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DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin

  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 "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 US Presidential Elections of 2016 Recommended Links  Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Demonization of Putin Seth Rich murder Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
Hillary Clinton email scandal Questions about Huma Abedin email forwarding Who hacked whom propaganda game Sanctions against Russia Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Putin-did-it fiasco: Obama repeat Bush's WMD fiasco Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of uppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Obama: a yet another Neocon Is Hillary Clinton a toxic manager? Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Deception as an art form Bill Clinton
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 Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books 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 Lawrence Summers 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  

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.

But 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 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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Old News ;-)

[Nov 12, 2017] Hillary Clinton, DNC - and One Republican - Paid for Russia Dossier Report - Breitbart

Notable quotes:
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the " most influential " people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of ..."
"... , is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak . ..."
Nov 12, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee paid opposition research firm Fusion GPS to compile the "Russian dossier" that triggered an FBI investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government, according to a report Tuesday by the Washington Post .

A Republican had contracted first with Fusion GPS, and Clinton and the DNC continued to fund Fusion GPS's work, the report says.

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According to the Post :

Mark Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community

Before that agreement, Fusion GPS's research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS's research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

The "Russian dossier," whose contents Trump has denied and which has been widely discredited, is believed to have led the FBI to investigate the Trump campaign and several Trump associates.

Until now, Fusion GPS has continued to refuse to cooperate with congressional panels investigating Russian attempts to intervene in the election, and how the Obama administration probed those efforts. Democrats have also protected the company.

The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee were involved in procuring the salacious accusations against Trump that fed their own later accusations of Russian interference in the election lends credence to those who, like Trump himself, have regarded the Russia accusations as conspiracy theories.

Last week, Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal observed :

The Washington narrative is focused on special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. But the ferocious pushback and unseemly tactics from Democrats suggest they are growing worried. Maybe the real story is that Democrats worked with an opposition-research firm that has some alarming ties to Russia and potentially facilitated a disinformation campaign during a presidential election.

On the heels of revelations that the FBI was investigating Russian attempts to influence Hillary Clinton to approve a controversial uranium deal, Democrats will have more questions to answer about possible collusion with Russia. The FBI, too, will face additional scrutiny from Congress -- especially as it agreed to pay Steele after the election for additional research into Trump's potential Russia ties.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the " most influential " people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution , is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak .

[Nov 11, 2017] Trump Points To Falsehoods In Russian Hacking Claims - Media Still Ignore Them

Possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats. If for a moment one could remove the often justified hatred many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been devised by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims. In other words this is a sophisticated false flag operation.
Even more alarmingly (what really smells like a part on intelligence agencies coup d'état against Trump ) is the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies - the CIA, the FBI and the NSA - not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama's intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saving so.)
Notable quotes:
"... Well its three . And one is Brennan . And one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks . So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey . Comey's proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. ..."
"... Trump gets it. He knows the weak points of the propaganda claims of "Russian hacking": Podesta and the fake Steele dossier, the DNC server, the lack of any FBI investigation of the alleged hack, the NYT's long false insistence on the '17 agencies' assessment, the "political hacks" who fitted their claims to the Obama/Clinton narrative. ..."
"... But neither the Washington Post nor the NY Times or others mention the crucial points Trump spelled out in their write-ups of the gaggle. There is no word on the DNC servers in them. Instead they create a claim of "Putin says and Trump just believes him". The do not name the facts and questions Trump listed to support his position. Taking up the valid questions Trump asked would of course require the news outlets to finally delve into them. We can't have that. ..."
"... Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else. ..."
"... I guess it could be that the DNC really was hacked, but maybe they faked the hack story, fed the story to Crowdstrike, then paid Crowdstrike a lot of money to fabricate a fairytale about Russian hacking... ..."
"... This Russian fairytale would be the bedrock of Hillary's campaign, and it gave her a reason to badmouth trump who intended to get along with Putin, which deeply offended the neocon Bolsheviks who've been running things since 9/11 ..."
"... If the hacking really happened, it's maybe more likely to have been the US NSA that did the hacking... that might explain why the DNC and Hillary were not alarmed by the hacking --if it happened-- and did nothing about it, and continued to write incriminating emails... ..."
"... Russia gate is Really Hillary Gate... And that's just the beginning as we consider the DNC lid coming off via Donna Brazile and the Uranium scandal. Mueller has been gatekeeper for the Deep State for OKC bombing, 911,...other False Flag...and now today's Intrigues. ..."
"... Back when Trump looked like he was in the running in the US presidential election, I wondered how one man, even if he was genuine, could without the backing of US intelligence, take down the deepstate/borg/whatever. Putin pulled Russia out of the nineties with key backing from patriotic intelligence and military leadership, but Trump even if genuine would be on his own. Just ordered 'Art of the deal' to try and understand Trump a bit more. Looks like he has just destroyed a big chunk of deep state financing so will be interesting to see how long he can stay alive. ..."
"... well, Mueller declined to find 9/11 evidence against bin laden... or maybe we should say, "he declined to manufacture evidence"... for some unkown reason... ..."
"... Can we just face the facts here that there is a coordinated effort by these elite to get Trump dethroned? What reason for this? Simple...he's a threat. ..."
"... Mike Whitney posted a great piece this week suggesting Brennan, Obama's political 'hack', is behind this mess - "Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48172.htm ..."
"... These are but a few sources digging and reporting on these bogus charges against Putin. I'd like to believe the majority of the U.S. electorate isn't being fooled by the nonsense. I can't speak for those who choose to remain inside the brainwashing corporate media bubble, but for those of us who divorced ourselves from their propaganda long ago ain't buying nor ever did buy into the muh Russia crap. ..."
"... Meanwhile, USG declares RT and Sputnik to be foreign agents and must register as such -- and Trump had nothing to do with that?!? ..."
"... The media is now now in permanent psy op mode, colonizing the public's mind and jamming people's ability to reason, think critically and even tell fact from fiction. It is only a matter of time before overt repression becomes widespread (to protect our freedoms of course) and the last remnants of democracy give way to an Orwellian/Huxleyite dystopia. ..."
"... CNN covers the Binney/Pompeo meeting, and describes Binney in the headline as a "conspiracy theorist": http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/mike-pompeo-william-binney-meeting/index.html ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trump Points To Falsehoods In "Russian Hacking" Claims - Media Still Ignore Them

During the flight of his recent Asia tour U.S. President Donal Trump held a press gaggle on board of the plane. Part of it were questions and answers about the alleged "Russian hacking" of the U.S. election.

There is no public transcript available yet but the Washington Post's Mark Berman provided a screenshot of some relevant parts:

Mark Berman @markberman - 6:20 AM - 11 Nov 2017

Full comment from @realDonaldTrump again questioning the US intel community conclusion that Russia meddled last year

In the attached transcript Trump talks about his very short encounter with the Russian President Putin in Hanoi:

Q: When did you bring up the issue of election meddling? Did you ask him a question?

A: Every time he sees me he says he didn't do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, I didn't do that. I think he is very insulted by it, ...
...
He says that very strongly and he really seems to be insulted by it he says he didn't do it.

Q: Even if he didn't bring it up one-on-one, do you believe him?

A: I think that he is very, very strong on the fact that didn't do it. And then you look and you look what's going on with Podesta , and you look at what's going on with the server from the DNC and why didn't the FBI take it ? Why did they leave it? Why did a third party look at the server and not the FBI ? You look at all of this stuff, and you say, what's going on here? And you hear it's 17 agencies. Well its three . And one is Brennan . And one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks . So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey . Comey's proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently say he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.

Trump gets it. He knows the weak points of the propaganda claims of "Russian hacking": Podesta and the fake Steele dossier, the DNC server, the lack of any FBI investigation of the alleged hack, the NYT's long false insistence on the '17 agencies' assessment, the "political hacks" who fitted their claims to the Obama/Clinton narrative.

But neither the Washington Post nor the NY Times or others mention the crucial points Trump spelled out in their write-ups of the gaggle. There is no word on the DNC servers in them. Instead they create a claim of "Putin says and Trump just believes him". The do not name the facts and questions Trump listed to support his position. Taking up the valid questions Trump asked would of course require the news outlets to finally delve into them. We can't have that.

Instead we get more "Russian influence" claptrap. Like this from the once honorable Wired which headlines:

Here's the first evidence Russia used Twitter to influence Brexit

Russian interference in Brexit through targeted social media propaganda can be revealed for the first time. A cache of posts from 2016, seen by WIRED, shows how a coordinated network of Russian-based Twitter accounts spread racial hatred in an attempt to disrupt politics in the UK and Europe.

Interesting, enthralling, complicate and sensational ...
... until you get down to paragraph 14(!):

Surprisingly, all the posts around Brexit in this small snapshot were posted after the June vote

"Russian agents" influenced the U.S. election by buying mostly irrelevant Facebook ads - 25% of which were never seen by anyone and 56% of which were posted AFTER the election

"Russian-based Twitter accounts" influenced the Brexit vote in the UK by tweeting affirmative AFTER the vote happened

Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else.

Tannenhouser | Nov 11, 2017 2:15:01 PM | 1

"Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else."

I couldn't agree more B. The distraction to cover up the DNC crimes and the 'pay to play' antics during HRC's tenure at SECState are part of this nonsense as well.

james | Nov 11, 2017 2:21:31 PM | 2
thanks b.. i 2nd @1 tannenhousers comment above..
wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 2:31:10 PM | 3
the term "hacked" implies that someone came in on the internet, right?

I guess it could be that the DNC really was hacked, but maybe they faked the hack story, fed the story to Crowdstrike, then paid Crowdstrike a lot of money to fabricate a fairytale about Russian hacking...

This Russian fairytale would be the bedrock of Hillary's campaign, and it gave her a reason to badmouth trump who intended to get along with Putin, which deeply offended the neocon Bolsheviks who've been running things since 9/11

If the hacking really happened, it's maybe more likely to have been the US NSA that did the hacking... that might explain why the DNC and Hillary were not alarmed by the hacking --if it happened-- and did nothing about it, and continued to write incriminating emails...

...they assumed the hackers were on their side

OK, then, if the hacking was a fairytale, made up by Debbie and Hillary, and reinforced by Crowdstrike, then what? Maybe it doesn't make any difference in the long run, if the DNC was hacked or not

Whatever happened, the emails got out, Assange strongly hints that Seth Rich was the leak, Seth Rich was murdered, and his murder was intended to be a warning to people like Donna Brazile, who, after Seth was murdered, started drawing her office blinds because she didn't want to be sniped... presumably by the people who murdered Seth Rich

broders | Nov 11, 2017 2:33:17 PM | 4
the real question is : what is j.sessions doing ? and if nothing , why trump doesn't fire him ?
Brad | Nov 11, 2017 2:55:42 PM | 5
Russia gate is Really Hillary Gate... And that's just the beginning as we consider the DNC lid coming off via Donna Brazile and the Uranium scandal. Mueller has been gatekeeper for the Deep State for OKC bombing, 911,...other False Flag...and now today's Intrigues.

Will Podesta and Hillary escape?...or get Prison? John McCain with ISIS and photo opp,.. Evil in your face 24. If certain people are not in Prison....Mueller could wear the label Satan's guardian. ..and it wouldn't be exaggeration

Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 3:00:44 PM | 6
Back when Trump looked like he was in the running in the US presidential election, I wondered how one man, even if he was genuine, could without the backing of US intelligence, take down the deepstate/borg/whatever. Putin pulled Russia out of the nineties with key backing from patriotic intelligence and military leadership, but Trump even if genuine would be on his own. Just ordered 'Art of the deal' to try and understand Trump a bit more. Looks like he has just destroyed a big chunk of deep state financing so will be interesting to see how long he can stay alive.
wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 3:05:39 PM | 7

well, Mueller declined to find 9/11 evidence against bin laden... or maybe we should say, "he declined to manufacture evidence"... for some unkown reason...

whatever, if seth rich's murder was an attempt to terrorize politicians and the media into parroting the party line --like the anthrax letters did after 9/11-- it worked

donna is still saying, "the Russians dun it".

NemesisCalling | Nov 11, 2017 3:07:36 PM | 8
b, it is so funny that everytime you allude to Trump being in the right against the teeming hordes or globalist, anti-Russia elites, you always offer the caveat: "but...he's a bastard and I hate him."

Can we just face the facts here that there is a coordinated effort by these elite to get Trump dethroned? What reason for this? Simple...he's a threat.

Enemy of my enemy anyone?

P.s. I view him as an opportunist. a chameleon. At the very least, perhaps he realizes the absolute absurdity of trying to keep the house of cards aloft in the ME. So far, no wars, and a de-escalation in Syria. Pundits are talking about 3+% growth in US for first time in decade. I dont't know...perhaps Donald can cut and run in time to salvage some of the US prosperity.

PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2017 3:22:45 PM | 9
I'm almost inclined to think Trump is letting this Russian hack thing play out on purpose despite his Tweets to the contrary. Preventing the feds from 'investigating' it wouldn't make it go away, it would just cement the notion of guilt and a cover-up into the anti-Trump, anti-Russian segment of the public. More importantly, the similarly-inclined political/government leaders (pro-Hillary, DNC, politicized FBI and intel, neocons, deep state, whatever...) and MSM slowly expose themselves for what they are. They get too confident in the big lie actually working and go into a feeding frenzy. Trump trolls them on Twitter and they go insane.

When you want to catch sharks, you don't chase them around the ocean to hunt them. You chum the waters and wait for them to come to you. Trump isn't the one chumming the waters here - he's letting the sharks do that themselves.

I scratched my head like everyone else trying to figure out Trump's earlier incomprehensible hiring/firing volley his first few months. Maybe that was just a bit of theatre. Trump might not understand the 'little people' too much, but he does understand his opponent psychopaths (corporate, banking or government/intel) and how to use their basic flaws against them. 'Draining the swamp' sells well, but letting his opponents stick their necks out far enough before Trump's own Night of the Long Knives would (to me) be a far more effective strategy towards his ends. And probably much safer for him than Kennedy's approach.

Kind of worrying that one has to rely on outsider psychopaths to cull other psychopath's well-entrenched herds within the US government. Does that ever turn out well?

Laguerre | Nov 11, 2017 3:30:12 PM | 10
Was anything Trump did really illegal? It hasn't been demonstrated yet. The US does much the same in Russia.
h | Nov 11, 2017 3:31:16 PM | 11
Only the most strident partisans hold tightly to the Russian interference nonsense.

Those who simply want to deal in facts bother ourselves to self inform using multiple sources who have been trying to make sense of the dastardly twists and turns in this muh Russia whodunit scandal. The DNC emails, dossier, collusion the whole escapade, from the beginning, could be seen as being built on nothing more than quicksand.

Mike Whitney posted a great piece this week suggesting Brennan, Obama's political 'hack', is behind this mess - "Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48172.htm

Then you have Joe Lauria's outstanding piece which lived less than 24 hours at HuffPo before being disappeared - http://raymcgovern.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/CLEANOn-The-Origins-of-Russia-gate-_-HuffPost.pdf

And then you have the Intercept's piece on Binney's meeting with CIA's Pompeo with Ray McGovern providing a lot more detail and an interview with his favorite news outlet RT - http://raymcgovern.com/

Oh, and about Binney's meeting with Pompeo? Trump requested Pompeo meet with him. He did. But Pompeo, as of today, remains steadfast in supporting the ICA crap report Obama's political intel hacks put out.

These are but a few sources digging and reporting on these bogus charges against Putin. I'd like to believe the majority of the U.S. electorate isn't being fooled by the nonsense. I can't speak for those who choose to remain inside the brainwashing corporate media bubble, but for those of us who divorced ourselves from their propaganda long ago ain't buying nor ever did buy into the muh Russia crap.

wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 3:36:47 PM | 12
we got to wonder why donna brazile made such a fuss about Seth Rich. She's being way too cagey for comfort but even if we leave seth rich out of it, none of it make any sense

... ... ...

Muslim Dude | Nov 11, 2017 3:42:36 PM | 13
According to journalist, Liz Crokin and others online, Trump is pulling the biggest sting operation in history.

https://www.lizcrokin.com/hillaryclinton/mueller-president-trump-pulling-biggest-sting-history/

Also from a Youtube video I saw earlier there are claims this is what is happening.

1. Obama regime was chronically corrupt including sell of Uranium to Russia for bribes. Elements of the US military and intelligence were disgusted by this and approached Trump BEFORE the elections as a figure who could help them.

2. Trump decided to work with them and during his election campaign he deliberately made constant exaggerated claims of his supposed friendship with Putin, this was bait for the Democrats to smear him as a Putin-lover, Putin puppet.

3. Once elected, the whole "Trump is a Putin puppet" was allowed to run so that a huge demand for some sort of investigation in to Trump and his Russia links could be built. Only this investigation would in fact be used to target the Democrats and Clinton including for their corruption over the Uranium sales with the Russians.

4. This was apparently (according to these claims) the game plan from the beginning and Mueller is apparently going to work to convict Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats.

I don't know how true this is, but it does answer a lot of questions and anomalies and also ties in with B's thesis that we are essentially seeing a quasi-military government in D.C. under Trump.

psychohistorian | Nov 11, 2017 3:49:19 PM | 14
@ PavewayIV who ended his comment with: "Kind of worrying that one has to rely on outsider psychopaths to cull other psychopath's well-entrenched herds within the US government. Does that ever turn out well? "

Yep! And we add our textual white noise to the rearranging of the deck chairs on the top deck of the good ship Humanity as it careens over the falls/into the shoals/pick-your-metaphor

PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2017 4:30:10 PM | 15
psychohistorian@14 - Captain to crew: "I will not have this ship go down looking like a garbage scow. Deck chairs will be arranged in a neat and orderly manner at all times!"
Augustin L | Nov 11, 2017 4:32:46 PM | 16
The orange Chump is using diversionary tactics. Will the mafia Front goy thief disclose his extensive exposure/links to Russian and foreign banks ?

The same media you're decrying here is also ignoring this week's paradise papers revelations about Wilbur Ross, Trump's commerce secretary and business links with Russian Israeli mobsters and oligarchs like Mogilevich. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMhzkvWuXEM

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what is not true. The other is to refuse to believe what is true. Can't fix stupid sociopathy. I pity deplorable goyims, They deserve their plight...

renfro | Nov 11, 2017 5:10:26 PM | 17
Please someone end this idiot circus! Russia hacked THE ELECTION ...hacked THE ELECTION ??? For the love of gawd..the ELECTION, meaning the voting was hacked.....it was NOT. Nothing has focused on Russian 'hacking' of VOTES. Russia 'if' they hacked, at best hacked some emails and info used to expose Hillary. And posted negative info on the net. So, so what? How many leakers weren't doing that?

I have had it with the Dems, they have IQs somewhere below that of cabbages. But I guess there are a certain number of citizens that will believe anything if it is repeated enough by their herd leaders.

notheonly1 | Nov 11, 2017 5:31:12 PM | 18
All this pathetic, lousy street theater resembling staging can only serve one important reason: Distraction. What is it that people need to be distracted from? That the US has turned openly into a military dictatorship? That the extermination proceedings are speeding up?

Hitler used gas chambers, as did the US after the war. While the first was a psychopathic dictator, the latter is a psychopathic society. It has spend trillions in research and design of lethal weapons and systems to exterminate any 'enemy'.

With all the technological progress, people do no longer need to be dragged to a gas chamber. The gas chamber will come to them. Sprayed into the atmosphere and making its way into earth's life systems.

Trump, Dump, Busch, Koch, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon - plutocratic hand puppets. It is not the people who decide where and when the ship sinks. It will be sunken for them - with all the useless eaters on board.

Jack Oliver | Nov 11, 2017 6:03:23 PM | 19
Trump is too stupid to realize that the very reason the election was rigged in his favour was - the derailment of ANY ZIO/US/Russia relations !! Their top priority ( as always) has been to keep Russia and Germany apart ! Russia's 'resources' and German 'innovation' is a match made in heaven - would spell the end of the US economy !
karlof1 | Nov 11, 2017 6:27:43 PM | 20
Not only did the Propaganda System refuse to correctly report as b details, but nowhere has it mentioned the defeat of Daesh, as Pepe Escobar discloses: "This is History in the making.

"And right on cue, VIRTUALLY NOTHING about this REAL ON THE GROUND VICTORY OF A REAL WAR ON TERROR is being covered by Western corporate media.

"No wonder. Because this was the work of Damascus, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran advisers, Baghdad and the PMUs – actually the "4+1" - and not the US-led "coalition" that includes Wahhabi mongrels House of Saud and UAE - that totally smashes to bits the monochord Washington narrative.

"So History in the making must be silenced." [Emphasis in original.] http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48186.htm

Meanwhile, USG declares RT and Sputnik to be foreign agents and must register as such -- and Trump had nothing to do with that?!?

Temporarily Sane | Nov 11, 2017 6:30:23 PM | 21
The war on Syria and the Russian "hacking" debacle has corrupted the entire western media. Not that it was ever squeaky clean - far from it - but it was at least somewhat independent from the dominant establishment. There were pauses between the outrageous lies and blatant fact twisting and it did not overtly shill for neoliberal political parties and work overtime pushing massive amounts of propaganda on the public 24/7/365 and relentlessly demonize, in the most crude fashion imaginable, the leaders of some of the the world's most powerful countries and any sovereign nation that values its independence and freedom from Western exploitation.

The media is now now in permanent psy op mode, colonizing the public's mind and jamming people's ability to reason, think critically and even tell fact from fiction. It is only a matter of time before overt repression becomes widespread (to protect our freedoms of course) and the last remnants of democracy give way to an Orwellian/Huxleyite dystopia.

jayc | Nov 11, 2017 6:32:58 PM | 22
CNN covers the Binney/Pompeo meeting, and describes Binney in the headline as a "conspiracy theorist": http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/mike-pompeo-william-binney-meeting/index.html
Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 6:37:08 PM | 23
karlof1 20

If by chance Trump or anyone is genuine about taking down the deep state, they cannot do it by running around in a pathetic attempt trying to fix small issues. They would have to leave the machine to carry on as normal and go for its foundations. I thought about this months ago, and now looking at the latest events, this could be what is happening.

gut bugs galore | Nov 11, 2017 6:52:35 PM | 24
Meanwhile a revolution threatening the federation of Australia is taking place in Canberra utilizing a formless and compliant press corps and a fake issue of dual citizenship. Chaos is a disease agent which has jumped out of the Middle Eastern laboratory into all western nations.
Krollchem | Nov 11, 2017 7:13:34 PM | 25
Educational Youtube videos on how the world works at "Rules for rulers"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig_qpNfXHIU

[Nov 11, 2017] There are some indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier

This is from July, 2017, before the most recent revelations...
Notable quotes:
"... Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo ..."
"... the weapons and ammunition are usual from east Europe (Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine ...) ..."
"... the contracts are with U.S. companies themselves hired by the CIA and/or Pentagon as well as with Saudi and Israeli companies ..."
"... offloading during unusual "fueling stops" allowed to disguise the real addressee of the loads ..."
"... With lots of details from obtained emails. Ten thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition to al-Qaeda and other Takfiris in Syria also came first from Libya by ship, then on at least 160 big cargo flights via Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Turkey and during the last years by various ships under U.S. contracts from mostly east-European countries. ..."
"... A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel... ..."
"... there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier. ..."
"... there is evidences that he distributed it to the CIA, FBI and to the media. ..."
"... the "Reason" article is complete nonsense. I've covered the details the last two weeks. The "dodgy dossier" was shared by Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, with the British MI6 and the FBI starting in August 2016. That's why I claim it's not RussiaGate but IC-Gate. A complot by the Intelligence Community of the UK and US. McCain is just a distraction of the true effort to dump Trump. ..."
"... Christopher Steele and Sir Andrew Wood worked in a British spy nest in Moscow during the Yeltsin years of the 90s. ..."
"... Is RussiaGate Really IC-Gate Did MI6/CIA Collude with Chris Steele to Entrap Trump? ..."
Jul 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Murder, Spies And Weapons - Three Fascinating 'Deep State' Stories

350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for terrorists - Trud

Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo

With lots of details from obtained emails. Ten thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition to al-Qaeda and other Takfiris in Syria also came first from Libya by ship, then on at least 160 big cargo flights via Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Turkey and during the last years by various ships under U.S. contracts from mostly east-European countries.

---

With all the Trump-Russia nonsense flowing around one person's involvement in the creation of the issue deserves more scrutiny:

McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 12:56:46 PM | 5
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier. The third time is the Charm. I am reminded. McCain can do no wrong:

His service to his country (it's alleged, by aiding the enemy); The Keating Five; (I dindu nuttin wrong) The Trump-Russia Dossier (by political treason stabbing the nominee of his own Party; ignoring the words of Reagan). McCain, once again, will be excused and forgiven. His actions were due to illness – the most aggressive cancer of the brain. How is that so?

james | Jul 21, 2017 1:00:13 PM | 8
@5 likklemore ... in an exceptional country, there is no accountability... according to obama, you have to move on and not dwell on the past, lol...
ben | Jul 21, 2017 1:07:44 PM | 9
Thanks b, the mountain of evidence you provide daily, as proof of the corporate empire's malignancy, is therapeutic and empowering, but, until this information reaches the bulk of the U$A's masses we're all just treading water here.
WorldBLee | Jul 21, 2017 1:11:43 PM | 10
@2: The last thing McCain has to worry about is prosecution or even criticism for fomenting war crimes. The cancer is real and he will be lauded for his courage and lionized if he dies. But should he survive he will carry on as usual with no apologies and no criticism.
Oui | Jul 21, 2017 2:29:43 PM | 12
Sorry b .... the "Reason" article is complete nonsense. I've covered the details the last two weeks. The "dodgy dossier" was shared by Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, with the British MI6 and the FBI starting in August 2016. That's why I claim it's not RussiaGate but IC-Gate. A complot by the Intelligence Community of the UK and US. McCain is just a distraction of the true effort to dump Trump.
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

  • there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier.
  • there is evidences that he distributed it to the CIA, FBI and to the media.
  • the issue is now in front of a British court.

Christopher Steele and Sir Andrew Wood worked in a British spy nest in Moscow during the Yeltsin years of the 90s.

  • Is RussiaGate Really IC-Gate Did MI6/CIA Collude with Chris Steele to Entrap Trump?
  • 'Sir' Andrew Wood as spy chief in Moscow
  • Fusion GPS linked to UAE Sheikh and Rubio Donor

    Peter W. Smith Tapped Alt-Right to Access Dark Net for Clinton emails – linked to Charles C. Johnson – Stephen Bannon - Andrew Auernheimer, a hacker who goes by the alias 'Weev', "exiled" to the Ukraine

Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 21, 2017 3:02:30 PM | 13
Thanks, b. Love the lede...
350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for ter'rists - Trud

What a slimy little cur John McCain (Satan's Mini-Me) turns out to be. Guess how surprised I'm not that the little skunk is up to his eyeballs in weapons proliferation & profiteering, not to mention that old Yankee favourite Gun-barrel "Diplomacy".

I suspected during the Prez Campaign that Trump had McCain well and truly scoped when he said (of Satan's Mini-Me) "I like my war "heroes" not to get captured."

This story says a lot for China & Russia's approach to long-term Strategic Diplomacy. I imagine that they both know all this stuff and a helluva lot more, but they go to all the summits, prattle about Our AmeriKKKan Friends, and then presumably laugh their asses off when the summit is over. Xi & Putin seem to truly believe that the blowback from all this Yankee Duplicity will eventually do as much harm to the American Dream as an Ru/Cn Military Solution.

likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 4:52:05 PM | 18
@james 8
[Reported by Independent.co.uk, New York Post and the Guardian.co.uk] McCain admitted he handed the dossier to Comey."

NYPost: McCain "I gave Russia blackmail dossier on Trump to the FBI"

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself

New York Post
http://nypost.com/2017/01/11/john-mccain-i-gave-russia-blackmail-dossier-on-trump-to-fbi/

Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

Yes, there will be no accountability in the U.S. for the exceptional ones. However, the British courts setting aside "special relationships" may take a different view that McCain has a case to answer.


@kpax 17

Did I mis-read? McCain's cerebral?

fast freddy | Jul 21, 2017 8:20:34 PM | 29
Craven McCain has been teflon for his entire political career and he was teflon when he wrecked airplanes in the navy. McCain is just a teflon guy. Untouchable. Probably has "dossiers" on anybody that can damage him.
Yeah, Right | Jul 22, 2017 6:40:44 AM | 45
@2 I have no doubt that McCain's medical condition is real. I well remember the news stories in early June when McCain put up a bizarre performance during testimony by James Comey - asking questions that simply didn't make any sense whatsoever and leaving everyone utterly gob-smacked regarding McCain's mental state.

So, yeah, brain tumour.

[Nov 11, 2017] Brennan was a strong-arm facilitator for the foreign policy establishment which includes leaders from Big Oil, Wall Street, and the giant weapons manufacturers

Notable quotes:
"... as Russiagate widens, it's becoming clear that some part of the US intelligence community and part of the US financial elite were involved in the manipulation of the 2016 election. ..."
"... The spooks have been trying (and failing!) for years to break up the EU ..."
"... As for the gangsters, nobody could compete with the thug (felon) Avigdor Lieberman in the Knesset and the neo-Nazi activists in Kevan government. Don't forget that Mr. Kolomojsky, an Israeli citizen and big-time criminal and financier of the neo-Nazi battalion Azov, is also a pillar of Jewish Community in Ukraine (and a darling of the Wall Street Journal) and that Mr. D. Alperovitch, the Russophobe who conducted the fraudulent analysis of the data with his fraudulent CrowdStrike, is from a ziocon company of Atlantic Council. The Tokyo Rose has been, of course, documented in a company of neo-Nazis. ..."
"... Oh? And what evidence would that be? The CrowdStrike report? The Steele dossier? James Comey's say-so? Or perhaps that of some other DNC contractor or Obama administration flunkee? Do come back and enlighten us when they find some real evidence–i.e., something that might actually stand an outside chance of winning a conviction in court. ..."
"... Precisely. Thanks for highlighting this succinct explanation. Those who point to intel agencies or career bureaucrats as Deep State are identifying the puppets, not the masters. Kudos to Whitney for getting it right. ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Michael Kenny, November 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT • 300 Words

Russiagate still scaring the daylights out of some people! The distinction between "Hillary paid for it" and "Hillary fabricated it" has already been made umpteen times. The reason, I think, why this author is trying to tie Hillary to the intelligence agencies and the millionaires is because, as Russiagate widens, it's becoming clear that some part of the US intelligence community and part of the US financial elite were involved in the manipulation of the 2016 election.

A part of the US financial elite have invested heavily (and for the most part, legally) in Russia but have thereby done business with some very dubious characters, some probably linked to the Russian Mafia. Having installed their stooge in the Kremlin, the gangsters took the logical next step and tried to install a stooge in the White House. The US elite was happy to let the Russians have a slice of the cake but by manipulating the election, the gangsters were in practice making a grab for the whole cake. The US elite wasn't willing to accept that. Hence the current fight.

The spooks have been trying (and failing!) for years to break up the EU and what both the US elite and the Russian gangsters had in mind was to carve up Europe between them ("spheres of influence"). The two projects came together in Ukraine. In other words, all of this has very little to do with politics or international relations and a great deal to do with dirty money.

Trying to pin that on Hillary is a rather flat-footed attempt to divert attention away from the links between the Russian gangsters, the spooks and the Trump's entourage.

Anon , Disclaimer November 11, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

"Trying to pin that on Hillary is a rather flat-footed attempt to divert attention away from the links between the Russian gangsters, the spooks and the Trump's entourage."

We understand your frustration with the events in Syria. The ziocons' vicious hatred towards Russians for the "loss" of Syria to the Syrian citizens (instead the US/Israel/SA-sponsored ISIS) is evident.

As for the gangsters, nobody could compete with the thug (felon) Avigdor Lieberman in the Knesset and the neo-Nazi activists in Kevan government. Don't forget that Mr. Kolomojsky, an Israeli citizen and big-time criminal and financier of the neo-Nazi battalion Azov, is also a pillar of Jewish Community in Ukraine (and a darling of the Wall Street Journal) and that Mr. D. Alperovitch, the Russophobe who conducted the fraudulent analysis of the data with his fraudulent CrowdStrike, is from a ziocon company of Atlantic Council. The Tokyo Rose has been, of course, documented in a company of neo-Nazis.

Mike Whitney' paper has a hall mark of a courageous and principled person, whereas your Russophobic insinuations have been Russophobic insinuations and nothing more.

You do protest too much.

DaveE , November 11, 2017 at 5:27 pm GMT
Yeah, yeah. Poor, prosecuted Hillary is just a victim. Like all the rest of the poor, prosecuted leftist sore losers. Or rather, losers, sore or otherwise.

Hillary has a long, long career playing in the sandbox with Murder Inc, Political Division.

DaveE , November 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm GMT
@DaveE

Of course, she will take the fall for failure. Mobsters whack other mobsters quite frequently if they "fail"or are disloyal. And of course, glory-seekers like Hillary set themselves up for complete humiliation, at minimum, when things don't go so well.

Seamus Padraig , November 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm GMT
@Dr. Crow

And yet and yet there is evidence that the Trump campaign was in contact with various Russians all during the campaign.

Oh? And what evidence would that be? The CrowdStrike report? The Steele dossier? James Comey's say-so? Or perhaps that of some other DNC contractor or Obama administration flunkee? Do come back and enlighten us when they find some real evidence–i.e., something that might actually stand an outside chance of winning a conviction in court.

And they too were looking for "dirt" -on Clinton.

Well that isn't too hard to find, is it! No need to go to the black market for that.

The question now is: to what extent was the Trump campaign conspiring with Russia to subvert our election process? If they were involved in such a conspiracy, then the Trump organization has violated Federal laws and should be held to account, each and every one who so conspired.

Opposition research is not a crime. Nor is talking about US politics with foreign nationals; if it were, I'd be guilty of treason on a weekly basis, since I now live in Europe.

Although you may not like the source of the information nor its underlying purposes, if it exposes criminal actions by anyone than it served a good cause.

This is hilarious! I can remember using almost exactly those same words with Hillbots every time one of her corrupt schemes came to light. For example, isn't interceding with the Attorney General on your wife's behalf to head off an investigation in to her before an election a crime known as 'obstruction of justice'? Riddle me that, Batman.

RobinG , November 11, 2017 at 6:59 pm GMT
@Anon

Precisely. Thanks for highlighting this succinct explanation. Those who point to intel agencies or career bureaucrats as Deep State are identifying the puppets, not the masters. Kudos to Whitney for getting it right.

[Nov 11, 2017] On The Origins of Russia-gate by Joe Lauria

Notable quotes:
"... As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know that the "scandal" started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference, notes Joe Lauria. ..."
"... Voice of America reported ..."
"... How I Lost By Hillary Clinton ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | kickthemallout.com

As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know that the "scandal" started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference, notes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election -- without providing convincing evidence -- were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers. Think about that for a minute.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

We have long known that the DNC did not allow the FBI to examine its computer server for clues about who may have hacked it – or even if it was hacked – and instead turned to CrowdStrike, a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian. Within a day, CrowdStrike blamed Russia on dubious evidence.

And, it has now been disclosed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for opposition research memos written by former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele using hearsay accusations from anonymous Russian sources to claim that the Russian government was blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump in a scheme that presupposed that Russian President Vladimir Putin foresaw Trump's presidency years ago when no one else did.

Since then, the U.S. intelligence community has struggled to corroborate Steele's allegations, but those suspicions still colored the thinking of President Obama's intelligence chiefs who, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, "hand-picked" the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 "assessment" claiming that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims.

Absent new evidence based on forensic or documentary proof, we could be looking at a partisan concoction devised in the midst of a bitter general election campaign, a manufactured "scandal" that also has fueled a dangerous New Cold War against Russia; a case of a dirty political "oppo" serving American ruling interests in reestablishing the dominance over Russia that they enjoyed in the 1990s, as well as feeding the voracious budgetary appetite of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Though lacking independent evidence of the core Russia-gate allegations, the "scandal" continues to expand into wild exaggerations about the impact of a tiny number of social media pages suspected of having links to Russia but that apparently carried very few specific campaign messages. ( Some pages reportedly were devoted to photos of puppies. )

'Cash for Trash'

Based on what is now known, Wall Street buccaneer Paul Singer paid for GPS Fusion, a Washington-based research firm, to do opposition research on Trump during the Republican primaries, but dropped the effort in May 2016 when it became clear Trump would be the GOP nominee. GPS Fusion has strongly denied that it hired Steele for this work or that the research had anything to do with Russia.

Couple walking along the Kremlin, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Then, in April 2016 the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid its Washington lawyer Marc Elias to hire Fusion GPS to unearth dirt connecting Trump to Russia. This was three months before the DNC blamed Russia for hacking its computers and supposedly giving its stolen emails to WikiLeaks to help Trump win the election.

"The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS to research any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his businesses, his campaign team and Russia, court filings revealed this week," The New York Times reported on Friday night.

So, linking Trump to Moscow as a way to bring Russia into the election story was the Democrats' aim from the start.

Fusion GPS then hired ex-MI6 intelligence agent Steele, it says for the first time, to dig up that dirt in Russia for the Democrats. Steele produced classic opposition research, not an intelligence assessment or conclusion, although it was written in a style and formatted to look like one.

It's important to realize that Steele was no longer working for an official intelligence agency, which would have imposed strict standards on his work and possibly disciplined him for injecting false information into the government's decision-making. Instead, he was working for a political party and a presidential candidate looking for dirt that would hurt their opponent, what the Clintons used to call "cash for trash" when they were the targets.

Had Steele been doing legitimate intelligence work for his government, he would have taken a far different approach. Intelligence professionals are not supposed to just give their bosses what their bosses want to hear. So, Steele would have verified his information. And it would have gone through a process of further verification by other intelligence analysts in his and perhaps other intelligence agencies. For instance, in the U.S., a National Intelligence Estimate requires vetting by all 17 intelligence agencies and incorporates dissenting opinions.

Instead Steele was producing a piece of purely political research and had different motivations. The first might well have been money, as he was being paid specifically for this project, not as part of his work on a government salary presumably serving all of society. Secondly, to continue being paid for each subsequent memo that he produced he would have been incentivized to please his clients or at least give them enough so they would come back for more.

Dubious Stuff

Opposition research is about getting dirt to be used in a mud-slinging political campaign, in which wild charges against candidates are the norm. This "oppo" is full of unvetted rumor and innuendo with enough facts mixed in to make it seem credible. There was so much dubious stuff in Steele's memos that the FBI was unable to confirm its most salacious allegations and apparently refuted several key points.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama
in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present.
(Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Perhaps more significantly, the corporate news media, which was largely partial to Clinton, did not report the fantastic allegations after people close to the Clinton campaign began circulating the lurid stories before the election with the hope that the material would pop up in the news. To their credit, established media outlets recognized this as ammunition against a political opponent, not a serious document.

Despite this circumspection, the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign. More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies – the CIA, the FBI and the NSA – not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama's intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saying so.)

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all. It could be that because the three agencies knew the dossier was dodgy that there was no substantive proof in the Jan. 6 "assessment." Even so, a summary of the Steele allegations were included in a secret appendix that then-FBI Director James Comey described to then-President-elect Trump just two weeks before his inauguration.

Five days later, after the fact of Comey's briefing was leaked to the press, the Steele dossier was published in full by the sensationalist website BuzzFeed behind the excuse that the allegations' inclusion in the classified annex of a U.S. intelligence report justified the dossier's publication regardless of doubts about its accuracy.

Russian Fingerprints

The other source of blame about Russian meddling came from the private company CrowdStrike because the DNC blocked the FBI from examining its server after a suspected hack. Within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian "fingerprints" in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by an Internet site called DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia.

Dmitri Alperovitch, the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of CrowdStrike Inc.,
leading its Intelligence, Technology and CrowdStrike Labs teams.

CrowdStrike also claimed that the alleged Russian intelligence operation was extremely sophisticated and skilled in concealing its external penetration of the server. But CrowdStrike's conclusion about Russian "fingerprints" resulted from clues that would have been left behind by extremely sloppy hackers or inserted intentionally to implicate the Russians.

CrowdStrike's credibility was further undermined when Voice of America reported on March 23, 2017, that the same software the company says it used to blame Russia for the hack wrongly concluded that Moscow also had hacked Ukrainian government howitzers on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine.

"An influential British think tank and Ukraine's military are disputing a report that the U.S. cyber-security firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election," VOA reported. Dimitri Alperovitch, a CrowdStrike co-founder, is also a senior fellow at the anti-Russian Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.

More speculation about the alleged election hack was raised with WikiLeaks' Vault 7 release, which revealed that the CIA is not beyond covering up its own hacks by leaving clues implicating others. Plus, there's the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has declared again and again that WikiLeaks did not get the Democratic emails from the Russians. Buttressing Assange's denials of a Russian role, WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said he met a person connected to the leak during a trip to Washington last year.

And, William Binney, maybe the best mathematician to ever work at the National Security Agency, and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern have published a technical analysis of one set of Democratic email metadata showing that a transatlantic "hack" would have been impossible and that the evidence points to a likely leak by a disgruntled Democratic insider. Binney has further stated that if it were a "hack," the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.

Fueling Neo-McCarthyism

Despite these doubts, which the U.S. mainstream media has largely ignored, Russia-gate has grown into something much more than an election story. It has unleashed a neo-McCarthyite attack on Americans who are accused of being dupes of Russia if they dare question the evidence of the Kremlin's guilt.

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C.
(Photo credit: Washington Post)

Just weeks after last November's election, The Washington Post published a front-page story touting a blacklist from an anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that alleged that 200 news sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other leading independent news sources, were either willful Russian propagandists or "useful idiots."

Last week, a new list emerged with the names of over 2,000 people, mostly Westerners, who have appeared on RT, the Russian government-financed English-language news channel. The list was part of a report entitled, "The Kremlin's Platform for 'Useful Idiots' in the West," put out by an outfit called European Values, with a long list of European funders.

Included on the list of "useful idiots" absurdly are CIA-friendly Washington Post columnist David Ignatius; David Brock, Hillary Clinton's opposition research chief; and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report stated: "Many people in Europe and the US, including politicians and other persons of influence, continue to exhibit troubling naïveté about RT's political agenda, buying into the network's marketing ploy that it is simply an outlet for independent voices marginalised by the mainstream Western press. These 'useful idiots' remain oblivious to RT's intentions and boost its legitimacy by granting interviews on its shows and newscasts."

The intent of these lists is clear: to shut down dissenting voices who question Western foreign policy and who are usually excluded from Western corporate media. RT is often willing to provide a platform for a wider range of viewpoints, both from the left and right. American ruling interests fend off critical viewpoints by first suppressing them in corporate media and now condemning them as propaganda when they emerge on RT.

Geopolitical Risks

More ominously, the anti-Russia mania has increased chances of direct conflict between the two nuclear superpowers. The Russia-bashing rhetoric not only served the Clinton campaign, though ultimately to ill effect, but it has pushed a longstanding U.S.-led geopolitical agenda to regain control over Russia, an advantage that the U.S. enjoyed during the Yeltsin years in the 1990s.

Time magazine cover recounting how the U.S. enabled Boris Yeltsin's reelection as Russian president in 1996.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wall Street rushed in behind Boris Yeltsin and Russian oligarchs to asset strip virtually the entire country, impoverishing the population. Amid widespread accounts of this grotesque corruption, Washington intervened in Russian politics to help get Yeltsin re-elected in 1996. The political rise of Vladimir Putin after Yeltsin resigned on New Year's Eve 1999 reversed this course, restoring Russian sovereignty over its economy and politics.

That inflamed Hillary Clinton and other American hawks whose desire was to install another Yeltsin-like figure and resume U.S. exploitation of Russia's vast natural and financial resources. To advance that cause, U.S. presidents have supported the eastward expansion of NATO and have deployed 30,000 troops on Russia's border.

In 2014, the Obama administration helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the elected government of Ukraine and installed a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. also undertook the risky policy of aiding jihadists to overthrow a secular Russian ally in Syria. The consequences have brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate offensive was intended not only to explain away Clinton's defeat but to stop Trump -- possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage -- because he had talked, insincerely it is turning out, about detente with Russia. That did not fit in well with the plan at all.

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and the Wall Street Journal among other newspapers. He is the author of How I Lost By Hillary Clinton published by OR Books in June 2017. He can be reached at joelauria@gmail.com and followed on Twitter at @unjoe .

[Nov 11, 2017] Is Hillary Just the "Fall Guy" for the Intel Agencies and their Moneybags Bosses by Mike Whitney

See Wikipedia article CIA influence on public opinion . The role on Brennan probably deserves a special prosecutor and/or a Congressional commettee similar to Church Committee
The question arise: "Was hacking DNC another CIA false flag operation with the specific goal to poison US-Russian relations and using Hillary Clinton as a patsy?"
According fo church committee report: "Approximately 50 of the [Agency] assets are individual American journalists or employees of U.S. media organizations. Of these, fewer than half are "accredited" by U.S. media organizations ... The remaining individuals are non-accredited freelance contributors and media representatives abroad ... More than a dozen United States news organizations and commercial publishing houses formerly provided cover for CIA agents abroad. A few of these organizations were unaware that they provided this cover. [7] "
"Journalist Carl Bernstein , writing in an October 1977 article in the magazine Rolling Stone , claims that the Church Committee report "covered up" CIA relations with news media, and names a number of journalists whom he says worked with the CIA. [10] Like the Church Committee report, however, Bernstein does not refer to any Operation Mockingbird."
Notable quotes:
"... "Russian meddling" became the perfect rallying cry for the CIA's broader information operation (IO) that was designed to poison public opinion against "Russian aggression" and to reign in Trump's plans to normalize relations with Moscow. ..."
"... Clinton became the "fall guy" in a darker, deep-state propaganda campaign for which she is only partially responsible. ..."
"... the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign. ..."
"... More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies -- the CIA, the FBI and the NSA -- not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved ..."
"... The article proves that the nation's premier law enforcement agency was using parts of a discredited "raw intelligence" report that was paid for by the DNC and was clearly commissioned as a part of a smear campaign -- to spy on members of the opposition party. Clearly, one could easily make the case that the FBI was abusing its extraordinary police-state powers to subvert the democratic process. ..."
"... The FBI, under James Comey, also attempted to use agent Steele for future research but abandoned the idea after parts of the dossier began to surface in the media making it politically impossible to maintain the relationship. ..."
"... The fact that the FBI was willing to build its investigation on the sensational and unverified claims in the DNC-bought-and-paid-for dossier, suggests that the real motive was not to reveal collusion between Trump and Moscow or even to uncover evidence related to the hacking claims. The real goal was to vilify Russia and derail Trump's efforts at détente. ..."
"... Steele's July report helped to prop up the threadbare "hacking" storyline that was further reinforced by the dubious cyber-forensic analysis of DNC servers performed by CrowdStrike, "a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian." ..."
"... Russia-gate is entirely a Democratic Party invention. Both sources of information (Crowdstrike and Steele) were chosen by members of the Democratic hierarchy (through their intermediaries) to create stories that coincided with their political objectives. Due to the obvious bias of the people who funded the operations, neither the methods nor the information can be trusted. But that's just part of the story. The bigger story relates to the role played by the nation's premier intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And that's where we see signs of institutional corruption on a truly colossal scale. ..."
"... Nov. 18: Arizona Sen. John McCain and a former assistant, David Kramer, are told about the existence of the dossier by an associate of Steele's, former British diplomat Sir Andrew Wood. Kramer travels to London later that month to meet with Steele and find out more about the dossier. Steele forwards a copy of the dossier to Fusion, Kramer and McCain. ..."
"... This is a damning admission that the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that was released on January 6, and was supposed to provide rock-solid proof of Russia hacking and collusion, was built (at least, in part) on the thin gruel and specious allegations found in the sketchy "Trump dossier". Former CIA Director John Brennan has refuted this claim, but there's significant circumstantial evidence to suggest that it is true. ..."
"... On December 9, 2016, The Washington Post reported that the CIA determined that Russian hacking was conducted to boost Trump and hurt Clinton during the presidential campaign. This same theory that was propounded in the ICA report just a month later. It appears that Brennan and his "hand-picked" intelligence analysts decided to carefully comb the dossier cherry-picking the most credible allegations to weave into their dubious intelligence Assessment. So even though large sections of the dossier were scrapped, the report itself was used as the foundation for the ICA. ..."
"... It's clear that Brennan had no "information or intelligence" that would lead a reasonable man to think that anyone in Trump's entourage was colluding with Russian officials or agents. The whole story is spun from whole cloth. The disturbing implication however is that Brennan, who was an outspoken supporter of Hillary and equally harsh critic of Trump, was using the CIA's intrusive surveillance powers to spy on a rival political party in the heat of a presidential campaign. If that is not a flagrant example of subverting democracy, then what is? ..."
"... It all started with Brennan, he's the ringleader in this dodgy caper. But Brennan was not operating as a free agent pursuing his own malign political agenda, but as a strong-arm facilitator for the powerful foreign policy establishment which includes leaders from Big Oil, Wall Street, and the giant weapons manufacturers. These are the corporate mandarins who pull Brennan's chain and give Brennan his marching orders. This is how power trickles down in America. ..."
"... So while the moneytrail may lead back to the DNC and Hillary's Campaign, the roots of Russia-gate extend far beyond the politicians to the highest-ranking members of the permanent state. ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

For nearly a year, Hillary Clinton failed to admit that her campaign and the Democratic National Committee had provided funding for the notorious dossier that alleged Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. Then, two weeks ago, the Washington Post published a blockbuster article that proved that Clinton had been misleading the public about her Campaign's role in producing the report.

Following the article's publication, Clinton went into hiding for more than a week during which time she huddled with her political advisors to settle on a strategy for dealing with the crisis.

"Russian meddling" became the perfect rallying cry for the CIA's broader information operation (IO) that was designed to poison public opinion against "Russian aggression" and to reign in Trump's plans to normalize relations with Moscow.

The fact that the CIA had essentially extracted a credible narrative from sections of the notorious dossier, left Hillary with no other option except to play-along even after the votes had been counted. As a result, Clinton became the "fall guy" in a darker, deep-state propaganda campaign for which she is only partially responsible. Here's a little background from Joe Lauria's "must read" article "The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate":

" the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign.

More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies -- the CIA, the FBI and the NSA -- not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved .

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all." (Consortium News)

So, were "the Steele memos the primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump"? This is the pivotal question that still remains largely unanswered. As Lauria notes, the FBI did in fact use the "salacious and unverified" dossier to obtain at least one FISA warrant. This is from The Hill:

"The FBI used the dossier alleging Russian ties to President Trump's campaign associates to help convince a judge to grant a warrant to secretly monitor former campaign aide Carter Page, CNN reports.

FBI Director James Comey has cited the dossier in some of his briefings with lawmakers in recent weeks as one of the information sources used by his bureau to bolster its probe, U.S. officials briefed on the investigation told CNN." ("FBI used Trump dossier to help get warrant to monitor ex-aide: report", The Hill)

The article proves that the nation's premier law enforcement agency was using parts of a discredited "raw intelligence" report that was paid for by the DNC and was clearly commissioned as a part of a smear campaign -- to spy on members of the opposition party. Clearly, one could easily make the case that the FBI was abusing its extraordinary police-state powers to subvert the democratic process.

The FBI, under James Comey, also attempted to use agent Steele for future research but abandoned the idea after parts of the dossier began to surface in the media making it politically impossible to maintain the relationship. This is from a February article in the Washington Post:

"The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier on behalf of Donald Trump's political opponents alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work, according to several people familiar with the arrangement. The agreement to compensate former MI6 agent Christopher Steele came as U.S. intelligence agencies reached a consensus that the Russians had interfered in the presidential election by orchestrating hacks of Democratic Party email accounts ..

Ultimately, the FBI did not pay Steele. Communications between the bureau and the former spy were interrupted as Steele's now-famous dossier became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials, according to the people familiar with the arrangement, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter." ("FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier", Washington Post)

The fact that the FBI was willing to build its investigation on the sensational and unverified claims in the DNC-bought-and-paid-for dossier, suggests that the real motive was not to reveal collusion between Trump and Moscow or even to uncover evidence related to the hacking claims. The real goal was to vilify Russia and derail Trump's efforts at détente.

It's also worth noting , that Steele's earliest report implausibly alleges that the "Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US presidential candidate Trump for at least 5 years." (No one had any idea that Trump would run for president 5 years ago.) The report also details perverted sexual acts involving Trump and urinating prostitutes in a hotel in Moscow. (All fake, of course) The point we are trying to make, is that Steele's first report focused on corruption, perversion and blackmail, whereas, his second installment completely changed direction to cyber-espionage operations on foreign targets.

Why?

It was because, on July 22, 2016, just days before the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks published 20,000 emails hacked from DNC computers revealing the corrupt inner-workings of the Democratic establishment. In response, Steele decided to craft a story that would support the Dems plan to blame the Russians for the moral cesspit they-alone had created. In other words, his report was a way of "passing the buck".

Steele's July report helped to prop up the threadbare "hacking" storyline that was further reinforced by the dubious cyber-forensic analysis of DNC servers performed by CrowdStrike, "a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian."

The hacking theme was also aided by the deluge of unsourced, evidence-lite articles cropping up in the media, like this gem in the Washington Post:

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

The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC's system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.

The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies " ("Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump", Washington Post)

What's remarkable about the above excerpt is that it follows the same basic approach to propaganda as nearly all the other pieces on the topic. Unlike the lead-up to the Iraq War, where journalists at the New York Times made every effort to create a believable storyline that included references to aluminum tubes, Niger uranium, mobile weapons labs, etc. The media no longer tries to support their narrative with evidence or eyewitnesses. The major media now simply tells people what they want them to think and leave it at that. Even so, it doesn't require much critical thinking to see the holes in the Russia hacking story. One merely needs to suspend judgment long enough to see that main claims all emerge from (Democratic) sources who have every reason to mislead the public. Here's an excerpt from Joe Lauria's article that sums it up perfectly:

"The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers.

Think about that for a minute .

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims." ("The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate", Consortium News)

Russia-gate is entirely a Democratic Party invention. Both sources of information (Crowdstrike and Steele) were chosen by members of the Democratic hierarchy (through their intermediaries) to create stories that coincided with their political objectives. Due to the obvious bias of the people who funded the operations, neither the methods nor the information can be trusted. But that's just part of the story. The bigger story relates to the role played by the nation's premier intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And that's where we see signs of institutional corruption on a truly colossal scale.

As we noted earlier, the Clinton smear campaign would probably have ended after the votes were counted had not the intel agencies, particularly the CIA, decided the hacking story could be used to inflict more damage on Russia. It wasn't Clinton's decision to gather more information for the dossier, but others whose motives have remained largely concealed. Who are they?

According to a timeline in the Daily Caller:

November: The contract between the Democrats, Fusion and Steele ends along with the presidential campaign.

Nov. 18: Arizona Sen. John McCain and a former assistant, David Kramer, are told about the existence of the dossier by an associate of Steele's, former British diplomat Sir Andrew Wood. Kramer travels to London later that month to meet with Steele and find out more about the dossier. Steele forwards a copy of the dossier to Fusion, Kramer and McCain.

Dec. 9: McCain provides a copy of the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey during a meeting at the latter's office.

Dec. 13: Steele writes the final memo of the dossier. It alleges that a Russian tech executive used his companies to hack into the DNC's email systems. The executive, Aleksej Gubarev, denied the allegations after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed on Jan. 10, 2017. He is suing both BuzzFeed and Steele.

Jan. 6: Comey and other intelligence community officials brief then-President-elect Trump on some of the allegations made in the dossier.

Jan. 10: CNN reports that the briefing of Trump took place four days earlier. Citing that reporting as justification, BuzzFeed publishes the dossier. (The Daily Mail)

John McCain? Is that who we're talking about? Was it McCain who paid former M16 agent Christopher Steele to add another report to the dossier? Why?

Is it that hard to imagine that a Russophobic foreign policy wonk like McCain -- who has expressed his vehement hatred for Vladimir Putin on the floor of the senate -- would hire a mud-slinging free agent like Steele to craft a story that would further demonize Russia, discourage Trump from normalizing relations with Moscow, and reinforce the theory that the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 elections?

Does that mean that McCain may have told Steele (or his intermediaries) precisely what he wanted the final draft to say? It certainly seems probable. And here's something else to mull over. This is from the Business Insider:

Steele gave the dossier to Republican Sen. John McCain. McCain then gave it to the FBI director at the time, James Comey. Comey, along with the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, briefed both President Barack Obama and then-President elect Trump on the dossier's allegations in January.

Intelligence officials purposefully omitted the dossier from the public intelligence report they released in January about Russia's election interference because they didn't want to reveal which details they had corroborated, according to CNN." ("Mueller reportedly interviewed the author of the Trump-Russia dossier -- here's what it alleges, and how it aligned with reality", Business Insider)

This is a damning admission that the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that was released on January 6, and was supposed to provide rock-solid proof of Russia hacking and collusion, was built (at least, in part) on the thin gruel and specious allegations found in the sketchy "Trump dossier". Former CIA Director John Brennan has refuted this claim, but there's significant circumstantial evidence to suggest that it is true.

On December 9, 2016, The Washington Post reported that the CIA determined that Russian hacking was conducted to boost Trump and hurt Clinton during the presidential campaign. This same theory that was propounded in the ICA report just a month later. It appears that Brennan and his "hand-picked" intelligence analysts decided to carefully comb the dossier cherry-picking the most credible allegations to weave into their dubious intelligence Assessment. So even though large sections of the dossier were scrapped, the report itself was used as the foundation for the ICA.

Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?

Not likely. It's more probable that Brennan was merely able to convince them that the powerful foreign policy establishment required their cooperation on an issue that would have grave impact on Washington's imperial plan for Syria, Ukraine, Central Asia and beyond?

Some readers might remember when Brennan testified before Congress way-back on May 23 and boldly stated:

BRENNAN: "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals and it raised questions in my mind, again, whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals."

It's clear that Brennan had no "information or intelligence" that would lead a reasonable man to think that anyone in Trump's entourage was colluding with Russian officials or agents. The whole story is spun from whole cloth. The disturbing implication however is that Brennan, who was an outspoken supporter of Hillary and equally harsh critic of Trump, was using the CIA's intrusive surveillance powers to spy on a rival political party in the heat of a presidential campaign. If that is not a flagrant example of subverting democracy, then what is? Here's a clip from the Washington Times:

"It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians

But he said he believed the contacts were numerous enough to alert the FBI, which began its probe into Trump associates that same July, according to previous congressional testimony from then-FBI director James B. Comey." (The Washington Times)

It all started with Brennan, he's the ringleader in this dodgy caper. But Brennan was not operating as a free agent pursuing his own malign political agenda, but as a strong-arm facilitator for the powerful foreign policy establishment which includes leaders from Big Oil, Wall Street, and the giant weapons manufacturers. These are the corporate mandarins who pull Brennan's chain and give Brennan his marching orders. This is how power trickles down in America.

So while the moneytrail may lead back to the DNC and Hillary's Campaign, the roots of Russia-gate extend far beyond the politicians to the highest-ranking members of the permanent state.

[Nov 07, 2017] Kamala drinks 'The Russian Meddlin' in Murica's Bizness Kool-Aid'

Notable quotes:
"... This is why the denial is happening. This is why the Russia hysteria is continuing. By using wedge politics and fear to separate the cultists from other perspectives, using approval and belonging to keep them addicted, shaming tactics to keep them from straying, and controlling the discourse on their end of the political spectrum, Democrats have created America's largest cult. ..."
"... That was a very interesting article and on the mark. But, Pence will be a good placeholder and keep the population largely complacent, But in 2020, the democratic cult MUST WIN. If the Republicans are smart, they will lay low and concede the Presidency by fielding the most ridiculous candidate possible (hard to imagine who that could be after Trump). ..."
Nov 07, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

marknesop , November 5, 2017 at 8:53 am

What interests me is who the Democrats have in mind as a replacement if they manage to bring down Trump. He still has quite a few supporters – amazing, I know – who would be borderline homicidal toward anyone the Democrats wanted to shove into the ring, and it absolutely could not be Hillary.
Patient Observer , November 5, 2017 at 9:35 am
If Trump does not finish his term, it will be Pence.

http://www.newsweek.com/if-trump-impeached-who-president-623219

f Trump dies, resigns or is removed from office in the next four years, Vice President Mike Pence would replace him in the White House.

I doubt Sanders would be chosen in 2020 – too many reminders of DNC corruption that denied him the nomination. It will probably be someone new and likely a woman.

marknesop , November 5, 2017 at 10:20 am
Yes, but the Democrats' efforts to bring down the government are surely not directed at replacing Trump with Pence. Obviously, they want a Republican presidency to be replaced with a Democratic one, or they would not be playing the victim so zealously. And Sanders is a milksop who plumped for party unity even after learning how soundly he had been rogered by Hillary and her coterie. There is not an American politician alive today who embodies the American values idealists like to believe prevail in America. Not one.

This is instructive . As popular lingo has it, you couldn't make it up.

This is why the denial is happening. This is why the Russia hysteria is continuing. By using wedge politics and fear to separate the cultists from other perspectives, using approval and belonging to keep them addicted, shaming tactics to keep them from straying, and controlling the discourse on their end of the political spectrum, Democrats have created America's largest cult.

Patient Observer , November 5, 2017 at 11:43 am
That was a very interesting article and on the mark. But, Pence will be a good placeholder and keep the population largely complacent, But in 2020, the democratic cult MUST WIN. If the Republicans are smart, they will lay low and concede the Presidency by fielding the most ridiculous candidate possible (hard to imagine who that could be after Trump).
Jen , November 5, 2017 at 2:06 pm
Found her already: meet California Senator Kamala Harris.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/22/kamala-harris-democratic-candidate-for-2020

Patient Observer , November 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm
I was thinking that a black woman candidate would be essentially doubling down after the Clinton debacle. My bet, if I were a betting man, would be her or someone like her as the VP pick with a simulacrum of Joe Biden or Al Gore as the presidential nominee. The Republicans would run a weenie like Paul "Ly'ng Ryan" Ryan to get the lose over with as little pain as possible.
marknesop , November 5, 2017 at 11:22 pm
Or a hope among Democrats of repeating the Obama miracle.
Patient Observer , November 6, 2017 at 5:30 pm
FYI, the Ly'ng Ryan" nickname apparently originated from his claims of being a sub-3 hour marathon runner. Marathon runners took strong exception at his casual and completely unsubstantiated claims about impressive marathon times thus his name among the runner community.

https://www.runnersworld.com/newswire/paul-ryan-has-not-run-sub-300-marathon

Northern Star , November 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm
Kamala drinks 'The Russian Meddlin' in Murica's Bizness Kool-Aid'

https://www.npr.org/2017/11/02/561505689/sen-kamala-harris-on-social-media-and-russian-propaganda

https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/1a4aeb27-a3c9-4e3d-b9be-ce0e7bc0ed00_1.dc96149eeae618770e7222d05f5d692a.jpeg?odnHeight=450&odnWidth=450&odnBg=FFFFFF

[Nov 07, 2017] There was a post a while back indicating that anyone who believed Hillary Clinton had serious health problems during her Presidential run was a dupe and fool of the non-MSM media

Nov 07, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Patient Observer , November 6, 2017 at 8:33 am

There was a post a while back indicating that anyone who believed Hillary Clinton had serious health problems during her Presidential run was a dupe and fool of the non-MSM media (apparently referring to yours truly among others). Well, lookie here:

An excerpt from WaPo details how horrified Donna Brazile and others in the DNC were about Hillary's non-stop coughing fits and ill health. In fact, Hillary was so sick that Brazile and others discussed replacing her with Biden as the Dem nominee after she fainted.

Hillary's camp is furious with Brazile and lashed out at her over the grim picture she painted of Hillary's health and campaign.

The Clinton Cult has apparently concluded that Brazile was controlled by the Kremlin per this open letter signed by 100 of Cintons senior aides:

"We were shocked to learn the news that Donna Brazile actively considered overturning the will of the Democratic voters by attempting to replace Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine as the Democratic Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. "It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponent, about our candidate's health."

http://russia-insider.com/en/donna-brazile-confirms-hillary-has-severe-health-problems-delusional-clinton-camp-insists-she

You can't make this stuff up.

[Nov 07, 2017] Dem Pundits Spent Yesterday Lying About DNC Primary Rigging Document by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... Their argument, if you can call it that, rests on the claim that a document which unquestionably shows inappropriate bias and collusion does not show inappropriate bias and collusion because it contains a paragraph which says the document should not be construed as containing inappropriate bias and collusion. This is really boring and stupid, but since the Clinton cult is circulating this nonsense all over social media I figure I should probably write something for people to refute it with. ..."
Nov 07, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. Reply , November 07, 2017 at 11:20 AM

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/dem-pundits-spent-yesterday-lying-about-dnc-primary-rigging-document-d60019c59c3e

Nov 4

Dem Pundits Spent Yesterday Lying About DNC Primary Rigging Document

The establishment liberal spin machine has been working overtime the last 24 hours to make it seem as though former acting DNC chair Donna Brazile had not admitted what she'd admitted in an excerpt from her book published by Politico on Thursday.

Their argument, if you can call it that, rests on the claim that a document which unquestionably shows inappropriate bias and collusion does not show inappropriate bias and collusion because it contains a paragraph which says the document should not be construed as containing inappropriate bias and collusion. This is really boring and stupid, but since the Clinton cult is circulating this nonsense all over social media I figure I should probably write something for people to refute it with.

...

[Nov 07, 2017] Donna Brazile, the Rigged Democratic Primary, and Relitigating 2016 naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente ..."
"... The agreement -- signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to [DNC lawyer] Marc Elias -- specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings. ..."
"... A second difference in substance: Let's remember that for Clinton, the JFA enabled her campaign to circumvent contribution limits for large donors (Brazile: "Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400"). The Sanders campaign , by contrast, had no issue with maxed out donors: "During fall '15, 99.8% of Bernie donors could give again" (because it's awful hard to max out $27 at a time). ..."
"... That's pretty amazing, isn't it? Personnel is policy, as they say, and the Clinton campaign has made sure that the DNC's Communications Director and new hires in the senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments will be acceptable to it. The Clinton campaign will also review all mass email and communcations (which explains why Brazile, as interim DNC chair, couldn't send out a press release without checking with Brooklyn. Since the notorious debate schedule was already controlled by Wasserman Schultz, there was no point messing about with it, I assume.) There is one place in this passage where the general election is mentioned, so let's look at it: ..."
"... Second, the DNC itself does not ..."
"... But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved. ..."
"... It has been a while since I handled a criminal defense case, but I am not sure that the agreement is not in fact, criminal. When the Sanders for President campaign signed an agreement and paid money in consideration of getting access to the voter file and when the state parties agreed to merge their fundraising efforts with the DNC and HFA, the commercial fraud laws applied to that relationship. Since the fundraising was done using interstate phone calls, letters, and emails and the voter file access was provided by electronic transmissions from servers in DC to end users in Burlington, Vermont that includes 18 USC 1341, 1343 and 1346 (mail, wire and honest services fraud). These laws do not just ban outright lying, but also the concealment of material facts that one has a duty to disclose. ..."
"... The DNC got into the position of selling themselves to the Clintons as they were $20 million in debt, right? I have read that the major reason for these debts was that the DNC had not shrunk itself since the last campaign and was paying out a ton of money for consultants doing Christ knows what. In fact, Obama also used the DNC to support a stack of his consultants as well as grifters gotta grift, right? ..."
"... My question is whether this was a deliberate ploy on Obama and the Clinton factions to put the DNC into such a vulnerable position before 2016 came along that when the time came, they had to take up an offer that they could not refuse. I have not heard if Obama has made any comments on this fiasco that took place on his watch and it seems nobody wants to call him out on it. In the Brazile case, it is not a matter of following the money but following the lack of money. ..."
"... "Both sides in the Democratic Party's current faction fight, as I see it, are in denial about the true nature and scope of the problem "Both responses are essentially utopian: They rest on the premise that the Democratic Party is still a functioning political organization and that the United States is still a functioning democracy." ..."
Nov 07, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Donna Brazile, the "Rigged" Democratic Primary, and Relitigating 2016 Posted on November 6, 2017 by Lambert Strether By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Long-time Democratic[1] operative Donna Brazile, interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) after Debbie Wasserman Schultz was defenestrated[2], has, like two other participants in the 2016 Presidential election and at least one set of observers , written a book, Hacked , and published a long excerpt from it four days ago, in Politico . Here is the key passage, in which Brazile paraphrases and quotes a conversation with Gary Gensler, former of Goldman Sachs and the CFTC, and then the chief financial officer of the Clinton campaign:

[Gensler] described the party as fully under the control of Hillary's campaign , which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party's national committee.

Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund -- that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states' parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement -- $320,000 -- and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.

Yes, you read that right. Although the Hillary Victory Fund was billed as aiding the states, in fact the states were simply pass-throughs, and the money went to the Clinton campaign. (This is not news; Politico covered the Victory Fun in 2016 : "The Democratic front-runner says she's raising big checks to help state committees, but they've gotten to keep only 1 percent of the $60 million raised.")

"Wait," I said. "That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You're telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?"

Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.

"That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie," he explained, referring to campaign manager Robby Mook. "It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election."

After some research, Brazile finds a document ("the agreement") that spells out what "fully under the control of Hillary's campaign" meant operationally:

The agreement -- signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to [DNC lawyer] Marc Elias -- specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

I had been wondering why it was that I couldn't write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.

(Importantly, Gensler has not disputed this account, of which, assuming he's not vacationing Antarctica, he must have been aware of, given the media uproar. We can therefore assume its accurate). Note two aspects of this passage, which I'm quoting at such length to ensure we know what Brazile actually charged. I've helpfully underlined them: (1) Brazile leads with the money; that is, the Clinton Victory Fund, and (2) Brazile describes the DNC as "fully under the control" of the Clinton campaign.

Predictably, an enormous controversy erupted, much of it over the weekend just passed, but I'm not going to do a blow-by-blow of the talking points. (Glenn Greenwald provides an excellent media critique in "Four Viral Claims Spread by Journalists on Twitter in the Last Week Alone That Are False "; all four have to do with this controversy[3].) I think the following three quotes are key, the first two being oft-repeated talking points by Clinton loyalists:

First, from the current DNC chair, Tom Perez :

"The joint fundraising agreements were the same for each campaign except for the treasurer, and our understanding was that the DNC offered all of the presidential campaigns the opportunity to set up a JFA and work with the DNC to coordinate on how those funds were used to best prepare for the general election."

Question: Were the agreements "the same" for each campaign? (Perez focuses only on the JFA, but that omits a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DNC and the Clinton campaign, as we shall see below.)

Second, from 2005-9 DNC chair Howard Dean:

Question: Did the agreement apply only to the general election, and not the primary? (Dean says "this memo," but he also omits the distinction between the MOU and the JFA.)

Third, from Elizabeth Warren. CNN :

"We learned today from the former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile that the Clinton campaign, in her view, did rig the presidential nominating process by entering into an agreement to control day-to-day operations at the DNC," Tapper said, continuing on to describe specific arms of the DNC the Clinton camp had a say over, including strategy and staffing, noting that the agreement was "entered into in August of 2015," months before Clinton won the nomination .

Tapper then asked, "Do you agree with the notion that it was rigged?" And Warren responded simply: "Yes."

Question: Can we say that the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged? (Tapper uses the word "rigged," and Warren adopts it, but a careful reading of Brazile's article shows that although she uses the word, she does not actually make the claim.[4])

In this post, I'm going to answer each of these three questions by looking at the documents, plural, in question (Spoiler: My answers are "No," "No," and "Yes," respectively.) Here is a timeline of the documents:

In summary, the Clinton JFA set up the Hillary Victory Fund scam , the MOU gave Clinton control of (much of) the DNC apparatus, and ( according to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver ) the Sanders JFA bought their campaign access to the DNC voter list, and was never used for fundraising because the DNC never asked the campaign to do any. So to answer the our first question, we'll look at the JFA. To answer the second, we'll look at the MOU. And to answer the third, we'll see how all the evidence balances out.

Were the Agreements "the Same" for Each Campaign?

Perez is wrong. The agreements were not at all the same, either formally or substantively.

Formally, the agreements were not the same because the Clinton JFA had an MOU (the "side deal") and the Sanders JFA did not. ABC :

[T]he Clinton campaign Friday afternoon confirmed the existence of a memo between the DNC and their campaign, which specifically outlines an expanded scope and interpretation of their funding agreement . [R]epresentatives from Sanders' former campaign say they only signed a basic, formulaic fundraising agreement that did not include any additional language about joint messaging or staffing decision-making [as does the MOU].

Substantively, the agreements weren't the same either. The substance of the JFA was a scheme enable the Hillary Victory Fund to collect "big checks" (as Politico puts it), supposedly behalf of the state parties, but in reality treating them as conduits to the coffers of the Clinton campaign. Page 3:

From time to time and in compliance with FECA, after expenses have been deducted from the gross proceeds, the Victory Fund will transfer the net proceeds to the Committees according to the Allocation Formula, as modified by any reallocation required.

"[T]he Committees" being the state party political committees, into whose accounts the contributions were deposited, only to be immediately removed and transferred to the Clinton campaign (at least for the states that signed entered into the agreement; a few did not).

However, the Sanders campaign wasn't in the business of collecting "big checks," being small-donor driven. Hence the substance of the agreement could not have been the same. ABC once more :

Former Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told ABC News Friday night that the campaign entered the agreement with the party in November 2015 to facilitate the campaign's access to the party's voter rolls. Weaver claims the DNC offered to credit any fundraising the senator did for the party against the costs of access to the party's data costs, priced at $250,000. But, Weaver continued, the party did not follow up about fundraising appearances for the independent senator.

Instead, the Sanders campaign raised the $250,000 from small donors. WaPo :

Weaver said the Sanders campaign decided early on to ignore the joint fundraising program and raise small dollars on its own to pay for access to the voter file. "Who are the wealthy people Bernie was going to bring to a fundraiser?" Weaver asked. "We had to buy the voter file right before the primaries."

A second difference in substance: Let's remember that for Clinton, the JFA enabled her campaign to circumvent contribution limits for large donors (Brazile: "Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400"). The Sanders campaign , by contrast, had no issue with maxed out donors: "During fall '15, 99.8% of Bernie donors could give again" (because it's awful hard to max out $27 at a time).

Suppose you were comparing two mortgages on different houses: One mortgage has a side deal attached, the other does not. One is for a lavish facility and demands a complex financing arrangement involving a third party. The other is for a fixer-upper and a lump sum is paid in cash. Would you say those two mortgages are "the same," or not? Even if they both had the word "Mortage" at the top of page one?

Did the Agreement Apply Only to the General Election, and not the Primary?

We now turn our attention to the MOU. Howard Dean, sadly , is wrong. The MOU contains two key passages; the first describes the relationship between Hillary for America (HFA; the Clinton campaign) and the DNC (Brazile: "fully under the control of Hillary's campaign"), and the second is language on the general election. Let's take each in turn. On control, pages 1 and 2:

With respect to the hiring of a DNC Communications Director , the DNC agrees that no later than September 11, 2015 it will hire one of two candidates previously identified as acceptable to HFA.

2. With respect to the hiring of future DNC senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments , in the case of vacancy, the DNC will maintain the authority to make the final decision as between candidates acceptable to HFA. 3. Agreement by the DNC that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research. The DNC will provide HFA advance opportunity to review on-line or mass email, communications that features a particular Democratic primary candidate . This does not include any communications related to primary debates – which will be exclusively controlled by the DNC. The DNC will alert HFA in advance of mailing any direct mail communications that features a particular Democratic primary candidate or his or her signature .

That's pretty amazing, isn't it? Personnel is policy, as they say, and the Clinton campaign has made sure that the DNC's Communications Director and new hires in the senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments will be acceptable to it. The Clinton campaign will also review all mass email and communcations (which explains why Brazile, as interim DNC chair, couldn't send out a press release without checking with Brooklyn. Since the notorious debate schedule was already controlled by Wasserman Schultz, there was no point messing about with it, I assume.) There is one place in this passage where the general election is mentioned, so let's look at it:

Agreement by the DNC that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election[-]related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research.

At the most generous reading, the Clinton campaign has "joint authority" with the DNC over "strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures." At the narrowest reading, given that the "general-election[-]related qualifier applies only to "communications," the joint authority applies to "strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and data, technology, analytics, and research." And given that the Clinton campaign is writing the checks that keep the DNC afloat, who do you think will have the whip hand in that "joint authority" relationship?

Now to the clause that supposedly says the agreement (JFA + MOU) applies only to the general election. Here it is, from page 3:

Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate the DNC's obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process. All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary. Further we understand you may enter into similar agreements with other candidates

(Pause for hollow laughter, given Wasserman Schultz's defenestration, Brazile passing debate questions to the Clinton campaign, etc.). First, even though Hoho seems to think it's exculpatory, the clause is an obvious fig leaf. Glenn Greenwald explains :

DNC and Clinton allies pointed to the fact that the agreement contained self-justifying lawyer language claiming that it is "focused exclusively on preparations for the General," but as Fischer noted that passage "is contradicted by the rest of the agreement." This would be like creating a contract to explicitly bribe an elected official ("A will pay Politician B to vote YES on Bill X"), then adding a throwaway paragraph with a legalistic disclaimer that "nothing in this agreement is intended to constitute a bribe," and then have journalists cite that paragraph to proclaim that no bribe happened even though the agreement on its face explicitly says the opposite.

Second, the DNC itself does not believe that it has any "obligation of impartiality and neutrality" whatever. From Wilding et al. v. DNC Services Corporation, D/B/A Democratic National Committee and Deborah "Debbie" Wasserman Schultz (as cited in Naked Capitalism here ), the DNC's lawyer, Mr. Spiva:

MR. SPIVA: [W}here you have a party that's saying, We're gonna, you know, choose our standard bearer, and we're gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are voluntarily deciding, we could have -- and we could have voluntarily decided that, Look, we're gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way . That's not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right, and it would drag the Court well into party politics, internal party politics to answer those questions.

Third, look at the institutional realities from point one on control. The Clinton campaign had control over the Communications Director slot and major strategic decisions from the moment the agreement was signed. Are we really to believe that they were behaving as neutral parties? (One obvious way to have shown that would have been to release the MOU either when it was signed.)

Can We Say that the 2016 Democratic Primary Was Rigged?

Brazile herself says no . She says, of "rigging":

I found no evidence, none whatsoever. 'The only thing I found, which I said, I've found the cancer but I'm not killing the patient,' was this memorandum that prevented the DNC from running its own operation," Brazile added

I think Brazile is either overly charitable, or overly legalistic (perhaps confusing "rigged" with "fixed," where only in the latter case is the outcome absolutely determined). I also think she's wrong. The dictionary definition of rigged is:

to manipulate fraudulently

There's ample evidence of rigging in both the JFA and the MOU. The JFA enabled the Hillary Victory Fund, which was a fraudulent scheme to allow big donors to contribute to the Clinton campaign by using the states as passthroughs. And the MOU enabled to Clinton campaign to fraudulently manipulate the public and the press into the belief that the DNC was an independent entity, when in fact it was a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of the Clinton campaign.

Conclusion

I know we're not supposed to "relitigate" the 2016 campaign ; we're supposed to look forward and not back. However, the demand not to "relitigate" assumes that the case is closed; as Brazile shows, we're hardly through with the depositions, let alone prepared to render judgment. So, when you hear "relitigate," think "silencing tactic," and ask yourself who and what silence serves. And perhaps this post will provide a basis for further discussion. 119 comments

Moocao , November 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Another reason why it will be a long time until I can vote Democrat again. The betrayal of trust is enormous.

David, by the lake , November 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Likewise, confirms my decision to wash my hands of the party. If, by some miracle, a candidate acceptable to my priorities is nominated, I will still vote for him/her, but the party isn't getting any default support or any $.

Elizabeth Burton , November 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm

People need to stop conflating the DNC with the Democratic Party. I realized I was doing so and stopped.

The DNC is an organization for raising money to support Democratic Party candidates for US President; its subsidiaries are, of course, the DCCC and the DSCC. The only reason they have power to dictate to the actual party is because they hold the purse strings. That Bernie and others have run successful campaigns, to one degree or another, without their "help" is one of the reasons they're fighting so hard to maintain the status quo. If they're shown to be redundant, the power of those who currently run it evaporates.

Saying "I'll never vote Democrat again" is, as my sainted mother used to say, cutting off your nose to spite your face. Right now, if we're going to at least slow down the rocketing juggernaut that is GOP/plutocratic ownership of our governments, we need to elect progressive candidates. There's no time to create a third party that can compete, so we need to vote for the candidates who are advancing a non-neoliberal/neocon agenda whatever party they run under. It's mostly Democrats, at the moment, but a social media acquaintance spoke of a clearly progressive candidate running for a local office as a Republican because that's how she's registered.

One of the ways the GOP was so successful in conning the working people and small business owners and others into buying their hogwash was by demonizing "the Democrats." Now, their message that "Democrats" are nothing but crazy-headed hippies who want to take their money and give it to other people is so deeply ingrained it's a hard row to how convincing them just how big a lie it is. Indeed, I suspect I shocked a raging right-winger the other day when I told him we agreed about Obama and Clinton, because his Fox-muddled mind firmly believes a Democrat thinks Obama rules the heavens.

If we don't "vote Democrat" in the upcoming primaries, then the establishment local and state parties are going to throw more New Democrats against the GOP and lose. That can't happen.

Vatch , November 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Yes, thank you! People need to vote for the progressive candidates in the Democratic primaries. If they don't, then the establishment candidates will easily win, and the national government will continue to be dominated by both Republican and Democratic lap dogs of the billionaires. And if there are a few progressive Republicans out there, sure, vote for them, too.

I often wonder whether some of the people who admonish us to stop voting for Democrats are really employed by one of the many Koch brothers organizations. Not all of them, of course, and I'm not making an accusation against anyone who is commenting here. But if people don't vote for progressive Democrats, the billionaires and the corporate advocates of financialization will win.

nippersmom , November 6, 2017 at 5:09 pm

You're presupposing the presence of "progressive democrats". In many races, they don't exist.

animalogic , November 6, 2017 at 10:53 pm

Of course, appearances can be deceptive: Obama ran as a progressive candidate . As a quick ready-reckoner -- the more a candidate bloviates on Identity issues, the less likely they are (should they be elected) to be "progressive" on issues of substance: the economy, tax, war/imperialism

ArcadiaMommy , November 6, 2017 at 11:51 pm

Right! Where are these progressive democrats? I would love to support one other than Bernie Sanders (yes I know he is not perfect and he is too old). But they don't seem to exist at the national level. There seem to be mayoral and other municipal candidates on the right track – just have no idea how to move those ideas onto the state or national level. Maybe I am just cranky and pessimistic right now.

BoycottAmazon , November 7, 2017 at 6:16 am

Here, here!

TYT did several interviews of "Justice Democrats", newbies running on a progressive platform. Some of the interviews you could see Cenk Uynger almost cringing, and the usually voluble Jimmy Dore very quiet as the candidates lacked public speaking skills, and demonstrating a probable lack of political smarts necessary to maneuver any bureaucracy.

Without trial by fire at lower levels, learning how to run a government and get results, then there is no way to judge the candidates.

Unless candidates like Roza Calderon a faster learn that is apparent at this point, they the Justice Democrats can only win when "anyone but him/her" applies ,

witters , November 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Progressive Democrats. Square Circle. 2+2=5. "We Can Make it Happen!" All we need? "The Audacity of Hope".

witters , November 7, 2017 at 12:10 am

So it was our apathy that did it. It was our moral failure. "Really," says Algernon, in The Importance of Being Earnest, "if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility."

bronco , November 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

no your democratic party is also a party of plutocrats . That's why it needs to be burned to the ground.

annenigma , November 6, 2017 at 4:52 pm

There's an important difference between being and voting Democrat. Actually, we already have a defacto 3rd party, Independents/Unaffiliated, a larger block of voters than either Republicans or Democrats.

With even greater numbers of Independents/Unaffiliated, we could be a force to be reckoned with. Actually, we should recognize and own our power right now because we could decimate the ranks of the Duopoly and make room for an actual third party. We can still vote for Democrats of course, but they'll realize that they can't continue to take our votes for granted.

There's actually no good reason to remain a registered Democrat. You can still vote for Democrats as an Independent/Unaffiliated voter. It's only for some presidential primaries and caucuses that party registration is a limitation. If you live in one of those states, you can temporarily register as a Democrat to vote, then revert to independent/unaffiliated afterwards. Other than that, all other elections are open without regard to affiliation.

The Democrats and Republicans are two wings of the same bird of prey, and we're the prey only because we haven't yet learned to fly to escape their talons. If we start owning our power as free agents/Independent voters, that can change. While deep pocketed donors may have the power to make the wheels turn for the Duopoly, those wheels can't go anywhere without our votes. Since we don't have the power of money, we can at least exercise our political power to stay out of their talons.

Independence is the way to fly. It's not just leverage, it's also the only way to clear more space and demand for official third parties. Since the Duopoly refuses to change their ways and repair the rigged system they created to keep only themselves in power, we can and should abandon them in droves.

Let's spread our wings and fly.

mrsyk , November 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm

In order to vote in the New York State Democrat party primary you must be a registered Democrat. In NY the primary is where most seats are won and lost. Being registered as a Democrat is a necessary evil in some cases.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 7, 2017 at 3:53 am

It has never been clear to me why a hostile takeover of the Democrats, followed by a management purge and seizure of its assets, should be framed as "saving" the Democrat Party. I think that's what a lot of Sanders people would like to do. It's also not clear to me why people think the Democrats can simply be by-passed , and don't need to be assaulted, and if from the inside, all the better.

As readers know, my experience with the Greens was poor (as it has been with others I have talked to). This is especially sad since the GP in Maine had seemed to be viable. So, my fear of the Greens is not fear of the un known, but fear of the known ; I worked at dysfunctional non-profits before, and I don't need to do it again. Others, especially CP activists, may differ in their experience, but that's mine. (Note that I was reinforced in my priors by Stein's lawyer adopting the "Russian hacking" meme in Stein's post-election lawsuits.)

Vatch , November 7, 2017 at 10:04 am

if Bernie's primary campaign and support had been transferred to the Green Party, he would have been a very serious contender,

I agree. But Sanders couldn't join the Green ticket, because he made a promise to support the Democratic candidate, and unlike some politicians, he tries to keep his promises. So what did the Greens do? Instead of actively trying to gain the support of Sanders primary voters, they nominated ideological purist Ajamu Baraka as their Vice Presidential candidate, and he would not back down from unrealistic insulting criticism of Sanders. In effect, the Greens chose to fail.

todde , November 7, 2017 at 10:20 am

I am not interested in keeping the two party system. Either the country breaks apart, or we will have regional parties that can compete with the Democrats and the Republicans.

Audacity of Hope , November 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm

How many clowns can dance on the head of a pin? Debating whether it feels better to have a donkey or an elephant standing on your neck is a fools errand. Neither the Democrat or Republican party is democratic or representative of any more than a handful of families from the Billionaires Club. While they may favor different individuals in the ruling class, neither faux-party has the slightest interest in the rabble who don't line their pockets and provide protection against electoral defeat.

Elections are a stage managed charade in our kleptocracy. Expecting them to change anything that matters, or alter the course of the Warfare State is pure delusion. First we must have Collapse, then Chaos before we can have Change that we can believe in.

animalogic , November 6, 2017 at 11:07 pm

"First we must have Collapse, then Chaos before we can have Change that we can believe in." You are right -- although hopefully mere "crisis" will be sufficient for radical change rather than complete collapse & chaos . Collapse & chaos may void any chance of organised positive change. Having said that the signs are not good: see https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/06/the-ecosystem-is-breaking-down/ for the less than cheery news on ecosystem breakdown. Both parties must be revealed unambiguously to the whole public as the completely morally bankrupt, treasonous & vicious entities that socialists & progressives have known them to be for decades.

zapster , November 6, 2017 at 9:03 pm

The big problem with the Democrats is that they just kicked all the Progressives out and actively oppose them. Voting for blue dogs doesn't get us anywhere.

Vatch , November 6, 2017 at 9:36 pm

Yes, that's a genuine problem. Here are some possible solutions:

https://www.ourrevolution.com/candidates/

https://now.justicedemocrats.com/candidates

http://brandnewcongress.org/candidates/

Vatch , November 7, 2017 at 10:07 am

You are correct about Carter. Zbigniew Brzezinski was a creature of the Rockefellers, and he was Carter's Special Assistant for National Security. Prior to becoming President, Carter was a member of the Trilateral Commission.

sharonsj , November 6, 2017 at 2:27 pm

The rigging was obvious from the start. When nearly all the super delegates declared for Clinton before a single primary was held, I read numerous reports that said the reason was quid pro quo. The super delegates were to be given campaign money in exchange for their support. The agreement proves it.

That, and what the DNC did to Bernie supporters during the convention, made me swear I'd never give them a penny. I have only donated to specific candidates directly. Meanwhile, the Dem establishment stubbornly remains clueless as to why it cannot regain the House and Senate.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 6, 2017 at 4:38 pm

I have seen portions of the agreement (not sure if JFA or MOU) characterized as a "slush fund" for consultants. Naturally, of course, but one might also wonder if that slush fund was used to purchase any superdelegate votes. Pure speculation I didn't have time to run down, so I left it on the cutting room floor.

SpringTexan , November 6, 2017 at 11:06 pm

G, a lot happened to Sanders supporters at the convention, too much to recap but you can probably find stories about it. Many walked out but their seats were filled by paid seat-fillers so the hall didn't look empty, also from what I understand paid seat-fillers sometimes didn't let them take their seats. Signs were blocked, white noise was used to muffle boos, etc.

Before the convention, many of the primaries had a lot of funny business (not all, I know of no problems here in Texas). But California, Arizona, New York, Puerto Rico, Nevada and others all had SERIOUS problems with things such as efforts to prevent Sanders supporters from voting, questionable vote counting (such as at Nevada caucuses), efforts to make voting difficult by having few poll places, etc., etc.

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:32 am

..actually, while all you intone is accurate, we did clearly hear the boos from Senator Sanders supporters of which I was one.

Vatch , November 7, 2017 at 10:12 am

I think there were irregularities in Illinois, too. I recall that 6 counties did not have enough Democratic ballots, and the Democratic Attorney General, a Clinton supporter, sued to prevent voters in those counties from voting after election day. In Massachusetts, Bill Clinton illegally electioneered near or in a polling place. But the authorities let him get away with it.

Steve from CT , November 6, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Great article Lambert. TheGreenwald article was helpful but yours is the icing on the cake. Hopefully many will read this so that they do not get confused with all of the Clintonista response to Brazile. Howard Dean must be suffering from early Alzheimer's to write such a lie. But he has done it before.

Fiery Hunt , November 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm

It's hard for me to believe anyone can, with a straight face, suggest the 2 agreements are equal.How can you have more than one agreement giving "the authority to make the final decision " ??!! Final means last, no? #corruptlosers

ChrisAtRU , November 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm

From no less than Joy Ann Reid w.r.t. "DNC Collusion":

"YOU CAN'T TRICK PEOPLE INTO VOTING FOR WHO THEY VOTED FOR"

I wonder if this type of logic can and should be applied to #Russian Collusion/Interference ;-)

#ProbablyNotCoolByMSNBC

hemeantwell , November 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm

I know we're not supposed to "relitigate" the 2016 campaign; we're supposed to look forward and not back. However, the demand not to "relitigate" assumes that the case is closed; as Brazile shows, we're hardly through with the depositions, let alone prepared to render judgment. So, when you hear "relitigate," think "silencing tactic," and ask yourself who and what silence serves.

Well said. Regular contact with the centrist MSM recently is like being subjected to hypnotism routines from 50s movies. "You are thinking forward, forward, forward. When I snap my fingers you will feel fresh, eager to believe in the promises of the party of Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama."

Elizabeth Burton , November 6, 2017 at 5:50 pm

A case could be made that the party of FDR is not the same one as the party of Barack Obama. :-)

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:43 am

and yet FDR stood by while his own "Senator Sanders" – Henry Wallace was sidetracked from his vice-presidency and legacy as FDR's successor (to the chagrin of Eleanor, among many) by corporate dems James Byrnes, stooge for big oil and U.S. steel, who replaced Wallace with Truman at 1944 dem convention

However, there certainly is no comparison, as you note, between obama's complete lack of "transparency, oversight, accountability" regarding bush-cheney war crimes, Wall Street frauds, destabilization of entire Middle-East, leading to republican trump administration, and FDR

Most authors-historicans I have encountered believe FDR had no real idea how ill he was

jsba , November 6, 2017 at 3:04 pm

A while ago, I read a story about the DNC's misuse of unpaid interns. The story itself was barfy enough, but what really shocked me was an aside asserting that even official elected DNC members were barred from viewing the DNC's budget. ( http://paydayreport.com/unpaidinternsatdnc/ )

"Surely that can't be true," I said to myself. But it is! I looked up the DNC's charter and bylaws and the standing budget committee is specifically exempted from article 9 section 12, which says that all official meetings of the DNC and its committees must be open to the public and cannot involve voting by secret ballot. http://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.democrats.org/Downloads/DNC_Charter__Bylaws_9.17.15.pdf

"WTF kind of an organization is this?!" I thought. How on earth is that even legal?

Well, after the Brazile disclosure of the Clinton MOU, I went back to look at the DNC charter/bylaws. You'll note on the first page the date the current version was adopted–2 days after the MOU was signed!

Anyone wanna take a bet that the budget committee carveout was one of things that was changed?

Anonymous , November 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

jsba, suggest you use the Wayback machine or another internet archive and look at prior historical copies of DNC charter/bylaws, to identify the changes. Could be very illuminating as to (possible) criminal intent?

jsba , November 6, 2017 at 5:46 pm

I did find a 2009 dated version ( https://www.demrulz.org/wp-content/files/DNC_Charter__Bylaws_9.11.2009.pdf ).

I was wrong about the budget committee carveout–it's in this version as well (still completely insane!).

The fact that it was amended 2 days after the MOU is, obviously, still extremely suspicious. I don't have time to, but the 2009 version would be useful to identify possible changes.

Di Modica's Dumb Steer , November 6, 2017 at 3:09 pm

As much as I'd like to switch parties (hah) so as to add to the greater numbers of fleeing formerly party faithful, I'm in one of those 'closed primary' states. My vote is already nearly worthless (though I exercise my right every chance I get); to switch to a third party would make sure I'm both excluded from the more interesting local party contests AND drowned out in national contests. Lose/lose. Maybe if something like Maine's (currently under attack) Ranked Choice Voting existed all over, I'd be less sour about the whole thing.

Donald , November 6, 2017 at 9:04 pm

Yeah, you need people like Lambert willing to do the work. It is exhausting keeping up with the truths, half truths and lies promulgated in the press and trying to figure out what is true and what isn't.

EricT , November 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm

I find it interesting that the agreement involved control of the IT/data infrastructure of the DNC. Doesn't the DNC administer the democratic party registry? And with that observation, wasn't there a lot of illegal party switching that caused a problem for some Democrats voting in party restricted primaries that had their registration switched, so that they couldn't take part in the primaries. Wouldn't it be interesting if the switched parties were on the DNC record as donating to Bernie's campaign? Fixed, indeed.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 7, 2017 at 1:13 am

I'm not sure I understand your scenario, but the DNC "voter file" and the state's list of registered voters are two different things.

JCC , November 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm

It just goes to show you

Skip in DC , November 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Manipulations of the deplorable superdelegate system, with its covert quid pro quo payoffs after the Clintons take power, was part of a seamless fix. Premature coronation by media and party wigs after primary victories in red states no Democrat would win in the general election helped ice it.

Perhaps revelations will turn up on mainstream media, from the Sabbath Gasbags to NPR, knifing Bernie with Hillary talking points at every opportunity, when he wasn't being ignored. Thomas Frank wrote persuasively on WaPo's bias in Swat Team in Harper's, and there have been tidbits on off-record Clinton media cocktail parties and such. But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved. Certainly Jeff Bezos has a Washington wish list. I marveled at how many journalists suddenly sounded like breathless valley girl propagandists. And still do. What faster way to tank journalism's credibility than that perception?

I guess that's why after catching headlines more of my reading time shifts to alternative offerings such as those presented here.

Mark P. , November 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm

But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved.

I worked as a journalist in America for over a decade. I cannot stress enough how unnecessary such a literal fix would be. (Though doubtless words were and are exchanged between concerned parties when needed.)

The hive-mind position of most U.S. journalists -- and especially of editors, who tend to be the most compliant with the power-structure and often the stupidest people in the room -- was (and is) an automatical default to unquestioning support -- even worship -- of the Democratic Party, its elite, and Clintonite neoliberalism.

I once wrote a long feature that got a crush-letter from Joe Lieberman's office. The editors at the magazine in question were ecstatic and printed that letter as its own separate feature in the next issue. Personally, I thought Leiberman was scum, but kept my qualms to myself and was glad I used a byline.

Samuel Conner , November 6, 2017 at 3:28 pm

It seems to me that the HRC campaign's JFA was expressly designed to -- and succeeded in its design -- circumvent the statutory $2700 limit on direct campaign contributions. Yet I have not seen commentary that suggests any laws were violated. What am I missing?

AnnieB , November 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm

To me, it seemed that the Democratic Party had already decided for clinton before the primaries, as at my local caucus the party had planted each neighborhood group with a party faithful, not from the neighborhood, who would argue for clinton and fear monger about Trump. I know this because I talked to the plant in my group, asked her where she lived, and discovered it was not in my neighborhood; it was a different town. Others reported the same.

Also, a Dem party leader came up to me and said "Sanders is not going to be the nominee" and "When this is over (meaning the primary), then you'll be supporting Hillary, right?" I told her to never assume anything.

So, thanks to Brazile, no matter her motivation, for providing proof of what we already knew.

Richard , November 6, 2017 at 9:33 pm

I think you don't see that skill set very much in party leaders because they so rarely need for the party to win elections. They do need to be able to maintain control over their parties, so they're great at being cutthroat and cheating. But apart from certain important individual elections, the success of the party as a whole isn't a big priority for them. There are spoils to divide either way.

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:49 am

fyi, Lambert, the two political parties, while both far too corrupt, are different-your own false-equivalencies aside

Sam Adams , November 6, 2017 at 5:37 pm

I worked on the Sanders primary campaign in my city. I watched as the state/regional leadership consistently tanked the gotv and other Sanders ground outreach while a few local leaders working in smaller areas worked their hearts out on the ground. Surprisingly (or not) the state/ regional leadership bailed to work on the HRC campaign within hours of closing the primary office.

Nancy Sutton , November 6, 2017 at 3:31 pm

I swear, in one of her interviews on the past weekend, Brazile made a quick, underbreath, reference to 'poor Seth Rich' in recounting the death threats aimed at her. Glad someone has not forgotten that connection.

jalrin , November 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm

It has been a while since I handled a criminal defense case, but I am not sure that the agreement is not in fact, criminal. When the Sanders for President campaign signed an agreement and paid money in consideration of getting access to the voter file and when the state parties agreed to merge their fundraising efforts with the DNC and HFA, the commercial fraud laws applied to that relationship. Since the fundraising was done using interstate phone calls, letters, and emails and the voter file access was provided by electronic transmissions from servers in DC to end users in Burlington, Vermont that includes 18 USC 1341, 1343 and 1346 (mail, wire and honest services fraud). These laws do not just ban outright lying, but also the concealment of material facts that one has a duty to disclose.

Considering the importance of voter file access, it is impossible to imagine that your chief competitor having joint authority over hiring the people who handle all your customer service and monitor your compliance with voter file contract is not a material fact. If, under DC contract law or FTC commerical regulations, these kinds of conflicts of interest are mandatorily disclosable (I do not practice in DC but I doubt DC applies caveat emptor to that degree), then 18 USC 1343 was broken and Jeff Sessions could indict everyone involved.

It is even worse for the state parties agreement. The DNC arguably has a duty of loyalty to its state affiliates which makes agreeing to encourage them all to sign up even though it is concealing its knowledge that the money will be allocated in a way that will be bad for at least some of them seem utterly inconsistent with the honest services provisions of 1346. All in all, it is probably a good thing for the DNC that the Sessions aides I went to law school with paid less attention in criminal law that I did.

Jeff W , November 6, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Thanks!

It seemed to me that the nondisclosure of material facts and of conflicts of interest might, arguably, constitute some type of criminal activity and that Donna Brazile's characterization of the agreement as "not a criminal act" was, perhaps, a bit too facile but I did not know the specific statutes or claims that might be involved. I really appreciate your detailed observations here.

a different chris , November 6, 2017 at 9:41 pm

>that the Sessions aides I went to law school with paid less attention in criminal law

Did they? Does it really make sense to destroy the Democratic Party and open up space for something new and dangerous? I would just make popcorn.

PS: thanks for the excellent post, btw.

Oregoncharles , November 7, 2017 at 2:13 am

"Not a dime's worth of difference."
When it comes to politics, it isn't Russians we need to worry about, it's Americans. That's where the collusion is – between the parties.

It was the Republicans' turn, period. Jeff Sessions doubtless knows that.

dk , November 6, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Rigged, fixed, defrauded I like "compromised".

Just want to point out that the state-party=>DNC pass-through is not at all new. Has been active in some form and proportion in every presidential campaign since 1992 (mainly, or at least nominally due to changes in FEC regulation), but really ramped up in and after 2008.

Pushback by states has decreased over time, as state party executive directors are now almost always (even in off-cycle years) routed in from DC, instead of staffing from the local pool of operatives.

One of the important impacts is on state legislatures. Gutted of necessary funding, and discouraged (and sometimes contractually inhibited) from soliciting further funds on the national level, state parties have little left in their coffers to support their legislative candidates and committees (and forget about the bottom of the ticket).

So this kind of money hoovering is a significant factor in the national net loss of Dem seats in state houses in non-"battleground" states.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm

> the state-party=>DNC pass-through is not at all new

I believe the amounts are new. Campaign Legal Center :

During oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC three years ago, Justice Samuel Alito dismissed the Campaign Legal Center's analysis showing how, absent limits on the total amount that donors could give to multiple political committees, candidates could use joint fundraising schemes to raise huge, potentially corrupting contributions.

These scenarios, Justice Alito claimed, are "wild hypotheticals that are not obviously plausible." Hillary Clinton, though, is proving that the Campaign Legal Center was right all along.

I'm not at all a campaign finance expert. Perhaps readers will weigh in?

dk , November 6, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Yes, the amounts are new. Just saying this was the direction things were going for a while already. Good will between DNC and state parties already at a low ebb, DWS a big part of that.

Kris Alman , November 6, 2017 at 7:58 pm

As we know, the Citizens United Supreme Court decision allows corporations, individuals and labor unions to make unlimited contributions to independent organizations that use the money to support or defeat a candidate. Rules prohibit coordination between a candidate committee and an individual or organization making "independent expenditures."

Clearly this was not the arrangement between the HVF, State Democratic Central Committees participating in the PAC and the DNC. Hillary was pulling the strings at the DNC. But I'm just now appreciating that the Hillary Victory Fund is not a Super PAC.

https://www.fec.gov/updates/joint-fundraising-2/

Joint fundraising is fundraising conducted jointly by a political committee and one or more other political committees or unregistered organizations. Joint fundraising rules apply to:

Party committees;
Party organizations not registered as political committees;
Federal and/or nonfederal candidate committees;
Nonparty, unauthorized political committees (nonconnected PACs); and
Unregistered nonparty organizations. 11 CFR 102.17(a)(1)(i) and (2).

The HVF was the first joint fundraising committee between a presidential candidate and the Democratic party since the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision McCutcheon v FEC. A horrible precedent at that!

McCutcheon declared a total limit on how much an individual can give federal candidates and parties in a two-year cycle unconstitutional. Chief Justice Roberts opined, "The existing aggregate limits may in fact encourage the movement of money away from entities subject to disclosure."

Right!

The HVF demonstrates how rechanneling dark money from super PACs toward candidates and parties doesn't stop unethical and undemocratic processes.

That the HVF was needed to balance the Obama debt is one thing. That the HVF can pass through money from State committees to the DNC and then coordinate activities there while passing off as a joint fundraising committee is another thing.

The rechanneling of hundreds of millions of dollars donated by rich D elites to bypass individual contribution limits was a brilliant financial engineering feat–one that the Rs will surely emulate.

Before conducting a joint fundraiser, all participants must enter into a written agreement that identifies the JFR and states the allocation formula -- the amount or percentage that the participants agree to use for allocating proceeds and expenses. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(1).

What was the allocation formula of the joint fundraising committee?

As the HVF fairy tale plays out, Clinton is the witch who lures Hansel and Gretel to the forest with a castle of confections, with the intention to eat them.

Are Democrats capable of outsmarting the witches that want to cannibalize the party?

Down2Long , November 6, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Thanks Lambert for this. As usual, you have seen around corners and cleared the mud from the water. Thank God you like crawling through this sh*t, so that I at least don't have to.

Our local radio host Warren Olney, on KCRW who started his show "To The Point" (which is syndicated nationally on Public Radio International) during the 2000 Bush v Gore Supreme Court crowning of Bush fiasco is doing a week long retrospective of the disintegration of Americans' faith in "our" institutions (ha!) before he goes to a once a week podcast.

I have listened to him for 17 years and I don't know how he could stomach covering U.S. society, politics, and culture during those years of non-ending sh*t show. He was fair to all guests including some right wing loonies, but you never got the feeling he was going for "balance." He always seemed to get the truth. Gonna sorely miss him.

So glad you are still on the case, and loving it. You have my gratitude, and soon, a contribution.

Edward , November 6, 2017 at 4:33 pm

How much of the $250,000 the Sanders campaign paid for the DNC voter list went to the Clinton campaign? I am still wondering if this kind of thing has occurred in other elections?

Deadl E Cheese , November 6, 2017 at 5:08 pm

As far as relitigating the primary goes, we should've had that fight back, if not in 2000, then definitely in 2004. After Team Clinton, people who justified their sellouts and perfidy with 'we must never have another McGovern or Carter', gave the GOP a gift of a unified government that should have been the permanent end of their credibility. Because while McGovern, Carter, and Mondale went down in flames they didn't so thoroughly destroy the anti-reactionary institutions as badly as the Third Way did.

The endless 2016 primary is our punishment for giving these centrist vipers a second chance.

Hana M , November 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm

I appreciate Lambert going through these documents and laying out the timeline. One of the things that this read sparked for me was the realization the Joe Biden was elbowed out just as much as Bernie Sanders. I didn't follow the Biden decision-making process at the time but checking back on the timeline it seems like Clinton pre-empted any attempt by dear old Joe to actually decide to run. Correct me if I'm wrong (as I may well be. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden#2016_presidential_race

Jen , November 7, 2017 at 4:51 am

It doesn't take much elbowing to oust someone who was polling in single digits in his home state. I donated to O'Malley's campaign before Bernie got in, and, regrettably, am still on his mailing list.

Altandmain , November 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm

The bottom line is that the political system is owned by the ruling oligarchy and that the Democratic Establishment is in bed with them. If a serious candidate from the left poses a challenge, they will rig the Primary against that candidate.

The Democratic Establishment is pretty much paid to lose and to make the consultant class rich. Equally as importantly, they exist to co-opt the left.

Sure there are a few voices talking that make sense like Tulsi Gabbard. They are the exception to a very corrupt party.

A big part of why the middle class has declined is because of the total betrayal of the Democratic Party from the ideas behind the New Deal.

The Rev Kev , November 6, 2017 at 5:48 pm

The DNC got into the position of selling themselves to the Clintons as they were $20 million in debt, right? I have read that the major reason for these debts was that the DNC had not shrunk itself since the last campaign and was paying out a ton of money for consultants doing Christ knows what. In fact, Obama also used the DNC to support a stack of his consultants as well as grifters gotta grift, right?

My question is whether this was a deliberate ploy on Obama and the Clinton factions to put the DNC into such a vulnerable position before 2016 came along that when the time came, they had to take up an offer that they could not refuse. I have not heard if Obama has made any comments on this fiasco that took place on his watch and it seems nobody wants to call him out on it. In the Brazile case, it is not a matter of following the money but following the lack of money.

Summer , November 6, 2017 at 6:23 pm

https://www.alternet.org/human-rights/demo-catastrophe-it-was-worse-we-thought-and-bigger-bernie-vs-hillary/
By Andrew O'Hehir / Salon

O'Hehir flails around until he nails it:

"Both sides in the Democratic Party's current faction fight, as I see it, are in denial about the true nature and scope of the problem "Both responses are essentially utopian: They rest on the premise that the Democratic Party is still a functioning political organization and that the United States is still a functioning democracy."

VietnamVet , November 6, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Thanks. This was plain and simple money laundering to get around the Federal Election Commission rules and regulations. That no one has been brought to justice shows how corrupt the American political process is. It would great if you could post how you would reform it. I would start with paper ballots counted in public and halt corporations from buying elections.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 7, 2017 at 4:03 am

> This was plain and simple money laundering

If I understand the law correctly, this really wasn't money laundering, since laundered money becomes dirty by virtue of its being the result of a crime (like drug dealers depositing cash at HSBC (IIRC)). Handling money in a complex and obfuscated way is not, in itself, money laundering. I'm not sure what the word is, though.

John k , November 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Violating campaign laws is a crime. Circumventing can often be shown to be violating. Need a prosecutor willing to prosecute white collar crime, a rare breed for at least the last decade. But trump has been attacked by Clintons, and he has DOJ but nothing is happening.

makedoanmend , November 7, 2017 at 5:23 am

Some very good points are made here. Carping about the inequities of the Democrat Party establishment isn't going to change their behaviour. Too much lucre. One needs to change the people running the party. From the ground up and with concrete regulatory features. Full stop.

However, one might look to the UK Labour party to see how it reacted when J. Corbyn, a lifelong member and activist, became leader of the party through grandee miscalculation. The Thatcherist Blairites went ballastic and basically decided to destroy the party rather than let a fairly mild democratic socialist offer an alternative to their beloved neoliberal economic policies. Too much lucre. They almost destroyed Labour in Scotland and were intent on defenestrating Labour in England, whilst retaining some feeble structure as a mock substitute, so that the Tories would, in fact, become the one and only alternative.

The forces aligned against the democratic tendencies of ordinary citizens are formidable and reach into every nook and cranny of our lives. They have the money, technological reach and hence the power of capital and its persuasive abilities.

Ain't going to be easy. Never is.

pretzelattack , November 7, 2017 at 9:46 am

i dont think a campaign had owned the dnc like that before. i think it had nothing to do with hilary being a good team player, and everything to do with money and juicy consulting/lobbying jobs. and pointing this out is not "sulking". know your enemy, and don't excuse their crimes and predations by an argument that "that's just the way things are".

audrey jr , November 6, 2017 at 8:26 pm

I am a Bernie supporter. He was pushed to the side by the Dem's – a party to which I belonged for forty years – in a total panic when it was shown to the Dem's that Bernie was able to reach disaffected party members as myself by raising a large amount of money through individual small donors.
That Bernie accomplished this feat was a huge factor, IMO, in why and how my former party felt it necessary to malign and derail Bernie and his supporters before, during and after the Democratic -meh – Nominating Convention.
The Dem's should have just named the Hillary for America Fund the Hillary for Hillary Fund.
Hillary cares only for and about Hillary. She's the reason Trump is POTUS today.
My family has been Democrat for many generations. Most of my family members have, unfortunately, BTFD on this one. I used to find them to be reasonable folk. Trump derangement syndrome has infected them all. This is a common complaint these days.

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:57 am

truth of trump actions-legislation, appointees, is not "trump derangement syndrome" trump has succeeded in swamping the drain

and yes, it is obama's fault HC opted for a losing, "more of same" campaign policy

audrey jr , November 6, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Forgot to thank Lambert for all of his great care and hard work in putting this together for us. Thank you, Lambert.
In Brazile's account I do believe I remember reading that my home state, CA, did not sign off on the agreement with regard to the HFV fund. But I seem to remember that Naked Capitalism, or perhaps in the commentariat here, did state that the Dem's here in CA were in an uproar over Hillary Victory Fund taking all of the state party monies. Am I having a flashback or did I actually remember this wrong? Anyone know?

JTFaraday , November 6, 2017 at 10:23 pm

I thought the most interesting thing about Brazile's comments to date was that Obama left the DNC indebted and therefore more vulnerable to the highest bidder. Not easy to bail that out on $27 donations. So typical of these Goldmanite administrations, this use of finance as a political weapon.

MLS , November 7, 2017 at 9:29 am

a feature not a bug? Is it completely implausible that Obama deliberately left the party in shambles just so Clinton could ride to the "rescue"?

[Nov 05, 2017] Donna Brazile says critics of Hillary Clinton revelations can go to hell by Martin Pengelly

Presstitutes from guardian have no shame. Look, for example, at the following statement "The former Clinton staffers – among them high-profile figures such as Huma Abedin, Jennifer Palmieri and campaign manager Robby Mook, the target of stringent criticism from Brazile – wrote: "It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponent , about our candidate's health."
It is widely suspected that Hillary Clinton has second stage of Parkinson or some other serious neurological diseases?
It is telling that Guardian is afraid to open comments on this article.
Notable quotes:
"... Regarding the primary, in which Sanders – a Vermont independent – mounted a surprisingly strong challenge, Brazile writes in her book that a joint fundraising agreement between Clinton and the DNC "looked unethical" and she felt Clinton had too much influence on the party. ..."
Nov 05, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

She also said she "got sick and tired of people trying to tell me how to spend money" as DNC chair, when she "wasn't getting a salary. I was basically volunteering my time".

"I'm not Patsey the slave," Brazile said, referring to a character in the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave.

In her book, Brazile writes that she did not ultimately try to make the change of candidate because: "I thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them."

On ABC, she admitted she had not had the power to make the change but said: "I had to put in on the the table because I was under tremendous pressure after Secretary Clinton fainted to have a quote-unquote plan B. I didn't want a plan B. Plan A was great for me. I supported Hillary and I wanted her to win. But we were under pressure."

Brazile writes that on 12 September 2016, Biden's chief of staff called saying the vice-president wanted to speak with her. Her thought, she writes, was: "Gee, I wonder what he wanted to talk to me about?"

On ABC, she said she did not mention the possible switch. "I mean, look, everybody was called in to see, do you know anything? How is she doing? And of course my job at the time was to reassure people, not just the vice-president but also reassure the Democratic party, the members of the party, that Hillary was doing fine and that she would resume her campaign the following week."

It is unclear if Biden was ever willing to step into the race. The former vice-president, who many believe could a run for the presidency in 2020, made no immediate comment.

Asked if she still thinks a Biden-Booker ticket could have won, Brazile equivocated, saying: "Well, you know, I had a lot of other combinations. This was something you play out in your mind."

Regarding the primary, in which Sanders – a Vermont independent – mounted a surprisingly strong challenge, Brazile writes in her book that a joint fundraising agreement between Clinton and the DNC "looked unethical" and she felt Clinton had too much influence on the party.

[Nov 03, 2017] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Donna Brazile's DNC Bombshell by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

Notable quotes:
"... the DNC agreed to let the Clinton campaign control the party's finances, strategy, donations, and staffing decisions in exchange for the Clinton campaign's financial help. ..."
"... At a time when many people and many voices are calling for unity within the Democratic party, it was really disturbing to see that there was kind of a purge of party officials from both the at large committee, as well as the executive committee within the DNC. That really had one common thread of the people who were booted out of those seats that they had held. Some for decades. The commonality was that these were people who had either supported Bernie Sanders for president or supported Keith Ellison for DNC chair, or both. ..."
"... Getting rid of the non democratic superdelegates who make up one third of all of the votes cast that a nominee needs to secure the nomination, and to secure open or same day registration primaries so that again, open the doors. Let's let everybody in and get involved in the process. ..."
"... In Roger Stone's book, The Making of the President 2016 ..."
"... Every piece of what we've learned so far, unfolding over months, is as bad as or worse than we had thought: The DNC works to engineer a Clinton/Trump match-up, the combination most likely to assure a Democratic loss . It vehemently denies that it is tilted favorably toward Clinton -- which turns out to be true, in a technical sense, because it is controlled by Clinton. ..."
"... Debbie will be the sacrificial lamb. Still waiting for anyone in the mainstream to publish the name "Awan". ..."
"... she's put her money where her mouth is numerous times now, beginning with leaving the DNC in protest over its unethical practices ..."
Nov 03, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
In this Real News Network interview , Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) responds to former interim chair Donna Brazile's revelation that the Clinton campaign had effective control of the DNC. Gabbard was a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee until February 28, 2016, when she resigned to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primary.

Brazile published her book excerpt in Politico, Inside Hillary Clinton's Secret Takeover of the DNC . If you've yet to read it, don't miss.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/S2PHwuIERms

AARON MATÉ: It's The Real News. I'm Aaron Maté. During the 2016 Democratic primary, supporters of Bernie Sanders complained that the Democratic National Committee was plagued by internal corruption, and rigging the nomination for Hillary Clinton. Well today, the former interim chair of the DNC has come out to say exactly that. Writing for Politico, Donna Brazile details a scheme wherein the Clinton campaign effectively took over the DNC. Facing a major funding shortfall, the DNC agreed to let the Clinton campaign control the party's finances, strategy, donations, and staffing decisions in exchange for the Clinton campaign's financial help.

But, this did not happen after Clinton became the nominee. In fact, this agreement was made in August 2015, months before a single primary vote was cast. Among many things, this meant that the DNC was able to act as a money laundering operation for the Clinton campaign. Tens of millions of dollars in donations to state democrats across the country ultimately was kicked back to Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn, well, earlier I spoke to someone who has been a prominent vocal critic of the DNC process from the start. Congressmember Tulsi Gabbard represents Hawaii's second congressional district. She was vice chair of the DNC until February 2016 when she resigned to endorse senator Bernie Sanders. I spoke to her about Donna Brazil's revelations. Congressmember Gabbard, welcome. Your response, what we've heard from Donna Brazile today.

TULSI GABBARD: I was not surprised to read what she was detailing in what was printed today. This was something that when I was vice chair of the DNC I didn't have knowledge of the details, but it was something that some folks were actually talking about and were concerned about at that time

AARON MATÉ: I want to quote more from Donna Brazile. She writes "If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity." She's referring especially to this financial arrangement in which the Clinton camp gives the DNC money but in exchange, the DNC hands over control of basically every single decision. Your thoughts on that? Were you surprised by her revelation?

TULSI GABBARD: Again, this is not something I wasn't privy to the inner workings of how these decisions were made, because at that time the decisions were really ultimately coming from the chair of the DNC. But I had heard some concerns from folks from different state parties actually. Executive directors and chairs and people who were involved in the grassroots organizing and trying to again increase involvement in the process. Their concerns around this joint fundraising agreement that Donna Brazile talked about in her article and her book was that the funds that were being raised through this agreement were not actually benefiting the party, but they were kind of being used as a pass through for lack of a better word. Their concerns again were about getting more support for the work that parties do on the ground and grassroots organizing. Turning out the vote, going and knocking on doors. Doing all the things that happened on the ground in states all across the country. Again, this was not something that I was terribly surprised by in reading that Donna detailed, but it's something that hasn't been laid out in the way that she has in this way.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah. She provides a figure when it comes to the money element. She says that of $82 million that was raised in state fundraisers, less than half of 1%, half of 1% got to go to the state parties, and said the rest went back to Brooklyn for the Clinton campaign. What kind of difference do you think that made on the election outcome when it comes to democratic efforts at the state level?

TULSI GABBARD: It's hard to say. I can't exactly quantify that. But I do know that some of the state party officials who I had spoken to at different times during the campaign had actually expressed these concerns and decided not to sign onto this joint fundraising agreement for that specific reason. They saw at that point, look we're not going to be used by anyone's campaign. If you want to talk about how to help strengthen local parties, let's have that conversation, but this was clearly not an effort in that direction.

AARON MATÉ: You recently spoke out about some more decisions by the DNC at the national level, in terms of their staffing of key committees. Can you comment there on what you were most upset by, and your thoughts on what should be done?

TULSI GABBARD: At a time when many people and many voices are calling for unity within the Democratic party, it was really disturbing to see that there was kind of a purge of party officials from both the at large committee, as well as the executive committee within the DNC. That really had one common thread of the people who were booted out of those seats that they had held. Some for decades. The commonality was that these were people who had either supported Bernie Sanders for president or supported Keith Ellison for DNC chair, or both. If the message is that we're going to get rid of people who may have dissenting opinions, or may be calling for different kinds of reform or retaliating for positions that they've taken this is not the direction that the democratic party should be going in. The democratic party should be going in the direction of openness, inclusiveness, transparency, accountability, which is why I've been calling for two major but very basic kinds of reform. Getting rid of the non democratic superdelegates who make up one third of all of the votes cast that a nominee needs to secure the nomination, and to secure open or same day registration primaries so that again, open the doors. Let's let everybody in and get involved in the process.

... ... ... ...

Elizabeth Burton , November 3, 2017 at 3:58 pm

All three major networks ignored it as well.

David , November 3, 2017 at 6:52 am

She says that of $82 million that was raised in state fundraisers, less than half of 1%, half of 1% got to go to the state parties, and said the rest went back to Brooklyn for the Clinton campaign.

Note that among the state parties that signed up to the Hillary Victory Fund ,

Florida – Trump +1%
Michigan – Trump +0.3%
Pennsylvania – Trump +0.7%
Wisconsin – Trump +0.7%
and Puerto Rico

Emorej a Hong Kong , November 3, 2017 at 7:39 am

Great dot-connecting. Incredible irony that HRC's diversion of funds from swing states to her high-spending campaign was one of the proximate causes of her losing the electoral college.

fresno dan , November 3, 2017 at 8:04 am

David
November 3, 2017 at 6:52 am

excellent insight!

Ernie , November 3, 2017 at 10:56 am

Yep. Here in Maine, where the state party was part of the Victory Fund kick-back scheme, Trump ended up winning one of the state's electoral votes (Maine allows splitting by congressional district) -- the first time a Republican took a Maine electoral vote since 1988.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm

The End Justifies the Means.

Would any of this have come out had we been 'with her?'

Kris Alman , November 3, 2017 at 3:09 pm

The link at the FEC was dated 9/16/15 and shows only 32 states and the Democratic Party of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Open Secrets shows 38 states eventually signed on to the Hillary Victory Fund shows 38 states (Iowa, NJ, Del, KS, NM and SD added), with each participating state a "beneficiary" of around $3M. Nada to the Democratic Party of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
https://www.opensecrets.org/jfc/summary.php?id=C00586537

Georgia, OR, RI, Miss., and WV were among the top "vendors/recipients," netting ~$2M. Does that mean these states only churned ~$1M back to Hillary in this money laundering scheme? https://www.opensecrets.org/jfc/expenditures.php?id=C00586537&cycle=2016

These $3M expenditures pale to Hillary for America ($120,822,326), DNC Services Corp ($55,639,930), Bully Pulpit Interactive ($40,881,995), and Chapman, Cubine et al ($25,432,057).

Every penny of DNC Services Corp's (d/b/a DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE) Independent Expenditures, Communication Costs and Coordinated Expenses went to Hillary: $22,813,448. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/indexpend.php?cycle=2016&cmte=C00010603

Incidentally, I was not able to track these funds at the Oregon Secretary of State with Orestar, the online tool to search campaign finances. As I looked closely at the filings, it appears the FEC requires expenditures by (not contributions to) the Democratic Party of Oregon to federal political committees be recorded. I only see ~$275K contributed back (aggregated expenditures) to "Democratic Party of Oregon Federal Account" and "Democratic Party of Oregon Forward Oregon Transfer Down Acct." in the 2015 and 2016 calendar years (though an additional $123,404.48 has gone to Democratic Party of Oregon Federal Account in 2017).

flora , November 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm

"Open Secrets shows 38 states eventually signed on to the Hillary Victory Fund shows 38 states (Iowa, NJ, Del, KS, NM and SD added) "

Oh, so that's why the KS Dem party officials claimed they couldn't afford $20k for a mailer for Thompson in the KS-04 special election race this spring . A race he almost won, without that help!

Good job, KS Dem party officials! /s
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/republicans-kansas-special-election-2017-236961

Left in Wisconsin , November 3, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Here is one example, from the 2016 financials of the Wisconsin Dem Party. Unity is the name of the joint fundraising project:

Unity Income: $8,595,958
Unity Expenses: $8,591,262
DPW contributions to Unity: $282,000

So for Wisconsin at least, it is not true that the state party made anything (even half of 1 percent) from the "joint" fundraising. Clinton took all but $4700 of the proceeds AND took another $282,000 from the state party.

Watt4Bob , November 3, 2017 at 6:53 am

She says that of $82 million that was raised in state fundraisers, less than half of 1%, half of 1% got to go to the state parties, and said the rest went back to Brooklyn for the Clinton campaign.

Just like Charles Koch, she just wanted her fair share; all of it.

Tell me please, how is this different from republican efforts to exterminate Obama Care by de-funding every bit of its supporting infrastructure?

Whether it was Hilary's intent to exterminate the Democratic party or not, the effect seems quite similar.

JTMcPhee , November 3, 2017 at 11:49 am

Though it seems Obama"Care" was, as an "infrastructure," doing a fine job of self-extermination. https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/09/sickness-american-healthcare.html

Eureka Springs , November 3, 2017 at 12:44 pm

82 mil
410k total paid to 33 States
12,400 per State.

Seems like at least 33 States party peeps who agreed to this should be shown the door if they haven't bowed their heads and left in shame.

PKMKII , November 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Whether it was Hilary's intent to exterminate the Democratic party or not, the effect seems quite similar.

She didn't want to exterminate it, she wanted to become it. Dictator of the party, and then pass the mantle on to Chelsea when the time came.

WheresOurTeddy , November 3, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Her goal does seem to be "L'etat c'est moi"

Disturbed Voter , November 3, 2017 at 6:58 am

Too bad she isn't my congressman.

Arizona Slim , November 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Raul Grijalva is mine.

At first, I didn't think that he was anything more than your classic identity politician. Then I needed constituent service. Matter of fact, I needed it a couple of times. Let me tell you, his staff aced it. They were that good.

As far as I am concerned, Raul has my vote for as long as he wants to stay in office.

Quentin , November 3, 2017 at 7:50 am

Finally one shoe has dropped. The second one about to drop is that the DNC emails were not hacked by Russia in any capacity, directly or indirectly by the Kremlin, whatever. They were most probably leaked. HRC started the Russia hysteria when she called President Trump a pupped of Putin in one of the debates. This is only one small example of her manipulative arrogance.

Arizona Slim , November 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm

In Roger Stone's book, The Making of the President 2016 , Stone said that he thought that the e-mails were leaked by Seth Rich.

Jeff W , November 3, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Every piece of what we've learned so far, unfolding over months, is as bad as or worse than we had thought: The DNC works to engineer a Clinton/Trump match-up, the combination most likely to assure a Democratic loss . It vehemently denies that it is tilted favorably toward Clinton -- which turns out to be true, in a technical sense, because it is controlled by Clinton.

The establishment Democrats accuse Sanders of not working for down-ballot Democrats while the DNC is siphoning money from the states to help Clinton's campaign. "Maintaining ties to Wall Street makes economic sense for Democrats and keeps their coffers full," one "pollster and senior political adviser to President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 2000" helpfully assures us two weeks ago in the NYT , except when it doesn't, such as when Donna Brazile discovers, to her horror, that the party is, fact, broke, probably due, in no small part, to paying consultants -- like the one writing in the Times -- whose expertise has led the decimation of the party. (And, on top of all that, the DNC, professing "unity," purges long-time members who supported Bernie Sander or Keith Ellison and appoints anti-minimum wage lobbyist Dan Halpern to the Finance Committee.)

Every part of the story turns out to be a colossal train wreck -- and all this from establishment/élite types who spent the entire campaign season reminding everyone else that they knew what was realistic, pragmatic, achievable, so on and so forth. It's unreal, really.

moving left , November 3, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Nice synopsis.

fresno dan , November 3, 2017 at 7:59 am

" but it was something that some folks were actually talking about and were concerned about at that time"
===================================
Why does this remind me of Harvey Weinstein? its like deja vu or something

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 3, 2017 at 12:55 pm

I think we have to go back and find out who 'endorsed' Harvey. How many? And we go back, research and publish the names of those who knew, and yet still endorsed Hillary.

Wisdom Seeker , November 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm

To be fair to Rep. Gabbard, the excerpt published by Ms. Brazile clearly indicates that Rep. Wasserman-Shulz (DWS) was not keeping the rest of the DNC leadership fully informed of relevant business and financial arrangements.

If Brazile's account is accurate, the question arises, why did the DNC board tolerate that situation for so long, given their legal responsibilities? Given the anomalous behavior by DWS, you have to wonder how the DNC board could have been comfortable in their roles, and why action wasn't taken against DWS earlier. That leads one to a suspicion is that there was an outside force supporting (controlling?) DWS and intimidating the others.

WheresOurTeddy , November 3, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Ah yes, but Brazile's account is a self-serving CYA attempt to get ahead of a story that was obvious as it was happening to anyone paying attention 18 months ago. Notice no mention of passing debate questions from CNN to Clinton ahead of time. It undercuts your "bombshell" if you have to say "it was rigged and I helped"

Debbie will be the sacrificial lamb. Still waiting for anyone in the mainstream to publish the name "Awan".

Chauncey Gardiner , November 3, 2017 at 9:18 am

Nearly a year after the Nov 2016 general election, this issue is finally beginning to be elevated. Senator Elizabeth Warren also responded affirmatively to a question about whether some primary elections were rigged against Sanders on PBS Newshour yesterday evening.

flora , November 3, 2017 at 9:47 am

Somewhat related in terms of the scramble to get ahead of the Den estab breakdown: In an interesting coincidence the recent meeting of the AFL-CIO saw labor leaders say it's time to stop automatically giving Dems support.

"The time has passed when we can passively settle for the lesser of two evils," reads the main political resolution passed Tuesday by delegates. Lee Saunders, chair of the AFL-CIO's political committee and president of AFSCME (link is external), and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (link is external), introduced the resolution. They lead the labor federation's two largest unions. Convention managers yoked the resolution to another measure it also approved discussing a labor party, though not by name. "

https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/afl-cio-calls-for-a-break-with-lesser-of-two-evils-politics/

Many AFT members were very unhappy (understatement) when Weingarten announced support for Hillary without first polling members. AFT lost a lot of members over that. I'm not sure this isn't a PR scramble by labor leaders to keep their jobs, instead of any real change in outlook. But it's an interesting data point about the current state-of-play.

Oregoncharles , November 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

LONG past time. This is just an example of the reason the unions are in such bad shape.

Big River Bandido , November 3, 2017 at 2:18 pm

AFT member here. I was livid about the sham endorsement "process" that happened; it was rushed through, months before the first contest, with absolutely no consultation from the rank and file. Weingarten's infamous text messages about the National Nurses Union basically solidified for me that she's nothing but pond scum. She's not a teacher, she's an attorney. And clearly, not a very clever one, at that. I am obligated to be an AFT member, and if I were only to become a "partial" member I'd still be paying about 88% of the dues anyway. I still support my AFT local.

The national AFT and its pathetic misleadership can go to hell.

Elizabeth Burton , November 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm

If it's any consolation, your situation appears to be the norm with the long-established unions. Their clearly-stated bias aside, the World Socialist Web Site covers labor disputes and has shown over and over that the mainstream unions have sold their rank-and-file out. Ironically, just this week I read where an activist group has done some major housecleaning at the Teamsters -- and it only took them 41 years.

During the primary, the outrage among SEIU members when their Fearless Leader not only announced for HRC but tried to pretend it was "what our people want" by posting to Facebook photos of a half-dozen blue-shirted members heading out to knock on doors. It didn't go over well.

Steven Greenberg , November 3, 2017 at 10:16 am

Did Senator Warren admit that her refusal to endorse Bernie was bought by the Hillary Victory Fund? In other words, does this indicate that the great fighter against Wall Street corruption was bought off by Wall Street?

jrs , November 3, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Got any proof of that?

Elizabeth Burton , November 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Was Massachusetts one of the participating states? She wouldn't have made any friends there exposing the money-laundering, if so. And had Clinton beaten the odds and won, she would have been toast, especially given she has a huge target on her back painted by the GOP. The Clintons notoriously hold grudges, and have long memories.

Jeff W , November 3, 2017 at 6:18 pm

The Margot Kidder piece in Counterpunch linked to in Montanamaven's comment lists 31 of the 33 participating states. Massachusetts is one of them. (It's not clear which are the other two states or why they aren't listed.)

Yves Smith , November 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm

*Sigh*. Warren is a blockbuster fundraiser for the party. She is a net contributor to them. She doesn't need the DNC.

Montanamaven , November 3, 2017 at 9:42 am

Margot Kidder was on this last spring. I wonder what Montana Democratic State party officials are saying now? Clinton Bought Loyalty of 33 State Dem Parties
I'll ask.

Watt4Bob , November 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Thanks so much for that link.

How is it that such a plain-spoken explanation of what was really happening was totally ignored until Donna Brazile fesses up?

MSM had to be actively ignoring/burying this story ever since then.

Makes me wonder what you have to do to be heard in this country? /snrk

JacobiteInTraining , November 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm

I remember reading these things back then, and trying to forward them to HillBots I knew. Without exception I was poo-poo'ed as a tinfoil-hat-wearing-conspiracy-theorist-berniebro-whiner-misogynist-right-wing-conspiracy-member.

I'd love to say 'I told you so' to those peeps, but most of them are now fully occupied looking under their beds for Russkis. :/

Not that I know Joseph Cannon, but check out his Cannonfire site .hysteric hysteria, deny, RUSSKIS!, Brazile is a liar!!!, deny again, MORE RUUUUSSSKKKIIIIS!!!

to me it seems to be the 'I'm With Her' version of a Trumpsters pizzagate rantings .I dunno, maybe I am missing something and my brain has already been washed and taken over by Cyrillic Control Mechanisms

http://cannonfire.blogspot.com

Jack , November 3, 2017 at 9:50 am

I read about this on Politico yesterday. Donna Brazile? This is the lady who leaked debate topics to Clinton and was fired from CNN, right? It makes you wonder why she is writing about this now. Opportunism in order to sell books? Revenge on Clinton? Or does she sense the wind changing direction in the Democratic party?

j84ustin , November 3, 2017 at 9:59 am

All of the above? Which of course doesn't necessarily mean it's not true! :)

Notorious P.A.T. , November 3, 2017 at 10:24 am

Sure, it's worth wondering, alright. But if you want to learn about dirty deals, you often have to go to dirty people.

Linda Amick , November 3, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Personally I think Donna Brazile, via her story and book, is trying get her version out as she probably knows the Clinton Mafia will throw her under the bus as this story is finally getting legs..with or without Donna Brazile's revelations.

L , November 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm

As I've noted before her name is Mud with CNN, noone wants her to be a talking head. And Clinton can no longer shelter her. What does she have left but airing the dirty laundry and hoping for a payout?

Steven Greenberg , November 3, 2017 at 10:12 am

Donna Brazile is wrong that this was not illegal, but only unethical. The Hillary Victory Fund was set up to evade the campaign financing laws. There is a legal limit on how much an individual can give to a candidate. Hillary's big donors had reached those limits. She directed her donors who had exceeded the legal limits on direct contributions to her to give to the DNC and state parties with the agreement that those entities would funnel the money back to her.

That would seem to me to be evidence of intent to violate the law.

Eureka Springs , November 3, 2017 at 10:59 am

RICO? Would seem the big donors had to know what they were doing as well. But then I recall the recent lawsuit where the party claimed it could do anything and the judge agreed.

There is just no good reason for a party to operate in such a manner. Complete financial transparency in real time whilst functioning in a democratic process among binding terms with real membership seems to be the least people should expect.

All of which is why I am a member/participant of no party and find the process illegitimate across the board. It really does come back to it's not just if you win or lose, but how it's played.

Jim Haygood , November 3, 2017 at 11:57 am

" If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act ." -- Donna Brazile

I, too, beg to differ. Naturally a perp doesn't see their own twisted actions as criminal.

But the basic principle behind campaign finance laws is transparency. Both the D and R parties receive extensive direct and in-kind government financing, such as the free primary elections which states run on their behalf. Consequently they are obliged to provide an accurate accounting of funds received and paid.

Does anyone think Robert "Torquemada" Mueller couldn't indict both Hillary and Donna Brazile on a whole laundry list of federal offenses, if he were actually looking for gross electoral wrongdoing?

Lock her up!

Wisdom Seeker , November 3, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Re "Naturally a perp doesn't see their own twisted actions as criminal."

Remember Brazile is famous for complaining that people were trying to "criminalize behavior that is normal", when they complained about the blatant pay-to-play behavior revealed during the election.

flora , November 3, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Slightly off topic: The neolib Dem estab has just discovered – much to their surprise, no doubt – that's it's one thing to run the neoliberal economic playbook on the deplorables, but quite another thing to run the neoliberal playbook on their own establishment's finances and organization, each for their own personal benefit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tyvhq7uhTM

WobblyTelomeres , November 3, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Strangely, it sounds like Sears.

Elizabeth Burton , November 3, 2017 at 4:14 pm

The judge dismissed the lawsuit because federal court wasn't, in his opinion, the proper channel for seeking redress, not because he agreed with the DNC's assertion it wasn't required to abide by its charter.

todde , November 3, 2017 at 7:14 pm

the judge ruled they didn't have standing:

"But not one of them alleges that they ever read the DNC's charter or heard the statements they now claim are false before making their donations. And not one of them alleges that they took action in reliance on the DNC's charter or the statements identified in the First Amended Complaint (DE 8). Absent such allegations, these Plaintiffs lack standing."

Ernie , November 3, 2017 at 11:00 am

+1

Harm Magin , November 3, 2017 at 11:08 am

"ding, ding, ding" We have a winner!

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Violating the law.

People who knew and did not speak, would they be accessories?

From Wikipedia:

Knowledge of the crime[edit]
To be convicted of an accessory charge, the accused must generally be proved to have had actual knowledge that a crime was going to be, or had been, committed. Furthermore, there must be proof that the accessory knew that his or her action, or inaction, was helping the criminals commit the crime, or evade detection, or escape. A person who unknowingly houses a person who has just committed a crime, for instance, may not be charged with an accessory offense because they did not have knowledge of the crime.

Is Sanders guilty, as an accessory, as well?

Scott , November 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm

I believe you are most correct & thanks for altering the direction of the comments.
The support for Sanders was a resonate echo of
support many of us felt for President Jimmy Carter.
How far we have traveled is well acknowledged when you see that Sanders lost.

For the purposes of the Naked Capitalism readers, who are studying how real money is captured & used by the Jet Setter Classes, here we have a Politico so entrenched her Unit used coercion & tricks to take for themselves all of the main tool, money, required to make the Democratic Party a real Party.

(I refuse to see Hillary Clinton as the First Woman Nominated for the Presidency, & consider her & her husband Bill, the Clinton Unit.)
I do chalk it up to the Clinton Unit's long & destructive influence as law makers & breakers. What the Unit is about is clear when you look at their history in Haiti. We are to get the leadership & economy same as the Haitians get.

The leak that in many cases there was no sincere link at all between what Clinton Unit II said, and what she really believed & intended, meant we were to get another cipher.

"Look out kid/They keep it all hid. -Bob Dylan, comes to mind.

After Obama it is clear that the Democratic Party is and will be in the pocket of the pirate parasites of the US Financial System.

The revolution has to take place below the jet setter classes stranglehold on who writes the checks for what. (I'd be interested in knowing how much of whose money paid for the Clinton Unit's Boeing.)

In the end we as a bunch of honest people who like justice in that form it takes in the day to day demonstration of good ethical moorings, liked how Sanders got the money for his campaign.

The Clinton Unit by taking money from down ballot candidates crippled the necessary revolution being attempted by those actually fighting to strengthen the nation.

Notorious P.A.T. , November 3, 2017 at 10:24 am

Go, Tulsi, Go!

JTMcPhee , November 3, 2017 at 11:44 am

Is there a large and notable set of organized people who vote, lining up behind Tulsi Gabbard as the next Great Hope of the Mope (GHOTM)? Able and willing to go to the mat for her? Trusting that she is not just another screen on which people can project their images?

Got to have leaders, don't we? Because most of us just go along, go along, go along But leaders are just other flawed humans, so easy to corrupt and failing that, to remove from the game board by other means Too bad the Occupy model, whatever that actually was/is, seems not to work effectively, especially against the organized on the other side of the crowd-control technologies

Eureka Springs , November 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm

I don't think people learned/practiced an occupy model for the most part. Folk were expected to bite off more than they could chew in due haste. Remember the media immediately asking what are your demands before people could figure out wtf was going on beyond we are the 99 percent? Establishing a new practice was of course difficult to do while wondering if you would be busted for just being there. Like the problems with parties people just keep rolling with what they know (top-down), hammering their familiar square peg in a round hole – rather than attempt/establish new process.

We really have no idea what a democratic process looks like.

JTMcPhee , November 3, 2017 at 1:39 pm

"We" have no idea what a democratic process looks like:" And that is after what, 50,000 years of humans organizing in groups of increasing size and what we call "sophistication"? "Democrats And The Iron Law Of Institutions: Read this if you're driven insane by the Democrats," http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/001705.html , for one interesting thread, and this set of observations: "Why Hierarchies Must Sign Their Own Death Warrant To Survive," https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2013/12/02/why-hierarchies-must-sign-their-own-death-warrant-to-survive/#32212bcf4d68

And one more for fun: "Under The Rainbow: The Inevitability of the Modern World," https://killtoparty.com/2015/12/31/under-the-rainbow-the-inevitability-of-the-modern-world/

Notorious P.A.T. , November 3, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Trusting that she is not just another screen on which people can project their images?

Always a valid concern, but she's put her money where her mouth is numerous times now, beginning with leaving the DNC in protest over its unethical practices.

Mel , November 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm

And also, it's not up to her, is it? That screen thing is not about what she is, it's about what people do. On a practical level, that move that Gabbard decries -- killing off local party organizations -- is truly a step the wrong way. Real citizens have more to do than just project their images.

Big River Bandido , November 3, 2017 at 2:24 pm

she's put her money where her mouth is numerous times now, beginning with leaving the DNC in protest over its unethical practices

That isn't why Tulsi Gabbard resigned as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. She resigned because the person in that position is supposed to remain neutral in presidential primaries, and she decided she wanted to publicly endorse Sanders.

In other words, she was following the party rules. This separates her from all those DNC officers who stayed on board while putting their thumbs on the scale for Clinton.

Norb , November 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm

In order to survive, you have to trust SOMEBODY! Whom do you trust JT? I get what you are saying and agree 100%, but what next? I think that is the meaning of accountability. You have to trust someone and make that trust the basis for your life. Screw me over and you are out. Mopes are mopes because they keep placing their trust in the wrong place or for whatever social reason, don't have an option.

The twisted logic of Margaret Thatchers now famous line-" there is no society", is a case in point. The entire quote is,"I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, the champions of Neoliberalism and the recasting of the Divine right of Kings as a means of ordering society. The Market is Supreme, the Noble Families (Corporations and Insiders, the 10%, are in direct communion with the divine, and the rest of us need to worship and obey. We have no power because we have not earned it. It is a recasting of the Feudal order. But what she fails to articulate is the obligation of the system to the people? In her ideology, there is no reciprocal obligation. The systems owes nothing. It is a system where the powerful hold control and the subjects are held in check by blind faith.

Thatcher is right for the wrong reasons. Trust starts with the family and successful, healthy families have a better chance of surviving over time due to the natural support they provide. But she takes for granted, or is totally blinded by her own history. The Feudal order failed for a reason. It breeds war and corruption. It thrived on ignorance and violence. Offer a different vision, and the power center shifts.

Leadership is important as everyone knows. With proper leadership, much is possible. Leadership is achieved when guided by some vision or goal. Is it any wonder why individuals that can communicate a vision of brotherhood and solidarity are killed or marginalized by Authoritarians? Where collectivism is shunned at every turn. How the meaning of family values is cynically turned on its head.

Obligation is right. What is screwed up is how obligations have been distorted, and continue to be distorted in a capitalist system. If you believe in social evolution, then the strength of the family unit can serve as the fundamental immortal unit that provides the basis for continued human existence. It is a buffer against the excesses of the capitalist system. It is the source from which positive change will come. Support the family unit by guaranteeing affordable housing, healthcare, and work. A basic income firmly grounded in social contribution. What institutions are left that have not been corrupted by the Neoliberal disease?

The problem making inroads is that the current political power still thinks this is a game. It is not. The first duty for people who desire a better world for themselves, their families, and their future generations need to see the obligation to protect the commons, their families being the basic unit connected to a larger whole.

By destroying the middle class, capitalists have sown the seeds of their own destruction. How many people are willingly going to walk into bondage? The promise of Neoliberalism is failing and the mopes/masses know it- they live it. They just don't know where to turn. It is a slow motion grinding into dust.

Communities are begging for relief. The organizations that need to be constructed are ones that allow people to extend themselves out into the world and take risks, at the same time, providing them with the assurance and concrete reality that if they fail, there is a place or institution that will not let them perish. Capitalists buy loyalty. Individuals in their club always fail upwards. No one is EVER left behind.

There is nothing to prevent other groups from achieving that same sense of solidarity except fear.

Louis Fyne , November 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

The Democratic Party at the national level needs to be thrown out. It's beyond reform. Dissolve the org.

New articles of incorporation, new bylaws, new people, new bank accounts, new everything.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 3, 2017 at 12:59 pm

You know that scandal-ridden Hollywood production company?

Nobody would even buy it for next to nothing.

We kid ourselves, I believe, to think anyone can come along and take over this party.

Vatch , November 3, 2017 at 7:54 pm

The same is true of the Republican party -- nationally it's owned by the Koch brothers and other billionaires, and locally, pretty much the same. Neither organization is going away in the near future.

Norb , November 3, 2017 at 12:13 pm

The most powerful aspect of the last election cycle is the eye opening role that money plays in politics. Everyone knows the fundamental influence money has, but the false narrative that has been acting for decades was finally turned on its head. Namely, that large sums of money are needed to compete in the political process and only by funneling that capital flow into the pockets of corporate entities can anything get done. Sanders campaign proved without a doubt that self financing is possible and money alone is not enough to carry victory. Its who controls that money, and what can be done with it, are the important factors. Money didn't win the election for Trump, corruption did.

The lies and crookedness of the existing power structure has been laid bare and only the completely uninformed still believe it or are directly paid off by the process. No wonder silence and an outside forces- RUSSIA- must be deployed. There is nothing left to mask the class warfare. This process reminds me of rats fleeing a sinking ship, and good riddance- they all need to drown or just scatter away into obscurity.

But until those money flows can be directed towards the commons, the corruption will not be driven out of our society. Democracy will die.

The silence and obfuscation on these important developments just highlight the crisis capitalism, as a system, is facing and how the existing political structure is incapable of dealing with the problem. The level of corruption is the problem, along with the extent lies and misinformation are needed to maintain control. It is dysfunctional.

Once again, the rallying cry is for a social guarantee. A guarantee for work, healthcare, housing, and a basic standard of living. Neoliberalism says no to all the above. Their worldview is that there are no guarantees. Only competition where the strong prevail and the weak perish. Boiled down once again to the fight between socialism and capitalism. Third way politics is no longer functional. Hard choices must be made.

But what is the source of that power? Physical strength? Intellect? Mind control- the ability to convince others? All of the above? The mind returns to social evolution. Forces trying to maintain the status quo and counter forces seeking to alter the system. The constant tension of forces exerting pressure until something gives. The faults and cracks are everywhere. What holds it together is the peoples willingness to exert pressure where they are directed to by their leadership. There is a crisis of leadership.

Finally, people are waking up to the notion that following crooks and thieves does not make their lives better or secure. The nation needs leaders who are not cynical opportunists, here in America and around the world. As the Trump administration makes painfully obvious, America's standing in the world diminishes in proportion to its level of naked corruption. We have become that which we professed we were against. The next true Revolution must be that Scoundrels cannot run the world. Yea, I know Utopia. But if you can't dream about Utopia what do humans have? All that comes to mind is a capitalist nightmare. ( As seen from the Bottom)

Just as the Soviet Union collapsed in a breathtaking short time, the Rube Goldberg construction that is todays capitalist system might meet the same speedy end. Just as the old guard soviet apparatchiks held on for dear life, supporting a known failed experiment due to their privileged position, if feels like the capitalist system is headed for a similar fate. A quick, catastrophic failure instead of a slow, incremental adjustment. A failure brought about form outside forces and the system not being able to deal or cope.

Donna Brazile can now make money revealing how she and the Democratic party screwed over working people in this country and lied to the constituency she was supposed to serve. If this helps people understand how they are fundamentally mislead, if only indirectly and unintended, all the better. Its NOT about the money alone, it shows what the cynical manipulation of money makes you become.

Wisdom Seeker , November 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Re "Once again, the rallying cry is for a social guarantee. A guarantee for work, healthcare, housing, and a basic standard of living. Neoliberalism says no to all the above. Their worldview is that there are no guarantees. Only competition where the strong prevail and the weak perish."

One cannot get a government controlled by special interests and large corporations to provide social guarantees that are worth a damn and won't be corrupted. Indeed, the heart of the problem is that the New Deal guarantees and post-Depression regulations (e.g. Glass-Steagall), or even the earlier antitrust laws, have all been eroded.

There is a historical American worldview, not neoliberal, but also not "Third Way", in which there are no Big Brother guarantees, yet there is strong social protection of those in need. It contains a greater level of self-reliance, in the sense that one does not place one's hope in corruptible governments as the solution. And yet not self-reliance, because it trusted in neighbors to help neighbors. And it also renounces personal greed as a prime motivator. The pioneers had this worldview – self reliance with a recognition of a common interest, and thus a moral duty, leading to a willingness to help others, building an entire nation, one barn raising party at a time, so that their children would have a better life.

Norb , November 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm

I am no historian, but gut experience informs me that what you are talking about is a true American sentiment. The desire for individual freedom struggling simultaneously to forge a lasting social bond with your fellow countrymen. At its heart, our nation was formed in the embrace of a contradiction. The promise of freedom connected to the chains of bondage. The age old dilemma of the rights of the rulers over the ruled. Freedom was sought above all else and the historical opportunity presented itself for a great experiment. Open land available for occupation, far from a ruling power, devoid of a powerful local social force.

The delusion, and betrayal, is the fact that reconciling this contradiction is no longer the driving force of American politics. Neoliberal ideology has short circuited the political system- on should we say, perfected it in that the ruling elite in America never intended to share power with the unwashed masses. With the destruction of a functioning two party system, even the pretense cannot be upheld any longer. Without a viable opposition party, the power of private property can do as it pleases- and is doing it.
In America, we just had lots of space to spread out into and put off the day of reckoning. Well, that day has arrived.

You mention barn raising, but that is an Amish tradition, to my limited understanding, the Amish rejected American culture and wished to separate themselves from the broader culture to ensure that their values could be preserved. It is an honest attempt to live christian values. They are a-political and want to be left alone. I can't say much for other christian denominations other than they are connected at the hip to capitalist values. That is not working out so well on a cognitive dissonance level.

The cooperation that you speak of is more along socialist lines. And once again on an intuitive level, most sane and healthy human beings, this is their normal state. The default desire is to aid a person in need or to take satisfaction from assisting your neighbor instead of abusing them. This natural human desire is prevented from becoming embodied in a political force because that would spell the end to individual opulence, and we can't have that. Charity is acceptable, a natural state of care and social equality is unacceptable.

The question is can you have a secular society that is dedicated to human care? Or a theocratic society that does not become bogged down in religious dogma. American Democracy seemed to point in that direction but appears to have stalled out due to resistance and lack of trying.

Big Brother guarantees is code language for destroying the social responsibilities embodied in New Deal legislation. Functioning Democracy is supposed to protect from corruption by being able to vote the crooks out. This becomes impossible when the crooks take control of the government and citizens are convinced that their government itself is the problem. You have the revolving door policy that we see today. National government captured by special interests.

Until a two-pronged attack can be instituted on a large scale- communities taking care of one another along with demand for honest representation by the government, only small scale resistance will be possible. Evil and hardship will prevail.

jrs , November 3, 2017 at 6:55 pm

As far as a greater level of self-reliance and not placing all one's hopes in corruptible governments I definitely think that's what the radical labor movement aimed at, a lot of bottom up left movements do, just have limited power these days. This is fighting back to reclaim the wealth the 1% (or 1% of the 1%) have captured.

Charity likely doesn't even work with such inequality for several reasons: Although you can always give a dollar to a homeless person, charity fails to do that much good when almost all of the wealth in a society is controlled by fewer and fewer people to a greater and greater degree. A bunch of paupers can only do so much in helping each other (except in trying to fight to reclaim the wealth from the 1% of the 1%). They can't do much else when the very few control the businesses, the agriculture, own most of the property and use their charity (Bill Gate's charity as it were) as a means of control (whatever little good it may or may not also do).

Edward , November 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Has this happened in other elections? Is this a first? The counterpart of this story is the nuts and bolts of how the U.S. press is controlled by various interests.

This is a story which should not disappear down the memory hole.

Oregoncharles , November 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm

" This was something that when I was vice chair of the DNC I didn't have knowledge of the details, but it was something that some folks were actually talking about and were concerned about at that time"

Boy, is there a big question mark hanging over THAT. Apparently she didn't respond to the rumors by asking impertinent questions. And if the vice-chair didn't know who really owned the joint, it was a purely ornamental office. Rather like Ellison's now.

John k , November 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Ellison should quit with as big a stink as possible.

Big River Bandido , November 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Brazile said in her Politico article that even she had a hard time finding out what was going on. She said she couldn't even issue a press release without an okay from Brooklyn.

sharonsj , November 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm

I knew the cat was in the bag the moment nearly all of the super delegates publicly supported Hillary Clinton before a single primary was held. (Are you listening, Sen. Shumer?) I also knew it had to be a quid pro quo because it was obvious they were doing it for campaign money for their re-elections. A lot of this appeared in print long before Donna Brazile "discovered" the affirming document. This, and the way Bernie supporters were treated at the convention, is why I will never give the DNC a penny.

John k , November 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Tulsi seemed a bit tongue tied on some questions in her position and not knowing what was going on? Not credible to me.
She gets credit for quitting and endorsing Bernie, and big credit for anti war, but she does not have history as a progressive, though moving in that direction.
Similarly Liz is no progressive irrespective of anti bank position, though similarly inching in that direction.
Both want to move up, seem to be sensing changing winds.
If Bernie runs, who would he pick? Both usefully female, but neither brings any ev's he won't get anyway. Tulsi brings looks and youth and she endorsed Liz better at treasury, and she might be happy there.

Arizona Slim , November 3, 2017 at 2:38 pm

I think Liz would be a great Treasury Secretary. As for Bernie's VP pick, I think that Tulsi would, ahem, appeal to a certain portion of our male electorate.

I also think that he could also do well by choosing Nina Turner as his VP. Unlike Tulsi, whose oratorical style puts me to sleep, Nina knows how to sign, seal, and DELIVER a speech.

Elizabeth Burton , November 3, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Look up Pramila Jayapal, whose history, unlike that of Tulsi Gabbard, is solidly progressive.

Vatch , November 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Here are four bills in the House that could be considered litmus tests for progressives:

H.R.676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act

H.R.790 – Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2017

H.R.1587 – Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2017

H.J.Res.48 – Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing that the rights extended by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only.

Gabbard is a co-sponsor of all 4, and Jayapal is a co-sponsor of all but HR1587. I believe you that Gabbard isn't always progressive, but she does pretty well most of the time, and (for now) she's better than Jayapal on the very dangerous issue of antibiotic overuse.

jrs , November 3, 2017 at 6:26 pm

I don't know people taking positions on things that aren't likely to pass isn't all that. Ok if enough Dems were on board and they controlled congress or some Reps were AND they had a president who wouldn't veto then maybe Medicare for All etc. Even getting enough Dems on board to pass it even if they had the majority is a long way from where we are now.

However a constitutional amendment is in a whole other category of unlikely than that as the requirement to get one passed are super majorities we are never going to see. So some of the former may be difficult and mostly grandstanding at this point, but I really regard the last as impossible.

Vatch , November 3, 2017 at 7:50 pm

Another way to take a public position is to refuse to co-sponsor high profile bills such as these. People in the PACs notice if a member of Congress co-sponsors something that they don't like, or if the member chooses to avoid co-sponsoring it.

Of course none of these bills will pass in the current Congress. However, it is important to get some momentum for them so that they will have a greater chance in future Congresses, and co-sponsorship is a way to generate some of that momentum.

HR676 has been introduced in every Congress since 2003, and this is the first Congress in which it has gained more than 100 co-sponsors. HR1587 has also been introduced since 2003, although it has always had a different bill number. Its number of co-sponsors has gone up and down.

Perhaps too many people are paying too much attention to Trump's twitter account, and not enough attention to the wonkish reality of how bills can become laws. People need to push their Representatives to support these bills.

Tomonthebeach , November 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm

DNC has long stood for Democratic National CLUB not Committee. Under Perez, I see little evidence of movement toward a "democratic" "committee." This is not about Anti-Sanders it is apparently about maintaining Clintonism when the electorate wants more progressivism. DNC is pushing many of us to vote for a qualified Republican over a Clintonite Democrat. That is very stupid – very sad.

Scott , November 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Good laws make a good society, bad laws make a bad society. Good people make better laws than bad people.
All people are good, but some do more bad, sure, go ahead and think of it that way.
I only get to vote for people.

MarkE , November 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm

"The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats." Steve Bannon

It's not often your opponent does you the favor of telling you why you are losing. I pissed away some money on the Democrats last election (not because I liked Hillary; I just despise Trump). What I got for my money was four or five emails a day asking for more money. That and the ignominious, gut-wrenching loss. Many of the emails were from Donna Brazile and almost all of them were about identity politics issues, usually tsk-tsk'ing some nasty thing Trump said about one group or another. I remember thinking how dumb this was. They already had the identity politics voters and getting them to turn out was going to be a ground game play. While they sang to their choir, Trump and Bannon were out energizing an aggrieved white middle and working class, which could have been Hillary's. Non-stop ads with Trump's ugly face on the screens of Pennsylvania and Ohio saying "you're fired" would have been good. Every time the Democrats waxed indignant about an identity issue, they lost some more aggrieved white voters, who took the message as further confirmation that the Dems really didn't care about them and their problems. Trump walked right in. Comey's timing, the Russians, etc all mattered, but net net the Democrats gave Trump the win. The top of their organization is full of people who seem to be better at identity politics than anything else, except maybe backstabbing. They're crap at strategy.

Vatch , November 3, 2017 at 5:37 pm

I strongly encourage those who have Democratic friends and relatives to be sure that those friends and relatives have seen the article by Donna Brazile. Don't be afraid to be a pest (although I do recommend politeness). Many of those friends and relatives will be voting in primaries next year, and they need to know what is happening in the Democratic party.

jrs , November 3, 2017 at 6:15 pm

It doesn't just indict Hillary, although that is what gets the focus, it is a condemnation of Obama as well for leaving the Dem party in so much debt. So Obama as well sacrificed the Dem party for his own campaign. By slightly different means (running up debt rather than funneling money) but to the same end. What a self-seeking bunch, to the destruction of even their own party, the Dem top ticket has been (yea cheeto is no better, but that's it's own thing).

todde , November 3, 2017 at 5:51 pm

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2989759-Impartiality-Clause-DNC-Charter-Bylaws-Art-5-Sec-4.html

DNC Bylaws state that the Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party
Presidential nominating process.

Since that obviously didn't happen, I would assert that Hillary being the Democrat nominee is null and void.

todde , November 3, 2017 at 6:01 pm

so if you donated to the DNC I am pretty sure you could sue DWS personally to get your money back.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 3, 2017 at 7:09 pm

When they rig an election, everyone participates in the election (voting or running) is a victim.

Even people watching it become victimized (like the quiz shows in the 1950s, TV viewers were victims).

(So, you, me and all the other guys had the primary election stolen.)

And if Donna Brazile tells you it's rigged, it's not up to you, but up to all of us, to absorb the insider information (you can't withhold all those secret details) and to decide on the verdict.

It can not be 'What are her chances?'

It's up to all of us.

todde , November 3, 2017 at 6:12 pm

nevermind – we've already litigated this

pretzelattack , November 3, 2017 at 7:33 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/03/trump-fbi-clinton-russia-donna-brazile

the guardian finally noticed it happened! in the context of an article attacking trump, but baby steps.

pretzelattack , November 3, 2017 at 7:35 pm

"The victory fund agreement was signed in August 2015 and widely reported during the course of the campaign, amplifying the friction between Sanders and the DNC that had already been fueled by disagreements over the primary debate schedule and access to the party's voter database."

oh well then nothing to see here, let's just go back to bashing russia.

chicagogal , November 3, 2017 at 7:36 pm

Wasn't Brazile the one who said that while the DNC is supposed to be neutral, she was working on behalf of Clinton over Bernie? So as we all knew, then and now, grifters gotta grift and Brazile is no better than anyone else at the DNC who keeps failing upwards and being rewarded for her part in the grift.

[Nov 02, 2017] The Democratic Law Firm Behind the Russian Collusion Narrative by Scott Ritter

The real question is so much Russian influence as the US intelligence agencies influence on 2016 presidential elections. Brennan in particular. He bet of Hillary Clinton and lost. After that he was instrumental in launching "color revolution" against Trump. In which the the critical step was to appoint "special prosecutor".
Notable quotes:
"... But even more is emerging that could take the Russia story in a totally new direction -- namely that the infamous dossier compiled by former British Secret Intelligence Service officer Christopher Steele was bought and paid for by a law firm , Perkins Coie, working on behalf of both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). ..."
"... The extent to which the Steele Dossier influenced the intelligence underpinning Mueller's probe has yet to be determined with any certainty. In January, the U.S. intelligence community published the unclassified ICA, which was derived from a compilation of intelligence reports and assessments conducted by the FBI, CIA, and NSA. Many of the allegations made in the ICA mirror reporting contained in the Steele Dossier. So striking are the similarities that there are real concerns among some senior Republican lawmakers that the ICA merely reflects "echoes" of the Steele Dossier reported back via liaison with foreign intelligence services who had access to it (namely the British Secret Intelligence Service) or whose own sources were also utilized by Steele. ..."
"... An examination of the nexus between the dossier and the publication of the Russian ICA, however, shows that Litt was less than truthful in his denials. Material from the Steele Dossier was, in fact, shared with the FBI and U.S. intelligence community in July of 2016, and seems to have been the driving force behind the intelligence briefings provided to the so-called Gang of Eight who served as the initial impetus for an investigation into Russian meddling that eventually morphed into the 2017 Russian ICA. ..."
"... Moreover, while Perkins Coie had its hands all over the dossier, it was also massaging the Russian hack narrative for mainstream media primetime. ..."
"... The political law practice of Perkins Coie was started in 1981 under the leadership of Bob Bauer , who went on to become the White House Counsel to President Barack Obama. Today, the practice is headed by Marc Elias , who has been described as "the Democrats' go-to attorney an indispensable figure in the party." Elias oversees the work of 18 attorneys representing nearly every Democratic senator, as well as the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Hillary for America, which oversaw the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... Sussman, after coordinating with Wasserman-Schultz, approached the FBI and tried to get them to publicly attribute the intrusion to Russia. ..."
"... When the FBI refused, citing a need to gain access to the DNC servers before it could make that call, Sussman balked and, again with the full support of the DNC, instead coordinated a massive publicity effort intended to link Russia to the DNC breach through an exclusive to the Washington Pos t ..."
"... According to the Washington Post , in early August 2016, the CIA director John Brennan came into possession of "sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race." This intelligence was briefed to the Gang of Eight. Almost immediately, information derived from this briefing began to leak to the media. "Russia's hacking appeared aimed at helping Mr. Trump win the November election," officials with knowledge of Brennan's intelligence told the New York Times . The intelligence, referred to as "bombshell," allegedly "captured Putin's specific instructions on the operation's audacious objectives -- defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump." ..."
"... The question is was the investigation supposed to uncover whatever it uncovere, or was it supposed to fabricate the discovery? If it was fabrication, yes, they should be condemned. ..."
"... My best guess is that some part of the US intelligence community is involved in the election manipulation. Overthrowing foreign governments or undermining the EU is one thing, colluding with a foreign power to manipulate the US election is quite another. Note, by the way, the absence of any reference to George Papadopulous or Viktor Yanukovych. ..."
"... But it is obvious that most of the Beltway including the spook world badly wants a proxy war with Russia, Iran, and Syria. As usual we are killing people overseas under Presidents of both parties and as usual the United States of narcissism can only complain about what dastardly foreigners allegedly did to us. ..."
"... Someone help me out here. If Clinton (or her very close associates) pay huge bucks to Russians to get dirt (even if it is made up dirt) on Trump, that is good, because it hurts Trump. But if Trump associates simply have conversations with Russians, full stop (cf. Michael Flynn, or anyone else who spoke with the Russian ambassador), that is criminal. Is this not sort of a double standard? ..."
"... We're expected to believe Crowdstrike's report on Russian hacking but we can't examine the evidence. We're expected to believe that Perkins Coie went rogue and decided to spend $12 million without informing any of its clients. ..."
"... What a bunch of hogwash. There's a cover up here, but it's not what the complicit media is portraying. The cover up is of the past 8 years of misdeeds by the Deep State, the Clintons and the Obama Administration. ..."
"... I think the story is even more obvious than this. They wanted to spy on aspects of the Trump campaign but they legally couldn't. The FBI told them they needed a reason to tap the phones and read the mail. They paid a guy to put together a dossier that would allow them to get FISA warrants to do the spying they wanted to do illegally. They just needed the dossier to say certain things to get it past a FISA judge. They did this and tapped his phones and read his emails and texts for the purpose of beating him in the election. It is really that simple of a story. ..."
"... Given Hillary's past pay to play lobbying and her disregard for national security, it would seem appropriate to have investigate if members of the Clinton campaign had contacts with the Russian Ambassador or Russian "operatives. We now know that the dossier relied on collaboration with Russian officials. ..."
"... In my opinion, Mueller has disgraced his former and present positions by collaborating in this conjured affair that obfuscates the real crimes occurring during the Obama administration. ..."
"... Crooked Hillary and her klan never thought for a second they wouldn't be able to cover up democrat crimes. The Clinton Crime Family is in full panic mode. No one seems to remember why Mueller quit as director of the FBI. He was disgusted by the Obama administration covering up lawlessness. ..."
"... Why didn't the FBI insist on examining the DNC servers? Something's not right. ..."
"... I voted for Clinton, but as the lesser evil on various issues, chiefly domestic and environmental. Clinton is not in Putin's pocket. She is in the pocket of Netanyahu, and the Saudis. Trump doesn't really seem to be in Putin's pocket -- he has neocons and others working hard to ensure that he gets into a confrontation with Iran. Basically he too is in the pocket of the Israelis and the Saudis. ..."
"... The mainstream ignores this. The countries with real influence on our policies don't have to favor one party over the other. They have them both in their pocket. ..."
"... As time goes on, I don't think Russia "meddled" in US elections as much as US politicians of both parties corruptly attempted to rig the elections. Seems to me that the demonization of Russia is bi-partisan because the US military industrial complex needs a "bogey man" to justify its billions$$$$ and just about ALL politicians need that money to stay in power. ..."
Oct 31, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Democratic Law Firm Behind the Russian Collusion Narrative How a high-powered practice contracted oppo-research on Trump -- and then pushed a hack story.

Credit: Shutterstock/ Mark Van Scyoc The ongoing investigation headed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller into alleged collusion between the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump and the Russian government has moved into a new phase, with a focus on purported money laundering. On Monday, indictments were filed against former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime associate Rick Gates.

But even more is emerging that could take the Russia story in a totally new direction -- namely that the infamous dossier compiled by former British Secret Intelligence Service officer Christopher Steele was bought and paid for by a law firm , Perkins Coie, working on behalf of both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The current controversy isn't so much over the contents of the dossier -- despite some of the reporting, none of the relevant claims contained within have been verified. Rather, the issue in question is how opposition research derived from foreign intelligence sources and paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC ended up influencing the decision to prepare the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, the contents of that assessment, and the subsequent investigations by the U.S. Congress and a special prosecutor.

The extent to which the Steele Dossier influenced the intelligence underpinning Mueller's probe has yet to be determined with any certainty. In January, the U.S. intelligence community published the unclassified ICA, which was derived from a compilation of intelligence reports and assessments conducted by the FBI, CIA, and NSA. Many of the allegations made in the ICA mirror reporting contained in the Steele Dossier. So striking are the similarities that there are real concerns among some senior Republican lawmakers that the ICA merely reflects "echoes" of the Steele Dossier reported back via liaison with foreign intelligence services who had access to it (namely the British Secret Intelligence Service) or whose own sources were also utilized by Steele.

According to Robert Litt , who served as general counsel to former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, this mirroring was nothing more than coincidence. "The dossier itself," Litt wrote in a recent Lawfare blog , "played absolutely no role in the coordinated intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in our election. That assessment, which was released in unclassified form in January but which contained much more detail in the classified version that has been briefed to Congress, was based entirely on other sources and analysis."

Moreover, Litt noted, the decision in December 2016 to brief President-elect Trump on the existence of the Steele Dossier and provide him with a two-page summary of that document, was not a reflection that "the Intelligence Community had relied on it in any way, or even made any determination that the information it contained was reliable and accurate." It was rather, Litt said, a need to share with Trump the fact that the document existed and was being passed around Congress and the media.

An examination of the nexus between the dossier and the publication of the Russian ICA, however, shows that Litt was less than truthful in his denials. Material from the Steele Dossier was, in fact, shared with the FBI and U.S. intelligence community in July of 2016, and seems to have been the driving force behind the intelligence briefings provided to the so-called Gang of Eight who served as the initial impetus for an investigation into Russian meddling that eventually morphed into the 2017 Russian ICA.

Moreover, while Perkins Coie had its hands all over the dossier, it was also massaging the Russian hack narrative for mainstream media primetime.

The political law practice of Perkins Coie was started in 1981 under the leadership of Bob Bauer , who went on to become the White House Counsel to President Barack Obama. Today, the practice is headed by Marc Elias , who has been described as "the Democrats' go-to attorney an indispensable figure in the party." Elias oversees the work of 18 attorneys representing nearly every Democratic senator, as well as the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Hillary for America, which oversaw the Clinton campaign.

It was in the latter two roles that Elias, acting on behalf of his clients, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C.-based company that, according to its website , "provides premium research, strategic intelligence, and due diligence services." Fusion GPS had previously been contracted by the Washington Free Beacon "to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary." However, when it became clear that Trump was going to secure the Republican Party nomination, the contract with Fusion GPS was terminated. According to a letter sent by Perkins Coie to Fusion GPS sometime in March 2016, Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, met with Elias and lobbied for the job of conducting opposition research on behalf of the Clinton campaign. In April 2016, Simpson's company was retained by the firm through the end of the election cycle.

Perkins Coie is also home to Michael Sussman , a partner in the firm's Privacy and Data Security Practice, who was retained by the DNC to respond to the cyber-penetration of their server in the spring of 2016. When, in late April 2016, the DNC discovered that its servers had been breached, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, then chairwoman of the DNC, turned to Perkins Coie and Sussman for help. Sussman chaired the meetings at the DNC regarding the breach, and, on May 4, 2016, he reached out to Shawn Henry , a former FBI agent who headed the incident response unit for the private cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, for assistance in mitigating the fallout from the breach. According to CrowdStrike, it was immediately able to detect the presence of hostile malware that it identified as Russian in origin. Sussman, after coordinating with Wasserman-Schultz, approached the FBI and tried to get them to publicly attribute the intrusion to Russia.

When the FBI refused, citing a need to gain access to the DNC servers before it could make that call, Sussman balked and, again with the full support of the DNC, instead coordinated a massive publicity effort intended to link Russia to the DNC breach through an exclusive to the Washington Pos t , which was published in concert with a dramatic CrowdStrike technical report detailing the intrusion, ominously named "Bears in the Midst."

This public relations campaign started the media frenzy over the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC server, enabling every facet of the story that followed to be painted with a Russian brush -- normally with a spokesperson from either the DNC or Hillary for America taking the lead in promulgating the story.

It was about this same time that Elias decided to expand the scope of Fusion GPS's opposition research against Trump, going beyond the simple mining of open-source information that had been the hallmark of the firm's work up until that time, and instead delving into the active collection of information using methodologies more akin to the work of spy agencies. The person Fusion GPS turned to for this task was Steele

Key persons within the Clinton campaign and the DNC denied any knowledge of either the decision by Perkins Coie to hire Fusion GPS for the purpose of gathering opposition research, or to tap Steele to conduct this task. Elias reportedly made use of money already paid to the firm by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to fund the work of Fusion GPS, creating the conditions for deniability on the part of his clients. This decision meant that Perkins Coie, as a firm, had ownership of the Steele Dossier; expenditures of firm assets require the approval of either the management or executive committee of the firm (Elias sits on the executive committee).

But as far as intelligence products go, the Steele Dossier is as sketchy as it gets. It's an amalgam of poorly written "reports" cobbled together from what Vanity Fair called "angry émigrés," "wheeling and dealing oligarchs," and "political dissidents with well-honed axes to grind." These are precisely the kind of sources intelligence professionals operating in Russia in the early 1990s -- Steele was assigned to Moscow from 1990 to 1993 -- would have had access to. Such sources also produce information that professional analysts normally treat with more than a modicum of skepticism when preparing national-level intelligence products.

The very first report produced by Steele, dated June 20, 2016, was chock full of the kind of salacious details justifying its explosive title, "Republican Candidate Donald Trump's Activities in Russia and Compromising Relationship with the Kremlin." The substantive charges leveled in the report centered on three unnamed sources -- a senior Foreign Ministry official, a former top-level Russian intelligence officer, and a senior Russian financial official -- whom Steele accessed through a "trusted compatriot." The report alleged that Russia had been feeding the Trump campaign "valuable intelligence" on Clinton, and that this effort was supported and directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. A second report, dated June 26, 2016, focused exclusively on "Russian State Sponsored and Other Cyber Offensive (Criminal) Operations."

These reports were delivered to Elias at a critical time -- on July 22, when Wikileaks released thousands of emails believed to have been sources from the DNC hack . These emails detailed the internal deliberations of the DNC that proved to be embarrassing to both Clinton and the DNC leadership -- Wasserman-Schultz was compelled to resign due to the revelations set forth in these emails. This leak took place on the eve of the Democratic National Convention when Clinton was to be selected as the Democrats' candidate for president. The Clinton campaign blamed Russia. "Russian state actors," Robby Mook, the Clinton campaign manager told the press , "were feeding the email to hackers for the purpose of helping Donald Trump."

If Elias thought the publication of the DNC emails would spur the U.S. intelligence community to join both the DNC and the Clinton campaign in pointing an accusatory finger at Russia, he would be disappointed. When questioned by CNN's Jim Sciutto at the 2016 Aspen Security Forum as to whether or not the DNI shared the White House's view that there was no doubt Russia was behind the hack of the DNC emails, Clapper responded, "I don't think we are quite ready to make a call on attribution I don't think we are ready to make a public call on that yet." Noting that there was still some uncertainty about exactly who was behind the DNC cyber-penetration, Clapper stated that he was taken aback by the media's "hyperventilation" over the DNC email issue, pointing out that the intelligence community did not "know enough to ascribe motivation" at that time.

According to the Washington Post , in early August 2016, the CIA director John Brennan came into possession of "sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race." This intelligence was briefed to the Gang of Eight. Almost immediately, information derived from this briefing began to leak to the media. "Russia's hacking appeared aimed at helping Mr. Trump win the November election," officials with knowledge of Brennan's intelligence told the New York Times . The intelligence, referred to as "bombshell," allegedly "captured Putin's specific instructions on the operation's audacious objectives -- defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump."

This intelligence, allegedly from a "human source" linked to a foreign intelligence service, is at the center of the current spate of Russian meddling investigations. Was this source a product of the CIA's own efforts, as DNI General Counsel Litt contends, or was this an "echo" of the work done by Steele? The answer may lie in the actions of both Elias and Steele, who in the aftermath of the Democratic National Convention, and on the heels of the statement by DNI Clapper that he wasn't ready to commit to Russian attribution, shared the first two reports with both the FBI and members of the intelligence community. Steele also sat down with U.S. officials to discuss the details of these reports , which presumably included the sourcing that was used.

The parallels between the information contained in the initial report filed by Steele and the "bombshell" intelligence that prompted Brennan's decision to brief the Gang of Eight are too close to be casually dismissed. Of particular note is Steele's "Source C," a senior Russian "financial official" who had "overheard Putin talking" on at least two occasions. Was this the source that Brennan cited when it came to Putin's "specific instructions"? The cause and effect relationship between the decision by Marc Elias to brief U.S. intelligence officials on the aspects of the Steele Dossier, and Brennan's coming into possession of intelligence that virtually mirrors the reporting by Steele, cannot be dismissed out of hand.

The future of the Trump presidency will be determined by the various investigations currently underway. Those efforts have been influenced, in one way or another, by reporting sourced to Perkins Coie, including the designation of Russia as the responsible party behind the DNC cyber-breach and the Steele Dossier. These investigations are linked in their unquestioning embrace of the conclusions set forth in the 2017 Russia Intelligence Community Assessment that Russia was, in fact, meddling in the election. However, the genesis of that finding, both in terms of Russian involvement in the DNC hack and the "bombshell" intelligence introduced by Brennan in August 2016, has gone largely unquestioned by the investigators.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War (Clarity Press, 2017). MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Youknowho , says: October 30, 2017 at 11:09 pm

The question is was the investigation supposed to uncover whatever it uncovere, or was it supposed to fabricate the discovery? If it was fabrication, yes, they should be condemned. But if it was a question of "tell us what you find, good, bad, or indifferent" then uncovering what might be treasonable activity would be called a patriotic act.
SpecialAgentA , says: October 31, 2017 at 9:00 am
Was it a 'leak' or a 'hack'? Both terms are used here, almost interchangeably, but isn't that an essential issue to explain and clarify?
balconesfault , says: October 31, 2017 at 9:35 am
All of this and not one mention of how much of the controversy Donald Trump could defuse by simply releasing his tax returns and allowing more transparency into his financial relationships with the Russian oligarchy.
Bob Salsa , says: October 31, 2017 at 10:48 am
Ritter's underlying 'logic' here extended would have us believe Alan Turin's breaking of the Enigma Machine was done in collusion with Nazi U-boat commanders.
Michael Kenny , says: October 31, 2017 at 11:28 am
The spooks are still scared silly of Russiagate. "Hillary paid" doesn't mean "Hillary fabricated". That Mr Ritter is reduced to such a manifestly silly argument shows just how spooked the spooks are. My best guess is that some part of the US intelligence community is involved in the election manipulation. Overthrowing foreign governments or undermining the EU is one thing, colluding with a foreign power to manipulate the US election is quite another. Note, by the way, the absence of any reference to George Papadopulous or Viktor Yanukovych.
David G. , says: October 31, 2017 at 12:26 pm
Given that Russia's insiders (not to mention former-officials) are no more lined up with Putin than US counterparts and political actors are behind any current US administration or opponent, within and without the party in power, there are presumably Russian actors who would like to undermine Putin.

To the extent "the Russians" may be behind particular efforts – including information/disinformation – related to the 2016 US election, might they not have sought to undermine foreign and (Russian) domestic proponents of US-Russian detente?

Donald (the left leaning one) , says: October 31, 2017 at 12:42 pm
" Overthrowing foreign governments or undermining the EU is one thing, colluding with a foreign power to manipulate the US election is quite another. "

This is a joke. I have no concern one way or the other about whether Trump colluded with Russia – if laws were broken, prosecute the lot of them. But it is obvious that most of the Beltway including the spook world badly wants a proxy war with Russia, Iran, and Syria. As usual we are killing people overseas under Presidents of both parties and as usual the United States of narcissism can only complain about what dastardly foreigners allegedly did to us.

In DC we have a vicious fight between the McCain-Clinton forces and the Trump forces. It's a choice between warmongers.

m , says: October 31, 2017 at 1:16 pm
Donald (the left leaning one), I agree with your concluding comment that we are left with a choice between two warmongers, no question about that. However if you look at the corruption in the deep state in the Uranium One deal, how it was approved and now nobody, I mean nobody knows anything about FBI informant and gag order on him for the last 8 years it is just mind boggling. Oh well after all these years I think the African dictators have more integrity than our elected officials.
a person who once spoke to a Russian but regrets it now , says: October 31, 2017 at 1:58 pm
Someone help me out here. If Clinton (or her very close associates) pay huge bucks to Russians to get dirt (even if it is made up dirt) on Trump, that is good, because it hurts Trump. But if Trump associates simply have conversations with Russians, full stop (cf. Michael Flynn, or anyone else who spoke with the Russian ambassador), that is criminal. Is this not sort of a double standard?
Laramie , says: October 31, 2017 at 3:12 pm
I've worked at large law firms, been a partner at several and litigated against Perkins Coie, so I know a bit about them. Knowing the industry and this firm in particular, I can say without reservation that this statement is ridiculous: "Elias reportedly made use of money already paid to the firm by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to fund the work of Fusion GPS, creating the conditions for deniability on the part of his clients." That does not and would not happen with a $12 million expense.

Mr. Ritter does not come out and say it, but there's a plausible explanation for all of this Russia nonsense we've been hearing about for the past year. Until the day after the election, 99.9% of Democrats were convinced that Hillary Clinton would win. Once enshrined in office, all of the misdeeds that they'd been getting away with for the past decade -- the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, the Pay-to-Play politics, etc. -- would be swept under the rug.

November came, and that didn't happen. Democrats were both floored and caught with their pants down. Now, all of their dirty laundry was going to come out into the open. It was only a matter of time.

So, what did they do? The same thing Democrats always do. The best defense is an offense. 'Always accuse your opponents of doing whatever wrong you've committed.' All of the sudden, it wasn't just that 'Russians hacked the election.' It became, 'the Trump campaign secretly colluded with the Russians.' The Steele dossier was leaked, the FBI was briefed which in turn briefed Obama, the Gang of Eight and Trump. Next, a Special Prosecutor had to be appointed to investigate.

But, where does it all lead? Back to Hillary, through Perkins Coie, and through many of the same Deep State players who were complicit in the misdeeds.

We now learn that Comey, Mueller and Rosenstein all knew about Russians attempting to buy influence through donations to the Clinton "charity," but they turned a blind eye when Uranium One was up for approval.

We now learn that Clinton and the DNC paid for the Steele dossier then fed it to Comey, who leaked it.

We're expected to believe Crowdstrike's report on Russian hacking but we can't examine the evidence. We're expected to believe that Perkins Coie went rogue and decided to spend $12 million without informing any of its clients.

What a bunch of hogwash. There's a cover up here, but it's not what the complicit media is portraying. The cover up is of the past 8 years of misdeeds by the Deep State, the Clintons and the Obama Administration.

Carolinatarheel , says: October 31, 2017 at 3:35 pm
I find it curious that Crooked Mueller charged two republicans just as Crooked Hillary and the DNC were identified for paying Russians for smear documents! America First!
Nick , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:06 pm
I love how the origins of the project (Free Beacon/Paul Singer) are merely a footnote in this terribly written piece.
Jake , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:14 pm
How is it not true? Reports indicate that Mr. Steele did indeed use paid sources within Russia to compile the "dossier" on Trump. Steele used money paid by the Clinton campaign labeled as "legal fees". There is a reason Hillary, DWS, Podesta and the others have all lied.
Quek , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:40 pm
I think the story is even more obvious than this. They wanted to spy on aspects of the Trump campaign but they legally couldn't. The FBI told them they needed a reason to tap the phones and read the mail. They paid a guy to put together a dossier that would allow them to get FISA warrants to do the spying they wanted to do illegally. They just needed the dossier to say certain things to get it past a FISA judge. They did this and tapped his phones and read his emails and texts for the purpose of beating him in the election. It is really that simple of a story.
Cjones1 , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:51 pm
Did Obama's White House Counsel Bauer and Perkins Coie's Elias engage in a conspiracy to smear Trump and benefit the Clinton campaign?

Did they orchestrate a campaign trick, using the Fusion GPS dossier and an insider leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks,that falsely smeared the Trump team?

Hillary and Fusion GPS both lobbied against business restrictions proposed and imposed by the Magnitsky legislation and both received bonuses and payments from Russian entities with ties to the Putin gang.

Given Hillary's past pay to play lobbying and her disregard for national security, it would seem appropriate to have investigate if members of the Clinton campaign had contacts with the Russian Ambassador or Russian "operatives. We now know that the dossier relied on collaboration with Russian officials.

Given that several levels under the 17 intelligence heads of the Obama administration, including former FBI Director Mueller, participated in suppressing known Russian bribery, obfuscated and obstructed the investigation into Hillary's national security violations & pay to play schemes, and apparently conspired using a dossier, containing Russian supplied information, to throw the last Presidential election, it is time to bring the Obama political appointees and Clinton campaign officials to justice and stop the interference affecting the Trump administration.

In my opinion, Mueller has disgraced his former and present positions by collaborating in this conjured affair that obfuscates the real crimes occurring during the Obama administration.

Zardoz , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:13 pm
The Russian SVR RF was no doubt inside the DNC's server, just as it was no doubt inside of Hillary Clinton's private unsecured email server on which she did all of her State Department business.

But that does not necessarily mean that the SVR RF released the damning evidence about the corruption of the DNC & its machinations to influence the outcome of the Election to Wikileaks. I believe Seth Rich was the source of that damning evidence.

Since there was allegedly some evidence of the Russian hacking, the DNC conveniently blamed the Wikileaks story on them.

But the fact the Democrats refused to turn over the supposedly hacked DNC server to the FBI suggests there is something seriously wrong with the Democ"rats" story.

Don Juan , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:23 pm
Crooked Hillary and her klan never thought for a second they wouldn't be able to cover up democrat crimes. The Clinton Crime Family is in full panic mode. No one seems to remember why Mueller quit as director of the FBI. He was disgusted by the Obama administration covering up lawlessness.
CapitalistRoader , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:49 pm
All of this and not one mention of how much of the controversy Hillary Clinton could defuse by simply releasing all of the government emails she kept on a private server in order to keep them away from FOIA requests and allowing more transparency into her financial relationships with the Russian oligarchy.
swb , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:57 pm
Nice try at deflection, but it is not likely to stop Muller because he has an actual brain. On the other hand, the comments indicate that the conspiracy types are on board. Now I have it on good authority that there are ties between Steele and Benghazi as well so it is time to wrap this all up together into a unified story.
Virginia Farmer , says: October 31, 2017 at 6:08 pm
Since most of the posters here seem to be partisan I'm sure that no one will like my preference: Lock both Trump and HRC up and put them in the same cell to save us money. They are both crooked and any attempt to accuse one and defend the other is futile.
MM , says: October 31, 2017 at 6:38 pm
Karen Finney, formerly of the Clinton 2016 campaign, on October 29th:

"I think what's important, though, is less who funded it than what was in the dossier."

In the same interview:

"We also learned this week that Cambridge Analytica, the company that was basically the data company for the [Trump] campaign, reached out to Julian Assange of Wikileaks."

Did everybody catch that?

In today's Democratic Party, it is perfectly acceptable to pay foreign sources for dirt, fabricated or not, on your domestic political opponent.

But it is totally unacceptable to reach out to Wikileaks, with no money involved, for dirt on your domestic political opponent. I'll note that Wikileaks has relied on whistle-blower sources and has not been shown to have published any false information in its entire 10-year existence.

Absolutely gorgeous

Zardoz , says: October 31, 2017 at 7:01 pm
The Russian SVR RF was likely inside the DNC's server, just as it was likely inside of Hillary Clinton's private unsecured email server on which she did all of her State Department business.

But that does not necessarily mean that the SVR RF released the evidence about the rotten corruption of the DNC & its machinations to influence the outcome of the Election to Wikileaks. I believe Seth Rich was the source of that evidence.

Since there was allegedly some evidence of the Russian hacking, the DNC conveniently blamed the Wikileaks story on them.

But the fact the Democrats refused to turn over the supposedly hacked DNC server to the FBI suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the Democ"rats" story.

Lenny , says: October 31, 2017 at 7:10 pm
To all of those who think that paying a foreign informant money to give you info is the same thing as accepting help from a foreign government, you have some screws lose.

Furthermore, the help that Trump received was in the form of emails that have been stolen from an American citizen, a federal offence.

The whole Uranium one non story is based on a book that his own author admitted he has no evidence of malfeasance by HRC , and who was paid for his effort by the Mercers.

Also, the Uranium cannot be exported outside the USA anyway, because the law prevents it, no matter who owns the company

JR , says: October 31, 2017 at 7:31 pm
To all those who think what Hillary campaign did is the same thing as what Trump campaign did: Can you with a straight face think that Hillary is in Putin's pocket? I don't think so. The issue, if you're being honest, is that a lot of people on the other side can easily see Trump being in Putin's pocket. And so far he (Trump) has done nothing to disprove that. Remember the Glee that the neocons had when Trump ordered a few missiles at Syria..guess what nothing came off it and Assad is still very much in power and no one cares anymore (an outcome that I am fine with). You think things would have been the same if Hillary was in power?

But at the end of the day, we're left to wonder whether Trump is doing Putin's bidding Just because so far he has done nothing that has been antagonistic towards Russian interests (Iran notwithstanding because nothing is going to come off it, all it is going to do is make US look impotent, which will be fine by Putin).

jlee67 , says: October 31, 2017 at 8:46 pm
Why didn't the FBI insist on examining the DNC servers? Something's not right.
b. , says: October 31, 2017 at 9:21 pm
If only Sanders had ever exclaimed something like "The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn Russians!"

If there is any kind of actual evidence of state actors in the various efforts to force transparency on the Clinton campaign and the DNC, it is now tainted by the association with Steele, Simpson, Elias, which appear to have repeatedly acted against client privileges and privacy – peddling results paid for by one client to another, leaking information paid for by clients to the press, Congress, the FBI – or have acted with client permission, while a former "spy" is accessing and potentially endangering networks maintained by his former employer, a foreign intelligence service known for its ability to find yellowcake.

Only the Democrats can show such staggering ineptitude.

The plot needs some new, exciting turn at this point. Let us speculate that the Steele Dossier was in fact a false flag operation, allowing "Russians" to discredit not one, but two presidential campaigns, not one, but two presidential candidates, a twofer that makes whomever becomes President look like an idiot. One of the most ridiculous propositions of this whole affair has been the claim that Putin would seriously care which incompetent and corrupt American gets to prosecute the self-inflicted ruin of this blighted nation for the next four years.

It's morons all the way down.

Central Virginia Cantor Ejector! , October 31, 2017 at 11:16 pm
@Virginia Farmer : "Lock both Trump and HRC up and put them in the same cell to save us money. They are both crooked and any attempt to accuse one and defend the other is futile."

Right on! "Virginia Farmer" for President!

Donald ( the left leaning one) , says: November 1, 2017 at 12:09 am
"To all those who think what Hillary campaign did is the same thing as what Trump campaign did: Can you with a straight face think that Hillary is in Putin's pocket?"

I'm not very partisan. I voted for Clinton, but as the lesser evil on various issues, chiefly domestic and environmental. Clinton is not in Putin's pocket. She is in the pocket of Netanyahu, and the Saudis. Trump doesn't really seem to be in Putin's pocket -- he has neocons and others working hard to ensure that he gets into a confrontation with Iran. Basically he too is in the pocket of the Israelis and the Saudis.

The mainstream ignores this. The countries with real influence on our policies don't have to favor one party over the other. They have them both in their pocket.

Donald ( the left leaning one) , says: November 1, 2017 at 12:14 am
M --

Yeah, I can't keep up with all the twists and turns. I read just enough to see both sides ( the partisan ones) live in closed cognitive universes. I suspect there is plenty of corruption and dishonesty to go around, even if we restricted ourselves to real or alleged Russian ties. But I wonder what would turn up if we really looked into how our foreign policy sausage is made?

VikingLS , says: November 1, 2017 at 1:14 pm
@Donald ( the left leaning one)

In my annoyance I overstated it a little, but this thread is a good example of what I was saying about a lot of the liberal commenters on TAC. I don't read a lot of these comments and see people who are giving the article much thought.

BTW I was about to write the exact same thing to JR you did regarding the Saudis and the Israelis.

Cynthia McLean , says: November 1, 2017 at 1:17 pm
As time goes on, I don't think Russia "meddled" in US elections as much as US politicians of both parties corruptly attempted to rig the elections. Seems to me that the demonization of Russia is bi-partisan because the US military industrial complex needs a "bogey man" to justify its billions$$$$ and just about ALL politicians need that money to stay in power.

[Nov 02, 2017] Twitter Admits It Buried Podesta Email, DNC Tweets Ahead Of The Presidential Election Zero Hedge

Nov 02, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

It was approximately one year ago, when angry tweeters alleged that Jack Dorsey et al., were purposefully censoring and "suppressing" certain content on Twitter, namely anything to do with the leaked DNC and John Podesta emails , as well as hashtags critical of Hillary Clinton while "shadow-banning" pro-Donald Trump content. We can now confirm that at least one part of the above was true, because during today's Senate hearing, Twitter admitted it "buried", which is another word for censored, significant portions of tweets related to hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in the months heading into the 2016 presidential campaign.

As Daily Caller's Peter Hasson reports, Twitter's systems hid 48 percent of tweets using the #DNCLeak hashtag and 25 percent of tweets using #PodestaEmails , Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett said in his written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Before the election, we also detected and took action on activity relating to hashtags that have since been reported as manifestations of efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. For example, our automated spam detection systems helped mitigate the impact of automated Tweets promoting the #PodestaEmails hashtag , which originated with Wikileaks' publication of thousands of emails from the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's Gmail account.

The core of the hashtag was propagated by Wikileaks, whose account sent out a series of 118 original Tweets containing variants on the hashtag #PodestaEmails referencing the daily installments of the emails released on the Wikileaks website. In the two months preceding the election, around 57,000 users posted approximately 426,000 unique Tweets containing variations of the #PodestaEmails hashtag.

Approximately one quarter (25%) of those Tweets received internal tags from our automation detection systems that hid them from searches.

As described in greater detail below, our systems detected and hid just under half (48%) of the Tweets relating to variants of another notable hashtag, #DNCLeak, which concerned the disclosure of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee

And yet, this glaring act of censorship was not aimed at the sources of the alleged propaganda, but the content: Just 2% of the tweets using the #DNCLeak hashtag came from "potentially Russian-linked accounts," Edgett said.

He also explained that Twitter hid the tweets as " part of our general efforts at the time to fight automation and spam on our platform across all areas.

...And Hillary still lost?

Just over a year ago, on the same day that Donald Trump's "grab them by the pussy tape" was released, WikiLeaks dumped over 30,000 hacked Podesta emails, which were damaging to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, throughout the election. A prior Wikileak of DNC emails, which revealed party officials secretly aided Hillary Clinton during her primary battle against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders , eventually cost then-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz her job. The leaks also exposed supposedly "neutral" journalists as pro-Clinton partisans.

The U.S. intelligence community concluded that Russian operatives were behind the original hacking of both the DNC and Podesta emails, which were part of Russian influence operations meant to disrupt the American electoral system.

* * * A question emerges: did Jack Dorsey, with his arbitrary decision to censor specific content damaging to Democrats, interfere with the election, and a funnier question: if Hillary lost with Twitter censoring anti-Hillary content, what would the outcome have been if Twitter actually respected the First Amendment?

nmewn -> fightapathy , Nov 1, 2017 9:25 PM

LMAO!...funny ain't it?

I mean, just how bad does a candidate have TO REALLY SUCK when, they have the establishment media panting on their every word, they're outspending the opponent 2:1 and they've got the intelligence apparatus of a world superpower spying on the opponent for them ...and she still loses?...lol.

And...

Hillary-Will-Never-Ever-Be-President...Ever.

Thats gotta suck ;-)

Nekoti , Nov 1, 2017 9:27 PM

Orwell should have named the book,2016.

SweetDoug , Nov 1, 2017 10:28 PM

Wow... Just plain ol' fuggin' wow... And this is EXACTLY the reason we can't allow these organizations, FB, Twitter, Google, to control everything on the net. This is so fucking dangerous to our freedom and the new media, that these pricks are creating and then censuring. And what the fuck do we do?

Google is getting a 1000 journanalists together to start 'creating' news. What do we do when this monster starts to bury alternative, unwanted thought. The snowflakes will be in charge.

Fire up the ovens! 'Cause that's where people like you and me are gonna end up if we don't stop this, somehow.

OJO

V-V

Pernicious Gold... -> SweetDoug , Nov 1, 2017 10:39 PM

They already control everything on the Web. Fuckbook and Goolag filter everything, preventing you from finding and seeing what you want. They only allow you to see what they want you to see.

Atomizer , Nov 1, 2017 10:54 PM

Desperation Has Set In, The Cabal Is Pushing All Agendas - Episode ...

Atomizer , Nov 1, 2017 10:54 PM

The Demonisation of the Elderly (and the exaltation of the young ) - YouTube

TeraByte , Nov 1, 2017 11:07 PM

I have found from many observations that our liberals are incapable of allowing anyone to have his own convictions and immediately answer their opponent with abuse or something worse. FEYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY, THE IDIOT (1868)

Vlad the Inhaler , Nov 1, 2017 11:17 PM

The government doesn't need to squash the 1st Amendment, their crony capitalist tech monopolies will do it for them in exchange for not being regulated.

moorewasthebestbond -> Vlad the Inhaler , Nov 1, 2017 11:18 PM

Hookers, blow, and immunity from prosecution... second only to Wall Street.

CalifornianSeven , Nov 1, 2017 11:38 PM

Did they wipe those tweets....like with a cloth...?

[Nov 01, 2017] Democrats, Class and Russia-gate Magic by Phil Rockstroh

Scapegoating is a predictable social phenomenon during bad economic times.
In looks like DemoRats are supported by the Clinton faction in intelligence agencies, especially CIA (which also controls the MSM), while Trump is supported by Pentagon brass. So deposing Trump is more difficult in view of resources (including the number of contractors and lobbyists) Pentagon has, even in comparison with CIA.
That's why the color revolution initiated by DemoRats run into some difficulties.
So the dream of Trump impeachment so far remain a pipe dram, despite all Mueller dirt digging. Exposure of Stele Dossier actually was a big set back for DemoRats.
At the same time military in Trump administration are definitely conducting slow purge of Clinton loyalists from CIA and State Department. Brennan's Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers also will be "downsized". They already were shown the door in Syria.
Notable quotes:
"... Stunned by the defection of working-class whites, many Democrats respond by calling these Trump voters "stupid" and hoping that Russia-gate will be the "deus ex machina" to restore Democratic power, as poet Phil Rockstroh explains. ..."
"... Recently, Democratic Party elites have purged progressives from positions of power within the Party; have been exposed in creating and promulgating, and swallowing whole the dodgy Russian Dossier subterfuge; ..."
"... Desperate liberals have convinced themselves that the risible, Russiagate fool's mythos will provide a deus ex machina miracle to rid the (sham) republic from the likes of boxy-suit-clad, two-legged toxic waste dump who ascended to the presidency due to the Democratic Party gaming their primary and nomination process for a candidate who performed the seemingly impossible -- to wit, preventing the craven Trump from defeating himself. ..."
"... The supercilious mindset is the result of an insularity borne of privilege. Moreover, when do liberals ever converse, one on one, with members of the laboring class, unless, of course, the situation involves the de facto master/servant relationship involved in a service industry exchange? ..."
"... On a personal basis, liberals with whom I used to clash when I was a resident of Manhattan, almost to a person, were completely removed from and, worse, utterly incurious, about the lives of the working class. ..."
"... The Liberal Class have, on an historical basis, acted as the buffer zone between leftist, minority, and laboring-class aspirations and the capitalist over-class -- i.e., the bestower of liberacrat privilege. As the man limned in lyric, "same as it ever was." Thus we come upon a reason for the mistrust held by people languishing on the boot-on-the-neck side of the capitalist class divide for economically privileged liberals. ..."
"... Thus we arrive at the question: How can they display such a yawning disconnect from reality? And we shamble into the tawdry reality: The Democratic Party elite and their cynical operatives possess the sum total of nada desire to be connected with anyone other than their economic elite benefactors -- withal, the only constituency to whom they possess any degree of fealty. ..."
"... Thus Democratic partisans cling to the salvation fantasy that an act of deus ex machina will soon be at hand. But how many times now has Trump's trajectory toward impeachment been assured by some new revelation yet nothing substantive comes of the vaporous evidence? ..."
"... The crackbrained fantasies shield Democratic partisans from being buffeted by the reckoning: They are affiliated with the go-to Party of Wall Street and of neoliberal and militarist imperium. ..."
"... Liberals had the Wall Street bagman and multicultural imperialist Obama's back. At present, after his two terms, he is luxuriating in the cash-redolent embrace of his High Dollar benefactors ..."
"... Unlike impoverished Blanche, blown and buffeted by circumstance into the seedy precincts of (un-gentrified) New Orleans' French Quarter, it is difficult to work up any degree of sympathy for contemporary Democrats, enclosed as they are in their insular, bristling, psychical citadels, from where they unloose volleys of supercilious scorn upon those who remain unmoved by their partisan casuistry and are rankled by the condescension they direct at those who are not graced with their privileged status. ..."
"... The careerism of the "respected" mass media commentators, journalists and talking heads could lead the world to nuclear war. Many of these whores know exactly what they're doing. Many of them know there was no attempt by the Kremlin to "hack" the election or otherwise interfere in the election but they feed the public repetitive nonsense over and over and over again. ..."
"... Washington has been virtually taken over by a militaristic-Zionist cabal that's currently dead set on destabilizing relationships among nuclear powers. The demonization towards the Kremlin at a time when the major media are fomenting a witch hunt atmosphere is breathtaking to behold. That liberals -- in their hatred of the big bad Trumpenstein -- are going along with this terrifying group think is one of the more irrational and incredible dynamics I've ever witnessed in my decades of following the politico-economic scene. ..."
"... I had been a lifelong Democrat, but after I got fooled by Obama, I left the party. ..."
"... Working class has been totally decimated. Poverty class is the norm. 50 percent of us are below the poverty line .Average incomes are at historical lows 30 thousand Fiat Us dollars per annum. The widest economic gap since the Gilded age. That in itself says alot. The so called liberal intellectual class /progressive has become the new propaganda wing for pax-amaericana. This is where the Right meets the left and fuse into this hydra like dystopia and incoherent dissonance. ..."
"... Gramsci used to refer to Trotsky as the whore of the fascist. Globalism under the guises of our progressives and social justice warriors have become the new totalitarian norm filled with confirmation bias and naked ignorance. They have created this glass bubble of reality that suits the masters of the universe and we the sheeple just sit by and watch the new Orwellian night mare. ..."
"... To paraphrase JFK – workers of America, blame not yourselves, blame capitalism, the economic system that keeps you down, down, down. ..."
"... Workers now blame the Democratic Party, their one time advocate. It's easy to see why. The elitist New Democrats think ordinary working people are beneath them, yet they kiss up to Wall Street, Big Pharma, and the military-industrial-security complex. Most Democrats I know care more about their investment in the soaring stock market than they do about the plight of American workers, whose quality of life and economic security is rapidly slipping away. ..."
"... Scapegoating is a predictable social phenomenon during bad economic times. For three-fourths of America, these are terrible economic times. They are bogged down by credit card debt, student loans, etc. They can't find any good paying jobs now that deindustrialization, offshoring, and the financialization of the economy has taken place. Which is worse: scapegoating or the short-term greed of the Wall-Street oligarchs, who hide their money overseas to avoid paying taxes, who fight against worker rights, who recklessly gamble with other people's money and expect the government to bail them out when they screw up? ..."
"... While it is true that the Democratic party is corrupt, millions of people such as yours truly have had affordable health care premiums for the last three years because of the Dems policy initiative. They also paid dearly for it in the following election. It's easy for the author – living in a country that's had a public health care system since the late 19th century – to lob stones. ..."
"... Democrats are terrible, but the Republicans are even worse. Somehow that doesn't make me feel good about the Democrats, who have become the Republican Lite-Party. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did more to move the country to the Right than any Republican could have done. ..."
"... Every single accomplishment of Bill Clinton was originally a Republican idea. ObamaCare came out a Republican think tank. Obama's TPP is a Republican program. Also, today Democrats are bigger warmongers than the Republicans. I most respectfully turn in my voter registration card. I am now a progressive Independent. ..."
"... Obama totally caved to the insurers' interests when he approved the federal version of "Romney-care" which we had in Massachusetts, after many, many people, including doctors, had urged him to institute single payer. So I don't buy that argument that "At least we got Obamacare from the Democrats". ..."
Oct 31, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
Stunned by the defection of working-class whites, many Democrats respond by calling these Trump voters "stupid" and hoping that Russia-gate will be the "deus ex machina" to restore Democratic power, as poet Phil Rockstroh explains.

Recently, Democratic Party elites have purged progressives from positions of power within the Party; have been exposed in creating and promulgating, and swallowing whole the dodgy Russian Dossier subterfuge; and have gone round-heeled for war criminal and torturer-in-chief George Bush the Lesser -- yet Democratic partisans and lesser-of-two-evils, fainting-couch jockeys still retail in the fiction that the Democrats present a viable alternative to their more crass Republican doppelgängers.

It must take hours of dedicated practice to become such virtuosos of self-deception.

Desperate liberals have convinced themselves that the risible, Russiagate fool's mythos will provide a deus ex machina miracle to rid the (sham) republic from the likes of boxy-suit-clad, two-legged toxic waste dump who ascended to the presidency due to the Democratic Party gaming their primary and nomination process for a candidate who performed the seemingly impossible -- to wit, preventing the craven Trump from defeating himself.

The best thing Republicans have going for them is, the Democrats themselves, from their corrupt-to-their-reeking core leadership class down to their willfully and belligerently obtuse rank-and-file. In particular, professional and political-class liberals' refusal even to acknowledge the grim plight of the besieged U.S. working class, and when they deign to notice their economic lessers, at all, they, as a rule, evince an aura of condescension and scorn.

Apropos, I recall a piece published in the New York Times after Trump's "pussy grabbing" palaver came to light, late in the 2016 presidential campaign. Quoting from the article, headlined: "Inside Trump Tower, an Increasingly Upset and Alone Donald Trump," published Oct 9, 2016:

"But the real source of comfort to Mr. Trump seemed to be the small band of supporters waving Trump signs on the Fifth Avenue sidewalk outside the building. His fans clashed with people walking by, including a woman who told a female Trump supporter that she should go back to her 'trailer.'"

It is a given that Trump's misogynist remarks displayed the very emblem of mouth-breather inanity. Yet the demeaning jibe bandied by the passing pedestrian, who I'm certain would self-identify as "progressive" in her politics, was emblematic of liberal classism. When was the last time you witnessed an affluent liberal expressing umbrage in regard to their caste's proclivity for class-based shaming?

The supercilious mindset is the result of an insularity borne of privilege. Moreover, when do liberals ever converse, one on one, with members of the laboring class, unless, of course, the situation involves the de facto master/servant relationship involved in a service industry exchange?

On a personal basis, liberals with whom I used to clash when I was a resident of Manhattan, almost to a person, were completely removed from and, worse, utterly incurious, about the lives of the working class. When traveling around my native South, for example, when visiting my wife's family in the rural South Carolina Low Country, I found the people there far more receptive to a socialist critique of the capitalist order than that of liberals. Why? Unlike upscale liberals, the working class, on a day-by-day basis, endure perpetual humiliation under depraved capitalism.

Why do liberals refuse to acknowledge class-based deprivation as a defining factor in the angst and animus of the laboring class?

In short, an honest reckoning would cause Liberalcrats to acknowledge classism is, as is the case with sexism and racism, hurtful, destructive, and flat-out reprehensible. Moreover, an acknowledgement would call them to account for their own privilege thus revealing the imperative to make amends and provide restitution for their complicity in the oppression inflicted on the less fortunate by capitalism, the system that is the source of liberal affluence and the progenitor of their snobbery.

A Buffer for the Rich

The Liberal Class have, on an historical basis, acted as the buffer zone between leftist, minority, and laboring-class aspirations and the capitalist over-class -- i.e., the bestower of liberacrat privilege. As the man limned in lyric, "same as it ever was." Thus we come upon a reason for the mistrust held by people languishing on the boot-on-the-neck side of the capitalist class divide for economically privileged liberals.

Moreover, when was a last time you noticed a laboring class person parroting that the meany-pants Russian Bear ate poor, little Hillary's homework fool's mythos? The Cold War 2.0 tall tale that avers:

"Putin has penetrated the precious bodily fluids of the U.S. electoral system," as a Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper of the Liberal Class might rant, thereby coming off like a liberal version of Alex Jones reading the minutes of a John Birch Society meeting, circa 1955, on communist infiltration of the Ladies' Auxiliary Bingo Club, due to reports of an inordinate number of winners wearing red poodle skirts.

In short, there is a howling, class chasm between the cultural criteria that separates affluent liberals from the struggling laboring class. How could sneaky Vladi and his fake news-wielding squads of internet Cossacks be responsible for the neoliberal economy, comprised of low wage, no benefits, no future mcjobs, that plague the working life of the latter? Thus the Russiagate storyline holds little resonance for downscale working people.

The rise of rightist demagogues and their angst-ridden, resentment-reeking followers, both on an historical and present day basis, can be traced to a primary source: the loss of hope and the daily doses of humiliation inflicted on the working class by capitalist economic despotism. In the hollow regions of the psyche where hope has been banished, rage rises and fills the aching void.

Adding to the host of miseries, an odious aspect of the capitalist greedscape imparts, in both an overt and subliminal basis, the insidious message: The psychical injuries inflicted by the economic order are caused by personal failings. If internalized, concomitant feelings of shame will torment the mind of the sufferer -- feelings freighted with intense self-reproach that tend to manifest themselves in a host of pathologies, e.g., intense anxiety and severe depression.

Hence, the dark art of shame displacement, in the form of racist and xenophobic tropes, can and will be retailed by demagogues. Don't blame the capitalist Plundering Class, they exhort, instead blame immigrants and minorities (who, in reality, are also victims of capitalism's inherent depravities) for your dismal prospects. Build an unscalable border wall, deport the interlopers en masse, put an end to the practice of "reverse racism" (of which, polls reveal the majority of white people, in utter defiance of reality, believe is widespread) then America's greatness will be restored and the usurped futures of hard-working, true Americans will be seized back from undeserving hordes of interlopers.

A deft demagogue's tropes of blame shifting can serve to dissipate feelings of aloneness and mitigate the miasmic shame attendant to capitalist economic despotism, a phenomenon that liberals, and history confirms the tragic fact, ignore at the peril of all concerned.

Russia-gate to the Rescue

And what is the Democrats plan? From all appearances, a full spectrum deployment of more of the same.

Thus we arrive at the question: How can they display such a yawning disconnect from reality? And we shamble into the tawdry reality: The Democratic Party elite and their cynical operatives possess the sum total of nada desire to be connected with anyone other than their economic elite benefactors -- withal, the only constituency to whom they possess any degree of fealty.

Thus Democratic partisans cling to the salvation fantasy that an act of deus ex machina will soon be at hand. But how many times now has Trump's trajectory toward impeachment been assured by some new revelation yet nothing substantive comes of the vaporous evidence?

Present-day Democrats bring to mind the image of a sad, aged prom queen, passed over by time, possessed by magical-thinking-borne fantasies involving the appearance of an imaginary gentleman suitor whose arrival will restore her faded glory.

The crackbrained fantasies shield Democratic partisans from being buffeted by the reckoning: They are affiliated with the go-to Party of Wall Street and of neoliberal and militarist imperium.

It comes down to this: Almost everyone, at this point, sees through Trump's popinjay ways. Barack Obama, aka former President Citigroup von Drone, was a far more effective con man. How so? Liberals had the Wall Street bagman and multicultural imperialist Obama's back. At present, after his two terms, he is luxuriating in the cash-redolent embrace of his High Dollar benefactors , as all the while, bedecked in their broken tiara and torn prom dress regalia, Democratic Party loyalist pine away for another sweet lie-proffering, political Lothario to replace the likes of Obama's charming vapidity.

"I don't want realism. I want magic" -- Blanche DuBois, from Tennessee William stage play, "A Streetcar Named Desire."

What a cringe-inducing sight it is. One almost could be moved to pity in regard to Democrats' Blanche DuBois theatrics. But, of course, gentle, vulnerable Blanche never acted as an apologist for drone murder nor blamed Russian meddling for her troubled plight.

Unlike impoverished Blanche, blown and buffeted by circumstance into the seedy precincts of (un-gentrified) New Orleans' French Quarter, it is difficult to work up any degree of sympathy for contemporary Democrats, enclosed as they are in their insular, bristling, psychical citadels, from where they unloose volleys of supercilious scorn upon those who remain unmoved by their partisan casuistry and are rankled by the condescension they direct at those who are not graced with their privileged status.

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living, now, in Munich, Germany. He may be contacted: philrockstroh.scribe@gmail.com and at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/phil.rockstroh

jo6pac , October 31, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Thanks Phil R. Yes the demodogs party is dead but it's leaders are still cashing in on the same old song and dance. If the cash stops coming who knows just maybe it will become the party of the people but only be kidnapped again by money. Money has no place in politics.

Craig Watson , October 31, 2017 at 8:30 pm

On the other hand, politics is all about money (one way or another), since time immorial. (Even Native Americans had wars to survive – as did all Native Peoples worldwide, but was that the same as "all about money", as it is these days?)

Brad Owen , November 1, 2017 at 7:15 am

The Beaver Wars of the 1600s have been forgotten, as competing Amerindian Nations were egged on by the (British Empire was it? or the French Empire?? does it make any difference?) to bring in the Beaver pelts in exchange for useful European wares (which, supposedly, lead to the practice of scalping-as-proof-of-a-kill of defiant anti-imperial colonists??). I've read where it was primarily the Beaver and his natural water-management ways that made this Continent an Emerald Jewel. Who knew back then?

Brad Owen , November 1, 2017 at 7:27 am

Everyone's too busy with "smash & grab" capitalism, and the day's hall of booty, to think about other things, I guess.

DFC , October 31, 2017 at 9:34 pm

This whole article can be summed up by this 6 minute video from a liberal Brit here:

President Trump: How & Why.. (trigger warning)

h**ps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLG9g7BcjKs

It is hysterical, but 100% on the mark. IMHO (NSFW)

Drew Hunkins , October 31, 2017 at 6:09 pm

The careerism of the "respected" mass media commentators, journalists and talking heads could lead the world to nuclear war. Many of these whores know exactly what they're doing. Many of them know there was no attempt by the Kremlin to "hack" the election or otherwise interfere in the election but they feed the public repetitive nonsense over and over and over again.

That otherwise liberal minded, intelligent people are buying into this dangerous group think is one of the more incredible things I've ever witnessed.

People's critical thinking faculties have left them. Otherwise intelligent people are bereft of critical thinking skills when it comes to the big bad Trumpenstein and it's horrifying to see this all play out.

Attack Trump for the right reasons, NOT because he desire rapprochement with Moscow and dared to suggest the Washington empire should be reined in a bit. (Yes, he's a train wreck when it comes to Iran, and he should be duly admonished for it, but that's NOT the reason the mainstream media are going after him.)

Right now we need doves in Washington (if there are any left) trying their damnedest to have a dialogue with Moscow. Just very recently the imbecilic Pence was at a nuclear launch site in Minot ND pontificating to the assembled media and personnel about how they must be fully prepared to launch! This is preposterous and dangerous lunacy.

Washington has been virtually taken over by a militaristic-Zionist cabal that's currently dead set on destabilizing relationships among nuclear powers. The demonization towards the Kremlin at a time when the major media are fomenting a witch hunt atmosphere is breathtaking to behold. That liberals -- in their hatred of the big bad Trumpenstein -- are going along with this terrifying group think is one of the more irrational and incredible dynamics I've ever witnessed in my decades of following the politico-economic scene.

Hate Trump for the right reasons. Don't fall for a Paul Singer, Bill Kristol, et. al., orchestrated propaganda campaign.

Fitzgerald said the mark of a true intellectual is to hold two opposing views in one's mind simultaneously and maintain the ability to function.

Abe , October 31, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Blanche DuBois: "I'm very adaptable to circumstances."

D.H. Fabian , October 31, 2017 at 6:37 pm

I've no idea if there was a "defection of white working class people." I personally doubt it. What I do know: The Dem voting base had long consisted of the masses -- poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, for the common good. The Clinton wing split this base wide apart in the 1990s, middle class vs. poor, and the Obama years served to confirmed that this split is permanent. With this, much work was done to increase racial tensions. Democrats divided and conquered the Democratic Party.

Diane Pfaeffle , October 31, 2017 at 6:47 pm

I just find this to be nonsense. Why not call both political parties to the wood shed, why are democrats so different from Republicans? We need to have an open discussion about how both of our political parties are failing us.

I think of myself as a liberal, not a Democrat. I could give a rat's ass about the Democratic Party. I listened to Perez double talk a reporter about questions on the Trump Dossier. I watched Chris Hayes last night make a fool of himself interviewing yet again the crazy Carter Page. I come here and read your meaningless rant about Democrats, and understand completely why this country is in the position it is. Not only am I disgusted with Republicans and Democrats, I am also tired of listening to the likes of you.

M. L. , October 31, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Diane, I think I know why this makes people feel defensive. I had been a lifelong Democrat, but after I got fooled by Obama, I left the party. I consider myself "liberal" too, especially socially. But I do think the author has good points. Though he seems to have a disdainful attitude himself, perhaps due to some hard knocks he himself has experienced over his lifetime, I definitely understand the argument he is making. This past election season was so brutal.

I lost a couple of good friends because they could not abide my criticism of Hillary and the Dems in general. They were furious at me for not voting for her. They, like myself, are decidedly middle class with good educations. I know I have been priveledged to have gone to college and thrived as a master's prepared NP for many years. But I see exactly what he is saying about liberals and Dems in particular, who just never give a thought to our country's despicable, destructive imperialism or the suffering of many of the working classes among us. As a nurse, I saw it all up close and it was personal. Our country's leaders have not had concern for our common good for decades now. Most of my friends can hear my socialist points of view and my criticisms of our duopoly; they do not get offended. But some of them are really quite obstinate. They are very comfortable and they do NOT like the fact that they support bellicose, inhumane, and corrupt politicians "thrown in their faces."

falcemartello , October 31, 2017 at 8:16 pm

FDR says it all. post Stevenson and JFK the dems died. We saw abit of it during the Carter regime but by that time pax-amaericana settled in.
The so called liberals /progressives like most things related to politics and economics and i might add sociology is living in a dangerous mind set of confirmation bias. Left right paradigm has been polluted to the point it no longer means anything. Just think of the Reagan regime when the masters of the universe came up with thew phrase REAGAN DEMOCRATS.

Working class has been totally decimated. Poverty class is the norm. 50 percent of us are below the poverty line .Average incomes are at historical lows 30 thousand Fiat Us dollars per annum. The widest economic gap since the Gilded age. That in itself says alot. The so called liberal intellectual class /progressive has become the new propaganda wing for pax-amaericana. This is where the Right meets the left and fuse into this hydra like dystopia and incoherent dissonance.

Here is where the Likes of Gianbattista Vico and Antonio Gramsci become more relevant today than during their time.. Vico the father of national tribalisitic sovereignty and Gramsci the father of debunking the marxist mythology of dialectical materialism.

Gramsci used to refer to Trotsky as the whore of the fascist. Globalism under the guises of our progressives and social justice warriors have become the new totalitarian norm filled with confirmation bias and naked ignorance. They have created this glass bubble of reality that suits the masters of the universe and we the sheeple just sit by and watch the new Orwellian night mare.

This new political cycle will bring the death to both parties be it the RNC or the DNC. Trump has been a godsend and has basically taken us behind the Curtain of the Wizard of (OZ) pax-Americana. the only people left believing this smoke and mirror and pony show are the progressives the die hard america is great crowd .

jacobo , October 31, 2017 at 10:28 pm

To paraphrase JFK – workers of America, blame not yourselves, blame capitalism, the economic system that keeps you down, down, down.

Unfortunately, for the survival of all living beings, rather than attempt to figure out why and how the system is doing them in, it's much easier and seemingly more direct to look for flesh & blood scapegoats (immigrants, blacks, jews,etc. etc.) Not that it's all so complicated or that the answers aren't available, but that for those feeling the pain of self-doubt and shame, scapegoating allows a quick (albeit, temporary) fix for their psychic misery. On the other hand, even when the worker figures things out, what then? Overthrow the system? Yes, but that's no easy task, surely nothing the individual worker can accomplish by herself, requires organization, mass participation as well as an agreed upon plan and vision. So much easier to seek immediate lessening of one's suffering through scapegoating. Still, for the survival of all living beings, change the world we must. How? Somehow, we must find a way to prove to the workers that we not only understand their dire plight, but would like to sit down with them so that together we might work out what needs to be done.

mike k , November 1, 2017 at 7:33 am

What to do? That's the ghost that hovers over our detailed analyses of all that's out of joint with our times. That's the seemingly insoluble koan that haunts our dreams and waking hours. A deeply asleep mass consciousness mightily resists being awakened to the danger staring us in the face – we just don't want to see it

Larry Gates , November 1, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Workers now blame the Democratic Party, their one time advocate. It's easy to see why. The elitist New Democrats think ordinary working people are beneath them, yet they kiss up to Wall Street, Big Pharma, and the military-industrial-security complex. Most Democrats I know care more about their investment in the soaring stock market than they do about the plight of American workers, whose quality of life and economic security is rapidly slipping away.

Scapegoating is a predictable social phenomenon during bad economic times. For three-fourths of America, these are terrible economic times. They are bogged down by credit card debt, student loans, etc. They can't find any good paying jobs now that deindustrialization, offshoring, and the financialization of the economy has taken place. Which is worse: scapegoating or the short-term greed of the Wall-Street oligarchs, who hide their money overseas to avoid paying taxes, who fight against worker rights, who recklessly gamble with other people's money and expect the government to bail them out when they screw up?

No political revolution is going to come from the elitist, well-educated professional class who now control the Democratic Party. Intellectuals on the Left will have to reach out to ordinary people who work from paycheck to paycheck. Hillary ignored them, and Hillary lost.

Dave P. , November 1, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Larry Gates –

Excellent Comments. Perfectly said and very true. All my liberal friends are exactly as you said. They are all well off and looking day and night at their stock portfolios and investments, and looking down on the deplorables and all others below them like labor type people which are mostly Hispanic here in California. In fact, some of them employ these people in their homes. Many of these social friends come from homes which were rather well off .

In my own home, there is always this bickering whenever we have labor or service people like carpet cleaners, painters work in our home. I pay them generously or tip them if they work for a company or other owners of business. My wife – a liberal and a very committed Hillary devotee – always argues with me for overpaying/tipping them and not concerned about money. Yet we go out and easily burn over a hundred dollars for dinner. It depends from which background we come from and what we learned in our young age – my parents were dirt poor farmers owning little over an acre of land. All these workers in California and elsewhere and Hillary's deplorables are being exploited to run this War Economy for the benefit of the upper classes and super rich.

It is a very good article, though quite a few words in it are rather complicated. A person like me has to consult dictionary to find the meaning which becomes annoying. I hope that Phil Rockstroh use simple words in his next article so that even Hillary's deplorables can understand it easily.

Wm. Boyce , November 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm

While it is true that the Democratic party is corrupt, millions of people such as yours truly have had affordable health care premiums for the last three years because of the Dems policy initiative. They also paid dearly for it in the following election. It's easy for the author – living in a country that's had a public health care system since the late 19th century – to lob stones.

I don't think there's any comparison between the Republican party's corruption and the Dems – the Democrats are rank amateurs compared with the current bunch of criminals running the country. I'm amazed that so many people on this board are so out of touch.

Larry Gates , November 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Democrats are terrible, but the Republicans are even worse. Somehow that doesn't make me feel good about the Democrats, who have become the Republican Lite-Party. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did more to move the country to the Right than any Republican could have done.

Every single accomplishment of Bill Clinton was originally a Republican idea. ObamaCare came out a Republican think tank. Obama's TPP is a Republican program. Also, today Democrats are bigger warmongers than the Republicans. I most respectfully turn in my voter registration card. I am now a progressive Independent.

Jessica K , November 1, 2017 at 1:04 pm

I worked in health care for years, and both parties ensured that health care was poorly done for average Americans. FDR wanted a national health care plan as part of the New Deal, but it's a wonder he got the New Deal through at all with Big Business mobilized against him. Obama totally caved to the insurers' interests when he approved the federal version of "Romney-care" which we had in Massachusetts, after many, many people, including doctors, had urged him to institute single payer. So I don't buy that argument that "At least we got Obamacare from the Democrats". And what Democrats are doing now with the Russia hysteria is equal to wiping out what anyone might have thought made them "better than Republicans". Both parties are in bed with Wall Street, Corporate Capitalism, and Warmongers.

[Oct 29, 2017] US senator wants former DNC head, Clinton campaign manager to testify on Trump-Russia dossier

Notable quotes:
"... "absolutely need to be recalled." ..."
"... "It's difficult to imagine that a campaign chairman, that the head of the DNC would not know of an expenditure of this magnitude and significance. But perhaps there's something more going on here. But certainly it's worth additional questioning of those two witnesses," ..."
"... "more than anyone." ..."
"... On the same day, Elias' law firm, Perkins Coie, which represented the Clinton campaign and the DNC, confirmed it had hired Fusion GPS in April 2016. The funding arrangement brokered in the spring of 2016 lasted until right before the election, AP reported earlier this week, citing sources familiar with the matter. ..."
"... The document, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, alleged a compromising relationship between Trump and the Kremlin. It was finalized in December 2016, and published online by BuzzFeed in January. It contained unsubstantiated claims of links and allegations of deals between Moscow and the Trump campaign. ..."
"... It was funded initially by a Republican-funded journalism website, The Washington Free Beacon. However, the website insisted the enquiry had no Russian angle at that time. The alleged collusion between Trump and Russia became the focal point of the research after it was taken over by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). ..."
"... The Clinton campaign paid more than $5.6 million to Perkins Coie, recording the expenditures as "legal services," ..."
"... "legal and compliance consulting" ..."
"... "Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier," ..."
"... "so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out." ..."
"... "commonly agreed" ..."
Oct 29, 2017 | www.rt.com

Several top Democrats should be summoned to testify before the US Senate Intelligence Committee on the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has said. Her remarks were prompted by new revelations linking the file to the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, Collins, who is a member of the Senate's Intelligence Committee, was emphatic that Hillary Clinton's election campaign manager, John Podesta, and the former head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Debbie Wasserman Schultz, "absolutely need to be recalled."

She added that they were most likely aware of the Democrats role in the preparation of this document.

"It's difficult to imagine that a campaign chairman, that the head of the DNC would not know of an expenditure of this magnitude and significance. But perhaps there's something more going on here. But certainly it's worth additional questioning of those two witnesses," she told CBS' Face the Nation.

Read more © Alex Edelman / Global Look Press Senate to examine financial records of firm behind notorious Trump-Russia dossier

She said further that Marc Elias, a lawyer representing Hillary for America and the DNC, should be questioned "more than anyone." On Tuesday, the Washington Post alleged that Elias retained research firm Fusion GPS in April 2016 to continue research into Trump's alleged coordination with Russia; and which later became known as the Steele dossier.

On the same day, Elias' law firm, Perkins Coie, which represented the Clinton campaign and the DNC, confirmed it had hired Fusion GPS in April 2016. The funding arrangement brokered in the spring of 2016 lasted until right before the election, AP reported earlier this week, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The document, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, alleged a compromising relationship between Trump and the Kremlin. It was finalized in December 2016, and published online by BuzzFeed in January. It contained unsubstantiated claims of links and allegations of deals between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

It was funded initially by a Republican-funded journalism website, The Washington Free Beacon. However, the website insisted the enquiry had no Russian angle at that time. The alleged collusion between Trump and Russia became the focal point of the research after it was taken over by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The Clinton campaign paid more than $5.6 million to Perkins Coie, recording the expenditures as "legal services," according to the Federal Election Commission. The DNC paid the law firm more than $2.9 million for "legal and compliance consulting" and reported $66,500 for research consulting.

Clinton/DNC paid for the Trump-Russia dossier - DETAILS https://t.co/dPBsSDfOIf

-- RT (@RT_com) October 25, 2017

Taking note of the recent revelations concerning the dossier, the US House Intelligence Committee has been granted access to Fusion GPS bank account records as part of its investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

On Sunday, Donald Trump lashed out in a series of tweets at the dossier and said something should be done about Hillary Clinton's links to the "fake dossier," as the US president put it.

"Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier," he wrote, later adding, that there is "so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out."

Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier (now $12,000,000?),....

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2017

Earlier this week, Trump said it is "commonly agreed" that there was no collusion between his presidential bid and the Russian government, and accused Clinton of being the one who really colluded with Russia.

[Oct 28, 2017] Is [neo]Liberalism a Dying Faith by Pat Buchanan

Highly recommended!
Nationalism really represent a growing threat to neoliberalism. It is clear the the rise of nationalism was caused by the triumph of neoliberalism all over the globe. As neoliberal ideology collapsed in 2008, thing became really interesting now. Looks like 1920th-1940th will be replayed on a new level with the USA neoliberal empire under stress from new challengers instead of British empire.
Rumor about the death of neoliberalism are slightly exaggerated ;-). This social system still has a lot of staying power. you need some external shock like the need of cheap oil (defined as sustainable price of oil over $100 per barrel) to shake it again. Of some financial crisis similar to the crisis of 2008. Currently there is still no alternative social order that can replace it. Collapse of the USSR discredited both socialism even of different flavors then was practiced in the USSR. National socialism would be a step back from neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... The retreat of [neo]liberalism is very visible in Asia. All Southeast Asian states have turned their backs on liberal democracy, especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar in the last decade. This NYT article notes that liberalism has essentially died in Japan, and that all political contests are now between what the west would consider conservatives: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/15/opinion/liberalism-japan-election.html ..."
"... What is today called "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" both are simply corrupted labels applied to the same top-down corporate-fascistic elite rule that I think Mr. Buchanan once referred to as "two wings of the same bird of prey." ..."
"... Nobody at the top cares about 'diversity.' They care about the easy profits that come from ever cheaper labor. 'Diversity' is not suicide but rather murder: instigated by a small number of very powerful people who have decided that the long-term health of their nations and civilization is less important than short-term profits and power. ..."
"... Hillary and Obama are to the right of the President that Buchanan served in his White House. Richard Nixon was to the Left of both Hillary and Obama. I can't even imagine Hillary accepting and signing into law a 'Clean Water Act' or enacting Price Controls to fight inflation. No way. Heck would freeze over before Hillary would do something so against her Banker Backers. ..."
"... It's sure that financial (neo)liberalism was in a growth phase prior to year 2000 (under Greenspan, the "Maestro") with a general belief that the economy could be "fine tuned" with risk eliminated using sophisticated financial instruments, monetary policy etc. ..."
"... If [neo] Liberalism is a package, then two heavy financial blows that shook the whole foundation were the collapse of the dot.com bubble (2000) and the mortgage bubble (2008). ..."
"... And, other (self-serving) neoliberal stories are now seen as false. For example, that the US is an "advanced post-industrial service economy", that out-sourcing would "free up Americans for higher skilled/higher wage employment" or that "the US would always gain from tariff free trade". ..."
"... The basic divide is surely Nationalism (America First) vs. Globalism (Neo-Liberalism), as shown by the last US Presidential election. ..."
"... Neoliberalism, of which the Clintons are acolytes, supports Free Trade and Open Borders. Although it claims to support World Government, in actual fact it supports corporatism. This is explicit in the TPPA Trump vetoed. Under the corporate state, the state controls the corporations, as Don Benito did in Italy. Under corporatism, the corporations tell the state what to do, as has been the case in America since at least the Clinton Presidency. ..."
"... But I recall that Pat B also said neoconservatism was on its way out a few years after Iraq war II and yet it's stronger than ever and its adherents are firmly ensconced in the joint chiefs of staff, the pentagon, Congress and the White House. It's also spawned a close cousin in liberal interventionism. ..."
Oct 01, 2002 | www.unz.com

Asked to name the defining attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer that we must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more diverse and more democratic -- and the model for mankind's future.

Equality, diversity, democracy -- this is the holy trinity of the post-Christian secular state at whose altars Liberal Man worships.

But the congregation worshiping these gods is shrinking. And even Europe seems to be rejecting what America has on offer.

In a retreat from diversity, Catalonia just voted to separate from Spain. The Basque and Galician peoples of Spain are following the Catalan secession crisis with great interest.

The right-wing People's Party and far-right Freedom Party just swept 60 percent of Austria's vote, delivering the nation to 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, whose anti-immigrant platform was plagiarized from the Freedom Party. Summarized it is: Austria for the Austrians!

Lombardy, whose capital is Milan, and Veneto will vote Sunday for greater autonomy from Rome.

South Tyrol (Alto Adige), severed from Austria and ceded to Italy at Versailles, written off by Hitler to appease Mussolini after his Anschluss, is astir anew with secessionism. Even the Sicilians are talking of separation.

By Sunday, the Czech Republic may have a new leader, billionaire Andrej Babis. Writes The Washington Post, Babis "makes a sport of attacking the European Union and says NATO's mission is outdated."

Platform Promise: Keep the Muslim masses out of the motherland.

To ethnonationalists, their countrymen are not equal to all others, but superior in rights. Many may nod at Thomas Jefferson's line that "All men are created equal," but they no more practice that in their own nations than did Jefferson in his

... ... ...

European peoples and parties are today using democratic means to achieve "illiberal" ends. And it is hard to see what halts the drift away from liberal democracy toward the restrictive right. For in virtually every nation, there is a major party in opposition, or a party in power, that holds deeply nationalist views.

European elites may denounce these new parties as "illiberal" or fascist, but it is becoming apparent that it may be liberalism itself that belongs to yesterday. For more and more Europeans see the invasion of the continent along the routes whence the invaders came centuries ago, not as a manageable problem but an existential crisis.

To many Europeans, it portends an irreversible alteration in the character of the countries their grandchildren will inherit, and possibly an end to their civilization. And they are not going to be deterred from voting their fears by being called names that long ago lost their toxicity from overuse.

And as Europeans decline to celebrate the racial, ethnic, creedal and cultural diversity extolled by American elites, they also seem to reject the idea that foreigners should be treated equally in nations created for their own kind.

Europeans seem to admire more, and model their nations more, along the lines of the less diverse America of the Eisenhower era, than on the polyglot America of 2017.

And Europe seems to be moving toward immigration polices more like the McCarran-Walter Act of 1950 than the open borders bill that Sen. Edward Kennedy shepherded through the Senate in 1965.

Kennedy promised that the racial and ethnic composition of the America of the 1960s would not be overturned, and he questioned the morality and motives of any who implied that it would.

Jason Liu , October 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm GMT
Yes. Fuck yes.

Liberalism is the naivete of 18th century elites, no different than today. Modernity as you know it is unsustainable, mostly because equality isn't real, identity has value for most humans, pluralism is by definition fractious, and deep down most people wish to follow a wise strongman leader who represents their interests first and not a vague set of universalist values.

Blind devotion to liberal democracy is another one of those times when white people take an abstract concept to weird extremes. It is short-sighted and autistically narrow minded. Just because you have an oppressive king doesn't mean everyone should be equals. Just because there was slavery/genocide doesn't mean diversity is good.

The retreat of [neo]liberalism is very visible in Asia. All Southeast Asian states have turned their backs on liberal democracy, especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar in the last decade. This NYT article notes that liberalism has essentially died in Japan, and that all political contests are now between what the west would consider conservatives: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/15/opinion/liberalism-japan-election.html

Good riddance. The idea that egalitarianism is more advanced than hierarchy has always been false, and flies against the long arc of history. Time for nationalists around the world to smash liberal democracy and build a new modernity based on actual humanism, with respect to hierarchies and the primacy of majorities instead of guilt and pathological compassion dressed up as political ideology.

TG , October 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT
"Liberalism" is not dying. "Liberalism" is dead, and has been since at least 1970.

What is today called "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" both are simply corrupted labels applied to the same top-down corporate-fascistic elite rule that I think Mr. Buchanan once referred to as "two wings of the same bird of prey."

Nobody at the top cares about 'diversity.' They care about the easy profits that come from ever cheaper labor. 'Diversity' is not suicide but rather murder: instigated by a small number of very powerful people who have decided that the long-term health of their nations and civilization is less important than short-term profits and power.

Paul's Ghost , October 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm GMT
Its been dead for nearly 20 years now. Liberalism has long been the Monty Python parrot nailed to its perch. At this point, the term is mainly kept alive in right-wing attacks by people who lack the imagination to change their habitual targets for so long.

To my eye, the last 'liberal' politician died in a susupicious plane crash in 2000 as the Bush Republicans were taking the White House by their famous 5-4 vote/coup and also needed to claim control of the Senate. So, the last authentic 'liberal' Senator, Paul Wellstone of MN was killed in a suspicious plane crash that was never properly explained.

Hillary and Obama are to the right of the President that Buchanan served in his White House. Richard Nixon was to the Left of both Hillary and Obama. I can't even imagine Hillary accepting and signing into law a 'Clean Water Act' or enacting Price Controls to fight inflation. No way. Heck would freeze over before Hillary would do something so against her Banker Backers.

And, at the root, that is the key. The 'Liberals' that the right now rails against are strongly backed and supported by the Wall Street Banks and other corporate leaders. The 'Liberals' have pushed for a government Of the Bankers, By the Bankers and For the Bankers. The 'Liberals' now are in favor of Endless Unconstitutional War around the world.

Which can only mean that the term 'Liberal' has been so completely morphed away from its original meanings to be completely worthless.

The last true Liberal in American politics was Paul Wellstone. And even by the time he died for his sins, he was calling himself a "progressive" because after the Clintons and the Gores had so distorted the term Liberal it was meaningless. Or it had come to mean a society ruled by bankers, a society at constant war and throwing money constantly at a gigantic war machine, a society of censorship where the government needed to control all music lyrics, the same corrupt government where money could by anything from a night in the Lincoln Bedroom to a Presidential Pardon or any other government favor.

Thus, 'Liberals' were a dead movement even by 2000, when the people who actually believed in the American People over the profits of bankers were calling themselves Progressives in disgust at the misuse of the term Liberal. And now, Obama and Hillary have trashed and distorted even the term Progressive into bombing the world 365 days a year and still constantly throwing money at the military machine and the problems it invents.

So, Liberalism is so long dead that if you exumed the grave you'd only find dust. And Pat must be getting senile and just throwing back out the same lines he once wrote as a speechwriter for the last Great Lefty President Richard Nixon.

Miro23 , October 20, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

Is Liberalism a Dying Faith?

Another question is whether this is wishful thinking from Pat or some kind of reality.

I think that he's right, that Liberalism is a dying faith, and it's interesting to check the decline.

It's sure that financial (neo)liberalism was in a growth phase prior to year 2000 (under Greenspan, the "Maestro") with a general belief that the economy could be "fine tuned" with risk eliminated using sophisticated financial instruments, monetary policy etc.

If [neo] Liberalism is a package, then two heavy financial blows that shook the whole foundation were the collapse of the dot.com bubble (2000) and the mortgage bubble (2008).

And, other (self-serving) neoliberal stories are now seen as false. For example, that the US is an "advanced post-industrial service economy", that out-sourcing would "free up Americans for higher skilled/higher wage employment" or that "the US would always gain from tariff free trade".

In fact, the borderless global "world is flat" dogma is now seen as enabling a rootless hyper-rich global elite to draw on a sea of globalized serf labour with little or no identity, while their media and SWJ activists operate a scorched earth defense against any sign of opposition.

The basic divide is surely Nationalism (America First) vs. Globalism (Neo-Liberalism), as shown by the last US Presidential election.

reiner Tor , October 20, 2017 at 6:39 pm GMT
@Randal

A useful analogy might be Viktor Orbán. He started out as a leader of a liberal party, Fidesz, but then over time started moving to the right. It is often speculated that he started it for cynical reasons, like seeing how the right was divided and that there was essentially a vacuum there for a strong conservative party, but there's little doubt he totally internalized it. There's also little doubt (and at the time he and a lot of his fellow party leaders talked about it a lot) that as he (they) started a family and having children, they started to realize how conservatism kinda made more sense than liberalism.

With Kurz, there's the possibility for this path. However, he'd need to start a family soon for that to happen. At that age Orbán was already married with children

Verymuchalive , October 20, 2017 at 10:10 pm GMT
@Paul's Ghost

Liberalism ( large L) is indeed long dead.

Neoliberalism, of which the Clintons are acolytes, supports Free Trade and Open Borders. Although it claims to support World Government, in actual fact it supports corporatism. This is explicit in the TPPA Trump vetoed. Under the corporate state, the state controls the corporations, as Don Benito did in Italy. Under corporatism, the corporations tell the state what to do, as has been the case in America since at least the Clinton Presidency.

Richard Nixon was a capitalist, not a corporatist. He was a supporter of proper competition laws, unlike any President since Clinton. Socially, he was interventionist, though this may have been to lessen criticism of his Vietnam policies. Anyway, his bussing and desegregation policies were a long-term failure.

Price Control was quickly dropped, as it was in other Western countries. Long term Price Control, as in present day Venezuela, is economically disastrous.

KenH , October 21, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT
Let's hope liberalism is a dying faith and that is passes from the Western world. If not it will destroy the West, so if it doesn't die a natural death then we must euthanize it. For the evidence is in and it has begat feminism, anti-white racism, demographic winter, mass third world immigration and everything else that ails the West and has made it the sick and dying man of the world.

But I recall that Pat B also said neoconservatism was on its way out a few years after Iraq war II and yet it's stronger than ever and its adherents are firmly ensconced in the joint chiefs of staff, the pentagon, Congress and the White House. It's also spawned a close cousin in liberal interventionism.

What Pat refers to as "liberalism" is now left wing totalitarianism and anti-white hatred and it's fanatically trying to remain relevant by lashing out and blacklisting, deplatforming, demonetizing, and physically assaulting all of its enemies on the right who are gaining strength much to their chagrin. They resort to these methods because they can't win an honest debate and in a true free marketplace of ideas they lose.

[Oct 28, 2017] A Review of What Happened by an Author Who Insists He Has Never Heard of Hillary Clinton or the 2016 Election Politics by Emmett Rensin

Hilarious and very sharp critique of the new Hillary book. What Happened ,
Oct 04, 2017 | www.pastemagazine.com

Throughout What Happened , Clinton gives us a taste of her literary influences, beginning each section, and each chapter, and sometimes inserting inside of chapters, quotations from Harriet Tubman, Friedrich Nietzsche, A League of Their Own , Rainer Maria Rilke, Eleanor Roosevelt, TS Eliot, George Bernard Shaw, Carl Sandburg, "a sign in my house", Nora Ephron, Muriel Rukeyser, JM Barrie, Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Flannery O'Connor, WB Yeats, "a Chinese proverb", "an African proverb", Fyodor Dostoevsky, Robert Frost, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela , Henry James, and Pope John XIII. I do not know who any of those people are. It seems I've lost them along with every other person in this book. But from the quotations, you can tell that each of them is an advocate for kindness, perseverance, truth, and decency. You can see how each of them helped shape Clinton and her thoughts.

After learning so much about Clinton, it is difficult to read her account of the campaign itself when it arrives slightly more than halfway through the book. It is terrible to witness the tragedy unfold. Clinton ran for president, she says early on, because she "thought I would be good at the job." Others agree, including the current president, Barack Obama , who announces at her convention that she is the most qualified candidate to ever run despite -- Clinton notes -- their disagreement on issues including environmental regulation and an unspecified conflict in Syria (their respective positions are not detailed; however, my research indicates that Clinton was widely believed to be "the most progressive candidate" in history, so one imagines that she disapproved of President Obama's bellicose stance on the issue). But despite her qualifications, or perhaps due to them, Clinton endures a cruelty and depth of opposition unlike anything endured by a candidate for the presidency before her.

First, she faces a primary against a disruptive charlatan. Senator Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat, she tells us, but a socialist attempting to "disrupt" the party. Sanders is at once nearly identical to Clinton on the issues ("because we agreed on so much, Bernie couldn't make an argument against me in this area on policy, so he had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character," she writes) and hopelessly reactionary -- a man willing to compromise on Clinton's key issues of gun violence and racial justice in order to give free "ponies", "magic abs", and taxpayer-funded college education to rich children. Sanders' supporters are vicious -- Clinton calls them "Bernie Bros" twice in her book -- and go so far as to boo her at the Democratic National Convention. Sanders himself, despite campaigning for Clinton (something she graciously "appreciated"), refused to endorse her for nearly a month after the end of their contest. Despite Clinton's record and character, Sanders attacked her integrity even after the delegate math is done. This shameless new anti-Clinton strategy "[paves] the way for Donald Trump's 'Crooked Hillary' campaign" during the general and does "lasting damage" to the party.

None of this compares to what comes next. In a section called "Frustration," Clinton reveals that it was not only her Republican opponent who she was up against in the general election last year. Beyond Trump, Clinton must contend with a news media that operates under special "Clinton rules" designed to make all of her behavior appear nefarious, most notably a server management issue during her time at the State Department. She is attacked by Republican congressmen and Senators, who haul her before pointless special committees in order to score cheap political points on TV. She is "knifed" by FBI director James Comey, whose release of a damning and unprecedented letter only days before the election costs Clinton essential margins in several states. Beyond all of this, Clinton faces an unprecedented espionage effort by a man named Vladimir Putin. Putin, Clinton tells us, has a personal grudge against her born of her previous work as Secretary of State and in order to keep her from the presidency, he orders Russian intelligence services to attack her candidacy on all fronts.

The Russians seed propaganda through American social media networks. They steal internal emails from her campaign and release them at the most damaging possible times. They hack voting systems and even collaborate directly with members of Trump's campaign. This was an act of war, Clinton writes, and one cannot help but sense an unspoken anger at President Obama, who knew what was going on, but chose not to make a public declaration.

In other reviews of What Happened, I have seen the claim that Clinton refuses to take responsibility for her loss. Perhaps this is in reference to some other book or statement long since lost to my memory, because in this book, it simply isn't true. In nearly every chapter, Clinton repeats some version of the idea that the blame for losing the 2016 election rests with her alone. It is only that given everything else we learn -- given the "tribalism" of the electorate, the vendetta of the Russians, the opposition that she, like all subversive figures, faced from even her own state's secret police -- given all of those things and how all of those things are invariably mentioned either immediately before or immediately after any moment when Clinton takes responsibility for her defeat, given all of that it is difficult to escape the impression that while she might take the blame, no reasonable person would put the blame on Clinton.

Indeed the strangest element of What Happened is the widespread belief, both within and without the Clinton campaign, that she would win. I can only take her word that this was widely believed, but it is difficult to fathom. The Clinton I discovered in these pages was a radical. From the moment she left her position as president of Wellesley's Republican club (a detail she mentioned, much to my shock, in the book's final pages), Clinton fought relentlessly against the entrenched, reactionary forces of her nation. As a young woman, she demonstrated against the imperial war in Vietnam. As an attorney, she was on the front lines against Jim Crow. In public service, she stood up not only to despots like Vladimir Putin, but to the most powerful corporations in the United States, proposing redistributive taxes and "truly universal" health care, even flirting with a guaranteed basic income funded by capital derivatives from nationalized resource services.

Writing about the decline of American labor solidarity, Clinton writes that "being part of a union is an important part of someone's personal identity. It helps shape the way you view the world and think about politics. When that's gone, it means a lot of people stop identifying primarily as workers -- and voting accordingly -- and start identifying and voting as white, male, rural, or all of the above." This account of class-consciousness puts Clinton to the left of even celebrated American essayist Ta-Nehisi Coates. How could anyone be naïve enough to believe that her victory was guaranteed? She was a radical taking on the establishment and the establishment is never more vicious than when it is protecting itself from a figure who has proven herself willing and able to defeat them. For the Clinton of What Happened to win the Presidency in a country like the United States would have been miraculous. Nothing in the history I can remember suggests that this was ever likely.

[Oct 27, 2017] Hillary has achieved Mother Goddess status simply by achieving nothing -- except tons of cash. The devotees of a cult are by definition deaf, blind and dumb. The deity encourages their fervour daily by bestowing glamor and celebrity on their dull, everyday lives.

Notable quotes:
"... Rocky and Bullwinkle ..."
"... Also: "Now she is making what bar-napkin math suggests must be at least $700,000 a night." Since the theatre had 3,500 seats, and the reporter paid $200 for a seat in the top row of the upper balcony, he could be right about Clinton's gross. I'd love a transcript of one of these things . ..."
Oct 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Fear and loathing on Hillary Clinton's grievance tour" [ The Week ].

"Why, if you believe that miscellaneous 'Russians' -- at one point she referred to a generic character named 'Igor,' which is funny if your level of engagement with Russian culture does not extend far beyond Rocky and Bullwinkle horizons -- bought Twitter ads in the hope of targeting 60- and 70-something union retirees in Macomb County, Michigan, would you not think you really won?

Also: "Now she is making what bar-napkin math suggests must be at least $700,000 a night." Since the theatre had 3,500 seats, and the reporter paid $200 for a seat in the top row of the upper balcony, he could be right about Clinton's gross. I'd love a transcript of one of these things .

Kokuanani , October 27, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Wow, the Walther article from The Week ["Fear and Loathing on Hillary Clinton's Grievance Tour"] is terrific!!! Thanks for linking.

Now if only I had some non-brainwashed friends I could send it to.

Quentin , October 27, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Hillary has achieved Mother Goddess status simply by achieving nothing -- except tons of cash. The devotees of a cult are by definition deaf, blind and dumb. The deity encourages their fervour daily by bestowing glamor and celebrity on their dull, everyday lives.

flora , October 27, 2017 at 3:39 pm

You could send them this youtoob video if they want to know what happened to voter enthusiasm for team Dem this year. (long but worth watching.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=33&v=V8ERFwZoPXE

Arizona Slim , October 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm

I especially enjoyed the conversation between the Ann Arbor mother and her 9-year-old daughter.

Mom: Wasn't that great?

Daughter: It was boring.

And here I thought I was the only one who thought Hillary was a boring speaker.

[Oct 27, 2017] Angry people vote. Complacent people sometimes vote and sometimes don't. And dispirited or disillusioned people stay home.

Oct 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

L , October 27, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Regarding this piece: "Politics is not all that complicated. It is a game of incentives. And, right now there is no incentive for Republicans to split from the President" [Amy Walter, Cook Political Report].

I have to say thank you for putting me on to her writing. To my mind though the most important point in the piece is this one:

Here's why this matters: Angry people vote. Complacent people sometimes vote and sometimes don't. And dispirited or disillusioned people stay home.

That is the basics of all victories. If the DNC cared about winning as opposed to fundraising they would take that to heart. But signing up voters it seems,is just not what they *do* only slinging tote bags.

[Oct 27, 2017] Why didn't Democrats pass legislation in 2009 to eliminate the right to work legislation by states? The answeer is they want Wall street money.

Oct 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

DJG , October 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Portside article about NAFTA, unions, and Canadian unions: Here is a paragraph from the underlying article at New York Magazine about the three sponsors:

On Wednesday, Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, and Kirsten Gillibrand announced their agreement -- and introduced legislation to ban "right-to-work" laws throughout the United States.

[NY Mag article is dated 20 Sept 2017]

The sooner we collectively kill off the feudal idea of "right to work," the better. Right now, though, we're only what -- sixty, seventy–years too late?

Scott , October 27, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Why didn't Democrats pass legislation in 2009 to eliminate it?

It was one of the few policies that I could think of what would actually, you know, help the win elections. But then I realized the the purpose of the DNC isn't actually to win elections, it's to raise money from Wall Street, Hollywood and Silcon Valley to pay for consultants.

Huey Long , October 27, 2017 at 5:06 pm

Why didn't Democrats pass legislation in 2009 to eliminate it?

Yeah, Captain Hope'N-Change failed to deliver labor any meaningful legislation during his eight years in office.

Labor was essentially told "We put some friendly faces on the NLRB and in the judiciary. Be thankful, and forget about card check or right to work preemption."

Sid_finster , October 27, 2017 at 7:40 pm

" the purpose of the DNC isn't actually to win elections, it's to raise money from Wall Street, Hollywood and Silcon Valley to pay for consultants."

Money.

Henry Moon Pie , October 27, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Good luck with that. The Rs ads write themselves.

And it's a bad look anyway. With the basically insurmountable barriers to organizing under the Wagner Act these days, a focus on making sure the money keeps flowing, much of it ending up in the Ds campaign coffers. How about repealing Taft-Hartley?

Maybe unions would be better off with less bureaucracy and more member participation. Do it like the Wobs: you come to the meeting, you pay your dues, you voice your opinion and you vote.

Huey Long , October 27, 2017 at 5:16 pm

How about repealing Taft-Hartley?

Here here!

Repealing Taft-Hartley would bring back:

The Closed Shop
Jurisdictional Strikes
Secondary Boycotts
Common Situs Picketing
A Ban on Right-to-Work
A Ban on presidential interventions in strikes
Supervisor's Unions
Employer Nuetrality

Hopefully this happens before I die. I would absolutely love to see the yacht and learjet owning class in tears!

a different chris , October 27, 2017 at 6:06 pm

>The Rs ads write themselves.

They not only write themselves they've already been written and burned into the brain. True or not, there they are. So what are you risking?

The thing is the D-time is well past the point (no House, no Senate, no Pres, vanishing amount of Govs, vanishing amount of State leges..) where saying "That's not true!!" can be considered a winning strategy, even if you could show me what you've won by saying it.

How about "hell yeah that's how we feel, America rocked (when we had strong labor)". Stand up to the bully for once, again whaddya got to lose now. I often wonder what Steve Gilliard would say at this point, he always made sure that us white people realized that something was better than nothing when you were looking at absolutely nothing at all . but things have sunk so low would he still feel that what has become nothing more than an orderly, but continuous retreat should be sustained? Or is it time to dig in and really declare full throated opposition?

(like the rest of your post, just think the time to avoid things is past)

DJG , October 27, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Henry Moon Pie: So? Let's repeal the Wagner Act and Taft-Hartley. And let's not pre-defeat ourselves.

Just as Lambert keeps reminding us, Who would have though five years ago that the momentum is now toward single-payer health insurance even if the current couple of bills don't pass? For years, John Conyers carried on the fight almost single-handedly. And now we have influential physicians stumping for single-payer.

[Oct 27, 2017] Deep State Gone Wild Comey Asserts Unprecedented FBI Supremacy

Comey is actually a politician. And he definitely wanted to keep Russiagate hot, and probably was instrumental in creating it ... As this situation suits him political desire for higher autonomy from Justice Department
Notable quotes:
"... James Comey asserted in his extraordinary testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is authorized to override Justice Department oversight procedures, a questionable claim which if true would raise serious questions about long-standing rules aimed at preventing abuses by federal law enforcement officials. ..."
"... The former head of the FBI told the Senate panel that he believed he had received a direction from the president in February that the FBI end its investigation of Michael Flynn's alleged involvement with Russia -- a direction with which he and his kitchen-cabinet of "FBI senior leadership" unilaterally decided not to comply. The Comey cabinet then decided that it would not report the receipt of this direction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other Justice Department superior. ..."
"... Rosenstein criticized Comey's decision to act without consultation from the Department of Justice as usurping the Attorney General's authority and an attempt to "supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. Comey had violated a "well-established process" for how to deal with situations where to Attorney General faces a conflict of interest, according to Rosenstein. ..."
"... "The Director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General's authority on July 5, 2016," Rosenstein wrote. "The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department . ..."
"... Comey's assertion that the FBI can override standard protocols could endanger that independence, according to a former high-ranking federal law enforcement official. ..."
"... "Mr. Comey is describing an FBI director who essentially answers to no one. But the police powers of the government are awesome and often abused, and the only way to prevent or correct abuses is to report to elected officials who are accountable to voters. A director must resist intervention to obstruct an investigation, but he and the agency must be politically accountable or risk becoming the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover," the Wall Street Journal wrote . ..."
"... A 2005 report from the FBI's Office of Inspector General on the Department of Justice's guidelines for FBI investigations stated, "Attorneys General and FBI leadership have uniformly agreed that the Attorney General Guidelines are necessary and desirable, and they have referred to the FBI's adherence to the Attorney General Guidelines as the reason why the FBI should not be subjected to a general legislative charter or to statutory control over the exercise of some of its most intrusive authorities. " ..."
Jun 08, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

James Comey asserted in his extraordinary testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is authorized to override Justice Department oversight procedures, a questionable claim which if true would raise serious questions about long-standing rules aimed at preventing abuses by federal law enforcement officials.

The former head of the FBI told the Senate panel that he believed he had received a direction from the president in February that the FBI end its investigation of Michael Flynn's alleged involvement with Russia -- a direction with which he and his kitchen-cabinet of "FBI senior leadership" unilaterally decided not to comply. The Comey cabinet then decided that it would not report the receipt of this direction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other Justice Department superior.

The group decided that it could override standard FBI protocol and possibly legal obligations to report the incident because of its expectations that Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia matter, although that recusal would not come until weeks later. The Comey cabinet also decided that it wasn't obligated to approach the acting Deputy Attorney General because he would likely be replaced soon.

"We concluded it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations. (He did so two weeks later.) The Deputy Attorney General's role was then filled in an acting capacity by a United States Attorney, who would also not be long in the role," Comey said. "After discussing the matter, we decided to keep it very closely held, resolving to figure out what to do with it down the road as our investigation progressed."

According to three different former federal law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, there is no precedent for the director of the FBI to refuse to inform a Deputy Attorney General of a matter because of his or her "acting" status nor to use the expectation of a recusal as a basis for withholding information.

"This is an extraordinary usurpation of power. Not something you'd expect from the supposedly by-the-books guys at the top of the FBI," one of those officials told Breitbart News.

The closest precedent to the Comey cabinet's decision to conceal information from Justice Department superiors is likely Comey's widely criticized earlier decision to go public about the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails. That decision received a sharp rebuke in the May 9 memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that formed the basis for Comey's firing by Trump.

Rosenstein criticized Comey's decision to act without consultation from the Department of Justice as usurping the Attorney General's authority and an attempt to "supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. Comey had violated a "well-established process" for how to deal with situations where to Attorney General faces a conflict of interest, according to Rosenstein.

"The Director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General's authority on July 5, 2016," Rosenstein wrote. "The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department . There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation's most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders."

Comey's testimony on Thursday seemed to double-down on this defense, which amounts to a claim that the FBI's top agents can act outside of the ordinary processes intended to establish oversight and accountability at the nation's top law enforcement agency.

The FBI's adherence to Department of Justice guidelines and instructions from Attorneys General has been a centerpiece of its ongoing independence, often cited by officials as a reason why the FBI does not need a general legislative charter that would restrict or control by statute its authority. Comey's assertion that the FBI can override standard protocols could endanger that independence, according to a former high-ranking federal law enforcement official.

"He's not only put the credibility of the bureau in doubt, he's now putting the entire basis for our independence in jeopardy," the official said.

The official pointed to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal as explaining the dangers of an FBI that decides not to inform the Department of Justice of its activities.

"Mr. Comey is describing an FBI director who essentially answers to no one. But the police powers of the government are awesome and often abused, and the only way to prevent or correct abuses is to report to elected officials who are accountable to voters. A director must resist intervention to obstruct an investigation, but he and the agency must be politically accountable or risk becoming the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover," the Wall Street Journal wrote .

A 2005 report from the FBI's Office of Inspector General on the Department of Justice's guidelines for FBI investigations stated, "Attorneys General and FBI leadership have uniformly agreed that the Attorney General Guidelines are necessary and desirable, and they have referred to the FBI's adherence to the Attorney General Guidelines as the reason why the FBI should not be subjected to a general legislative charter or to statutory control over the exercise of some of its most intrusive authorities. "

[Oct 27, 2017] British Involvement In Trump Dossier Needs Further Investigation

Notable quotes:
"... Michael Sussmann, a lawyer from the same firm that hired Fusion GPS on order of Democrats, hired the Crowdstrike cyber-outlet to investigate the leak of DNC emails. Crowdstrike and the DNC denied the FBI access to the relevant servers but asserted that "Russian hacking" was the source of the leak. ..."
"... The "Trump dossier" was opposition research ordered up and paid for by the Clinton/DNC mafia. Most of its content was obviously fake or patched together from publicly known facts. But it took up to now for U.S. media to point that out. The fake dossier, paid for by the Democrats, was used by the FBI under Obama to get FISA warrants to spy on Republican party operatives. ..."
"... We noted in January that the dossier was additionally used by the British and American deep state to sabotage Trump's plans for better relations with Russia (see original for source quotes): ..."
"... Steele then decided to hand the papers to the FBI and to talk to its agents hoping they would start an official investigation. He cleared his move (or was ordered to proceed?) at the highest level of the British government ..."
"... When Steele's first move with the FBI in October did note deliver the hoped for results an attempt to stove pipe them through Senator John McCain was launched. A "former" British ambassador to Moscow arranged the hand over ..."
"... The MI6 is well known for launching fakes on behalf of the British government. ..."
"... After Trump unexpectedly won the election a new effort was launched to publish the smears. The Director of National Intelligence decided (or was ordered to) "brief" the President, the President elect and Congress on the obviously dubious accusations ..."
"... After the election the Democrats stopped paying for new Steele reports. But by then efforts to make the fake Steele reports public and to thereby sabotage Trump policies turned into high gear. McCain had already been involved in distributing the report and it was he or the Brits who who paid for the last fake report Steele delivered: ..."
"... What I want to know is why the Washington Post has switched sides and is publishing something approaching the truth. Do they know a whole lot more malfeasance by the Clintons is about to be uncovered and are doing their best to protect their "journalistic" "reputation?" ..."
"... In the WaPo link, it was pretty specific. The political lobbies hire law firms to subcontract intelligence in order to maintain "confidentiality agreements". If the confidentiality agreement legitimizes defying the laws and orders of not only the legislative branch, but the collective government, it becomes clear the corporations regulate government, not the other way around. ..."
"... Yikes. I recall reading that Steele's contacts were 'Eastern Europeans', this doesn't rule out Ukrainians. Okay, maybe there really are some Russians looking for a quick buck. The point is that we are not even close to establishing ties to 'the Kremlin' but this doesn't stop MSM commentators from going there, a lot. ..."
"... When considered in conjunction with the increasing awareness of the close relationship between Western intelligence agencies and terrorism, a big part of why Russia is the bogeyman du juor in both the US and UK is revealed. The continued rapacious plunder of Western societies for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many requires an external threat to justify eternal war, police state tactics such as surveillance and militarization of police forces, the reduction of civil liberties, and expanded austerity measures in the name of "security". ..."
"... For the Dem lackeys at CNN attacking Trump with false charges was "news," their hero Obama's farewell speech was not. ..."
"... When the agency //MI6// was plunged into panic over the poisoning of its agent Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, the then chief, Sir John Scarlett, needed a trusted senior officer to plot a way through the minefield ahead – so he turned to Steele. It was Steele, sources say, who correctly and quickly realised that Litvinenko's death was a Russian state "hit". ..... ;) ..."
"... Reading a large part of the Podesta e-mails showed how completely terminally incompetent and out of touch the whole Dem. apparatus is. One usually likes to think that crooks and Mafia types are wily beasts who figure the angles and have several pots boiling and are good at juggling different scenarios and disculpating themselves. Your dem leader can be dumb as a brick, corrupt to the bone, a high-level sadist, all no problem - even adulation awaits. ..."
"... I recall the strenuous effort put forth to sell the "Magic Bullet" verdict of the Warren Commission, which allows me to repeat what Russia's Foreign Ministry said about the USA's trustworthiness: "They lie without shame," lying that began in earnest in 1945, escalating ever since. http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2920164 ..."
"... Why did Clapper and Brennan peddle so hard the Russians colluded with Trump meme? Why did they fear Trump so much? ..."
"... Yes, the big question why did the top officials in the intelligence agencies in the US and UK try so hard to take down Trump? ..."
"... I think it's because Donald Trump fired them. Nothing like dropping a deuce in the room on the way out. ..."
"... IMO, the cash flow to MIC on both sides of the Atlantic. No bogeyman, no wars, no new toys and no treats. War is a money racket. ..."
"... Trump campaigned on America First; rebuild factories and infrastructure, less foreign wars, detente with Russia. These promises were taken seriously and Russiagate was unwrapped. See how quickly, after his taking the oath of office, he fell in line with the junta? Really, do you think he selected his cabinet people? ..."
"... I take it to mean Trump was a threat to the establishment, or at least a majority of the establishment that controls MSM and CIA (then again it is more likely the CIA control the establiushment and media). The threat has now passed and the Trump Putin meme is being wound back. A few scapegoats from the swamp may lose their heads but thats about it. ..."
"... The secret world has always shielded incompetence. The Wilderness of Mirrors is the only place where you can generate the myth of quality through withholding the facts of your actions. One suspects that the CIA is saturated with incompetence. Part of the reason that it hated to see it in the Brits. ..."
"... The dossier is a US fabrication, merely using the lackeys du jour . All useful analysis will flow from this. ..."
Oct 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

We noted back in July that the only relevant "collusion with the Russians" during the 2016 election cycle was the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton smear campaign against Donald Trump:

Hillary Clinton campaign cut-out hires the (former?) British intelligence agent Steele to pay money to (former?) Russian intelligence agents and high-level Kremlin employees for dirt about Donald Trump. They deliver some fairy tales. The resulting dossier is peddled far and wide throughout Washington DC with the intent of damaging Trump.

There was never evidence that Steele indeed talked to any Russian, or really had contact with his claimed sources. He has been for years persona non grata in Moscow and could not visit the country.

Yesterday, our assertion that Clinton campaign cut-outs paid for the dossier, was finally confirmed: Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.
..,
After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Told ya so ...

Michael Sussmann, a lawyer from the same firm that hired Fusion GPS on order of Democrats, hired the Crowdstrike cyber-outlet to investigate the leak of DNC emails. Crowdstrike and the DNC denied the FBI access to the relevant servers but asserted that "Russian hacking" was the source of the leak.

The "Trump dossier" was opposition research ordered up and paid for by the Clinton/DNC mafia. Most of its content was obviously fake or patched together from publicly known facts. But it took up to now for U.S. media to point that out. The fake dossier, paid for by the Democrats, was used by the FBI under Obama to get FISA warrants to spy on Republican party operatives.

We noted in January that the dossier was additionally used by the British and American deep state to sabotage Trump's plans for better relations with Russia (see original for source quotes):

The "former" desk officer for Russia in the British MI6 Christopher Steele was the one who prepared the 35 pages of obviously false claims about Russian connections with and kompromat against Trump. There are so many inconsistencies in these pages that anyone knowledgeable about the workings in Moscow could immediately identify it as fake .
...
Steele spread the fakes throughout the press corps in Washington DC but no media published them because these were obviously false accusations.

Steele then decided to hand the papers to the FBI and to talk to its agents hoping they would start an official investigation. He cleared his move (or was ordered to proceed?) at the highest level of the British government :
...
When Steele's first move with the FBI in October did note deliver the hoped for results an attempt to stove pipe them through Senator John McCain was launched. A "former" British ambassador to Moscow arranged the hand over :
...
The MI6 is well known for launching fakes on behalf of the British government.

Even the second, more official handover to the FBI still did not result in the hoped for publication of the allegations. But by that time Clinton was widely expect to win the election anyway so no further steps were taken.

After Trump unexpectedly won the election a new effort was launched to publish the smears. The Director of National Intelligence decided (or was ordered to) "brief" the President, the President elect and Congress on the obviously dubious accusations.

It was this decision that made sure that the papers would eventually be published. As the NYT noted :
...
Only after Clapper or others leaked to CNN about the briefing of Obama, Trump and Congress, did CNN publish about the 35 pages :
...
The attack was a deep state attempt to stage a coup against Trump :

After the election the Democrats stopped paying for new Steele reports. But by then efforts to make the fake Steele reports public and to thereby sabotage Trump policies turned into high gear. McCain had already been involved in distributing the report and it was he or the Brits who who paid for the last fake report Steele delivered:

Let me remind you of the basic facts about the Dossier--It consists of 13 separate reports. The first is dated 20 June 2016. That date is important because it shows that it took a little more than two months [after the Democrats started paying] for Fusion GPS to generate its first report on Trump's alleged Russian activities. If Fusion GPS already had something in the can then I would expect them to have put something out in early May. Eleven more reports were generated between 26 July and 19 October 2016. That tracks with the letter from Perkins Coie that the engagement by the Clinton Campaign ended at the end of October.

But there is a big problem and unanswered question--The Dossier includes a final report that is dated 13 December 2016. Who paid for this? Was it John McCain?

The purpose of the final fake report Steele added to the dossier was to provide "evidence" that Trump was involved in the "Russian hacking" of the DNC:

Cont. reading: British Involvement In "Trump Dossier" Needs Further Investigation

03:26 AM | Comments (62)

johnf | Oct 26, 2017 3:36:08 AM | 1

What I want to know is why the Washington Post has switched sides and is publishing something approaching the truth. Do they know a whole lot more malfeasance by the Clintons is about to be uncovered and are doing their best to protect their "journalistic" "reputation?"
same as it ever was | Oct 26, 2017 3:37:37 AM | 2
Wake me when someone actually goes to gaol for any of this... yawn...
The protected class has been the protected class for centuries, and shall, without drastic beyond planetary intervention, remain the protected class for centuries more.
Mina | Oct 26, 2017 3:43:12 AM | 3
The "special relation" at its best! Will Trump take it personally and let the Brits down in their latest going solo adventure?
x | Oct 26, 2017 4:15:28 AM | 5
Seems HMSS Agent '.007' didn't quite deliver to "Q" this time... sad state of affairs that the former once somewhat 'great' Britain has fallen so low in the IQ stakes that they would even think such contrived rubbish would work. Hubris or desperation? What a laugh! Judging by the MSM emissions I'd suggest we have a whole generation of policy cretins in 'da service'. Pure Putin Envy, I suspect: gone blind with geopolitical onanism.

And, can we now assume, as this DC delicacy boils in the cauldron for a few weeks, that we will soon see Julian Assange make his prison break? He must have enough material in encrypted dead-man locks on the Clinton Gang et al to get a free pass from diplomatic 'jail' AND gift his kind South American hosts some diplomatic credits to cash-in down London Town.

Anon | Oct 26, 2017 4:44:31 AM | 6
....and instantly the anti trump msm leak that a person close to Trump have once contacted Wikileaks. Sigh.
The clinton paid for dossier is so implacting, or should be, because the media wont cover it as they should, they will bury it.

The western msm is done, its so corrupt and propagandistic its amazing that not more people take note of this.

falcemartello | Oct 26, 2017 6:25:33 AM | 7
The sad thing is just like you said you brought this up last year. This was being said throughout last year prior to the POTUS election and had all good investigative reporting behind it. Now that the court case comes out the msm along with all their pupp[ets are spouting out this stuff. Everybody with a scintilla of grey matter since mid 2016 new full well that the whole xenophobic narrative was total BS.Just like the Syrian civil war narrative was all BS or Benghazi /Qadaffi slaughtering his people. To this day the sheeple are in this Orwellian stupor. It is dangerous and troubling. We are living like zombies with no critical thinking or capacity to cal out BS and lies . For heavens sake will the people wake up and stop supporting this BS and start voting with our brains. Political system is dead the economy is dead society is sick so we being the 99 percent by shear numbers should be able to demand and garner change.
Stryker | Oct 26, 2017 7:08:32 AM | 8
You ever notice how everybody can deny it all except for the few unfortunate souls who have to go into hiding?

My thought is the intelligence community includes the US, UK and Russia, and that's just a short list. They're all collaborating, and they are the immortal institutions we identify as "corporations" and "think tanks" regulating government. The idea "the people" have influence is absurd until one considers all those institutions consist of communities of people.

In the WaPo link, it was pretty specific. The political lobbies hire law firms to subcontract intelligence in order to maintain "confidentiality agreements". If the confidentiality agreement legitimizes defying the laws and orders of not only the legislative branch, but the collective government, it becomes clear the corporations regulate government, not the other way around.

Babarian | Oct 26, 2017 7:37:26 AM | 9
Stryker, you might need to elaborate your claim that Russia is in some way in cahoots with the CIA. I find it preposterous to make that link.
Ghostship | Oct 26, 2017 7:42:09 AM | 10
What is it about Prague that non-existant meetings are held there:
Michael Cohen[, President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer,] held a secret meeting in Prague
Back in 2001 :
The alleged Prague connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda came through an alleged meeting between September 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and Iraqi consulate Ahmad Samir al-Ani in April 2001.

Has someone been watching too many "Cold War" spy movies or is the Czech counterintelligence service's head stuck so far up Washington's arse they can't see anything. If they'd said it was Prague, OK perhaps it would have had a bit more credibility.

Christian Chuba | Oct 26, 2017 8:00:22 AM | 12
Russians behind dossier: Anyone else notice that as this story is being reported that Russia (the victim) is being blamed for the Dossier? In its most blatant form it goes like this ... 'HRC colluded with the Kremlin against Trump'. The way they connect the dots; HRC -> DNC -> Steele -> 'alleged Russian contacts' = Kremlin.

Yikes. I recall reading that Steele's contacts were 'Eastern Europeans', this doesn't rule out Ukrainians. Okay, maybe there really are some Russians looking for a quick buck. The point is that we are not even close to establishing ties to 'the Kremlin' but this doesn't stop MSM commentators from going there, a lot.

somebody | Oct 26, 2017 9:48:32 AM | 14
If you google Britain and Russia you find the whole - recent - campaign. This here is targeted at the labour party .
This government is not spending enough to meet the risks, threats, nor the opportunities identified in its own National Defence and Security Strategy.

Politicians go where the power - the money - is. Clinton/Democrats decided to ride the wave they did not start it. It does get very silly with Boris Johnson as the top clown .

str8arrow62 | Oct 26, 2017 10:06:58 AM | 15
"If that bastard gets elected. we'll all hang from nooses"...Hildabeast

Who's up for a public hanging?

SlapHappy | Oct 26, 2017 10:26:34 AM | 16
Anyone who threatens to challenge the status quo of the ruling establishment with a move to the left will be discredited, and in the event they can't have their character assassinated, their person will be assassinated instead. See Paul Wellstone, Dr. David Kelly, Pat Tillman, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, JFK, RFK, etc, almost ad infinitum.

When considered in conjunction with the increasing awareness of the close relationship between Western intelligence agencies and terrorism, a big part of why Russia is the bogeyman du juor in both the US and UK is revealed. The continued rapacious plunder of Western societies for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many requires an external threat to justify eternal war, police state tactics such as surveillance and militarization of police forces, the reduction of civil liberties, and expanded austerity measures in the name of "security".

Both Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party and what should have been Bernie Sanders' Democratic Party were threatening to turn back the clock on the Neoliberal/Neoconservative (see: Zionist) strategy of consolidating both capital and power through divisive politics, unfettered predatory capitalism, and war; all enabled by a well-orchestrated campaign of fear, xenophobia, and state-sponsored terror.

Until we root out the Zionist menace from our governments, industries, media, and - in a hat-tip to psychohistorian - our treasuries, we will continue to toil in an artificially divided society wherein we work for the benefit of a self-proclaimed chosen few, all the while being tricked into fighting their wars which are of no benefit to us and then being given the bill for those wars.

Don Bacon | Oct 26, 2017 10:43:43 AM | 17
I haven't owned a teevee in years, but I happened to be in a motel room the night that Obama gave his farewell speech a year or so ago.
After the conclusion of the speech, FoxNews thoroughly critiqued the speech. Switching over to CNN, Trump's "fake news" network, the speech wasn't covered at all. Instead they covered the dossier in depth, with several "journalists" droning on and on about all the collusion evidence.
Which just goes to prove that Trump was correct (again). For the Dem lackeys at CNN attacking Trump with false charges was "news," their hero Obama's farewell speech was not.
Piotr Berman | Oct 26, 2017 10:56:33 AM | 20
Posted by: somebody | Oct 26, 2017 9:48:32 AM | 14

The link in that post requires utmost caution, and should not be opened if your mental health can be compromised by an excessive dollop of nonsense. Finding two consecutive sentences with a consistent thread of though is pretty hard. Look at this:

We should consider renewing attempts to expand the UN Security Council to include India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, and to promote the idea of a rapid reaction force under its control, however difficult this might prove to be. Our two new aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales along with the French carrier in production could play a leading role in a naval version.

So, "we need" to expand UNSC and the navy. What is the connection? New council members do not seem useful for the naval expansion (why do not postulate a Brazilian aircraft carrier?!), and vice versa. And where those aircraft carriers are supposed to go? A new Crimean war? If you seriously want to address threats to democracy and everything we find good and dear, we should target Tuvalu, but for that it suffices to have a ship that has, say, 20 berths for marine infantry, and, most importantly, resolve -- sadly lacking.

This belongs to a genre of political analysis that is boldly nonsensical. Typically, there is a call for clarity followed by mental spaghetti. And/or a call for boldness followed by verbiage that is offensive only in its lack of content. But what makes this article somewhat unique is the sheer number of sentences that come without explanation and go absolutely nowhere. Why suddenly UNSC expansion? What would improve with two new aircraft carriers owned by European powers? The threats that have to be addressed are cyber attacks, Islamic terrorism and Russia undermining the growth of democracy in Ukraine.

The author also mentions his childhood in Nigerian countryside together with the British need to prevent any single power dominating over continental Europe. The latter would suggest the need to reduce American influence, the former ????

Noirette | Oct 26, 2017 11:24:05 AM | 21
C. Steele. Guardian, Jan 2017:

When the agency //MI6// was plunged into panic over the poisoning of its agent Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, the then chief, Sir John Scarlett, needed a trusted senior officer to plot a way through the minefield ahead – so he turned to Steele. It was Steele, sources say, who correctly and quickly realised that Litvinenko's death was a Russian state "hit". ..... ;)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/12/intelligence-sources-vouch-credibility-donald-trump-russia-dossier-author

Steele quit MI6 (wiki) in 2009 and tried to monetize his 'knowledge' and 'subservience' in private cos., > hack to the highest bidder type.

The relations between Fusion GPS and Orbis https://orbisbi.com - see the symbolic images (Steele a co-founder) remain murky imho but there you go, such private cos. can make money off paying hubris-deluded clients who require! this or that.

Reading a large part of the Podesta e-mails showed how completely terminally incompetent and out of touch the whole Dem. apparatus is. One usually likes to think that crooks and Mafia types are wily beasts who figure the angles and have several pots boiling and are good at juggling different scenarios and disculpating themselves. Your dem leader can be dumb as a brick, corrupt to the bone, a high-level sadist, all no problem - even adulation awaits.

WorldBLee | Oct 26, 2017 11:40:16 AM | 22
The media have to keep running Russia stories--so much so that it seems they ultimately come round to the point where they're biting the hand that fed them.
dh | Oct 26, 2017 12:03:41 PM | 23
@22 From KGB agent to new-Stalin to Tsar. The man is unstoppable. We definitely need more aircraft carriers.
dh | Oct 26, 2017 12:04:14 PM | 24
@23 Link https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21730645-world-marks-centenary-october-revolution-russia-once-again-under-rule?hl=1&noRedirect=1
Anon | Oct 26, 2017 12:05:14 PM | 25
Twitter just banned RT and Sputnik from having ads! Freedom of speech folks, its not worth anything these days. Twitter is nothing but a deep state empire tool.
karlof1 | Oct 26, 2017 12:28:48 PM | 27
Anon @25--

And there's absolutely zero evidence for them to use as a basis for the bans.

james | Oct 26, 2017 1:06:36 PM | 28
@27 karlof1.. but the optics look good for the continued smear of russia... man, this endless msm story gets very boring.. all it tells me is how decrepit the western msm is at this point groveling in the ditch 24/7...
Virgile | Oct 26, 2017 1:36:09 PM | 29
Movie Producers are fighting to get another blockbuster "based a true story"
Who will publish the script first of " A Kink in Moscow"? the UK or the USA?
Anon | Oct 26, 2017 1:52:31 PM | 30
karlof1

"And there's absolutely zero evidence for them to use as a basis for the bans."

Indeed, will Twitter now ban western msm on their respective reporting of Russia? No of course not, what a friggin joke. In fact its not a joke its pretty damn scary this censorship and masshysteria against Russia and these days clearly tells us who spread propaganda in our soceity and who enable it (Twitter). Its nothing but a tool of CIA/FBI now. No doubt about that.

Sick McCarthyism is alive 2017, who would have thought? Apparently the western establishment thought that he was more than right.

Ghostship | Oct 26, 2017 1:54:28 PM | 31
>>>> Ian | Oct 26, 2017 12:28:48 PM | 26
To be clear on my part, my opinion is that all major turmoil, wars and financial crises lead to the Rothchilds.

Do you do PR for Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan? I only ask 'cos Rothschilds ain't what they used to be by a few million miles and if anyone is responsible for all major turmoil, wars and financial crises, it's Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Stop with the dumb conspiracy theories, there is enough real shit in the world to be bothered about for many, many lifetimes.

james | Oct 26, 2017 2:15:17 PM | 34
@30 anon.. fully agree.. twitter is nothing more then a tool of the cia/fbi - deep state at this point.. same deal facebook and google.. pathetic...
Ort | Oct 26, 2017 2:24:42 PM | 35
When a Big Lie is exposed, or simply goes flat like an automobile tire with multiple pinhole-prick slow leaks, the Big Liars have a damage control strategy: Go Bigger!

This may be a semantic quibble, but to me even blithely characterizing the Steele dossier as "opposition research" is a mendacious euphemism.

There's a well-known, and perhaps apocryphal, story that Lyndon Johnson once directed his aides to spread the rumor that his opponent in a Texas election enjoyed physical relations with barnyard animals. When his staffers allegedly objected that this assertion could never be proved, Johnson supposedly replied "I know that. I just want to hear him deny it."

By present-day standards, LBJ's ploy would be characterized as perfectly legitimate "opposition research".

Judging from preliminary indications, the deluded or desperate anti-Trump resistance and Democratic Party Establishment may double down and, incredibly, "own" the scurrilous smear. Not just by dignifying the dirty trick as "normal", i.e. nominally routine, "ethical" opposition research, but by implying that the fabrications it contains are indeed a "smoking gun" that ought to be sufficient to fatally undermine Trump's presidency after all.

As I've been remarking more and more lately, a literary committee composed of Jonathan Swift, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Joseph Heller, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Kurt Vonnegut couldn't create a more surrealistic and bizarre political landscape.

c1ue | Oct 26, 2017 2:34:20 PM | 36
@Christian Chuba #12
"Eastern Europeans" -> think Ukraine, or more specifically the SBU (Ukraine CIA). The link with McCain and the Democratic party becomes more clear then (Nuland).
Ian | Oct 26, 2017 2:39:36 PM | 37
to Ghostship: Have a read "Web of Debt" by Ellen Hodgson Brown and "Beyond Banksters" by Joyce Helson. The references they provide will get you started. Another excellent reference is "Secrets of the Federal Reserve" by Eustace Mullins.

When you start researching the issue of the crippling financial debts that characterize western countries then it comes evident the primary cause is a predatory private banking system. Private money manufactures financial crises and wars to coerce governments to impose local and foreign policies that promote only the interests of private money and which only has destructive and negative consequences for the 99%. You may not like it hear it and but all money leads to the House of Rothschild and it's net worth reported to be several hundred TRILLION!

nottheonly1 | Oct 26, 2017 3:15:56 PM | 38
@same as it ever was #2

An undeniable truth. But what do we know about those?

The so called "Democratic Party" is the equivalent of the grand old NSDAP. As with the original, its followers are as die hard Fascists, as were the good Germans looking the other way when the truth became obvious.

While I don't believe it will go on for centuries, the callousness and gullibility of the American people makes them perfect Fascists.

Sieg Heil is the only greeting missing when addressing The Führer. Well, actually the person's soaking wet dream has always been to be the first Führerin of all times. Thatcher sucked at it, so the position is still vacant.
The question is, when will we hear the equivalent of "Sieg Heil meine Führerin"?

karlof1 | Oct 26, 2017 3:24:34 PM | 39
I recall the strenuous effort put forth to sell the "Magic Bullet" verdict of the Warren Commission, which allows me to repeat what Russia's Foreign Ministry said about the USA's trustworthiness: "They lie without shame," lying that began in earnest in 1945, escalating ever since. http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2920164

Given what Congress just approved of, the mid-term elections ought to be very entertaining, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/26/216-gop-house-members-just-voted-destroy-safety-net-and-deliver-trillion-dollar-tax

Trump declares opioid epidemic a National Emergency. Guess he needs to sanction the CIA's opium growing project in Afghanistan along with that organization's top officers. After all, that's what he did to Venezuela for far lesser offences.

Anon | Oct 26, 2017 3:40:01 PM | 40
Also funny how quickly western msm buried this:

Ukraine's collusion with Hillary Clinton to meddle in US elections
http://theduran.com/ukraines-collusion-with-hillary-clinton-to-meddle-in-us-elections-now-exposed/

somebody | Oct 26, 2017 4:25:36 PM | 41
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 26, 2017 10:56:33 AM | 20

Of course. I suppose it is empire phantom pain. Which presumably is what Brexit was about.

dh | Oct 26, 2017 4:47:35 PM | 42
@41 There may be some in the UK who yearn for the days of empire. I think most would just settle for some kind of guaranteed nationality.
Don Bacon | Oct 26, 2017 5:31:41 PM | 43
I'll try this again w/o link
--from The Saker:
Re-visiting Russian counter-propaganda methods
What I propose to do today is to share with you a few recent examples of what Russian households are regularly exposed to.
By now, you must have heard about the CNN report about how the evil Russkies used Pokemon to destabilize and subvert the USA. If not, here it is: (video)

In Russia this report was in instant mega-success: the video was translated and rebroadcasted on every single TV channel. Margarita Simonian, the brilliant director of Russia Today, was asked during a live show "be truthful and confess – what is your relationship with Pokemon, do they work for you?" to which she replied "I feed them" – the audience burst in laughter.

The Russian Pokemon was just the latest in a long series of absolutely insane, terminally paranoid and rabidly russophobic reports released by the western Ziomedia, all of which were instantly translated into Russian and rebroadcasted by the Russian media.

One of the techniques regularly used on Russian talkshows is to show a short report about the latest crazy nonsense coming out of the United States or Europe and then ask a pro-US guests to react to it. The "liberals" (in the Russian political meaning of this word, that is a hopelessly naïve pro-western person who loves to trash everything Russian and who hates Putin and those who support him) are intensely embarrassed and usually either simply admit that this is crazy nonsense or try to find some crazy nonsense in the Russian media (and there is plenty of that too) to show that "we are just as bad". Needless to say, no matter what escape route is chosen, the "liberal" ends up looking like a total idiot or a traitor.

ab initio | Oct 26, 2017 7:46:15 PM | 51
Why did Clapper and Brennan peddle so hard the Russians colluded with Trump meme? Why did they fear Trump so much?

The FISA warrant to intercept Trump campaign officials was issued on the basis of the fake Steele dossier smear. And then Susan Rice used her position to unmask all the participants in those intercepts.

Yes, the big question why did the top officials in the intelligence agencies in the US and UK try so hard to take down Trump?

wendy davis | Oct 26, 2017 8:04:06 PM | 52
as far as i've been able to tell, no one has linked to this TRNN interview w/ marcy wheeler, a.k.a. "emptywheel" on the subject. if the transcript was close to correct, her rant was totally illogical, even w/ aaron maté pushing back pretty hard.

'Democrats Funded the Steele Dossier that Fueled Russiagate'; After months of obfuscation, the Washington Post reveals that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the infamous Steele dossier at the heart of Russiagate. Empty Wheel's Marcy Wheeler and TRNN's Aaron Mate discuss

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20304:Democrats-Funded-the-Steele-Dossier-that-Fueled-Russiagate

while understanding that TRNN is a 'progressive' (whatever that means any more: librul?) site in general, at least the comments below reflected how anti-roosian, anti-putin emptywheel is. and illogical.

Stryker | Oct 26, 2017 8:29:51 PM | 53
In reply to ab initio | Oct 26, 2017 7:46:15 PM | 51

I think it's because Donald Trump fired them. Nothing like dropping a deuce in the room on the way out.

"...why did the top officials in the intelligence agencies in the US and UK try so hard to take down Trump?"

Russia too I say. It may not have been a take down so much as an (failed)attempt to become his handlers. The "dossier" became useless once it was opened to the public. Who are Donald Trump's handlers? Do we have a puppet, or do we have a puppeteer in Donald Trump?

ben | Oct 26, 2017 8:30:23 PM | 54
Oh boy, the superfluous BS continues(yawn), meanwhile, the rape and plundering of the workers wealth continues here in the U$A.
likklemore | Oct 26, 2017 8:33:30 PM | 55
ab initio | Oct 26, 2017 7:46:15 PM | 51

IMO, the cash flow to MIC on both sides of the Atlantic. No bogeyman, no wars, no new toys and no treats. War is a money racket.

Trump campaigned on America First; rebuild factories and infrastructure, less foreign wars, detente with Russia. These promises were taken seriously and Russiagate was unwrapped. See how quickly, after his taking the oath of office, he fell in line with the junta? Really, do you think he selected his cabinet people?

A day of reckoning abides HRC, CF, Mueller, Clapper, Brennan and cohorts. When you dig a hole for your enemy make sure you also dig one for yourself.

In 2010, Uranium One was labelled a conspiracy theory. Interesting times ahead. Now WSJ, Wapo, are all over it. At least NYT wrote on the deal and money flow in April 2015 noting HRC's wish to be president, Very detailed article but who would believe? Read up on details: timelines, the Canadian connection and the money flow..

NYT: Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

LINK

ben | Oct 26, 2017 8:44:31 PM | 56
Apologies for OT, but a case in point about my 54 post.. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-arbitration-rule-senate-20171024-story.html
Ghostship | Oct 26, 2017 8:46:00 PM | 57
>>>> Ian | Oct 26, 2017 2:39:36 PM | 37
Have a read "Web of Debt" by Ellen Hodgson Brown and "Beyond Banksters" by Joyce Helson. The references they provide will get you started. Another excellent reference is "Secrets of the Federal Reserve" by Eustace Mullins.

I don't need to as I previously worked for a number of financial institutions in the City of London and I'm well aware of all the shit that banks and bankers get up to.

You may not like it hear it and but all money leads to the House of Rothschild and it's net worth reported to be several hundred TRILLION!

Go on believing that crap if you want to but I'd be interested to know exactly what you mean by the "House of Rothschild" other than a 1934 film. Also exactly who is reporting that it's worth several hundred trillion although I notice you don't say what currency their fortune is in but if it's Zimbabwean dollars that'd mean they're worth less than five dollars bearing in mind that all Zimbabweans were almost certainly undecillionaires back in 2009.

Peter AU 1 | Oct 26, 2017 8:52:28 PM | 58
ab initio | Oct 26, 2017 7:46:15 PM | 51 "Yes, the big question why did the top officials in the intelligence agencies in the US and UK try so hard to take down Trump?"

I take it to mean Trump was a threat to the establishment, or at least a majority of the establishment that controls MSM and CIA (then again it is more likely the CIA control the establiushment and media). The threat has now passed and the Trump Putin meme is being wound back. A few scapegoats from the swamp may lose their heads but thats about it.

Tillerson now treading the straight and narrow and fully on board for regime change ...

No role for Assad in Syria's future: Tillerson
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-tillerson/no-role-for-assad-in-syrias-
future-tillerson-idUSKBN1CV2GY

Debsisdead | Oct 26, 2017 9:09:54 PM | 59
Since by all indications it took Romans a coupla centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire to accept they were no longer top dog, eg the so-called 'dark ages' when the rule of roman law disintegrated took a few hundred years to really kick off, we shouldn't be surprised that many englanders struggle to accept their role of just being another beta in the pack. However what interests me more is the group so well described by recently dubbed Aotearoan deputy PM Winston Peters, as 'waka jumpers'. (a waka being the te reo name for a canoe).

Peters coined the term back in 1999 when the coalition government between the conservative National Party and the Peters' formed New Zealand First Party, broke down and the government lacked the numbers to guarantee supply etc. Some NZF MP's jumped ship over to the Natz ignoring the policies under which the public gave them their electoral mandate.

Instead they took up bullshit cabinet positions which gave them increased salaries, all sorts of travel perks for them and their families as well as the title 'Right Honourable' etc. Needless to say there was no power attached to these new roles - nobody is gonna trust a traitor - apart from which the Natz Party would have been deep in the doo-doo if they gave actual power to outsiders while so many hacks 'n whores queued up dutifully in the National Party waiting for their turn at copping a decent earner. That government limped along for about 18 months before Helen Clark's Labour mob arseholed them.

Now the term waka jumpers shouldn't just be hung around the necks of the obvious target, politicians - not when there are low lifes such as Rupert Murdoch, who swap nationalities about as often as some change their underwear.

Murdoch kicked off existence as an australian then became an englander when he wanted to dominate english TV and print media - that got him through quite a few british parliamentary inquiries into media ownership. By the time he was ready to set up Fox and still enjoy his print media ownership in amerika, Murdoch became an amerikan citizens. That didn't affect his brit holdings cos once his buyouts had been approved there was no mechanism for taking ownership back again.

The amerikan citizenship wasn't intended to be permanent, I have no doubt his marriage to a NewsCorp executive based in Hongkong who 'just by chance' had PRC citizenship was the beginning of a switch to a Chinese passport for old Rupe. However it rapidly became obvious that such a move would cost fox big with its looney toons audience, so instead he set about solving the expansion into China another way.
Murdoch got Star TV, plus China based web portals up and running without having to swap nationality again - presumably by way of the 'three B's - bullying, blackmailing and bribing.
That allowed him to give the Chinese missus the flick, so then he decided to do some PR damage limitation in england & amerika by hooking up with Jaggers seconds, the Anglo Amerikan Jerry Hall.

Many waka jumpers don't have to swap passports they follow the money eschewing any regard for their compatriots in the process, and are the biggest obstacle to the notion of one world that there is.

I reckon there would be nothing better than getting rid of borders and the associated tyranny over individuals, except there are just too many arsehats out there who would twist everything up, squirm thru loopholes and screw the rest of us over, so before that happens more power must be devolved downwards and equality of education, opportunity etc must be much more robustly organised. Then it makes sense, but any shift before that point and the usual arseholes are gonna pull their usual strokes.

In this case most brits would be appalled that their establishment got so heavily involved in another nation's electoral process, but no one asked them. Typically just as happens in amerika, the call to take a side was made by a self-interested shadow state which has entirely too much, too poorly defined power.

Issues of nationalism should be put to one side where that is possible, while all of us ordinary human beings work together to flush the parasites outta their hidey holes.

psychohistorian | Oct 26, 2017 9:37:25 PM | 60
@ Debsisdead who wrote:
Issues of nationalism should be put to one side where that is possible, while all of us ordinary human beings work together to flush the parasites outta their hidey holes.

I agree! The cry for nationalism is a cry for further control by playing countries off each other.....divide and conquer.

I would hope we can evolve to working terms for anthropological groupings of our species that transcends nationalism but can be agreed upon as representing cultural significance and cohesive regional identity.

Or maybe Trump will evolve the world to be a proper empire with galactic uniforms and badges and stuff for all the MIC....to fit with the game show meme....

Grieved | Oct 26, 2017 9:44:14 PM | 61
Interesting thread. Rich with turmoil. But very real, I think, and exploring ground that is not that firm.

We know the Brits have been the "Step'n Fetchit" guy for the US spooks for a long time. We gather that several decades ago, Langley used to be impressed by the English insouciance, until the moles that tore holes in the UK fabric - Burgess, MacLean, Blunt etc. - destroyed that old colonial myth of "effortless superiority", and revealed the worst quality of all, incompetence.

The secret world has always shielded incompetence. The Wilderness of Mirrors is the only place where you can generate the myth of quality through withholding the facts of your actions. One suspects that the CIA is saturated with incompetence. Part of the reason that it hated to see it in the Brits.

But the SAS could do things for the CIA that didn't need to get reported to the legislatures of either country. So Britain could do a few hit jobs and earn a few points, a few shekels. And MI6 must surely have been yearning to crawl back under the US intel umbrella for a long, long time, until it regained trust somehow - probably from actions of unspeakable subservience. So it's apparent that the relationship - at this point in history - between the two spook enterprises is master and servant, US > UK.

A Le Carre fan could tell you all this, and plenty of analyses in the public sphere could confirm it. So, in sum, there's absolutely no mystery why, or in what hierarchy of relationship, the UK spooks would work for the US spooks.

The dossier is a US fabrication, merely using the lackeys du jour . All useful analysis will flow from this.

[Oct 27, 2017] Hillary Clinton's campaign accused of election law violation - Washington Times

Oct 27, 2017 | www.washingtontimes.com

Hillary Clinton 's presidential campaign was accused of breaking election rules Wednesday as she and fellow Democrats faced fallout from the disclosure that her campaign and party operatives paid for research used in a salacious anti- Trump dossier.

President Trump called the revelation "a disgrace," and the head of the House investigative committee said he wants to know whether the FBI relied on the dossier in its counterintelligence work.

"It's very sad what they've done with this fake dossier," Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. "The Democrats always denied it. Hillary Clinton always denied it. I think it's a disgrace. It's a very sad commentary on politics in this country."


SEE ALSO: Trump says Clinton, Democrats were 'disgrace' to pay for dossier


The dossier, first reported on late in the presidential campaign and eventually published in its entirety by BuzzFeed after the election, contained a series of unsubstantiated and often salacious accusations against Mr. Trump , including supposed contacts between his associates and Russian officials.

The 35-page document was compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, who was hired by research firm Fusion GPS.

Law firm Perkins Coie, which handled legal work for the Clinton campaign, admitted Tuesday that it paid Fusion "to perform a variety of research services" as part of its work for Mrs. Clinton .

... ... ...

Operatives for Mr. Trump 's chief opponents during the Republican primary have denied involvement in the dossier, but Mr. Trump said it was a possibility.

"Yes, it might have started with the Republicans early on in the primaries. I think I would know, but let's find out who it is," he told reporters. "If I were to guess, I have one name in mind."

But given the revelations about Democrats' involvement and fresh investigations into a uranium deal with a Russian firm approved by the Obama administration, Mr. Trump said the Russia controversy has "turned around" on the Democrats.

"This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election. They lost it very badly," he said. "They didn't know what to say, so they made up the whole Russia hoax. Now it's turning out that the whole hoax is turned around."

... ... ...

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, accused the executive branch of stonewalling Congress from obtaining documents related to the Trump dossier. He said the FBI and Justice Department have not complied with requests from congressional members for documents related to the dossier.

[Oct 27, 2017] Donald Trumps truce with spy agencies breaks down over Russia dossier US news by Spencer Ackerman

This is an interesting old article by guardian which suggest that Trump thought the Steele memo was a blatant attempt to blackmail him launched against him by intelligence agencies. He proved to be half-right. FBI was involved with Steele dossier and probably paid some money. It is unclear if MI6 was involved but Steele would be really reckless if he did his job without consulting the agency. This is not a regular report -- that was a direct interference into US election. The paper hint that Steele source might be Ukrainians, not Russians.
Unverified and blighted with factual errors damaging rumor/insinuation was picked up by media to damage Trump. This is so "color regulation style" that it hurts.
Notable quotes:
"... Shift from measured tone to 'hysterical hostility' at press conference could destroy relationship with agencies Trump likened to Nazi Germany ..."
"... Clapper had denounced "the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated". ..."
"... Before CNN reported that aspects of the dossier, acquired by the FBI in December from the Arizona Republican senator John McCain, ..."
"... Trump had previously referred to an intelligence " as the witch-hunt " and threw the CIA's fatefully erroneous 2002 assessment that Iraq possessed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction back in the agency's face. ..."
"... You know what? It could be others also. ..."
Jan 12, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Donald Trump's truce with spy agencies breaks down over Russia dossier Shift from measured tone to 'hysterical hostility' at press conference could destroy relationship with agencies Trump likened to Nazi Germany, experts say -> Trump attacks media and intelligence community, and addresses Russia's alleged involvement in election hacking -> Donald Trump Donald Trump's truce with spy agencies breaks down over Russia dossier

Shift from measured tone to 'hysterical hostility' at press conference could destroy relationship with agencies Trump likened to Nazi Germany , experts say

A shaky detente between Donald Trump and the intelligence agencies he will soon control has broken down, as Trump wrongly accused US intelligence of leaking an unverified, salacious document to damage his nascent presidency.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Trump said that "who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies" were responsible for the document, which he said would be "a tremendous blot on their record".

Earlier, Trump likened the intelligence agencies to " Nazi Germany", in a tweet, saying they "never should have allowed this fake news to 'leak' to the public. One last shot at me".

... ... ...

James Clapper, US director of national intelligence, said he told Trump on Wednesday evening that the [US] intelligence community had not been responsible for the leaking of the documents.

"I emphasized that this document is not a US intelligence community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC," Clapper said in a statement. Trump referred to the call in a tweet first thing on Thursday morning, which said Clapper had denounced "the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated".

Before CNN reported that aspects of the dossier, acquired by the FBI in December from the Arizona Republican senator John McCain, were briefed to Barack Obama and Trump, no news organization had published the accusations, which purport to reveal compromising information Russia possesses on Trump. Trump has denied them, and NBC later reported that the material was prepared for the Trump briefing, but not discussed.

Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee and a consistent critic of spycraft excesses, told the Guardian it was "profoundly dangerous" for Trump to continue his feud with the agencies.

"The president is responsible for vital decisions about national security, including decisions about whether to go to war, which depend on the broad collection activities and reasoned analysis of the intelligence community. A scenario in which the president dismisses the intelligence community, or worse, accuses it of treachery, is profoundly dangerous," Wyden said.

... ... ...

Trump's outburst was a departure from the moderated tone he had taken on the intelligence agencies since Friday, when he met with the director of national intelligence, James Clapper; FBI director James Comey; NSA director Mike Rogers and CIA director John Brennan to discuss their joint conclusion that Russia had intervened extensively in the 2016 election to benefit Trump.

Trump had previously referred to an intelligence " as the witch-hunt " and threw the CIA's fatefully erroneous 2002 assessment that Iraq possessed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction back in the agency's face. Clapper and Rogers had warned of plummeting morale within the intelligence community ahead of Trump's presidency. After the meeting, Trump spoke of his "tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this community".

At his press conference on Wednesday, Trump simultaneously accepted and diminished the intelligence assessment that Russia was responsible for the Democratic National Committee hack, saying "I think it was Russia" and later adding the caveat: " You know what? It could be others also. "...

... ... ...

See also:

[Oct 26, 2017] John Helmer Parsing the Dossier on Trumps Alleged Russian Bedroom Antics naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... As Lambert has remarked, this is not the behavior of a confident elite. ..."
"... Trump has responded that Steele is a "failed spy". That is not an impetuous tweet. It's the assessment of both US and British intelligence agencies, including MI6, for which Steele worked undercover in Moscow between 1994 and 1996. His cover was blown; he was evacuated; and as British intelligence sources report this week, Steele has been unable to enter Russia for a decade. "No Russian with official links and knowledge would risk communicating with Steele for fear of being detected by Russian counter-intelligence," said an intelligence source in London, Said another: "I met [Steele] a couple of times and thought that for a relatively undistinguished man who never made very senior rank he was a smug, arrogant s.o.b. So I don't work with him. The description of his being the top expert on Russia in MI6 is bollocks. " ..."
"... The Steele dossier contains 35 pages, commencing on June 20, 2016, and ending on December 13, 2016. The published form can be read here . It comprises 17 reports. But the file numbering from 2016/ 080 to 2016/166 implies there were 86 such reports altogether, so only one in five has become public. What was in the remaining 67 reports is unknown. Unknown, too, is whether it's possible that over six months Steele was producing reports on Russia at the rate of 11 per month, 3 per week, one every two days. ..."
"... A London newspaper claims Steele was paid £200,000 for his job. The newspaper also claims that a friend of Steele "who does not want to be named, says he sold them in instalments at $15,000 (£12,300) a time every three weeks to anti-Trump Republicans looking for dirt on the tycoon in the run-up to the presidential nomination." This means there were no other reports in the series; the numbering was intended to mislead. That's not all. ..."
"... Steele's career in Russian intelligence at MI6 had hit the rocks in 2006, and never recovered. That was the year in which the Russian Security Service (FSB) publicly exposed an MI6 operation in Moscow. Russian informants recruited by the British were passed messages and money, and dropped their information in containers fabricated to look like fake rocks in a public park. Steele was on the MI6 desk in London when the operation was blown. Although the FSB announcement was denied in London at the time, the British prime ministry confirmed its veracity in 2012. Read more on Steele's fake rock operation here , and the attempt by the Financial Times to cover it up by blaming Putin for fabricating the story. ..."
Jan 19, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on January 18, 2017 by Yves Smith ... ... ...

As Lambert has remarked, this is not the behavior of a confident elite.

By John Helmer , the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

Almost everyone goes to bed at night. Some get up to urinate. The older, less continent ones can't get up easily, so they urinate on themselves. If properly cared for, they do so in what is known in the geriatric product market as roll-ups.

A small minority arrange to be urinated upon by others, though not usually on the bed they aim to sleep in. This may be an erotic pleasure for you, a perversion to the next man. The name for it is Golden Showers. If conducted between consenting adults, it's not a crime. Paying for it may be a crime, depending on the local law on procuring. In the Russian criminal code it's not a felony but a misdemeanour with a fine so small it usually isn't enforced by the police; certainly not in expensive big-city hotels.

A claim is being widely reported in the US media which supported Hillary Clinton for president that President-elect Donald Trump paid for at least two ladies to urinate on the bed in the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel of Moscow. A former British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) agent named Christopher Steele has reported the episode in a memorandum dated June 20, 2016, because he was paid by a US client to do it; and also because he was paid to speculate that the Russian Security Service (FSB) filmed it, and has been blackmailing Trump ever since.

Trump has responded that Steele is a "failed spy". That is not an impetuous tweet. It's the assessment of both US and British intelligence agencies, including MI6, for which Steele worked undercover in Moscow between 1994 and 1996. His cover was blown; he was evacuated; and as British intelligence sources report this week, Steele has been unable to enter Russia for a decade. "No Russian with official links and knowledge would risk communicating with Steele for fear of being detected by Russian counter-intelligence," said an intelligence source in London, Said another: "I met [Steele] a couple of times and thought that for a relatively undistinguished man who never made very senior rank he was a smug, arrogant s.o.b. So I don't work with him. The description of his being the top expert on Russia in MI6 is bollocks. "

The story of the Obama-Trump bed, according to Steele, comes from 2013. Another story, the one of the Putin bed on which Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had sex with a prostitute in Rome, dates from 2009. The true part has been verified with a tape the lady made of Berlusconi boasting about the source of the bed as he exercised himself on it. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Putin then and now, says the Trump-Obama bed story is "a complete fake. It's total nonsense." But about the Putin-Berlusconi bed, he said at the time: "We reject this information. I am not in a position to explain." In short, that bedtime story may be true .

The Steele dossier contains 35 pages, commencing on June 20, 2016, and ending on December 13, 2016. The published form can be read here . It comprises 17 reports. But the file numbering from 2016/ 080 to 2016/166 implies there were 86 such reports altogether, so only one in five has become public. What was in the remaining 67 reports is unknown. Unknown, too, is whether it's possible that over six months Steele was producing reports on Russia at the rate of 11 per month, 3 per week, one every two days.

A London newspaper claims Steele was paid £200,000 for his job. The newspaper also claims that a friend of Steele "who does not want to be named, says he sold them in instalments at $15,000 (£12,300) a time every three weeks to anti-Trump Republicans looking for dirt on the tycoon in the run-up to the presidential nomination." This means there were no other reports in the series; the numbering was intended to mislead. That's not all.

The Guardian newspaper, the Financial Times and US newspapers claim the dossier has been circulating "for months and acquired a kind of legendary status among journalists, lawmakers, and intelligence officials who have seen them", according to one reporter. According to Financial Times reporter Courtney Weaver, she "investigated some of the allegations contained in the report but was unable to confirm them." She has published them, nonetheless. For more on Weaver's record for veracity in Moscow, read this .

A source at a London due diligence firm which is larger and better known than Steele's Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. says "standard due diligence means getting to the truth. It's confidential to the client, and not leaked. There are also black jobs, white jobs, and red jobs. Black means the client wants you to dig up dirt on the target, and make it look credible for publishing in the press. White means the client wants you to clear him of the wrongdoing which he's being accused of in the media or the marketplace; it's also leaked to the press. A red job is where the client pays the due diligence firm to hire a journalist to find out what he knows and what he's likely to publish, in order to bribe or stop him. The Steele dossier on Trump is an obvious black job. Too obvious."

Steele's career in Russian intelligence at MI6 had hit the rocks in 2006, and never recovered. That was the year in which the Russian Security Service (FSB) publicly exposed an MI6 operation in Moscow. Russian informants recruited by the British were passed messages and money, and dropped their information in containers fabricated to look like fake rocks in a public park. Steele was on the MI6 desk in London when the operation was blown. Although the FSB announcement was denied in London at the time, the British prime ministry confirmed its veracity in 2012. Read more on Steele's fake rock operation here , and the attempt by the Financial Times to cover it up by blaming Putin for fabricating the story.

The wet bed story, as Steele reported it to his client who then leaked it to the media, looks like this:

The bedroom, the bed and a piece of 19 th century soft porn on the wall look like this:
Source: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/europe/moscow/rooms-suites/the-ritz-carlton-suite

The June 20, 2016, memo, which started the wet bed story, reports seven sources, identified as Source A through G. No other report in the dossier has as many sources; some of the original seven reappear in the series. Look carefully to detect what the Clinton media have missed.

Source D isn't Russian at all. He is American; Steele reports him as a "close associate of Trump who organized and managed his trips to Moscow". D claims to have been "present"; there is a bedside armchair in the Ritz Carlton photograph, so "present" is possible.

Source E's identity has been blacked out in the first memo, but he is identified elsewhere in the series as another American – a "Russian émigré figure close to Trump's campaign team" – not to Trump himself. Within the space of a paragraph, however, he turns into an "émigré associate of Trump". Several memos and weeks later, on August 10, this source has become "the ethnic Russian associate of Trump".

The others reported by Steele to have been in on the wet bed story include Source F, "a female staffer at the hotel when Trump stayed there". From the dossier it appears she told her story to an American who was an "ethnic Russian operative" of the company run by Source E, the émigré. So Source F isn't a direct or independent source at all. If this is beginning to bewilder you, it should. The only sources for the wet bed story turn out to be Americans, not Russians at all.

Just how difficult it was for Steele to pinpoint Trump's sexual activities in Russia, as well as his business, is indicated by the September 14 memo in the file. This claims to report Trump's visits to St. Petersburg. No dates have been given. One source, termed as a Russian from the "local services and tourist industry", reportedly told "a trusted Russian compatriot", three years after the event, that Trump had "participated in sex parties in the city". How many people make a sex party isn't reported; two may have sufficed. The memo reports no trace because "all direct witnesses had recently been 'silenced', i.e., bribed or coerced to disappear".

Trump posed for this photograph during the Miss Universe pageant, one of his business affairs in Moscow in November 2013. Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/donald-trump-russia-moscow-miss-universe-223173 In a European newspaper published on January 15, Trump confirmed this was the occasion for the wet bed story. Trump said: "I just got a letter from people that went to Russia with me - did you see that letter - very rich people, they went with me, they said you were with us, I was with them, I wasn't even here when they said such false stuff. I left, I wasn't even there . . . I was there for the Miss Universe contest, got up, got my stuff and I left - I wasn't even there - it's all." .

The same report by Steele admits it was "hard to prove" what business, if any, Trump had done in St. Petersburg. The allegation that, in order to make no reportable real estate transactions, Trump had "paid bribes to further his interests through affiliated companies", is presented in the dossier as evidence of Trump's corruption. Steele was taking £12,000 to portray the businessman as someone so inexperienced as to pay bribes before he had a deal, not during or after completion.

Steele's only Russian sources have no reported knowledge of Trump's sexual conduct. They include two people reported as serving government officials – Source A, a "senior Foreign Ministry figure"; and Source G, a "senior Kremlin official". One is a retiree – a "former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin"; and one is "an official close to the Presidential Administration head [Sergei] Ivanov". That makes four who British intelligence sources are certain had no contact at all with Steele, his company, or foreigners. A source with direct knowledge of operations says: "Basic rule [of MI6] is that you are probably identified after a couple of jobs. Then in any other visit you might infect anyone you associate with." Second rule, according to this source, is that by the time his cover was blown in 1996 Steele had "infected everyone he had been associated with in Moscow." Since then all he has been able to collect is hearsay three or four times removed from its origin.

Among Steele's kibitzers, he names a businessman, a "senior Russian financial officer"; "two well-placed and established Kremlin sources", a "Kremlin insider", a "well-placed Russian figure", and a "close associate of Rosneft President and Putin ally Igor Sechin". The duo claims that Peskov, the presidential spokesman, had "botched" his role in the military coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016, and was in trouble with chief of staff Ivanov, the Russian intelligence agencies and Putin. Steele's sources provided "no further details" so they didn't know what Peskov had done.

Steele failed to check the record. Had he done so, he would have discovered that Peskov made a public denial of Middle East press reports claiming Russian military intelligence had warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the plot against him, enabling him to survive. ""I don't have such information and I don't know the sources, to which the news agency Fars is referring," Peskov declared . This was either a less than convincing denial of the truth, or an incredulous falsehood. Either way, no Russian source, civilian or military, has suggested Peskov had done anything remarkable. "If Peskov botched that one," said a source in a position to know, "he does the same all the time. What's news about that?"

The "Kremlin insider" – not an official, not a retiree, possibly a journalist – is presented by Steele in a memo of October 19, 2016, as his only source for reporting that Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, had met secretly with Kremlin officials "in the attempt to prevent the full details of Trump's relationship with Russia being exposed." The "insider" had revealed what he knew "speaking in confidence to a longstanding compatriot friend". However, between the two of them they didn't know which Kremlin officials Cohen had met; where; when; or what had been discussed. The "insider" did confide that Ivanov's replacement as chief of the presidential staff by his deputy, Anton Vaino, on August 12, 2016, and Sergei Kirienko's transfer from the state nuclear power holding Rosatom to deputy chief of the staff at the Kremlin on October 5 were both connected to the same thing – the "need to cover up Kremlin's Trump support operation".


Ivanov, extreme left, has remained an active member of the National Security Council, as this council session of January 13 shows . Russian gossip and speculation on the reasons for Ivanov's exit from the chief of staff post were voluminous at the time, including as many personal as policy and political reasons. Steele selected the story his client asked for with a blind attribution in a crowd; added the adjective "Kremlin"; and submitted a fresh invoice for £12,000.

The source "close" to Sechin was reported as saying that during a visit to Moscow in July 2016, Carter Page, a sometime advisor to Trump, had met Sechin, and been told that Sechin "continued to believe that Trump could win the US presidency". Sechin reportedly also told Page that if Trump lifted US sanctions on Rosneft, he would offer "Page/Trump's associates the brokerage [sic] of up to a 19 per cent (privatised) stake in Rosneft in return." This was reported on October 18. On December 12 Carter, back in Moscow, told Russian reporters he had revisited Rosneft: "I had the opportunity to meet with some of the top managers of the company Rosneft. The recent Rosneft deal, in which the Qatar Fund and Glencore could take part is unfortunately a good example of how American private companies are limited to a great degree due to the influence of sanctions." Page added : "The most classic example [of fake news] was of course the claims of my contacts with Igor Ivanovich [Sechin] which would have been a great honor but nevertheless did not take place."

That Sechin and his associates at Rosneft had been scouring the global markets for a formula to privatize a 19.5% stake in Rosneft had been well-known for months. No news either was Page's personal interest in Russian deal-making to support his one-man business, Global Energy Capital LLC . Steele has run the two stories together for a client who knew neither, and for reporters at the Clinton media who didn't check. Page's comments in Moscow reveal he has failed to understand the "privatization" Sechin was intending. For details, read this .

If Steele's operations were as well-known to the Russian services as the fake rock caper, the Russians were capable of planting disinformation intended to confuse or mislead Steele and his clientele, as well as the long line of Americans arriving in Moscow to advertise themselves as Trump advisors. "Intelligence is not evidence, and Steele would have known, better than anyone, that the information he was gathering was not fact and could be wrong", the Guardian has reported . In Moscow Russian sources say Page has made a record of wishful thinking and hustling for a job in the new administration; in Washington Trump's announcement of one has yet to be made.

Russian and western intelligence sources say there is one point the Steele dossier reports more accurately than the report issued on January 6 by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence. That's entitled "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections". Although Air Force Lieutenant-General James Clapper, the departing Director of National Intelligence (below, left), and his subordinates, who authored this paper, refer to "Russia's intelligence services" – plural – they claim the operations against civilian targets were conducted by just one, the military intelligence organization, GRU.

Watch carefully as the Clapper group slips from what it knows about military cyber warfare (signals interception, weapons jamming) into civilian email hacking. "We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and Wikileaks to release victim data obtained in cyber operations We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and senior Democratic officials to Wikileaks."

Steele's dossier reports that the Russian information campaign was run very differently, and from several different sources. In overall command, next to Putin, was his chief of staff until August, Ivanov. Surveillance of Americans in Russia, including electronic and photographic, was the responsibility of the FSB. The Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) was in charge of "targeting foreign, especially western governments, penetrating leading foreign business corporations, especially banks."

Peskov's role was to arrange for media publication of kompromat on Clinton and "black PR", collected by the FSB and SVR. According to a "former intelligence officer, the FSB was the lead organization within the Russian state apparatus for cyber operations." Not a word about the GRU.

The FSB, according to Steele, was reportedly in charge of "using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data, and conduct 'altering operations' against the Democratic party leadership. There is no mention of GRU. In Clapper's version, "Romanian hackers" were GRU agents. In Steele's version they were "paid by both Trump's team and the Kremlin, though their orders and ultimate loyalty lay with Ivanov as Head of the PA [Presidential Administration]."

The Steele memo No. 095 of July 2016 even admits there were "Trump moles" and "agents/facilitators within the Democratic Party structure itself" who leaked internal Clinton campaign emails. The Trump team, it is also reported, provided the Russians with the information that was their highest priority – "the activities of [Russian] business oligarchs and their families' activities and assets in the US." Memo no. 097 of July 30 repeats that "Putin's priority requirement had been for intelligence on the activities, business and otherwise, in the US of leading Russian oligarchs and their families." This didn't come from a Russian source. According to Steele, the source was an American, who was also a Russian émigré, and who was "speaking in confidence to a trusted [American] associate."

Both the Clapper and Steele dossiers depend on a great deal of speaking in confidence to trusted associates, but they can't both be right about which Russian agency was in charge of which US operation. A London associate of Steele's, who doesn't trust him, comments: "I am sure in this case he left no stone unturned in his search for the truth. Steele and his associates became so fixated on the import of what he had on his hands, he lost track of the fact that these are compelling STORIES. Being plausible is vitally important, but that doesn't make the stories true. And if not true, well they are dust. "

"There may have been only one Trump bed, but there are so many fleas."

ambrit , January 18, 2017 at 6:38 am

As I commented about Mr. Steele several days ago, he must be a relative of the famous Remington Steele. In true family tradition, both Steeles are products of falsehood. They bring a "little joy into (peoples) humdrum lives," and "feel (their) hard work ain't been in vain for nuthin," to paraphrase that shining star in the firmament, Lina Lamont. All that's missing here is the obligatory disclaimer; "This product sold for entertainment purposes only." That the "product" is being bruited about as "real" and of consequence is the basic deception intended.
What should be of worry here is the fact that what passes for journalism today is actually "disinfotainment." The Paris Revue it ain't.

tegnost , January 18, 2017 at 9:48 am

I'm thinking maxwelll smart or austin powers

Carolinian , January 18, 2017 at 8:21 am

Thanks for the debunking although Golden Showers Gate is so last week. Perhaps come Friday the looney sitzkrieg period will finally be over and our famously free press can start reporting some real stuff.

Yves Smith Post author , January 18, 2017 at 9:55 am

I know but I thought readers would still appreciate the fine detail, particularly regarding Steele, since the later efforts to prop up the story revolved around finding some folks to vouch for him.

Ancient1 , January 18, 2017 at 11:53 am

Yes, thank you. It might be last week's hot news, but the detail in this artticle is most revelant.

olga , January 18, 2017 at 11:58 am

Plus – if a patently fake (although plausible) story is not completely debunked, the problem is that its after-effects linger on in people's consciousness for a long time

craazyboy , January 18, 2017 at 3:12 pm

I put the odds at 99% that in 2020 we are still seeing polls indicating 50% of Americans believe Russia hacks or influences America. 75% of Ds and 25% of Rs. In 2021, depending on election outcome, the ratios may switch, or stay the same. Assuming we didn't have WW3 before then.

DarkMatters , January 18, 2017 at 3:13 pm

By all means, thank you. Helmer always shines light from unusual directions, and the perspective shown by looking in formerly unexamined nooks and crannies is always, well, illuminating.

RenoDino , January 18, 2017 at 9:52 am

It can't be hacking because Pedestal gave whomever his password. And it can't be espionage because the DNC is a private organization. It can't be subversion because all the information that was released was true, unlike the top secret smear campaign on Trump. Can't wait for Trump's summary of hacking.

RUKidding , January 18, 2017 at 10:21 am

I only skimmed through this but thanks. Have had a couple of conversations with people about this, uh, situation. People who despise Trump really really want to believe it from the bottom of their hearts, and the fact that Mr. Steele is former MI6 just adds to their fervent belief in this legend.

A buncha hooey, if ya ask me. From the get-go, Steele seemed desparate to me. He hasn't been in Russia in quite a long time. I fail to see him as a credible source.

As "b" at Moon of Alabama has said, there's plenty of concerns about Trump, and we should all be vigilent in witnessing what he does and responding accordingly. This crap is just more distraction from actually paying attention to Trump's cabinet picks and their vetting process. How much time has been wasted hyperventilating about golden showers, while some of these cabinet weasels slip through the congressional vetting process without even having their ethics reviews completed? Where's the outrage over that? As usual: crickets.

I'm so DONE with the Democratic party and their antics. They're appear to me to be signalling that they're not intending to really play hard ball with Trump and, you know, actually do the job that we are paying them to do. Rather they'd prefer to waste time, money and other resources by trying to play "gotcha" with Trump overy stupid stuff.

FluffytheObeseCat , January 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm

This. Is the real point. The media is splashing around noisily like swimmers in a bidet while some very nasty pieces of work are being installed in the highest office in the federal bureaucracy. And then there's the new congress. You've got to be scouring the news every day to catch word of the bills they are writing. As if nothing has changed, and the impact on our lives will remain small and distant.

jrs , January 18, 2017 at 2:50 pm

+1 yes and also the new Congress Maybe Trump is just a big fat DISTRACTION (although that remains to be seen of course, I have no absolute certainty on what he will do after Jan 20, but perhaps it really is all distraction even if unplanned).

And maybe Congress (and the appointees) hold the real power (and they are a piece of work!!! And people bother protesting Trump and yet by the lack of such go around normalizing these horrible, possibly even worse than Trump, Republicans that aren't Trump – people like Paul Ryan).

Ivy , January 18, 2017 at 10:35 am

Steele reminds me of a character in The Tailor of Panama , by John Le Carré. That book also could be used relative to Curveball , who featured in our recent Iraq adventures.

There is an obvious demand for more books that allow us to predict the future.

Vatch , January 18, 2017 at 11:50 am

I still think Trump has gold plated bathroom plumbing fixtures. So when he takes a shower,

craazyboy , January 18, 2017 at 3:15 pm

.his shower mates wet the shower bed?

This is a step backwards from The Jacuzzi.

Scott , January 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm

I did want to find a true fact. Didn't ever believe the Golden Shower story. We know that the Trump organization sold real estate in NYC to Russian Oligarchs. We can believe that Putin would have motives to discover who of his orbits bought what & for how much.
Black, White, Red categories of jobs is of use to a fiction spy story writer.

Yves Smith Post author , January 18, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Every big residential real estate developer in NYC sells condos to Russians. Selling real estate to someone does not give them a hold over you. Let us not forget that the Chinese are yuuge real estate buyers too but Trump has been rattling China's cage.

Barry Egan , January 18, 2017 at 1:52 pm

The link to the fake rock story, and apparently all the other links to Helmer's website. Appear to be broken. Or his site is down. I was interested in that, seems like some real Spy vs. Spy type stuff.

Yves Smith Post author , January 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm

I clicked just now and it opened for me: http://johnhelmer.net/?p=6622

[Oct 26, 2017] Putin Warns Of Soft Coup Against Trump; Calls Golden Shower Dossier Creators Worse Than Prostitutes

Notable quotes:
"... Warning that a "soft coup" is being waged against Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he sees attempts in the United States to "delegitimize" US President-elect Donald Trump using "Maidan-style" methods previously used in Ukraine, where readers will recall president Yanukovich was ousted in 2014 following a violent coup, which many suspect was conducted under the auspices of the US State Department and assorted US intelligence operations. ..."
"... Putin said he doesn't believe that Donald Trump met with prostitutes in Russia, calling the accusations part of a campaign to undermine the election result, and suggested that an internal political struggle is underway in the United States despite the fact that the presidential election is over, and added that reports of alleged Russian dossier on Trump are fake as "our security services do not chase every US billionaire." ..."
Jan 17, 2017 | www.thedailysheeple.com
Warning that a "soft coup" is being waged against Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he sees attempts in the United States to "delegitimize" US President-elect Donald Trump using "Maidan-style" methods previously used in Ukraine, where readers will recall president Yanukovich was ousted in 2014 following a violent coup, which many suspect was conducted under the auspices of the US State Department and assorted US intelligence operations.

Putin said he doesn't believe that Donald Trump met with prostitutes in Russia, calling the accusations part of a campaign to undermine the election result, and suggested that an internal political struggle is underway in the United States despite the fact that the presidential election is over, and added that reports of alleged Russian dossier on Trump are fake as "our security services do not chase every US billionaire."

Unsubstantiated allegations made against Trump are "obvious fabrications," Putin told reporters in the Kremlin on Tuesday. "People who order fakes of the type now circulating against the U.S. president-elect, who concoct them and use them in a political battle, are worse than prostitutes because they don't have any moral boundaries at all," he said.

The Russian president, cited by BBG, said that Trump wasn't a politician when he visited Moscow in the past and Russian officials weren't aware that he held any political ambitions.

[Oct 26, 2017] BuzzFeed's Golden Showers debacle is classic yellow press fake

Notable quotes:
"... When I first read the memos, I knew none of the backstory, and looked forward to the salacious content to bring this clown down, particularly any facts showing that the Trump people had prior knowledge of the Russian hacks - a Watergate-sized story, if true, even if the effects of the hacks on the election are being overblown. But with nearly 40 years of investigative experience, mostly on international issues, the wording of the memos quickly caused me to slam on the breaks, because they were worded in such a way as to make confirmation of the charges impossible. The rule involved in making professional judgments on these kinds of things is simple: you look for information that can be proven either true or false, and from that factual template, you then build out one incontrovertible fact at a time. These memoranda had no such facts, with the possible exception of Cohen's trip to Prague, which the FBI told the WSJ was false. ..."
washingtonbabylon.com

From: BuzzFeed's Golden Showers Washington Babylon

... think it was wrong for BuzzFeed to publish it and the media company bears responsibility for this debacle, which has made the entire profession look even worse and generated sympathy for, of all people, Donald Trump.

Simpson's firm is being berated at the moment but there are a lot of companies in Washington who do the same thing - namely produce political and business intelligence for paying clients - and they operate openly and everyone, including journalists, know who they are. In terms of political intelligence, there are firms who work for Democrats and firms that work for Republicans, and some who work for both. The Democrats don't have a monopoly on these firms as one might imagine from the current hysteria.

... ... ...

As has been widely reported, the Trump dossier had circulated for many months - at least as far back as August - and even though there was a fever on the part of the media to get anti-Trump stories into print, everyone with the exception of David Corn of Mother Jones declined to write about the "dossier," and even he only referred to parts of it. The fact that dozens of journalists reviewed these documents and declined to use them, on the grounds that their allegations could not be verified shows that the information contained within them was very shaky.

I read the documents online and it's clear that they are thinly sourced and there were apparently serious errors in them, for example the bit about Trump's attorney's trip to Prague...

... ... ...

Whatever you think of Trump, he won this embarrassing election under the rules of the game. (And yes, Hillary won the popular vote and in a serious democracy she would have been declared the winner, but we are stuck for the time being with the Electoral College.) The Golden Showers story is quite a sensational accusation to make given that he was about 10 days out from inauguration. If Hillary had won the election would Buzzfeed have posted an unproven dossier on her that alleged she had hired prostitutes during an overseas trip to Ukraine? I seriously doubt it, especially given Buzzfeed's notable pro-Hillary tilt during the campaign.

... ... ...

When Chuck Todd accused Smith of publishing "fake news," he suggested that BuzzFeed was just being a good Internet news organization and not letting the media and political elite keep information from the public. This would be easier to take more seriously if BuzzFeed is not so obviously a part of the media elite and doesn't fraternize so comfortably with the political elite like most other news outlets. BuzzFeed was chasing clicks and that's fine, but dressing this up as public service doesn't cut it and especially given the political calculations involved.

BuzzFeed's other excuse was that the documents were already being talked about and were referred to in the Intelligence Community's very dubious report on Trump. But the documents appear to have been given to various agencies by political figures seeking to burn Trump, which BuzzFeed was only too happy to help out with. So it appears that Trump's political enemies and media enemies were working together to get this information out before the inauguration.

I'd also note here one peculiar, and possibly unethical, thing about the New York Times' behavior here. The Times, like everyone but BuzzFeed, didn't publish the report but they wrote quite a bit about it. In an early story it said that they would not identify the research firm behind the leaked memos because of "a confidential source agreement with The New York Times." Then it revealed the firm's name in a later story and edited the earlier one to take out the line about their confidential source agreement.

So it looks like the Times violated a confidentiality agreement, which is pretty troubling...

... ... ...

Note: I'd strongly urge anyone following this story to friend long-time investigative journalist and researcher Craig Pyes on Facebook. ....

Here is an excerpt:

When I first read the memos, I knew none of the backstory, and looked forward to the salacious content to bring this clown down, particularly any facts showing that the Trump people had prior knowledge of the Russian hacks - a Watergate-sized story, if true, even if the effects of the hacks on the election are being overblown. But with nearly 40 years of investigative experience, mostly on international issues, the wording of the memos quickly caused me to slam on the breaks, because they were worded in such a way as to make confirmation of the charges impossible. The rule involved in making professional judgments on these kinds of things is simple: you look for information that can be proven either true or false, and from that factual template, you then build out one incontrovertible fact at a time. These memoranda had no such facts, with the possible exception of Cohen's trip to Prague, which the FBI told the WSJ was false.

[Oct 26, 2017] The Deep State Goes to War with President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... This is the faction that is now engaged in open warfare against the duly elected and already widely disliked president-elect, Donald Trump. They are using classic Cold War dirty tactics and the defining ingredients of what has until recently been denounced as "Fake News." ..."
"... Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials. And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party , seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing - eager ..."
"... What's with the USIC vs. Trump infowar? One way to look at it: The United States Intelligence community on the one hand, and Trump, Inc. on the other, are two feuding organized crime families. ..."
"... Are the elites fighting for the pieces of the shrinking pie? We trapped in the valley are the Greek peasant watching the frivolities and the infighting of the Olympian Gods and Goddesses atop the mountain permanently occupied by those heavenly celebrities reincarnated as the 1% . ..."
"... The "Trump Memo" furor is an example of how the controlled media manufactures fake news by using a devious technique known as "leading with rebuttal"- whereby defamatory, unproved, and unprovable allegations can be publicized without fear of legal action, a former journalist with one of the large media corporations has revealed. read the rest at the link ..."
"... It's interesting that this "#SteeleGate" scandal hit the MSM just after the announcement of the appointment of RFK, Jr. to a new commission on vaccines and scientific rigor in Big Pharma (it's not that rigorous). "I'm a germophobe", said the teetotalling never-vaccinated President-elect. ..."
"... Widely-disliked by MSM victims, which I admit is most everyone. The MSM and their owners declared war against Donald Trump a long time ago, and they're not going to let a little thing like losing a presidential election get in the way. ..."
Jan 11, 2017 | www.unz.com
Glenn Greenwald • The Intercept • January 11, 2017 • 20 Comments Reply

IN JANUARY, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this specific threat to democracy: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." That warning was issued prior to the decadelong escalation of the Vietnam War, three more decades of Cold War mania, and the post-9/11 era, all of which radically expanded that unelected faction's power even further.

This is the faction that is now engaged in open warfare against the duly elected and already widely disliked president-elect, Donald Trump. They are using classic Cold War dirty tactics and the defining ingredients of what has until recently been denounced as "Fake News."

Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials. And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party , seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing - eager - to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviors might be.

The serious dangers posed by a Trump presidency are numerous and manifest. There are a wide array of legitimate and effective tactics for combatting those threats: from bipartisan congressional coalitions and constitutional legal challenges to citizen uprisings and sustained and aggressive civil disobedience. All of those strategies have periodically proven themselves effective in times of political crisis or authoritarian overreach.

But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive. Empowering the very entities that have produced the most shameful atrocities and systemic deceit over the last six decades is desperation of the worst kind. Demanding that evidence-free, anonymous assertions be instantly venerated as Truth - despite emanating from the very precincts designed to propagandize and lie - is an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality. And casually branding domestic adversaries who refuse to go along as traitors and disloyal foreign operatives is morally bankrupt and certain to backfire on those doing it.

Verymuchalive , January 12, 2017 at 8:38 pm GMT

All very vague. No mention of Neocons, Zionists, AIPAC, the ADL, Jews
I wonder why?

@Kyle a
He knew you would fill in the blanks. This is The Unz Review comment section after all.
Agent76 , January 12, 2017 at 9:03 pm GMT • 100 Words

January 11, 2017 "Their ability to falsify is unlimited": Douglas Valentine provides background for understanding "USIC v Trump"

What's with the USIC vs. Trump infowar? One way to look at it: The United States Intelligence community on the one hand, and Trump, Inc. on the other, are two feuding organized crime families.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/01/11/falsify/

@KA
Are the elites fighting for the pieces of the shrinking pie? We trapped in the valley are the Greek peasant watching the frivolities and the infighting of the Olympian Gods and Goddesses atop the mountain permanently occupied by those heavenly celebrities reincarnated as the 1% .
Ivy , January 12, 2017 at 9:27 pm GMT • 100 Words

Here is an article outlining a journalistic technique getting some more notoriety these days:

The "Trump Memo" furor is an example of how the controlled media manufactures fake news by using a devious technique known as "leading with rebuttal"- whereby defamatory, unproved, and unprovable allegations can be publicized without fear of legal action, a former journalist with one of the large media corporations has revealed. read the rest at the link

http://newobserveronline.com/trump-memo-media-technique-revealed/

Randal , January 12, 2017 at 9:44 pm GMT • 100 Words

If any of the significant claims in this "dossier" turn out to be provably false - such as Cohen's trip to Prague - many people will conclude, with Trump's encouragement, that large media outlets (CNN and BuzzFeed) and anti-Trump factions inside the government (CIA) are deploying "Fake News" to destroy him. In the eyes of many people, that will forever discredit - render impotent - future journalistic exposés

LOL! The horse is long gone from that stable, I think.

Plenty to dislike about Greenwald, but he is certainly very intelligent and competent, and almost always makes good points well, in his writings. In some ways, he clearly is more genuinely principled than most on the left who make loud noises about supposed principles that they never adhere to when it's inconvenient to do so.

anon , Show Comment Next New Comment January 12, 2017 at 9:54 pm GMT

If Christopher Steele's body is found in mysterious circumstances, say with a ricin pellet or polonium poisoning, then I think we have to worry something is afoot.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/12/509493584/ex-spy-who-reportedly-assembled-trump-dossier-appears-to-be-in-hiding

@Anonymous Nephew
"If Christopher Steele's body is found in mysterious circumstances, say with a ricin pellet or polonium poisoning, then I think we have to worry something is afoot."

If the CIA have indeed declared war on DJT, Steele's in more danger from them than from the FSB. After all , a death like that would 'prove' Steele correct.

@Ivy
Here is an article outlining a journalistic technique getting some more notoriety these days:

The "Trump Memo" furor is an example of how the controlled media manufactures fake news by using a devious technique known as "leading with rebuttal"- whereby defamatory, unproved, and unprovable allegations can be publicized without fear of legal action, a former journalist with one of the large media corporations has revealed. read the rest at the link

http://newobserveronline.com/trump-memo-media-technique-revealed/

NYTimes follows the script word for word, doubles down:

TODAY's HEADLINES:

How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump
By SCOTT SHANE, NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and MATTHEW ROSENBERG
"The consequences of the dossier, put together by a former British spy named Christopher Steele, are incalculable and will play out long past Inauguration Day."

http://tinyurl.com/ztkodcj

– one question, tho: I thought public figures could not initiate libel suits ???

@Eustace Tilley (not)
Carlos Slim's Blog (CSB = the NYT) calls Steele "respected". By whom? Typical journalistic sleight-of-hand.

It's interesting that this "#SteeleGate" scandal hit the MSM just after the announcement of the appointment of RFK, Jr. to a new commission on vaccines and scientific rigor in Big Pharma (it's not that rigorous). "I'm a germophobe", said the teetotalling never-vaccinated President-elect.

@Anonymous
NYTimes follows the script word for word, doubles down:


TODAY's HEADLINES:


How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump
By SCOTT SHANE, NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and MATTHEW ROSENBERG
"The consequences of the dossier, put together by a former British spy named Christopher Steele, are incalculable and will play out long past Inauguration Day."

http://tinyurl.com/ztkodcj

-- one question, tho: I thought public figures could not initiate libel suits ???

Carlos Slim's Blog (CSB = the NYT) calls Steele "respected". By whom? Typical journalistic sleight-of-hand.

It's interesting that this "#SteeleGate" scandal hit the MSM just after the announcement of the appointment of RFK, Jr. to a new commission on vaccines and scientific rigor in Big Pharma (it's not that rigorous). "I'm a germophobe", said the teetotalling never-vaccinated President-elect.

Andrew Nichols , Show Comment Next New Comment January 13, 2017 at 12:15 am GMT

Totally outstanding piece. Greenwald Fisk, Cockburn, Cook and Pilger. So few against so much BS.

Kyle McKenna , Show Comment Next New Comment January 13, 2017 at 1:40 am GMT

open warfare against the duly elected and already widely disliked president-elect

Widely-disliked by MSM victims, which I admit is most everyone. The MSM and their owners declared war against Donald Trump a long time ago, and they're not going to let a little thing like losing a presidential election get in the way.

It's going to be like this for a while, I daresay. Dig in