of the United States. I don't like trump either, I hate waht he is doing in Israel, supporting the rabid Zionists there and here. BUT, standing up to the media and intelligence onslaught took guts, and he came out of the meeting looking pretty good, I think. The meeting also gave Putin an opportunity to score a few points for reason, thus an international platform he might otherwise not have had.

I LOVE the Putin points re Browder $$$ (rather, rubles) to Hillary. I do so hope that this topic is taken up and richly sucked and considered and tasted and finally chewed and swallowed and digested and the real . . . finally is delivered to the AMerican people regarding Hill's $$$ shenanigans. If that happens it could point once again to an investigation of her emails and those of her assistant Huma Abedin. Remember her? When do we get the full investigation of this very compromised woman?

James , July 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm

Well said.

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm

What, did Trump say that, Gregory? I am impressed, if he did!

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm

By the CNN video of the entire press conference, Trump says this at the 13:54 mark.

And for a complete transcript of the presser:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/transcript-trump-putin-press-conference-in-helsinki/

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 7:14 pm

Yes, it is critical to support Trump's talks with Putin and not let these Deep State agents control.

Jessika , July 16, 2018 at 7:05 pm

These people have no shame, as they take their massive paychecks for lying to keep the fools in line. Well, thanks to websites like this one and others, there aren't so many fools anymore. They are pathetic, and days of Cronkite, Murrow et al who reported news objectively are dead and buried.

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 9:38 pm

Probably they believe their own nonsense, at least when they say. Much as crooked preachers do.

Jean , July 16, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Cronkite wasn't so objective, Jessika. He was pretty bought into the glory of our Viet nam adventuring until the war protesters (whom he did not represent objectively either) opened Amerika's eyes.

mike k , July 16, 2018 at 7:01 pm

FOR ONCE, I AM PROUD TO STAND WITH OUR PRESIDENT.

irina , July 16, 2018 at 7:17 pm

Roger That.

Mike From Jersey , July 16, 2018 at 8:14 pm

Ditto

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Me, too. An act of extraordinary political courage.

mike k , July 16, 2018 at 6:59 pm

That took guts, Mr. Trump. I didn't know you had it in you. Congratulations for standing up to your (deadly) opponents. They are now showing themselves to be the evil scum they really are.

Rohit , July 16, 2018 at 6:57 pm

There is one small problem with this article. While I trust Consortium News far more than the New York Times, there are those who trust the latter. And the article is far too long for those who already believe that Trump is guilty of collusion with Russia. A shorter article by Consortium News with a one two punch is what is needed.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:22 pm

Oh, go pound sand, would you?

Zhu Ba Jie , July 16, 2018 at 9:40 pm

People don't change their minds because of rational arguments. Russiagate will go on, in spite of logic and evidence, much as Birther nonsense does.

mike k , July 16, 2018 at 6:54 pm

I just listened to NBC nightly news, and CNN. They are screaming treason! And the end of America! They are absolutely aghast that Trump is making peace moves with Putin. Doesn't he know that America is a Warfare State?? To talk peace is against everything we hold sacred. Beware Mr. Trump, the CIA hit squads will be champing at the bit to field one of their "lone assassins on you". Pray for the Donald not being gunned down for doing the right thing (for once).

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:37 pm

I still fear someone will do the president harm as a result of this. Trump is taking chances with the mafia that runs this shadow permanent government, given this level of hysteria. They just have too much at stake. They are used to getting their way. I hope I'm wrong. The last time a president took on the entire establishment to this extent was JFK. I wish I could be more optimistic.

Litchfield , July 16, 2018 at 10:44 pm

"They are screaming treason! "

How dare they???
they are the treasonous ones.
These crazed zombies are terrifying.

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2018 at 6:52 pm

"I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than risk peace in pursuit of politics."

Bravo Mr. President.

Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2018 at 8:27 pm

Great quote Gregory. Joe

Bruce Dickson , July 16, 2018 at 8:51 pm

A JFK-worthy quote, that.

And, to quote its deliverer, "Who would think..?"

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:23 pm

That one statement will go down in history, mark my words.

Jeff Harrison , July 16, 2018 at 6:40 pm

"never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people."

Really? You obviously haven't been paying attention to the US's obeisance to Israel. I can think of no other country that puts another country's wishes ahead of their own the way the US does with Israel.

"he had a chance right there in front of the world to tell Vladimir Putin to stay the HELL out of American democracy, and he didn't do it."

And he was wise not to do so. The United States has far more blatantly interfered with Russian elections than what the idiots in our alphabet soup of intelligence agencies are accusing Russia of now. The reason you call Putin a thug is not because he is one but because he won't let you get away with that kind of crap. Putin has made it clear that American regime change is off the table and he intends to see to it that it stays off the table.

Rohit , July 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm

""never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people.""

Is that why he wants NATO to beef up? Is that why he complained about Germany's energy dependence on Russia?

He is not putting Putin above the American people. He is just not accepting the lies told by the FBI which is really pretty much still controlled by Obama.

JesseJean , July 16, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Bravo, Jeff!

David Hamilton , July 16, 2018 at 6:34 pm

If the allegations are true – of GRU officers successfully phishing for HRC campaign dirt from Chairman Podesta's emails – then the officers are guilty as charged. As I understand it, this was the avenue through which Wikileaks obtained the content of Hillary Clinton's speeches to Goldman Sachs. That confirmation of what most already suspected to be true – that Hillary had been pledging fealty to Wall Street bankers at the expense of the people – probably contributed to Hillary's defeat at the polls. So, I say "more power to 'em". Those officers show common cause with the common man and woman in America. Hillary was never going to release those transcripts on her own!

And that same phishing – if true – was certainly no "terrorist attack" or "act of war' or other hyperbolic nonsense like "the undermining of democracy in America". We have no democracy – only an oligarchy – much like the Russians under Boris Yeltsin. Maybe the phishing undermined oligarchy here, which would be a good thing. Oligarchy is at the heart of the cruel neo-liberal order which tyrannizes the people.

Jeff Harrison , July 16, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Julian Assange has consistently said he did not get the files from Russia. Assange has yet to be caught in a lie. The US is a serial liar and doesn't even look embarrassed when caught in a lie.

David Hamilton , July 16, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Thanks Jeff, maybe I don't understand the transfers to Wikileaks very well. I wonder if the FBI/Justice Department really knows, like they say they do.

LarcoMarco , July 16, 2018 at 7:41 pm

Well, if DNC's servers and Hillarious' stealth servers and Podesta's email were hacked, the NSA has Hooverd up all the evidence (if it exists). The Dumpster should demand this material be revealed and also demand disclosure of proof that RussiaGate is more than Deep State designs.

Frederike , July 16, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Something must be done to release Assange! Trump: do something.

backwardsevolution , July 16, 2018 at 8:57 pm

Frederike – I think Trump will release Assange. Patience.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm

911 ushered in the post-truth era.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:25 pm

Maybe they got the information because Hillary took home classified documents and recklessly-knowingly exposed them to hackers in her private basement server?

Freedom lover , July 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm

"If the allegations are true". Well we probably will never find out will we. Putin was shrewd to offer to have Mueller and his investigators come to Russia to investigate the indited GRU officers and offering full cooperation with Russian Law enforcement. Putin and Trump both know that Mueller will make every excuse in the book of why that can't happen. Mueller must be craping his pants wondering if he will somehow be forced to take his investigation to Russia and have it publically exposed for the fraud that it is.

backwardsevolution , July 17, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Freedom lover – yes, what a great move by Putin! "Come on, let's work together to get to the bottom of this." Mueller must just be dying! Unfortunately, Trump is really in danger now.

Alcuin , July 16, 2018 at 6:04 pm

Why no mention of the most explosive claim at the press conference? https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/07/putin-blows-apart-russia-collusion-probe-says-russian-group-gave-400000000-to-hillary-clinton-video/

Alcuin , July 16, 2018 at 6:21 pm

"I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people." Translation: He has little confidence in Obama and Bush intelligence people. Good for him.

JRGJRG , July 16, 2018 at 9:32 pm

Wow, that was explosive! Just imagine how bad things would be right now if someone other than Putin were in charge of Russia. We should count ourselves as lucky.

[Jul 18, 2018] Let's See Who's Bluffing in the Criminal Case Against the Russians The American Conservative

Jul 18, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

It was a remarkable moment in a remarkable press conference. President Donald Trump had just finished a controversial summit meeting in Helsinki with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and the two were talking to the media . Jeff Mason, a political affairs reporter with Reuters, stood up and asked Putin a question pulled straight out of the day's headlines: "Will you consider extraditing the 12 Russian officials that were indicted last week by a U.S. grand jury?"

The "12 Russian officials" Mason spoke of were military intelligence officers accused of carrying out a series of cyberattacks against various American-based computer networks (including those belonging to the Democratic National Committee), the theft of emails and other data, and the release of a significant portion of this information to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The names and organizational affiliations of these 12 officers were contained in a detailed 29-page indictment prepared by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, and subsequently made public by Assistant Attorney General Rob Rosenstein on July 13 -- a mere three days prior to the Helsinki summit.

Vladimir Putin responded, "We have an existing agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation, an existing treaty, that dates back to 1999, the mutual assistance on criminal cases. This treaty is in full effect. It works quite efficiently."

Putin then discussed the relationship between this agreement -- the 1999 Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty -- and the Mueller indictment. "This treaty has specific legal procedures," Putin noted, that "we can offer the appropriate commission headed by special attorney Mueller. He can use this treaty as a solid foundation and send a formal and official request to us so that we would interrogate, we would hold the questioning of these individuals who he believes are privy to some crimes and our enforcement are perfectly able to do this questioning and send the appropriate materials to the United States."

Trump Calls Off Cold War II Ron and Rand Paul Call Out Foreign Policy Hysteria

In the uproar that followed the Trump-Putin press conference , the exchange between Mason and Putin was largely forgotten amidst invective over Trump's seeming public capitulation on the issue of election interference. "Today's press conference in Helsinki," Senator John McCain observed afterwards in a typical comment, "was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory."

It took an interview with Putin after the summit concluded , conducted by Fox News's Chris Wallace, to bring the specific issue of the 12 indicted Russians back to the forefront and give it context. From Putin's perspective, this indictment and the way it was handled by the United States was a political act. "It's the internal political games of the United States. Don't make the relationship between Russia and the United States -- don't hold it hostage of this internal political struggle. And it's quite clear to me that this is used in the internal political struggle, and it's nothing to be proud of for American democracy, to use such dirty methods in the political rivalry."

Regarding the indicted 12, Putin reiterated the points he had made earlier to Jeff Mason. "We -- with the United States -- we have a treaty for assistance in criminal cases, an existing treaty that exists from 1999. It's still in force, and it works sufficiently. Why wouldn't Special Counsel Mueller send us an official request within the framework of this agreement? Our investigators will be acting in accordance with this treaty. They will question each individual that the American partners are suspecting of something. Why not a single request was filed? Nobody sent us a single formal letter, a formal request."

There is no extradition treaty between the U.S. and Russia, which makes all the calls for Trump to demand the extradition of the 12 Russians little more than a continuation of the "internal political games" Putin alluded to in his interview. There is, however, the treaty that Putin referenced at both the press conference and during the Wallace interview.

Signed in Moscow on June 17, 1999, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty calls for the "prevention, suppression and investigation of crimes" by both parties "in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty where the conduct that is the subject of the request constitutes a crime under the laws of both Parties."

It should be noted that the indicted 12 have not violated any Russian laws. But the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty doesn't close the door on cooperation in this matter. Rather, the treaty notes that "The Requested Party may, in its discretion, also provide legal assistance where the conduct that is the subject of the request would not constitute a crime under the laws of the Requested Party."

It specifically precludes the process of cooperating from inferring a right "on the part of any other persons to obtain evidence, to have evidence excluded, or to impede the execution of a request." In short, if the United States were to avail itself of the treaty's terms, Russia would not be able to use its cooperation as a vehicle to disrupt any legal proceedings underway in the U.S.

The legal assistance that the treaty facilitates is not inconsequential. Through it, the requesting party can, among other things, obtain testimony and statements from designated persons; receive documents, records, and other items; and arrange the transfer of persons in custody for testimony on the territory of the requesting party.

If the indictment of the 12 Russians wasn't the "dirty method" used in a domestic American "political rivalry" that Putin described, one would imagine that Assistant Attorney General Rob Rosenstein would have availed himself of the opportunity to gather additional evidence regarding the alleged crimes. He would also have, at the very least, made a request to have these officers appear in court in the United States to face the charges put forward in the indictment. The treaty specifically identifies the attorney general of the United States "or persons designated by the Attorney General" as the "Central Authority" for treaty implementation. Given the fact that Jeff Sessions has recused himself from all matters pertaining to the investigation by the Department of Justice into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the person empowered to act is Rosenstein.

There are several grounds under the treaty for denying requested legal assistance, including anything that might prejudice "the security or other essential interests of the Requested Party." However, it also requires that the reasons for the any denial of requested assistance be put in writing. Moreover, prior to denying a request, the Requested Party "shall consult with the Central Authority of the Requesting Party to consider whether legal assistance can be given subject to such conditions as it deems necessary. If the Requesting Party accepts legal assistance subject to these conditions, it shall comply with the conditions."

By twice raising the treaty in the context of the 12 Russians, Putin has clearly signaled that Russia would be prepared to proceed along these lines.

If the indictment issued by the Department of Justice is to be taken seriously, then it is incumbent upon Rosenstein to call Putin's bluff, and submit a detailed request for legal assistance per the mandate and procedures specified in the treaty -- in short, compel Russia to either put up or shut up.

Any failure to do so would only confirm Putin's assertion that the indictment was a political game to undermine the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War .


Rob July 17, 2018 at 11:03 pm

Very cogent analysis. Putin, who's incredibly well briefed, knew exactly what he was offering, and thought that by doing so, would force the DoJ/Mueller to either take him up on his offer or otherwise display the overt politicism of the indictments. But the American anti-Trump mindhive is so completely addled, they of course miss the point entirely. The absence of reason among the anti-Trump/anti-Russia collective is truly something to behold – it's scary.
Janek , says: July 17, 2018 at 11:29 pm
The request V. Putin proposed and Scot Ritter writes about, if send to Russia, would be equivalent to 'go and whistle' and would be treated the same way the Russians treat the requests from Poland to return the remains of the Polish plane that crashed in controversial and strange circumstances near Smolensk on April 10, 2010. They, the Russians, did not return the remains of the plane up until today and the place where the plane crashed they bulldozed the ground and paved with very thick layer of concrete.

Such request would only give the Russians propaganda tools to delay and dilute any responsibility from the Russian side and at the end they would blame the USA for the whole mess with no end to their investigation, because they would investigate until the US investigators would drop dead. Anybody who seriously thinks about V.

Putin offer to investigate anything with Russia should first have his head examined by a very good, objective, and politically neutral head specialist.

b. , says: July 17, 2018 at 11:50 pm
"If the indictment issued by the Department of Justice is to be taken seriously, then it is incumbent upon Rosenstein to call Putin's bluff, and submit a detailed request for legal assistance per the mandate and procedures specified in the treaty -- in short, compel Russia to either put up or shut up.

Any failure to do so would only confirm Putin's assertion that the indictment was a political game to undermine the presidency of Donald J. Trump."

That was one long-winded way of recognizing that Putin just told the US biparty establishment behind the manufactured "Russia!" hysteria to put up or shut up.

EliteCommInc. , says: July 18, 2018 at 2:57 am
I don't think that Pres Putin has anything to lose here.

"ARTICLE 4 DENIAL OF LEGAL ASSISTANCE

The Central Authority of the Requested Party may deny legal assistance if:

(1) the request relates to a crime under military law that is not a crime under general criminal law;

(2) the execution of the request would prejudice the security or other essential interests of the Requested Party; or "whether accurate or not the treaty permits a denial of request, if said requests threaten Russian security."

Almost by definition, an investigation interrogation by the US of the personnel in question because said questioning might very well stray into other areas , unrelated to the hacking charge. Now Pres. Putin has played two cards: a treaty is in place that deals with criminal matters between the two states and surely must have known that and should have already made the formal requests in conjunction with the treaty or he didn't know either way, the rush to embarrass the president may very well backfire. As almost everything about this investigation has.

Realist , says: July 18, 2018 at 3:16 am
"The DOJ should call his bluff."

Right! That's not going to happen .the DOJ has no proof .their indictment was a ploy to queer any deal with Russia. Anybody that believes anything the 'intelligence' agencies say, without proof, is an idiot.

[Jul 18, 2018] Russiagate A CIA Concocted Hoax. Trump Knows It. Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Notable quotes:
"... No Russian interference in America's political process occurred in 2016, earlier, or is being cooked up for the nation's November midterm elections. ..."
"... Trump knows it and said so in Helsinki. When asked if he holds Russia accountable for anything, he said: ..."
"... Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago. ..."
"... VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Russiagate: A CIA Concocted Hoax. Trump Knows It. By Stephen Lendman Global Research, July 18, 2018 Region: Russia and FSU , USA Theme: Intelligence , Media Disinformation In-depth Report: U.S. Elections

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above

No Russian interference in America's political process occurred in 2016, earlier, or is being cooked up for the nation's November midterm elections.

Trump knows it and said so in Helsinki. When asked if he holds Russia accountable for anything, he said:

"I hold both countries responsible (for dismal bilateral relations). I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we've all been foolish And I think we're all to blame."

Regarding election meddling, he said:

"There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it. And people are being brought out to the fore. So far that I know, virtually none of it related to the campaign. And they're going to have to try really hard to find somebody that did relate to the campaign."

"My people came to me and some others (T)hey think it's Russia President Putin said it's not Russia. I will say this: I dont see any reason why it would be."

" President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today."

Trump is wrong about most things, not this. No evidence, nothing, proves Russian meddling in the US political process.

If it existed, it would have been revealed long ago. It never was and never will be because there's nothing credible to reveal, Big Lies alone.

Trump's above remarks were in Helsinki. In response to a raging Russophobic firestorm of criticism back home, he backtracked from his above comments, saying he misspoke abroad.

He accepts the intelligence community's claim about Russian US election meddling – knowing it didn't occur.

Russiagate was cooked up by Obama's thuggish Russophobic CIA director John Brennan , media keeping the Big Lie alive.

DNC/John Podesta emails were leaked, not hacked – an indisputable fact media scoundrels suppress to their disgrace.

Former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray earlier explained that

"(t)he source of these emails and leaks has nothing to do with Russia at all," adding:

"I discovered what the source was when I attended the Sam Adam's whistleblower award in Washington."

"The source of these emails (came) from within official circles in Washington DC. You should look to Washington, not to Moscow."

"WikiLeaks has never published any material received from the Russian government or from any proxy of the Russian government. It's simply a completely untrue claim designed to divert attention from the content of the material" and its true source.

The Big Lie alone matters when it's the official narrative. The Russian meddling hoax and mythical Kremlin threat to US security are central to maintaining adversarial relations with America's key invented enemy.

It's vital to unjustifiably justifying the nation's global empire of bases, its outrageous amount of military spending, its belligerence toward all sovereign independent states, its endless wars of aggression, its scorn for world peace and stability, its neoliberal harshness to pay for it all, along with transferring the nation's wealth from ordinary people to its privileged class.

America's deeply corrupted political process is far too debauched to fix, rigged to serve wealth, power and privilege exclusively, at war on humanity at home and abroad.

It's a tyrannical plutocracy and oligarchy, a police state, not a democracy, a cesspool of criminality, inequity and injustice, run by sinister dark forces – monied interests and bipartisan self-serving political scoundrels, wicked beyond redemption, threatening humanity's survival.

Today is the most perilous time in world history. What's going on should terrify everyone everywhere.

Washington's rage for global dominance, its military madness, its unparalleled recklessness, threatens world peace, stability, and survival.

*

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

[Jul 18, 2018] Ron and Rand Paul Call Out Foreign Policy Hysteria by Jack Hunter

Notable quotes:
"... New York Magazine ..."
"... Manchurian Candidate ..."
"... Cutting through the crap on foreign policy is something of a Paul family tradition. ..."
"... When Ron Paul suggested on a Republican presidential primary debate stage in 2008 that U.S. foreign policy created " blowback " that led to 9/11, fellow GOP candidate Rudy Giuliani accused Paul of blaming America and defending the attackers. Paul didn't relent: "Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years." ..."
"... The American Conservative ..."
"... There are neocons in both parties who still want Ukraine and Georgia to be in NATO. That's very, very provocative. It has stimulated and encouraged nationalism in Russia. George Kennan predicted this in 1998 when we still had Yeltsin and Russia was coming in our direction. He said, "If you push NATO up against Russia's borders, nationalism will arise and their militarist tendencies will increase, and you may get someone like a Putin," basically. ..."
"... "It's a big mistake for us, not to say that we're morally equivalent or that anything Russia does is justified," Paul told Tapper. "But if we don't understand that everything we do has a reaction, we're not going to be very good at understanding and trying to have peace in our world." ..."
"... "Most Americans are understandably shocked by what they view as an unprecedented attack on our political system," the New York Times ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... Rand Paul said Sunday, "People need to think through these things before they get so eager to rattle their sabers about wanting to have a confrontation with Russia." ..."
"... Jack Hunter is the former political editor of ..."
"... co-authored the 2011 book ..."
"... with Senator Rand Paul. ..."
Jul 17, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ron and Rand Paul Call Out Foreign Policy Hysteria And like his father, the senator found himself on the wrong end of the media mob this week.

When Mitt Romney called Russia America's " number one geopolitical foe " during the 2012 election campaign, Barack Obama mocked him: "The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back." Vice President Joe Biden dismissed Romney as a "Cold War holdover." Hillary Clinton said Romney was "looking backward." John Kerry said "Mitt Romney talks like he's only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV ."

Romney's Russia warning came at a time when Republicans were eager to exploit President Obama's hot mic comments to Russian president Dmitri Medvedev where he promised " more flexibility " on missile defense issues after the election. Romney, to the delight of Republican hawks and neoconservatives , was eager to portray Obama as capitulating , weak , and dangerous . For his part, Obama, who once vowed to " reset " U.S.-Russia relations, painted Romney as outdated for disparaging diplomacy.

But that was then. This week the Cold War seemed to be back in full force for many former Obama supporters, as President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the wake of 12 Russian agents being indicted for allegedly meddling in the 2016 election.

Democrats have joined forces with Republican hawks and neoconservatives to declare Trump " weak " for engaging Russia. One MSNBC pundit said Trump's NATO criticisms were the president " doing Vladimir Putin's bidding ." New York Magazine 's Jonathan Chait went full Alex Jones when he suggested that Trump may have been a Putin agent since 1987 -- a Manchurian Candidate -esque spin reminiscent of the original Red Scare . #TraitorTrump even trended on Twitter.

In the midst of this hysteria, Senator Rand Paul was asked by CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday whether he thought Trump should demand that Putin acknowledge Russia's meddling.

"They're not going to admit it in the same way we're not going to admit that we were involved in the Ukrainian elections or the Russian election," Paul replied . "So all countries that can spy do. All countries that want to interfere in elections and have the ability to, they try." Paul insisted that U.S. and Russian meddling are not "morally equivalent," but said we must still take into account that both nations do this.

That's when "Rand Paul" began trending on Twitter.

"Rand Paul is on TV delivering line after line of Kremlin narrative, and it is absolutely stunning to watch," read one tweet with nearly 5,000 likes. Another tweet, just as popular, said , "Between McConnell hiding election interference and Rand Paul defending it, looks like Russia's already annexed Kentucky." A Raw Story headline on Paul's CNN interview read, " Stunned Jake Tapper explains why NATO exists to a Russia-defending Rand Paul ."

But was Paul really "defending" Russia? Was he even defending Russian meddling in U.S. elections? Or was he merely trying to pierce through the hysteria and portray American-Russian relations in a more accurate and comprehensive context -- something partisans left and right won't do and the mainstream media is too lazy to attempt?

Cutting through the crap on foreign policy is something of a Paul family tradition.

When Ron Paul suggested on a Republican presidential primary debate stage in 2008 that U.S. foreign policy created " blowback " that led to 9/11, fellow GOP candidate Rudy Giuliani accused Paul of blaming America and defending the attackers. Paul didn't relent: "Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years."

No one in the GOP wanted to hear what Ron Paul had to say because it challenged and largely rebutted Republicans' entire political identity at the time. Paul was roundly denounced. FrontPageMag's David Horowitz called him a " disgrace ." RedState banned all Paul supporters. The American Conservative 's Jim Antle would recall in 2012: "The optics were poor: a little-known congressman was standing against the GOP frontrunner on an issue where 90 percent of the party likely disagreed with him . Support for the war was not only nearly unanimous within the GOP, but bipartisan."

Rand Paul now poses a similar challenge to Russia-obsessed Democrats. Contra Jake Tapper sagely explaining "why NATO exists" to a supposedly ignoramus Paul, as the liberal Raw Story headline framed it, here's what the senator actually said:

There are neocons in both parties who still want Ukraine and Georgia to be in NATO. That's very, very provocative. It has stimulated and encouraged nationalism in Russia. George Kennan predicted this in 1998 when we still had Yeltsin and Russia was coming in our direction. He said, "If you push NATO up against Russia's borders, nationalism will arise and their militarist tendencies will increase, and you may get someone like a Putin," basically.

Do you think Jake Tapper Googled "George Kennan"? That's about as likely as Giuliani Googling "blowback."

"It's a big mistake for us, not to say that we're morally equivalent or that anything Russia does is justified," Paul told Tapper. "But if we don't understand that everything we do has a reaction, we're not going to be very good at understanding and trying to have peace in our world."

As for Russian spying -- was Paul just blindly defending that, too? Or did he make an important point in noting both sides do it?

"Most Americans are understandably shocked by what they view as an unprecedented attack on our political system," the New York Times reported in February. "But intelligence veterans, and scholars who have studied covert operations, have a different, and quite revealing, view."

The Times continued: "'If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all,' said Steven L. Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations. The United States 'absolutely' has carried out such election influence operations historically, he said, 'and I hope we keep doing it.'"

The U.S. will no doubt keep meddling in foreign elections. Russia will do the same, just as it did during the Obama administration and years prior . The cries against diplomacy and for war will ebb, flow, flip, and flop, depending on who sits in the White House and how it makes the screaming partisans feel. Many Democrats who view Trump's diplomacy with Russia as dangerous would have embraced it (and did) under Obama. Many Republicans who hail Trump's diplomatic efforts wouldn't have done so were he a Democrat. President Hillary Clinton could be having the same meeting with Putin and most Democrats would be fine with it, Russian meddling or no meddling.

So many headlines attempted to portray Paul as the partisan hack on Sunday when the opposite is actually true. It's the left, including much of the media, that's now turned hawkish towards Russia for largely partisan reasons, while Paul was making the same realist foreign policy arguments regarding NATO and U.S.-Russia relations long before the Trump presidency.

Responding to Romney's anti-Russia, anti-Obama comments in 2012, Thomas de Waal, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the New York Times , "There's a whole school of thought that Russia is one you need to work with to solve other problems in the world, rather than being the problem." Rand Paul said Sunday, "People need to think through these things before they get so eager to rattle their sabers about wanting to have a confrontation with Russia."

But think they won't and sabers they'll rattle, as yesterday's villains become today's heroes and vice versa.

Just ask Mitt Romney .

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.


Come On July 17, 2018 at 1:51 am

There's the elephant in the room, of course. Nobody seems to want to touch it yet, but everybody knows that Israeli meddling in US elections puts Russian meddling in the shade. Still, it's fascinating watching the reporting and waiting to see who will break the silence.

In the meantime, wake me up when there's something called "the Russia-American Political Action Committee" in DC. Wake me up when US politicians vie to win its favor, as they vie to win the favor of AIPAC, and win the huge financial contributions that result from getting its support. Wake me up when Russian oligarchs contribute even a fraction of what Israel donors like Sheldon Adelson already contribute to US political campaigns – and wake me up when they get results like an American president moving the US embassy to Jerusalem or an America president sending American troops to stand between Israel and its enemies Russia may have moved a few thousand votes here or there, but Israel gets American politicians to send America's children to die in Middle East wars. At the moment, Russia can only dream of meddling with that degree of success.

Yep – American elections have been corrupted by foreign countries for a long time. Russia's only problem is that it hasn't learned who to pay off, and how much. Next time Mr. Netanyahu visits Mr. Putin (and he visits him fairly often), he can give him a few pointers. And then Mr. Putin will be invited to give speeches to joint sessions of Congress. Just like Mr. Netanyahu. And freshmen US congressmen will be frog-marched to Russia for instructions, just like they're already frog-marched to Israel.

cynthia , says: July 17, 2018 at 7:50 am
President Trump took a slice out of the Military Industrial Complex yesterday. John McCain and war mongers went crazy. The SWAMP IS ANGRY!
connecticut farmer , says: July 17, 2018 at 8:26 am
Russia has been engaging in international espionage dating back at least to Peter the Great. As such, they play the game as well as, or possibly better, than anyone. They, like we, will do what is necessary-even to the point of injecting themselves in the internal affairs of another country–if they deem it in their interest to do so or, as the cliche has it, "in the interest of state". Not very nice but–that's the way the game is played.

Thank you, Rand Paul and Mr. Hunter, for injecting some much needed sanity into this debate.

Youknowho , says: July 17, 2018 at 8:49 am
I said it before, and I will repeat it here:

There is no need to demonize the Russians. Their country has national interests and goals. If they are patriots, the Russians will seek to advance those interests and goals.

We also have interests and goals, and if we are patriots, we seek to advance them (though we disagree on what our real interests are and what our goals should be).

When our interests concide with that of Russia we collaborate. When they clash, we seek to undermine each other.

The Russians seem to have been doing it, as their interests now clash with ours. Nothing to be worked out about. That's how the game is played.

Which does not mean that we should defend ourselves strenuously from such undermining. And the President is precisely tasked with defending this country and advance its interests. This he seems to be unable to do.

Do not hate the Russians. Do not demonize them. But be aware of what they are doing, because we are NOT in a Kumbayah moment with them.

Andy Johnson , says: July 17, 2018 at 8:56 am
Well done, Mr. Hunter. It's a shame that the Pauls' position on foreign policy is not shared by ostensibly "libertarian" commentators who value DC cocktail parties above all principles.
Johann , says: July 17, 2018 at 10:27 am
The left's hatred of Russia goes even deeper than US partisan politics. They hate them because they gave up their world-wide communism ideology. And they hate them because they are not fully on board with the LGBQTXYZ movement.
David Smith , says: July 17, 2018 at 11:08 am
The real problem with Russia is that it exists, and it is too big for us to control. The real problem with Putin is that he is the first strong leader Russia has had since the fall of the Soviet Union, and he is messing up our plans for world hegemony.

As one who grew up during the Cold War (the real one) and lived through the whole thing (the Iron Curtain, the Warsaw Pact, the crushing of Hungary, communists behind every door and under every bed), I find it very hard to take all the current hysteria about Russia very seriously.

connecticut farmer , says: July 17, 2018 at 11:19 am
@Youknowwho

Sane, reasonable comments. Totally agree with your sentiments. Unfortunately, since we live in a 3-ring media circus, so few people will listen or pay heed. In a world possibly even more dangerous than any time since the Cold War, the act of demonizing one of the two greatest nuclear powers on earth is surely madness.

General Manager , says: July 17, 2018 at 11:26 am
CNN etc. headlines are not even thinly veiled editorials against Trump. Not related to just publishing the news. But telling readers how to think. Mainstream media has an M&M type coating. Remove the outer shell and you find the good old boys and girls as ever-lurking and ever vigilant Neocon Nation pushing their one and only agenda on the American people. They are insatiable as long as they do not do the fighting and dying. Stay tough Trump and realize short of complete capitulation you cannot satisfy these people.
Ryszard Ewiak , says: July 17, 2018 at 11:37 am
Donald Trump took a step towards peace. Of course, not everyone likes this. As can be seen, Donald Trump has many enemies, even among Republicans. They want war. These are people dangerous to America and the world.

What is better: peace with Russia, or a global nuclear war?

The Book of Revelation warns: "And another horse, fiery red, came out, and the one who rode it was granted permission to take peace from the earth, so that people would butcher one another, and he was given a huge sword." (6:4) "The great sword" – what does it mean?

Jesus gave many important details: "Terrors [φοβητρα] both [τε] and [και] unusual phenomena [σημεια – unusual occurrences, transcending the common course of nature] from [απ] sky [ουρανου] powerful [μεγαλα] will be [εσται]." (Luke 21:11)

Some ancient manuscripts contain the words "and frosts" [και χειμωνες] (we call this today "nuclear winter"), and in Mark 13:8 "and disorders" [και ταραχαι] (in the sense of confusion and chaos). There will be also significant tremors, food shortages and epidemics along the length and breadth of the regions as a result of using this weapon.

This weapon will also cause climate change, catastrophic drought and global famine. (cf. Revelation 6:5, 6)

So here we have a complete picture of the consequences of the global nuclear war. Is there any sense in speeding up this war?

Angolo , says: July 17, 2018 at 11:38 am
Trump's "treason"? What a laugh.

He called out the perfidy and incompetence of American intelligence and foreign policy officials during the Obama era, as he should have. He wants a productive relationship with a declining nuclear and regional power, as he should have. Is Putin a nice man? No. But neither is he a pusillanimous Leftist eurotwit.

I'm glad to see adults in the room, at long last. The Sixties are over, baby. Good riddance.

Countme-a-Demon , says: July 17, 2018 at 11:44 am
"Of course the Paul's are right as they always are."

Always?

"A number of the newsletters criticized civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., calling him a pedophile and "lying socialist satyr".[2][15] These articles told readers that Paul had voted against making Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a federal public holiday, saying "Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for that pro-communist philanderer, Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day."[2][16][17] During the 2008 and 2012 presidential election campaigns, Paul and his supporters said that the passages denouncing King were not a reflection of Paul's own views because he considers King a "hero".[18][19][20″

That last sentence is a hoot. Talk about "hysteria", but, go ahead, repeat Paul's lies that he knew nothing about his own newsletter.

Johann:

"The left's hatred of Russia goes even deeper than US partisan politics. They hate them because they gave up their world-wide communism ideology. And they hate them because they are not fully on board with the LGBQTXYZ movement."

Do fake news much?

https://medium.com/@FreisinnigeZtg/did-the-kremlin-support-ron-paul-in-2008-f6b6ca4b58f9

Like the NRA, The American Conservative needs to open "The Russian Conservative" chapters in Putin's conservative Russia to protect Putin's murderous government.

It could be that the "Left", whatever that is in addlepated minds, merely desires a little real politik in our relations with relations with Putin's Russia.

It's hard to tell the difference between ex-KGB Putin and ex-republicans like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan.

The latter two make "full of crap" seem mild praise.

Clifford , says: July 17, 2018 at 12:08 pm
You lost me at "Ron Paul." Sorry.
Reader , says: July 17, 2018 at 12:17 pm
Off the top of my head, a few egregious examples in which the US government has "meddled" in other countries during the last 100 years:

Mexico (Woodrow Wilson had thousands of US troops occupying Mexico until calling them back to "meddle" in Europe's War to End All Wars, setting the stage for an even worse war 20 years later.)

Russia (Woodrow Wilson used the US military to "meddle" in the Russian revolution after the War to End All Wars.)

Korea (undeclared war)

Vietnam (undeclared war)

Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Chile, and much of the rest of Central and South America.

Iran (helped overthrow its government in the 1950s and install the Shah of Iran, setting the stage for the Iranian revolution.)

Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Egypt.

Yemen (huge humanitarian disaster as I write this. US government fully supporting head-chopping Saudi Arabians in their campaign to starve, sicken and blow to bits hundreds of thousands of people. Support includes US planes in-flight fueling of Saudi fighter/bomber jets.)

And let us not forget the enormous "meddling" in numerous US government elections and policy debates by . . . Israel.

Good Reason , says: July 17, 2018 at 1:19 pm
I vote with Angolo's comment:

"He called out the perfidy and incompetence of American intelligence and foreign policy officials during the Obama era, as he should have. He wants a productive relationship with a declining nuclear and regional power, as he should have. Is Putin a nice man? No. But neither is he a pusillanimous Leftist eurotwit."

It's important to understand what the US intelligence community is calling "interference in our election." There has been no accusation that the Russians hacked into our electronic voting and changed results. Rather, they did what we have done in other countries–the Russians ran an influence campaign. They bought ads and created bots to spread the word. This is so utterly tame . . . there is nothing out of the ordinary US playbook here.

Hacking the DNC server and revealing underhanded DNC doings? Hey, that's on the DNC for being both venal and incompetent.

anonymous , says: July 17, 2018 at 2:21 pm
Anybody in 1962 shouting wild paranoid conspiracy theories about

THERE ARE RUSSIAN SPIES EVERYWHERE, THEY'RE TRYING TO TAKE OVER AMERICA

These people in 1962 would be (correctly) dismissed as Right Wing conspiracy kooks, now it's just standard Lib Dems, RINOs, Neo Conservatives and fake news lying press.

We commissioned this Farstar comics with this theme – I mean like who in 2018 is really scared that Russians like Anna Kournikova are going to take over America –

Who's in bed with the Russians?

I wish that was me!

https://goo.gl/images/3HbsbS

b. , says: July 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm
Unfortunately, Rand Paul is acting, but not on principle or in good faith. If he really wanted to stand against manufactured hysteria, he would not accept the US "intelligence" agency claims and refer to their record – e.g. on Iraq and before regarding stability of the Soviet Union – he would question the staggering difficulties of attribution and forensics for networked, digital attacks (the main reason why any claims about who hacked whom have to be read with skepticism), he would point to the corruption of our foreign politics by Saudi and Israeli interests and money within the Trump-Kushner clan, and both parties, and he would compare the alleged – and allegedly ineffectual – attempts to influence an already ridiculous election to the very real, pervasive and corrupting impact of GOP voter disenfranchisement and bipartisan gerrymandering in service of incumbents and their networks.

Rand Paul is the man who was going to stand against the Haspel appointment. He is a phoney, but he serves as a weather vane for niche politicians on how the winds are turning.

You can find the same token opposition here:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/07/11/russia-nato-editorials-debates/36799277/

Nothing about New START, no word about how George Bush made a promise that might have been in bad faith, how Gorbachev was foolish enough to accept it, and how Bill Clinton broke it across the board, and piled on by targeting Serbia in the Balkan conflict. Kennan did not refer to the Ukraine on his missive.

If Rand Paul is our last best hope, we are in deep trouble.

Kurt Gayle , says: July 17, 2018 at 2:41 pm
Jack Hunter " Senator Rand Paul was asked by CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday whether he thought Trump should demand that Putin acknowledge Russia's meddling."

(0:01) TAPPER: 48 hours ago the US government, the Trump administration, said the top Russian military intelligence officers orchestrated a massive hack to affect the US election. How much do you want President Trump to try to hold Putin accountable for that?

PAUL: I think really we mistake our response if we think it's about accountability from the Russians. They're another country. They're going to spy on us. They do spy on us. They're going to interfere in our elections. We also do the same. Dov Levin at Carnegie Mellon studied this over about a 50-year period in the last century and found 81 times that the US interfered in other countries' elections. So we all do it. What we need to do is to make sure that our electoral process is protected. And I think because this has gotten partisan and it's all about partisan politics we have forgotten that really the most important thing is the integrity of our election. And there are things we can do and things that I've advocated: Making sure it's decentralized all the way down to the precinct level; making sure we don't store all the data in one place, even for a state, and that there's a back-up way so that someone in a precinct can say, 'Two thousand people signed in, this was the vote tally I sent to headquarters.' There's a lot of ways that we can back-up our election. Advertising, things like that, it's tricky. Can we restrict the Russians? We might be able to in some ways, but I think at the bottom line we wanted the Russians to admit it. They're not going to admit it in the same way we're not going to admit that we were involved in the Ukrainian elections or the Russian elections. So all countries that can spy do. All countries that want to interfere in elections and have the ability to, they try."

TAPPER: It sounds as though you are saying that the United States has done the equivalent of what the Russians did in the 2016 election, and it might sound to some viewers that you're offering that statement as an excuse for what the Russians did.

PAUL: No, what I would say is it's not morally equivalent, but I think in their mind it is. And I think it's important to know in your adversary's mind the way that they perceive things. I do think that they react to our interference in both their elections. One of the reasons they really didn't like Hillary Clinton is they found her responsible for some of the activity by the US in their elections under the Obama administration. So I'm not saying it's justified

TAPPER: But surely, Senator Paul, the United States has never done what the Russians did.

PAUL: I'm not saying they're equivalent, or morally equivalent, but I am saying that this is the way that the Russians respond. So if you want to know how we have better diplomacy, or better reactions, we have to know their response. But it's not just interference in elections that I think has caused this nationalism in Russia. Also, I think part of the reason is is we promised them when James Baker, at the end when Germany reunified, we promised them that we wouldn't go one inch eastward of Germany with NATO, and we've crept up on the borders, and we still have neocons in both parties who want Ukraine and Georgia to be in NATO.

That's very, very provocative and it has stimulated and encouraged nationalism in Russia. George Kennan predicted this. In 1998 when we still had Yeltsin and Russia was coming in our direction, he said, if you push NATO up against Russia's borders, nationalism will arise and their militarist tendencies will increase, and you may get someone like a Putin, basically.

George Kennan predicted the rise of Putin in 1998. And so we have to understand that for every action we have, there is a reaction. And it's a big mistake for us -- not to say that we're morally equivalent or that anything that Russia does is justified – but if we don't realize that everything we do has a reaction, we're not going to be very good at understanding and trying to have peace in the world (3:38)

Coupon Cutter , says: July 17, 2018 at 3:32 pm
It's pretty weird to read articles about "meddling" in US elections and not see the word "Israel" anywhere.

How much pro-Russia money was spent on "meddling" in 2016? How much pro-Israel money was spent "meddling" in 2016?

[Jul 18, 2018] This two part, excellent documentary on Russia in the 90's is all about VVP and Major Russian Jewish Oligarch Boris Berezovsky

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com


Unknown User -> Billy the Poet Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:31 Permalink

Berezovsky's Daughter Speaks Out: British Intelligence Killed Former Asset to Prevent Him Leaking

Conscious Reviver -> Unknown User Mon, 07/16/2018 - 20:18 Permalink

This two part, excellent documentary on Russia in the 90's is all about VVP and Major Russian Jewish Oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Boris took over the Kremlin. Boris shot himself in the foot, but wound up saving Russia when he picked Putin to succeed alchoholic Yeltsin. Putin took the country back.

Larry Summers, Harvard Jew American oligarch led the rape and looting of Russia.

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (1/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Cl8lSv9Is#

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (2/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2nNtynZAiI

Killdo -> Conscious Reviver Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:32 Permalink

also described in Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine- the rise of the disaster capitalism

[Jul 18, 2018] Fox News post Summit interview with Putin.

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Boing_Snap -> Not Too Important Mon, 07/16/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

Fox News post Summit interview with Putin.

https://youtu.be/rHY8yG4mVzs

Conscious Reviver -> IridiumRebel Mon, 07/16/2018 - 20:07 Permalink

Great, informative, entertaining documentary on Russia in the 90's.

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (1/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Cl8lSv9Is#

The Rise of Putin and The Fall of The Russian-Jewish Oligarchs (2/2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2nNtynZAiI

nmewn -> Not Too Important Mon, 07/16/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

Podesta failing to register as a foreign agent for Russia, Browder greasing the palms of the Klintons with "illicit cash" purloined from Russia...lol...oh man, this is really getting interesting!

Ahem...and just where in the world is...Mr.Mifsud? ;-)

[Jul 18, 2018] After the press conference the usual anti-Trump operatives went ballistic

Jul 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

After the press conference the usual anti-Trump operatives went ballistic:

John O. Brennan @JohnBrennan - 15:52 UTC - 16 Jul 2018

Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of "high crimes & misdemeanors." It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

Senator John McCain released a scathing statement :

... "President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.
...
"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are -- a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. ...

These imbeciles do not understand the realism behind Trump's grand policy. Trump knows the heartland theory of Halford John Mackinder. He understands that Russia is the core of the Eurasian landmass. That landmass, when politically united, can rule the world. A naval power, the U.S. now as the UK before it, can never defeat it. Trump's opponents do not get what Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor of President Carter, explained in his book The Grant Chessboard (pdf). They do not understand why Henry Kissinger advised Trump to let go of Crimea.

Trump himself professed his view (vid) of the big picture and of relations with Russia in a 2015 press conference:

"I know Putin. And I tell you that we can get along with Putin. Putin has no respect for President Obama. Big Problem, big problem. And you know Russia has been driven - you know I always heard, for years I have heard - one of the worst things that can happen to our country, is when Russia ever gets driven to China. We have driven them together - with the big oil deals that are being made. We have driven them together. That's a horrible thing for this country. We have made them friends because of incompetent leadership. I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin- okay? And I mean where we have the strength. I don't think we need the sanctions. I think that we would get along very, very well. I really believe that. I think we would get along with a lot of countries that we don't get along with today. And that we would be a lot richer for it than we are today.
It took 45 years, not 20 as Kissinger foresaw, to rebalance the U.S. position.

After the Cold War the U.S. thought it had won the big ideological competition of the twentieth century. In its exuberance of the 'unilateral moment' it did everything possible to antagonize Russia. Against its promises it extended NATO to Russia's border. It wanted to be the peerless supreme power of the world. At the same time it invited China into the World Trade Organisation and thereby enabled its explosive economic growth. This unbalanced policy took its toll. The U.S. lost industrial capacity to China and at the same time drove Russia into China's hands. Playing the global hegemon turned out to be very expensive. It led to the 2006 crash of the U.S. economy and its people have since seen little to no gains. Trump wants to revert this situation by rebalancing towards Russia while opposing China's growing might.

Not everyone shares that perspective. As security advisor to Jimmy Carter Brzezinski continued the Nixon/Kissinger policy towards China. The 'one China policy', disregarding Taiwan for better relations with Beijing, was his work. His view is still that the U.S. should ally with China against Russia:

"It is not in our interest to antagonize Beijing. It is much better for American interests to have the Chinese work closely with us, thereby forcing the Russians to follow suit if they don't want to be left out in the cold. That constellation gives the U.S. the unique ability to reach out across the world with collective political influence."

But why would China join such a scheme? Brzezinski's view of Russia was always clouded. His family of minor nobles has its roots in Galicia, now in west-Ukraine. They were driven from Poland when the Soviets extended their realm into the middle of Europe. To him Russia will always be the antagonist.

Kissinger's view is more realistic. He sees that the U.S. must be more balanced in its relations :

[I]n the emerging multipolar order, Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States.

Kissinger is again working to divide Russia from China . But this time around it is Russia that needs to be elevated, that needs to become a friend.

Trump is following Kissinger's view. He wants good relations with Russia to separate Russia from China. He (rightly) sees China as the bigger long term (economic) danger to the United States. That is the reason why he, immediately after his election , started to beef up the relations with Taiwan and continues to do so. ( Listen to Peter Lee for the details). That is the reason why he tries to snatch North Korea from China's hands. That is the reason why he makes nice with Putin.

It is not likely that Trump will manage to pull Russia out of its profitable alliance with China. It is true that China's activities, especially in the Central Asian -stans, are a long term danger to Russia. China's demographic and economic power is far greater than Russia's. But the U.S. has never been faithful in its relations with Russia. It would take decades to regain its trust. China on the other hand stands to its commitments. China is not interested in conquering the 'heartland'. It has bigger fish to fry in south-east Asia, Africa and elsewhere. It is not in its interest to antagonize Russia.

The maximum Trump can possibly achieve is to neutralize Russia while he attempts to tackle China's growing economic might via tariffs, sanctions and by cuddling Taiwan, Japan and other countries with anti-Chinese agendas.

The U.S. blew its 'unilateral moment'. Instead of making friends with Russia it drove it into China's hands. Hegemonic globalization and unilateral wars proved to be too expensive. The U.S. people received no gains from it. That is why they elected Trump.

Trump is doing his best to correct the situation. For the foreseeable future the world will end up with three power centers. Anglo-America, Russia and China. (An aging and disunited Europe will flap in the winds.) These power centers will never wage direct war against each other, but will tussle at the peripheries. Korea, Iran and the Ukraine will be centers of these conflicts. Interests in Central Asia, South America and Africa will also play a role.

Trump understands the big picture. To 'Make America Great Again' he needs to tackle China and to prevent a deeper Chinese-Russian alliance. It's the neo-conservatives and neo-liberals who do not get it. They are still stuck in Brzezinski's Cold War view of Russia. They still believe that economic globalization, which helped China to regain its historic might, is the one and true path to follow. They do not perceive at all the damage they have done to the American electorate.

For now Trump's view is winning. But the lunatic reactions to the press conference show that the powers against him are still strong. They will sabotage him wherever possible. The big danger for now is that their view of the world might again raise to power.

Posted by b on July 17, 2018 at 07:41 AM | Permalink Jen , Jul 17, 2018 8:54:40 AM | 8

BTW it is worthwhile to keep in mind that back in 2001, Russia and China signed a treaty of friendship in which, among other things, both nations renounced all and any territorial designs on one another's territory. This meant that China would have renounced any claims on parts of Primorsky Kray in the Russian Far East along the Amur River, that used to be part of the old Ming and Qing empires.

The text of this treaty can be read at this link:
http://www.chinese-embassy.no/eng/dtxw/t110017.htm

There is one significant paragraphy to be noted:
Neither party will join any alliance or group that harms the other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. Neither of them will conclude such treaties with any third party, or allow a third country to use its territory to harm the other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

Well ... there goes any attempt by Trump to prise apart Russian and Chinese friendship.

Tom Welsh , Jul 17, 2018 8:56:16 AM | 9
"Playing the global hegemon turned out to be very expensive. It led to the 2006 crash of the U.S. economy and its people have since seen little to no gains".

To continue the theme: "People? We don't need no stinkin' people". US government has long been directed towards the enrichment of a tiny clique of the super-rich and powerful. It is nothing more than a bloodsucking parasite on the USA itself.

[Jul 18, 2018] President Trump Holds a Joint Press Conference with the President of the Russian Federation

Youtube video.
Jul 18, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Jimmy Stone , 21 hours ago

I guess it was a successful meeting. What was all this news in some American news outlets, that it was going to be and is disaster? Unfortunately here in New Zealand we get our international news from cnn abc and BBC. Luckily I search for truth and go online to watch the full uncut interview. Nice coverage.

BarbaraL Lowell , 1 day ago

"I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than risk peace in pursuit of politics". Will any media have the guts and gusto that President Trump has to make this quote the headline? Or will they once again focus on the size of his hands or the color of his skin? I pray people wake up and celebrate the gravitas of this man.

Mary Hernandez , 1 day ago

Russia did nothing to help President Trump get elected PERIOD. We the American people voted him in PERIOD.

Bogdan Haotic , 1 day ago

God Bless the U.S.A and Russia

flewjewcoop , 1 day ago (edited)

I am growing proud to be an American again, President Trump. Thank you for your service and God bless you... along with the Russian people and their fine leader.

anthony k , 1 day ago

As a foreign observer, I can honestly claim, that this press conference between both leaders, was a very productive and successful conference. Well done to both presidents!

MegaBizzar , 1 day ago

The Elite Factions are not going to be happy about this.

Oli , 1 day ago

Browder and his business associates who have not paid taxes in the USA or Russia acquired 400 million dollars illegally and gave it to Hillary Clinton! No wonder the leftist didn't want this meeting to happen. They didn't want to be exposed

Vaniecia Ferguson , 1 day ago

I would have loved to seen the expressions on the faces of the media, and the Democrats and Mueller when Putin put it out there that there is a way to get the facts of who hacked the DNC/DCCC servers out there, and also a legal treaty that can allow the indicted people to be investigated, and Muellers team to be able to be present!! lol.... they really havent wanted the American public to know that there is a way to actually prove there isnt any proof!

Jeffery Jangala , 1 day ago

WooooHooooooooooo! Putin just called Mueller and Rosenstein on their BS!

Takoui Souvadjian , 1 day ago

So obvious that media and deep state and radicals on the left are protesting in a very exaggerated way after the presser. Notice lots of hastags against POTUS but no hasthags on the most important developments at the presser = $400 million to Hillary campaign from Russia. Folks, embrace this President. The better he makes America, the worst the attacks get. Just the fact that a US reporter ask such a file question against his President, in front of Putin and other foreign reporters is a disgrace and should be regarded as the utmost of treasonous acts. God bless your President. Defend him. Protect him. He could have very easily sided with the witch hunt but he chose to stay neutral knowing that cooperation with Putin is more important than looking good to the ridiculous media who would have vilified him in any way he answered that ridiculous question. Vote republican and make 2018 a victory for the right

Atlantean Sage , 21 hours ago

Russia is the 'enemy' only because Russia has thrown off the Jewish Mafia death grip around its throat ! The Jewish owned media and big finance are picking on Russia because they can't FLEECE Russia anymore !!!

Arm America , 1 day ago

That was a fantastic interview and both President Trump and President Putin did a great job. We Americans want PEACE ... But the disgusting MSM that are the enemies of America and the world do all they can to cause discord and trouble. We 'see' through their bullshit and despise them. All NORMAL people want to live in PEACE and God Bless President Trump and President Putin for working together to achieve that!!! #MAGA #TRUMP2020

warprat , 1 day ago

I was a Democrat for 30ys. Bernie was cheated and I voted for Trump. I didn't expect much from him. But he has shown himself to be an incredible man from day one, when he ripped up the TTP. An incredible President... God bless you Mr. President and keep you and your family safe. #WalkAway

System Servers , 1 day ago (edited)

So which country gets to arrest Soros? Didn't HRC break some Russian laws so she can be extradited and end up in a Russian prison? Will Russia sue the DNC for slander? Was the DNC's pet Pakistani working for Pakistani intelligence? These are the important questions nobody asked.

[Jul 18, 2018] Everyone messes with everyone in their elections around the world. My first question is why is the media on both sides still pounding the American public with the Russia did it bullhorn. What exactly does Russia gain ? They're 9 times smaller than NATO. China has the most to gain.

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com


I am Groot -> ThePhantom Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:15 Permalink

Everyone messes with everyone in their elections around the world. My first question is why is the media on both sides still pounding the American public with the "Russia did it" bullhorn. What exactly does Russia gain ? They're 9 times smaller than NATO. China has the most to gain.

The Ukrainians were working with Hillary against Trump. The Deep State has the ability to make every act of espionage look like Russia did it. The DNC didn't turn over their server to the FBI. The Awan server disappeared too. Something smells terrible, like Kankles Huma hole.

ThePhantom -> I am Groot Mon, 07/16/2018 - 19:26 Permalink

jesus they can accuse you of being a putin puppet if you don't... and how do you defend yourself.. "how dare you insult every branch of our intelligence agencies"( and the lying james clapper!!!! )how dare you...?

MrBoompi -> I am Groot Mon, 07/16/2018 - 22:30 Permalink

Hey Groot, I think these countries hack and spy on each other 24/7. It's bullshit. They appoint a special prosecutor and with the exceptions of the BS Flynn and Manafort charges the only others he's charged are non-americans. Nothing about the elephant in the room, the billion dollar + money laundering schemes and treason of the Obama/Clinton and their lackeys.

[Jul 18, 2018] A strong stench of a false flag operation

Jul 18, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

likbez , July 17, 2018 at 1:43 am

Looks like it was actually China which implemented forwarding of all 30K email to controlled by them account. See sic_semper_tyrannis blog for details. This is a bombshell revelation, if true,

For debunking of the information presented in the indictment see

https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/07/muellers-latest-indictment-ignores-evidence-in-the-public-domain/

To me Mueller fiction sounds like a second rate Crowdstrike "security porn" -- a bragging about non-existent capabilities.

And I agree that the "Le Carre level of details" with names (which are obviously classified) are extremely suspicious. It also invites a nasty retaliation, because it breaks de-facto mode of work of intelligence agencies with each other and undermines any remnant of trust (if such exists in respect to CIA; it probably existed for NSA).

As sessions were encrypted so to decode them you need to steal SSH key, or break SSH encryption. Both are not very realistic, and, if realistic, disclosing such NSA capabilities greatly damages those capabilities.

Also Guccifer 2.0 Internet personality looks more and more to me like a false flag operation with the specific goal to implicate Russians. Mueller is actually pretty adept in operating in such created for specific purpose "parallel reality" due to specifics of his career. So nothing new here. Just a strong stench of a false flag operation

Another weak point is the use of CCcleaner. This is not how professionals from state intelligence agencies operate. Any Flame-style exfiltration software (and Flame was pioneered by the USA ;-) has those capabilities built-in, so exposing your activities in Windows logs is just completely stupid.

[Jul 18, 2018] Clinging to Collusion Why Evidence Will Probably Never Be Produced in the Indictments of 'Russian Agents'

Notable quotes:
"... If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

... ... ...

The Russian government on Friday strongly denied the charges. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry called the indictments "a shameful farce" that was not backed up by any evidence. "Obviously, the goal of this 'mud-slinging' is to spoil the atmosphere before the Russian-American summit," the statement said.

The Ministry added that the 12 named Russians were not agents of the GRU.

" When you dig into this indictment there are huge problems, starting with how in the world did they identify 12 Russian intelligence officers with the GRU?" said former CIA analyst Larry Johnson in an interview with Consortium News. Johnson pointed out that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency was not allowed to take part in the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment on alleged interference by the GRU. Only hand-picked analysts from the FBI, the NSA and the CIA were involved.

" The experts in the intelligence community on the GRU is the Defense Intelligence Agency and they were not allowed to clear on that document," Johnson said.

" When you look at the level of detail about what [the indictment is] claiming, there is no other public source of information on this, and it was not obtained through U.S. law enforcement submitting warrants and getting affidavits to conduct research in Russia, so it's clearly intelligence information from the NSA, most likely," Johnson said.

CrowdStrike's Role

The indictment makes clear any evidence of an alleged hack of the DNC and DCCC computers did not come from the FBI, which was never given access to the computers by the DNC, but instead from the private firm CrowdStrike, which was hired by the DNC. It is referred to as Company 1 in the indictment.

" Despite the Conspirators' efforts to hide their activity, beginning in or around May 2016, both the DCCC and DNC became aware that they had been hacked and hired a security company ("Company 1") to identify the extent of the intrusions," the indictment says.

Dimitri Alperovitch, a CrowdStrike co-founder, is also a senior fellow at the anti-Russian Atlantic Council think tank.

The indictment doesn't mention it, but within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian "fingerprints" in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia in the hack.

CrowdStrike claimed the alleged Russian intelligence operation was extremely sophisticated and skilled in concealing its external penetration of the server. But CrowdStrike's conclusion about Russian "fingerprints" resulted from clues that would have been left behind by extremely sloppy or amateur hackers -- or inserted intentionally to implicate the Russians.

One of CrowdStrike's founders has ties to the anti-Russian Atlantic Council raising questions of political bias. And the software it used to determine Russia's alleged involvement in the DNC hack, was later proved to be faulty in a high-profile case in Ukraine, reported by the Voice of America.

The indictment then is based at least partially on evidence produced by an interested private company, rather than the FBI.

Evidence Likely Never to be Seen

Other apparent sources for information in the indictment are intelligence agencies, which normally create hurdles in a criminal prosecution.

" In this indictment there is detail after detail whose only source could be intelligence, yet you don't use intelligence in documents like this because if these defendants decide to challenge this in court, it opens the U.S. to having to expose sources and methods," Johnson said.

If the U.S. invoked the states secret privilege so that classified evidence could not be revealed in court a conviction before a civilian jury would be jeopardized.

Such a trial is extremely unlikely however. That makes the indictment essentially a political and not a legal document because it is almost inconceivable that the U.S. government will have to present any evidence in court to back up its charges. This is simply because of the extreme unlikelihood that arrests of Russians living in Russia will ever be made.

In this way it is similar to the indictment earlier this year of the Internet Research Agency of St. Petersburg, Russia, a private click bait company that was alleged to have interfered in the 2016 election by buying social media ads and staging political rallies for both Clinton and Trump. It seemed that no evidence would ever have to back up the indictment because there would never be arrests in the case.

But Special Counsel Robert Mueller was stunned when lawyers for the internet company showed up in Washington demanding discovery in the case. That caused Mueller to scramble and demand a delay in the first hearing, which was rejected by a federal judge. Mueller is now battling to keep so-called sensitive material out of court.

In both the IRA case and Friday's indictments, the extremely remote possibility of convictions were not what Mueller was apparently after, but rather the public perception of Russia's guilt resulting from fevered media coverage of what are after all only accusations, presented as though it is established fact. Once that impression is settled into the public consciousness, Mueller's mission would appear to be accomplished.

For instance, the Times routinely dispenses with the adjective "alleged" and reports the matter as though it is already established fact. It called Friday's indictments, which are only unproven charges, "the most detailed accusation by the American government to date of the [not alleged] Russian government's interference in the 2016 election, and it includes a litany of [not alleged] brazen Russian subterfuge operations meant to foment chaos in the months before Election Day."

GRU Named as WikiLeak's Source

The indictment claims that GRU agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, (who says he is a Romanian hacker) stole the Democratic documents and later emailed a link to them to WikiLeaks, named as "Organization 1." No charges were brought against WikiLeaks on Friday.

Assange: Denied Russia was his source. (CNBC screenshot)

" After failed attempts to transfer the stolen documents starting in late June 2016, on or about July 14, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent Organization 1 an email with an attachment titled 'wk dnc linkl.txt.gpg,'" the indictment says. "The Conspirators explained to Organization 1 that the encrypted file contained instructions on how to access an online archive of stolen DNC documents. On or about July 18, 2016, Organization 1 confirmed it had 'the 1Gb or so archive' and would make a release of the stolen documents' this week.'"

WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange, who is in exile in the Ecuador embassy in London, has long denied that he got the emails from any government. Instead Assange has suggested that his source was a disgruntled Democratic Party worker, Seth Rich, whose murder on the streets of Washington in July 2016 has never been solved.

On Friday, WikiLeaks did not repeat the denial that a government was its source. Instead it tweeted: "Interesting timing choice by DoJ today (right before Trump-Putin meet), announcing indictments against 12 alleged Russian intelligence officers for allegedly releasing info through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0."

Assange has had all communication with the outside world shut off by the Ecuadorian government two months ago.

Since the indictments were announced, WikiLeaks has not addressed the charge that GRU agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, were its source. WikiLeaks' policy is to refuse to disclose any information about its sources. WikiLeaks' denial that the Russian government gave them the emails could be based on its belief that Guccifer 2.0 was who he said he was, and not what the U.S. indictments allege.

Those indictments claim that the Russian military intelligence agents adopted the personas of both Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks to publish the Democratic Party documents online, before the Russian agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, allegedly supplied WikiLeaks.

The emails, which the indictment does not say are untrue, damaged the Clinton campaign. They revealed, for instance, that the campaign and the Democratic Party worked to deny the nomination to Clinton's Democratic Party primary challenger Bernie Sanders.

The indictments also say that the Russian agents purchased the use of a computer server in Arizona, using bitcoin to hide their financial transactions. The Arizona server was used to receive the hacked emails from the servers of the Democratic Party and the chairman of Clinton's campaign, the indictment alleges. If true it would mean the transfer of the emails took place within the United States, rather than overseas, presumably to Russia.

Some members of the Veterans' Intelligence Professionals for Sanity argue that metadata evidence points to a local download from the Democratic computers, in other words a leak, rather than a hack. They write the NSA would have evidence of a hack and, unlike this indictment, could make the evidence public: " Given NSA's extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked. The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods."

That argument was either ignored or dismissed by Mueller's team.

The Geopolitical Context

US enabled Yeltsin's reelection.

It is not only allies of Trump, as the Times thinks, who believe the timing of the indictments, indeed the entire Russia-gate scandal, is intended to prevent Trump from pursuing detente with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump said of the indictments that, "I think that really hurts our country and it really hurts our relationship with Russia. I think that we would have a chance to have a very good relationship with Russia and a very good chance -- a very good relationship with President Putin."

There certainly appear to be powerful forces in the U.S. that want to stop that.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wall Street rushed in behind Boris Yeltsin and Russian oligarchs to asset strip virtually the entire country, impoverishing the population. Amid widespread accounts of this grotesque corruption, Washington intervened in Russian politics to help get Yeltsin re-elected in 1996. The political rise of Vladimir Putin after Yeltsin resigned on New Year's Eve 1999 reversed this course, restoring Russian sovereignty over its economy and politics.

That inflamed American hawks whose desire is to install another Yeltsin-like figure and resume U.S. exploitation of Russia's vast natural and financial resources. To advance that cause, U.S. presidents have supported the eastward expansion of NATO and have deployed 30,000 troops on Russia's borders.

In 2014, the Obama administration helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the elected government of Ukraine and installed a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. also undertook the risky policy of aiding jihadists to overthrow a secular Russian ally in Syria. The consequences have brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate appears to have been used not only to explain away Clinton's defeat but to stop Trump -- possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage -- because he talks about cooperation with Russia.

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 .

If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.


Mary V , July 15, 2018 at 9:39 pm

They can't allow Assange to speak now, because if he should decide to reveal that Seth Rich was the leaker, that would create a whole new set of circumstances. Incredible article, Joe.

Jerry Alatalo , July 15, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Real estate mogul Leona Helmsley is remembered for infamously stating, "Rich people don't pay taxes. Taxes are for the little people."

Similarly, "Rich people hide evidence (real – or alleged (non-existent) for criminal or propaganda purposes) under the umbrella of 'national security'. Evidence is for the little people."

And the great war between truth and lies moves forward

Hank , July 15, 2018 at 9:51 am

As with the last indictment of 'Russian hackers' these GRU officers should retain an American attorney who can then demand Mueller hand over whatever evidence he has (aka: discovery). Last time that happened Mueller was forced to refuse (because he had none). That was embarrassing for Mueller and you'd think he would've learned his lesson not to try the gimmick again. You'd think.

Sam F , July 15, 2018 at 9:07 am

The entire Russia-gate invention is a diversion from Israel-gate, the control of US elections and mass media by zionists. That is the story here, not silly disputes over who did what to reveal DNC emails.

Red_Dog , July 15, 2018 at 8:03 am

1. Lauria is correct when he says, "Some members of the Veterans' Intelligence Professionals for Sanity argue that metadata evidence points to a local download from the Democratic computers, in other words a leak, rather than a hack." But he fails to give the full story. William Binney and some members of the VIPS wrote a memo stating that computer data showed that the files were downloaded locally to a flash drive because of transmission speeds. This memo was challenged in a separate memo by Thomas Drake and other members of the VIPS. To try and resolve the problem The Nation hired an independent computer expert, Nathanial Freitas, to analyze the memos and date. He concluded that the data did fit the Binney analysis. But it also fit several other possibilities that used remote access. So the data could not be used to prove that the files were locally downloaded. https://www.thenation.com/article/a-leak-or-a-hack-a-forum-on-the-vips-memo/

2. Perhaps the most important part of the indictments is not in the Lauria article. 500,000 voters had their data stolen and, because most state-local voter systems are running on outdated and dilapidated computers, it may be impossible to tell if other systems had been hacked. Unfortunately, very few people are considering this part of the indictment. It means that if we want a fair election in 2018 paper ballots should be used. In any case all voting systems must be auditable.

3. Finally, the level of detail and attribution in the indictments indicates to me that the NSA and CIA were consulted. And it was worth providing this detail because of the incredible threat our country is under. The fact that we can now track down hacks with such precision should give others pause.

Skip Scott , July 15, 2018 at 8:18 am

I think you are jumping to a false conclusion about the "level of detail". The NSA and the CIA have now had enough time to cut the entire indictment out of whole cloth. Are we supposed to trust their so called "evidence" at this point, when the entire RussiaGate theater of the absurd was created to cover their ass and hamstring detente with Russia?

Piotr Berman , July 15, 2018 at 5:11 pm

I did not read the indictment, so I do not know if the level of detail rose to heights exhibited by Gen. Colin Powell in his famous "white powder vial" speech. Today we know that the white powder he showed to the entire world could be indeed harmful, as the baby powder of Johnson and Johnson was revealed to have traces of asbestos. But then again, it could be genuinely harmless.

On top of that, Innocence Project revealed that surprising number of successful prosecutions leading to the death penalty were based on hoaxes. For example, the "culprit" was implicated by his blood being found on a seat of the escape car, however when the defense examined the vial of the sentenced person blood that was in police possession, it had DNA of two people -- some blood was removed (presumably, splashed in the escape car) and to mask it, blood of another person was added. This is stuff done without any political motivation, just to get good number of solved cases -- the race and prior criminal record of the "culprit" probably being the bonus.

Creating compelling narratives is what prosecutors do for living. I hope that more often than not these narratives are true, but a true professional is not bound by such constraints.

j. D. D. , July 15, 2018 at 7:44 am

Thank you for a thorough and damning report on the indicttments by the cowardly and thuggish Mueller who, as the author notes, is confident that they nevr be answered in a court of law. Moreover, with all the hullabaloo attached to Robert Mueller's stunt, the fact remains that the DNC and John Podesta emails revealed a stunning and irrefutable truth: Hillary Clinton and the DNC were rigging the election against her Democratic primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. However, I would add two aspects which place into context the timing of Mueller's publicity stunt. First, that it came on the heels of embattled FBI Agent Peter Strzok's appearance before a joint House hearing on Thursday at which Strzok claimed that the Republicans on the House Judiciary and Government Oversight Committees were doing "Putin's work" by continuing to examine the British and Obama Administration/Democratic Party origins of Russiagate. Strzok's charge, obviously choreographed with Congressional Democrats, wasendlessly cycled in the news media. The Democrats otherwise sought to obstruct the discredited FBI agent's testimony by any and all means necessary to the delight of the "resist" social media universe. While the Justice Department's independent IG found that Strzok's prioritization of the Trump Russiagate investigation over the Clinton email investigation was not free from bias, an inconvenient fact largely glossed over in Thursday's staged event, it noted that Strzok and his mistress, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe counsel, Lisa Page, exchanged daily texts vowing to stop Trump's election, disparaging Trump's s supporters, and declaring themselves the saviors of the nation from the current President. The third element,of this assault on the prospect of peace was meant to cooincide with Trump's visit to the UK, i.e.the discovery of a bottle or vial of the so-called Novichok nerve agent allegedly used to poison former British spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The bottle was discovered at the home of Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess in Amesbury, England. The British went on an international rampage around the March 4, 2018, Skripal poisoning claiming Putin was conducting a murder of a long-retired British spy on British territory in some form of retaliaton, demanding war-like sanctions against Russia. When their claims failed to achieve substantive credibility, even with the British bioweapons lab, Porton Down, Rowley and Sturgess appeared as new victims of the nerve gas poisoning on June 30th and Sturgess subsequently died. The British press is filled with the imputation that the found vial will somehow be traceable back to Russia, a fact which eluded the original Skripal hoax Yet despite all of this, it appears that the desperate attempt of Mueller and his allies in the US and British intel community to block or ruin the Helsinki summit lack the suficient credibiltiy to succeed.

Gary Weglarz , July 15, 2018 at 1:19 am

I guess I'm showing my age with this comment, but our military & intelligence communities, our politicians and our corporate media's non-stop, fact-free, free-association, paranoid delusional drivel about "Russian election interference" has all the solidity, yet none of the charm, of a bad acid trip circa 1972. Offered the choice I'd certainly opt for the bad acid flashback – especially given what is actually at stake in terms of the prospects for human survival if this absurd and dangerous nonsense continues. The institutions of the West have shown themselves to be completely, totally and utterly corrupt! To bear witness to such complete corruption is absolutely breathtaking! Expecting anything rational, ethical, fact-based or simply honest to emanate from any of our Western institutions at this point requires an almost child-like level of trust – or – lacking that – a willingness to enter into and embrace the world of these mad delusions and their purveyors!

Bjorn Jensen , July 15, 2018 at 12:52 am

This is worth reading as a summary of grand jury proceedings, the prosecutor's case presentatation and the proposal for indictment through the summary of evidence either oral or via documents.

I think it is important to remember that grand juries are comprised of ordinary citizens and are independent of the courts.

http://law.jrank.org/pages/1261/Grand-Jury-Screening-procedures.html

Sam F , July 15, 2018 at 9:02 am

Yes, this era of total corruption of the US government is unprecedented.
The disputes between one corrupt branch and another condemn them all.

mrtmbrnmn , July 15, 2018 at 12:09 am

This is not breaking news anymore, but worth repeating:

The odious NY Times inadvertently stepped on its own shtick (and everyone else's) when it front-paged the FBI's "Operation Hurricane Crossfire" against the Trump campaign. This whole farcedy was conceived as a rolling scheme to regime change Putin when Hillary ascended the throne, with Trump as merely a mug and patsy. When the moo-cow Hillary lost, the plan had to be repurposed to uckfay with Putin AND regime change Trump. If it looks like a Federal crime, smells like a Federal crime and quacks like a Federal crime, well You be the judge. There are so many organs of the Federal Gov and the MSM in on this criminal conspiracy, they are going to need a new wing at Gitmo to house all these scoundrels

Nabi , July 14, 2018 at 10:40 pm

Great right up to the last few paragraphs. Too hard for a logical conservative to swallow that the prime reason we have troops (small assets at that) near the Russia border is because of the greed of Wall Street. Up 'til then not a bad piece.

Joe Lauria , July 14, 2018 at 11:10 pm

Nabi, I suggest you read War is a Racket by General Smedley Butler if you think such a thing is unheard of.

https://www.amazon.com/War-Racket-Antiwar-Americas-Decorated-ebook/dp/B00P8OEFFY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531624171&sr=8-1&keywords=war+is+a+racket+smedley+butler

Mary V , July 15, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Everyone should read "War is a Racket".

Alcuin , July 15, 2018 at 3:01 am

Yes, greed of Wall Street. And perhaps this is the most important motive. But many former Warsaw Pact countries (or at least the ruling classes and opinion makers in those countries) wanted to become members of NATO because they apparently feared, perhaps not without reason, Russian domination in the future. And there's also the sheer libido dominandi of some people in Washington, not exclusively neoconservatives. So greed, fear, and love of power.

bobzz , July 14, 2018 at 10:08 pm

In all likelihood, we'll never know who killed Seth Rich who probably leaked the emails. The CIA did not have time to create patsies like Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, or Sirhan Sirhan. So RIP Rich.

jsinton , July 14, 2018 at 9:28 pm

Wouldn't it be a hoot if the alleged GRU agents decide to defend themselves in court against the indictments and demand discovery evidence?

Skip Scott , July 15, 2018 at 8:01 am

The problem with that is that you'd be buying into a stage play that the Deep State players get to direct. Let's not forget about the abilities detailed in the Vault 7 releases. Unfortunately it is just as Karl Rove has stated: they can create "reality" now, and they've had plenty of time to "create" their asses off.

jsinton , July 15, 2018 at 11:41 am

Did you not hear about the St Petersburg click-bait operation that Mueller indicted with great fanfare back in February? Well, the 13 Russians sent lawyers to answer the indictment and plead not guilty, much to the shock of Mueller and the investigation. The problem is when you indict someone, they now have the right to examine the EVIDENCE against them . a process know as "discovery". Mueller has been trying to suppress the evidence in that case ever since. Will the GRU agents send a lawyer? I'd be laughing if they did.

Skip Scott , July 15, 2018 at 12:12 pm

Yes, I recall the click-bait operation and the demand for discovery, and Mueller's being caught by surprise. This time will be a little different:
"Seemingly overlooked by most, Rosenstein said the indictment will now be passed-off (code word for "buried") to the DOJ National Security Division." The public will never even get to see any evidence due to "National Security".

This indictment is nothing but a propaganda ploy timed to undermine the Helsinki summit.
https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/07/13/rosenstein-delivers-indictments-for-12-russians-then-buries-in-lock-box-of-doj-national-security-division/#more-151777

rosemerry , July 14, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Considering the actions of the USA elsewhere,and the accepted, even encouraged, interference by Israel in all elections in the USA (as Chuck Schumer knows very well!), the whole process is a complete put-up job. Since the emails were true, and Wikileaks is reputed to keep to valid reports, the emphasis on finding a suitable scapegoat for the election of DJT is to steer people away from the genuine actions now destroying the USA.

fred54 , July 14, 2018 at 3:11 pm

They won't have to arrest and extradite the Russians because they will show up in court just like the two indicted Russians did back in May. Mueller had a heart attack and asked the Judge to deny the defendants right in discovery to see the evidence. He thought the Russians wouldn't show and he'd get his judgement exparte without having to produce the non-existent evidence. The Russians knew the evidence didn't exist just like in this latest lie on the part of Mueller where there is no evidence. The judge denied the motion and Mueller had no choice to quietly drop the charges. The same thing will happen here. Only this time the Russians aren't going to be so sanguine.

GM , July 14, 2018 at 7:02 pm

i don't believe that's accurate. Last I heard the judge agreed to deny the defendant discovery to the bulk of the prosecution's purported evidence based on Mueller's fatuous assertions of "national security", though he added that it is temporary and subject to change in the future.

D3F1ANT , July 14, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Democrat smoke and mirrors. Sad that it's worked for so long. This entire Russia collusion fantasy has blown up in their faces though. Not only has it failed spectacularly it's exposed the depth and scope of their corrution and the insidious way in which they've coopted critical components of the Federal government to their exclusive service–at taxpayer expense (DOJ/FBI)! It really is staggering. Especially since its allowed to continue even now!

jsinton , July 15, 2018 at 9:00 pm

Not to mention the credibility of the Deep-State MSM apparatus, which has exposed itself at purveyors of propaganda without investigation

Jeff Harrison , July 14, 2018 at 11:57 am

A couple of things occur to me. One. Have the Russian government respond to the indictments with discovery as occurred with the other inane indictments that Mueller produced. Two. Have Putin respond to the Democrat's demands by demanding the same from the US. On the one hand, the US only has alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. On the other, Russia has proof of US meddling in essentially every Russian election since the collapse of the old SovU. The US won't like this. It was absolutely hilarious when that blonde bubble head of a State Department spokeswoman complained about VOA, RFE, etc being required to register as foreign agents only to be told by Russia to take RT off the foreign agent list. The Russians could also repay the favor by indicting Americans who interfered in Russian elections. They could start with Slick Willie.

Bob In Portland , July 14, 2018 at 11:41 am

To understand for whom Robert Swan Mueller works for, look at his record. Here: https://caucus99percent.com/content/what-mueller-wont-find

alley cat , July 14, 2018 at 11:07 am

In 1745, Samuel Johnson published a commentary entitled Miscellaneous Observations on the Tragedy of Macbeth :

"Thus the doctrine of witchcraft was very powerfully inculcated; and as the greatest part of mankind have no other reason for their opinions than that they are in fashion, it cannot be doubted but this persuasion made a rapid progress, since vanity and credulity cooperate in its favor. The infection soon reached the Parliament, who, in the first year of King James, made a law, by which it was enacted, Chapter XII: That "if any person shall use any invocation or conjuration of any evil or wicked spirit; 2. or shall consult, covenant with, entertain, employ, feed or reward any evil or cursed spirit to or for any intent or purpose; 3. or take up any dead man, woman or child out of the grave, –or the skin, bone, or any part of the dead person, to be employed or used in any manner of witchcraft, sorcery, charm, or enchantment; 4. or shall use, practice, or exercise any sort of witchcraft, sorcery, charm, or enchantment; 5. whereby any person shall be destroyed, killed, wasted, consumed, pined, or lamed in any part of the body; 6. that every such person being convicted shall suffer death."

"Thus, in the time of Shakespeare, was the doctrine of witchcraft at once established by law and by the fashion, and it became not only unpolite, but criminal, to doubt it; and as prodigies are always seen in proportion as they are expected, witches were every day discovered and multiplied so fast in some places that Bishop Hall mentions a village in Lancashire where their number was greater than that of the houses."

From Through the Looking Glass , by Lewis Carroll:

"I can't believe that!" said Alice.
"Can't you?" the Queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes."
Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Two quick comments on the Russiagate hoax:
1. Julian Assange has always refused to compromise his sources, but did the next best thing by offering a $20,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of Seth Rich's killer(s). There's only one possible reason he would do this.
2. The truth of the leaked information has never been challenged. For those who insist on believing in witches and Russiagate, the 12 Russian defendants are guilty only of defending U.S. democracy, since the content of Clinton's emails helped save the U.S. from a Clinton presidency.

O Society , July 15, 2018 at 7:38 pm

Here you are. Wrote it this afternoon. Thanks for the inspiration!

https://opensociet.org/2018/07/15/russiagate-through-the-lookinglass/

Tom Roche , July 14, 2018 at 10:43 am

Excellent article, but it could be improved by including a link to the indictment text: https://www.justice.gov/file/1080281/download . It's a 29-page PDF, but it's double-spaced with large margins, so only requires a few minutes to read.

[Jul 18, 2018] Mueller Grand Jury Indictment Does Not Prove Russia Hacked DNC caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... @chuckutzman ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Mueller Grand Jury Indictment Does Not Prove Russia Hacked DNC Steven D on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 1:37pm

="username">detroitmechworks
I'd disagree, since it's one singular action. @chuckutzman While the PTB want to think of it as OOOH, 12 indictments, when he actually just got one group of people to agree with him. Not even ALL of them. Just most of them. And he could get rid of any he didn't think were going to agree with him. Because of course he fucking can.

Ugh, I'll go with my own BS stories than the government's rather boring line of same old shit.

[Jul 18, 2018] Considerable evidence points to Guccifer 2,0 as being an affiliate of the DNC

Jul 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Mark F. McCarty , July 14, 2018 at 9:48 am

At the crux of the indictment is an outright absurdity – Assange announced that he would be releasing Clinton-related material on June 10th, 2016, whereas the indictment claims that Guccifer 2.0 gave him access to the DNC emails on July 14th. Moreover, considerable evidence points to Guccifer 2,0 as being an affiliate of the DNC.

https://medium.com/@markfmccarty/muellers-new-indictment-do-the-feds-take-us-for-idiots-5406ef955406

https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/8yri14/julian_assange_crowdstrike_and_the_russian_hack/

http://g-2.space/

[Jul 18, 2018] Mish Mass Hysteria

Mish - Six Questions: (1) Is this a trial or a witch hunt? (2) Do we need to see the evidence or do we believe known liars? (3) Is Trump guilty of treason? Before we even see proof Putin was involved? (4) Is the CIA incapable of fabricating evidence? (5) Even if Russia interfered in the election, why should anyone have expected otherwise? (6) Has everyone forgotten the US lies on WMDs already?
Notable quotes:
"... Sending lethal arms to Ukraine, bordering Russia, is a really serious adverse action against the interest of the Russian government. Bombing the Assad regime is, as well. Denouncing one of the most critical projects that the Russian government has, which is the pipeline to sell huge amounts of gas and oil to Germany, is, as well. ..."
"... The United States funds oppositional groups inside Russia. The United States sent advisers and all kinds of operatives to try and elect Boris Yeltsin in the mid-1990s, because they perceived, accurately, that he was a drunk who would serve the interests of the United States more than other candidates who might have won. The United States interferes in Russian politics, and they interfere in their cyber systems, and they invade their email systems, and they invade all kinds of communications all the time. And so, to treat this as though it's some kind of aberrational event, I think, is really kind of naive ..."
"... And so, I would certainly hope that we are not at the point, which I think we seem to be at, where we are now back to believing that when the CIA makes statements and assertions and accusations, or when prosecutors make statements and assertions and accusations, unaccompanied by evidence that we can actually evaluate, that we're simply going to believe those accusations on faith, especially when the accusations come from George W. Bush's former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who repeatedly lied to Congress about Iraq and a whole variety of other issues. So, I think there we need some skepticism. ..."
Jul 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Congratulations to President Trump for an Excellent Summit with Putin spawned numerous some I could not tell if they were sarcastic or not.

For example, reader Brian stated " There is zero doubt now that Putin stole the election from Hillary. So much so that she MUST be given the nomination again in 2020. All potential challengers must step aside. To refuse her the 2020 nomination would be evidence of traitorous activities with Putin."'

I congratulated Brian for brilliant sarcasm but he piled on. It now seems he was serious. Mainstream media, the Left an the Right were in general condemnation. Numerous cries of treason emerged from the Left and the Right (see the above link)

It Happened - No Trial Necessary

A friend I highly respect commented " There is simply no question that they did it. You can legitimately claim that it's not important or that there has been no tie to Trump shown. On the Russians' side, they can say, screw off, we were pursuing our interests. But you can't take the view it did not happen. It happened. "

There is a question who did it. Indictments are just that, not proof.

The US fabricated evidence to start the Vietnam war and the US fabricated WMD talk on the second war in Iraq. US intelligence had no idea the Berlin Wall was about to fall. The US meddled in Russia supporting a drunk named Yeltsin because we erroneously thought we could control him.

They Are All Liars

It's a mystery why anyone would believe these proven liars. That does not mean I believe Putin either. They are all capable liars. Let's step back from the absurd points of view to reality.

US Meddling

The US tries to influence elections in other countries and has a history of assisting the forcible overthrow of governments we don't like.

All of the above are massive disasters of US meddling. They are all actions of war, non-declared, and illegal. I cannot and do not condone such actions even if they were legal.

911 and ISIS resulted from US meddling. The migration crisis in the EU is a direct consequence of US meddling. The Iranian revolution was a direct consequence of US meddling.Now we are pissing and moaning that Russia spent a few million dollars on Tweets to steal the election. Please be serious.

Let's Assume

Let's assume for one second the DNC hack was Russia-based. Is there a reason to not be thankful for evidence that Hillary conspired to deny Bernie Sanders the nomination? Pity Hillary? We are supposed to pity Hillary? The outrage from the Right is amazing. It's pretty obvious Senator John McCain wanted her to win. Neither faced a war or military intervention they disapproved of.

Common Sense

Let's move on to a common sense position from Glenn Greenwald at the Intercept.

  1. Debate: Is Trump-Putin Summit a "Danger to America" or Crucial Diplomacy Between Nuclear Powers?
  2. Greenwald vs. Cirincione: Should Trump Have Canceled Summit After U.S. Indictment of Russian Agents?

Greenwald vs. Joe Cirincione

GLENN GREENWALD : In 2007, during the Democratic presidential debate, Barack Obama was asked whether he would meet with the leaders of North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and Iran without preconditions. He said he would. Hillary Clinton said she wouldn't, because it would be used as a propaganda tool for repressive dictators. And liberals celebrated Obama. It was one of his greatest moments and one of the things that I think helped him to win the Democratic nomination, based on the theory that it's always better to meet with leaders, even if they're repressive, than to isolate them or to ignore them. In 1987, when President Reagan decided that he wanted to meet with Soviet leaders, the far right took out ads against him that sounded very much just like what we just heard from Joe, accusing him of being a useful idiot to Soviet and Kremlin propaganda, of legitimizing Russian aggression and domestic repression at home.

GLENN GREENWALD : It is true that Putin is an authoritarian and is domestically repressive. That's true of many of the closest allies of the United States, as well, who are even far more repressive, including ones that fund most of the think tanks in D.C., such as the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. And I think the most important issue is the one that we just heard, which is that 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons are in the hands of two countries -- the United States and Russia -- and having them speak and get along is much better than having them isolate one another and increase the risk of not just intentional conflict, but misperception and miscommunication, as well.

JOE CIRINCIONE : Right. Let's be clear. Glenn, there's nothing wrong with meeting. I agree with you. Leaders should meet, and we should be negotiating with our foes, with those people we disagree with. We're better off when we do that. And the kind of attacks you saw on Barack Obama were absolutely uncalled for, and you're right to condemn those.

JOE CIRINCIONE : What I'm worried about is this president meeting with this leader of Russia and what they're going to do. That's what's so wrong about this summit coming now, when you have Donald Trump, who just attacked the NATO alliance, who calls our European allies foes, who turns a blind eye to what his director of national intelligence called the warning lights that are blinking red. About what? About Russian interference in our elections. So you just had a leader of Russia, Putin, a skilled tactician, a skilled strategist, interfere in a U.S. election. To what? To help elect Donald Trump.

GLENN GREENWALD : I think this kind of rhetoric is so unbelievably unhinged, the idea that the phishing links sent to John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee are the greatest threat to American democracy in decades. People are now talking about it as though it's on par with 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, that the lights are blinking red, in terms of the threat level. This is lunacy, this kind of talk. I spent years reading through the most top-secret documents of the NSA, and I can tell you that not only do they send phishing links to Russian agencies of every type continuously on a daily basis, but do far more aggressive interference in the cybersecurity of every single country than Russia is accused of having done during the 2016 election. To characterize this as some kind of grave existential threat to American democracy is exactly the kind of rhetoric that we heard throughout the Bush-Cheney administration about what al-Qaeda was like .

JOE CIRINCIONE : Why does Donald Trump feel that he has to meet alone with Putin? What is going on there? I mean, that -- when Ronald Reagan met with Gorbachev at Reykjavik, at least he had George Shultz with him. The two of them, you know, were meeting with Gorbachev and his foreign minister at the time. This is -- it's deeply disturbing. It makes you feel that Trump is hiding something, that he is either trying to make a deal with Putin, reporting something to Putin. I tell you, I know U.S. intelligence officials -- I'm probably going right into Glenn's wheelhouse here. But U.S. intelligence officials are concerned about what Donald Trump might be revealing to the Russian leader, the way he revealed classified information to the Russian foreign minister when he met privately with him in the Oval Office at the beginning of his term. No, I don't like it one bit.

GLENN GREENWALD : I continue to be incredibly frustrated by the claim that we hear over and over, and that we just heard from Joe, that Donald Trump does everything that Vladimir Putin wants, and that if he were a paid agent of the Russian government, there'd be -- he would be doing nothing different. I just went through the entire list of actions that Donald Trump has taken and statements that he has made that are legitimately adverse to the interest of the Russian government, that Barack Obama specifically refused to do, despite bipartisan demands that he do them, exactly because he didn't want to provoke more tensions between the United States and Russia.

Sending lethal arms to Ukraine, bordering Russia, is a really serious adverse action against the interest of the Russian government. Bombing the Assad regime is, as well. Denouncing one of the most critical projects that the Russian government has, which is the pipeline to sell huge amounts of gas and oil to Germany, is, as well.

So is expelling Russian diplomats and imposing serious sanctions on oligarchs that are close to the Putin regime. You can go down the list, over and over and over, in the 18 months that he's been in office, and see all the things that Donald Trump has done that is adverse, in serious ways, to the interests of Vladimir Putin, including ones that President Obama refused to do. So, this film, this movie fairytale, that I know is really exciting -- it's like international intrigue and blackmail, like the Russians have something over Trump; it's like a Manchurian candidate; it's from like the 1970s thrillers that we all watched -- is inane -- you know, with all due respect to Joe. I mean, it's -- but it's in the climate, because it's so contrary to what it is that we're seeing. Now, this idea of meeting alone with Vladimir Putin, the only way that you would find that concerning is if you believed all that.

JOE CIRINCIONE : So, Trump knew that this indictment was coming down, before he went to Europe, and still he never says a word about it. What he does is continue his attacks on our alliances, i.e. he continues his attacks on our free press, he continues his attacks on FBI agents who were just doing their job, and supports this 10-hour show hearing that the House of Representatives had. It's really unbelievable that Trump is doing these things and never says one word about it. He still has not said a word about those indictments.

GLENN GREENWALD : That's because the reality is -- and I don't know if Donald Trump knows this or doesn't know this, has stumbled into the truth or what -- but the reality is that what the Russians did in 2016 is absolutely not aberrational or unusual in any way. The United -- I'm sorry to say this, but it's absolutely true. The United States and Russia have been interfering in one another's domestic politics for since at least the end of World War II, to say nothing of what they do in far more extreme ways to the internal politics of other countries. Noam Chomsky was on this very program several months ago, and he talked about how the entire world is laughing at this indignation from the United States -- "How dare you interfere in our democracy!" -- when the United States not only has continuously in the past done, but continues to do far more extreme interference in the internal politics of all kinds of countries, including Russia .

GLENN GREENWALD : The United States funds oppositional groups inside Russia. The United States sent advisers and all kinds of operatives to try and elect Boris Yeltsin in the mid-1990s, because they perceived, accurately, that he was a drunk who would serve the interests of the United States more than other candidates who might have won. The United States interferes in Russian politics, and they interfere in their cyber systems, and they invade their email systems, and they invade all kinds of communications all the time. And so, to treat this as though it's some kind of aberrational event, I think, is really kind of naive .

GLENN GREENWALD : It wasn't just Hillary Clinton in 2016 who lost this election. The entire Democratic Party has collapsed as a national political force over the last decade. They've lost control of the Senate and of the House and of multiple statehouses and governorships. They're decimated as a national political force. And the reason is exactly what Joe said. They become the party of international globalization. They're associated with Silicon Valley and Wall Street billionaires and corporate interests, and have almost no connection to the working class. And that is a much harder conversation to have about why the Democrats have lost elections than just blaming a foreign villain and saying it's because Vladimir Putin ran some fake Facebook ads and did some phishing emails. And I think that until we put this in perspective, about what Russia did in 2016 and the reality that the U.S. does that sort of thing all the time to Russia and so many other countries, we're going to just not have the conversation that we need to be having about what these international institutions, that are so sacred -- NATO and free trade and international trade organizations -- have done to people all over the world, and the reason they're turning to demagogues and right-wing extremists because of what these institutions have done to them. That's the conversation we need to be having, but we're not having, because we're evading it by blaming everything on Vladimir Putin. And that, to me, is even more dangerous for our long-term prospects than this belligerence that's in the air about how we ought to look at Moscow.

Indictments and First Year Law

Mish : I now wish to return to a statement my friend made regarding the idea " No question Russia did it ".

From Glenn Greenwald

As far as the indictments from Mueller are concerned, it's certainly the most specific accounting yet that we've gotten of what the U.S. government claims the Russian government did in 2016. But it's extremely important to remember what every first-year law student will tell you, which is that an indictment is nothing more than the assertions of a prosecutor unaccompanied by evidence. The evidence won't be presented until a trial or until Robert Mueller actually issues a report to Congress.

And so, I would certainly hope that we are not at the point, which I think we seem to be at, where we are now back to believing that when the CIA makes statements and assertions and accusations, or when prosecutors make statements and assertions and accusations, unaccompanied by evidence that we can actually evaluate, that we're simply going to believe those accusations on faith, especially when the accusations come from George W. Bush's former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who repeatedly lied to Congress about Iraq and a whole variety of other issues. So, I think there we need some skepticism.

But even if the Russians did everything that Robert Mueller claims in that indictment that they did, in the scheme of what the U.S. and the Russians do to one another and other countries, I think to say that this is somehow something that we should treat as a grave threat, that should mean that we don't talk to them or that we treat them as an enemy, is really irrational and really quite dangerous.

Mish - Six Questions

  1. Is this a trial or a witch hunt?
  2. Do we need to see the evidence or do we believe known liars?
  3. Is Trump guilty of treason? Before we even see proof Putin was involved?
  4. Is the CIA incapable of fabricating evidence?
  5. Even if Russia interfered in the election, why should anyone have expected otherwise?
  6. Has everyone forgotten the US lies on WMDs already?

Irrational and Dangerous

I don't know about you, but I have no reason to believe known liars and hypocrites. I disagree with Trump all the time, in fact, more often than not. The amount of venom on Trump over this is staggering. Adding a missing word, I stand by my previous statement: " Nearly every political action that generates this much complete nonsense and hysteria from the Left and Right is worthy of immense praise."

If you disagree please provide examples. The only two I can come up with are Pearl Harbor and 911. In both, the US was directly attacked. For rebuttal purposes I offer Vietnam, Syria, Iraq, Russia, Iran, WWI, treatment of Japanese-American citizens in WWII, and McCarthyism. Greenwald accurately assesses the situation as "really irrational and really quite dangerous." Indeed. And if indictments and accusations were crimes, we wouldn't need a jury.


Free This -> clymer Tue, 07/17/2018 - 07:25 Permalink

No bitch here but you, bulgars!

If the DNC servers were hacked, they are evidence, where is the fucking evidence now? At the bottom of the Hudson River with concrete shoes that's where! Where are the Anwan servers, Podesta's, Wieners....where are Hillary's emails?

Fuck this is getting out of hand. All of the top spooks in the alphabet agencies are complicit, DOJ too, right up to the skinny faggot in the rainbow house!

Getting close to the time for some real fucking justice in America!

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Here is an update to the map I posted yesterday about where not to be, not sure I agree one way or the other, you decide:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn5Io6mZqXM

And Preper Nurse on wild medcines:

Don't forget to watch "Lifesaving Advice From Dirty Rotten Survival's Dave Canterbury" I posted yesterday, of all watch that.

One way to zero in iron sights on your AR-15:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=934LFFsC5Dw

And my all time favorite Uncle Ted, baby, what an interview, a must watch as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5NelZNtw_U

freedommusic -> HockeyFool Tue, 07/17/2018 - 07:37 Permalink

Rule 101 of the upside down - project un to others the crimes that YOU commit...

eclectic syncretist -> 847328_3527 Tue, 07/17/2018 - 09:09 Permalink

Even if it were found to be true that Russia (and not Seth Rich) was the source of the info that revealed to the American people (and the world) that the DNC conspired to rig its own primary election, my response would be one of gratitude for shining a light on the cockroaches.

Laowei Gweilo -> Miskondukt Tue, 07/17/2018 - 09:35 Permalink

the zeal with which MSN and especially CNN Wolf Blitzer now defend the 'Intelligence Community' as a singular infallible flawless entity is incredible ...

... in the context of the war they waged on that very same 'Intelligence Community' in light of it being wrong about WMD in Iraq

... or the Snowden-gate about it spying on Americans.

most two-faced biased blindly-agended-based manipulative thing I've ever seen on CNN

inosent -> Snaffew Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:48 Permalink

Russian hack? hahaha, as if. Everybody knows it was an inside job. That sort of thing with all the emails is inside -> Seth Rich is a good place to look.

BESIDES! LET'S NOT FORGET ABOUT THE CONTENT OF THOSE EMAILS!!!

This guy in the article above that says Hellary "must" be given the nomination because Russia 'hacked' the election. Great! I'll be very happy to see that nasty bitch go down a second time, based on the substance of her twisted, hypocritical, and consummately evil character.

Super Sleuth -> css1971 Tue, 07/17/2018 - 13:55 Permalink

BILL BROWDER: The CIA Asset and Neocon Zionist Who Was Used to Restart the Cold War with Russia

---

http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=101126

" Deep State agent Bill Browder operated at the very nexus of the
U.S. and U.K. Intelligence Communities that conspired to produce
both the fake Russiagate and very real Spygate ."

-- Intelligence Analyst & Former Military Officer

janus -> Super Sleuth Tue, 07/17/2018 - 15:24 Permalink

***It is a tale, full of sound and fury, told by idiots, signifying nothing***

how can we be expected to take any of this shit seriously?

-- avowed globalist-communists opposed to any nation's sovereignty, repulsed at the faintest wiff of patriotism scolding us for our lack of patriotism?

-- political parties, intelligence agencies, the media and much of the judiciary attempting to undermine the democratic process for over a year and a half, delegitamize a Presidency, vilify half the nation, stoke the flames of enmity...now they kvetch about our skepticism?

no, langley, we do not trust you. no, media, your agitprop has no currency.

of all the reasons for hillary's defeat, no one ever mentions the fact that she campaigned on a platform of war...WWIII, no less. starting in May/June of 2016, cankles started pounding the war drums. in a scenario so stale and overused as to threadbare, the left initiated the process of demonizing russia and russians.

Trump supporters are not only pro-American, they/we are anti-war. forever spinning in a manic and frenzied swirl of hysterics, the left often loses sight of this...but as much is to be expected, in that the left doesn't think, they instead parrot the tropes fed to them on a daily basis, forever unable to assemble the fragments of these disparate priorities into a cogent whole. but if they were able to arrange this mess into coherence, the image would terrify them with its ghastliness. the left openly and earnestly serves the forces of evil -- in fact, they are the forces of evil. they depend on the idiocy and credulity of their minions to keep this reality obscured. fortunately for the left, their supporters are sufficiently dull and benighted to keep the truth forever blighted.

maybe we should play the victoria nuland tapes again...as a refresher:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk

we not only interfered with Ukranian/Russian politics, we overtly overthrew a democratically elected government, attempted to provoke Russia to respond militarily, started a civil war in the Ukraine, (downed a commercial airliner in a disgusting FF), funded and trained Nazis and left the nation in shambles. these are the same people calling Trump a traitor. these are the same forces who demand faith and fidelity.

it's gone...no one trusts (((you))) anymore...we know you're nothing but a bunch of bloodthristy satanists...your time is in eclipse, the more you struggle, the tighter the constraints.

"fuck the EU (for balking at WWIII)" Victoria Nuland, Clinton apparatchik, globalists, communist, satanist, kike.

janus

I Am Jack's Ma -> MoreSun Tue, 07/17/2018 - 14:44 Permalink

Zionists are a large part of the problem (and remember what Biden said) but not at all the whole problem. Don't hyperfocus - the 'Deep State' is chock full of non-Jewish warmongers and traitors. In fact the top traitors are guys like Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Clinton, Obama, and Strozk.

Creative_Destruct -> King of Ruperts Land Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:23 Permalink

" The US fabricated evidence to start the Vietnam war and the US fabricated WMD talk on the second war in Iraq. US intelligence had no idea the Berlin Wall was about to fall. The US meddled in Russia supporting a drunk named Yeltsin because we erroneously thought we could control him."

YUP! AMEN.

It's amusing to me that the Leftist's NOW have a blind-faith trust in government, whereas during the Vietnam war, and at the start of the Iraq war the opposite was (justifiably) the case.

And remember, the [neoliberal] Left was all OVER how we manipulated Russia into an Oligarchy:

https://www.thenation.com/article/harvard-boys-do-russia/

Radical Marijuana -> HopefulCynical Tue, 07/17/2018 - 12:34 Permalink

"Marxists" ???

Follow the money to its source.

There is nothing in either the dictionary definition of "Marxism," nor the social facts, which justifies using that label for the ruling classes, the pyramidion people of the globalized social pyramid systems.

The root of the runaway "mass hysteria" is the long history of the control over the public money supplies being captured by the best organized gangsters, the banksters. There is an overwhelming amount of historical evidence regarding how that happened. See Excellent Videos on Money Systems .

Some of that evidence indicates some of those banksters were behind the promotion of messianic Marxism through the Russian Revolution which resulted in the Soviet Union. (Less compelling evidence indicates similar factors were at play in the later Chinese Revolution.)

The original Marxism was relatively scientific, for its time and place in history. However, it was messianic Marxism which became the ideologies of so-called "communist" movements, all of which necessarily ended up being dominated by their own kinds of best available professional hypocrites, resulting in even steeper social pyramid systems than previously.

It is RIDICULOUS to label the banksters as "Marxists." The comment posted above by HopefulCynical only begins to make some sense AFTER one substitutes some label which refers to the banksters , rather than to some ideologies which those banksters used to covertly advance their overall agenda.

Ideologies which become publicly significant are always systems of organized lies, which operate robberies. There is actually only one political system: organized crime. Therefore, contemporary geopolitical events make more sense after one recognizes who are the best organized gangsters , which are dominating civilization, including dominating the mass media's public presentation of those events.

While President Trump is correctly presenting the degree to which the mainstream media is based on "fake news," President Trump deliberately does not engage in deeper analysis of that phrase "fake news," but rather, used his oratory skill to capture that phrase, and thereby turn it against those who originally intended to use that phrase against President Trump.

The comment above by HopefulCynical was overwhelmingly up-voted by its readers. Tragically, the indicates the degree to which so many people want to believe in bullshit.

"The Marxists who've run America (and the rest of the world) into the ground for so many decades ..."

It was NOT "Marxists," but rather the banksters, who've run America (and the rest of the world) ... for so many decades. In particular, since 1971, when the American Dollar lost its last connection with the material world, after the last vestiges of money backed by precious metals were cut, the banksters have been able to astronomically amplify their frauds, as enforced by governments, to become about exponentially more fraudulent.

That about exponentially increasing fraudulence, as demonstrated by debt slavery systems generating numbers which have become debt insanities, is at the root of the runaway manifestation of "mass hysteria" in America (and the rest of the world.)

The debt slavery systems were made and maintained by the international bankers, as the best organized gangsters, the banksters, whose persistent and prolonged participation in the funding of all aspects of the political processes (including schooling and mass media) has resulted in the public powers of government being primarily used to back up the privatized interests of big banks, and the big corporations that grew up around those big banks being able to issue the public money supplies out of nothing as debts.

Those real social facts do NOT correspond to the dictionary definition of Marxism, nor to any other goofy ideologies which were popularized to conceal the real social facts, and permit public discussion of those facts to be drowned under the bullshit of false fundamental dichotomies and the related impossible ideals.

There continues to be a lot of awful nonsense presented in articles and comments published on Zero Hedge , because of the degree to which the authors of those like to continue to believe in their favourite kinds of impossible ideals, by mislabeling what they do not like in erroneous ways, which ignore both the actual facts and definitions of those labels.

BANKSTERS' "psychopathic dreams of total control" require that it will be possible for systems based on being able to enforce frauds can continue to become about exponentially more fraudulent. However, endless exponential growth is absolutely impossible.

Rising popular awareness and resistance to the banksters is manifesting through various political movements. However, so far, those movements continue to mostly be forms of controlled "opposition." Anyone who continues to misuse the labels such as "capitalism versus communism," or abuses the label "Marxist," etc., is still actually a form of controlled "opposition," because of the degree to which their thinking and communication is still based on taking for granted the biggest bullies' bullshit, which has become the banksters' bullshit .

After the banksters kicked the shit out of Russia during the 20th Century, Russia has returned having learned something from those experiences. The results are that Russia is slightly more able and willing to advance its national interests against the international banksters. That is the main reason why Russia is being demonized by those who are still almost totally the banksters' puppets.

President Trump appears to be a relative anomaly, whose social successfulness was based on the apparently increasing anomalies, due to the systems based on enforced frauds becoming about exponentially more fraudulent. It was that diffuse awareness of mass media propaganda being systematic lying, serving the interests of the owners of those mass media, that was one of the factors which enabled President Trump to win the election.

Some of his most significant campaign promises were to diminish the demonization of Russia, and thereby diminish the threat of war with weapons of mass destruction spinning out of control, which continues to potentially be the greatest of threats, which are somewhat under human control, but which look like those are going more and more out of control.

However, in my opinion, President Trump tends to NOT go beyond superficially correct analysis of the accumulating apparent anomalies, whose root causes are the systems of enforced frauds being amplified by about exponentially advancing technologies to become about exponentially more fraudulent, which factors are at the root of the accumulating "mass hysteria."

The best overall ways to approach understanding current geopolitical events are that the excessively successful applications of the methods of organized crime through the political processes are resulting in civilization manifesting runaway criminal insanities, which situation is so serious that people who attempt to reduce that insanity are attacked by those who want to increase that insanity.

The deeper reasons for the underlying issues are that there must be some death control systems, precisely because endless exponential growth is absolutely impossible, and therefore, death control systems develop to stop that happening, which drives those death control systems to become murder systems which maximize maliciousness.

The longer term consequences of the social successfulness of maximized maliciousness are that the biggest bullies' bullshit almost totally dominates civilization, including the layers of controlled "opposition" that surround the central core of the best organized gangsters, which have become the banksters . Hence, most of those who believe that they are "resisting" continue to think and communicate in ways which still take for granted most of that bullshit .

VWAndy -> Radical Marijuana Tue, 07/17/2018 - 12:57 Permalink

Yep. These false ideologies are just cover stories to keep people from focusing on the corruption.

Turns out Hypocrisy is the only form of government we have ever known.

[Jul 18, 2018] This indictment is nearly identical to the Jan. 6, 2017 ODNI Report, which came from a handful of unnamed analysts from the CIA and FBI. There is very little new information in well over a year. Right there, this raises red flags. Who were these analysts?

Looks like both Rosenstein and Mueller are pawn in a larger game...
Jul 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
Pandas4peace , July 14, 2018 at 8:40 am

Two points:
1. This indictment is nearly identical to the Jan. 6, 2017 ODNI Report, which came from a handful of unnamed analysts from the CIA and FBI. There is very little new information in well over a year. Right there, this raises red flags. Who were these analysts?

2. Did Mueller/Rosenstein consult with any foreign policy advisors? Does meddling in the president's national security affairs put the country at ris?

It's a dangerous game and a slippery slope. For the sake of the country, they better be right.

[Jul 18, 2018] Mueller should be prosecuted for violating the Logan Act. The timing of this is an illegal attempt to interfere with Foreign Policy.

Jul 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

O Society July 14, 2018 at 6:20 am Rosenstein makes the announcement. 8 minutes into this video he states:
There are no allegations in the indictment any American knew they were in contact with Russians or with a Russian operation,
any American committed a crime in relation to this,
or that the operation changed or influenced the election.

http://youtu.be/mYXCsxf9TsE

Fist thoughts:
If there is no allegation (evidence) the operation influenced the election, then why do we care about any of this?
Seems odd no Americans did anything worthy of investigating. Exonerating the DNC/ DCCC of all wrong doing?
How does Rosenstein (or anyone in the FBI) know Russians did this "hack" without having access to examine the DNC computers? Are we going by what CrowdStrike says they found? John McCarthy , July 14, 2018 at 5:08 am

Mueller should be prosecuted for violating the Logan Act. The timing of this is an illegal attempt to interfere with Foreign Policy.

Mike Lamb , July 14, 2018 at 6:12 am

Right on!
Apparently Mueller couldn't get a U-2 to fly over Russia and get shot down (which in 1960 scuttled a summit between President Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Khrushchev).

[Jul 18, 2018] Fugitive Cop Says He's Behind the DNC Leaks

Notable quotes:
"... Webb (for what it's worth): "They're really not Trump's Russians; they're really not Putin's Russians -- they're really Rosenstein and Comey's Russians." ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Marko , July 14, 2018 at 6:40 am

How coincidental that just the day before the announcement of the indictments , The Daily Beast published an extensive hit-piece on John Mark Dougan , who has admitted setting up the DCLeaks website that was used to release some of the earlier leaks :

"Fugitive Cop Says He's Behind the DNC Leaks. It's His Latest Hoax.
A Florida cop turned hacker who fled to Russia to escape the FBI claims Seth Rich leaked him DNC documents. But his story is full of holes."

https://www.thedailybeast.com/fugitive-cop-says-hes-behind-the-dnc-leaks-its-his-latest-hoax?ref=scroll

Also , True Pundit suspects some of the language used in the indictments was cribbed from a related lawsuit filed by George Webb :

"Mueller Plagiarizes Right-Wing YouTube Journalist's Lawsuit Against Podesta in New Russian Indictments; DOJ's Big Splash Appears Fabricated"

https://truepundit.com/mueller-plagiarizes-right-wing-youtube-journalists-lawsuit-against-podesta-in-new-russian-indictments-dojs-big-splash-appears-fabricated/

Gen Dao , July 14, 2018 at 8:09 am

George Webb is not a right-winger. He is a Bernie supporter. LOL. Still, the similarity of the wording suggests that the indictment is meant not only as an attempt to bolster the Russiagate fiction but also to defend Hillary and Podesta against charges of corruption, rigging the Dem primary, and incompetence and perhaps allow Hillary to run in 2020 or at lease to choose who the Dem candidate will be. It is also, of course, meant to sabotage detente with Russia and damage both Trump and Bernie Sanders. Sanders is probably regarded as even more dangerous than Trump by the deep state and by the corrupt, no-talent leaders of the pathetic Dem party -- just look at Shumer's ridiculous and unpatriotic demand that Trump cancel the summit. The current Dem leaders have absolutely nothing positive to offer the American people in terms of foreign policy and do nothing but repeat neocon nonsense, but the deep state supports the Dems at the moment because they want to see Trump impeached and Bernie make a fool of himself by criticizing Russia with no evidence. Bernie lost a lot of support with his recent uninformed Russophobic statement. The strong implied focus on defending Podesta and by further implication Hillary, obvious from the similarities with the Webb lawsuit, shows the real aim of the indictments. As Lauria points out, it's all for internal consumption. But there are several apparent contradictions in the indictment, and those contradictions will be no doubt be pointed out in the coming days by computer experts, so this indictment may have no lasting effect outside of people who are already True Believers in Russiagate. Even so, the failure to interview Assange and Craig Murray is truly shocking and disappointing.

Alcuin , July 14, 2018 at 10:49 am

George Webb has talked with Bill Binney and despite being somewhat eccentric should not be dismissed out of hand. He is rumored to be former Mossad. From his videos of the last three days (days 15, 16, 17) it appears that he thinks Russian-born hackers living in the USA were indeed involved, but that they were not working for the Russian government but rather for various Americans (including well-known American politicians), concentrating on economic espionage.
Remember that Assange when questioned repeatedly emphasized that that the emails did not come from Russian "state" actors. Putin recently seems to have wanted to imply the same point.
According to Webb the hackers received their training from Russian military intelligence.
Webb also ties the hacking and espionage to the wider picture of pipeline politics in Europe and the Middle East. Even if Webb is wrong, or if he represents Israeli interests, it's an interesting view that is worth investigating.

Alcuin , July 16, 2018 at 2:18 am

Webb (for what it's worth): "They're really not Trump's Russians; they're really not Putin's Russians -- they're really Rosenstein and Comey's Russians."

Ben , July 14, 2018 at 8:13 am

Forensic analysis from forensicator:

https://theforensicator.wordpress.com/
http://g-2.space/

His analysis of the metadata indicates the information was copied to a USB.

[Jul 18, 2018] The Publicly Available Evidence Doesn't Support Russian Gov Hacking of 2016 Election

Notable quotes:
"... Crowdstrike's Danger Close report , which was supposed to be the nail in the coffin that proved the GRU was involved in the DNC hack, has been repudiated by the Ukrainian government, the IISS whose data they misused, and the builder of the military app that they claimed was compromised. ..."
"... The Reality Winner leak of a classified NSA document contained a graphic that used different colors of lines to qualify the data (confirmed, analyst judgment, contextual information). The line that connected the "actors" who sent out the spearphishing email to various electoral organizations with the GRU was yellow (analyst judgment) and included the words "probably within"; meaning that this was not a communications intercept. ..."
"... There are many other problems with the DNC investigation starting with the fact that no government agency actually did the forensics work. It was done by a company with strong ties to the Clinton campaign and an economic incentive to blame foreign governments for cyber attacks on evidence that was either flimsy or non-existent. ..."
"... Does any of this mean that the Russian government didn't do it? No. It only means that there is insufficient public evidence to say that it did. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | medium.com

Three days ago, the Washington Post ran this article by Philip Bump  --  " Here's the public evidence that supports the idea that Russia interfered in the 2016 election ".

This gist of the article was, since we can't know what the classified evidence is that supports the U.S. government's finding in favor of Russian government intereference, there is plenty of public evidence which should convince us.

Bump is wrong about that. The public evidence isn't enough to identify Russian government involvement, or even identify the nationality of the hackers involved. That doesn't mean that the Russian government isn't responsible. It means that we don't know enough to say who is responsible based solely on the publicly known evidence, including classified evidence that's been leaked.

Here's a recap:

The X-Agent malware used against the DNC is not exclusive to Russia. The source code has been acquired by at least one Ukrainian hacker group and one European cybersecurity company, which means that others have it as well. "Exclusive use" is a myth that responsible cybersecurity companies need to stop using as proof of attribution.

The various attacks attributed to the GRU were a comedy of errors ; not the actions of a sophisticated adversary.

The FBI/DHS Grizzly Steppe report was a disaster ( here , here , here , and here ).

Crowdstrike's Danger Close report , which was supposed to be the nail in the coffin that proved the GRU was involved in the DNC hack, has been repudiated by the Ukrainian government, the IISS whose data they misused, and the builder of the military app that they claimed was compromised.

The Arizona and Illinois attacks against electoral databases that were blamed on the Russian government were actually conducted by English-speaking hackers .

The Reality Winner leak of a classified NSA document contained a graphic that used different colors of lines to qualify the data (confirmed, analyst judgment, contextual information). The line that connected the "actors" who sent out the spearphishing email to various electoral organizations with the GRU was yellow (analyst judgment) and included the words "probably within"; meaning that this was not a communications intercept.

There are many other problems with the DNC investigation starting with the fact that no government agency actually did the forensics work. It was done by a company with strong ties to the Clinton campaign and an economic incentive to blame foreign governments for cyber attacks on evidence that was either flimsy or non-existent.

Does any of this mean that the Russian government didn't do it? No. It only means that there is insufficient public evidence to say that it did.

[Jul 18, 2018] That information was no more the private property of the DNC and Clinton Campaign than a plan to rob a bank belongs to the robbers. Isn't that so, Mr. Mueller?

Jul 18, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

ill-gotten goods are undeserving of protection of law. The DNC and Podesta had no legitimate expectation of privacy in their combinations to defraud the public and steal elections.

It's been imputed that the Russians did this to damage the reputation of Hillary Clinton. To take the alleged damage to reputation angle to its conclusion, truth is an entirely sufficient defense to any charge of libel. What was revealed by an alleged hack was the truth, something that is entirely lacking in the rest of this affair.

As for the alleged theft and public release of email, ill-gotten goods are undeserving of protection of law. The DNC and Podesta had no legitimate expectation of privacy in their combinations to defraud the public and steal elections.

The Russian GRU is accused of revealing that the people who run the DNC and Clinton campaign committee colluded with each other to steal the nomination. The allegedly hacked emails show what they really did and thought during the fraudulent nomination of Hillary Clinton. It might be argued, that whomever revealed the truth actually did a public service for the American people. An odd sort of "act of war," that.

Finally, individual officials and military officers have a limited immunity and are not normally indicted by foreign states for intelligence activities such as electronic surveillance and hacking across borders. That is where the element of harm comes in. The only real precedent for this is the Rainbow Warrior case. In 1985, French intelligence officers blew up and sank a Greenpeace ship by that name anchored in Auckland, NZ harbour, killing a passenger, a Dutch photographer. A UN arbitrator held in that case the French agents were not immune under customary international law to prosecution in a New Zealand court and could be individually tried and jailed, but only because of the death of the victim as part of "a criminal act of violence against property in New Zealand . . . done without regard for innocent civilians." Greenpeace was additionally awarded damages in the UK under international Maritime Law because the vessel was a British-flagged ship.

Also bear in mind, the US and UK both provide immunity to their own intelligence officers and law enforcement officers for hacking and related computer crimes committed against foreign powers. The UK takes that a step further and exempts police officers for domestic hacking:

See, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/15/intelligence-officers-ha...

This is a dangerous precedent, and the likely result is to ignite retaliation and further exacerbate U.S.-Russian tensions. The entire staffs of the NSA, GCHQ and GRU could be similarly "prosecuted," but what will that accomplish? Even if every word of the indictment is fact, the indictment itself violates the norms of international law and this latest "Russiagate" escalation by Mueller seems intended to ratchet up the New Cold War.

That is why "Russiagate" is a legal sham, in my opinion. Even if the alleged Russian hack of the DNC email actually happened as claimed, and even if the hack was with bad intent, there was no real crime or harm in the release of that information. That information was no more the private property of the DNC and Clinton Campaign than a plan to rob a bank belongs to the robbers. Isn't that so, Mr. Mueller?

[Jul 18, 2018] Tomorrow, I am going to get in contact with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and tell him that I have found the real people behind the hacking of the 2016 US election and they aren't Russian they are Chinese!

Jul 18, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , July 16, 2018 at 8:25 am

Tomorrow, I am going to get in contact with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and tell him that I have found the real people behind the hacking of the 2016 US election and they aren't Russian – they are Chinese! I am prepared to give names and so to give everybody the scoop, here they are-

Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Zhou Qiang, Cao Jianming, Li Yuanchao, Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, Hu Chunhua and Liu He.

They are all real names of real Chinese government officials but unfortunately, as they are Chinese, they cannot be extradited out of China in the same way that Russians can't be extradited out of Russia. And like Special Counsel Robert Mueller, I have no real proof that they did it and cannot bring them to a US court for trial so you will all have to take my word for it so we're cool, right?

[Jul 18, 2018] Has Mueller Caught the Hackers

Notable quotes:
"... Rosenstein, Mueller and Strozk are clever, privileged boys who have always been able, to bamboozle their way out of a jam. So we have this scary, claptrap yarn about twelve ethereal "Russian Agents" ((1) Boris (2) Natashia (3) ..) who, being in Russia, can never be extradited or interrogated. Therefore, the narrative can be endlessly developed. The only constraint is the imagination of the second-rate story writers. An ongoing serial wow ..."
"... Credit to Isikoff for having the courage to face a skeptic, even if his attitude is indignant that Mate ain't buying what he's selling. ..."
"... The Guardian ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

clarky90 , July 16, 2018 at 8:14 am

Rosenstein, Mueller and Strozk are clever, privileged boys who have always been able, to bamboozle their way out of a jam. So we have this scary, claptrap yarn about twelve ethereal "Russian Agents" ((1) Boris (2) Natashia (3) ..) who, being in Russia, can never be extradited or interrogated. Therefore, the narrative can be endlessly developed. The only constraint is the imagination of the second-rate story writers. An ongoing serial wow

I believe that Seth Rich was the leaker. What are the FBI/CIA/DOJ doing to investigate Seth's murder? Not much.

However, the FBI/CIA/DOJ, ARE consumed with The Hunting of the Russian Snark ."It's a Snark!" was the sound that first came to their ears,
And seemed almost too good to be true.
Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers:
Then the ominous words "It's a Boo -- "

Then, silence. Some fancied they heard in the air
A weary and wandering sigh
That sounded like "-jum!" but the others declare
It was only a breeze that went by.

They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
Not a button, or feather, or mark,
By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
Where the Baker had met with the Snark.

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away --
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43909/the-hunting-of-the-snark

I have watched Rosenstein, Mueller and Strozk testifying over the last months. Creeps. I wouldn't leave a pet Labradoodle in their care, much less entrust them with the defense of "Our" Democracy

DJG , July 16, 2018 at 8:20 am

An important point:

AARON MATE: I have no idea. Whoever it is, I think Guccifer is very sloppy. And given how sophisticated we're told Russian military intelligence is supposed to be, they didn't do a very good job of covering their tracks.

Maté makes an excellent observation here. Further, if you go to Guccifer's site, his style is U.S. hipster English. It is possible that the Russians are that adept at U.S. hipster English, or have suborned some hipster from Brooklyn, or, maybe, that Guccifer is an American who has some other agenda.

Interestingly, in all of this hacking, we haven't heard what happened to Hillary Clinton's 30,000 yoga e-mails, which would be a masterpiece of contemplation of yoga, on the level of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. We read repeated allegations that the Clinton Family server was hacked. How is it that the injured party here is only the Democratic National Committee?

And how many of these dangerous Russians will be extradited to the U S of A? You can't have a finding of fact without a trial, and conveniently for aggrieved people like Isikoff, there isn't going to be a trial.

Quanka , July 16, 2018 at 8:47 am

Aaron Mate does a fine job in this interview of pushing back against unproven claims. No hysteria, no yelling. But point by point he just takes Isikoff to task, calmly. He even manages two separate digs without staking a high moral ground: Isikoff's own previous reporting on (lack of) WMD, and a clip from a lying Robert Mueller in front of congress in 2003.

So I was very impressed with this interview. As someone who's taught myself the read the lies in the MSM this was a clinic in how to get a major journalist (Isikoff) to make concessions that essentially wipe out his argument without getting into a yelling match.

JohnnyGL , July 16, 2018 at 1:48 pm

He's done some of the best reporting on this story that I can recall. Credit to Isikoff for having the courage to face a skeptic, even if his attitude is indignant that Mate ain't buying what he's selling.

It kills me that the only 'evidence' supporting Russia-gate is the public statements and testimony of a bunch of high level government officials that are 1) proven liars and 2) have reason to believe they'll never be held to account for these lies.

If you saw Strzok's testimony the other day, you'd have seen a number of Dems absolutely willing to lay down in front of oncoming traffic to 'protect' the FBI. If my reps were that dedicated to protecting me from the horror of facing a series of probing questions, I'd feel pretty comfortable that I was untouchable, too!

Brooklin Bridge , July 16, 2018 at 5:08 pm

Credit to Isikoff for having the courage to face a skeptic, even if his attitude is indignant that Mate ain't buying what he's selling.

Good catch! I noticed this also, though I'm not as sure it's to Isikoff's credit. Mate has positively ripped to shreds at least one other Isikoff like stooge (Luke Harding of The Guardian ) in this interview: https://therealnews.com/stories/wheres-the-collusion-2 which really makes one wonder why Isikoff accepted such a challenge. (I include the link for the benefit of others – it looks like you are already aware of it). After all, he has basically nothing the other one didn't have other than perhaps a conviction he knows some secret alchemy that: when lies reach a certain volume, or quantity, or momentum, they miraculously transform to truth.

If anything, I suspect Isikoff is simply as full of himself as Luke Harding. Their basic argument (it must be true because of the sheer volume and detail of all the allegations) is exactly the same with Isikoff only having the advantage of yet another heaping helping of allegation pudding that he knows full well will never see the light of verification.

As an aside, did you notice Isikoff's sour sign off? I think he was quite aware Mate had served him some serious egg on the chin and was none too happy about it. Just my take on it.

[Jul 18, 2018] Mueller's Latest Indictment Contradicts Evidence In The Public Domain Disobedient Media

Notable quotes:
"... NOTE: There will likely be various amendments made to this article over the next 24 hours. ..."
"... So, in fairness, there is actually circumstantial evidence to suggest an overlap as Guccifer 2.0 clearly had Podesta's emails and it looks like the spearphishing attack used to snare Podesta's emails was identical to one that was attributed to the acquisition of emails published by DCLeaks. ..."
"... (NOTE: CrowdStrike decided to start investigating the NGP-VAN breach within a week of Podesta's emails being acquired, three months after the December 2015 incident) ..."
"... (using the publicly accessible default server in France) ..."
"... (in which he used ":)" at a far higher frequency) ..."
"... (in one of the documents, change tracking had been left on and recorded someone in a PST timezone saving one of Guccifer 2.0's documents after the documents had being manipulated in the Russian timezones!) ..."
"... (which was actually inconsistent with aspects of English language that Russians typically struggle with). ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | disobedientmedia.com

July 15, 2018 July 15, 2018 Adam Carter

NOTE: There will likely be various amendments made to this article over the next 24 hours.

On July 13th, 2018, an indictment was filed by Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III.

This author is responding to the indictment because it features claims about Guccifer 2.0 that are inconsistent with what has been discovered about the persona, including the following:


The first piece of malware at the DNC identified by Crowdstrike as relating to "Fancy Bear," was compiled on 25 April, 2016. This used a C2 (command and control) IP address that, for the purposes of the APT group, had been inoperable for over a year. It was useful mostly as a signature for attributing it to "Fancy Bear."

Two additional pieces of malware were discovered at the DNC attributed to the same APT group. These were compiled on 5 May 2016 and 10 May 2016 while Robert Johnston was working with the DNC on CrowdStrike's behalf to counter the intrusion reported at the end of April and install Falcon.

References to the evidence covering all of this are available in the article: " Fancy Fraud, Bogus Bears & Malware Mimicry ".

This could be inferred from a number of things. DCLeaks was re-registered on 19 April 2016, however, what they published included Republicans and individuals that were not connected to the DNC. In fact, DCLeaks didn't start publishing anything relating to Clinton campaign staff until June/July 2016. There was also the fact that the daily frequency of emails in the DNC emails released by WikiLeaks increased dramatically from around 19 April 2016 , however, this wasn't indicative of the start of hacking activity but rather caused by a 30 day email retention policy combined with the fact that the emails were acquired between May 19th and May 25th.

There has been no technical evidence produced by those who had access to the DNC network demonstrating files were being manipulated or that malware was engaging in activity prior to this and by CrowdStrike's own admissions, many of the devices at the DNC were wiped in June. As such, it's unclear where this may have come from.

There's an issue here with the conflation of Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. Why would Guccifer 2.0 have had an account at DCLeaks with which he had restricted access and could only manage a subset of the leaks (and only those relating to the DNC) while DCLeaks featured leaks covering those unconnected to and even opposing the DNC?

It also appears there may have been an effort to have people perceive Guccifer 2.0 as being associated with someone that claimed to have root access to DCLeaks too, however, this could only be demonstrated through the use of multimedia props.

It makes no sense that the GRU would have even used Guccifer 2.0 in the manner we now know he operated – it only caused any harm to Trump and served to undermine leaks due to the deliberate placement of Russian metadata that would give a false perception of Russians mishandling those documents (including the Trump research document found in Podesta's emails).

However, there is one interesting thing that does connect Podesta being phished with DCLeaks. As spotted by Stephen McIntyre – the syntax in the spearphishing emails for both Podesta and Rhinehart (whose leaked emails were published at DCLeaks) were identical .

So, in fairness, there is actually circumstantial evidence to suggest an overlap as Guccifer 2.0 clearly had Podesta's emails and it looks like the spearphishing attack used to snare Podesta's emails was identical to one that was attributed to the acquisition of emails published by DCLeaks.

Is there a reason for ambiguity when referencing WikiLeaks?

While he clearly had access to the Podesta emails (NOTE: CrowdStrike decided to start investigating the NGP-VAN breach within a week of Podesta's emails being acquired, three months after the December 2015 incident) , Guccifer 2.0 used those materials to fabricate evidence on 15 June 2016 implicating Russians and which, coincidentally appeared to support (but ultimately helped refute) multiple assertions made by CrowdStrike that the Trump Opposition report (actually sourced from Podesta's emails) was targeted by Guccifer 2.0 at the DNC in April 2016 – and that the theft of this specific file from the DNC – which, again, could not have been stolen from the DNC – had set off the " first alarm " indicating a security breach.

On 6 July 2016, Guccifer 2.0 released a batch of documents that were exclusively attachments to DNC emails that would later be released by WikiLeaks.

Guccifer 2.0 certainly didn't make a genuine effort to "conceal a Russian identity," far from it. The persona made decisions that would leave behind a demonstrable trail of Russian-themed breadcrumbs, examples include:

How have these identities been connected to the respective GRU officers? This query applies to additional identities mentioned throughout the indictment.

Where have these pseudonyms been cited in any of the research or evidence published in the past two years? Most seem to be new and were never referenced by the firms specifically investigated the relevant phishing campaigns in the past.

Unfortunately, the indictment itself provides no reference for us to ascertain what the individual attributions are based on.