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DNC and Podesta emails leak and subsequent false flag operation to  blame Vladimir Putin using Crowdstrike honchos

  Was it a false flag operation by rogues in one of three US intelligence agencies (CIA, NSA and FBI) which later produced Jan. 6 intelligence “assessment” ? Binney stated that if it were a “hack,” the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.

Dems became the party of corruption: the DNC did conspire against Sanders

Who are those Crowdstrike "experts" who tell us those were Russians? Are those the same "experts" who found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Or the same who claim that Hillary bathroom email server was never breached?

“The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data — was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unpacking-the-dnc-emails/

News  CIA hacking and false flag cyber operations Recommended Links Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Strzokgate FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case
Seth Rich murder Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Strzok-gate James "We are not weasels" Comey John "911 Coverup" Mueller History of American False Flag Operations
Hillary Clinton email scandal Questions about Huma Abedin email forwarding FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump James Comey role in preventing Sanders from leading the Democratic ticket Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Putin-did-it fiasco: Obama repeats Bush's WMD fiasco Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
Obama: a yet another Neocon Nunes FISA Memo scandal FBI contractor Fusion GPS FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Deception as an art form Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of uppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Who hacked whom propaganda game The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Pathological lying Female Sociopaths American Exceptionalism Demonization of Putin Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Guccifer 2.0 false flag operation

Introduction

These people have no shame. Vote Trump!

USMarines, Guardian Jun 25, 2016

I didn’t have a conspiracy with that woman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  HRC

Today, while reading Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables ,
 I unexpectedly came across a passage which fittingly describes the DNC:

They are practiced politicians, every man of them, and skilled to adjust those
 preliminary measures which steal from the people, without its knowledge,
the power of choosing its own rulers…This little knot of subtle schemers
will control the convention, and, through it, dictate to the party.

Roland , July 28, 2016 at 7:39 am

Wikileaks proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Democratic National Committee under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in fact, served as the Hillary Clinton Coronation Committee, operating, step by step, to ensure that the front-runner would become the party’s nominee. There nothing democratic about National Democratic Committee. It is an elitarian structure dominated by neoliberals (Clinton wing of the party), which have nothing to do with democracy, but a lot with Wall Street domination in the political life in the country.   They also served as a powerful catalyst of rising far right nationalism.  Essentially Bill Clinton created Trump.

There are strong reasons to beleave that DNS email hack was not hack but an internal leak, Here is a twit from Kim dotcom  (quoted from Zero Hedge ):

©Kim Dotcom @KimDotcom

Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn’t even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why. Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied.

If this is true than Crowdstrike is really sinister and criminal organization which implanted Russian malware into DNC servers in order to frame Russians in the leak which from now on was presented as hack by Russian intelligence or some group pf hackers connected to the Russian government.

Instantly after the revelations about DNC hack (and later Podesta email breach -- Podesta essentially gave up his password to people who were behind primitive the fishing attack on his Gmail account) neocon propaganda machine and major neoliberal MSM like CNN and MCNBC was put in overdrive. They fed the US lemmings (aka voters)  that the diabolical Russian hackers were behind the DNC hack. Everything they do not like now is the result of Russian hack. Primitive but pretty effective strategy. In other words this Rove-style "bait and switch" trick to brainwash the public into believing that what the DNC actually did was not reprehensible, but its exposure was:

For Dem [media] tycoons, it’s habit. They stand behind Hill for Imperial hegemony and Full Spectrum Dominance wherever money can be extorted, always the case in our squalid, half-assed military debacles. They get that looting nations and winning wars are not the same, and only one of them matters. For Repub Capos it’s a stickier wicket but not much. For a Conservative to even consider backing a Democrat, and a Clinton at that, would have been unthinkable last May, but since no Republicans actually are conservative, they figure why cling to yesterday, and they go with their lack of principles. What horrifies them in Trump is not his racism, sexism, or crudity: those are their hole cards, beloved of their Redneck Division. What actually outrages them is that in knocking imperialism, policing the world and puppeteering NATO and Japan, in shrinking empire and friending Russia, he threatens directly the War Machine and its limitless sugar tit from Congress.

After Comey testimony some fragments of the picture of DNC hack fall into place and one interesting hypothesis is that it was a false flag operation performed by the CrowdStrike, the same firm which were later assigned to investigate the hack. Which would be in best CIA traditions, stemming from JFK murder investigation and Warren commission.

 

And I am now not surprised that nobody investigated Comey for outsourcing (or forced to outsource by threats) the "DNC hack" investigation to the very questionable firm with strong Ukrainian connections. Which might well be hired to perform the hack and blame it on Russian to hide Seth Rich story.

If Trump would not be such an idiot, he would site this as a reason of firing Comey (gross unprofessionalism and criminal negligence) and the level of fear in Clinton Mafia after that might help him to survive.

The truth is that FBI never has any access to DNC computers. None. Unlike in case of Hillary emailgate, they never were in possession of actual hardware. And they never explored Ukrainian connection, so to speak. They took all results from Cloudstrike investigation at face value.

So I suspect all opinions of US intelligence agencies about this hack are just a part of color revolution scenario: the attempt to delegitimize the sitting government and install a new government via a coup d'état.

The fighting against Russiagate is about the defense of remnants of Democracy in the USA.

Regurgitation of MSM stories, like Fred is doing, does not add much value to this blog. It is essentially a propaganda exercise. If your urge to share them is too strong, as Mr.Bill mentioned a simple link would be enough (actually the desire to read on this topic NYT might be considered as an early sign of dementia, or Alzheimer)

Despite all this "Russians are coming" smoke screen and attempt to divert attention on Russia that Clinton campaign tried to propagate via subservant MSM, the truth is that the Democratic National Committee under its Obama-installed leader Wasserman-Schultz (and that means with direct blessing of the Obama, who put his political weight behind Hillary and shielded Hillary from criminal prosecution) had from day one schemed against other primary candidates and first of all Bernie Sanders to get Clinton elected. Welcome to the USSR comrades: Politburo knows everything and will decide what is best for you. You need just relax and vote as they say.  Everything will be fine (100-Page Report Shows Staggering Evidence of Election Fraud in Democratic Primary Cosmoso)

A recent report from Election Justice USA shows as many as 184 delegates were stolen from Bernie Sanders due to election fraud in the Democratic Primary

While it’s unclear whether the super delegates would have voted for Sanders, the EJUSA report does make one thing clear: Bernie Sanders won the majority of pledged delegates in the Democratic Primary at 2030 to Hillary Clinton’s 2021.

These numbers were arrived at by EJUSA’s intensive research and verification into claims of voter suppression, unintended party affiliation changes, heavy voter purging, and registrations never being honored by the Board of Elections in various counties throughout the U.S. during the Democratic Primary. In some cases, signatures were even forged on party affiliation documents and evidence of computer hacking being involved has come to light.

The fact that the emails exposed a coordinated effort to rob Bernie (which is a criminal offence in any state that called itself democratic as it interfere with the will of the people) was swiped under the carpet.  The DNC emails released by WikiLeaks showed that the Democratic National Committee has been implementing a coordinated multi-staged plan to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign. It also reveled an attempt to control media coverage (so that it benefitted Hillary) and the neoliberal MSM collusion with the DNC. It is now clear that the democratic presidential primary was rigged from the start and Hillary is an illegitimate candidate.

If nothing else, the crooked primaries process revealed just how much the DNC has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Clinton family, that can't even maintain the pretense of neutrality or impartiality--as the DNC's charter requires. And it's also exposed just how much the Fourth Estate has abandoned even the pretense of being the public's watch-dogs for the role of being the Clinton's lapdogs -- fitting classic definition of the "courtier press".  Now they are shamelessly preying on peoples' lack of understanding of computers trying to hide their criminal behaviour by "Putin did it" smoke screen.  They are also shamelessly preying on naive peoples' trust in experts, which has serious downstream effects when these "experts" are debunked. The way that the Russia-Trump storyline has been pounded into our consciousness by the media and the Democratic Party, including at the convention in prime time, is a calculated effort to take our eye off the ball and is a classic “shoot the messenger” tactic.

Clinton is trying to market herself as the Serious/Safe candidate, but her campaign is acting completely hysterical. Intead of welcoming transparency and investigating corrupt DNC officials involved in the plot against Sanders, they try to "kill the messenger" trick. This whole Putin-hack thing if a pure anti-Russian hysteria. There is no proof that Russia or Russian hackers were involved.  And if hack was really sophisticated there will be no proof as after certain amount of time evidence (connection logs on routers and such) disappeared.  NSA might still have something but they typically do not revel what they know.

\Instead this is another demonstration of how corrupt Hillary is as a politician. Like mafia boss she will stop at nothing at achieving her goals -- in this case the goal is to become the President of the USA. And this is not the first instance of "Hillary" poisonous  effect on anything she touches. Let's remember that she went into State Department to get the foreign policy experience and now has a record on it that should have every sane person saying keep her away from sharp objects and things that go "boom".

Funny though, formally Schultz takes her orders from Obama, as the Chairman of the Party, the DNC Board of Directors and team Hillary.   If any blame should go around, it should splash onto all individuals in DNC, not just Schultz.  Moreover, her boss, "constitutional scholar" Obama, in this particular case also looks like a regular Chicago Mafiosi: he and his DNC accomplishes  swindle the millions of Americans who donated on average $27 to Bernie's campaign hoping (falsely as we know now) that it was a fair contest... 

Why did "Crooked Hillary" directed her puppets in DNC to sabotage Bernie? She didn't need to, as she got super delegates in her pocket from the very start.  But like many sociopaths she did because she can. Now many Bernie backers won't vote for her. 

This election is about establishment (and that means that people are not voting for, they're voting against) and Hillary is an establishment candidate. A female successor of neoliberal "bait and switch" king Obama; who is widely hated because of his support of TPP. )

I think she lost quit a bit of votes due to this scandal.  This election cycle the vote against establishment politicians might be stronger than the vote for them. That's why Jeb Bush lost.

We shouldn't get roped into discussing allegations about who leaked the emails. That's what Hillary wants the conversation to be about. It is the content of emails and thier authenticity  that matter. The fact is these emails show the DNC fixed the nomination for Hillary. This has been so downplayed by the mainstream media as it shows them in their true light.  Compare their coverage (or the lack of thereof) to the 24x7 coverage Melania Trump's plagiarised speech got.

We shouldn't get roped into discussing allegations about who leaked the emails. That's what Hillary wants the conversation to be about. It is the content of emails and their authenticity  that matter. The fact is these emails show the DNC fixed the nomination for Hillary. This has been so downplayed by the mainstream media as it shows them in their true light.  Compare their coverage (or the lack of thereof) to the 24x7 coverage Melania Trump's plagiarized speech got.

Michael109,   

Clinton, who received 3.1m from Wall Street for speeches last year, and who was "extremely careless" with national security and who clearly lied under oath to Congress had the entire system rigged in her favour and millions of mostly younger people who supported Sanders have received a slap in the face by a corrupt Dem Party.

Clinton has dragged the party into the sewer with her. They should have told her to step down months ago. This is a shameful Dem convention

Like Clinton foundation and its affiliate entities, the DNC, could be considered a criminal enterprise or racketing influenced organization. Those who haven’t realized that, or worse, who shill for them are willfully ignorant, amoral, or unethical.  Clinton has dragged the party into the sewer with her. They should have told her to step down months ago. This is a shameful Dem convention

VietnamVet

The 2016 election cannot be looked at in isolation. The wars for profit are spreading from Nigeria through Syria to Ukraine. Turkey was just lost to the Islamists and is on the road to being a failed state. The EU is in an existential crisis due to Brexit, the refugee crisis and austerity. Western leadership is utterly incompetent and failing to protect its citizens.

Globalization is failing. Its Losers are tipping over the apple cart. Humans are returning to their tribal roots for safety. The drums for war with Russia are beating. Clinton / Kaine are 100% Status Quo Globalists. Trump / Pence are candidates of change to who knows what. Currently I am planning on voting for the Green Party in the hope it becomes viable and praying that the chaos avoids Maryland.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and DNC staff served as part of Clinton campaign and designed and amplified phony attacks on Sanders. Krugman plays the role of Clinton surrogate, using campaign talking points and spin to claim that Sanders is “over the edge”. They launched a a systematic attack  basically questioning his authenticity. These are mostly cheap swiftboating attacks and straw man arguments coming from the mainstream media and DNC insiders. The attacks are usually passive-aggressive, as in the New York Times ignoring him for long stretches and then coming up with the occasional dismissive "he can't possibly win, because we say so" tripe. They often reek of cheerful condescension. See this and this.

Then there was more dangerous theme casting Sanders as a convenient prop for Hillary Clinton, a supporting actor who exists only for the cosmetic purpose of "pushing her to the left." This trope is becoming so over-used that people are beginning to notice that it is a dirty trick. These are dangerous times for non-establishment politicians due to domination of neoliberal Political Correctness and corporate neoliberal propaganda (The Swift-boating of Bernie Sanders ):

We had the expected political reaction—the DNC, under the enlightened leadership of Hillary supporter Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has decided PAC money from lobbyists is OK after all, thus freeing up David Brock’s Hillary PAC to do whatever the hell it wants. The head of the Democratic party in Iowa, who has a pro-Hillary license plate, has ruled out any sort of recount on the voting in Iowa, about which a number of questions had been raised, but the media appears to have moved on... 

Hillary definitely has the 1% vote locked up ... but they are, after all, just 1%.

The best analysis of DNC leak that I have found so far is Peter van Buren article in American Conservative Unpacking the DNC Emails The American Conservative (July 26, 2016), His 11 point really cover all the bases:

... ... ...
  1. The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data—was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians.
  2. Many in Camp Clinton and the media labeled Bernie Sanders’ supporters paranoid when they claimed that the DNC was working against them. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was in fact working against them. One official proposed getting “someone,” presumably a reporter, to ask Sanders if he’s an atheist to discredit him in religious areas.
  3. Claims of pro-Clinton media bias were dismissed during the primaries. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was working closely with the media to seek negative coverage of Sanders and positive coverage of Clinton.
  4. Politico now admits it was a “mistake” sending the DNC an article draft in advance. The writer showed the draft to the DNC even before his own editors saw it.
  5. Facebook admits to blocking WikiLeaks links to the DNC email hack from its newsfeeds (but blames spam filters).
  6. The DNC appears to have expended significantly more effort against Bernie Sanders than it did against any of the Republican candidates.
  7. Instead of focusing on the contents of the hacked emails and the dirty tricks they exposed, many mainstream-media outlets headlined instead the Clinton-campaign talking point that the Russians hacked the emails and released them in an effort to derail her candidacy in favor of Donald Trump’s. Many of the same stories suggest Trump is some sort of pro-Putin stooge.
  8. On 60 Minutes, Clinton refused to say that intervention by the DNC to favor one candidate was “improper.” Her non-answer was edited out of the broadcast when it ran on Sunday; the network later released it online.
  9. After DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation following this week’s Democratic convention, the Clinton campaign announced Wasserman Schultz would be hired by them as “honorary chair of Hillary’s campaign’s 50-state program to elect Democrats in every part of the country, and as a surrogate for her campaign nationally.”
  10. Wasserman Schultz will be replaced as DNC chair by (only now former) CNN commentator Donna Brazile. Brazile argued the pro-Clinton side of debates on CNN throughout the primary season.
  11. In the hacked emails, Brazile said “I will cuss out the Sanders camp!” over complaints by Sanders of inadequate representation by the DNC. In March, while still employed by CNN, Brazile called Sanders’ decision to run as a Democrat (rather than an independent) for the additional media exposure “extremely disgraceful.”

Sadly, Bernie Sanders, his campaign sabotaged by the DNC—and what were once “paranoid” accusations now proved—still endorses Hillary Clinton and will still speak at the Democratic National Convention. It pains me to say, as his once-supporter, that the man has no courage. Even Ted Cruz stood up for himself in front of the Republicans in Cleveland. It is a sad day when we learn Ted Cruz has more guts than Bernie Sanders.

Those who are calling all this a coup of sorts—they’re wrong. It’s a surrender. But in the words of Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make?

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during the “reconstruction” of Iraq in his book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. He writes about current events at We Meant Well. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent. His next work will be a novel, Hooper’s War.

All this dirty tricks define the future of Democratic Party. Seriously. Less and less people are believing that Democrat represents them. I think half of trade union members will vote Trump. That's  a direct result of the sellout by Bill Clinton of Democratic Party to Wall Street.  A vote for Mrs Clinton means a continuation of the rule of financial oligarchy what we've experienced since Reagan, and that is not acceptable.  Another four years of amoral enrichment of transnational corporations that Hillary election guarantee is just kicking can down the road.

Attempt to blame Russians and Putin

Seems Putin controls Trump and Clinton! The man is amazing.

Only Jedi Knights can stop him.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,”
 Donald J. Trump said, referring to messages deemed personal by Hillary Clinton
 and deleted from her private email server.

 

Bullsh**t that MSM are now propagating is essentially a variation of the old theme  "The Russians are Coming".  Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics.  These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word.  What do you mean by that?

Putin:   You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent.   It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear.   It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC.  That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC and Clinton are going to push the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  Technical analysis provided is some idiotic, entry level nonsense. And it should ne complete bulsh*t as those cases are very complex and can used smokescreen -- deflecting attention from a read source (for example Israel) to Russians (Israel has large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in security services of the country; CIA can imitate Russian attack even better then Israel, actually they can imitate attacks from any country; hacks are a perfect opportunity to stage a false flag operation -- they there is not better specialists in this area that CIA ).

When the USA opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a blowback. Now it start coming: it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary. Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history. And  technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They became a part of their workbook.  And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as completely  corrupt  DNC with semi-competent IT staff using pathetic Microsoft Exchange based email system: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ )

As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak??

As life exceeds satire, one can imagine that within a week Wikileaks will produce those "missing e-mails". And later Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the next appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

 atopic  

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.

 
Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post: 

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

Heat on Sanders for betrayal of his supporters

DNC betrayed Bernie Sanders and the rest of America. But at this moment Sanders already folded. In other words, the Clinton mafia again created a mess. And they are now turning to Sanders — the very one they betrayed — to come in and clean it up. In effect Clinton mafia wants Sanders persuade  his supporters not to harbor any ill feelings over being stabbed in the back. That gave him perfect opportunity to reneg of his promised and run as independent or with Green Party

Bernie caved. A pity really, but understandable given the fact that the collusion between a corrupt Hillary campaign and a mendacious "free" media meant that even getting to the Convention floor was a struggle.

NYT now is afraid to open comments on this as they will swamped with denunciation of Hillary.  Sanders lied to his supporters that Trump represents bigger danger then Killary. nobody represent bigger danger then Killary.  Bernie Sanders, hypocrite, or canny operator? Is this another hostage situation and with what Clinton criminal cartel threatened him ?  “This campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, or any other candidate who sought the presidency,” Sanders told a New Hampshire crowd Tuesday in a speech endorsing Hillary Clinton. “This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crisis that we face.” Posting under the hashtag #SandersSellsOut, sanders supporters drew parallels with a previous uncomfortable endorsement of a presidential candidate, labeling it “another hostage situation.” Most view his endorsement on Monday, as the infidelity in a relationship and a bad break up.

Democratic voters are now splintered over neoliberal globalization, much like Republican supporters. Most already made decisions whom they will support and Clinton mafia has little chances to move those who reject their criminality and support of neoliberal globalization. It was actually Bill Clinton who sold the party to Wall Street making it another wing on neoliberal party of globalist and transnational corporations.

The Democrats' dirty laundry was aired at a worse possibly time for Hillary and I hope she will pay for DNC manipulations full price. It is clear after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the Republican presidential primaries that voters are revolting against the neoliberal globalization that dominated the US and Britain economic and foreign policy since the 1970th, if not earlier.  The willingness of people to be intimidated by bought neoliberal economists into supporting cosmopolitan outcomes appears for the moment to have been exhausted.

Corrupt to the core MSM ignore the event and try to distract readers with scapegoating nonsense

ABC and CNN are essentially part of the DNC propaganda wing. They and most other MSM were trying to reshape this mess to reduce the amount of damage.  Stephanopolis worked for Bill Clinton. And donated $75,000 to Hillary's campaign. And now he is trying to paint Trump as having ties to the Putin regime.

They try do not touch Hillary connections with Saudi, revive email scandal, touch Clinton cash skandal,  etc. They really behave like they are part of Clinton campaign. And readers noticed that as is evident from comments (The 4 Most Damaging Emails From the DNC WikiLeaks Dump - ABC News):

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

You are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that. A Saudi Prince has admitted to funding a large portion of Hillary's campaign. That is a tie. All the money she took from those countries while benefiting them as Secretary of State is a tie.

Know Mei > deanbob
"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Oh, believe me, Debbie, the American people know what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party does. Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate. However, business as usual did not work well for the Republican Party elitists this primary season. Donald Trump beat the Republican Party elitists at their game. Bernie Sanders attempted to do the same to the Democratic Party.
Alti  -> ADLives 2 days ago

I think they are being short-sighted. Trump will in all likelihood win now and I don't see him sticking to the script. The media has completely betrayed the American public on this story. From Facebook and Twitter blocking and deleting stories re: same initially - to now with the non-articles we are getting from the big news agencies. Finding decent, honest news coverage shouldn't be so hard.

William Carr > Know Mei •

“Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate”

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

In reality Wikileaks exposed the blatant corruption of the primary process for voters. The elephant was in the room, but the real situation with Democratic Party primary process is now  suppressed.

Mysterious assassination of Seth Rich

Seth Conrad Rich, a 27-year-old who worked for the Democratic National Committee as the voter expansion data director died of multiple gunshot wounds in the 2100 block of Flagler Place on July 10, 2017. The police reported it as a robbery, but nothing on Seth was taken. Seth’s cash, phone, and belongings were all still on him when he was found.

Before Seth started working at the DNC two years ago, Rich was a research associate for Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for two years, according to his LinkedIn page. The 2011 Creighton University graduate also worked for former Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s campaign and interned in his office.

There are a lot of rumors going around about his death and if it was a hit job. Below OAN reported on the murder and below that is a possible explanation of his assassination and all of the information is documented.

From /u/MyKettleIsNotBlack:
    The Clintons have known the Kleebs since at least 2008. Scott Kleeb started a business the Clinton Global Initiative was found fraudulently supporting. Seth Rich was deeply entrenched with the Kleebs from their Nebraska Democratic work. Seth Rich was hired onto a position in the DNC out of a job from a data consulting firm which had previously worked with President Clinton, which was opened up because the Clintons pushed for the Voter Expansion project so that 2008 didn’t happen to Hillary in 2016. Seth Rich has at least 2 connections to the Clintons. Jane Kleeb is a voracious environmentalist/Sanders supporter who might’ve prompted Seth Rich to leak the emails, especially after their business was one month earlier revealed for fraudulency. The best way to cover their tracks would be to make this seem like another right-wing conspiracy. His murder was deemed a robbery, but nothing was missing from his person.

    2007: Seth Rich works on Ben Nelson campaign for Senate as assistant field coordinator https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethrich1
    2004-2007: Jane Fleming is Executive Director for Young Democrats of America http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF17/20130919/101321/HHRG-113-IF17-Bio-KleebJ-20130919.pdf
    2006: Scott Kleeb is running for Nebraska’s 3rd Congr. Seat, beaten by Republicans due to GWBush visit in the district and robo-calls https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kleeb
    2007: Scott Kleeb marries Jane Fleming Kleeb https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kleeb
    2007: Scott is “grassroots” Candidate, should run against Nelson http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lane-hudson/draft-kleeb-in-nebraska-a_b_74236.html
    2008: Scott doesn’t run for Ben Nelson’s seat but takes Chuck Hagel’s vacated nomination https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kleeb
    2008: Seth Rich works for Scott Kleeb for Senate https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethrich1
    2008: Hillary Loses Bid For President
    2009: Scott Kleeb launches Energy Pioneer Solutions https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-kleeb-3335a625
    2010: Keystone Pipeline inspired Jane Kleeb (an environmentalist) to found Bold Nebraska in protest http://watchdog.org/99531/bold-nebraska-sees-keystone-xl-bogeyman-in-wrong-corner/ http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF17/20130919/101321/HHRG-113-IF17-Bio-KleebJ-20130919.pdf
    2010: Clinton Global Initiative gives innappropriate funds to Energy Pioneer Solutions at the behest of Bill Clinton Energy Pioneer Solutions is owned by Bill’s Friends http://nypost.com/2016/05/13/clinton-charity-arranged-2m-pledge-to-company-owned-by-bills-friend/
    McMahon, “Energizer” according to Secret Service for the Clintons, is 29% stakeholder. Kleebs, Weiner also stakeholders http://radaronline.com/celebrity-news/bill-clinton-mistress-energizer-julie-tauber-mcmahon-2-million-dollars-charity/ http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2016/05/13/quid-pro-quo-clinton-foundation-gave-money-to-forprofit-company-run-by-clinton-friends-n2162288
    What happened to Hillary’s Keystone Pipeline stances? Bold Nebraska got what it wanted, but what did Bill get from Scott?
    2014: Clintons push for Voter Expansion Project with DNC http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2014/02/27/283550311/clintons-provide-firepower-behind-dnc-voter-expansion-project
    2014: Seth Rich is hired onto Voter Expansion Project in Data Director Role and away from another job at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethrich1 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/22/the-dnc-knows-everything-about-you.html
    Greenberg Quinlan Rosner is the same firm which advised Bill Clinton for his presidency: https://www.campaignsandelections.com/campaign-insider/greenberg-quinlan-rosner-launches-in-canada
    May 2016: Energy Pioneer Solutions scandal is uncovered, people assume Bill’s just cheating again
    June 2016: Jane Kleeb is a Bernie Supporter, and big time. Beats a Hillary supporter for chair of Nebraska DNC, risking Hillary’s delegates http://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/jane-kleeb-elected-leader-of-state-democratic-party/article_95b44a9c-ea5b-58b9-ad7a-1feab2a7bf84.html
    July 2016: DNC emails obtained by someone with access and hatred towards Hillary-run DNC
    July 10: Seth Rich murdered
    July 14/15: DNC emails leak
    7/25/2016: Julian Assange hints at insider http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/25/julian-assange-any-dnc-staffer-could-have-been-the-leaker/
Seth Conrad Rich’s unsolved murder on a Washington D.C. street was very suspecious because he was a staffer and self-described data analyst for the Democratic National Committee and has access to the emails that were leaked.

WikiLeaks is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in Rich’s death (that’s in addition to a previous $25,000 reward being offered in the case).

Most recently, Rod Wheeler, a private investigator recanted claims he made to Fox 5 in Washington D.C. about Rich and WikiLeaks – claims that are disputed by Rich’s own family. Newsweek has now reported that the FBI is not investigating the Rich murder, and is quoting the private investigator as denying he has any firsthand knowledge of purported Rich/WikiLeaks contact. According to the New York Times, the Rich family is demanding retractions from Fox.

For more details see

The leak of NSA document by Reality Winner

Skip Intro , June 12, 2017 at 4:36 pm

The NSA document was very important. It basically proved, according to Scott Ritter, that the NSA had no real evidence of any Russian involvement, and relied on speculation from a single source: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, which recently had to retract a similar claim about Russian hacking of Ukrainian artillery. The real story behind 'Reality Winner' remains, I am sure, unknown. This might well be a ploy to undermine the anti-Russia hype, though the media cartel has trumpeted it uncritically for the short-term rush of goosing the Comey spectacle.

This makes the refusal of the DNC to let the FBI examine those servers even more suspect. OTOH, one can see the thought processes in the DNC: A breach was discovered. If we blame the Russians not only do we further the neo-con agenda, but we also get to call anyone who publishes or cites the material taken from the servers a Russian tool.

In fact, if they knew they had internal leakers, it would still be worth claiming to have been hacked by the Russians, so that internally leaked material could be 'poisoned' as part of a Russian plot. Talking points to this effect were ubiquitous and apparently well coordinated, turning virtually every MSM discussion of the content of the leaks into a screed about stolen documents and Russian hackers. It also put a nice fresh coat of paint on the target painted on Assange, turning the undiscerning left against a once valuable ally.

Comey testimony

Comey was asked again about this curious oversight on June 8 by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr:

BURR: "And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?"

COMEY: "In the case of the DNC, and, I believe, the DCCC, but I'm sure the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access."

BURR: "But no content?"

COMEY: "Correct."

BURR: "Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?"

COMEY: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."

Here is  Ray McGovern  analysis NBCs Kelly Hits Putin With a Beloved Canard
Jun 13, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

To prove their chops, mainstream media stars can't wait to go head-to-head with a demonized foreign leader, like Vladimir Putin, and let him have it, even if their "facts" are wrong, as Megyn Kelly showed

NBC's Megyn Kelly wielded one of Official Washington's most beloved groupthinks to smack Russian President Vladimir Putin over his denials that he and his government were responsible for hacking Democratic emails and interfering with the U.S. presidential election.

In her June 2 interview with Putin, Kelly noted that all "17 intelligence agencies" of the US government concurred in their conclusion of Russian guilt and how could Putin suggest that they all are "lying." It's an argument that has been used to silence skeptics for months and apparently is so useful that no one seems to care that it isn't true.

For instance, on May 8, in testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper conceded publicly that the number of intelligence agencies involved in the assessment was three, not 17, and that the analysts assigned to the project from CIA, FBI and NSA had been "handpicked."

On May 23, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper's account about the three agencies involved. "It wasn't a full interagency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies," Brennan acknowledged.

But those public admissions haven't stopped Democrats and the mainstream media from continuing to repeat the false claim. In comments on May 31, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton repeated the canard, with a flourish, saying: "Seventeen agencies, all in agreement, which I know from my experience as a Senator and Secretary of State, is hard to get."

A couple of days later, Kelly revived the myth of the consensus among the 17 intelligence agencies in her interview with the Russian president. But Putin passed up the opportunity to correct her, replying instead:

"They have been misled and they are not analyzing the information in its entirety. We have talked about it with former President Obama and with several other officials. No one ever showed me any direct evidence. When we spoke with President Obama about that, you know, you should probably better ask him about it – I think he will tell you that he, too, is confident of it. But when he and I talked I saw that he, too, started having doubts. At any rate, that's how I saw it."

As I noted in a Jan. 20 article about Obama's news conference two days earlier, "Did President Barack Obama acknowledge that the extraordinary propaganda campaign to blame Russia for helping Donald Trump become president has a very big hole in it, i.e., that the US intelligence community has no idea how the Democratic emails reached WikiLeaks? For weeks, eloquent obfuscation – expressed with 'high confidence' – has been the name of the game, but inadvertent admissions now are dispelling some of the clouds.

"At President Obama's Jan. 18 press conference, he admitted as much: 'the conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked .'" [Emphasis added]

Explaining the Technology

More importantly, Putin in his interview with Kelly points out that "today's technology" enables hacking to be "masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin" of the hack. "And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack. Modern technology is very sophisticated and subtle and allows this to be done. And when we realize that we will get rid of all the illusions. "

Later, when Kelly came back to the issue of hacking, Putin expanded on the difficulty in tracing the source of cyber attacks.

"Hackers may be anywhere," Putin said. "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? In the middle of an internal political fight, it was convenient for them, whatever the reason, to put out that information. And put it out they did. And, doing it, they made a reference to Russia. Can't you imagine it happening? I can.

"Let us recall the assassination of President Kennedy. There is a theory that Kennedy's assassination was arranged by the United States special services. If this theory is correct, and one cannot rule it out, so what can be easier in today's context, being able to rely on the entire technical capabilities available to special services than to organize some kind of attacks in the appropriate manner while making a reference to Russia in the process. "

Kelly: "Let's move on."

However carefully Megyn Kelly and her NBC colleagues peruse The New York Times, they might well not know WikiLeaks' disclosure on March 31 of original CIA documents showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs (like Cyrillic markings, for example).

The capabilities shown in what WikiLeaks calls the "Vault 7" trove of CIA documents required the creation of hundreds of millions of lines of source code. At $25 per line of code, that amounts to about $2.5 billion for each 100 million code lines. But the Deep State has that kind of money and would probably consider the expenditure a good return on investment for "proving" the Russians hacked into Democratic Party emails.

In other words, it is altogether possible that the hacking attributed to Russia was actually one of several "active measures" undertaken by a cabal consisting of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Clapper – the same agencies responsible for the lame, evidence-free report of Jan. 6, that Clapper and Brennan acknowledged last month was not the consensus view of the 17 intelligence agencies.

There is also the issue of the forensics. Former FBI Director James Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee's computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the examination done by the DNC's private contractor, Crowdstrike.

The firm itself has conflicts of interests in its links to the pro-NATO and anti-Russia think tank, the Atlantic Council, through Dmitri Alperovitch, who is an Atlantic Council senior fellow and the co-founder of Crowdstrike.

Strange Oversight

Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – now including a possible impeachment battle over removing the President of the United States – wouldn't it seem logical for the FBI to insist on its own forensics for this fundamental predicate of the case? Or could Comey's hesitancy to demand access to the DNC's computers be explained by a fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted?

Comey was asked again about this curious oversight on June 8 by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr:

BURR: "And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?"

COMEY: "In the case of the DNC, and, I believe, the DCCC, but I'm sure the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access."

BURR: "But no content?"

COMEY: "Correct."

BURR: "Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?"

COMEY: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."

Burr demurred on asking Comey to explain what amounts to gross misfeasance, if not worse. Perhaps, NBC could arrange for Megyn Kelly to interview Burr to ask if he has a clue as to what Putin might have been referring to when he noted, "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia."

Given the congressional intelligence "oversight" committees' obsequiousness and repeated "high esteem" for the "intelligence community," there seems an even chance that – no doubt because of an oversight – the CIA/FBI/NSA deep-stage troika failed to brief the Senate "oversight committee" chairman on WikiLeaks "Vault 7" disclosures – even when WikiLeaks publishes original CIA documents.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and now servers on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Reprinted with permission from Consortium News .

The mysterious role of CloudStike and Dmitry Alperovich

Credibility Of Cyber Firm That Claimed Russia Hacked The DNC Comes Under Serious Question Zero Hedge

Before I get to the meat of this post, we need to revisit a little history. The cyber security firm hired to inspect the DNC hack and determine who was responsible is a firm called Crowdstrike. Its conclusion that Russia was responsible was released last year, but several people began to call its analysis into question upon further inspection.

Jeffrey Carr was one of the most prominent cynics, and as he noted in his December post, FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report: A Fatally Flawed Effort :

The FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report (JAR) " Grizzly Steppe " was released yesterday as part of the White House's response to alleged Russian government interference in the 2016 election process. It adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC, the DCCC, the email accounts of Democratic party officials, or for delivering the content of those hacks to Wikileaks.

It merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercial cybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists.

If ESET could do it, so can others. It is both foolish and baseless to claim, as Crowdstrike does, that X-Agent is used solely by the Russian government when the source code is there for anyone to find and use at will.

If the White House had unclassified evidence that tied officials in the Russian government to the DNC attack, they would have presented it by now. The fact that they didn't means either that the evidence doesn't exist or that it is classified.

Nevertheless, countless people, including the entirety of the corporate media, put total faith in the analysis of Crowdstrike despite the fact that the FBI was denied access to perform its own analysis. Which makes me wonder, did the U.S. government do any real analysis of its own on the DNC hack, or did it just copy/paste Crowdstrike?

As The Hill reported in January:

The FBI requested direct access to the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) hacked computer servers but was denied, Director James Comey told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The bureau made "multiple requests at different levels," according to Comey, but ultimately struck an agreement with the DNC that a "highly respected private company" would get access and share what it found with investigators.

"We'd always prefer to have access hands-on ourselves if that's possible," Comey said, noting that he didn't know why the DNC rebuffed the FBI's request.

This is nuts. Are all U.S. government agencies simply listening to what Crowdstike said in coming to their "independent" conclusions that Russia hacked the DNC? If so, that's a huge problem. Particularly considering what Voice of America published yesterday in a piece titled, Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data :

An influential British think tank and Ukraine's military are disputing a report that the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election.

The CrowdStrike report, released in December , asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine's war with Russian-backed separatists.

But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report. Ukraine's Ministry of Defense also has claimed combat losses and hacking never happened.

The challenges to CrowdStrike's credibility are significant because the firm was the first to link last year's hacks of Democratic Party computers to Russian actors, and because CrowdStrike co-founder Dimiti Alperovitch has trumpeted its Ukraine report as more evidence of Russian election tampering.

How is this not the biggest story in America right now?

Yaroslav Sherstyuk, maker of the Ukrainian military app in question, called the company's report "delusional" in a Facebook post . CrowdStrike never contacted him before or after its report was published, he told VOA.

VOA first contacted IISS in February to verify the alleged artillery losses. Officials there initially were unaware of the CrowdStrike assertions. After investigating, they determined that CrowdStrike misinterpreted their data and hadn't reached out beforehand for comment or clarification.

In a statement to VOA, the institute flatly rejected the assertion of artillery combat losses.

"The CrowdStrike report uses our data, but the inferences and analysis drawn from that data belong solely to the report's authors," the IISS said. "The inference they make that reductions in Ukrainian D-30 artillery holdings between 2013 and 2016 were primarily the result of combat losses is not a conclusion that we have ever suggested ourselves, nor one we believe to be accurate."

In early January, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying artillery losses from the ongoing fighting with separatists are "several times smaller than the number reported by [CrowdStrike] and are not associated with the specified cause" of Russian hacking.

But Ukraine's denial did not get the same attention as CrowdStrike's report. Its release was widely covered by news media reports as further evidence of Russian hacking in the U.S. election.

In interviews, Alperovitch helped foster that impression by connecting the Ukraine and Democratic campaign hacks, which CrowdStrike said involved the same Russian-linked hacking group-Fancy Bear-and versions of X-Agent malware the group was known to use.

"The fact that they would be tracking and helping the Russian military kill Ukrainian army personnel in eastern Ukraine and also intervening in the U.S. election is quite chilling," Alperovitch said in a December 22 story by The Washington Post .

The same day, Alperovitch told the PBS NewsHour : "And when you think about, well, who would be interested in targeting Ukraine artillerymen in eastern Ukraine? Who has interest in hacking the Democratic Party? [The] Russia government comes to mind, but specifically, [it's the] Russian military that would have operational [control] over forces in the Ukraine and would target these artillerymen."

Alperovitch, a Russian expatriate and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council policy research center in Washington, co-founded CrowdStrike in 2011. The firm has employed two former FBI heavyweights: Shawn Henry, who oversaw global cyber investigations at the agency, and Steven Chabinsky, who was the agency's top cyber lawyer and served on a White House cybersecurity commission. Chabinsky left CrowdStrike last year.

CrowdStrike declined to answer VOA's written questions about the Ukraine report, and Alperovitch canceled a March 15 interview on the topic. In a December statement to VOA's Ukrainian Service, spokeswoman Ilina Dimitrova defended the company's conclusions.

In its report last June attributing the Democratic hacks, CrowdStrike said it was long familiar with the methods used by Fancy Bear and another group with ties to Russian intelligence nicknamed Cozy Bear. Soon after, U.S. cybersecurity firms Fidelis and Mandiant endorsed CrowdStrike's conclusions. The FBI and Homeland Security report reached the same conclusion about the two groups.

If the company's analysis was "delusional" when it came to Ukraine, why should we have any confidence that its analysis on Russia and the DNC is more sound?

Answer: We shouldn't.

 

 


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[Oct 14, 2018] James Comey And The Unending Bush Torture Scandal

Oct 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

James Comey And The Unending Bush Torture Scandal

by Tyler Durden Sun, 10/14/2018 - 21:40 13 SHARES Authored by James Bovard via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

The vast regime of torture created by the Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks continues to haunt America. The political class and most of the media have never dealt honestly with the profound constitutional corruption that such practices inflicted. Instead, torture enablers are permitted to pirouette as heroic figures on the flimsiest evidence.

Former FBI chief James Comey is the latest beneficiary of the media's "no fault" scoring on the torture scandal. In his media interviews for his new memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership , Comey is portraying himself as a Boy Scout who sought only to do good things. But his record is far more damning than most Americans realize.

Comey continues to use memos from his earlier government gigs to whitewash all of the abuses he sanctified. "Here I stand; I can do no other," Comey told George W. Bush in 2004 when Bush pressured Comey, who was then Deputy Attorney General, to approve an unlawful anti-terrorist policy. Comey was quoting a line supposedly uttered by Martin Luther in 1521, when he told Emperor Charles V and an assembly of Church officials that he would not recant his sweeping criticisms of the Catholic Church.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations did excellent reports prior to Comey's becoming FBI chief that laid out his role in the torture scandal. Such hard facts, however, have long since vanished from the media radar screen. MSNBC host Chris Matthews recently declared, "James Comey made his bones by standing up against torture. He was a made man before Trump came along." Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria, in a column declaring that Americans should be "deeply grateful" to lawyers such as Comey, declared, "The Bush administration wanted to claim that its 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were lawful. Comey believed they were not . So Comey pushed back as much as he could. "

Martin Luther risked death to fight against what he considered the scandalous religious practices of his time. Comey, a top Bush administration policymaker, found a safer way to oppose the worldwide secret U.S. torture regime widely considered a heresy against American values: he approved brutal practices and then wrote some memos and emails fretting about the optics.

Losing Sleep

Comey became deputy attorney general in late 2003 and "had oversight of the legal justification used to authorize" key Bush programs in the war on terror, as a Bloomberg News analysis noted. At that time, the Bush White House was pushing the Justice Department to again sign off on an array of extreme practices that had begun shortly after the 9/11 attacks. A 2002 Justice Department memo had leaked out that declared that the federal Anti-Torture Act "would be unconstitutional if it impermissibly encroached on the President's constitutional power to conduct a military campaign." The same Justice Department policy spurred a secret 2003 Pentagon document on interrogation policies that openly encouraged contempt for the law: "Sometimes the greater good for society will be accomplished by violating the literal language of the criminal law."

Photos had also leaked from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq showing the stacking of naked prisoners with bags over their heads, mock electrocution from a wire connected to a man's penis, guard dogs on the verge of ripping into naked men, and grinning U.S. male and female soldiers celebrating the sordid degradation. Legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh published extracts in the New Yorker from a March 2004 report by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba that catalogued other U.S. interrogation abuses: "Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee."

The Bush administration responded to the revelations with a torrent of falsehoods, complemented by attacks on the character of critics. Bush declared, "Let me make very clear the position of my government and our country . The values of this country are such that torture is not a part of our soul and our being." Bush had the audacity to run for reelection as the anti-torture candidate, boasting that "for decades, Saddam tormented and tortured the people of Iraq. Because we acted, Iraq is free and a sovereign nation." He was hammering this theme despite a confidential CIA Inspector General report warning that post–9/11 CIA interrogation methods might violate the international Convention Against Torture.

James Comey had the opportunity to condemn the outrageous practices and pledge that the Justice Department would cease providing the color of law to medieval-era abuses. Instead, Comey merely repudiated the controversial 2002 memo. Speaking to the media in a not-for-attribution session on June 22, 2004, he declared that the 2002 memo was "overbroad," "abstract academic theory," and "legally unnecessary." He helped oversee crafting a new memo with different legal footing to justify the same interrogation methods.

Comey twice gave explicit approval for waterboarding , which sought to break detainees with near-drowning. This practice had been recognized as a war crime by the U.S. government since the Spanish-American War. A practice that was notorious when inflicted by the Spanish Inquisition was adopted by the CIA with the Justice Department's blessing. (When Barack Obama nominated Comey to be FBI chief in 2013, he testified that he had belatedly recognized that waterboarding was actually torture.)

Comey wrote in his memoir that he was losing sleep over concern about Bush-administration torture polices. But losing sleep was not an option for detainees, because Comey approved sleep deprivation as an interrogation technique. Detainees could be forcibly kept awake for 180 hours until they confessed their crimes. How did that work? At Abu Ghraib, one FBI agent reported seeing a detainee "handcuffed to a railing with a nylon sack on his head and a shower curtain draped around him, being slapped by a soldier to keep him awake." Numerous FBI agents protested the extreme interrogation methods they saw at Guantanamo and elsewhere, but their warnings were ignored.

Comey also approved "wall slamming" -- which, as law professor David Cole wrote, meant that detainees could be thrown against a wall up to 30 times. Comey also signed off on the CIA's using "interrogation" methods such as facial slaps, locking detainees in small boxes for 18 hours, and forced nudity. When the secret Comey memo approving those methods finally became public in 2009, many Americans were aghast -- and relieved that the Obama administration had repudiated Bush policies.

When it came to opposing torture, Comey's version of "Here I stand" had more loopholes than a reverse-mortgage contract. Though Comey in 2005 approved each of 13 controversial extreme interrogation methods, he objected to combining multiple methods on one detainee.

The Torture Guy

In his memoir, Comey relates that his wife told him, "Don't be the torture guy!" Comey apparently feels that he satisfied her dictate by writing memos that opposed combining multiple extreme interrogation methods. And since the vast majority of the American media agree with him, he must be right.

Comey's cheerleaders seem uninterested in the damning evidence that has surfaced since his time as a torture enabler in the Bush administration. In 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee finally released a massive report on the CIA torture regime -- including death resulting from hypothermia, rape-like rectal feeding of detainees, compelling detainees to stand long periods on broken legs, and dozens of cases where innocent people were pointlessly brutalized. Psychologists aided the torture regime, offering hints on how to destroy the will and resistance of prisoners. From the start, the program was protected by phalanxes of lying federal officials.

When he first campaigned for president, Barack Obama pledged to vigorously investigate the Bush torture regime for criminal violations. Instead, the Obama administration proffered one excuse after another to suppress the vast majority of the evidence, pardon all U.S. government torturers, and throttle all torture-related lawsuits. The only CIA official to go to prison for the torture scandal was courageous whistleblower John Kiriakou. Kiriakou's fate illustrates that telling the truth is treated as the most unforgivable atrocity in Washington.

If Comey had resigned in 2004 or 2005 to protest the torture techniques he now claims to abhor, he would deserve some of the praise he is now receiving. Instead, he remained in the Bush administration but wrote an email summarizing his objections, declaring that "it was my job to protect the department and the A.G. [Attorney General] and that I could not agree to this because it was wrong." A 2009 New York Times analysis noted that Comey and two colleagues "have largely escaped criticism [for approving torture] because they raised questions about interrogation and the law." In Washington, writing emails is "close enough for government work" to confer sainthood.

When Comey finally exited the Justice Department in August 2005 to become a lavishly paid senior vice president for Lockheed Martin, he proclaimed in a farewell speech that protecting the Justice Department's "reservoir" of "trust and credibility" requires "vigilance" and "an unerring commitment to truth." But he had perpetuated policies that shattered the moral credibility of both the Justice Department and the U.S. government. He failed to heed Martin Luther's admonition, "You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say."

Comey is likely to go to his grave without paying any price for his role in perpetuating appalling U.S. government abuses. It is far more important to recognize the profound danger that torture and the exoneration of torturers pose to the United States. "No free government can survive that is not based on the supremacy of the law," is one of the mottoes chiseled into the façade of Justice Department headquarters. Unfortunately, politicians nowadays can choose which laws they obey and which laws they trample. And Americans are supposed to presume that we still have the rule of law as long as politicians and bureaucrats deny their crimes. Tags


Keyser , 22 minutes ago link

Comey was the hand-picked schlub that was placed in a position of power to be a firewall... Nothing more and he has been rewarded handsomely for playing this role... One can only hope that one day he becomes a liability to his handlers and that there is a pack of hungry, wild dogs that will rips him apart... Hopefully on PPV...

Mr Hankey , 10 minutes ago link

He is no shlub.

High ranking officer in the Clinton/Bush global crime cartel.

Banker,mic lawyer ,spy,secret police.

Like Stalin's Beria

Chupacabra-322 , 24 minutes ago link

Once the Torture was Irrefutable & Fact.

The Absolute, Complete, Open, in our Faces Tyrannical Lawlessness began.

Unabated. Like a malignant Cancer.

Growing to Gargantuan proportions.

Irrefutable proof of the absolute, complete, open Lawlessness by the Criminal Fraud UNITED STATES, CORP. INC., its CEO & Board of Directors.

1. Torture .
2. WMD lie to the American People.
3. Lying the American People into War.
4. Illegal Wars of Aggression.
5. Arming, funding & training of terror organizations by the State Dept. / CIA & members of CONgress.
6. BENGAZI
7. McCain meets with ISIS (Pics available).
8. Clapper lies to CONgress.
9. Brennan lies to CONgress & taps Congressional phones / computers.
10. Lynch meets Clinton on tarmac.
11. Fast & Furious deals with the Sinaloa Cartel.
12. Holder in Contempt of CONgress.
13. CIA drug / gun running / money laundering through the tax payer bailed out TBTFB.
14. Illegal NSA Spying on the American People.
15. DNC Federal Election Crime / Debbie Wasserman Shultz.
16. Hillary Clinton email Treason.
17. Clinton Foundation pay to play RICO.
18. Anthony Weiner 650,000 #PizzaGate Pedo Crimes.
19. Secret Iran deal.
20. Lynch takes the Fifth when asked about Iran deal
21. FBI murders LaVoy Finicum

At the current moment we're completely Lawless.

We have been for quite some time. In the past, their Criminality was "Hidden in plain view."

Now it's out in the open, in your face Criminality & Lawlessness. Complete debachary.

Thing is, the bar & precedent has been set so high among these Criminals I doubt we will ever see another person arrested in our lifetime.

dirty fingernails , 13 minutes ago link

It isn't true lawlessness, its 2-tier law like in a feudal society. The upper crust have no laws binding them and we serfs have many laws to bind us.

currency , 26 minutes ago link

Comey thinks he is above the law. He and his associates feel they are not bound by the rules and laws of the US, they are the ELITE. Comey should go to JAIL, HARD CORE not Country Club, along with his associates, Yates, Rosenstein, Brennan, McCabe, Stzrock, Paige and etc. Lock him up

[Oct 13, 2018] To paraphrase Stalin: They are both worse.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... literally putting thousands upon thousands of children in concentration camps ..."
Oct 13, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

nikbez 10.07.18 at 3:22 am ( 10 )

ph 10.07.18 at 1:20 am (5)

Changing the rules, talks of changing the constitution, and the status of the SC because Dems can't find a positive message, or a positive candidate, or persuade the candidate to recognize and reach out to voters the Democratic party abandoned, reeks of defeatism and worse.

Exactly.

Clinton neoliberals (aka soft neoliberals) still control the Democratic Party but no longer can attract working-class voters. That's why they try "identity wedge" strategy trying to compensate their loss with the rag tag minority groups.

Their imperial jingoism only makes the situation worse. Large swaths of the USA population, including lower middle class are tired of foreign wars and sliding standard of living. They see exorbitant military expenses as one of the causes of their troubles.

That's why Hillary got a middle finger from several social groups which previously supported Democrats. And that's why midterm might be interesting to watch as there is no political party that represents working class and lower middle class in the USA.

"Lesser evil" mantra stops working when people are really angry at the ruling neoliberal elite.

As Slavoj Žižek aptly said " To paraphrase Stalin: They are both worse." ( http://inthesetimes.com/features/zizek_clinton_trump_lesser_evil.html _


bob mcmanus 10.07.18 at 2:27 pm ( 25 ) ( 25 )

control of the Senate, a relentlessly undemocratic institution
likbez 10.08.18 at 6:24 am (no link)
I think the US society is entering a deep, sustained political crisis and it is unclear what can bring us back from it other then the collapse, USSR-style. The USA slide into corporate socialism (which might be viewed as a flavor of neofascism) can't be disputed.

Looks like all democracies are unstable and prone to self-destruction. In modern America, the elite do not care about lower 80% of the population, and is over-engaged in cynical identity politics, race and gender-mongering. Anything to win votes.

MSM is still cheering on military misadventures that kill thousands of Americans, impoverish millions, and cost trillions. Congress looks even worse. Republican House leader Paul Ryan looks like 100% pure bought-and-paid-for tool of multinational corporations

The scary thing for me is that the USA national problems are somewhat similar to the ones that the USSR experienced before the collapse. At least the level of degeneration of political elite of both parties (which in reality is a single party) is.

The only positive things is that there is viable alternative to neoliberalism on the horizon. But that does not mean that we can't experience 1930th on a new level again. Now several European countries such as Poland and Ukraine are already ruled by far right nationalist parties. Brazil is probably the next. So this or military rule in the USA is not out of question.

Ship of Fools is what the US empire and the US society looks like now. And that's not funny. Look at "Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution" by Tucker Carlson hits the mark when he says that the career politicians and other elites in this country have put the USA on a path of self-destruction.

Some other factors are also in play: one is that a country with 320 million population can't be governed by the same methods as a country of 76 million (1900). End of cheap oil is near and probably will occur within the next 50 years or so. Which means the end of neoliberalism as we know it.

Tucker states that the USA's neoliberal elite acquired control of a massive chunk of the country's wealth. And then successfully insulated themselves from the hoi polloi. They send their children to the Ivy League universities, live in enclosed compounds with security guards, travel in helicopters, etc. Kind of like French aristocracy on a new level ("Let them eat cakes"). "There's nothing more infuriating to a ruling class than contrary opinions. They're inconvenient and annoying. They're evidence of an ungrateful population Above all, they constitute a threat to your authority." (insert sarcasm)

Donald Trump was in many ways an unappealing figure. He never hid that. Voters knew it. They just concluded that the options were worse -- and not just Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, but the Bush family and their donors and the entire Republican leadership, along with the hedge fund managers and media luminaries and corporate executives and Hollywood tastemakers and think tank geniuses and everyone else who created the world as it was in the fall of 2016: the people in charge. Trump might be vulgar and ignorant, but he wasn't responsible for the many disasters America's leaders created .

There was also the possibility that Trump might listen. At times he seemed interested in what voters thought. The people in charge demonstrably weren't. Virtually none of their core beliefs had majority support from the population they governed .Beginning on election night, they explained away their loss with theories as pat and implausible as a summer action movie: Trump won because fake news tricked simple minded voters. Trump won because Russian agents "hacked" the election. Trump won because mouth-breathers in the provinces were mesmerized by his gold jet and shiny cuff links.

From a reader review:

The New Elite speaks: "The Middle Class are losers and they have made bad choices, they haven't worked as hard as the New Elite have, they haven't gone to SAT Prep or LSAT prep so they lose, we win. We are the Elite and we know better than you because we got high SAT scores.

Do we have experience? Uh .well no, few of us have been in the military, pulled KP, shot an M-16 . because we are better than that. Like they say only the losers go in the military. We in the New Elite have little empirical knowledge but we can recognize patterns very quickly."

Just look at Haley behavior in the UN and Trump trade wars and many things became more clear. the bet is on destruction of existing international institutions in order to save the USA elite. A the same time Trump trade wars threaten the neoliberal order so this might well be a path to the USA self-destruction.

On Capital hill rancor, a lack of civility and derisive descriptions are everywhere. Respect has gone out the window. Left and right wings of a single neoliberal party (much like CPSU was in the USSR) behave like drunk schoolchildren. Level of pettiness is simply amazing.

Adam Roberts 10.08.18 at 8:14 am ( 39 )
The fundamental rule of democratic electoral politics is this: tribes don't win elections, coalitions do. Trump's appeal is strongly tribal, and he has spent two years consolidating his appeal to that tribe rather than reaching out. But he won in 2016 (or 'won') not on the strength of that tribal appeal, but because of a coalition between core Trumpists and more respectable conservatives and evangelicals, including a lot of people who find Trump himself vulgar and repellent, but who are prepared to hold their noses. The cause célèbre (or cause de l'infâme) that Kavanaugh's appointment became ended-up uniting these two groups; the Trumpists on the one hand ('so the Libs are saying we can't even enjoy a beer now, are they?') and the old-school religious Conservatives, for whom abortion is a matter of conscience.

Given the weird topographies of US democratic process, the Democrats need to build a bigger counter-coalition than the coalition they are opposing. Metropolitan liberals are in the bag, so that means reconnecting with the working class, and galvanising the black and youth votes, which have a poor record of converting social media anger into actual ballot-box votes. But it also means reaching out to moderate religious conservatives, and the Dems don't seem to me to have a strategy for this last approach at all. Which is odd, because it would surely, at least in some ways, be easier than persuading young people to vote at the levels old people vote. At the moment abortion (the elephant in the Kavanaugh-confirmation room) is handled by the Left as a simple matter of structural misogyny, the desire to oppress and control female bodies. I see why it is treated that way; there are good reasons for that critique. But it's electorally dumb. Come at it another way instead, accept that many religious people oppose abortion because they see it as killing children; then lead the campaign on the fact that the GOP is literally putting thousands upon thousands of children in concentration camps . Shout about that fact. Determine how many kids literally die each year because their parents can't access free healthcare and put that stat front and centre. Confront enough voters with the false consciousness of only caring about abortion and not these other monstrosities and some will reconsider their position.

And one more thing that I have never understood about the Dems (speaking as an outsider), given how large a political force Christianity is in your country: make more of Jimmy Carter. He's a man of extraordinary conscience as well as a man of faith; the contrast with how he has lived his post-Presidential life and the present occupier of the White House could hardly, from a Christian perspective, be greater. If the Dems can make a love-thy-neighbour social justice Christianity part of their brand, leaving Mammon to the GOP, then they'd be in power for a generation.

[Oct 12, 2018] CIA Democrats on the upswing

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star October 5, 2018 at 12:41 pm

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/03/ciad-o03.html

Murican leaders:

"Jessica Morse, a former State Department and AID official in Iraq, running in the Fourth District of California, blasts the Trump administration for "giving away global leadership to powers like China and Russia. Our security and our economy will both suffer if those countries are left to re-write the international rules."

Former FBI agent Christopher Hunter, running in the 12th District of Florida, declares, "Russia is a clear and present danger to the United States. We emerged victorious over the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We must resolve anew to secure an uncompromising victory over Russia and its tyrannical regime."

Elissa Slotkin, the former CIA agent and Pentagon official running in Michigan's Eighth Congressional District, cites her 14 years of experience "working on some of our country's most critical national security matters, including U.S.-Russia relations, the counter-ISIS campaign, and the U.S. relationship with NATO." She argues that "the United States must make investments in its military, intelligence, and diplomatic power" in order to maintain "a unique and vital role in the world."

Max Rose, a combat commander in Afghanistan now running in New York's 11th Congressional District (Staten Island and Brooklyn), calls for "recognizing Russia as a hostile foreign power and holding the Kremlin accountable for its attempts to undermine the sovereignty and democratic values of other nations." Rose is still in the military reserves, and took two weeks off from his campaign in August to participate in small-unit drills.

Joseph Kopser, running in the 21st District of Texas, is another anti-Russian firebrand, writing on his website, "As a retired Army Ranger, I know first hand the importance of standing strong with your allies. Given Russia's march toward a totalitarian state showing aggression around the region, as well as their extensive cyber and information warfare campaign directed at the U.S., England, and others, our Article 5 [NATO] commitment to our European allies and partners is more important than ever." He concludes, "Since the mid-twentieth century, the United States has been a principal world leader -- a standard that should never be changed."

Four national-security candidates add North Korea and Iran to China and Russia as specific targets of American military and diplomatic attack.

Josh Welle, a former naval officer who was deployed to Afghanistan, now running in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey, writes, "We have to stand together in the face of threats from countries like North Korea and Iran. The human rights violations and nuclear capabilities of these countries pose a direct threat to the stability of this world and therefore need to be met with strong military presence and a robust defense program to protect ourselves."

Tom Malinowski, former assistant secretary of state for human rights, running in New Jersey's Seventh District, calls for maintaining economic sanctions on Russia "until it stops its aggression in Ukraine and interference in our democracy," effusively endorses the state of Israel (whose government actually interferes in US elections more than any other), and calls for stepped up sanctions against North Korea.

Mikie Sherill, a former Navy pilot and Russian policy officer, running in New Jersey's 11th District, writes, "I have sat across the table from the Russians, and know that we need our government to take the threat they pose seriously." She adds to this a warning about "threats posed by North Korea and Iran," the two most immediate targets of military-diplomatic blackmail by the Trump administration. She concludes, referring to North Korea's nuclear program, "For that reason I support a robust military presence in the region and a comprehensive missile defense program to defend America, our allies, and our troops abroad."

Dan McCready, an Iraq war unit commander who claims to have been born again when he was baptized in water from the Euphrates River, calls for war to be waged only "with overwhelming firepower," not "sporadically, with no strategy or end in sight, while our enemies like Iran, North Korea, Russia, and the terrorists outsmart and outlast us." He is running in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District, adjacent to the huge military complex at Fort Bragg.

One military-intelligence candidate cites immigration as a national-security issue, echoing the position of the Trump administration, which constantly peddles scare stories that terrorists are infiltrating the United States disguised as immigrants and refugees. That is Richard Ojeda, running in the Third Congressional District of West Virginia, who publicly boasts of having voted for Trump in 2016, in the same election in which he won a seat in the West Virginia state senate running as a Democrat.

Ojeda writes on his web site, "We must also ensure that terrorists do not reach American soil by abusing our immigration process. We must keep an up to date terror watch list but provide better vetting for those that go onto the watch list."

A career Army Airborne officer, Ojeda voices the full-blown militarism of this social layer. "If there is one thing I am confident in, it is the ability of our nation's military," he declares. "The best way to keep Americans safe is to let our military do their job without muddying up their responsibilities with our political agendas."

He openly rejects control of the military by civilian policy-makers. "War is not a social experiment and I refuse to let politics play a role in my decision making when it comes to keeping you and your family safe," he continues. "I will not take my marching orders from anyone else concerning national security."

Only one of the 30 candidates, Ken Harbaugh, a retired Air Force pilot running in the Seventh Congressional District of Ohio, centered on the industrial city of Canton, acknowledges being part of this larger group. He notes, "In 2018, more vets are running for office than at any moment in my lifetime. Because of the growing inability of Washington to deal responsibly with the threats facing our nation, veterans from both sides of the aisle are stepping into the breach."

Referring to the mounting prospect of war, he writes, "Today, we face our gravest geopolitical challenge since 9/11. Our country remains at war in Afghanistan, we have troops engaged in North Africa, Iraq and Syria, and Russia continues to bully our allies. Meanwhile, North Korea has the ability to directly threaten the American mainland with nuclear missiles." He concludes, "we need leaders with the moral authority to speak on these issues, leaders who have themselves been on the front lines of these challenges."

These statements, taken cumulatively, present a picture of unbridled militarism and aggression as the program of the supposed "opposition" to the Trump administration's own saber-rattling and threats of "fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Perhaps even more remarkable is that the remaining 17 national-security candidates say nothing at all about foreign policy (in 11 cases) or limit themselves to anodyne observations about the necessity to provide adequate health care and other benefits to veterans (two cases), or vague generalities about the need to combine a strong military with diplomatic efforts (four cases). They give no specifics whatsoever.

In other words, while these candidates tout their own records as part of the national-security apparatus as their principal credential for election to Congress, they decline to tell the voters what they would do if they were in charge of American foreign policy.

Given that these 17 include intelligence agents (Abigail Spanberger and Gina Ortiz Jones), a National Security Council Iraq war planner (Andy Kim), and numerous other high-level State Department and military commanders, the silence can have only the most ominous interpretation.

These CIA Democrats don't want to tell voters about their plans for foreign policy and military intervention because they know these measures are deeply unpopular. They aim to gain office as stealth candidates, unveiling their program of militarism and war only after they take their seats, when they may very well exercise decisive influence in the next Congress."

[Oct 12, 2018] I don't see the republicans being the Nazis. Republican base has values closer in line with paleocons and not the neocons. The values of the Democraps are pure imperialist, exceptionalist and totalitarian in the name of PC

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

kirill October 5, 2018 at 10:54 am

I don't see the republicans being the Nazis. The US war party is composed of both Democraps and Rethuglicans. The Republican base has values closer in line with paleocons and not the neocons.

The values of the Democraps are pure imperialist, exceptionalist and totalitarian in the name of PC. Obummer was neocon tool like W. Bush.

Thus it is the Democraps that are the proper heirs of the Nazis and their 4th Reich global domination project. Paleocons are isolationist nationalists that actually believe in the constitutional values that the USA claims to espouse. The Democraps are all about lust for power and dirty tricks to enable the seizing of power.

Obummer weaponized the FBI and CIA into partisan instruments giving us the Russia meddling inquisition. Truman was a foaming at the mouth racist cold warrior.

Eisenhower at least warned about the creeping influence of the MIC. Clinton was a slimeball that continued the Reich agenda in the Balkans. And so on.

[Oct 10, 2018] Casualty Lists From the Kavanaugh Battle by Pat Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... Why should a robed, unelected politician be redefining marriage? ..."
"... Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and is no different than either professional football or wrestling. The public cheer on their teams and engage in meaningless battle while the controllers pilfer everything of value. ..."
"... Peter Hitchens has remarked that demonstrations are actually indicators of weakness rather than power or authority (something that seems to have eluded Flake and Murkowski), however shrill and enraged that they may be. ..."
"... I'm an aging New Deal Democrat. I have not changed but my former party changed with the tenure of the immoral and ethically challenged rapist, Bill Clinton and his enabler wife. In their previous lives, both were Goldwater Republicans. They switched to the Democrat Party to win elections but they never strayed too far from teats of the the Bushes and their destructive political roots. I"m willing to bet thousands of dollars that if given a fair chance at a quiz about the Clintons, most of the young SJW's, rabid homo's and the poor suckers who follow them know very little about the real Clintons. ..."
"... The Democrat party today is less a party than it is a mob of homosexuals and rabid social justice warriors duped into believing they are oppressed by the extremist college courses in Social Justice. Yet, what they have offer the world is not justice. They offer chaos and anarchy as we saw with the mob of racists black and stupid white kids attacking a man who looked lost and confused, and as it turns out, rightfully frightened by the crowd of social justice terrorists from the Alt-Left. ..."
"... The Democrat Party is gonzo, the same as Hillary and Bill Clinton's speaking tour is destined to be. ..."
Oct 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

Ludwig Watzal , says: Website October 9, 2018 at 7:27 am GMT

Mr. Buchanan, you forgot the "treacherous" work of porn lawyer Michael Avenatti who offered the straw that broke the camel's back by presenting such an abysmal "witness" such as Julie Swetnick. Ms. Ramirez' alleged allegations also came down to nothing. Even the so-called Me too movement suffered a big blow. They turned a fundamental democratic principle upside down: The accused is innocent until proven guilty. They insisted instead that the accuser is right because she is a woman!

I watched the whole confirmation circus on CNN. When Dr. Ford started talking my first thought was; this entire testimony is a charade initiated by the Dems. As a journalist, I was appalled by the CNN "colleagues." During the recesses, they held tribunals that were 95 percent staffed by anti-Trumpets. Fairness looks different.

For me, the Democratic Party and the Me too movement lost much of its credibility. To regain it, they have to get rid of the demons of the Clinton's and their ilk. Anyone who is acquainted with the history of the Clinton's knows that they belong to the most politically corrupt politicians in the US.

Realist , says: October 9, 2018 at 10:21 am GMT

So where are we going now?

This country is on a shit slide to hell. No turning back ..to many god damn idiots in this country.

What people in this country better understand is Trump is part of the Deep State and he means harm to all non elites.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: October 9, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT
@utu You're thinking of Justice Kennedy, another Republican choice for whom young Mr. Kavanaugh clerked before helping President Cheney with the Patriot Act to earn his first robe on the Swampville Circuit. Chief Justice Roberts was the one who nailed down Big Sickness for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

Like the "federal" elections held every November in even-numbered years and the 5-4 decrees of the Court, these nailbiting confirmation hearings are another part of the show that keeps people gulled into accepting that so many things in life are to be run by people in Washington. Mr. Buchanan for years has been proclaiming each The Most Important Ever.

I'm still inclined to the notion that the Constitution was intended, at least by some of its authors and supporters, to create a limited national government. But even by the time of Marbury, those entrusted with the powers have arrogated the authority to redefine them. In my lifetime, the Court exists to deal with hot potato social issues in lieu of the invertebrate Congress, to forebear (along with the invertebrate Congress) the warmongering and other "foreign policy" waged under auspices of the President, and to dignify the Establishment's shepherding and fleecing of the people.

Why should a robed, unelected politician be redefining marriage? Entrusted to enforce the Constitutional limitations on the others? Sure, questions like these are posed from time to time in a dissenting Justice's opinion, but that ends the discussion other than in the context of replacing old Justice X with middle-aged Justice Y, as exemplified in this cliche' column from Mr. Buchanan. Those of us outside the Beltway are told to tune in and root Red. And there are pom pom shakers and color commentators just like him for Team Blue.

Puppet show.

Jon Baptist , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:38 pm GMT
Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and is no different than either professional football or wrestling. The public cheer on their teams and engage in meaningless battle while the controllers pilfer everything of value. Buchanan knows this but is too afraid to tell "the other half of the story."
36 ulster , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm GMT
@verylongaccountname

It was a costly victory, but not a Pyrrhic one. The Left will no doubt raise the decibel and octave levels, but if they incur a richly-deserved defeat a month from now, they won't even make it to the peanut gallery for at least the next two years.

Peter Hitchens has remarked that demonstrations are actually indicators of weakness rather than power or authority (something that seems to have eluded Flake and Murkowski), however shrill and enraged that they may be. Should the Left choose to up the ante, to REALLY take it to the streets well as the English ditty goes: We have the Maxim Gun/And they have not.

prefer anon , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:13 pm GMT
Pat, you are one of the few thinkers with real common sense.

I'm an aging New Deal Democrat. I have not changed but my former party changed with the tenure of the immoral and ethically challenged rapist, Bill Clinton and his enabler wife. In their previous lives, both were Goldwater Republicans. They switched to the Democrat Party to win elections but they never strayed too far from teats of the the Bushes and their destructive political roots. I"m willing to bet thousands of dollars that if given a fair chance at a quiz about the Clintons, most of the young SJW's, rabid homo's and the poor suckers who follow them know very little about the real Clintons.

The Democrat party today is less a party than it is a mob of homosexuals and rabid social justice warriors duped into believing they are oppressed by the extremist college courses in Social Justice. Yet, what they have offer the world is not justice. They offer chaos and anarchy as we saw with the mob of racists black and stupid white kids attacking a man who looked lost and confused, and as it turns out, rightfully frightened by the crowd of social justice terrorists from the Alt-Left.

They all slept through the Obama disaster thinking the globalist open borders would make the world Shang Ri La instead of crime ridden, diseased, and under attack from Muslims and their twisted ides about God and Sharia Law. Look at the Imam who proclaimed yesterday they Sharia is the law of Britain and that Muslims are at war with the British government. Yet, Tommy Robinson gets jailed for pointing out their sated intentions. Messed up. We cannot let this happen in America.

They ignore the fact that the emasculated Obama failed to fight to pick a Supreme Court Justice. Even though he was going to choose Neil Gorsuch, not a leftist, the Alt-Left no doubt would have remained silent if he had. Why? Because Obama was black. But the Alt-Left is shallow and they could not see that the oreo president was black on the outside but rich and creamy white on the inside. No doubt, Obama was more like a 1980′s Republican than he was a Democrat as I understood them to be for decades.

The Democrat Party is gonzo, the same as Hillary and Bill Clinton's speaking tour is destined to be.


Si1ver1ock , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:17 pm GMT

@prefer anon I agree. These parties get hijacked by the worst sort. The Neocons are still riding high in the Republican party.
SolontoCroesus , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:44 pm GMT
@Tiny Duck

You wanted a fight? You are going to get one and just like the Nazis and confederates we will thrash you

Hold up a sec, pal.

Your lot has painted a target on Russia, claiming Russians collusioned with Trump. Right?

But it was Russians who "thrashed" the Nazis.

Goes without saying you hate the Nazis and extend that epithet to include Germans. Right?

But German mercenaries provided a great deal of the fighting force that "thrashed" the confederates.

Looks like you've made enemies of most of the fighting force you are counting on to thrash the GOP, pal.

Ooops.

Svigor , says: October 9, 2018 at 3:22 pm GMT
@Ludwig Watzal Vis-a-vis #PayAttentionToMeToo, it really was a win-win. Rightists successfully defended the firewall and kept it contained to the left. Perfect. As far as leftists are concerned, it's still perfectly legitimate – the leftist circular firing squads will continue.
Realist , says: October 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Jon Baptist

Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and is no different than either professional football or wrestling.

Well I get it and have been saying so. Trump knows damn well that the people he has surrounded himself with are Deep Staters Trump is a part of the Deep State. Trump has done nothing of significance for the 99%. Trump hasn't prosecuted anyone for criminal activity 'against' his campaign or administration. Trump hasn't built a wall (he won't either). Instead of reducing conflict and war Trump has been belligerent in his actions toward Russia, China, Syria and Iran .risking all out war. All these things are being done to increase the wealth and power of the Deep State. For the past ten years Republican House members have been promising investigations and prosecutions of Democrats for criminal activities .not one god damn thing changed. Kabuki theater is the name of the game. With such inane bullshit as Dancing With The Stars on TV and the fake Republicans v Democrats game, it is all meant to keep the proles from knowing how they are being screwed .a rather easy task at that.

prefer anon , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:10 pm GMT
@Si1ver1ock @S1ver1ock

They are in the Democrat party too. In fact, their only allegiance is to Israel. The

Neocons are anti-USA – same as the communists in antifa and the mobs of idiots in the Damnedcrat party.

Richard Wicks , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:21 pm GMT
@utu Same sex marriage is basically irrelevant. Less than 10% of homosexuals co-habitate with a partner. Perhaps 10% of the general population is openly homosexual (and that's definitely an over-estimation.).

This means that if all homosexuals that cohabitate with a partner are married, it's less than 1% of the population we're talking about.

This is a "who really cares?" situation. There's more important things to worry about when the nation has been at war for 16 years straight, started over a bunch of lies starting with George W. Bush and continuing with Barak Obama. We have lost the moral high ground because of those two, identical in any important way, scumbags.

Richard Wicks , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT
@Tiny Duck

Democrats are enraged and have seen the GOP for the white supremacist evil institution that it is

This from a group of people that have been endlessly complaining that the Butcher of Libya, who voted for the Authorization to Use Force in Iraq (what you know as the 2nd Iraq War) wasn't elected president just because she was running a fraudulent charity, was storing classified information on an unsecured and compromised server illegally, and is telling you absolutely morally bankrupt and unprincipled individuals that you have the moral high ground because she's a woman after all, not just another war criminal like George W. Bush is, and Obama is.

Caligula's horse would have beaten Hillary Clinton, if the voter base had any sense. Clinton was the worst possible candidate ever. Anybody, and I mean anybody, that voted for the Iraq War should be in prison, not in government. They are all traitors.

Hyperion , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:45 pm GMT
@Realist Agree Big money interets have broguht us Trump not only for the tax cuts but to destroy America's hemegomony. to start the final leg of the shift from west to east. A traitor of the highest order Pat Buchanan has led the grievence brigade of angry white men for decades distracted and deluded over the social issues meanwhile the Everyman/woman has lost ground economically or stayed static no improvement.
SamAdams , says: October 10, 2018 at 2:20 am GMT
@Jon Baptist You can just about guarantee that the losers in the false 'Right' versus 'Left' circus will be We The People.

Big Government/Big Insider Corporations/Big Banks feed parasitically off the population. The role of the lawyers wearing black dresses on the SC, is to help hide the theft. They use legal mumbo jumbo. The economists at the Fed use economics & mathematical mumbo jumbo.

Much of current Western society is made up of bullsh*t.

[Oct 08, 2018] CIA Democrats call for aggression against Russia, run pro-war campaigns in 2018 congressional races by Patrick Martin

In other words CIA Democrats actually are running on classic Republican foreign policy platform with some neo-McCarthyism flavor added for appetite. . Such a convergence of two parities.
Notable quotes:
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Oct 03, 2018 | southfront.org

The Democratic Party is widely favored to win control of the House of Representatives in the US midterm elections November 6, with projections that it will gain 30 to 50 seats, or even more, well above the net gain of 23 required for a majority.

The last time the Democratic Party won control of the House from the Republicans was in 2006, when it captured 30 Republican seats on the basis of a limited appeal to the massive antiwar sentiment among working people after three years of disastrous and bloody warfare in Iraq, and five years after the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

In stark contrast, there is not a hint of an antiwar campaign by the Democratic challengers seeking Republican seats in the 2018 elections. On the contrary, the pronouncements of leading Democrats on foreign policy issues have been strongly pro-war, attacking the Trump administration from the right for its alleged softness on Russia and its hostility to traditional US-led alliances like NATO.

This is particularly true of the 30 Democratic congressional nominees in competitive races who come from a national-security background. These challengers, previously identified by the World Socialist Web Site as the CIA Democrats , constitute the largest single grouping among Democratic nominees in competitive seats, more than state and local officials, lawyers or those wealthy enough to finance their own campaigns.

The 30 national-security candidates include six actual CIA, FBI or military intelligence agents, six State Department or other civilian national security officials, 11 combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, all but one an officer, and seven other military veterans, including pilots, naval officers and military prosecutors (JAGs).

The range of views expressed by these 30 candidates is quite limited. With only one exception, Jared Golden , running in the First District of Maine, the military-intelligence Democrats do not draw any negative conclusions from their experience in leading, planning or fighting in the wars of the past 25 years, including two wars against Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan, and other military engagements in the Persian Gulf and North and East Africa.

Golden, who is also the only rank-and-file combat veteran -- as opposed to an officer -- and the only one who admits to having suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, criticizes congressional rubber-stamping of the wars of the past 20 years. "Over the past decade and a half, America has spent trillions on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and on other conflicts across the globe," his campaign website declares. "War should be a last resort, and only undertaken when the security interests of America are clearly present, and the risks and costs can be appropriately justified to the American people."

These sentiments hardly qualify as antiwar, but they sound positively radical compared to the materials posted on the websites of many of the other military-intelligence candidates. In some ways, Golden is the exception that proves the rule. What used to be the standard rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates when running against the administration of George W. Bush has been entirely scrapped in the course of the Obama administration, the first in American history to have been engaged in a major military conflict for every day of its eight years.

All the other national-security candidates accept as a basic premise that the United States must maintain its dominant world position. The most detailed foreign policy doctrine appears on the website of Amy McGrath , who is now favored to win her contest against incumbent Republican incumbent Andy Barr in the Sixth Congressional District of Kentucky.

McGrath follows closely the line of the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, supporting the Iran nuclear deal that Trump tore up, embracing Israel, warning of North Korea's development of nuclear weapons, and declaring it "critical that the US work with our allies and partners in the region to counter China's advances" in the South China Sea and elsewhere in Asia.

But Russia is clearly the main target of US national-security efforts, in her view. She writes, "Our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has testified that Russia is the greatest threat to American security. Russia poses an existential threat to the United States due to its nuclear weapons and its behavior in the past several years has been disturbing. Russia's aggression in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria has been alarming. It's becoming more assertive in the Arctic, likely the most important geostrategic zone of competition in the coming decades. The US should consider providing defensive arms to Ukraine and exerting more pressure on Moscow using economic sanctions."

She concludes by calling for an investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Five other national-security candidates focus on specific warnings about the danger of Russia and China, thus aligning themselves with the new national security orientation set in the most recent Pentagon strategy document, which declares that the principal US national security challenge is no longer the "war on terror," but the prospect of great power conflicts, above all with Russia and China.

Jessica Morse , a former State Department and AID official in Iraq, running in the Fourth District of California, blasts the Trump administration for "giving away global leadership to powers like China and Russia. Our security and our economy will both suffer if those countries are left to re-write the international rules."

Former FBI agent Christopher Hunter , running in the 12th District of Florida, declares, "Russia is a clear and present danger to the United States. We emerged victorious over the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We must resolve anew to secure an uncompromising victory over Russia and its tyrannical regime."

Elissa Slotkin , the former CIA agent and Pentagon official running in Michigan's Eighth Congressional District, cites her 14 years of experience "working on some of our country's most critical national security matters, including U.S.-Russia relations, the counter-ISIS campaign, and the U.S. relationship with NATO." She argues that "the United States must make investments in its military, intelligence, and diplomatic power" in order to maintain "a unique and vital role in the world."

Max Rose , a combat commander in Afghanistan now running in New York's 11th Congressional District (Staten Island and Brooklyn), calls for "recognizing Russia as a hostile foreign power and holding the Kremlin accountable for its attempts to undermine the sovereignty and democratic values of other nations." Rose is still in the military reserves, and took two weeks off from his campaign in August to participate in small-unit drills.

Joseph Kopser , running in the 21st District of Texas, is another anti-Russian firebrand, writing on his website, "As a retired Army Ranger, I know first hand the importance of standing strong with your allies. Given Russia's march toward a totalitarian state showing aggression around the region, as well as their extensive cyber and information warfare campaign directed at the U.S., England, and others, our Article 5 [NATO] commitment to our European allies and partners is more important than ever." He concludes, "Since the mid-twentieth century, the United States has been a principal world leader -- a standard that should never be changed."

Four national-security candidates add North Korea and Iran to China and Russia as specific targets of American military and diplomatic attack.

Josh Welle , a former naval officer who was deployed to Afghanistan, now running in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey, writes, "We have to stand together in the face of threats from countries like North Korea and Iran. The human rights violations and nuclear capabilities of these countries pose a direct threat to the stability of this world and therefore need to be met with strong military presence and a robust defense program to protect ourselves."

Tom Malinowski , former assistant secretary of state for human rights, running in New Jersey's Seventh District, calls for maintaining economic sanctions on Russia "until it stops its aggression in Ukraine and interference in our democracy ," effusively endorses the state of Israel (whose government actually interferes in US elections more than any other), and calls for stepped up sanctions against North Korea.

Mikie Sherill , a former Navy pilot and Russian policy officer, running in New Jersey's 11th District, writes, "I have sat across the table from the Russians, and know that we need our government to take the threat they pose seriously." She adds to this a warning about "threats posed by North Korea and Iran," the two most immediate targets of military-diplomatic blackmail by the Trump administration. She concludes, referring to North Korea's nuclear program, "For that reason I support a robust military presence in the region and a comprehensive missile defense program to defend America, our allies, and our troops abroad."

Dan McCready , an Iraq war unit commander who claims to have been born again when he was baptized in water from the Euphrates River, calls for war to be waged only "with overwhelming firepower," not "sporadically, with no strategy or end in sight, while our enemies like Iran, North Korea, Russia, and the terrorists outsmart and outlast us." He is running in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District, adjacent to the huge military complex at Fort Bragg.

One military-intelligence candidate cites immigration as a national-security issue, echoing the position of the Trump administration, which constantly peddles scare stories that terrorists are infiltrating the United States disguised as immigrants and refugees. That is Richard Ojeda , running in the Third Congressional District of West Virginia, who publicly boasts of having voted for Trump in 2016, in the same election in which he won a seat in the West Virginia state senate running as a Democrat.

Ojeda writes on his web site, "We must also ensure that terrorists do not reach American soil by abusing our immigration process. We must keep an up to date terror watch list but provide better vetting for those that go onto the watch list."

A career Army Airborne officer, Ojeda voices the full-blown militarism of this social layer. "If there is one thing I am confident in, it is the ability of our nation's military," he declares. "The best way to keep Americans safe is to let our military do their job without muddying up their responsibilities with our political agendas."

He openly rejects control of the military by civilian policy-makers. "War is not a social experiment and I refuse to let politics play a role in my decision making when it comes to keeping you and your family safe," he continues. "I will not take my marching orders from anyone else concerning national security."

Only one of the 30 candidates, Ken Harbaugh , a retired Air Force pilot running in the Seventh Congressional District of Ohio, centered on the industrial city of Canton, acknowledges being part of this larger group. He notes, "In 2018, more vets are running for office than at any moment in my lifetime. Because of the growing inability of Washington to deal responsibly with the threats facing our nation, veterans from both sides of the aisle are stepping into the breach."

Referring to the mounting prospect of war, he writes, "Today, we face our gravest geopolitical challenge since 9/11. Our country remains at war in Afghanistan, we have troops engaged in North Africa, Iraq and Syria, and Russia continues to bully our allies. Meanwhile, North Korea has the ability to directly threaten the American mainland with nuclear missiles." He concludes, "we need leaders with the moral authority to speak on these issues, leaders who have themselves been on the front lines of these challenges."

These statements, taken cumulatively, present a picture of unbridled militarism and aggression as the program of the supposed "opposition" to the Trump administration's own saber-rattling and threats of "fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Perhaps even more remarkable is that the remaining 17 national-security candidates say nothing at all about foreign policy (in 11 cases) or limit themselves to anodyne observations about the necessity to provide adequate health care and other benefits to veterans (two cases), or vague generalities about the need to combine a strong military with diplomatic efforts (four cases). They give no specifics whatsoever.

In other words, while these candidates tout their own records as part of the national-security apparatus as their principal credential for election to Congress, they decline to tell the voters what they would do if they were in charge of American foreign policy.

Given that these 17 include intelligence agents ( Abigail Spanberger and Gina Ortiz Jones ), a National Security Council Iraq war planner ( Andy Kim ), and numerous other high-level State Department and military commanders, the silence can have only the most ominous interpretation.

These CIA Democrats don't want to tell voters about their plans for foreign policy and military intervention because they know these measures are deeply unpopular. They aim to gain office as stealth candidates, unveiling their program of militarism and war only after they take their seats, when they may very well exercise decisive influence in the next Congress.

[Oct 08, 2018] Democrats main constituancy is Wall Street bankers and that creates some problems

Notable quotes:
"... the last two Democratic presidents were centrists in favor of a big tent Democratic Party (the Clintons were co-founders of the Democratic Leadership Council, and Obama considered Joe Lieberman his mentor in the Senate) and they oversaw the collapse of their party in the states and Congress. Centrists are mainly concerned with keeping Wall Street and Silicon Valley happy, and have been purging "old-fashioned" New Deal liberals from the party for the better part of 30 years. ..."
"... It is not the Sandernistas OR the Democratic Socialists of America who are pushing identity politics or demonizing white or religious people (it's the Hillary bots at Daily Kos who go nuts when anyone on the left wing of the party expresses any interest in winning over working class Trump voters, or dares to view said Trump voters as anything but racist deadenders). ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

cka2nd October 6, 2018 at 5:56 pm

Werd "I can't understand their (progressives) tactics. Why push Transgenderism literally 5 seconds after gay marriage got passed?"

Because it keeps the Democratic base from focusing on economic issues inimical to the interests of the Democratic funding elite.

Werd "Why push poor minorities into becoming socialist identitarians instead of being the calm centrist big tent party?"

First, Pelosi and Clinton have made it very clear that they are capitalists, and it's their supporters "identitarian" wave (Daily Kos had an "In defense of Nancy Pelosi" article not that lone ago), not the "socialist" or Sandernista wing of the party. Second, the last two Democratic presidents were centrists in favor of a big tent Democratic Party (the Clintons were co-founders of the Democratic Leadership Council, and Obama considered Joe Lieberman his mentor in the Senate) and they oversaw the collapse of their party in the states and Congress. Centrists are mainly concerned with keeping Wall Street and Silicon Valley happy, and have been purging "old-fashioned" New Deal liberals from the party for the better part of 30 years.

Werd "Why fire up the Republican base literally right before the midterm? Why turn the dude who would've been the next Anthony Kennedy into a far-right gang rapist? The Dems and their media apparatus just keep snatching defeat from the jaws of victory."

Stupidity? Arrogance? To keep their base within the Democratic Party, which is more concerned about cultural issues than economic ones (like a certain part of the GOP coalition), fired up, while demobilizing voters with mainly economic concerns?

Werd "When Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham are calling you insane, you've become insane."

Collins and Graham are hacks, and when it comes to foreign affairs, Graham IS insane (I exaggerate, but only a little). This may be Collins' statesmanship moment (kind of like Democratic hack John Murtha's in 2004 over the Iraq War), but I have my doubts. As one other commentator here said, she was always likely to vote for Kavanaugh after putting on a show of hemming-and-hawing.

Werd "I've never voted for a Republican presidential candidate, had things stayed the same I probably never would. Why not just wait 20 years to admit you want socialism, hate white people and hate religious people?"

It is not the Sandernistas OR the Democratic Socialists of America who are pushing identity politics or demonizing white or religious people (it's the Hillary bots at Daily Kos who go nuts when anyone on the left wing of the party expresses any interest in winning over working class Trump voters, or dares to view said Trump voters as anything but racist deadenders).

Werd "The Blue Dogs really need to make a come back. At the very least, they might do some trust busting and wouldn't make Donald Trump look like the sane one."

Since Fritz Hollings backed protectionism and some of the John Murtha-types voted against NAFTA, when have any Blue Dog Democrats backed trust busting, investigating the banks and brokerage houses that brought us the Great Recession, or backed any economic policy to the left of (or less popular than) raising the minimum wage?

Werd, I think you should investigate the Democrats who actually call themselves socialists. I may not vote for them – too wishy-washy reformist for me – but I think you may actually find them to be surprisingly on your wavelength. It's the "Hillary is TOO just as progressive as Bernie is!" types that you want to avoid.

Siarlys Jenkins , says: October 6, 2018 at 11:48 pm
given the years of pointless investigations of the Clintons and all the nonsense about Obama, aren't we due an investigation or two of our own?

Harve, like all good liberals, wants to grow up to be just like the Republicans. That's how we get progressive presidents leading us into full participation in the Great Imperialist War.

Werd "I can't understand their (progressives) tactics. Why push Transgenderism literally 5 seconds after gay marriage got passed?"

Because it keeps the Democratic base from focusing on economic issues inimical to the interests of the Democratic funding elite.

There it is folks. The plain truth. I keep telling you, only socialism can save America from the liberals.

It might not go away, but a lot of Democrats probably will. We may have to build new prisons to hold them.

Nah. We send Scott Walker to a tropical island for an episode of "Survivor," with that Democratic state senator who was literally in bed with a PayDay Loan lobbyist. (The lobbyist was female, or at least identified as such in public.)

Werd , says: October 6, 2018 at 9:27 am
I can't understand their (progressives) tactics. Why push Transgenderism literally 5 seconds after gay marriage got passed? Why push poor minorities into becoming socialist identitarians instead of being the calm centrist big tent party? Why fire up the Republican base literally right before the midterm? Why turn the dude who would've been the next Anthony Kennedy into a far-right gang rapist? The Dems and their media apparatus just keep snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. When Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham are calling you insane, you've become insane. I've never voted for a Republican presidential candidate, had things stayed the same I probably never would. Why not just wait 20 years to admit you want socialism, hate white people and hate religious people? The Blue Dogs really need to make a come back. At the very least, they might do some trust busting and wouldn't make Donald Trump look like the sane one.
Kurt Gayle , says: October 6, 2018 at 11:18 am
Werd (October 6, 9:27 am) "I can't understand their (progressives) tactics. Why push Transgenderism literally 5 seconds after gay marriage got passed?"

It's important to remember that gay marriage didn't get "passed." Gay marriage arrived nationwide as the result of a 2015 5-4 US Supreme Court decision authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired from the Court in July.

[Oct 08, 2018] Next month, and probably in 2020, I'll be voting for the Republicans. For all their horrible flaws, they don't claim "illegitimacy" every time they lose, they don't harass people in restaurants or on their front porches as I see on the news the "women's march" activists are doing to Senator Collins this afternoon. If Republicans did this crap, the same people would be weeping about incipient fascism.

Oct 08, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Jonah R. October 6, 2018 at 3:29 pm

I write this as a very moderate conservative who didn't vote for Trump and who has never been fond of the GOP: Next month, and probably in 2020, I'll be voting for the Republicans. For all their horrible flaws, they don't claim "illegitimacy" every time they lose, they don't harass people in restaurants or on their front porches–as I see on the news the "women's march" activists are doing to Senator Collins this afternoon. If Republicans did this crap, the same people would be weeping about incipient fascism.

The GOP is dreadful. Trump is a buffoon. But I'm tired of 1960s-style activist anarchy, which I consider worse for our national life than Republican directionlessness. I'm voting against the "hey hey, ho ho " Democrats. Enough of this crap.

[Oct 05, 2018] Mueller now need to obey the roles of pre-trial discovery

Notable quotes:
"... A few months ago, a dozen Russian individuals were charged with cyber-crime offenses that Mueller knew would never be tested at trial b/c the charged individuals would never be extradited. However, the indictment included charges against two Russian corporations that cleverly hired American lawyers to appear on their behalf, and enter pleas of Not Guilty. ..."
"... This tactic should have set the pre-trial discovery process to begin, causing Mueller to be obliged to turn over evidence supporting the charges as well as any exculpatory information favoring the accused corporations. ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

chet380 , Oct 5, 2018 1:37:53 PM | link

A few months ago, a dozen Russian individuals were charged with cyber-crime offenses that Mueller knew would never be tested at trial b/c the charged individuals would never be extradited. However, the indictment included charges against two Russian corporations that cleverly hired American lawyers to appear on their behalf, and enter pleas of Not Guilty.

This tactic should have set the pre-trial discovery process to begin, causing Mueller to be obliged to turn over evidence supporting the charges as well as any exculpatory information favoring the accused corporations.

As any reference to this case can't seem to be found, can anyone help with info as to the present status of the case?

[Oct 04, 2018] Top FBI Lawyer Flips Russia Probe Was Handled In Abnormal Fashion And Rife With Political Bias

Notable quotes:
"... James Baker, a former top FBI lawyer, told congressional investigators on Wednesday that the Russia probe was handled in an "abnormal fashion" and was rife with "political bias" according to Fox News , citing two Republican lawmakers present for the closed-door deposition. ..."
"... Lawmakers did not provide any specifics about the interview, citing a confidentiality agreement signed with Baker and his attorneys, however they said that he was cooperative and forthcoming about the beginnings of the Russia probe in 2016, as well as the FISA surveillance warrant application to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. ..."
"... According to Fox , Baker "is at the heart of surveillance abuse allegations, and his deposition lays the groundwork for next week's planned closed-door interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein." ..."
Oct 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

James Baker, a former top FBI lawyer, told congressional investigators on Wednesday that the Russia probe was handled in an "abnormal fashion" and was rife with "political bias" according to Fox News , citing two Republican lawmakers present for the closed-door deposition.

"Some of the things that were shared were explosive in nature," Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News. "This witness confirmed that things were done in an abnormal fashion. That's extremely troubling."

Meadows claimed the "abnormal" handling of the probe into alleged coordination between Russian officials and the Trump presidential campaign was "a reflection of inherent bias that seems to be evident in certain circles." The FBI agent who opened the Russia case, Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and others sent politically charged texts, and have since left the bureau. - Fox News

Baker, who worked closely with former FBI Director James Comey, left the bureau earlier this year.

Lawmakers did not provide any specifics about the interview, citing a confidentiality agreement signed with Baker and his attorneys, however they said that he was cooperative and forthcoming about the beginnings of the Russia probe in 2016, as well as the FISA surveillance warrant application to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

"During the time that the FBI was putting -- that DOJ and FBI were putting together the FISA (surveillance warrant) during the time prior to the election -- there was another source giving information directly to the FBI, which we found the source to be pretty explosive," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

Meadows and Jordan would not elaborate on the source, or answer questions about whether the source was a reporter. They did stress that the source who provided information to the FBI's Russia case was not previously known to congressional investigators. - Fox News

According to Fox , Baker "is at the heart of surveillance abuse allegations, and his deposition lays the groundwork for next week's planned closed-door interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein."

As the FBI's top lawyer, baker helped secure the FISA warrant on Page, along with three subsequent renewals .

Rosenstein is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill on October 11 for a closed-door interview, according to Republican House sources, "not a briefing to leadership," and comes on the heels of a New York Times report that said Rosenstein had discussed secretly recording President Trump and removing him from office using the 25th Amendment.

Rosenstein and Trump pushed off a scheduled meeting into limbo amid speculation of his impending firing.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Wednesday the meeting remains in limbo.

[Oct 04, 2018] Brett Kavanaugh's 'revenge' theory spotlights past with Clintons by Lisa Mascaro

Highly recommended!
Oct 03, 2018 | www.chicagotribune.com

But in blaming "revenge on behalf of the Clintons" for the sexual misconduct allegations against him, the Supreme Court nominee is drawing new attention to his time on the Kenneth Starr team investigating Bill Clinton. And in doing so, he's shown he can deliver a Trump-like broadside against detractors even if it casts him in a potentially partisan light.

As a young lawyer, Kavanaugh played a key role on Starr's team investigating sexual misconduct by then-President Bill Clinton, helping to shape one of the most salacious chapters in modern political history.

Kavanaugh spent a good part of the mid-1990s jetting back and forth to Little Rock, Arkansas, digging into the Clintons' background, according to documents that were made public as part of his nomination to the Supreme Court

[Oct 02, 2018] Kavanaugh is the Wrong Nominee by Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers

Highly recommended!
Oct 02, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

The Kavanaugh confirmation process has been a missed opportunity for the United States to face up to many urgent issues on which the bi-partisans in Washington, DC are united and wrong.

Kavanaugh's career as a Republican legal operative and judge supporting the power of corporations, the security state and abusive foreign policy should have been put on trial. The hearings could have provided an opportunity to confront the security state, use of torture, mass spying and the domination of money in politics and oligarchy as he has had an important role in each of these.

Kavanaugh's behavior as a teenager who likely drank too much and was inappropriately aggressive and abusive with women, perhaps even attempting rape, must also be confronted. In an era where patriarchy and mistreatment of women are being challenged, Kavanaugh is the wrong nominee for this important time. However, sexual assault should not be a distraction that keeps the public's focus off other issues raised by his career as a conservative political activist.

The Security State, Mass Spying and Torture

A central issue of our era is the US security state -- mass spying on emails, Internet activity, texts and phone calls. Judge Kavanough enabled invasive spying on everyone in the United States . He described mass surveillance as "entirely consistent" with the US Constitution. This manipulation of the law turns the Constitution upside down a it clearly requires probable cause and a search warrant for the government to conduct searches.

Kavanaugh explained in a decision, "national security . . . outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this [NSA] program." This low regard for protecting individual privacy should have been enough for a majority of the Senate to say this nominee is inappropriate for the court.

Kavanaugh ruled multiple times that police have the power to search people, emphasizing "reasonableness" as the standard for searching people. He ruled broadly for the police in searches conducted on the street without a warrant and for broader use of drug testing of federal employees. Kavanaugh applauded Justice Rehnquist's views on the Fourth Amendment, which favored police searches by defining probable cause in a flexible way and creating a broad exception for when the government has "special needs" to search without a warrant or probable cause. In this era of police abuse through stop and frisk, jump out squads and searches when driving (or walking or running) while black, Kavanaugh is the wrong nominee and should be disqualified.

Kavanaugh also played a role in the Bush torture policy. Torture is against US and international law , certainly facilitating torture should be disqualifying not only as a justice but should result in disbarment as a lawyer . Kavanaugh was appointed by President Trump, who once vowed he would "bring back waterboarding and a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding." Minimizing torture is demonstrated in his rulings, e.g. not protecting prisoners at risk of torture and not allowing people to sue the government on allegations of torture.

Torture is a landmine in the Senate, so Kavanaugh misled the Senate likely committing perjury on torture . In his 2006 confirmation, he said he was "not involved" in "questions about the rules governing detention of combatants." Tens of thousands of documents have been kept secret by the White House about Kavanaugh from the Bush era. Even so, during these confirmation hearings documents related to the nomination of a lawyer involved in the torture program showed Kavanaugh's role in torture policies leading Senator Dick Durbin to write : "It is clear now that not only did Judge Kavanaugh mislead me when it came to his involvement in the Bush Administration's detention and interrogation policies, but also regarding his role in the controversial Haynes nomination."

Durbin spoke more broadly about perjury writing: "This is a theme that we see emerge with Judge Kavanaugh time and time again – he says one thing under oath, and then the documents tell a different story. It is no wonder the White House and Senate Republicans are rushing through this nomination and hiding much of Judge Kavanaugh's record -- the questions about this nominee's credibility are growing every day." The long list of perjury allegations should be investigated and if proven should result in him not being confirmed.

This should have been enough to stop the process until documents were released to reveal Kavanaugh's role as Associate White House Counsel under George Bush from 2001 to 2003 and as his White House Staff Secretary from 2003 to 2006. Unfortunately, Democrats have been complicit in allowing torture as well, e.g. the Obama administration never prosecuted anyone accused of torture and advanced the careers of people involved in torture.

Shouldn't the risk of having a torture facilitator on the Supreme Court be enough to stop this nomination?

Corporate Power vs Protecting People and the Planet

In this era of corporate power, Kavanaugh sides with the corporations. Ralph Nader describes him as a corporation masquerading as a judge . He narrowly limited the powers of federal agencies to curtail corporate power and to protect the interests of the people and planet.

This is evident in cases where Kavanaugh has favored reducing restrictions on polluting corporations. He dissented in cases where the majority ruled in favor of environmental protection but has never dissented where the majority ruled against protecting the environment. He ruled against agencies seeking to protect clean air and water. If Kavanaugh is on the court, it will be much harder to hold corporations responsible for the damage they have done to the climate, the environment or health.

Kavanaugh takes the side of businesses over their workers with a consistent history of anti-union and anti-labor rulings. A few examples of many, he ruled in favor of the Trump Organizatio n throwing out the results of a union election, sided with the management of Sheldon Adelson's Venetian Casino Resort upholding the casino's First Amendment right to summon police against workers engaged in a peaceful demonstration -- for which they had a permit, affirmed the Department of Defense's discretion to negate the collective bargaining rights of employees, and overturned an NLRB ruling that allowed Verizon workers to display pro-union signs on company property despite having given up the right to picket in their collective bargaining agreement. In this time of labor unrest and mistreatment of workers, Kavanaugh will be a detriment to workers rights.

Kavanough opposed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling in favor of net neutrality, which forbids telecom companies from discrimination on the Internet. He argued net neutrality violated the First Amendment rights of Internet Service Providers (ISP) and was beyond the power granted to the FCC. He put the rights of big corporations ahead of the people having a free and open Internet. The idea that an ISP has a right to control what it allows on the Internet could give corporations great control over what people see on the Internet. It is a very dangerous line of reasoning in this era of corporations curtailing news that challenges the mainstream narrative.

In 2016, Kavanaugh was asked if he believed that money spent during campaigns represents speech, and is protected by the First Amendment and answered: " Absolutely. " Kavanaugh joined in decisions and wrote opinions consistent with efforts to oppose any attempt by Congress or the Federal Elections Commission to restrict campaign contributions or expenditures. His view that free speech allows unrestricted money in elections will add to the avalanche of big money politics . Wealthy elites and big corporations will have even greater influence with Kavanaugh on the court.

Kavanaugh will be friendly to powerful business and the interests of the wealthy on the Supreme Court, and will tend to stand in the way of efforts by administrative agencies to regulate them and by people seeking greater rights.

Women's Rights, Abortion and Sexual Assault

Judge Kavanaugh has not ruled on Roe v. Wade and whether the constitution protects a woman's right to have an abortion. In 2017, Kavanaugh gave a Constitution Day lecture to the conservative American Enterprise Institute where he praised Justice Rehnquist and one of the cases he focused on was his dissent in Roe. Rehnquist opposed making abortion constitutionally protected, writing, it was not "rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people." Shortly after that speech, Kavanaugh wrote a dissent that argued an immigrant minor in government detention did not have a right to obtain an abortion .

On the third day of his confirmation hearings, Judge Brett Kavanaugh seemed to refer to the use of contraception as "abortion-inducing drugs ." It was a discussion of a case where Kavanaugh dissented from the majority involving the Priests for Life's challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Kavanaugh opposed the requirement that all health plans cover birth control, claiming that IUDs and emergency contraception were an infringement of their free exercise of religion.

Kavanaugh clerked for Judge Kosinski who he describes as a mentor. Kosinski was forced to resign after being accused of harassing at least 12 women in the sanctity of his judicial chambers. Kavanaugh swears he never saw any signs that the judge was sexually harassing women, but the Democrats did not ask a single question about it.

Multiple accusers have come forward to allege Kavanaugh's involvement in sexual assault and abuse. While Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is viewed as credible – she was the only witness allowed to testify – it is not clear these allegations will be thoroughly reviewed. After being approved by the committee, the Republican leadership and President Trump agreed on a limited FBI investigation. It is unclear whether the FBI will be allowed to follow all the evidence and question all the witnesses. As we write this newsletter, the outcome has yet to unfold but Jeffrey St. Clair at Countpunch points out, "the FBI investigation will be overseen by director Christopher Wray, who was two years behind Brett-boy at both Yale and Yale Law. After graduation, they entered the same rightwing political orbit and both took jobs in the Bush Administration. How do you think it's going to turn out?"

Why don't Democrats, as Ralph Nader suggests , hold their own hearing and question all the witnesses? If there is corroborating evidence for the accusers, Kavanaugh should not be approved.

A Republican Political Operative As A Justice?

Kavanaugh has been a legal operative for the Republican Party involved in many high profile partisan legal battles. He spent three years working for Ken Starr on the impeachment of Bill Clinton where he pressed Starr to ask Clinton sexually graphic details about his relationship with Monica Lewinisky. He tried to expand the Starr investigation into the death of Vince Foster, whose death had been ruled a suicide. He was a lead author of the infamous Starr Report -- widely criticized as "strain[ing] credulity" and being based on "shaky allegations."

Kavanaugh was one of George W. Bush's lawyers in the litigation after the election in 2000, which sought to block a recount of ballots in Florida, resulting in a decision that handed the presidential election to Bush . In the Bush administration, he was involved in pushing for conservative judges as well as controversial policies like torture.

During his confirmation process, in response to the accusations of assault, he claimed they were "a calculated and orchestrated political hit" and "revenge on behalf of the Clinton's." He demonstrated partisan anger and displayed a lack of judicial temperament, making him unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh exposes the true partisan nature of the highest court, which is not a neutral arbiter but another battleground for partisan politics. The lack of debate on issues of spying, torture and more shows both parties support a court that protects the security state and corporate interests over people and planet. Accusations of sexual assault must be confronted, but there are many reasons Kavanaugh should not be on the court. The confirmation process undermines the court's legitimacy and highlights bi-partisan corruption.

[Oct 02, 2018] America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both by Caitlin Johnstone

Oct 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer's arms or legs are more evil.

[Sep 25, 2018] The Black leadership role has now been essentially reduced to making the odd noise after the shooting of an unarmed Black by a White cop

Sep 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website September 25, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT

@Justsaying Trump's infamous campaign slogan of MAGA quickly mutated into MIGA which is the originally intended version anyways. Obedience to Israel has become a norm in presidential election campaigns. Even the disenfranchised minority caucuses, including and especially the Black one is firmly in Israel's pockets now. The Black leadership role has now been essentially reduced to making the odd noise after the shooting of an unarmed Black by a White cop.

"The Black leadership role has now been essentially reduced to making the odd noise after the shooting of an unarmed Black by a White cop."

As a brown person in Asia I grew up inculcated with the idea that I must always be in solidarity with black people in America and they would be with me (it was the 1970s, Malcolm X was still a fresh memory, Muhammad Ali still strode the scene like a colossus, and Martin Luther King Jr was still thought of as a hero in most circles).

Today, black Americans are people so wallowing in self abnegation that they mass voted for the racist war criminal Killary Clinton, owing to whose actions black people in America were incarcerated in hitherto unknown numbers; due to whose crimes black people in Haiti were looted to destitution; because of whom black people in Libya are literally being sold as slaves. Black Americans parade around saying "black lives matter", but are more than happy voting for war criminals who loot Haitian blacks, enslave Libyan blacks, massacre Somali blacks, deprive Sudanese blacks of life saving drugs, and plot to imperialistically occupy Africa, a continent of black people. Forget about us brown people, to American blacks in 2018, black lives do *not* matter.

Only virtue signalling and tribal identity matters. Nothing else.

Malcolm X would spit on them.

[Sep 25, 2018] Confirming Assange's Assertion That WikiLeaks' Source Was The DNC Itself Zero Hedge

Sep 25, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Mon, 09/24/2018 - 21:25 119 SHARES Authored by Elizabeth Vos via DisobedientMedia.com,

Disobedient Media has closely followed the work of the Forensicator , whose analysis has shed much light on the publications by the Guccifer 2.0 persona for over a year. In view of the more recent work published by the Forensicator regarding potential media collusion with Guccifer 2.0, we are inclined to revisit an interview given by WikiLeaks Editor-In-Chief Julian Assange in August of 2016, prior to the publication of the Podesta Emails in October, and the November US Presidential election.

During the interview, partially transcribed below, Assange makes a number of salient points on the differentiation between the thousands of pristine emails WikiLeaks received, and those which had surfaced in other US outlets by that date. Though Assange does not name the Guccifer 2.0 persona directly throughout the interview, he does name multiple outlets which publicized Guccifer 2.0's documents.

The significance of revisiting Assange's statements is the degree to which his most significant claim is corroborated or paralleled by the Forensicator's analysis. This is of enhanced import in light of allegations by Robert Mueller (not to mention the legacy media), despite a total absence of evidence, that Guccifer 2.0 was WikiLeaks's source of the DNC and Podesta emails.

This author previously discussed the possibility that Assange's current isolation might stem in part from the likelihood that upon expulsion from the embassy, Julian Assange could provide evidential proof that the DNC emails and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks were not sourced from Russia, or backed by the Kremlin, all without disclosing the identity of their source.

Julian Assange told RT :

"In the US media there has been a deliberate conflation between DNC leaks, which is what we've been publishing, and DNC hacks, of the US Democratic Party which have occurred over the last two years, by their own admission what [Hillary Clinton] is attempting to do is to conflate our publication of pristine emails – no one in the Democratic party argues that a single email is not completely valid. That hasn't been done. The head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, has rolled as a result.

And whatever hacking has occurred, of the DNC or other political organizations in the United States, by a range of actors – in the middle, we have something, which is the publication by other media organizations, of information reportedly from the DNC, and that seems to be the case. That's the publication of word documents in pdfs published by The Hill, by Gawker, by The Smoking Gun. This is a completely separate batch of documents, compared to the 20,000 pristine emails that we have at WikiLeaks.

In this [separate] batch of documents, released by these other media organizations, there are claims that in the metadata, someone has done a document to pdf conversion, and in some cases the language of the computer that was used for that conversion was Russian. So that's the circumstantial evidence that some Russian was involved, or someone who wanted to make it look like a Russian was involved, with these other media organizations. That's not the case for the material we released.

The Hillary Clinton hack campaign has a serious problem in trying to figure out how to counter-spin our publication because the emails are un-arguable There's an attempt to bring in a meta-story. And the meta-story is, did some hacker obtain these emails? Ok. Well, people have suggested that there's evidence that the DNC has been hacked. I'm not at all surprised its been hacked. If you read very carefully, they say it's been hacked many times over the last two years. Our sources say that DNC security is like Swiss Cheese.

Hillary Clinton is saying, untruthfully, that she knows who the source of our emails are. Now, she didn't quite say "our emails." She's playing some games, because there have been other publications by The Hill, by Gawker, other US media, of different documents, not emails. So, we have to separate the various DNC or RNC hacks that have occurred over the years, and who's done that. The source: we know who the source is, it's the Democratic National Committee itself. And our sources who gave these materials, and other pending materials, to us. These are all different questions. "

The core assertion made by Assange in the above-transcribed segment of his 2016 interview with RT is the differentiation between WikiLeaks's publications from the altered documents released by Guccifer 2.0 (after being pre-released to US media outlets as referenced by Assange). This finer point is one that is corroborated by the Forensicator's analysis, and one which it seems much of the public has yet to entirely digest.

Disobedient Media previously wrote regarding the Forensicator's publication of Did Guccifer 2 Plant his Russian Fingerprints? :

"Ars Technica found "Russian fingerprints" in a PDF posted by Gawker the previous day. Apparently, both Gawker and The Smoking Gun (TSG) had received pre-release copies of Guccifer 2.0's first batch of documents; Guccifer 2.0 would post them later, on his WordPress.com blog site. Although neither Gawker nor TSG reported on these Russian error messages, some readers noticed them and mentioned them in social media forums; Ars Technica was likely the first media outlet to cover those "Russian fingerprints."

The Forensicator's analysis cannot enlighten us as to the ultimate source of WikiLeaks's releases. At present, there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that Guccifer 2.0 was, or was not, WikiLeaks' source. There is no evidence connecting Guccifer 2.0 with WikiLeaks, but there is likewise no evidence to rule out a connection.

It is nonetheless critically important, as Assange indicated, to differentiate between the files published by Guccifer 2.0 and those released by WikiLeaks. None of the "altered" documents (with supposed Russian fingerprints) published by Guccifer 2.0 appear in WikiLeaks's publications.

It is also worth noting that, though Assange's interview took place before the publication of the Podesta email collection, the allegations of a Russian hack based on Guccifer 2.0's publication were ultimately contradicted by a DNC official, as reported by the Associated Press. Disobedient Media wrote:

" 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."

Again: The very document on which the initial "Russian hack" allegations were based did not originate within the DNC Emails at all, but in the Podesta Emails, which at the time of Assange's RT interview, had not yet been published.

Disobedient Media also noted in relation to the Forensicator's Media Mishaps report:

"The fact the email to which the Trump opposition report was attached was later published in the Podesta Email collection by WikiLeaks does not prove that Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks shared a source on the document. However, it does suggest that either the DNC, the operators of the Guccifer 2.0 persona, or both parties had access to Podesta's emails. This raises questions as to why the DNC would interpret the use of this particular file as evidence of Russian penetration of the DNC."

This creates a massive contradiction within the DNC's narrative, but it does not materially change Assange's assertion that the pristine emails obtained by WikiLeaks were fundamentally distinct and should not be conflated with the altered documents published by Guccifer 2.0, as the WikiLeaks publication of the Podesta emails contain none of the alterations shown in the version of the documents published by Guccifer 2.0.

Though no establishment media outlet has reported on this point, when reviewing the evidence at hand and especially the work of the Forensicator, it is evident that the Guccifer 2.0 persona never actually published a single email. The persona published documents and even screenshots of emails – but never the emails themselves. Thus, again, Guccifer 2.0's works are critically different from the DNC and Podesta email publications by WikiLeaks.

The following charts are included to help remind readers of the timeline of events relative to Guccifer 2.0, including the date specific documents were published:

Image Courtesy Of The Forensicator

Image Courtesy of the Forensicator

This writer previously opined on the apparent invulnerability of the Russiagate saga to factual refutation. One cannot blame the public for such narrative immortality, as the establishment-backed press has made every effort to confuse and conflate the alterations made to documents published by Guccifer 2.0 and the WikiLeaks releases. One can only hope, however, that this reminder of their distinct state will help raise public skepticism of a narrative based on no evidence whatsoever.

It is also especially important to reconsider Julian Assange's statements and texts in light of his ongoing isolation from the outside world, which has prevented him from commenting further on an infinite array of subjects including Guccifer 2.0 and the "Russian hacking" saga.

Winston S. contributed to the content of this report.


platyops , 22 minutes ago

The name was Seth Rich. They robbed him for his watch and money but forgot to take the watch and money. Yes that makes as much sense as Dr. Ford and her imagination party!

Dems lie and maybe kill people but they do lie for sure!

Nature_Boy_Wooooo , 33 minutes ago

All signs point to a young Bernie Sanders supporter at the DNC named Seth Rich.

Surftown , 2 hours ago

Brennan is Guccifer 2.0 using NSA Toolkit ( hacked and released) to feign Russia -- to promote the fake Russia interference narrative leading to the FISA warrant justification, or better yet, to the Direct Obama FISA approval/override to approve surveillance of Mr Trump.

Endgame Napoleon , 1 hour ago

There are a bunch of competing smartphone apps, letting you convert Word docs to PDFs, believe it or not.

Maybe, they only work in limited form, but you can write a resume (or whatever) into the app, saving it in Word, converting it to PDF and sending it to your email.

Real programmers seem to scoff at the technical precision of those apps, so maybe, they are not as sophisticated as they appear to non-techies.

The sequencing of this is weird. If I read it right, it sounds like several publications received the "converted" versions -- the screenshots or PDFs -- of some emails before Wikileaks released the actual, non-converted emails.

Who released those to the media organizations, and how did they have access to the machine containing the emails, enabling them to make screenshots, convert them to PDFs or whatever they did to provide representations of the emails, not the actual emails that Wikileaks later released?

bh2 , 2 hours ago

Actually, William Binney et al demonstrated the email transfer could not have been effected outside the four walls of the DNC because the required network speeds did not exist at that time to any external location, least of all one located outside the US.

The only way that transfer could happen in the time logged was onto a device located on the DNC LAN.

Seth Rich is the person Assange all but directly named as the source.

These two things, taken together, provide a compelling refutation of the DNC fairy tale that the emails were pilfered by Russia (or any other outside actor).

JimmyJones , 2 hours ago

Bunny said the download speed was indicating a USB thumb drive was used

medium giraffe , 2 hours ago

IIRC the transfer speed was similar to a USB bus speed, meaning it wasn't even transferred over a local network, but by a USB flash device directly connected to a DNC PC or laptop.

Endgame Napoleon , 1 hour ago

The US Congress is so unprofessional, allowing this circus about high-school parties to commandeer a SCOTUS confirmation hearing, but did you ever hear any of them trying to get to the bottom of this complex stuff, calling in technical experts to explain this evidence to voters?

[Sep 23, 2018] More on Something Rotten About the DOJ Indictment of the GRU

Sep 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: July 14, 2018 at 4:56 pm GMT

Sic Semper Tyrannis has published a response to the Rosenstein fantastic "Indictment of Trolls" (Part II): "Something Rotten About the DOJ Indictment of the GRU," by Publius Tacitus http://www.turcopolier.typepad.com
"Assistant Attorney General Rosenstein announced a bizarre indictment against Russian military intelligence operatives today that, rather than confirming the case of "Russian meddling" in the U.S. 2016 Presidential election raises more questions. Here are the major oddities:
1. How did the FBI obtain information about activity on the DNC and DCCC servers when the DNC/DCCC refused to give the Feds access to the servers/computers?
2. Why does Crowdstrike get credit as being a competent computer security firm when, according to the indictment, they completely and utterly failed to stop the "hacks? "
3. Why does the indictment refuse to name Wikileaks by name as the Russian collaborator? Here is the bottomline–if US officials knew as early as April that Russia was hacking the DNC, why did it take US officials more than six months to stop the activity? The statement of "facts" contained in the indictment also raises another troubling issue–what is the source of the information? For example, if the FBI was not given access to the DNC/DCCC servers and computers then how do they know what happened on specific dates as alleged in the complaint?"
-- Why does the US national security hang on the opinions and concoctions of a visceral Russophobe Dm. Alperovitch (a ziocon) who is an "expert" (together with the badly uneducated Elliot Higgins) at the thoroughly corrupted and zionized Atlantic Council?
-- What kind of antisemite has been working hard to make the US Jewry at large suspected in a massive conspiracy and treason against the United States of America?
annamaria , says: July 14, 2018 at 5:06 pm GMT
Here is the context for the "Indictment of Trolls" (Paty II): https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/62c97j/the_awan_brothers_compromised_at_least_80/
"The Awan brothers compromised at least 80 congressional computers and got paid 5 million to do it. We may never know the extent of the breach.
After compromising the Congress' networks for 12 years they do a quick cleanup by breaking in to 20 congressional offices, store data in an off site server before running of to Pakistan and the D.C. Police are investigating. But wait there's more
Imran Awan has a longtime relationship with some members of Congress, including working for Meeks and Becerra starting in 2004 and joining Wasserman Schultz's office in 2005. The IT staffer position expanded to include more than 30 representatives, including work under congressional members who were members of top secret level congressional committees (DHS, Foreign affairs, Select intelligence committee).
Although personal office computers are not supposed to be used for Intelligence Committee business or classified material, accessing these computers is a high priority for foreign intelligence services because of the information they could glean about the committee's work from unclassified emails.
• The brothers are suspected of serious violations including accessing members' computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress, over billing congress for work and parts, transferring data to a remote server, and bypassing normal security protocols for IT staff. Their Democrat benefactors allowed the breech of policy for the sake of convenience.
• The Awans operated an external server, which is against all protocols concerning secured government information.
Further, there were instances where House information was discovered in an external "cloud" server. The contractors in question reportedly were sending and storing House-related information in that off-site server.
• The Awans had special access to the White House and for Visas.
• Multiple Democratic lawmakers have yet to cut ties with House staffers under criminal investigation for wide-ranging equipment and data theft."
– Hey, Mueller! Hey, Rosenstein! Do your job.

[Sep 22, 2018] Insubordination is a fireable offense.

Sep 22, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock -> Patrick Armstrong , 3 days ago

The letter from the Democrats on the Gang of 8 to Coats, Rosenstein and Wray is something. Asking them to be insubordinate by refusing the order of the President to release unredacted documents & communications. What were the verbal assurances these apparatchiks gave the Democrats? Did they agree to withhold information from their boss?

As Col. Lang has stated numerous times the President is the ultimate classification authority except for atomic secrets. Coats, Rosenstein & Wray I'm sure know that. If they disagree with his declassification order they can always resign. Insubordination is a fireable offense.

[Sep 21, 2018] FBI Had Two Sets Of Records On Trump Investigation; Comey, McCabe Implicated Carter Zero Hedge

Sep 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Journalist Sara Carter told Sean Hannity during his Wednesday radio show that the FBI has two sets of records in the Russia investigation, and that "certain people above Peter Strzok and above Lisa Page" were aware of it - implicating former FBI Director James Comey and his #2, Andrew McCabe.

Hannity : Sara, I'm hearing it gets worse than this–that there is potentially out there–if you will, two sets of record among the upper echelon of the FBI–one that was real one that was made for appearances . Is there any truth to this?

Carter : Absolutely, Sean . With the number of sources that I have been speaking with as well as some others that there is evidence indicating that the FBI had separate sets of books.

I will not name names until all of the evidence is out there, but there were certain people above Peter Strzok and above Lisa Page that were aware of this . I also believe that there are people within the FBI that have actually turned on their former employers and are possibly even testifying and reporting what happened inside the FBI to both the Inspector General and possibly even a Grand Jury.

Listen:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/7GGy0touNxk

( h/t Cristina Laila @ Gateway Pundit ) Tags Entertainment Culture

[Sep 19, 2018] Trump Says FBI Is A Cancer In Our Country

That's a bold statement but cancerous growth is typical of any intelligence agency, especially CIA: all of them want more and more budget money and try to influence both domestic and foreign policy. That's signs of cancel.
FBI actually has dual mandate: suppressing political dissent (STASI functions) and fight with criminals and organized crime.
The fact the President does not control his own administration, especially State Department isclearly visible now. He is more like a ceremonial figura that is allowed to rant on Twitter, but can't change any thing of substance in forign policy. and Is a typucal Repiblican in domenstic policy, betraying the electorate like Obama did
Notable quotes:
"... Sessions recused himself from the "Russia Collusion" investigation. Now that it is known to have been an extension of Democratic election rigging, and DC bureaucratic "Resistance," he could be initiate a broad sweep investigation into Washington, DC based bureaucratic bias and corruption. ..."
Sep 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Shifting from Sessions to the much-maligned FBI, Trump said the agency was "a cancer" and that uncovering deep-seated corruption in the FBI may be remembered as the "crowning achievement" of his administration, per the Hill .

"What we've done is a great service to the country, really," Trump said in a 45-minute, wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office.

"I hope to be able put this up as one of my crowning achievements that I was able to ... expose something that is truly a cancer in our country."

Moreover, Trump insisted that he never trusted former FBI Director James Comey, and that he had initially planned to fire Comey shortly after the inauguration, but had been talked out of it by his aides.

Trump also said he regretted not firing former FBI Director James Comey immediately instead of waiting until May 2017, confirming an account his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, gave Hill.TV earlier in the day that Trump was dismayed in 2016 by the way Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email case and began discussing firing him well before he became president.

"If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries," Trump said. "I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don't want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. ... I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don't want him there when I get there."

The FISA Court judges who approved the initial requests allowing the FBI to surveil employees of the Trump Campaign also came in for some criticism, with Trump claiming they used "poor Carter Page, who nobody even knew, and who I feel very badly for...as a foil...to surveil a candidate or the presidency of the United States." Trump added that he felt the judges had been "misled" by the FBI.

He criticizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court's approval of the warrant that authorized surveillance of Carter Page, a low-level Trump campaign aide, toward the end of the 2016 election, suggesting the FBI misled the court.

"They know this is one of the great scandals in the history of our country because basically what they did is, they used Carter Page, who nobody even knew, who I feel very badly for, I think he's been treated very badly. They used Carter Page as a foil in order to surveil a candidate for the presidency of the United States."

As for the judges on the secret intelligence court: "It looks to me just based on your reporting, that they have been misled," the president said, citing a series of columns in The Hill newspaper identifying shortcomings in the FBI investigation. "I mean I don't think we have to go much further than to say that they've been misled."

"One of the things I'm disappointed in is that the judges in FISA didn't, don't seem to have done anything about it. I'm very disappointed in that Now, I may be wrong because, maybe as we sit here and talk, maybe they're well into it. We just don't know that because I purposely have not chosen to get involved," Trump said.

Trump continued the assault on Sessions during a brief conference with reporters Wednesday morning. When asked whether he was planning to fire Sessions, Trump replied that "we're looking into lots of different things."

To be sure, Sessions has managed to hang on thus far. And if he can somehow manage to survive past Nov. 6, his fate will perversely rest on the Democrats' success. Basically, if they wrest back control of the Senate (which, to be sure, is unlikely), Sessions chances of staying on would rise dramatically. But then again, how much abuse can a man realistically endure before he decides that the costs of staying outweigh the benefits of leaving?


DingleBarryObummer , 19 minutes ago

Sessions works for Trump, because Trump is running the uniparty russia-gate stormy-gate anti-trump show. Sessions was intentionally placed there to stonewall and make sure the kabuki goes on. Rosenstein is a Trump appointee. This **** garners sympathy for him as the persecuted underdog, rallies his base; and distracts from the obvious zio-bankster influence over his admin and his many unfulfilled campaign promises. He's deceiving you. Why do you think Giuliani acts like such a buffoon? It's because that's what he was hired for. All distractions and bullshit. He will not get impeached, Hillary is not going to jail, nothing will happen. The zio-Banksters will continue to stay at the top of the pyramid, because that's who trump works for, NOT you and me.

"While Trump's fascination with the White House still burned within him [re: 2011], he also had The Apprentice to deal with--and it wasn't as easy as you might think. He loved doing the show and was reluctant to give it up. At one point, he was actually thinking of hosting it from the oval office if he made it all the way to the White House. He even discussed it with Stephen Burke, the CEO at NBCUniversal, telling Burke he would reconsider running if the network was concerned about his candidacy." -Roger Stone

"To some people the notion of consciously playing power games-no matter how indirect-seems evil, asocial, a relic of the past. They believe they can opt out of the game by behaving in ways that have nothing to do with power. You must beware of such people, for while they express such opinions outwardly, they are often among the most adept players at power. They utilize strategies that cleverly disguise the nature of the manipulation involved. These types, for example, will often display their weakness and lack of power as a kind of moral virtue. But true powerlessness, without any motive of self-interest, would not publicize its weakness to gain sympathy or respect. Making a show of one's weakness is actually a very effective strategy, subtle and deceptive, in the game of power." -Robert Greene

Sparkey , 31 minutes ago

This is why the 'little' people love President 'The Donald' Trump, he says the things they would like to say, but have no platform to speak from, Mushroom man The Donald has no fear he has got Mushroom power, and he has my support in what ever he does!

Secret Weapon , 43 minutes ago

Is Sessions a Deep State firewall? Starting to look that way.

TrustbutVerify , 48 minutes ago

Sessions recused himself from the "Russia Collusion" investigation. Now that it is known to have been an extension of Democratic election rigging, and DC bureaucratic "Resistance," he could be initiate a broad sweep investigation into Washington, DC based bureaucratic bias and corruption.

I suspect Sessions will last until after the mid-term elections. Then Trump will fire him and bring someone like Gowdy in to head the DOJ and to bring about investigations.

And, my gosh, there seems to be so much to investigate. And to my mind prosecute.

loop, 49 minutes ago

"I've never seen a President - I don't care who he is - stand up to them (Israel). It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip these people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms.

Our citizens certainly don't have any idea what goes on."

- U.S. Navy Admiral and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Thomas Moorer

mendigo, 59 minutes ago

Cool stuff. But really the cancer goes much deeper. That is the scary part. Trump is now largely controlled by the Borg.

Government employees and elected officials have a choice: can either play along and become wealthy and powerful or have their careers destroyed, or worse.

[Sep 18, 2018] Biden proves that corporate Dems are incapable of learning

Notable quotes:
"... A 75-year old insider that dropped out of the race in 2008, after capturing less than 1% of the vote in the Iowa caucus, and who "occupies the sensible center of the Democratic Party." That just screams excitement, does it not? ..."
"... @Timmethy2.0 ..."
Sep 18, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

span y gjohnsit on Mon, 09/17/2018 - 11:17pm

Even an inbred domesticated pet can learn simple tricks, but corporate Democrats...Let's just say that they are further down the evolutionary ladder.
Joe Biden proved that today.

"Despite losing in the courts, and in the court of opinion, these forces of intolerance remain determined to undermine and roll back the progress you all have made," he said. "This time they - not you - have an ally in the White House. This time they have an ally. They're a small percentage of the American people - virulent people, some of them the dregs of society."

At least he didn't say "deplorables." Why do establishment Dems think that insulting a third of the electorate is a good idea? And why are establishment Dems incapable of learning from 2016? Why do they think Biden is the "solution"?

Amid discussion of resistance to Trump, he surprised me with talk of 2020, when he'll turn 78. "I'll run," the vice president deadpanned, "if I can walk." Three days later, he informed the Washington press corps that he wasn't joking.

Biden isn't likely to run, but keeping the door ajar gives him a bigger voice in Democratic Party debates. The one that worries him most is over repositioning to win back Trump voters. He has little patience with Democrats who want to move either left or right. " 'We gotta move to the center,' 'We gotta move to those white guys,' 'We gotta move to those working-class people' or 'We gotta double down on the social agenda.' " It's a false choice, he said: "They are totally compatible. I have never said anything to the A.C.L.U. that I wouldn't say to the Chamber of Commerce."

A 75-year old insider that dropped out of the race in 2008, after capturing less than 1% of the vote in the Iowa caucus, and who "occupies the sensible center of the Democratic Party." That just screams excitement, does it not? /s And yet the establishment continues to try to force Joe Biden down our throats, but their recent effort is more laughable than most.

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by 7 percentage points in a head-to-head match-up, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

A plurality of registered voters, 44 percent, said they'd choose Biden in the 2020 presidential election, while 37 percent of voters said they would vote for Trump.

The percentage of Democrats who would choose Biden - 80 percent - was slightly higher than the 78 percent of Republicans who would vote for the president's reelection. The former vice president, who ran for the White House in 1988 and 2008, has been floated as a 2020 contender, and Biden himself has said he's not ruling out a third try.

OK. You following this so far? Creepy Joe is the overwhelming favorite, especially amoung Democrats, right?

span y The Voice In th... on Tue, 09/18/2018 - 10:19am
We should be glad, gjohnsit!

I hope they do run Biden and he falls flat on his face. This will hasten the demise of the Democratic Party and make room in the political spectrum for a truly progressive Party.

Regarding retreads, I see that Bill Daley has thrown his hat into the ring for Boss of All Bosses Mayor of Chicago. Another retread but possibly a baby step up from the odious Rahm Emanuel.

span y gjohnsit on Tue, 09/18/2018 - 11:16am
I couldn't vote for Biden

@Timmethy2.0
He's a good example of everything that is wrong with the Dems. I'd vote 3rd party in a heartbeat.

span y dystopian on Tue, 09/18/2018 - 11:31am
Biden for bidet!

Good post gj. Biden is Mr. Establishement, the epitome of what is wrong with the Dem party. Like Clinton, Bush, Trump, Obama, a master at pretending he is there for you. But not really. He's there for corporate America. You are right they haven't learned a thing. Look at the Hillary Atlantic piece (have barf bag handy).

They are self-righteous at a level the precludes objective reflection or introspection. They are a psychopathic mix of ego, greed, power and war monger. They are meeting Einstein's definition of insanity very well, doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I guess a thousand seat loss is no cause for concern.

Its those low-info dregs, and Russia, and Jill Stein, and promises of ponies. Same people running the ship into the same ground. The same 30% of blind followers will always follow their leaders, no matter what, be it Trumpsters or DemBots.

The independents can decide the election...

[Sep 16, 2018] Looks like the key players in Steele dossier were CIA assets

Highly recommended!
'Assume, for the sake of argument, that powerful, connected people in the intelligence community and in politics worried that a wildcard Trump presidency, unlike another Clinton or Bush, might expose a decade-plus of questionable practices. Disrupt long-established money channels. Reveal secret machinations that could arguably land some people in prison.
'What exactly might an "insurance policy" against Donald Trump look like?'
All this leads me back to the suspicion that Steele's involvement may have been less in crafting the dossier, than making it possible to conceal its actual origins while giving it an appearance of credibility. It could also be the case that Nellie Ohr's sudden interest in radio transmissions had to do with communications inside the United States, rather than with Steele.
Notable quotes:
"... A great deal of evidence, I think, suggests that practically all those involved in 'Russiagate' were caught totally unprepared by Trump's victory, that they then went rushing around like headless chickens, and that part of this process involved a decision being taken to publish the dossier, without consulting British intelligence. If people like Younger were not consulted, then it would seem to me unlikely that Steele was. ..."
"... And I have immense difficulty seeing how any competent media lawyer would not have recommended, at the minimum, the redaction of the names of Aleksej Gubarev and his company from the final December 2016 memorandum. This would have made legal action unlikely, without greatly diminishing the effect of the claims. ..."
"... But if this was so, and if what they thought was accurate information was actually disinformation, the likely conduit would not have been through Steele, but from FSB cybersecurity people to their FBI counterparts. ..."
"... It it is I think material that intelligence agencies commonly include a great variety of people, ranging from very able analysts and operators to complete dolts. So, the CIA has employed both Philip Giraldi and John Brennan, MI6 both Alastair Crooke and also Christopher Steele and Alex Younger. ..."
"... It is however somewhat revealing that one now finds Giraldi and Crooke appearing on a Russian site, 'Strategic Culture Foundation', while Brennan and Younger are treated as authoritative figures by the MSM. ..."
"... My strong suspicion is that 'Russiagate' is a kind of nemesis, arising from the fact that key figures in British and American intelligence have, over a protracted period of time, got involved in intrigues where they are way out of their depth. The unintended consequences of these have meant that people like Brennan and Younger, and also Hannigan, have ended up having to resort to desperate measures to cover their backsides. ..."
"... There are many aspects to this story that don't make any sense to me if one looks at it from a rational perspective. One of course being concerns about libel litigation and the related legal discovery that you note. The second being no real contingency planning in the event Hillary loses the election. Admittedly they must have bought the media line and Nate Silver's forecast of a greater than 75% probability of a Hillary win. ..."
"... The purported "arms length" relationships don't make any sense. There's Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson playing a central role. They hire Nellie Ohr, a possible CIA asset and the wife of Bruce Ohr, the 4th highest ranking official at the DOJ. ..."
"... Glenn Simpson also hires Christopher Steele who he knows from previous "spook" associations. Steele had numerous and continuous communications including telephone, Skype, email and personal meetings with Bruce and Nellie Ohr during all this. ..."
"... Then there is Mifsud and Halper. Apparently both are CIA and FBI assets. ..."
"... You have Brennan ginning up concerns giving super secret and individual briefings to the Gang of 8 in Congress. There's Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the minority leader on the Senate Intelligence Committee texting and calling Adam Waldman, Deripaska's US attorney about setting up clandestine meetings with Steele. ..."
"... Not to be left behind there's Sen. McCain doing the same. His top aide even travels to London to meet Steele. And then there's Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page busily spending every waking moment texting each other about every twist and turn in all the political games being played. Of course there's Admiral Rogers investigating unusual searches by FBI officials and contractors on the NSA database. And he briefs President-elect Trump at Trump Tower which prompts the entire transition team to move to Trump's golf course in NJ. ..."
"... In fact the IG report on the Clinton "investigation" states that many at the FBI were accepting "gifts" from various media personalities for a quid pro quo ..."
"... There's Rod Rosenstein, Bruce Ohr's direct boss who testifies he knew nothing about Ohr being a conduit to Strzok for Steele. Of course he knew nothing but signed the FISA application on Carter Page. ..."
"... At this point I don't buy that Christopher Steele dug up real intelligence from his contacts at the highest levels of the Russian government, which caught Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Lynch's pants on fire, who then launched a formal investigation of Russia collusion with Trump. Many things just don't pass the smell test. Now of course I have no qualifications nor experience in spookdom. ..."
"... I agree that it (and Skripalmania) are almost impossible to make sense of unless you think of a bunch of highly politicised not very bright people sinking deeper and deeper into what looked like a bright idea at the time. ..."
"... I ask because, if one tries to look at it in a non-partisan way, the Western IC seemed to be a failure when it came to predicting Russian reactions in the Donbass, the Crimea, and it seems in Syria. I link this to various comments from Colonel Lang indicating that true experts were replaced over the years by less experienced and knowledgeable people. Does being "highly politicised" mean that they're not up to much when it comes to minding the shop? ..."
"... I thought I detected a protest against the politicisation of the US in the world some years ago. And we must not forget that Gen Flynn (DIA) and Adm Rogers (NSA) acted strongly against this. Flynn was the first casualty of the Trump/Russia hysteria and the Clapper claque tried to fire Rogers. ..."
"... I was born in the Depression and have seen vitriolic politics but never have seen such a massive opposition by the media, the pundits and the establishment of both parties. Over 500 print publications endorsed Hillary. Only some 20 endorsed Trump. Yet he confounds the pundits by winning the election. Clearly many voters are at odds with the political media class. ..."
"... I think there is an ideological background to this, on which the piece by Alastair Crooke – himself former MI6 – to which Patrick Armstrong links, and the piece by James George Jatras to which Crooke links, are both to the point. The 'end of history' crowd thought they were inhabiting a realised utopia, and cannot cope with the fact that their dream is collapsing. ..."
"... In relation to the millenarian undercurrents on which Crooke focuses, however, it is also worth noting that a traditional conservative suspicion has been that millenarianism is naturally linked to antinomianism: the belief that the moral law is not binding on the elect. ..."
"... It is obviously possible that Ohr did not report up the chain of command, and if so, he and his wife become pivotal figures in the conspiracy. Alternatively, it could be that Rosenstein is lying – in which case, we have large questions about who else is implicated, and specifically whether the termination of Steele by the FBI was anything more than a ruse. ..."
"... 'Yet, Simpson allegedly acknowledged that most of the information Fusion GPS and British intelligence operative Christopher Steele developed did not come from sources inside Moscow. "Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.," Ohr scribbled in his notes.' ..."
"... And it confirms my strong suspicion that the dossier is actually a composite product, much of it assembled at Fusion, which could indeed contain material from a range of people from the former Soviet space, who could living in the United States, Britain, or elsewhere – Ukraine and the Baltics being obvious possibilities. ..."
"... So Sergei Skripal and Sergei Millian, neither of whom fit the description by Simpson, have been mentioned as possible sources, and there is also the very curiously ambiguous role of Rinat Akhmetshin. ..."
"... All these people, obviously, could simply have fabricated material or retailed gossip, and Steele himself was involved in fabricating material on an industrial scale to cover up what actually happened to Alexander Litvinenko. ..."
"... All this leads me back to the suspicion that Steele's involvement may have been less in crafting the dossier, than making it possible to conceal its actual origins while giving it an appearance of credibility. It could also be the case that Nellie Ohr's sudden interest in radio transmissions had to do with communications inside the United States, rather than with Steele. ..."
"... Apparently that organisation is doing rather well in sustaining the claiming that 'fair report privilege' could circumvent any requirement to prove truth – and a key question now is whether documents which the DOJ is being forced to produce will establish that the dossier was being used by officials in ways that would trigger the privilege as of 10 January 2017. ..."
"... That said, what Ohr reports Simpson as telling him raises fundamental questions about how anyone could have relied upon the dossier for anything – and should push people back to actually asking hard questions about its origins. ..."
"... To add: Steele was on the FBI's payroll, in addition to being on Fusion GPS's payroll. And on the payroll of Her Majesty's Government. After he got caught leaking to the media he was apparently "fired" by the FBI. But he was continuing to communicate and brief through Bruce Ohr at the DOJ. ..."
"... I think the circle of Glenn Simpson. Chris Steele, Bruce & Nellie Ohr, Adam Waldman. Peter Strzok, and Sen. Mark Warner will be very interesting to pursue. ..."
"... The other circle that should be investigated is the Brennan, Clapper, Lynch, Comey, Yates, Susan Rice. ..."
"... No investigation can exclude the active participation of key people from the media complex including people like Comey's good friend Benjamin Wittes. ..."
"... In its original version, the 'Statement of Principles' explained, among other things, that the Society: 'Believes that only modern liberal democratic states are truly legitimate, and that any international organization which admits undemocratic states on an equal basis is fundamentally flawed.' ..."
"... Ironically, it was shortly after the publication of the dossier that Anatol Lieven published in the 'National Interest' an article entitled 'Is America Becoming a Third World Country?' (See https://nationalinterest.or... .) ..."
"... Also in June, Sergei Karaganov published a piece in 'Russia in Global Affairs', of which he is publisher, entitled 'Ideology of Eastward Turn.' ..."
"... I do not think Karaganov's article is simply a reflection of changes in Russian attitudes. The changes, it seems to me, are global. ..."
"... I do think that we in the West really blew it. In 1990, we could have said, in all humility, that our way of life (IMO the key word is pluralism) had proven more survivable. So we should welcome the others into the tent. Instead, we were right and that was that. ..."
"... Just as you're asking about the origins of the dossier I wonder if it was orchestrated or something that evolved organically? If it was orchestrated, then who was the mastermind? Did Brennan, Clapper and Come sit down and hatch it or was Simpson the brains? What is astounding is the scale. So many people involved. Were they all motivated by ideology or by the need to protect their racket? ..."
"... It seems there are many sub-plots. There's the Deripaska, Steele, Waldman, Mueller, Sen. Warner angle. Then there's the Simpson, Steele, Ohr, Strzok, Page, McCabe angle. There's also the Simpson, Steele, media reporters angle. Then there's the whole Mifsud, Halper, Carter Page, Papadopolous, Downer bit. There's the Comey, Rosenstein, Yates, Strzok FISA application piece. Then there's all the stuff happening in the UK including Hannigan's resignation as soon as Trump is elected. Of course the whole Mueller appointment and the obstruction of justice thread to tie Trump's hand. There are so many elements. Who initiated and coordinated? Was each element separate? ..."
"... Together, these methods are likely to have produced a mass of information. It is important to remember, for example, that at the time of his mysterious death on 23 March 2013 Boris Berezovsky was negotiating to return to Russia, and that his head of security, Sergei Sokolov did return, with a 'cache' of documents. ..."
"... The purpose was to demonstrate that Alexei Navalny was the instrument of a 'régime change' plot in which William Browder was acting as an agent of MI6. ..."
"... An important role in the Apelbaum piece is played by the private security company Hakluyt. A quick look at the entries on Wikipedia and Powerbase will make clear that, if there is a British 'deep state', this is likely to be at its core. ..."
"... It is against this background that on has to see a specific claim which Apelbaum makes, for which I do not think any evidence is produced, about two figures whose role in 'Russiagate' is clearly central. So Luke Harding is described as 'A Guardian reporter and a Hakluyt and Orbis contractor' (note word.) Meanwhile, Edward Baumgartner is described as 'Co-founder of Edward Austin. Contractor at Orbis and Hakluyt.' ..."
"... That Harding is corrupt, as also Sir Robert Owen's 'Inquiry' into the death of the late Alexander Litvinenko, I can prove. When Owen's report was published in January 2016, a preliminary response by me was posted here on SST, which among other things listed some of the evidence establishing that the interviews supposedly recorded with Litvinenko by Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt immediately before his death were blatant forgeries. ..."
"... In relation to that part of the evidence discussed in my January 2016 post which exposes the fumbling attempts by Steele and his colleagues to cover up the truth about when and how Litvinenko travelled into central London on the day he was supposedly killed, most of this had been among a mass of material submitted by me to the Inquiry Team, which I have e-mails to prove was read. ..."
"... Further study of Owen's report has confirmed my suspicion that a strong 'prima facie case' of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice exists against very many of those involved in it. ..."
"... At the same time, materials produced on the Russian side have confirmed my suspicion that the reason why Steele and others have been able to get away with their cover-up is that the Russian intelligence services are no more enthusiastic than their British counterparts about having anything like the whole truth about how Litvinenko lived and died made public. ..."
"... Additionally, the text itself displays an odd parallelism with his assertion regarding the Steele Dossier- that is, the likelihood of multiple authors, of diverse origins. ..."
"... My curiosity about who Apelbaum might be is reinforced by the fact that the intimations he gives about his background in his responses to comments, while not incompatible with what he has said in the past, do not sit so easily with it. ..."
"... So, questions naturally arise about Apelbaum's intelligence career, in particular, who he is likely to have been employed by, and associated with, in the past, and whether he is still involved with any of those agencies which have employed him. ..."
"... 'Also, there is a large Hakluyt/Orbis "commercial intelligence" network in the US that regularly services political and federal agencies and has the power to summon Nazgûls the likes of John Brennan. So Steele is not the new kid on the block, he has been doing this type of work long before 2016. This is also why he has such a cozy relationship with the brass at the DOJ and state.' ..."
"... This is that he, the Ukrainian nationalist former KGB person Yuri Shvets, the convicted Italian disinformation peddler Mario Scaramella, and quite possibly the sometime key FBI expert on Mogilevich, Robert 'Bobby' Levinson, were involved in trying to suggest that Mogilevich was an instrument of a plot by Putin to equip Al Qaeda with a 'mini nuclear bomb.' ..."
"... In his prepared statement, Lugovoi claimed that his supposed victim used to say that everyone in Britain were ''retards', to use the translation submitted in evidence to Owen's Inquiry, or 'idiots', to use that by RT. And according to this version, the British believed in everything that 'we' – that is, the Berezovky group – said was happening in Russia. ..."
"... Whether or not Litvinenko expressed this cynical contempt, the credulity with which the claims of the 'information operations' people around Berezovsky have been accepted – well illustrated by Owen's report and perhaps most ludicrous in Harding's journalism – makes clear it is justified. ..."
"... Perhaps then, cartoons about Trump as a puppet, with the strings pulled by another puppet representing Manafort, whose strings are in turn pulled by Putin, should be replaced by ones in which Mueller is seen as a puppet manipulated by the ghost of Boris Berezovsky. ..."
"... But that is the irony. The relationship with Berezovsky blew up in the faces of all concerned, when in the wake of the successsful corruption of the investigation into the death of Litvinenko by him and his 'information operations' people, he attempted to recoup his fortunes by suing Roman Abramovich, and got taken to pieces by Lord Sumption. ..."
"... The 'Vesti Nedeli' piece uses what Elizaveta Berezovskaya says in support of the claim that Berezovsky was murdered by British 'special forces', because he was planning to return to Russia, and he 'knew too much about them.' ..."
"... One of the things I've never understood about the Trump Dossier story is the lack of any forensic analysis of its content and style anywhere in the media, even the alt media. Who was supposed to have actually written it? Steele? The style does not match someone of his background and education, and the formatting and syntax were atrocious. The font actually varied from "report" to "report." It certainly did not give me the impression of being the product of a high-end, Belgravia consultancy. ..."
"... I wonder whether it was produced by an American of one sort or another and then "laundered" by being accorded association with the UK firm. Given that Steele just happened to be hired by the USG to help in the anti-FIFA skulduggery, he and his firm seem very much to be a concern that does dirty little jobs that need discretely to be done, though in this case, the discretion was undermined. ..."
"... Most of the memos were issued before October and Fusion/Simpson authorized Steele to release information to the FBI starting in July. The question is why the memos were released after the election when a release before the election would have been enough to sink Trump. Instead the FBI and presumably those paying Fusion on Hillarys behalf sat on it, and Comey comes out days before the election ..."
"... Kind of looks like they all wanted Trump in office and the disclosure was to give Trump the excuse needed to back track on his promises to improve relations with Russia and blame that on pressure from the Deep State and Russia Gate. ..."
"... Looking at Trumps history with Sater (FBI/CIA asset) and his political aspirations that began following his Moscow visit in 1987 it seems likely Trump has been a Deep State asset for 30 years and fed intelligence to CIA/FBI on Russian oligarchs and mafia . Indeed he may well have duped Russians into believing he was working for them when in fact it was the CIA/FBI who had the best Kompromat with US RICO laws that could have beggared him ..."
"... One thing to remember about the FBI is Sy Hersh. Hersh claims the FBI has been sitting on a report for two years that fingers murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich as the Wikileaks DNC email leaker (or one of them, at least.) ..."
"... I suspect the decision to publish the dossier was political. It was required to enable Clapper, Brennan, and others to opine on national media and create further media hysteria prior to the vote as well as to justify the counter-intelligence investigations underway. They were throwing the kitchen sink to sink Trump's electoral chances. I don't think a lot of thought was given about the legal ramifications. ..."
"... This seems to be a pattern. Leak information. Then use the leaked story to justify actions like apply for a FISA warrant or fan the media flames. ..."
"... I find it incredulous that former leaders of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies have gained paid access to powerful media platforms and they have used it to launch vicious attacks on a POTUS. ..."
"... I find it amazing that McCabe and Peter Strzok are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars on social media platforms. ..."
"... If the GOP retains the House and Jim Jordan becomes speaker, then there may be a possibility that Sessions, Rosenstein and Wray may be fired and another special counsel appointed who will then convene a grand jury. ..."
Aug 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

My strong impression is that nobody on the British side vetted the dossier for publication. A striking feature of the early news coverage is that there appeared to be total confusion, with some of the reporting suggesting that the sources quoted wanted to hang him out to dry, others that they wanted to defend him.

An interesting aspect is that not only were anonymous sources linked to MI6 quoted on both sides of the argument -- which could have been explained by disagreements within the organisation: in different stories, not however far apart in date, its head, Sir Alex Younger, was portrayed as holding radically different views.

When CNN publicised the existence of the dossier on 10 January 2017, the same day that it was published by 'BuzzFeed', it suggested that the author was British. The following day, the WSJ named Steele.

On 13 January, Martin Robinson, UK Chief Reporter for 'Mail Online', published a report whose headlines seem worth quoting in full:

'I introduced him to my wife as James Bond': Former spy Chris Steele's friends describe a "show-off" 007 figure but MI6 bosses brand him "an idiot" for an "appalling lack of judgement" over the Trump "dirty dossier": Intelligence expert Nigel West says friend is like Ian Fleming's famous character; He said: "He's James Bond. I actually introduced him to my wife as James Bond'; Mr West says Steele dislikes Putin and Kremlin for ignoring rules of espionage; Angry spy source calls him 'idiot' and blasts decision to take on the Trump work; Current MI6 boss Sir Alex Younger is said to be livid about reputation damage.'

(See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/... . )

On 15 January, however, Kim Sengupta, Defence Editor of the 'Independent', produced a report headlined: 'Head of MI6 used information from Trump dossier in first public speech; Warnings on cyberattacks show ex-spy's work is respected.'

(See https://www.independent.co.... .)

A great deal of evidence, I think, suggests that practically all those involved in 'Russiagate' were caught totally unprepared by Trump's victory, that they then went rushing around like headless chickens, and that part of this process involved a decision being taken to publish the dossier, without consulting British intelligence. If people like Younger were not consulted, then it would seem to me unlikely that Steele was.

This leads me on to another puzzle about the dossier to which I have been having a difficulty finding a solution. Long years ago I was reasonably familiar with libel law in relation to journalism. Anyone who 'served indentures', as very many of us did in those days, had to study it. Later, I got involved in a protracted libel suit -- successfully, I hasten to add -- in relation to a programme I made, and had the sobering experience of having a top-class libel barrister requiring me to justify every assertion I had made.

In the jargon then, a crucial question when an article, or programme, was being 'vetted' before publication was whether it represented a 'fair business risk.' This involved both the technical legal issues, and also judgements as to whether people were likely to sue, and how if they did the case would be likely to pan out.

On the face of things, one would not have expected that people at 'BuzzFeed' would have gone ahead and make the dossier public, without having it 'vetted' by competent lawyers. And I have difficulty seeing how, if they did, the advice could have been to publish what they published.

I have some difficulty seeing how the advice could have been to include the memorandum with the claims about the Alfa Group oligarchs, unless either these could be seriously defended or it was assumed that contesting them effectively would involve revealing more 'dirty linen' than these wanted to see aired in public.

And I have immense difficulty seeing how any competent media lawyer would not have recommended, at the minimum, the redaction of the names of Aleksej Gubarev and his company from the final December 2016 memorandum. This would have made legal action unlikely, without greatly diminishing the effect of the claims.

Trying to make sense of why such an obvious precaution was not taken, I find myself wondering whether, in fact, the reason may have been that the people responsible for the dossier may have actually believed this part of it at least.

If that is so, however, the most plausible explanation I can see is that while other claims in the dossier may well be total fabrication, either by the people at Fusion and Steele or by some of their questionable contacts, this information at least did come from what Glenn Simpson, Nellie Ohr et al thought were reliable Russian government sources.

But if this was so, and if what they thought was accurate information was actually disinformation, the likely conduit would not have been through Steele, but from FSB cybersecurity people to their FBI counterparts.

I think that the cases involving Karim Baratov and Dmitri Dokuchaev and his colleagues may be much more complex than is apparent from what looks to me like patent disinformation put out both on the Western and Russian sides.

It it is I think material that intelligence agencies commonly include a great variety of people, ranging from very able analysts and operators to complete dolts. So, the CIA has employed both Philip Giraldi and John Brennan, MI6 both Alastair Crooke and also Christopher Steele and Alex Younger.

It is however somewhat revealing that one now finds Giraldi and Crooke appearing on a Russian site, 'Strategic Culture Foundation', while Brennan and Younger are treated as authoritative figures by the MSM.

If you want to get a clear picture of quite how low-grade the latter figure is, incidentally, it is worth looking at the speech to which Kim Sengupta refers.

(See https://www.sis.gov.uk/medi... .)

A favourite line of mine comes in Younger's discussion of the -- actually largely mythical -- notion of 'hybrid warfare': 'In this arena, our opponents are often states whose very survival owes to the strength of their security capabilities; the work is complex and risky, often with the full weight of the State seeking to root us out.'

Leaving aside the fact that this is borderline illiterate, what it amazing is Younger's apparent blindness to clearly unintended implications of what he writes. If indeed, the 'very survival' of the Russian state 'owes to the strength of [its] security capabilities', the conclusions, seen from a Russian point of view, would seem rather obvious: vote Putin, and give medals to Patrushev and Bortnikov.

My strong suspicion is that 'Russiagate' is a kind of nemesis, arising from the fact that key figures in British and American intelligence have, over a protracted period of time, got involved in intrigues where they are way out of their depth. The unintended consequences of these have meant that people like Brennan and Younger, and also Hannigan, have ended up having to resort to desperate measures to cover their backsides.

Posted at 01:19 PM in Habakkuk , Intelligence | Permalink

Jack , 4 days ago

David

There are many aspects to this story that don't make any sense to me if one looks at it from a rational perspective. One of course being concerns about libel litigation and the related legal discovery that you note. The second being no real contingency planning in the event Hillary loses the election. Admittedly they must have bought the media line and Nate Silver's forecast of a greater than 75% probability of a Hillary win.

The purported "arms length" relationships don't make any sense. There's Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson playing a central role. They hire Nellie Ohr, a possible CIA asset and the wife of Bruce Ohr, the 4th highest ranking official at the DOJ.

Glenn Simpson also hires Christopher Steele who he knows from previous "spook" associations. Steele had numerous and continuous communications including telephone, Skype, email and personal meetings with Bruce and Nellie Ohr during all this. They even have discussions about Deripaska and about his visa application to visit the US. Bruce is a conduit to Strzok at FBI. Glenn Simpson also is part of these discussions with Steele and the Ohrs.

Simpson also arranges for Steele to brief "reporters" like David Corn and others at the NY Times, WaPo, WSJ, Politico and others. Then there is Mifsud and Halper. Apparently both are CIA and FBI assets. They are communicating with Carter Page and Papadopolous, who in turn is drinking and yapping with Aussie ambassador Downer.

You have Brennan ginning up concerns giving super secret and individual briefings to the Gang of 8 in Congress. There's Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the minority leader on the Senate Intelligence Committee texting and calling Adam Waldman, Deripaska's US attorney about setting up clandestine meetings with Steele. There's Sen. Harry Reid passing on the Steele "dossier" to Comey.

Not to be left behind there's Sen. McCain doing the same. His top aide even travels to London to meet Steele. And then there's Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page busily spending every waking moment texting each other about every twist and turn in all the political games being played. Of course there's Admiral Rogers investigating unusual searches by FBI officials and contractors on the NSA database. And he briefs President-elect Trump at Trump Tower which prompts the entire transition team to move to Trump's golf course in NJ.

Oh, there is also Nellie Ohr setting up ham radio to avoid detection in her communications with Steele. Then we have everyone leaking and spinning to their "cohorts" in the premier media like the NY Times, CNN and WaPo.

Comey even has his buddy a professor and ostensibly his legal counsel on the payroll of the FBI as a contractor with access to all the sensitive databases leaking to the media.

Andy McCabe has his legal counsel Lisa Page spin stories around his wife's huge campaign contributions from Clinton consigliere McAuliffe.

In fact the IG report on the Clinton "investigation" states that many at the FBI were accepting "gifts" from various media personalities for a quid pro quo.

As if all this was not enough there's AG Loretta Lynch, meeting with Bill Clinton on a tarmac ostensibly to discuss their grandkids. Not to forget there were these "unmaskings" of surveillance information by Susan Rice, Samantha Power.

There's Rod Rosenstein, Bruce Ohr's direct boss who testifies he knew nothing about Ohr being a conduit to Strzok for Steele. Of course he knew nothing but signed the FISA application on Carter Page. Then there are the FISC judges who never believed their mandate required them to verify the evidence before issuing sweeping surveillance warrants. Now all this is what I as an old farmer and winemaker have read. Those more in tune would easily add to these convoluted machinations.

I don't know how to make sense of all this. All I see is the extent of effort to prevent Donald Trump from being elected and after he won from governing. The most obvious observation is that the leadership in our law enforcement and intelligence agencies are so busy politicking spinning and leaking they have neither the time or the inclination let alone competence to do their real job for which they get paid a handsome wage and sterling benefits.

At this point I don't buy that Christopher Steele dug up real intelligence from his contacts at the highest levels of the Russian government, which caught Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Lynch's pants on fire, who then launched a formal investigation of Russia collusion with Trump. Many things just don't pass the smell test. Now of course I have no qualifications nor experience in spookdom.

If you have any speculative theories that connects some of the dots it would be my great pleasure to read.

Patrick Armstrong -> Jack , 3 days ago

I agree that it (and Skripalmania) are almost impossible to make sense of unless you think of a bunch of highly politicised not very bright people sinking deeper and deeper into what looked like a bright idea at the time.

Confident that their horse is going to win the race and that the media will cover it all up and nobody will ever hear anything about anything. Now that the unexpected happened, they're just spinning and denying faster hoping the Dems win in Nov and stop all the investigations. And, they're getting nervous wondering who's going to sell out whom next. Up and down, around and around. Gerbils -- there really isn't anything very consistent, planned or thought-out.

In this respect, this piece attempts to make sense (on a very large scale) of their panic. https://www.strategic-cultu...

English Outsider -> Patrick Armstrong , a day ago

"I agree that it (and Skripalmania) are almost impossible to make sense of unless you think of a bunch of highly politicised not very bright people sinking deeper and deeper into what looked like a bright idea at the time."

I believe your summary of what's happening is more accurate than Alastair Crooke's as set out in the article linked to.

But bright or not, what are these people in the IC doing being "highly politicised"? Does that not render them considerably less efficient?

I ask because, if one tries to look at it in a non-partisan way, the Western IC seemed to be a failure when it came to predicting Russian reactions in the Donbass, the Crimea, and it seems in Syria. I link this to various comments from Colonel Lang indicating that true experts were replaced over the years by less experienced and knowledgeable people. Does being "highly politicised" mean that they're not up to much when it comes to minding the shop?

Patrick Armstrong -> English Outsider , 5 hours ago

I thought I detected a protest against the politicisation of the US in the world some years ago. And we must not forget that Gen Flynn (DIA) and Adm Rogers (NSA) acted strongly against this. Flynn was the first casualty of the Trump/Russia hysteria and the Clapper claque tried to fire Rogers.

https://russia-insider.com/...

Jack -> Patrick Armstrong , 3 days ago

Patrick

Usually the incumbent party loses the mid-term election. The Democrats lost big in Obama's first mid-term. The Republicans won the House and gained six senators. While the punditry claims a Blue Wave and Nate Silver is giving the Dems the odds. I'm not so sure. I think the GOP will increase their majority in the Senate putting any conviction of Trump out of question.

I was born in the Depression and have seen vitriolic politics but never have seen such a massive opposition by the media, the pundits and the establishment of both parties. Over 500 print publications endorsed Hillary. Only some 20 endorsed Trump. Yet he confounds the pundits by winning the election. Clearly many voters are at odds with the political media class.

Patrick Armstrong -> Jack , 2 days ago

Yeah. My bet is that the Repubs hold onto both. 1) the economy is getting better 2) what do the Dems have to offer other than this crazy Trump/Russia thing?

Rob -> Patrick Armstrong , a day ago

Economy will slow down sharply in 2019 but there should be enough momentum to help with the mid-terms. Trump needs to stop with the endless sanction stuff. The House does look like a close one.

Pat Lang Mod -> Rob , a day ago

what is the evidence for a slowdown in 2019?

Rob -> Pat Lang , a day ago

With all the caveats that apply to financial forecasting copper, monetary indicators and equity markets are all flagging a slowdown is upon us.

David Habakkuk -> Jack , 3 days ago

Jack,

At a very general level, a 'speculative theory' which I have been mulling over for some time was rather well set out in a commentary in 'The Hill' on 9 August by Sharyl Attkisson, which opens:

'Let's begin in the realm of the fanciful.

'Assume, for the sake of argument, that powerful, connected people in the intelligence community and in politics worried that a wildcard Trump presidency, unlike another Clinton or Bush, might expose a decade-plus of questionable practices. Disrupt long-established money channels. Reveal secret machinations that could arguably land some people in prison.

'What exactly might an "insurance policy" against Donald Trump look like?'

And Attkisson goes on to outline precisely the developments that appear to have happened.

(See http://thehill.com/opinion/... .)

I think there is an ideological background to this, on which the piece by Alastair Crooke – himself former MI6 – to which Patrick Armstrong links, and the piece by James George Jatras to which Crooke links, are both to the point. The 'end of history' crowd thought they were inhabiting a realised utopia, and cannot cope with the fact that their dream is collapsing.

In relation to the millenarian undercurrents on which Crooke focuses, however, it is also worth noting that a traditional conservative suspicion has been that millenarianism is naturally linked to antinomianism: the belief that the moral law is not binding on the elect. And in turn, according to a familiar skeptical view, antinomianism can easily end up in in straightforward rascality.

On the rascality – to which Attkisson is pointing – I am working on how parts of the picture can be fleshed out. A few preliminary points raised by your remarks.

As you note, 'There's Rod Rosenstein, Bruce Ohr's direct boss who testifies he knew nothing about Ohr being a conduit to Strzok for Steele.' So, we know that Ohr and Steele were conspiring together to ensure that the latter could continue to be intimately involved in the Mueller investigation, despite the FBI termination,

It is obviously possible that Ohr did not report up the chain of command, and if so, he and his wife become pivotal figures in the conspiracy. Alternatively, it could be that Rosenstein is lying – in which case, we have large questions about who else is implicated, and specifically whether the termination of Steele by the FBI was anything more than a ruse.

If, as seems to me likely, although not certain, the second possibility is closer to the truth than the former, then before Ohr testifies on 28 August before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees he will have to consider whether he is prepared to 'take the rap' for his superiors, or 'sing sweetly.'

The fact that in a report in 'The Hill', I think on the same day as the Attkisson piece, John Solomon was quoting from Ohr's handwritten notes of a meeting with Glenn Simpson in December 2016 makes me wonder whether he may not already have made a decision. A key paragraph from the report:

'Yet, Simpson allegedly acknowledged that most of the information Fusion GPS and British intelligence operative Christopher Steele developed did not come from sources inside Moscow. "Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.," Ohr scribbled in his notes.'

(See http://thehill.com/hilltv/r... .)

There is I think a need for caution here. There is no guarantee that Simpson was telling the literal truth to Ohr, or indeed the latter reproducing with absolute accuracy with he was told (handwritten notes can be disposed of easily, but they can also be rewritten.)

One is I think on firmer ground in relation to what it suggests was not the case – that there is any substance whatsoever in the ludicrous story of someone running a private security company in London sending out hired employees who then gain access to top Kremlin insiders, with these, of course, telling them precisely what they actually think.

And it confirms my strong suspicion that the dossier is actually a composite product, much of it assembled at Fusion, which could indeed contain material from a range of people from the former Soviet space, who could living in the United States, Britain, or elsewhere – Ukraine and the Baltics being obvious possibilities.

So Sergei Skripal and Sergei Millian, neither of whom fit the description by Simpson, have been mentioned as possible sources, and there is also the very curiously ambiguous role of Rinat Akhmetshin.

All these people, obviously, could simply have fabricated material or retailed gossip, and Steele himself was involved in fabricating material on an industrial scale to cover up what actually happened to Alexander Litvinenko.

That said, I continue to think it possible that both the second and final memoranda may incorporate some 'glitter', as well as 'chickenfeed' fed from FSB cybersecurity people to their FBI counterparts, to hark back to George Smiley says to the Minister, quite possibly included in the hope that the BS involved would be reproduced in contexts where it could provoke legal action.

All this leads me back to the suspicion that Steele's involvement may have been less in crafting the dossier, than making it possible to conceal its actual origins while giving it an appearance of credibility. It could also be the case that Nellie Ohr's sudden interest in radio transmissions had to do with communications inside the United States, rather than with Steele.

It could then be that Steele has been, in effect, hoist with his own petard, in that he is having to sustain the fiction that he had some kind of grounds for making the claims about Aleksej Gubarev and XBT. How far this matters, at least in relation to the action bought against 'BuzzFeed' in Florida, remains moot at the moment.

Apparently that organisation is doing rather well in sustaining the claiming that 'fair report privilege' could circumvent any requirement to prove truth – and a key question now is whether documents which the DOJ is being forced to produce will establish that the dossier was being used by officials in ways that would trigger the privilege as of 10 January 2017.

That said, what Ohr reports Simpson as telling him raises fundamental questions about how anyone could have relied upon the dossier for anything – and should push people back to actually asking hard questions about its origins.

fanto -> David Habakkuk , 2 days ago

Mr Habakkuk, you mention "ambiguous role of Rinat Akhmetshin" - I am not sure if you meant Akhmetov.

I am surprised and curious about you mentioning him - if you meant Akhmetov - because that is one name among all the oligarchs which has so far not been prominent. Thank you for your posts, these posts and the SST comments could and should serve as help to the congressional investigations and hearings.

blue peacock -> Jack , 4 days ago

Jack

To add: Steele was on the FBI's payroll, in addition to being on Fusion GPS's payroll. And on the payroll of Her Majesty's Government. After he got caught leaking to the media he was apparently "fired" by the FBI. But he was continuing to communicate and brief through Bruce Ohr at the DOJ.

I think the circle of Glenn Simpson. Chris Steele, Bruce & Nellie Ohr, Adam Waldman. Peter Strzok, and Sen. Mark Warner will be very interesting to pursue.

The other circle that should be investigated is the Brennan, Clapper, Lynch, Comey, Yates, Susan Rice.

No investigation can exclude the active participation of key people from the media complex including people like Comey's good friend Benjamin Wittes.

Patrick Armstrong , 3 days ago

Younger isn't the brightest bulb in the box, is he?

"If you doubt the link between legitimacy and effective counter-terrorism, then – albeit negatively – the unfolding tragedy in Syria will, I fear, provide proof. I believe the Russian conduct in Syria, allied with that of Assad's discredited regime, will, if they do not change course, provide a tragic example of the perils of forfeiting legitimacy. In defining as a terrorist anyone who opposes a brutal government, they alienate precisely that group that has to be on side if the extremists are to be defeated. Meanwhile, in Aleppo, Russia and the Syrian regime seek to make a desert and call it peace. The human tragedy is heart-breaking"

David Habakkuk -> Patrick Armstrong , 3 days ago

Patrick,

Those were indeed some of the most inane comments in an inane piece.

But then, if you read an interview given to Jay Elwes of 'Prospect' magazine in May last year by Younger's predecessor Sir Richard Dearlove, who looks to have been a significant background presence in what has been going on, you will find that, although he is much more coherent than than his successor, it is almost as inane.

(See https://www.prospectmagazin... . )

As it happens, Dearlove was one of the signatories of the 'Statement of Principles' of something called the 'Henry Jackson Society.'

This was founded in 2005, in Cambridge, by a group in whom acolytes of an historian called Maurice Cowling were prominent – Dearlove is himself a graduate in history from that university.

In its original version, the 'Statement of Principles' explained, among other things, that the Society: 'Believes that only modern liberal democratic states are truly legitimate, and that any international organization which admits undemocratic states on an equal basis is fundamentally flawed.'

(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... .)

Ironically, it was shortly after the publication of the dossier that Anatol Lieven published in the 'National Interest' an article entitled 'Is America Becoming a Third World Country?' (See https://nationalinterest.or... .)

Among other things, he harked back to the way that, in 1648, a century and a half of bloody ideological strife in Europe had been ended with a recognition that the legitimacy of different state forms had to be accepted, if a kind of 'war of all against all' was to be avoided.

And Lieven went on to reflect on the way that, at what was then widely seen as the end of the Cold War, the abandonment of universalisitic pretensions by Russia and China was interpreted as justifying an embrace of these by the the West.

This, he went on to argue, had actually had the paradoxical effect of relegitimising 'régimes' which do not conform to Western 'democratic' models, concluding by noting what appears to our new, quasi-Soviet, preference for not letting experience interfere with ideological dogma:

'Finally – even after the catastrophes of Iraq and Libya – there is almost no awareness among US policymakers of the fact that US attempts to change the regimes of other countries are likely to be seen not only by the elites of those countries but also by their populations as leading to – and intended to lead to – the destruction of the state itself, leading to disaster for its society and population. When the Communist regime in the USSR collapsed (though only in part under Western pressure), it took the Soviet state with it. The Russian state came close to following suit in the years that followed, Russia was reduced to impotence on the world stage, and large parts of the Russian and other populations suffered economic and social disaster. Remembering their own past experiences with state collapse, warlordism, famine and foreign invasion, Chinese people looked at this awful spectacle and huddled closer to the Chinese state – one that they may dislike in many ways, but which they certainly trust more than anything America has to offer – especially given the apparent decay of democracy throughout the West.'

( https://nationalinterest.or... .)

I read with interest your piece back in June entitled 'Putin Once Dreamed the American Dream', reprinting Charles Heberle's account of the 'Transforming Subjects Into Citizens' project, and the attitude of some people close to Putin to it.

(See https://patrickarmstrong.ca... .)

One of the things which struck me was that the question why the American Revolution succeeded, and so many others failed, which was concerning the intellectuals to whom Heberle talked, is one of the central questions of modern political thought, from Tocqueville on.

(Indeed, the question of the preconditions for what might be called 'constitutional' government, has been central to 'republican' thought, ever since it was revived by Italian thinkers, including prominently Machiavelli, when the 'Renaissance' made them reactivate and rework debates from ancient Rome and Greece.)

However, to hark back to the anxieties expressed by Lieven, nothing in the analysis of the great French thinker necessary guarantees that the success of 'Democracy in America' is stable and permanent, or indeed that the relatively civilised order of the post-war 'Pax Americana' is necessarily durable in Western Europe.

Also in June, Sergei Karaganov published a piece in 'Russia in Global Affairs', of which he is publisher, entitled 'Ideology of Eastward Turn.' A paragraph that struck me:

'Russian society should by no means abdicate from its mostly European culture. But it should certainly stop being afraid, let alone feel ashamed, of its Asianism. It should be remembered that from the standpoint of prevailing social mentality and society's attitude to the authorities Russia, just as China and many other Asian states, are offspring of Chengiss Khan's Empire. This is no reason for throwing up hands in despair or for beginning to despise one's own people, contrary to what many members of intelligencia sometimes do. It should be accepted as a fact of life and used as a strength. The more so, since amid the harsh competitive environment of the modern world the authoritarian type of government – in the context of a market economy and equitable military potentials – is certainly far more effective than modern democracy. This is what our Western partners find so worrisome. Of course, we should bear in mind that authoritarianism – just like democracy – may lead to stagnation and degradation. Russia is certainly confronted with such a risk.'

Unlike you, I cannot claim serious expertise on Russia. But, as a reasonably alert generalist television current affairs producer, I took note of the indications which were emerging in the course of 1987 that the Gorbachev 'new thinking' was underpinned by a realisation that Soviet institutions and ideas had become fundamentally dysfunctional, to which you have referred repeatedly over the years.

And, after long tedious months trying interest the powers that were in British broadcasting in what was happening, I ended up producing a couple of programmes for BBC Radio in February/March 1989 in which we interviewed some of the leading 'new thinkers', among them Karaganov's then immediate superior at the Institute of Europe, Vitaly Zhurkin.

At the Institute for the USA and Canada, by contrast, we did not interview its head, Georgiy Arbatov, but his deputy, Andrei Kokoshin, and one of the latter's mentors on military matters and collaborators General-Mayor Valentin Larionov, who I later realised had earlier been one of the foremost Soviet nuclear strategists. (At the Institute for World Economy and International Relations, we interviewed Arbatov's son, Alexei.)

Talking to these people we got a sense, although it had to be fleshed out later, of the scale of the disillusion with Soviet models, and indeed – which began to frighten me not long after – of the way many of them were romanticising the West.

What Karaganov now writes is I think a hardly very surprising reaction to the way that the Western powers responded to the 'new thinking.' Moreover, it seems to me that the disillusionment involved is in no sense particular Russian, but rather global.

If one regards 'democracy' as though it were quoted on the stock exchange, before 1914 there were very many buyers, including among the Russian élite. By 1931, in very many places, including large sections of the 'intelligentsia' in Western countries, it was a sellers' market, to put it mildly.

After 1945, a kind of long 'bull market' in 'democracy' started: for very good reasons.

The – largely but very far from entirely – peaceful retreat and collapse of Soviet power was to a very significant extent the product of this. The subsequent behaviour of Western élites has generated a vicious 'bear market', a fact they appear unable to understand.

I do not think Karaganov's article is simply a reflection of changes in Russian attitudes. The changes, it seems to me, are global.

Patrick Armstrong -> David Habakkuk , 3 days ago

I do think that we in the West really blew it. In 1990, we could have said, in all humility, that our way of life (IMO the key word is pluralism) had proven more survivable. So we should welcome the others into the tent. Instead, we were right and that was that.

PS, in light of the Henry Jackson society and all Younger's references to "values" this one rather stands out "A vital lesson I take from the Chilcot Report is the danger of group think."

Yeah. Group think, the very opposite of what I mean by pluralism.

Jack -> David Habakkuk , 3 days ago

David,

Sharyl Atkinson describes well the conspiracy. When one steps back and look at all the machinations we know now, it seems incredible.

Just as you're asking about the origins of the dossier I wonder if it was orchestrated or something that evolved organically? If it was orchestrated, then who was the mastermind? Did Brennan, Clapper and Come sit down and hatch it or was Simpson the brains? What is astounding is the scale. So many people involved. Were they all motivated by ideology or by the need to protect their racket?

It seems there are many sub-plots. There's the Deripaska, Steele, Waldman, Mueller, Sen. Warner angle. Then there's the Simpson, Steele, Ohr, Strzok, Page, McCabe angle. There's also the Simpson, Steele, media reporters angle. Then there's the whole Mifsud, Halper, Carter Page, Papadopolous, Downer bit. There's the Comey, Rosenstein, Yates, Strzok FISA application piece. Then there's all the stuff happening in the UK including Hannigan's resignation as soon as Trump is elected. Of course the whole Mueller appointment and the obstruction of justice thread to tie Trump's hand. There are so many elements. Who initiated and coordinated? Was each element separate?

There's no doubt a political thriller movie could be made.

FB -> Patrick Armstrong , 3 days ago

Thanks for the quote...LOL

I guess the comedy part is that there actually exist people with medically functioning brains, who are somehow able to contort such a worldview...Aleppo as peaceful 'desert' indeed...who knew that having bearded fanatics in charge is somehow 'better'...[and not 'heart-breaking']...

Michael Regan , 2 days ago

Some here may find blogpost from March of this year interesting as it speaks to the production of the Steele dossier. I have not seen it mentioned here before and a site search produced no results. https://apelbaum.wordpress.... Some sections seem to have gotten David Cay Johnston's hackles up.

David Habakkuk -> Michael Regan , a day ago

Michael Regan,

I had seen Yaacov Apelbaum's piece referred to by Clarice Feldman in a post on the 'American Thinker' site a few days back, but not looked at it properly.

It is indeed fascinating, and clearly repays a closer study than I have so far had time to give it. I was however relieved to find that what Apelbaum writes 'meshes' quite well with my own views of the likely authorship of the dossier.

A question I have is whether the monumental amount of labour involved in producing it can really be the work of a single IT person – however wide-ranging his abilities and interests. My suspicion is that there may be input from Russian intelligence.

This is not said in order to discredit Apelbaum's work. In matters where I have had occasion critically to examine claims from official Russian sources, I have found several unsurprising, but recurring, patterns. Sometimes, the information provided can be shown to be essentially accurate, and it is reasonably clear how it has been obtained.

At other times, claims are made which information from other sources suggests either are, or may well be, true, but the 'sources and methods' involved are deliberately obscured, making evaluation more difficult.

And then, there are many occasions when what one gets is quite patently a mixture of accurate information and disinformation. Analysing these can be very productive, if one can both sift out the accurate information, and attempt to see what the disinformation is designed to obscure.

One thing of which I am absolutely certain is that the networks which are outlined by Apelbaum are precisely those which Russian intelligence will have spent a great deal of time and ingenuity penetrating.

This will have been attempted by 'SIGINT' and surveillance methods, and also through infiltrating agents and turning people. (There are often grounds to suspect that some of those most vociferously denouncing Putin are colluding with Russian intelligence.)

Together, these methods are likely to have produced a mass of information. It is important to remember, for example, that at the time of his mysterious death on 23 March 2013 Boris Berezovsky was negotiating to return to Russia, and that his head of security, Sergei Sokolov did return, with a 'cache' of documents.

Some of these were used back in April 2016 in a 'Vesti Nedeli' edition presented by Dmitry Kiselyov, who manages Russia's informational programming resources, and an accompanying documentary on the 'Pervyi Kanal' station.

The purpose was to demonstrate that Alexei Navalny was the instrument of a 'régime change' plot in which William Browder was acting as an agent of MI6.

There is a good discussion of this, which highlights some of the problems with the documents, by Gilbert Doctorow, and Sokolov appears to have been involved in some murky activities since.

(See https://russia-insider.com/... ; https://en.crimerussia.com/... .)

But whatever the credibility or lack of it of the material, its appearance illustrates a general pattern, where the political disintegration of the London-based opposition to Putin has meant that more and more people involved in it have been supplying information to the Russians.

If, as I strongly suspect, there is fire beneath the smoke in those Russian television programmes, and if a great part of a series of projects of a related kind orchestrated in conjunction by elements in American and British intelligence were actually large run from this side, this will be creating headaches for people in Washington, as well as London.

An important role in the Apelbaum piece is played by the private security company Hakluyt. A quick look at the entries on Wikipedia and Powerbase will make clear that, if there is a British 'deep state', this is likely to be at its core.

(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... ; http://powerbase.info/index... .)

It is against this background that on has to see a specific claim which Apelbaum makes, for which I do not think any evidence is produced, about two figures whose role in 'Russiagate' is clearly central. So Luke Harding is described as 'A Guardian reporter and a Hakluyt and Orbis contractor' (note word.) Meanwhile, Edward Baumgartner is described as 'Co-founder of Edward Austin. Contractor at Orbis and Hakluyt.'

That Harding is corrupt, as also Sir Robert Owen's 'Inquiry' into the death of the late Alexander Litvinenko, I can prove. When Owen's report was published in January 2016, a preliminary response by me was posted here on SST, which among other things listed some of the evidence establishing that the interviews supposedly recorded with Litvinenko by Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt immediately before his death were blatant forgeries.

If this is the case, then questions are raised about how much of the apparently compelling forensic evidence is forged – and close examination suggests that key parts of it are.

(See http://turcopolier.typepad.... .)

In relation to that part of the evidence discussed in my January 2016 post which exposes the fumbling attempts by Steele and his colleagues to cover up the truth about when and how Litvinenko travelled into central London on the day he was supposedly killed, most of this had been among a mass of material submitted by me to the Inquiry Team, which I have e-mails to prove was read.

Likewise, also in January 2016, I sent the key relevant evidence on this crucial matter to Harding and senior figures at the 'Guardian', and have reason to believe it was read.

Further study of Owen's report has confirmed my suspicion that a strong 'prima facie case' of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice exists against very many of those involved in it.

At the same time, materials produced on the Russian side have confirmed my suspicion that the reason why Steele and others have been able to get away with their cover-up is that the Russian intelligence services are no more enthusiastic than their British counterparts about having anything like the whole truth about how Litvinenko lived and died made public.

Given the central role which Steele has now assumed in what looks like one of the biggest political scandals in American history, and the fact that in his book 'Collusion' Harding was again coming out in support of him, it would be of the greatest possible interest if indeed the latter had combined being a senior 'Guardian' correspondent with being paid by both Orbis and – even more important – Hakluyt.

And, particularly given the peculiar ambiguities of the role both of Fusion GPS and Baumgartner in the 'Trump Tower' meeting, it would be of great interest if the latter could be tied not only to Fusion, but to Orbis and – again even more important – Hakluyt.

This in turn might be relevant in trying to make sense of whether the fact that he and Simpson appear to have been working against Trump and Browder at the same time was or was not part of an elaborate ploy to give credibility to 'information operations' against the former.

There are accordingly two possibilities. It may be that, while much else in the Apelbaum material can be shown to be accurate, such accurate information is being used to give credibility to disinformation.

Alternatively, he is being used as a conduit for accurate and really explosive information about the British end of 'Russiagate', which he is unlikely to have unearthed all by himself, and the actual sources of which are – for very understandable reasons – being obscured.

Michael Regan -> David Habakkuk , a day ago

Mr Habakkuk-

Thank you for your reply. You have given me much to think about and I am very grateful that you took the time to respond in such a comprehensive manner, and that you have provided me and others here with some really compelling information and notions.

In particular, the issue of sources and methods you note seems spot on. The author(s)'s information gathering methodologies and expertise are certainly not those of the laiety. In fact in the comments below his post YA mentions intelligence work.

Additionally, the text itself displays an odd parallelism with his assertion regarding the Steele Dossier- that is, the likelihood of multiple authors, of diverse origins.

One thing that did catch my eye was a response he made to David Cay Johnston's pissy request for a retraction about Jacoby involvement. YA included a quote in Latin from Cicero's accusations against Cataline. Here is the English: What is there that you did last night, what the night before -- where is it that you were -- who was there that you summoned to meet you -- what design was there which was adopted by you, with which you think that any one of us is unacquainted?

While this sort of riposte isn't exactly hyper-erudite, it ain't chopped liver either. What I mean to say is that exceptional cyber skills, algorithm coding (I'm guessing crawlers) are not commonly coupled with that sort of classical formation. His recourse to various biblical quotes suggests an unusual level of education as well. And no way is he younger than 38 or so.

At any rate, thank you for the article and your kind and informative reply.

David Habakkuk -> Michael Regan , a day ago

Michael Regan,

Thanks. I have now read both a good few of Apelbaum's earlier posts, and also the comments on his discussion of the dossier. Given the importance of his analysis of that document closer study is clearly needed of all this material, but I have some preliminary reactions.

My curiosity about who Apelbaum might be is reinforced by the fact that the intimations he gives about his background in his responses to comments, while not incompatible with what he has said in the past, do not sit so easily with it.

In a July 2010 post, he explained that: 'In my previous life, I was a civil engineer. I worked for a large power marine construction company doing structural design and field engineering.' According to the account he gave then, he subsequently shifted to software development.

(See https://apelbaum.wordpress.... .)

What he now tells us is that: 'As far as how I first started, I do have an intelligence background and have been developing OSINT/cyber/intelligence platforms for many years.'

That makes sense in terms of the analysis, which – whatever other inputs there may or may not have been – looks to me like the work of someone who has a serious background in these kinds of methodology, and moreover, is clearly not any kind of 'Fachidiot.'

So, questions naturally arise about Apelbaum's intelligence career, in particular, who he is likely to have been employed by, and associated with, in the past, and whether he is still involved with any of those agencies which have employed him.

Even if he is not, questions would obviously rise about present connections arising from past work. This is in addition to the possibility that the logic of events may have provoked him to collaborate with those who might earlier have been his adversaries.

Reading Apelbaum's work, I am reminded of another interesting intervention in an embittered argument relating to the Middle East and the post-Soviet space, from what turned out to be an unexpected source.

In the period following the 'false flag' sarin attack at Ghouta on 21 August 2013 an incisive demolition of the conventional wisdom was provided in the 'crowdsourced' investigation masterminded by one 'sasa wawa' on a site entitled 'Who Attacked Ghouta?'

(See http://whoghouta.blogspot.com .)

And then, in December 2016, an Israeli high technology entrepreneur called Saar Wilf, a former employee of Unit 8200, that country's equivalent of the NSA or GCHQ, who had subsequently made a great deal of money when he and his partner sold their company to Paypal, co-founded a site called 'Rootclaim.'

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

The site, it was explained, was dedicated to applying Bayesian statistics to 'current affairs' problems. This is a methodology, whose modern form owes much to work done at Bletchley Park in the war, which is invaluable in 'SIGINT' analysis and also combating online fraud.

At the outset, 'Rootclaim' posted a recycled version of some of the key material from the 'Who Attacked Ghouta?' investigation. So, it seems likely, if not absolutely certain, that Saar Wilf and 'sasa wawa' are one and the same.

Following the Salisbury incident on 4 March, a blogger using the name 'sushi' produced a series of eleven posts under the title 'A Curious Incident' on the 'Vineyard of the Saker' blog.

(See https://thesaker.is/tag/sushi/ .)

Again, there are some very clear resemblances to 'sasa wawa' and Saar Wilf, which made me wonder whether the same person may be reappearing under yet another 'moniker.'

While the 'flavour' of Apelbaum seems to be different, the combination of what looks like serious technical expertise in IT techniques relating to intelligence with broad general intellectual interests looks to me similar.

I was amused by the combination of his quotation of the words from John 8:32 etched into the wall of the original CIA headquarters – 'And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free' – and the following remarks:

'The June 2016 start date of Steele's contract with Fusion GPS is the start of the "billable" activity, not the beginning of the research. Steele and Simpson/Jacoby have been collaborating on Trump/Russia going back to 2009.

'Also, there is a large Hakluyt/Orbis "commercial intelligence" network in the US that regularly services political and federal agencies and has the power to summon Nazgûls the likes of John Brennan. So Steele is not the new kid on the block, he has been doing this type of work long before 2016. This is also why he has such a cozy relationship with the brass at the DOJ and state.'

As it happens, I think that many of the collaborations involved may have started significantly earlier than this. In his response to David Cay Johnston, Apelbaum links to an April 2007' WSJ' article by Simpon and Jacoby which, among other things, deals with Semyon Mogilevich.

This is behind a paywall, but, fortunately, the fact that Ukrainian nationalists have had an obvious interest in treating it as a source of reliable information has meant that it is easily accessible.

(See www.madcowprod.com/wp-conte... )

It should I think be clear from my January 2016 post why I find this particularly interesting, in that it has to be interpreted in the context of a crucial 'key' to the mystery of the death of Alexander Litvinenko.

This is that he, the Ukrainian nationalist former KGB person Yuri Shvets, the convicted Italian disinformation peddler Mario Scaramella, and quite possibly the sometime key FBI expert on Mogilevich, Robert 'Bobby' Levinson, were involved in trying to suggest that Mogilevich was an instrument of a plot by Putin to equip Al Qaeda with a 'mini nuclear bomb.'

So, I then come back to the question of whether this notion of a 'large Haluyt/Orbis "commercial intelligence" network in the US', playing the role of Sauron with Brennan, perhaps, as the 'Witch-king of Angmar', does or does not have substance.

If it does, there would be very good reasons for a variety of people, with a range of different attitudes to events in the post-Soviet space and the Middle East, to think that they had an interest in collaborating with Russian intelligence against a common enemy.

If it does not, then there is a real possibility that Apelbaum may be involved in using accurate intelligence to disseminate inaccurate. (It seems to me that he is much too intelligent to be a plausible candidate for the role of 'useful idiot.')

One further point that may, or may not, be relevant. Many of the most influential American and British Jews, for reasons which I find somewhat hard to understand, seem to have decided that the heirs of the architects of the Lvov pogrom are nice and cuddly.

So, for example, Chrystia Freeland, the unrepentant granddaughter of the notorious Nazi collaborator Michael Chomiak, has been able to end up as Canadian Foreign Minister because made a successful journalistic career on the London 'Financial Times', a paper with a strong Jewish presence.

That the editorial staff of such a paper thought it appropriate to have someone like Freeland as their Moscow correspondent gives you a good insight into how moronic British élites have become. This may well be relevant, in trying to evaluate claims about Hakluyt and other matters.

In relation to Apelbaum, it may be quite beside the point that other Jews from a Russian/East European background, both in Russia, Israel, and the United States, have very different views on Ukraine, Russia, and the dangers posed – not least to Israel – by jihadists. It is however a fact which needs to be born in mind, when one comes across people whose views cut across conventional dividing lines in the United States and Britain.

Beside the point in relation to Apelbaum, I am confident, but also needing to be kept in mind, is the possibility that elements in the United States 'intelligence community', seeing the 'writing on the wall', may think it appropriate to shift from trying to pass the buck by blaming the Russians to doing so by blaming the Brits.

Michael Regan -> David Habakkuk , a day ago

It seems apparent that Putin's reordering of the Russian economy after the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management, Republic Bank's difficulites and the death of Edmund Safra left a bitter taste in the mouths of many who had hoped to exercise rentier rights over the Russian economy and resources. Why so much US resources and energy have been committed to recovering a contested deed is a real conundrum.

I was unaware of Freeland's grandfather and his lamentable CV. Thank you. It's funny that you mentioned both the Ghouta post and the Vineyard of the Saker. I recall reading those and thinking- this is not like common fare on the intertubes.

Your last points about failings in the quality of elite decision-making is extremely important. This dynamic of the dumb (US, UK, EU) at the wheel is, for me, the most frightening feature of the current state of play. In the worst moments I fear we are all on a bus driven by a drunk monkey, careening through the Andes. It's going to hurt all the way to the bottom.

Again, I am very grateful for your replies and all the great information and thought.

David Habakkuk -> Michael Regan , 2 hours ago

Michael Regan,

I think the question of why large elements in both American and British élites got so heavily invested, in essence, in supporting the oligarchs who refused Putin's terms in what turned into a kind of 'bare knuckles' struggle they were always likely to lose is a very interesting one.

It has long seemed to me that, even if one looked at matters from the most self-interested and cynical point of view, this represented a quite spectacular error of judgement. And, viewing the way in which 'international relations' are rearranging themselves, I am reasonably confident that this was one matter on which I got things right.

A central reason for this, I have come to think, is that Berezovsky and the 'information operations' people round him – Litvinenko is important, but the pivotal figure, the 'mastermind', if you will, was clearly Alex Goldfarb, and Yuri Shvets and Yuri Felshtinsky both played and still play important supporting roles – were telling people in the West what these wanted to hear.

It is a truth if not quite 'universally acknowledged', at least widely recognised by those who have acquired some 'worldly wisdom', that intellectually arrogant people, with limited experience of the world and a narrow education, can commonly be 'led by the nose' by figures who have more of the relevant kinds of intelligence and experience, and few scruples.

This rather basic fact is central to understanding the press conference on 31 May 2007 where the figure whom the Berezovsky group and Christopher Steele had framed in relation to the death of Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi, responded to the Crown Prosecution Service request for his extradition.

In his prepared statement, Lugovoi claimed that his supposed victim used to say that everyone in Britain were ''retards', to use the translation submitted in evidence to Owen's Inquiry, or 'idiots', to use that by RT. And according to this version, the British believed in everything that 'we' – that is, the Berezovky group – said was happening in Russia.

(For the RT translation, see https://www.rt.com/news/and... .)

Whether or not Litvinenko expressed this cynical contempt, the credulity with which the claims of the 'information operations' people around Berezovsky have been accepted – well illustrated by Owen's report and perhaps most ludicrous in Harding's journalism – makes clear it is justified.

What moreover became very evident, when Glenn Simpson testified to the House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary Committees, was that he was once again recycling the Berezovsky's group's version of Putin 'sistema' as the 'return of Karla.'

Given what has been emerging on the ways in which Fusion GPS and Steele were both integrated into networks involving top-level people in the FBI, DOJ, State Department and CIA, it seems clear that the 'retards'/'idiots' label is as applicable to people on your side as to people on ours.

Perhaps then, cartoons about Trump as a puppet, with the strings pulled by another puppet representing Manafort, whose strings are in turn pulled by Putin, should be replaced by ones in which Mueller is seen as a puppet manipulated by the ghost of Boris Berezovsky.

But that is the irony. The relationship with Berezovsky blew up in the faces of all concerned, when in the wake of the successsful corruption of the investigation into the death of Litvinenko by him and his 'information operations' people, he attempted to recoup his fortunes by suing Roman Abramovich, and got taken to pieces by Lord Sumption.

As to what happened next, a recent item on 'Russian Insider', providing a link to and transcript of a more recent piece presented by Dmitry Kiselyov on 'Vesti Nedeli is a good illustration of where accurate information and disinformation can be mixed in material from Russian sources.

(See https://russia-insider.com/... .)

The piece, which appeared in July, discusses, and quotes from, an interview given the previous month to Dmitry Gordon, who runs a Ukrainian nationalist site, by Berezovsky's daughter Elizaveta. Among other things, this deals with Berezovsky's death.

(See https://gordonua.com/public... . A little manipulation will get you a reasonably serviceable English translation, although it becomes comic because Berezovsky is referred to as 'pope'.)

The 'Vesti Nedeli' piece uses what Elizaveta Berezovskaya says in support of the claim that Berezovsky was murdered by British 'special forces', because he was planning to return to Russia, and he 'knew too much about them.'

As it happens, this is a patently tendentious reading of what she says. However, interesting features of the actual text of the interview are 1. that it does provide what to my mind is compelling evidence that her father was murdered, and 2. while she clearly suggests that this was covered up by the British, she is not suggesting that they were responsible – but also not making Putin 'prime suspect.'

Whether the suggestion by his daughter that her father might have been murdered by people who knew that by so doing they might get control of assets he might otherwise recoup has any merit I cannot say: I doubt it but cannot simply rule the possibility out.

What remains the case is that at that point there were very many people, including but in no way limited to elements in Western intelligence agencies, who had strong interests in avoiding a return by Berezovsky to Russia.

And the same people had the strongest possible interest in avoiding his being treated at the Inquest into Litvinenko's death by a competent barrister representing the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the way he had been treated by Lord Sumption.

Ironically, it may have been partly because Lugovoi had made a dramatic announcement that he was withdrawing from the proceedings less than a fortnight before Berezovsky's death that before this happened a lot of people were staring at an absolutely worst-case scenario.

Time and again, in Owen's report, one finds matters where he recycles patent disinformation, which a well-briefed barrister acting for the ICRF could have easily ripped to shreds. At the same time, in this situation, the Russians could most probably have made a reasonable fist of coping with the multiple contradictions in claims made on their own side.

And, crucially, their patent weak suit – the need to obscure the actual role of Russian intelligence in the smuggling of the polonium into London, which had nothing to do with any murder plot – could have been reasonably well 'covered.'

Precisely because of these facts, the one scenario which can very easily be completely ruled out is that which is basic to the 'information operations' now coming out of London and Washington. In this, Berezovsky's death is portrayed as a key element in a systematic attempt by the Putin 'sistema' to eradicate the supposedly heroic opposition, much of it located in London.

That sustaining this fable is critical to defending the credibility of Steele, and therefore of the whole 'Russiagate' narrative, is quite evident from the 'From Russia With Blood' materials published by 'BuzzFeed' in July last year.

(See https://www.buzzfeed.com/he... .)

This, however, leads on to a paradox, which is highlighted by a piece posted by James George Jatras on the 'Strategic Culture Foundation' site on 18 August, entitled 'Have You Committed Your Three Felonies Today?'

(See https://www.strategic-cultu... .)

Among the points Jatras – who I think is an Orthodox Christian – makes is that the logic of contesting the 'Russiagate' narrative has had some strange consequences. Among these, there is one on which the actual history of the activities of Berezovsky and his 'information operations' people bears directly:

'Flipping the "Russians did it" narrative: Among the President's defenders, on say Fox News, no less than among his detractors, Russia is the enemy who (altogether now!) "interfered in our elections" in order to "undermine our democracy." Mitt Romney was right! The only argument is over who was the intended beneficiary of Muscovite mendacity, Trump or Hillary – that's the variable. The constant is that Putin is Hitler and only a traitor would want to get along with him. All sides agree that the Christopher Steele dossier is full of "Russian dirt" – though there's literally zero actual evidence of Kremlin involvement but a lot pointing to Britain's MI6 and GCHQ.'

(See https://www.strategic-cultu... .)

For reasons I have already discussed, I think what while Jatras is substantially right, 'zero evidence' is only partially correct: It seems to me that disinformation supplied by elements in Russian intelligence could quite possibly have found its way into the second and final memoranda.

That said, Jatras has pointed to a fundamental feature of the current situation, which involves multiple ironies.

The total destruction of Steele's credibility could easily be achieved by anyone who was interested in looking at the evidence about the life and death of the late Alexander Litvinenko seriously. However, because a central tactic of most of those who are attacking the 'Russiagate' narrative has generally been 'Flipping the "Russians did it" narrative', they are like people who ought to be able to see Steele's 'Achilles' heel', but in practice, often end up attacking him where his armour is, without being, not at its weakest.

Meanwhile, as I have already stressed, the ability of the Russian authorities to undermine the 'narrative' produced by the 'information operations' people around Berezovsky, of whom the most important are Alex Goldfarb and Yuri Shvets, is compromised by their fear of having to 'own up to' their actual role in the smuggling of the polonium into London in October-November 2007.

The person who had a strong interest in blowing this structure of illusion to pieces was actually Lugovoi. But it seems to me at least possible that there has been a kind of disguised covert conspiracy by elements in Western and Russian intelligence to ensure there was no risk of him doing so.

Steve Smith , 3 days ago

One of the things I've never understood about the Trump Dossier story is the lack of any forensic analysis of its content and style anywhere in the media, even the alt media. Who was supposed to have actually written it? Steele? The style does not match someone of his background and education, and the formatting and syntax were atrocious. The font actually varied from "report" to "report." It certainly did not give me the impression of being the product of a high-end, Belgravia consultancy.

I wonder whether it was produced by an American of one sort or another and then "laundered" by being accorded association with the UK firm. Given that Steele just happened to be hired by the USG to help in the anti-FIFA skulduggery, he and his firm seem very much to be a concern that does dirty little jobs that need discretely to be done, though in this case, the discretion was undermined.

Paul M , 3 days ago

Most of the memos were issued before October and Fusion/Simpson authorized Steele to release information to the FBI starting in July. The question is why the memos were released after the election when a release before the election would have been enough to sink Trump. Instead the FBI and presumably those paying Fusion on Hillarys behalf sat on it, and Comey comes out days before the election

Saying he was reopening the HC email investigation.

Kind of looks like they all wanted Trump in office and the disclosure was to give Trump the excuse needed to back track on his promises to improve relations with Russia and blame that on pressure from the Deep State and Russia Gate.

Looking at Trumps history with Sater (FBI/CIA asset) and his political aspirations that began following his Moscow visit in 1987 it seems likely Trump has been a Deep State asset for 30 years and fed intelligence to CIA/FBI on Russian oligarchs and mafia . Indeed he may well have duped Russians into believing he was working for them when in fact it was the CIA/FBI who had the best Kompromat with US RICO laws that could have beggared him

richardstevenhack , 3 days ago

One thing to remember about the FBI is Sy Hersh. Hersh claims the FBI has been sitting on a report for two years that fingers murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich as the Wikileaks DNC email leaker (or one of them, at least.)

Now can we imagine that not everyone in a senior position at the FBI knows about that report? I can't. Literally everyone from the supervisor of the Special Agent or computer forensic investigator who examined Rich's computer right up to the Director HAD to know that report exists - and covered it up.

That right there is obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Literally everyone at the FBI who can't PROVE he didn't know about that report will be going to jail. The entire top administration of the FBI is going to go down.

And how many people at the Department of Justice are aware of that report? Did Rosenstein know? Who else in the Obama administration knew?

That would be motivation for a lot of desperate maneuvering. Add to that who was really behind the Steele Dossier and even more people are likely to end up in jail.

Pat Lang Mod -> richardstevenhack , 3 days ago

What is the link for Hersh saying that?

richardstevenhack -> Pat Lang , 3 days ago

You haven't heard that yet? It's the infamous audio tape that Hersh was caught on discussing it. He's since obfuscated what he said, but the tape stands on its own, and he has never said that anything he said on the tape wasn't true, despite that a lot of Democrats and Trump-bashers claim he has.

Here's one source on Youtube:

Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FgYzB96_EK7s%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgYzB96_EK7s&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FgYzB96_EK7s%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Pat Lang Mod -> richardstevenhack , 3 days ago

I have told you several times and I will tell you again probably hopelessly that Hersh PERSONALLY has told me that the "tape" was made without his permission or knowledge when he was aimlessly speculating on possibilities.

richardstevenhack -> Pat Lang , 3 days ago

I am unaware of your explicitly telling me that he personally told you that the tape was "aimless speculation." My apologies if I missed that response.

Of course the tape was made without his permission. We all know that. It's irrelevant to what he said on the tape.

What I'm saying is that despite what he may have told you, nothing on that tape sounds like "aimless speculation".

When you consider that he has four good reasons for dissembling about the tape, I view it as far more likely that everything he said was true.

1) If what he said is true, he may have compromised his FBI contact. Not good for his line of work.

2) If what he said is true, compromising that contact may well make all his other contacts wary about talking to him in the future - a bad deal for a journalist who relies on his contacts.

3) If what he said is true, he may have compromised his ability to get his "long form journalism" article published - a problem he already has had in the past.

4) If what he said is true, he's accusing the FBI of sitting on that report for two years, which might well make him a target of retaliation in some way.

If you believe that everything he said on the tape is untrue and that is what he explicitly told you, fine. I'm waiting for his "long form journalism" report to explain it. So far everything he has said publicly about it has not contradicted what he said on the tape, but merely waved his hands about it.

Pat Lang Mod -> richardstevenhack , 3 days ago

Sy Hersh talks a lot both loudly and profanely. He never intended to tell Buttowski that there was more than a possibility that the FBI held more than a rumor that this might be true. He talked to Buttowski because a mutual friend of him and me asked him to do so for no good reason. Please go talk to all the other people you pester and not on SST. You are an argumentative nuisance.

Aukuu Makule -> Pat Lang , 3 days ago

I have no stake in the debate about Rich, DNC, wikileaks.
But I do notice some loose ends. Hersh may well have engaged in speculation, but it is interesting speculation:
quote:
55. During his conversation with Butowsky, Mr. Hersh claimed that he had received information from an "FBI report." Mr. Hersh had not seen the report himself, but explained: "I have somebody on the inside who will go and read a file for me. And I know this person is unbelievably accurate and careful. He's a very high level guy."

56. According to Mr. Hersh, his source told him that the FBI report states that, shortly after Seth Rich's murder, the D.C. police obtained a warrant to search his home. When they arrived at the home, the D.C. police found Seth Rich's computer, but were unable to access it.The computer was then provided to the D.C. police Cyber Unit, who also were unable to access the computer. At that point, the D.C. police contacted the Cyber Unit at the FBI's Washington D.C. field office. Again, according to the supposed FBI report, the Washington D.C. field office was able to get into the computer and found that in "late spring early summer [2016], [Seth Rich][made] contact with Wikileaks." "They found what he had done. He had submitted a series of documents, of emails. Some juicy emails from the DNC." Mr. Hersh told Butowsky that Seth Rich "offered a sample [to WikiLeaks][,] an extensive sample, you know I'm sure dozens, of emails, and said I want money."
. . .
"I hear gossip," Hersh tells NPR on Monday. "[Butowsky] took two and two and made 45 out of it."
. . .
The clip is definitely worth listening to in its entirety if you haven't already. Hersh is heard telling Butowsky that he had a high-level insider read him an FBI file confirming that Seth Rich was known to have been in contact with WikiLeaks prior to his death, which is not even a tiny bit remotely the same as having "heard rumors". Hersh's statements in the audio recording and his statement to NPR cannot both be true.
endquote
https://medium.com/@caityjo...

blue peacock , 3 days ago

All

An interview of Rep. John Ratcliffe who will lead the questioning of Bruce Ohr.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2Fqn23H0vMCsM%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dqn23H0vMCsM&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2Fqn23H0vMCsM%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Rob , 3 days ago

I suspect Buzzfeed were in the grip of Trump Derangement Syndrome, and perhaps you overestimate their professionalism.

David Habakkuk -> Rob , 3 days ago

Rob,

You may very well be right. There may be a large element of 'amateur night out' about this.

But then I come back to the question of who decided that the dossier be published, and who, if anyone, was consulted before the decision was made. For the reasons I gave, I am reasonably confident that those on this side who had been in one way or another complicit in its production and covert dissemination were taken aback by the publication.

It is not clear to me whether anything significant can be inferred from the publicly available evidence about whether those on your side who had been complicit were involved in the decision to publish without taking even elementary precautions, or whether the 'Buzzfeed' people just had a rush of blood to the head.

blue peacock -> David Habakkuk , 3 days ago

David

I suspect the decision to publish the dossier was political. It was required to enable Clapper, Brennan, and others to opine on national media and create further media hysteria prior to the vote as well as to justify the counter-intelligence investigations underway. They were throwing the kitchen sink to sink Trump's electoral chances. I don't think a lot of thought was given about the legal ramifications.

This seems to be a pattern. Leak information. Then use the leaked story to justify actions like apply for a FISA warrant or fan the media flames.

Cynthia Anne , 4 days ago

And now they are turning on one another. Hayden just slammed Clapper for making too much of losing the security clearance the he abuse for political reasons.

Pat Lang Mod -> Cynthia Anne , 4 days ago

Looks like both Clapper and Haydon made the same comment about Brennan. they said "his rhetoric was becoming a problem. Ah, the USAF intel rats are swimming for the shore. Lets see how many others (not all USAF) decide to try to save themselves.

blue peacock -> Pat Lang , 4 days ago

Col. Lang

I find it incredulous that former leaders of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies have gained paid access to powerful media platforms and they have used it to launch vicious attacks on a POTUS.

I find it amazing that McCabe and Peter Strzok are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars on social media platforms.

IMO, everyone on the list that Sarah Sanders noted, should not just lose their clearance but should be testifying to a grand jury.

MP98 -> blue peacock , 3 days ago

Not really incredulous. Just expected behavior from swamp creatures whose self-assumed importance and "rights" (that the rest of us peasants don't have) are coming under threat.

David Habakkuk -> blue peacock , 3 days ago

blue peacock

It seems to me absolutely appalling, and I am also appalled that people on this side appear to have been playing a central role in all this.

One question. It seems to me that if what seems likely to be true does prove true, a range of these people must have committed very serious offences indeed.

However, I am too ignorant to know what precisely those offences might be. If you, or anyone else, had a clear understanding, I would be interested.

English Outsider -> David Habakkuk , 3 days ago

"It seems to me absolutely appalling, and I am also appalled that people on this side appear to have been playing a central role in all this."

That says it all. We got the more discreditable side of the affair outsourced to us. Ugh. Is that all we're fit for now in the UK? White helmets and Khan Sheikhoun and Steele, all the scrubby stuff? Is that what the famous "Special Relationship" now consists of? We get to do the scrubby stuff because it's what we're fit for and we can be relied upon to keep it quiet?

Because at least on the American side there are people concerned about the political/PR involvement of parts of their own Intelligence Community, and seeking to have it looked into. Here - am I right? - it's dead silence.

I've been permitted to say before on SST that I don't think the Americans are going to resolve this affair satisfactorily until more light is cast on the UK side. But I also think that, for our own sakes, we should be looking at what exactly our IC does, and in particular, how much UK political involvement there was in what is now clear was a direct PR attack on an American President.

Pat Lang Mod -> English Outsider , 3 days ago

I strongly suspect that Steele has a future as a novelist.

blue peacock -> David Habakkuk , 3 days ago

David

I'm not a lawyer and have no experience with the federal criminal statutes. Having said that I suspect that the following could be considered crimes:

  • intentionally misleading FISC
  • perjury
  • leaking classified information
  • launching investigations on the basis of known false information
  • surveillance of US citizens on the basis of false information
  • conspiracy to subvert the constitution
  • sedition/treason

There may also be certain professional agreements with the government that may have been violated. The only way any of these people will face a grand jury is if Donald Trump chooses to take action. Left to the natural devices of the law enforcement institutions nothing will happen and they will sweep everything under the rug. The intensity of Trump's tweets and the accusations therein are rising. If the GOP retains the House and Jim Jordan becomes speaker, then there may be a possibility that Sessions, Rosenstein and Wray may be fired and another special counsel appointed who will then convene a grand jury.

Considering what has been uncovered by Congressional investigators and the DOJ IG, I am truly surprised that Sessions has resisted the appointment of a special counsel. But of course that could go the way of the Owens inquiry in your country.

[Sep 16, 2018] Polling the Left Agenda -- Finally

Notable quotes:
"... there is strong support for egalitarian populist redistributive public policy. ..."
"... His positions against illegal immigration and free trade also beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was a very experienced and savvy politician but she was tied to NAFTA thru her husband. And the Democratic party's defense of allowing ANY foreigner to walk across our borders without ANY sort of background check whatsoever, and remain in the country, was a losing proposition. ..."
"... Labor unions can claw back the "missing 10%" of overall income that a unionless labor market has squeezed out of the bottom 40% of earners; raising the bottom 40% back to 20% income share -- through higher consumer prices at Target, Walgreen's, etc. ..."
"... if fast food can pay $15/hr with 33% (!) labor costs, Target('s consumers) can easily pay $20/hr with 12% labor costs and Walmart('s consumers) can easily pay $25/hr with 7% labor costs. ..."
"... Your description of Republicans is spot on. However, other than their maniacal obsession with divisive identity politics, Democrats are hardly much better given the that they ALSO kowtow to the Wall Street and the wealthy. Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt. ..."
"... In other words Dems lost their legitimacy, identify politics did not work this time as well as in the past. I would say that the whole neoliberal elite lost its legitimacy. That's why Russiagate was launched, and Neo-McCarthyism hysteria was launched by Podesta and friends to cement those cracks that divide the USA. ..."
"... The Dem Party became a grab bag of identity groups. But this election the dominant was anti-globalization discourse, and Dems suffered a humiliating defeat. With Republican Party grabbing the the tool they created. The collies of small town America led to collapse of Dems. ..."
"... People do vote against their economic interest ("What the matter with Kansas" situation). But the level of alienation of working and lower middle class is really extreme. The opioid epidemic is just one sign of this. So Trump election was just a middle finger to the neoliberal elite. ..."
"... We actually do not have left in the USA. Because there is no real discussion about neoliberalism and alternatives. Bernie called himself "democratic socialist'. Which was at least in sense transformational. But that's it. Bernie is not anti-war and anti-American empire. ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

As should already be clear from existing polls ( click and search for "fair" ), there is strong support for egalitarian populist redistributive public policy.

At Data For Progress, they chose to emphasize the positive -- four proposals with overwhelming support, but I think it is just as striking that opinion is almost equally split on a top marginal income tax rate of 90% (2% more oppose than support) and universal basic income (2% more oppose than support).

In particular, a (very narrow) plurality of whites without a bachelors degree support a universal basic income. One way to summarize the results is that pundits' guesses about public opinion match the opinions of college educated whites (surprise surprise). That is the group least enthusiastic about universal basic income (by far) (OK I admit I am white and have university degrees so I should say "we are" but like hell i'm going to be classed with my fellow White American College educated opponents of UBI).


JimH , August 2, 2018 9:59 am

"The key question for Democrats (and the USA) is why did most of a group of people more of whom support than oppose UBI vote for Trump ? How can there be such a huge gap between bread and butter big dollar issue polling (where the median US adult is to the left of the mainstream of the Democratic Party) and voting ?"

During the Republican primaries, candidate Trump lost in the polls and won on the ballots. In the run up to the Republican convention, mainstream Republicans were searching for any way to deny the nomination to candidate Trump. (Without ruining the party.)

So candidate Trump was not a traditional mainstream Republican presidential candidate. Candidate Trump espoused most of the mainstream Republican party position. But what separated him from the pack were his positions on illegal immigration and free trade treaties. And Republican voters chose him.

His positions against illegal immigration and free trade also beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was a very experienced and savvy politician but she was tied to NAFTA thru her husband. And the Democratic party's defense of allowing ANY foreigner to walk across our borders without ANY sort of background check whatsoever, and remain in the country, was a losing proposition.

Candidate Clinton could have beaten any of the other Republican candidates.

Unbridled immigration into European countries has caused enough problems for the native born citizens that it has become a huge political issue. Angela Merkel successfully oversaw the uniting of east and west Germany. (A triumph!) But on immigration, her reach exceeded her grasp, she completely misunderstood the magnitude of the problem. And she is splitting the European Union.

Politicians in Europe and the United States speak of populism as if it was some sort of new influence. That voters have never been seen to vote their own interests! European and American voters have allowed their politicians almost a free rein for decades. They seemed to assume that the political class knew best. But that period is coming to an end.

Democrats can beat Republican candidates, but first they have to accept that politics is the art of the possible.

Denis Drew , August 2, 2018 10:22 am

There is a practical, doable way to re-institute American labor unions (to German density level) tomorrow.

Labor unions can claw back the "missing 10%" of overall income that a unionless labor market has squeezed out of the bottom 40% of earners; raising the bottom 40% back to 20% income share -- through higher consumer prices at Target, Walgreen's, etc.

No doubt about this: if fast food can pay $15/hr with 33% (!) labor costs, Target('s consumers) can easily pay $20/hr with 12% labor costs and Walmart('s consumers) can easily pay $25/hr with 7% labor costs.

Easy practical way to do this: amend the NLRA to mandate regularly scheduled cert elections at every private workplace (I would suggest one, three or five year cycles; local plurality rules).

Practical because no other way to rebuild American unions. Illegal (effective-penalty free) union busting disease has so permeated our labor market that there is no normal organizing going back. Even if we made union busting a felony, millions of businesspersons across the country could just say: "What are you going to do, put us all in jail?"

Tear a page from the Rebublican's union busting playbook -- skip over organizing -- skip right to elections on a regular basis:

Why Not Hold Union Representation Elections on a Regular Schedule?

Andrew Strom -- November 1st, 2017

"Republicans in Congress have already proposed a bill [Repub amend] that would require a new election in each unionized bargaining unit whenever, through turnover, expansion, or merger, a unit experiences at least 50 percent turnover. While no union would be happy about expending limited resources on regular retention elections, I think it would be hard to turn down a trade that would allow the 93% of workers who are unrepresented to have a chance to opt for unionization on a regular schedule."

https://onlabor.org/why-not-hold-union-representation-elections-on-a-regular-schedule

Wheels within wheels of poetic justice: a Democratic proposed labor market-make-over would corral a lot of blue collar voters (Obama voters, remember?) back into the Democratic win column – so we could pass said amendment in the first place.

Robert Kuttner recently pointed out that Dems can lean left economically as far as they please -- they will only pick up blue collar workers when they lean left economically.
http://prospect.org/article/yes-democrats-need-run-left-on-economics

All said, all you have to realize is that there is no other way back -- do this or do nothing forever.
Stealing a page from Scott Walker's playbook is "the" win-win-win issue.

Karl Kolchak , August 2, 2018 10:35 am

Your description of Republicans is spot on. However, other than their maniacal obsession with divisive identity politics, Democrats are hardly much better given the that they ALSO kowtow to the Wall Street and the wealthy. Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt.

EMichael, August 2, 2018 11:11 am

KK,

"To hold President Trump accountable, the Center for American Progress Action Fund's American Worker Project is tracking every action the president takes to weaken job protections for Americans.

Our list includes legislation and orders signed by the president; procedural changes and regulations enacted or proposed by his administration; and official statements of policy, such as the president's proposed budget. The list does not include political nominations and appointments of individuals with records of enacting anti-worker policies, since these actions happened outside their role in the administration."

https://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/economy/reports/2018/01/26/168366/president-trumps-policies-hurting-american-workers/

There are 36 so far.

urban legend , August 3, 2018 3:47 pm

"Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt."

That's the kind of bullshit that allowed Trump to sneak into office. The Democrats may not be your idea of pro-worker or anti-Wall Street, but the difference in voting on bread-and-butter issues between Republicans and Democrats is dramatic. On just one issue, with a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress, there is no doubt we already would have seen a minimum wage to at least $10 per hour. That's not sufficient, but it's almost 40% better than what the Republicans are happy with. Tell a family with two minimum wage workers that an extra $11,000 in their pockets is worthless!

We also would not have seen a Janus decision, because Gorsuch would not be on the Court.

We probably would have already had a public option added to ACA -- at least for people aged 50-64 without employer-provided insurance having the right to buy into Medicare. Consideration of a broader public option for everyone in the exchanges would be on the table, too, with very strong public support (and, therefore, likely passage).

That's just three issues. This pox-on-both-your houses is truly toxic. It's uninformed. Yes, it's deplorable.

likbez , August 4, 2018 12:30 am

"Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt."

That's the kind of bullshit that allowed Trump to sneak into office. The Democrats may not be your idea of pro-worker or anti-Wall Street, but the difference in voting on bread-and-butter issues between Republicans and Democrats is dramatic

This line of thinking is well known as "What the matter with Kansas" line. It is true that "That's allowed Trump to sneak into office."

But you ignored the fact that Democratic Party entered a profound crisis (aka "demexit" similar to Brexit) from which they still are unable to escape. Clinton ideas that workers do not have alternative and will vote for peanuts Dems are willing to give them stop working.

In other words Dems lost their legitimacy, identify politics did not work this time as well as in the past. I would say that the whole neoliberal elite lost its legitimacy. That's why Russiagate was launched, and Neo-McCarthyism hysteria was launched by Podesta and friends to cement those cracks that divide the USA.

The Dem Party became a grab bag of identity groups. But this election the dominant was anti-globalization discourse, and Dems suffered a humiliating defeat. With Republican Party grabbing the the tool they created. The collies of small town America led to collapse of Dems.

People do vote against their economic interest ("What the matter with Kansas" situation). But the level of alienation of working and lower middle class is really extreme. The opioid epidemic is just one sign of this. So Trump election was just a middle finger to the neoliberal elite.

We actually do not have left in the USA. Because there is no real discussion about neoliberalism and alternatives. Bernie called himself "democratic socialist'. Which was at least in sense transformational. But that's it. Bernie is not anti-war and anti-American empire.

Hillary was a traditional neocon warmonger, defender of the empire in foreign policy and corrupt to the core, greedy politician in domestic policy (in the pocket of Wall Street and special interests).

As somebody noted here:

The term Progressive is now so mutilated that it's no longer effective as an identifier of political affiliation. To be a real Progressive: one must be Anti-War, except in the most dire of circumstances, which includes being Anti-Imperialist/Anti-Empire; 2nd, one must be Pro-Justice as in promoting Rule of Law over all else; 3rd, one must be tolerant and willing to listen to others; and 4th, work for Win-Win outcomes and denounce Zero-sum as the smoke screen for increasing inequality.

[Sep 14, 2018] The origin of Wikileak

Notable quotes:
"... From the outset, Wikileaks' geopolitical focus on "oppressive regimes" in Eurasia and the Middle East was "appealing" to America's elites, i.e. it seemingly matched stated US foreign policy objectives. Moreover, the composition of the Wikileaks team (which included Chinese dissidents), not to mention the methodology of "exposing secrets" of foreign governments, were in tune with the practices of US covert operations geared towards triggering "regime change" and fostering "color revolutions" in different parts of the World." ..."
"... Wikileaks is not a typical alternative media initiative. The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel are directly involved in the editing and selection of leaked documents. The London Economist has also played an important role. ..."
"... While the project and its editor Julian Assange reveal a commitment and concern for truth in media, the recent Wikileaks releases of embassy cables have been carefully "redacted" by the mainstream media in liaison with the US government. (See Interview with David E. Sanger, Fresh Air, PBS, December 8, 2010) ..."
"... This collaboration between Wikileaks and selected mainstream media is not fortuitous; it was part of an agreement between several major US and European newspapers and Wikileaks' editor Julian Assange" ..."
Aug 24, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

NORTHERN STAR August 22, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Hmmm ..When the limited hangout truth expose' is found to be MSM vetted lies:

"Wikileaks formulated its mandate on its website as follows:

"[Wikileaks will be] an uncensorable version of Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations," CBC News – Website wants to take whistleblowing online, January 11, 2007, emphasis added).

This mandate was confirmed by Julian Assange in a June 2010 interview in The New Yorker:

******"Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations. (quoted in WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange : The New Yorker, June 7, 2010, emphasis added)*****

Assange also intimated that "exposing secrets" "could potentially bring down many administrations that rely on concealing reality -- including the US administration." (Ibid)

From the outset, Wikileaks' geopolitical focus on "oppressive regimes" in Eurasia and the Middle East was "appealing" to America's elites, i.e. it seemingly matched stated US foreign policy objectives. Moreover, the composition of the Wikileaks team (which included Chinese dissidents), not to mention the methodology of "exposing secrets" of foreign governments, were in tune with the practices of US covert operations geared towards triggering "regime change" and fostering "color revolutions" in different parts of the World."

"The Role of the Corporate Media: The Central Role of the New York Times

Wikileaks is not a typical alternative media initiative. The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel are directly involved in the editing and selection of leaked documents. The London Economist has also played an important role.

While the project and its editor Julian Assange reveal a commitment and concern for truth in media, the recent Wikileaks releases of embassy cables have been carefully "redacted" by the mainstream media in liaison with the US government. (See Interview with David E. Sanger, Fresh Air, PBS, December 8, 2010)

This collaboration between Wikileaks and selected mainstream media is not fortuitous; it was part of an agreement between several major US and European newspapers and Wikileaks' editor Julian Assange"

https://www.globalresearch.ca/who-is-behind-wikileaks-2/22389

[Sep 12, 2018] If You Read This Book, It'll Make You a Radical A Conversation with Thomas Frank by John Siman

Notable quotes:
"... "Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps ..."
"... And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory. ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thomas Frank's new collection of essays: Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society (Metropolitan Books 2018) and Listen, Liberal; or,Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? (ibid. 2016)

To hang out with Thomas Frank for a couple of hours is to be reminded that, going back to 1607, say, or to 1620, for a period of about three hundred and fifty years, the most archetypal of American characters was, arguably, the hard-working, earnest, self-controlled, dependable white Protestant guy, last presented without irony a generation or two -- or three -- ago in the television personas of men like Ward Cleaver and Mister Rogers.

Thomas Frank, who grew up in Kansas and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, who at age 53 has the vibe of a happy eager college nerd, not only glows with authentic Midwestern Nice (and sometimes his face turns red when he laughs, which is often), he actually lives in suburbia, just outside of D.C., in Bethesda, where, he told me, he takes pleasure in mowing the lawn and doing some auto repair and fixing dinner for his wife and two children. (Until I met him, I had always assumed it was impossible for a serious intellectual to live in suburbia and stay sane, but Thomas Frank has proven me quite wrong on this.)

Frank is sincerely worried about the possibility of offending friends and acquaintances by the topics he chooses to write about. He told me that he was a B oy Scout back in Kansas, but didn't make Eagle. He told me that he was perhaps a little too harsh on Hillary Clinton in his brilliantly perspicacious "Liberal Gilt [ sic ]" chapter at the end of Listen, Liberal . His piercing insight into and fascination with the moral rot and the hypocrisy that lies in the American soul brings, well, Nathaniel Hawthorne to mind, yet he refuses to say anything (and I tried so hard to bait him!) mean about anyone, no matter how culpable he or she is in the ongoing dissolving and crumbling and sinking -- all his metaphors -- of our society. And with such metaphors Frank describes the "one essential story" he is telling in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "This is what a society looks like when the glue that holds it together starts to dissolve. This is the way ordinary citizens react when they learn that the structure beneath them is crumbling. And this is the thrill that pulses through the veins of the well-to-do when they discover that there is no longer any limit on their power to accumulate" ( Thomas Frank in NYC on book tour https://youtu.be/DBNthCKtc1Y ).

And I believe that Frank's self-restraint, his refusal to indulge in bitter satire even as he parses our every national lie, makes him unique as social critic. "You will notice," he writes in the introduction to Rendezvous with Oblivion, "that I describe [these disasters] with a certain amount of levity. I do that because that's the only way to confront the issues of our time without sinking into debilitating gloom" (p. 8). And so rather than succumbing to an existential nausea, Frank descends into the abyss with a dependable flashlight and a ca. 1956 sitcom-dad chuckle.

"Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps " (p. 178).

And it is his analysis of this "Creative Class" -- he usually refers to it as the "Liberal Class" and sometimes as the "Meritocratic Class" in Listen, Liberal (while Barbara Ehrenreich uses the term " Professional Managerial Class ,"and Matthew Stewart recently published an article entitled "The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy" in the Atlantic ) -- that makes it clear that Frank's work is a continuation of the profound sociological critique that goes back to Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) and, more recently, to Christopher Lasch's The Revolt of the Elites (1994).

Unlike Veblen and Lasch, however, Frank is able to deliver the harshest news without any hauteur or irascibility, but rather with a deftness and tranquillity of mind, for he is both in and of the Creative Class; he abides among those afflicted by the epidemic which he diagnoses: "Today we live in a world of predatory bankers, predatory educators, even predatory health care providers, all of them out for themselves . Liberalism itself has changed to accommodate its new constituents' technocratic views. Today, liberalism is the philosophy not of the sons of toil but of the 'knowledge economy' and, specifically, of the knowledge economy's winners: the Silicon Valley chieftains, the big university systems, and the Wall Street titans who gave so much to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign . They are a 'learning class' that truly gets the power of education. They are a 'creative class' that naturally rebels against fakeness and conformity. They are an ' innovation class ' that just can't stop coming up with awesome new stuff" ( Listen, Liberal , pp. 27-29).

And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory.

The class that now runs the so-called Party of the People is impoverishing the people; the genius value-creators at Amazon and Google and Uber are Robber Barons, although, one must grant, hipper, cooler, and oh so much more innovative than their historical predecessors. "In reality," Frank writes in Listen, Liberal ,

.there is little new about this stuff except the software, the convenience, and the spying. Each of the innovations I have mentioned merely updates or digitizes some business strategy that Americans learned long ago to be wary of. Amazon updates the practices of Wal-Mart, for example, while Google has dusted off corporate behavior from the days of the Robber Barons. What Uber does has been compared to the every-man-for-himself hiring procedures of the pre-union shipping docks . Together, as Robert Reich has written, all these developments are 'the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.' This is atavism, not innovation . And if we keep going in this direction, it will one day reduce all of us to day laborers, standing around like the guys outside the local hardware store, hoping for work. (p. 215).

And who gets this message? The YouTube patriot/comedian Jimmy Dore, Chicago-born, ex-Catholic, son of a cop, does for one. "If you read this b ook, " Dore said while interviewing Frank back in January of 2017, "it'll make y ou a radical" (Frank Interview Part 4 https://youtu.be/JONbGkQaq8Q ).

But to what extent, on the other hand, is Frank being actively excluded from our elite media outlets? He's certainly not on TV or radio or in print as much as he used to be. So is he a prophet without honor in his own country? Frank, of course, is too self-restrained to speculate about the motives of these Creative Class decision-makers and influencers. "But it is ironic and worth mentioning," he told me, "that most of my writing for the last few years has been in a British publication, The Guardian and (in translation) in Le Monde Diplomatique . The way to put it, I think, is to describe me as an ex-pundit."

Frank was, nevertheless, happy to tell me in vivid detail about how his most fundamental observation about America, viz. that the Party of the People has become hostile to the people , was for years effectively discredited in the Creative Class media -- among the bien-pensants , that is -- and about what he learned from their denialism.

JS: Going all the way back to your 2004 book What's the Matter with Kansas? -- I just looked at Larry Bartels's attack on it, "What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas?" -- and I saw that his first objection to your book was, Well, Thomas Frank says the working class is alienated from the Democrats, but I have the math to show that that's false. How out of touch does that sound now?

TCF: [laughs merrily] I know.

JS: I remember at the time that was considered a serious objection to your thesis.

TCF: Yeah. Well, he was a professor at Princeton. And he had numbers. So it looked real. And I actually wrote a response to that in which I pointed out that there were other statistical ways of looking at it, and he had chosen the one that makes his point.

JS: Well, what did Mark Twain say?

TCF: Mark Twain?

JS: There are lies, damned lies --

TCF: [laughs merrily] -- and statistics! Yeah. Well, anyhow, Bartels's take became the common sense of the highly educated -- there needs to be a term for these people by the way, in France they're called the bien-pensants -- the "right-thinking," the people who read The Atlantic, The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington Post op-ed page, and who all agree with each other on everything -- there's this tight little circle of unanimity. And they all agreed that Bartels was right about that, and that was a costly mistake. For example, Paul Krugman, a guy whom I admire in a lot of ways, he referenced this four or five times. He agreed with it . No, the Democrats are not losing the white working class outside the South -- they were not going over to the Republicans. The suggestion was that there is nothing to worry about. Yes. And there were people saying this right up to the 2016 election. But it was a mistake.

JS: I remember being perplexed at the time. I had thought you had written this brilliant book, and you weren't being taken seriously -- because somebody at Princeton had run some software -- as if that had proven you wrong.

TCF: Yeah, that's correct . That was a very widespread take on it. And Bartels was incorrect, and I am right, and [laughs merrily] that's that.

JS: So do you think Russiagate is a way of saying, Oh no no no no, Hillary didn't really lose?

TCF: Well, she did win the popular vote -- but there's a whole set of pathologies out there right now that all stem from Hillary Denialism. And I don't want to say that Russiagate is one of them, because we don't know the answer to that yet.

JS: Um, ok.

TCF: Well, there are all kinds of questionable reactions to 2016 out there, and what they all have in common is the faith that Democrats did nothing wrong. For example, this same circle of the bien-pensants have decided that the only acceptable explanation for Trump's victory is the racism of his supporters. Racism can be the only explanation for the behavior of Trump voters. But that just seems odd to me because, while it's true of course that there's lots of racism in this country, and while Trump is clearly a bigot and clearly won the bigot vote, racism is just one of several factors that went into what happened in 2016. Those who focus on this as the only possible answer are implying that all Trump voters are irredeemable, lost forever.

And it comes back to the same point that was made by all those people who denied what was happening with the white working class, which is: The Democratic Party needs to do nothing differently . All the post-election arguments come back to this same point. So a couple years ago they were saying about the white working class -- we don't have to worry about them -- they're not leaving the Democratic Party, they're totally loyal, especially in the northern states, or whatever the hell it was. And now they say, well, Those people are racists, and therefore they're lost to us forever. What is the common theme of these two arguments? It's always that there's nothing the Democratic Party needs to do differently. First, you haven't lost them; now you have lost them and they're irretrievable: Either way -- you see what I'm getting at? -- you don't have to do anything differently to win them.

JS: Yes, I do.

TCF: The argument in What's the Matter with Kansas? was that this is a long-term process, the movement of the white working class away from the Democratic Party. This has been going on for a long time. It begins in the '60s, and the response of the Democrats by and large has been to mock those people, deride those people, and to move away from organized labor, to move away from class issues -- working class issues -- and so their response has been to make this situation worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse! And there's really no excuse for them not seeing it. But they say, believe, rationalize, you know, come up with anything that gets then off the hook for this, that allows them to ignore this change. Anything. They will say or believe whatever it takes.

JS: Yes.

TCF: By the way, these are the smartest people! These are tenured professors at Ivy League institutions, these are people with Nobel Prizes, people with foundation grants, people with, you know, chairs at prestigious universities, people who work at our most prestigious media outlets -- that's who's wrong about all this stuff.

JS: [quoting the title of David Halberstam's 1972 book, an excerpt from which Frank uses as an epigraph for Listen, Liberal ] The best and the brightest!

TCF: [laughing merrily] Exactly. Isn't it fascinating?

JS: But this gets to the irony of the thing. [locates highlighted passage in book] I'm going to ask you one of the questions you ask in Rendezvous with Oblivion: "Why are worshippers of competence so often incompetent?" (p. 165). That's a huge question.

TCF: That's one of the big mysteries. Look. Take a step back. I had met Barack Obama. He was a professor at the University of Chicago, and I'd been a student there. And he was super smart. Anyhow, I met him and was really impressed by him. All the liberals in Hyde Park -- that's the neighborhood we lived in -- loved him, and I was one of them, and I loved him too. And I was so happy when he got elected.

Anyhow, I knew one thing he would do for sure, and that is he would end the reign of cronyism and incompetence that marked the Bush administration and before them the Reagan administration. These were administrations that actively promoted incompetent people. And I knew Obama wouldn't do that, and I knew Obama would bring in the smartest people, and he'd get the best economists. Remember, when he got elected we were in the pit of the crisis -- we were at this terrible moment -- and here comes exactly the right man to solve the problem. He did exactly what I just described: He brought in [pause] Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard, considered the greatest economist of his generation -- and, you know, go down the list: He had Nobel Prize winners, he had people who'd won genius grants, he had The Best and the Brightest . And they didn't really deal with the problem. They let the Wall Street perpetrators off the hook -- in a catastrophic way, I would argue. They come up with a health care system that was half-baked. Anyhow, the question becomes -- after watching the great disappointments of the Obama years -- the question becomes: Why did government-by-expert fail?

JS: So how did this happen? Why?

TCF: The answer is understanding experts not as individual geniuses but as members of a class . This is the great missing link in all of our talk about expertise. Experts aren't just experts: They are members of a class. And they act like a class. They have loyalty to one another; they have a disdain for others, people who aren't like them, who they perceive as being lower than them, and there's this whole hierarchy of status that they are at the pinnacle of.

And once you understand this, then everything falls into place! So why did they let the Wall Street bankers off the hook? Because these people were them. These people are their peers. Why did they refuse to do what obviously needed to be done with the health care system? Because they didn't want to do that to their friends in Big Pharma. Why didn't Obama get tough with Google and Facebook? They obviously have this kind of scary monopoly power that we haven't seen in a long time. Instead, he brought them into the White House, he identified with them. Again, it's the same thing. Once you understand this, you say: Wait a minute -- so the Democratic Party is a vehicle of this particular social class! It all makes sense. And all of a sudden all of these screw-ups make sense. And, you know, all of their rhetoric makes sense. And the way they treat working class people makes sense. And they way they treat so many other demographic groups makes sense -- all of the old-time elements of the Democratic Party: unions, minorities, et cetera. They all get to ride in back. It's the professionals -- you know, the professional class -- that sits up front and has its hands on the steering wheel.

* * *

It is, given Frank's persona, not surprising that he is able to conclude Listen, Liberal with a certain hopefulness, and so let me end by quoting some of his final words:

What I saw in Kansas eleven years ago is now everywhere . It is time to face the obvious: that the direction the Democrats have chosen to follow for the last few decades has been a failure for both the nation and for their own partisan health . The Democrats posture as the 'party of the people' even as they dedicate themselves ever more resolutely to serving and glorifying the professional class. Worse: they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning . The Democrats have no interest in reforming themselves in a more egalitarian way . What we can do is strip away the Democrats' precious sense of their own moral probity -- to make liberals live without the comforting knowledge that righteousness is always on their side . Once that smooth, seamless sense of liberal virtue has been cracked, anything becomes possible. (pp. 256-257).

[Sep 09, 2018] A legal argument against Mueller legitimacy

Sep 09, 2018 | thehill.com

Barry Forster WebTraveler 3 hours ago

Professor Dershowitz of the Harvard Law School, who is a lawyer's lawyer accurately pointed out that Mueller and his Democrat Lawyers are really acting illegally.

Mueller is a principal officer of the DoJ not a subordinate officer and according to the Appointments Clause in the Constitution must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the senate. He is neither. His activities are supposed to be supervised only by the AG Sessions as a principal officer. AG Sessions has recused himself from the so called Russian Collusion investigation only. Rosenstein is only a Deputy AG and was not appointed or confirmed as the Acting AG so Mueller is also unsupervised. Mueller appointment and his activities are constitutionally illegal.

No one has ever offered a smidgen of concrete evidence whatsoever that there was ever any collusion of interference in the election by the Russians and certainly none by the Trump Campaign.Former CIA head Brennan at the CIA has never offered under oath any proof of any cyber attacks by the Russians. Obama and Brennan never even pursued the Chinese hacks that were physically confirmed by server and IP addresses from China under Obama. The Democrats claim that their DNC server was hacked by the Russians. This has never been confirmed as the DNC refused to allow it to be taken and examined by the FBI or any other agency. The DNC also had a lot to hide on it. After all, their foreign IT guy ran off to Pakistan with all the server data on flash drives. Blackmail? The DNC servers were subpoenaed a year by the House Judiciary Committee, Somehow they have all disappeared! Felony obstruction of justice.

So here we are a over a year and a half later and still not a single smidgen of proof of any Russian interference. Not a single one of Mueller's American indictments have had anything whatsoever to do with the fake Russian collusion claim or anything that occurred in the campaign period or the transition to office.

This is an obvious attempt at a soft coup to effect the mid terms in favor of the Democrats. And it is obvious to even a casual observer that Alan Dershowitz exposed

[Sep 09, 2018] (Update) DNC Papadopoulos s UK contact may be dead by Amanda Matthews

Notable quotes:
"... how did they know ..."
"... These new questions about Mifsud come as Trump draws attention to reports that the FBI used another individual as a confidential informant in connection with the Russia case. The informant met several campaign officials, including Papadopoulos, during the 2016 race. ..."
"... @dervish ..."
"... @ovals49 ..."
"... @ovals49 ..."
"... @ovals49 ..."
"... @dervish ..."
"... @dervish ..."
"... @HenryAWallace ..."
"... @The Voice In the Wilderness ..."
"... @Pluto's Republic ..."
"... @enhydra lutris ..."
"... @leveymg ..."
"... @leveymg ..."
"... @leveymg ..."
"... @Amanda Matthews ..."
"... A Tablet investigatio n using public sources to trace the evolution of the now-famous dossier suggests that central elements of the Russiagate scandal emerged not from the British ex-spy Christopher Steele's top-secret "sources" in the Russian government -- which are unlikely to exist separate from Russian government control -- but from a series of stories that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and his wife Mary Jacoby co-wrote for TheWall Street Journal well before Fusion GPS existed, and Donald Trump was simply another loud-mouthed Manhattan real estate millionaire. Understanding the origins of the "Steele dossier" is especially important because of what it tells us about the nature and the workings of what its supporters would hopefully describe as an ongoing campaign to remove the elected president of the United States. ..."
"... @leveymg ..."
"... @leveymg ..."
"... @snoopydawg ..."
"... 1) Mills and Samuelson should have been compelled to produce the computers by grand-jury subpoena with no immunity agreement; ..."
caucus99percent.com

You know, I have been selling the DNC short. They're crazier than I ever imagined they could be. And what happens if the guy shows up? They'll have to grease his doorknobs with some Novichok juice I guess.

But just in case he is MIA, they need to check and see what The Clinton Creature's been up to. Generally she's the common thread between a political scandal and a dead body, right?

DNC: Papadopoulos's UK contact may be dead

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Friday raised the prospect that the London-based professor who told former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton may be dead.

DNC lawyers wrote in court filings Friday that Joseph Mifsud, who spoke to Papadopoulos during the 2016 presidential election, "is missing and may be deceased," Bloomberg News reported. The lawyers did not elaborate.

The DNC stood by its claim in a statement to The Hill on Friday. The committee indicated that an investigator had been used to find Mifsud, who had disappeared for months, and was told the Maltese professor may be dead.

"The DNC's counsel has attempted to serve Mifsud for months and has been unable to locate or contact him. In addition, public reports have said he has disappeared and hasn't been seen for months," DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said.

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/405672-dnc-lawyers-papadopou...

The possibilities for really bad drama and/or high camp comedy here are endless. How's Booby going to pin this on some poor low hanging fruit?

I hope there are future episodes coming because I want to see what happens if he shows up. Or even better yet, if he IS defunct. Which will open the door to how did they know ?

UPDATE :

Professor Joe Mifsud: a 'ghost' on the run from the Americans, Russians and Italians

Maltese Professor Joseph Mifsud, who has gained international notoriety for allegedly being the person who connected the Trump campaign to the Russians looking to derail Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, is not only on the run from the Americans, Russians and the press, but also from the Italian judicial authorities, who have been unable to track down the wayward academic.

This week, in fact, Mifsud was a no-show in the courts of Palermo, where he was to answer to charges, along with two others, of having unjustifiably inflated salaries at a university consortium in Agrigento, Sicily, which he presided almost a decade ago.

At a hearing in Palermo, Italy, Joseph Mifsud was described as "a ghost" after neither he nor his lawyers turned up in court on Wednesday.

Sicilian prosecutors described Mifsud as a "peculiar subject" and said that all attempts to reach and notify the professor about the hearing had proved futile.

*

The Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, in their report on Russia's attempted interference in the election released in April, described Mifsud as being "Kremlin-linked".

However, Mifsud also had Western ties at academic institutions like the Link Campus University in Rome, the University of Stirling in Scotland, the London Academy of Diplomacy and the London Centre for International Law Practice.

*

These new questions about Mifsud come as Trump draws attention to reports that the FBI used another individual as a confidential informant in connection with the Russia case. The informant met several campaign officials, including Papadopoulos, during the 2016 race.

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2018-07-14/local-news/Professor-J...


span y dervish on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 4:29am

Sundance over at Conservative Treehouse

has an interesting piece up that's worth a read .

span y ovals49 on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 6:31am
Interesting is an understatement!

@dervish

This puts some meat on the bones of gulfgal's essay interpreting the meaning of some very interesting video from McStain's funeral. The wheels of the DNC bus seem to just about ready to fall off.

George Webb has also been all over the Ohrs over the past few days. The thousands of sealed warrants rumored to be waiting for a mass extinction event may be more than just wishful thinking.

has an interesting piece up that's worth a read .

span y Not Henry Kissinger on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 9:31am
Here's the kicker:

@ovals49 @ovals49 @ovals49

Through this process, what few recognize is that much of the material inside the Steele Dossier is actually research intelligence material unlawfully extracted from the FBI and NSA database; most likely in majority an assembly by Nellie Ohr.

Nellie et al. ran unauthorized searches through the security databases and gave the results to foreign agent Steele to pretend it was his own research.

How many serious crimes in just that one sentence?

#1

This puts some meat on the bones of gulfgal's essay interpreting the meaning of some very interesting video from McStain's funeral. The wheels of the DNC bus seem to just about ready to fall off.

George Webb has also been all over the Ohrs over the past few days. The thousands of sealed warrants rumored to be waiting for a mass extinction event may be more than just wishful thinking.

span y Deja on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 11:42am
Nellie Ohr's HAM radio license

@dervish
What is the significance of the license? I read the post, and all the comments on the first page. There's a really long comment by "CET" that rambles on about it, but I'm not thinking too clearly today. What is the significance?

has an interesting piece up that's worth a read .

span y dervish on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 2:31pm
Another way of communicating I suppose n/t

@Deja

#1
What is the significance of the license? I read the post, and all the comments on the first page. There's a really long comment by "CET" that rambles on about it, but I'm not thinking too clearly today. What is the significance?

span y HenryAWallace on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 11:59am
I realize that this is not the most startling fact

@dervish

in the scenario, but, am I the only one who did not know that the FBI has an office in Rome?

On a related note, isn't it past time for the FBI, the CIA and Homeland Security to merge? Not only is all the duplication among them costly, but the artificial divisions and rivalries among them are dangerous.

has an interesting piece up that's worth a read .

span y The Voice In th... on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 4:07pm
FBI is not supposed to operate outside our borders

@HenryAWallace
and CIA is not supposed to operate inside our borders.

"Homeland Security" Sounds like SS to me.

#1

in the scenario, but, am I the only one who did not know that the FBI has an office in Rome?

On a related note, isn't it past time for the FBI, the CIA and Homeland Security to merge? Not only is all the duplication among them costly, but the artificial divisions and rivalries among them are dangerous.

span y Amanda Matthews on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 8:01pm
'Homeland Security' is now in charge

@The Voice In the Wilderness
of our elections. THAT is not a good thing.

Election Security
Elections play a vital role in a free and fair society and are a cornerstone of American democracy. We recognize the fundamental link between the trust in election infrastructure and the confidence the American public places in basic democratic function. A secure and resilient electoral process is a vital national interest and one of our highest priorities at the Department of Homeland Security.

We are committed to working collaboratively with those on the front lines of elections – state and local government, election officials, federal partners and the vendor community – to manage risks to election infrastructure. We will remain transparent as well as agile to combat and secure our physical and cyber infrastructure against new and evolving threats.

https://www.dhs.gov/topic/election-security

The Department of Duct Tape and Plastic running our elections is very unsettling to me.

As the Homeland Security Department called on Americans to buy duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal windows and doors in the event of a terrorist attack, critics on Wednesday said such precautions would have limited value and likened them to ineffective civil defense measures of the Cold War era.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-terror-ducttape-ct-story.html

#1.3
and CIA is not supposed to operate inside our borders.

"Homeland Security" Sounds like SS to me.

span y Pluto's Republic on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 11:47am
That Hill article that you are citing

...is filled with lies, fabrications, and FBI-type revisions. Those lies attempt to pull the DNC emails into Russia's hands. There are many other points of direct misinformation, as well, that attempt to build a case for Mueller that simply is not there in reality. Important events have been scrubbed.

A credible timeline of events can be found here:

https://medium.com/ @Brian_Whit/the-george-papadopoulos-file-a-timeline-5c699c3aae4b

But, there's something missing in all this reportage I should chase down. Remember when an Austrailian official contacted the FBI to blow the whistle on Papadopoulos after a drunken cocktail hour they shared in London? That now has been scrubbed from history. It came from lies spewed from the NYT, when people were finally catching on to the FISA warrants, to cover for the wiretapping that was already going on. That's the only time dirt on Hillary has ever been tied to Papadopoulos. The only "witness." Now, it's like it never happened.

Thanks for posting, Amanda.

span y Pluto's Republic on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 12:14pm
My take on your update:

Maltese Professor Joseph Mifsud, who has gained international notoriety for allegedly being the person who connected the Trump campaign to the Russians looking to derail Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign... .

There is nothing out there that has ever suggested a motive like "derailing Hillary." The idea is absurd on the face of it. This is new disinformation.

If you read the real timeline, you'll see that Papadopoulos was obsessed with getting a meeting together between Russia and Trump for the purpose of peaceful relations in the future. And, cui bono? , also to make his first big score on the geopolitical stage.

Nobody cared about Hillary.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Mifsud was a US asset. The girl he introduced Papadopoulos to was an obvious set-up -- but almost too low-level to be bothered with. This whole charade is not about Russia. It's about entrapment.

span y enhydra lutris on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 9:25pm
My thoughts exactly:

@Pluto's Republic
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Mifsud was a US asset. Or Dem/Steele hireling.

Maltese Professor Joseph Mifsud, who has gained international notoriety for allegedly being the person who connected the Trump campaign to the Russians looking to derail Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign... .

There is nothing out there that has ever suggested a motive like "derailing Hillary." The idea is absurd on the face of it. This is new disinformation.

If you read the real timeline, you'll see that Papadopoulos was obsessed with getting a meeting together between Russia and Trump for the purpose of peaceful relations in the future. And, cui bono? , also to make his first big score on the geopolitical stage.

Nobody cared about Hillary.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Mifsud was a US asset. The girl he introduced Papadopoulos to was an obvious set-up -- but almost too low-level to be bothered with. This whole charade is not about Russia. It's about entrapment.

span y snoopydawg on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 9:51pm
Milfud was used by the FBI to tell Papadopoulos

@enhydra lutris

that Russia had Hillary's emails, IIRC. Then Papadopoulos met with an ambassador to relay the information him.

Russia Gate has so many threads in that pulling on one or two will see the whole thing unravel. Which is what we are seeing.

#3
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Mifsud was a US asset. Or Dem/Steele hireling.

span y leveymg on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 3:48pm
If true, Nellie must have an active TS-SCI or higher clearance

Which would make Nellie Ohr much more than just an invited panelist at a CIA Open Source symposium along with Simpson some years ago. There are reported to be about 20 people legally authorized to do unmaskings, most are at NSA, and it is unlikely Nellie Ohr is one of them.

I therefore doubt Nellie was the one doing the extracting, which has been elsewhere referenced as "unmasking" of raw NSA intercepts. In that case, the unmasking was likely carried out by someone at the NSC. Rice or Power, maybe?

Thus, could it be that the Steele Dossier was really just a cover for the dissemination from the White House basement of classified materials unmasked by the same people at the NSC who then acted unlawfully to make them public to help the Clinton campaign/DNC sink the opposition?

Yes, that would violate a whole bunch of laws -- keep in mind, two FISA warrant applications were denied, the first in June 2016 after which the Steele Memo was commissioned until one was finally granted for coverage of Page in October. So, something had to be put together earlier to evade the warrant requirements.

Indeed, this turns Russiagate completely on its head.

There may have been a criminal conspiracy, but it was by the alleged victims of the Russian plot. No wonder the pillars of Russiagate all seem to morph into something else under close scrutiny, and the alleged Russian agents -- Page and Papadoloulos, along with their first-level handler, Milfsud -- turn out to be FBI or MI-6 plants.

span y dervish on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 2:58pm
Remember this?

@leveymg

N.S.A. Purges Hundreds of Millions of Call and Text Records

Maybe they were just covering their tracks.

Which would make Nellie Ohr much more than just an invited panelist at a CIA Open Source symposium along with Simpson some years ago. There are reported to be about 20 people legally authorized to do unmaskings, most are at NSA, and it is unlikely Nellie Ohr is one of them.

I therefore doubt Nellie was the one doing the extracting, which has been elsewhere referenced as "unmasking" of raw NSA intercepts. In that case, the unmasking was likely carried out by someone at the NSC. Rice or Power, maybe?

Thus, could it be that the Steele Dossier was really just a cover for the dissemination from the White House basement of classified materials unmasked by the same people at the NSC who then acted unlawfully to make them public to help the Clinton campaign/DNC sink the opposition?

Yes, that would violate a whole bunch of laws -- keep in mind, two FISA warrant applications were denied, the first in June 2016 after which the Steele Memo was commissioned until one was finally granted for coverage of Page in October. So, something had to be put together earlier to evade the warrant requirements.

Indeed, this turns Russiagate completely on its head.

There may have been a criminal conspiracy, but it was by the alleged victims of the Russian plot. No wonder the pillars of Russiagate all seem to morph into something else under close scrutiny, and the alleged Russian agents -- Page and Papadoloulos, along with their first-level handler, Milfsud -- turn out to be FBI or MI-6 plants.

span y Deja on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 4:45pm
I suppose, but remember Manning?

@leveymg
I'm no security clearance expert, but unless the whole system had a protocol and clearance overhaul, it's probable, imo, that Nellie could have had access.

Hell, Manning still had access to, and the ability to download, 10s of thousands (might have been 100s of thousands -- it's been too long ago for me to recall the exact number) of classified documents and audios/videos after assaulting a superior and being moved to the mail room. If you can try to beat up your superior, get arrested by MPs, get basically demoted to the mail room, and still have your clearance, something is wrong. I know we're talking military -vs- IC, but it's all still government and all still classified information. Seems to me, the only ones without access are us.

Which would make Nellie Ohr much more than just an invited panelist at a CIA Open Source symposium along with Simpson some years ago. There are reported to be about 20 people legally authorized to do unmaskings, most are at NSA, and it is unlikely Nellie Ohr is one of them.

I therefore doubt Nellie was the one doing the extracting, which has been elsewhere referenced as "unmasking" of raw NSA intercepts. In that case, the unmasking was likely carried out by someone at the NSC. Rice or Power, maybe?

Thus, could it be that the Steele Dossier was really just a cover for the dissemination from the White House basement of classified materials unmasked by the same people at the NSC who then acted unlawfully to make them public to help the Clinton campaign/DNC sink the opposition?

Yes, that would violate a whole bunch of laws -- keep in mind, two FISA warrant applications were denied, the first in June 2016 after which the Steele Memo was commissioned until one was finally granted for coverage of Page in October. So, something had to be put together earlier to evade the warrant requirements.

Indeed, this turns Russiagate completely on its head.

There may have been a criminal conspiracy, but it was by the alleged victims of the Russian plot. No wonder the pillars of Russiagate all seem to morph into something else under close scrutiny, and the alleged Russian agents -- Page and Papadoloulos, along with their first-level handler, Milfsud -- turn out to be FBI or MI-6 plants.

span y Amanda Matthews on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 8:12pm
It was Rice.

@leveymg

Susan Rice revealed to House Intelligence why she unmasked identities of Trump officials

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/4/4/15177640/susan-rice-unmasking

Ignore the 'reasons' in the article. It's pure BS.

Which would make Nellie Ohr much more than just an invited panelist at a CIA Open Source symposium along with Simpson some years ago. There are reported to be about 20 people legally authorized to do unmaskings, most are at NSA, and it is unlikely Nellie Ohr is one of them.

I therefore doubt Nellie was the one doing the extracting, which has been elsewhere referenced as "unmasking" of raw NSA intercepts. In that case, the unmasking was likely carried out by someone at the NSC. Rice or Power, maybe?

Thus, could it be that the Steele Dossier was really just a cover for the dissemination from the White House basement of classified materials unmasked by the same people at the NSC who then acted unlawfully to make them public to help the Clinton campaign/DNC sink the opposition?

Yes, that would violate a whole bunch of laws -- keep in mind, two FISA warrant applications were denied, the first in June 2016 after which the Steele Memo was commissioned until one was finally granted for coverage of Page in October. So, something had to be put together earlier to evade the warrant requirements.

Indeed, this turns Russiagate completely on its head.

There may have been a criminal conspiracy, but it was by the alleged victims of the Russian plot. No wonder the pillars of Russiagate all seem to morph into something else under close scrutiny, and the alleged Russian agents -- Page and Papadoloulos, along with their first-level handler, Milfsud -- turn out to be FBI or MI-6 plants.

span y snoopydawg on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 10:36pm
Both Rice and Powers it looks like did the unmasking

@Amanda Matthews

CNN says Rice

Washington (CNN)Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN.

The New York meeting preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House.

AJL says Powers

According to numerous reports, "[f]ormer United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power is believed to have made 'hundreds' of unmasking requests to identify individuals named in classified intelligence community reports related to Trump and his presidential transition team."

Think about that: Hundreds of unmasking requests by Obama's U.N. Representative. And "[o]f those [hundreds of] requests, only one offered a justification that was not boilerplate."

Now new reports have revealed the unprecedented number of unmasking requests made by former Ambassador Power: "[She] was "unmasking" at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 – and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump's inauguration . . . ."

At the ACLJ, we have been consistently fighting the Obama-era deep state's usurpation, unmasking, and criminal violations of the Espionage Act. Now we're fighting to get to the bottom of yet another frightening Obama Administration scandal.

I remember reading this article when it came out. It has some good links in it.

Wife Of Fusion GPS Founder Admits Her Husband Was Behind Fake "RussiaGate" Story

Mary Jacoby, the wife of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who is the man in the middle of the entire Russiagate scandal, boasted on Facebook about how 'Russiagate,' would not exist if it weren't for her husband.

A Tablet investigatio n using public sources to trace the evolution of the now-famous dossier suggests that central elements of the Russiagate scandal emerged not from the British ex-spy Christopher Steele's top-secret "sources" in the Russian government -- which are unlikely to exist separate from Russian government control -- but from a series of stories that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and his wife Mary Jacoby co-wrote for TheWall Street Journal well before Fusion GPS existed, and Donald Trump was simply another loud-mouthed Manhattan real estate millionaire. Understanding the origins of the "Steele dossier" is especially important because of what it tells us about the nature and the workings of what its supporters would hopefully describe as an ongoing campaign to remove the elected president of the United States.

From the Tablet article:

A Tablet investigation using public sources to trace the evolution of the now-famous dossier suggests that central elements of the Russiagate scandal emerged not from the British ex-spy Christopher Steele's top-secret "sources" in the Russian governmen t -- which are unlikely to exist separate from Russian government control -- but from a series of stories that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and his wife Mary Jacoby co-wrote for The Wall Street Journal well before Fusion GPS existed, and Donald Trump was simply another loud-mouthed Manhattan real estate millionaire

I think this needs more attention paid to it. I'll see what I can do. All 4 articles are worth a read. All of this information was known over a year ago, but we have been lied to so much it's hard to keep track of everything.

#4

Susan Rice revealed to House Intelligence why she unmasked identities of Trump officials

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/4/4/15177640/susan-rice-unmasking

Ignore the 'reasons' in the article. It's pure BS.

span y snoopydawg on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 9:53pm
I believe that it was Valerie Jarret who did the unmasking

@leveymg

Or like you said, Rice or Powers. I have the article bookmarked somewhere. I'll see if I can dig it up.

Which would make Nellie Ohr much more than just an invited panelist at a CIA Open Source symposium along with Simpson some years ago. There are reported to be about 20 people legally authorized to do unmaskings, most are at NSA, and it is unlikely Nellie Ohr is one of them.

I therefore doubt Nellie was the one doing the extracting, which has been elsewhere referenced as "unmasking" of raw NSA intercepts. In that case, the unmasking was likely carried out by someone at the NSC. Rice or Power, maybe?

Thus, could it be that the Steele Dossier was really just a cover for the dissemination from the White House basement of classified materials unmasked by the same people at the NSC who then acted unlawfully to make them public to help the Clinton campaign/DNC sink the opposition?

Yes, that would violate a whole bunch of laws -- keep in mind, two FISA warrant applications were denied, the first in June 2016 after which the Steele Memo was commissioned until one was finally granted for coverage of Page in October. So, something had to be put together earlier to evade the warrant requirements.

Indeed, this turns Russiagate completely on its head.

There may have been a criminal conspiracy, but it was by the alleged victims of the Russian plot. No wonder the pillars of Russiagate all seem to morph into something else under close scrutiny, and the alleged Russian agents -- Page and Papadoloulos, along with their first-level handler, Milfsud -- turn out to be FBI or MI-6 plants.

span y leveymg on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 3:38pm
That NYT article dealt w/Stellar Wind collections.

What the post above suggests is "unmasking", which is the individualized review of NSA raw "take" (content) of targeted intercepts in order to identify specific US persons involved in conversations with foreign surveillance targets. That's done relatively infrequently, and requires a very high-level security clearance for access.

The stored metadata reportedly destroyed by NSA was obtained under the Stellar Wind program, which is an umbrella program, with various NSA components.

The metadata take (dotted line segments), which the Times references, would be that collected and stored under the Marina or one of the other large scale NSA Internet Section 215 "trolling net" metadata collection programs (see the illustration below):

span y dervish on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 3:36pm
Sure,

@leveymg my point is that while scrubbing this data, they may be also scrubbing any other evidence of wrong-doing on their part.

Who knows what they've been up to, or what their level of culpability might be?

What the post above suggests is "unmasking", which is the individualized review of NSA raw "take" (content) of targeted intercepts in order to identify specific US persons involved in conversations with foreign surveillance targets. That's done relatively infrequently, and requires a very high-level security clearance for access.

The stored metadata reportedly destroyed by NSA was obtained under the Stellar Wind program, which is an umbrella program, with various NSA components.

The metadata take (dotted line segments), which the Times references, would be that collected and stored under the Marina or one of the other large scale NSA Internet Section 215 "trolling net" metadata collection programs (see the illustration below):

span y leveymg on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 3:43pm
Destruction of evidence, by our trusted IC agencies? Shocked,

shocked, I say.

span y snoopydawg on Sat, 09/08/2018 - 10:20pm
They got a FISA warrant to also hide the fact

that a lot of the information on Trump was received from the British government because they didn't have to get a warrant to spy on people in Trump's campaign. Which proves that the warrants were gotten illegally. People should go to prison over the things they did, but will they? There is a grand jury investigation into McCabe's lying so there's that.

span y snoopydawg on Sun, 09/09/2018 - 12:04am
Off topic sorta

but not really. Basically a record of what was done to create Russia Gate.

The Dirty Trickery of Hillary's Campaign is Proving to be of Mind-Boggling Magnitude , Wasserman Schultz ( Hillary's campaign manager in 2008) had been installed as DNC head in 2009 because Hillary had secured the resignation of the previous chairman, Tim Kaine, by promising that he would be her running mate in 2016; needless to say, if Bernie or Elizabeth Warren had been the VP choice, rather than the nebbish Kaine, Hillary would have won in a walk. So Hillary's egomaniacal drive for power came back to bite her in the ass
....
Throughout the campaign, Hillary faced grave legal problems because, during her tenure as Secretary of State, she had traded access  --  and perhaps favorable decisions  --  for donations to the Clinton Foundation and large speaking fees for Bill. Her private server was a scam intended to evade FOIA requirements for government transparency, likely because she didn't want any "smoking guns" to emerge documenting quid-pro-quos linking donations with favorable actions. The fact that this scheme inherently entailed exposing US secrets  --  including the identify of US intelligence assets overseas  --  to hacking by foreign governments, was of no concern to Hillary. When this effort to evade FOIA was confronted with a subpoena, 33 thousand subpoenaed emails were bleach-bitted out of existence  --  while Hillary partisans continued to smugly insist that there was no proof of quid-pro-quo.
....
Comey did not have the integrity to resign in protest of executive corruption; instead, he cravenly chose to "go with the flow". And since Comey had no reason to suspect that Hillary had functioned as a spy, it is hardly surprising that he drafted her exoneration letter months in advance of key FBI interviews. With respect to pay-for-play, the DOJ simply made it impossible for the FBI field offices looking into this to make any progress, denying them use even of the Hillary emails then in the FBI's possession. Furthermore, the fact that this investigation was in progress was kept secret from the public. Offers of immunity were handed out like candy, but there were zero indictments. Owing to this intentional obstruction, Hillary skated throughout the campaign; if indictments had been forthcoming, Bernie would likely have been the nominee, and Trump would not now be President.

This information has been known for over a year and we are only now finding out about some of this information now..

Hillary's buttocks should be sitting inside a prison by now, but because of the criminal acts by Obama's justice department she is still walking free. But if Trump actually does want to "lock her up" he has the authority to declassify lots of the documents that have been covered up. That Loretta Lynch threatened the NY FBI office to not release the information about the emails that belong to Hillary on Weiner's laptop is just one more criminal act by the justice department. The unmasking of hundreds of people by Powers was a huge crime according to the legal system.

When the history of Obama's presidency is written he will be 'unmasked' to have been one of the most corrupt presidents in history. We already know that he is a war criminal, but what else will be discovered if an investigation into his presidency is ever done?

The people in charge of The Hague missed a golden opportunity to arrest countless war criminals who attended McCain's funeral.

span y Deja on Sun, 09/09/2018 - 1:12am
No, should have been executed, according to our constitution.

@snoopydawg

. . . if Bernie or Elizabeth Warren had been the VP choice, rather than the nebbish Kaine, Hillary would have won in a walk.

Bwahahahaa! Nope!

Kain had kneepads surgically implanted for his visits to Wall Street. Nebbish is a nice worfd for him. Skankface would have had to swallow vomit to take Bernie onto Her ticket; though Bernie proved later that he was cool with her policies and even voted to move the embassy. Goofy ass Warren is as flaky as a box of cereal, and is as gymnastic as Her, almost.

Blech!

Her should be held accountable.

but not really. Basically a record of what was done to create Russia Gate.

The Dirty Trickery of Hillary's Campaign is Proving to be of Mind-Boggling Magnitude , Wasserman Schultz ( Hillary's campaign manager in 2008) had been installed as DNC head in 2009 because Hillary had secured the resignation of the previous chairman, Tim Kaine, by promising that he would be her running mate in 2016; needless to say, if Bernie or Elizabeth Warren had been the VP choice, rather than the nebbish Kaine, Hillary would have won in a walk. So Hillary's egomaniacal drive for power came back to bite her in the ass
....
Throughout the campaign, Hillary faced grave legal problems because, during her tenure as Secretary of State, she had traded access  --  and perhaps favorable decisions  --  for donations to the Clinton Foundation and large speaking fees for Bill. Her private server was a scam intended to evade FOIA requirements for government transparency, likely because she didn't want any "smoking guns" to emerge documenting quid-pro-quos linking donations with favorable actions. The fact that this scheme inherently entailed exposing US secrets  --  including the identify of US intelligence assets overseas  --  to hacking by foreign governments, was of no concern to Hillary. When this effort to evade FOIA was confronted with a subpoena, 33 thousand subpoenaed emails were bleach-bitted out of existence  --  while Hillary partisans continued to smugly insist that there was no proof of quid-pro-quo.
....
Comey did not have the integrity to resign in protest of executive corruption; instead, he cravenly chose to "go with the flow". And since Comey had no reason to suspect that Hillary had functioned as a spy, it is hardly surprising that he drafted her exoneration letter months in advance of key FBI interviews. With respect to pay-for-play, the DOJ simply made it impossible for the FBI field offices looking into this to make any progress, denying them use even of the Hillary emails then in the FBI's possession. Furthermore, the fact that this investigation was in progress was kept secret from the public. Offers of immunity were handed out like candy, but there were zero indictments. Owing to this intentional obstruction, Hillary skated throughout the campaign; if indictments had been forthcoming, Bernie would likely have been the nominee, and Trump would not now be President.

This information has been known for over a year and we are only now finding out about some of this information now..

Hillary's buttocks should be sitting inside a prison by now, but because of the criminal acts by Obama's justice department she is still walking free. But if Trump actually does want to "lock her up" he has the authority to declassify lots of the documents that have been covered up. That Loretta Lynch threatened the NY FBI office to not release the information about the emails that belong to Hillary on Weiner's laptop is just one more criminal act by the justice department. The unmasking of hundreds of people by Powers was a huge crime according to the legal system.

When the history of Obama's presidency is written he will be 'unmasked' to have been one of the most corrupt presidents in history. We already know that he is a war criminal, but what else will be discovered if an investigation into his presidency is ever done?

The people in charge of The Hague missed a golden opportunity to arrest countless war criminals who attended McCain's funeral.

span y snoopydawg on Sun, 09/09/2018 - 2:16am
Kaine was really a stupid pick for VP

@Deja

How many people even knew about him before she picked him? He is so bland and had as much centrist leanings as she did. Or was he picked because of his blandness? He wouldn't outshine the Queen. Isn't he strongly pro life too? One of his first acts after not becoming VP was to write the new AUMF that would give presidents the right to wage unlimited war without any oversight from congress. No sunset on wars, not that there are now, but still. Gawd. We dodged a bullet with her loss, but not much has changed.

BTW. Just saw a tweet that had a poll on who people would vote for today. Jill Stein got over 60%.

#8

. . . if Bernie or Elizabeth Warren had been the VP choice, rather than the nebbish Kaine, Hillary would have won in a walk.

Bwahahahaa! Nope!

Kain had kneepads surgically implanted for his visits to Wall Street. Nebbish is a nice worfd for him. Skankface would have had to swallow vomit to take Bernie onto Her ticket; though Bernie proved later that he was cool with her policies and even voted to move the embassy. Goofy ass Warren is as flaky as a box of cereal, and is as gymnastic as Her, almost.

Blech!

Her should be held accountable.

span y snoopydawg on Sun, 09/09/2018 - 2:34am
Whoa! Look at Lynch's history

Was it EDNY who had Weiner's laptop filled with over 700,000 of Hillary's emails that Loretta threatened not to release them? I've been saying that it was the NY FBI who had them, but I might be wrong. TMI to keep track of so much information. Lynch should have had nothing to do with any of the investigations into Hillary's shenanigans after her meeting with Bill on her plane during Tarmac Gate. And because of her history with the Clintons. Maybe it doesn't matter since DC is so incestous because of the revolving doors between so many government positions.

Readers are unlikely to know that the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn is not just any United States attorney's office. It is the office that was headed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch until President Obama elevated her to attorney general less than two years ago.

It was in the EDNY that Ms. Lynch first came to national prominence in 1999, when she was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bill Clinton -- the husband of the main subject of the FBI's investigations with whom Lynch furtively met in the back of a plane parked on an Arizona tarmac days before the announcement that Mrs. Clinton would not be indicted. Obama reappointed Lynch as the EDNY's U.S. attorney in 2010. She was thus in charge of staffing that office for nearly six years before coming to Main Justice in Washington. That means the EDNY is full of attorneys Lynch hired and supervised.

When we learn that Clinton Foundation investigators are being denied access to patently relevant evidence by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, those are the prosecutors -- Loretta Lynch's prosecutors -- we are talking about.

Recall, moreover, that it was Lynch's Justice Department that:

‐refused to authorize use of the grand jury to further the Clinton e-mails investigation, thus depriving the FBI of the power to compel testimony and the production of evidence by subpoena;

‐consulted closely with defense attorneys representing subjects of the investigation;

‐permitted Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson -- the subordinates deputized by Mrs. Clinton to sort through her e-mails and destroy thousands of them -- to represent Clinton as attorneys, despite the fact that they were subjects of the same investigation and had been granted immunity from prosecution (to say nothing of the ethical and legal prohibitions against such an arrangement);

‐drastically restricted the FBI's questioning of Mills and other subjects of the investigation; and

‐struck the outrageous deals that gave Mills and Samuelson immunity from prosecution in exchange for providing the FBI with the laptops on which they reviewed Clinton's four years of e-mails. That arrangement was outrageous for three reasons:

1) Mills and Samuelson should have been compelled to produce the computers by grand-jury subpoena with no immunity agreement;

2) Lynch's Justice Department drastically restricted the FBI's authority to examine the computers; and

3) Lynch's Justice Department agreed that the FBI would destroy the computers following its very limited examination

.
....
As I have detailed, it was already clear that Lynch's Justice Department was stunningly derelict in hamstringing the bureau's e-mails investigation. But now that we know the FBI was simultaneously investigating the Clinton Foundation yet being denied access to the Clinton e-mails, the dereliction appears unconscionable.

The biggest understatement ever:

Were it not for the Clinton Foundation, there probably would not be a Clinton e-mail scandal.

[Sep 09, 2018] DNC Papadopoulos's UK contact may be dead

Highly recommended!
Dead men tell no tales, especially about their role in trying to set up and take down U.S. President Donald Trump.
Sep 09, 2018 | thehill.com
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Friday raised the prospect that the London-based professor who told former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton may be dead.

DNC lawyers wrote in court filings Friday that Joseph Mifsud, who spoke to Papadopoulos during the 2016 presidential election, "is missing and may be deceased," Bloomberg News reported. The lawyers did not elaborate.

The DNC stood by its claim in a statement to The Hill on Friday. The committee indicated that an investigator had been used to find Mifsud, who has been missing for months, and was told the Maltese professor may be dead.

"The DNC's counsel has attempted to serve Mifsud for months and has been unable to locate or contact him. In addition, public reports have said he has disappeared and hasn't been seen for months," DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said.

Mifsud was reportedly teaching at a private university in Rome before he vanished late last year , shortly after his name emerged as a key figure in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The professor had reportedly not been in contact with prosecutors in Italy seeking to question him over allegations of financial wrongdoing and his fiancée told Business Insider earlier this year that she could not reach him.

The DNC's revelation came in court filings Friday in their lawsuit against Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. According to Bloomberg, the DNC said it believed all of the defendants in the case had been served, with the exception of Mifsud.

[Sep 08, 2018] DNC Hacks Unproven by Gordon M. Hahn

Aug 14, 2018 | gordonhahn.com

Regarding the hacking of Democrats computers, nothing has been proven even on the margins or circumstantially on any of these counts. Moreover, the FBI failed to examine the affected computers, and we now know that FBI deputy head and other FBI top officials were scheming to undermine Trump in support of Hillary Clinton's election and that Clinton's campaign had colluded with the Russians to produce the Steele dossier, for which the FBI also paid for. Moreover still, independent research has demonstrated that the hack is most likely to have occurred from inside DNC headquarters.

Even if Russia did hack the DNC – and I am sure it has at least tried to hack US government computer systems as well – one needs to be beyond naïve to believe that US intelligence has not hacked Russian government computers. Indeed, the NSA has hacked the government computers of such close US allies as Germany and France (www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/04/us-nsa-gerhard-schroeder-surveillance and http://www.bbc.com/news/33248484 ). It is clear that much of the material in the recent indictment of 13 Russians was garnered by U.S. intelligence accessing Russian computer systems, perhaps some governmental systems. For example, the indictment references an intercepted email. One can be sure that some of the compromising materials on Russian officials that appear in American and perhaps even Russian media come from NSA hacking. Russian hacking is a drop in the bucket compared with the scale and scope of methods the West has used to target Russia and its allies in the former USSR since the end of the first cold war.

State Hacks Never Happened

All or most of the charges that the Kremlin hacked state voting systems have been retracted. Even if it did, ditto the previous paragraph.

Russia-Trump 'Collusion'

The Russia-Trump collusion charges have fallen flat on their face. The only semi-maningful result of former FBi Director Robert Mueller's 'counter-intelligence investigation' is that a one-time campaign advisor Paul Manafort was indicted for corrupt collusion with Ukraine's corrupt Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions that occurred before Manafort was on Trump's campaign staff. Furthermore, contrary to the Western view, Yanukovych was anything but a 'Putin puppet.' This fact is well-illustrated by then Ukrainian president's willingness to sign the EU Association Agreement in November 2013, a signing which was only aborted by an exorbitant offer by Putin of $15 billion in loans and natural gas price reductions on the background of Ukraine being on the verge of bankruptcy and the EU offering far less.

Russia's Troll Farm – An Inconsequential Spontaneous Experiment

The newest sensation in the 'hunt for Red October' is the Kremlin-tied troll farm. Assuming that Putin's close associate and cook is indeed tied to this small effort, then the US government has finally found an incident of 'Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election' in the United States. Unfortunately, the effort was minimal and nothing to write home about or worth a multi-million government investigation. It is more on the level of a research report farmed out to one of the government-oriented and often-funded DC think tanks with a small $5-10,000 grant attached. Indeed, RFERL already had written about the very same operation as did an Internet news site based, in all places, in 'Putin's Russia.' The 13 indictments were handed down not for the troll activity under an operation called 'Lakhta' – 99 percent of which was merely posting advertisements and comments on the Internet from "around" May 2014 to several months after the US presidential campaign – but for other crimes such as money-laundering. To be sure, the effort to pit American against American by calling opposing radical groups to the same location for potentially explosive counter-demonstrations is nasty stuff. But such cases amounted to less than a handful.

Ultimately, operation Lakhta appears to have been a rather inconsequential experiment, since prior to the US presidential campaign it had focused almost exclusively on trolling Russian politics, expanding to foreign issues like Ukraine and then to the US. The FBI indictment sites the budget of 'Lakhta' was several million dollars per year. Elsewhere the indictment states that by September 2016 'Lakhta' had a monthly budget of $1.3 million ( www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download , pp. 5 and 7). Again, this is a drop in the bucket compared to Western disinformation operations in general and the US political campaign expenditures. This is equivalent to about 10 percent of the cost of congressional campaign, about 1 percent of the the amount Trump and Clinton spent on Internet activity (much of which was similar trolling with ads and comments), and a fraction of a percent of the billions of dollars the two candidates paid on their campaigns. Moreover, this tactical campaign amounts to far less than the routine, much more strategic disinformation communications carried out by the US government and allied media on a continuing basis since the first cold war's end (see, for example, https://gordonhahn.com/2015/09/19/putin-is-crazy-and-sick-the-lows-of-american-rusology/ and https://gordonhahn.com/2015/11/11/the-myth-of-an-imminent-anti-putin-coup-rusological-fail-or-stratcomm/ ).

Opposition-Promotion

In imitation and exacting revenge against past Western support for democratic and other opposition organizations and individuals in Russia and elsewhere under various and sundry democracy-promotion programs and much else, Russia has turned to cooperating with nationalist and populist opposition parties in the West. However, that effort is, again, very limited and gravely overstated by Western pundits and politicians. It amounts almost entirely to an alleged one-time contribution to Marie Le Pen's nationalist-populist National Front party in France. Some in the US are making much noise about a forum of legal European nationalist and populist parties hosted in 2015 in St. Petersburg, Russia (www.kommersant.ru/doc/2683403 and www.interpretermag.com/the-far-right-international-russian-conservative-forum-to-take-place-in-russia/ ). A second conference is scheduled there on 8 April 2018 ( http://realpatriot.ru/en/ ). Presumably, these conferences could be held elsewhere. Is it crucial that they are hosted by Russia? Does it matter where such conferences are held? As a US presidential candidate once said: "Where's the beef?" Does it matter more than US-government RFERL whitewashing jihadi Caucasus terrorists who killed thousands of Russians over some six years or falsifying the reality of the 20 February 2014 Maidan snipers' massacre in Kiev? Does it matter more than the fact that Europeans have produced such parties and why they have produced them? Should Europeans be absolved of their agency, so blame can be redirected onto Russia? Moreover, one researcher has convincingly demonstrated that Russia's cooperation with such parties has more to do with an overlap or "confluence" of interests and ideology between some in Moscow and the Western far-right rather than the former's influence on the latter (www.ponarseurasia.org/memo/russian-and-american-far-right-connections-confluence-not-influence).

Moreover, the radical jihadist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, regarded by almost all terrorism experts as a precursor and recruitment organization for jihdism and jihadi groups, holds an annual convention and several other events in the United States every year ( https://hizb-america.org/events/ ), with similar operations across the West. Weeks ago one of America's leading conservative political organizations, the Conservative Political Action Committee or CPAC, had Marie Le Pen's daughter Marion Marechal`-Le Pen, the United Kingdom's Independent Party's populist firebrand and former leader Nigel Farage, among other European populists speak at their annual convention.

Russia may move into more threatening territory, if it begins to support rising ethno-national separatism in places in Europe or the West more generally like Catalonia. The foreign ministry of South Ossetiya, the Russian-backed breakaway region of Georgia, opened up a "representative office" in Catalonia in October (www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/41274/). This could be even more dangerous territory for Moscow's 'me-two-ism' to tread on. On the other hand, the West violated its own UN-sponsored resolution on Kosovo committing to Yugoslavia's territorial integrity.

Conclusion

Russia is using the tools of the West, those the latter has deployed against Russia since the collapse of the Berlin wall, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the dawn of the new world order and a 'united Europe from Vancouver to Vladivostok.' The West moved first to back anti-Russian parties in the former USSR and opposition parties in Russia, so Russia has now begun to back anti-American parties and opposition parties in the West. The West first used the Internet against Russia and its allies, and Russia followed suit using it against the West. The West interfered in Russian presidential campaigns and other aspects of Russia's internal political life and that of its allies, and Russia is responding in kind. The West has backed revolutions (a priori facto and ex post facto) and separatism, including jihadism, against Russia and its allies, and Russia began to do the same (minus the support for jihadists) against the West.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, San Jose, California, www.cetisresearch.org .

Dr. Hahn is the author of Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the 'New Cold War (McFarland Publishers, 2017) and three previously and well-received books: Russia's Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction Publishers, 2002); Russia's Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007); and The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia's North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014).He has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media and has served as a consultant and provided expert testimony to the U.S. government.

Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia. He has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Kennan Institute in Washington DC as well as the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

[Sep 07, 2018] You elect Clinton she will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex. You elect trump he will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex

Sep 07, 2018 | politics.slashdot.org

Anonymous Coward , Friday September 07, 2018 @11:07AM ( #57269142 )

only after clinton stole from Bernie ( Score: 1 )

Either way its THE SYSTEM that's at fault. EITHER ONE WAS DESTINED TO BE THE WORST PRESIDENT OF THE USA.

You elect Clinton she will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex. You elect trump he will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex.

Russia is unimportant to the outcome of the election. Mountains of collusion with Cambridge Analytics, Israel, Oligarchs in the USA like Robert Mercer. Facebook is subservient to the US military industrial complex now anyway, a few meme's here and there don't swing an election its utter bulls**t.

Then that empirically pales in comparison to a president (Obama) that did nothing for the middle class except destroy it with junk economics after the GFC in 2008. Lethargic voters who voted obama 2 times and got nothing didnt bother to turn up on election day there's the empirical cause effect of trump winning.

DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) , Friday September 07, 2018 @11:13AM ( #57269180 ) Homepage
Hillary wanted a no-fly zone over Syria ( Score: 2 )

Remember the debates? Hillary was firm in wanting a no-fly zone in Syria. This would have led to direct conflict between USAF and Russian AF. It could have easily broken out into a big shooting war. Heck, I get the idea that a lot of people in DC (the unelected government, so-called deep state) would have greatly desired that. World War II hero and former U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) once observed, in a different context: "There exists a shadowy government with ... its own fundraising mechanism." [danielkino...titute.org]

Also remember, just before the inauguration, that US armored brigade landed and the jokes wrote themselves? Obama just sent tanks into Poland, that sort of thing. They then traveled to the Russian border? That was Hillary's big stick. Plant a bunch of troops near them and then start shit in Syria. But she wasn't elected, and they just did some training and then left. Peace broke out instead.

TimMD909 ( 260285 ) , Friday September 07, 2018 @11:13AM ( #57269184 ) Homepage
2 years later... ( Score: 3 , Insightful)

... And there's still a ridiculous amount of derangement. Hilldog was a bad candidate who few outside the neocons liked. She was caught meddling in her own party's process to boot Bernie. She tried pretending that destroying evidence on her personal email server was an innocent mistake. Worst of all, she pretended to be a saint when she is definitely not. That wolf in sheeps clothing never sat well with me. Look up Hitchens thoughts on her for more things to be unsettled about. Now 2 years later, uncountable hours have gone into trying to shift the blame. When will the Dems admit it was a mistake to have her as the candidate?

grasshoppa ( 657393 ) writes: < {skennedy} {at} {tpno-co.org} > on Friday September 07, 2018 @12:38PM ( #57269866 ) Homepage
What weakened Clinton? ( Score: 1 )

Was anything released incorrect? Were the emails false, for instance? Was her insulting a sizable portion of the country Russia's doing? Was Russia behind her corrupting the DNC primary process?

Is Russia's biggest crime, in fact, that it did the job the media might have done in past generations? Today's media was all about helping Clinton to the presidency by almost any means necessary, and let me tell you; ironically that hurt Clinton more than it helped.

Trump just happened to be in the right place at the right time, with the right attitude to get the job ( loud, amoral and full of shit ).

[Sep 02, 2018] Russian Oligarch And Putin Pal Admits To Collusion, Secret Meetings

Sep 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Sat, 09/01/2018 - 19:30

Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close associate of Vladimir Putin, has gone on record with The Hill 's John Solomon - admitting to colluding with Americans leading up to the 2016 US election, except it might not be what you're thinking.

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Deripaska, rumored to be Donald Trump's " back channel " to Putin via the Russian's former association with Paul Manafort, says he "colluded" with the US Government between 2009 and 2016.

In 2009, when Robert Mueller was running the FBI , the agency asked Deripaska to spend $25 million of his own money to bankroll an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent - Robert Levinson, who was kidnapped in 2007 while working on a 2007 CIA contract in Iran. This in and of itself is more than a bit strange.

Deripaska agreed, however the Obama State Department, headed by Hillary Clinton, scuttled a last-minute deal with Iran before Levinson could be released. He hasn't been heard from since.

FBI agents courted Deripaska in 2009 in a series of secret hotel meetings in Paris; Vienna; Budapest, Hungary, and Washington . Agents persuaded the aluminum industry magnate to underwrite the mission. The Russian billionaire insisted the operation neither involve nor harm his homeland. -The Hill

In other words - Trump's alleged "back channel" to Putin was in fact an FBI asset who spent $25 million helping Obama's "scandal free" administration find a kidnapped agent. Deripaska's admitted

Steele, Ohr and the 2016 US Election

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As the New York Times frames it, distancing Deripaska from the FBI (no mention of the $25 million rescue effort, for example), the Russian aluminum magnate was just one of several Putin-linked Oligarchs the FBI tried to flip.

The attempt to flip Mr. Deripaska was part of a broader, clandestine American effort to gauge the possibility of gaining cooperation from roughly a half-dozen of Russia's richest men, nearly all of whom, like Mr. Deripaska, depend on President Vladimir V. Putin to maintain their wealth, the officials said. - NYT

Central to the recruiting effort were two central players in the Trump-Russia investigation; twice-demoted DOJ #4 official Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele - the author of the largely unverified "Steele Dossier."

Steele, a longtime associate of Ohr's, worked for Deripaska beginning in 2012 researching a business rival - work which would evolve to the point where the former British spy was interfacing with the Obama administration on his behalf - resulting in Deripaska regaining entry into the United States, where he visited numerous times between 2009 and 2017.

The State Department tried to keep him from getting a U.S. visa between 2006 and 2009 because they believed he had unspecified connections to criminal elements in Russia as he consolidated power in the aluminum industry. Deripaska has denied those allegations...

Whatever the case, it is irrefutable that after he began helping the FBI, Deripaska regained entry to the United States . And he visited numerous times between 2009 and 2017, visa entry records show. - The Hill

Deripaska is now banned from the United States as one of several Russians sanctioned in April in response to alleged 2016 election meddling.

In a September 2016 meeting, Deripaska told FBI agents that it was "preposterous" that Paul Manafort was colluding with Russia to help Trump win the 2016 election . This, despite the fact that Deripaska and Manafort's business relationship "ended in lawsuits, per The Hill - and the Russian would have every reason to throw Manafort under the bus if he wanted some revenge on his old associate.

So the FBI and DOJ secretly collaborated with Trump's alleged backchannel over a seven-year period , starting with Levinson, then on Deripaska's Visa, and finally regarding whether Paul Manafort was an intermediary to Putin. Deripaska vehemently denies the assertion, and even took out newspaper advertisements in the US last year volunteering to testify to Congress, refuting an AP report that he and Manafort secretly worked on a plan to "greatly benefit the Putin government" a decade ago.

Soon after the advertisements ran, representatives for the House and Senate Intelligence Committees called a Washington-based lawyer for Mr. Deripaska, Adam Waldman, inquiring about taking his client up on t