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Hillary health issues

The photo, initially published by the Reuters and Getty news agencies, show Mrs. Clinton, 68,
 receiving help as she tries to ascend a staircase in front of a home.
The images were actually taken in February  in South Carolina.

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Introduction

The key question here is "How many people want quite sick president of the USA?" What additional risks are involved?

Clinton  age and health are certain to be talked about, given that she would be vying to become the second-oldest person in history to be elected as POTUS.  She would be 69, only a little younger than Ronald Reagan when he won his first term in 1980.

Moreover there were at least a dozen documented by video cases in the recent Presidential race when it's quite clear from footage alone that Hillary Clinton has serious health issues. Three of them ("extended bathroom break", "convulsions during her interview", "difficulties in ascending stairs") became heavily publicized and are well documented.  They probably represent just the tip of the iceberg as for each of them several similar events video might exist. 

There are two main hypothesis that circulated about her condition

Another important consideration if the level of progression. From this point of view it is important to understand then she started to demonstrate those symptoms. The consensus is that she has first symptom in 2008 or earlier.  Parson disease has several stage ( The Stages of Parkinson’s Disease National Parkinson Foundation ):

  1. Stage One: During this initial stage, the person has mild symptoms that generally do not interfere with daily activities. Tremor and other movement symptoms occur on one side of the body only. Friends and family may notice changes in posture, walking and facial expressions.
  2. Stage Two: In stage two of Parkinson’s, the symptoms start getting worse. Tremor, rigidity and other movement symptoms affect both sides of the body. Walking problems and poor posture may become apparent. In this stage, the person is still able to live alone, but completing day-to-day tasks becomes more difficult and may take longer. 
  3. Stage Three: Stage three is considered mid-stage in the progression of the disease. Loss of balance and slowness of movements are hallmarks of this phase. Falls are more common. Though the person is still fully independent, symptoms significantly impair activities of daily living such as dressing and eating. 
  4. Stage Four: During this stage of Parkinson’s, symptoms are severe and very limiting. It’s possible to stand without assistance, but movement may require a walker. The person needs help with activities of daily living and is unable to live alone. 
  5. Stage Five: This is the most advanced and debilitating stage of Parkinson’s disease. Stiffness in the legs may make it impossible to stand or walk. The person requires a wheelchair or is bedridden. Around-the-clock nursing care is required for all activities. The person may experience hallucinations and delusions. While stage five focuses on motor symptoms, the Parkinson’s community acknowledges that there are many important non-motor symptoms as well.

Existing evidence suggests that Hillary might be current at stage II which usually last seven-eight years, and she might be at this stage from 2012.  Some sources suggest stage three (Friends of Hillary say she has Parkinson’s)

Hillary Clinton has stage-three Parkinson’s disease and suffers from seizures, according to three sources who have had a personal relationship with the Democratic Party presidential nominee.

... ... ...

... However, images captured at the 9/11 memorial Sunday showed Clinton apparently being asked by a medical professional to squeeze her fingers, a test that would indicate she suffers from a neurological disease such as Parkinson’s.

Here is the timeline of her problems which started at least seven years ago and progressively worsened. It was created using timeline in Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson’s Disease, Physician Confirms  as a base, with additions from various other sources (all errors are mine):

Chronology of Hillary’s health condition

Strange, spontaneous coughing fits were observed from 2008

Hillary has strange and prolong coughing bouts (which sometimes happens to people who are allergic to something and do not take anti-histamines) . See Hillary mum on coughing fits, special eyeglasses

NEW YORK – Hillary Clinton’s refusal to answer questions about her recent coughing fits or to explain why she is wearing eyeglasses fitted with Fresnel prisms supports the conclusion of several qualified physicians that her presidential campaign is still keeping key health records hidden from the American public.

After her most recent coughing fit Tuesday during a speech in New York City, Clinton left Chicago on Wednesday wearing her normal contact lenses. But at a photo opportunity in Las Vegas, she was observed once again wearing the thick, black glasses fitted with Fresnel prisms, suggesting she was experiencing another bout of double vision.

The ‘Stop Hillary’ campaign is on fire! Join the surging response to this theme: ‘Clinton for prosecution, not president’

On Thursday and Friday, WND spoke with several physicians about Clinton’s double vision problem, asking if they believed it could be related to the concussion she suffered in December 2012 that resulted in a blood clot in her head.

WND also asked whether Clinton’s repeated coughing bouts could be related to her hypothyroid condition for which she is taking Armour Thyroid, as WND previously reported, a natural remedy made from desiccated pig glands, or from her apparently congenital predisposition to form blood clots. To prevent clots, as WND reported, she is taking Coumadin, otherwise known as warfarin, an old but commonly prescribed blood-thinning medication originally developed as a rat poison.

WND also reported the medication Clinton has taken since 1998 to deal with her blood-clotting problems may have side effects such as blurred vision and confusion, both of which she has experienced. And a California physician warned Coumadin could be more life-threatening to her than the possibility of a recurring blood clot.

Head trauma causing double vision?

“It is very hard to draw substantial conclusions from the limited medical information we have on Hillary Clinton,” explained Dr. Todd Lasner, a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai Medical in Miami.

“We cannot opine with 100 percent certainty, because we do not have all the medical facts,” he said. “Fresnel prisms are typically used to correct double vision, to refract light through the prism so you can see a single image as you are normally used to seeing.

“My first suspicion would be the Fresnel prisms were prescribed for Hillary Clinton because of nerve damage causing double vision resulting from a trauma to her head, possibly from the fall causing the concussion,” Lasner concluded. “But without her medical records, I cannot say for certain.”

Lasner did not believe Clinton’s need to wear eyeglasses fitted with Fresnel prisms was related to the Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST), the blood clot in the head between the skull and the brain in the sinus behind the ear that she suffered as a result of the concussion.

“The type of blood clot she had in her brain can cause cerebral hemorrhaging, it can cause swelling of the brain, and other times it can just cause headaches, or it may not even be symptomatic in some cases,” he noted. “But for the CVST to cause double vision from a nerve injury that could be cured with a prism lens is unlikely.

“It’s possible all these conditions could be interrelated somehow,” he acknowledged.

He said the trauma to the head could damage a vein in the brain that leads to the vein developing a blood clot, with the same trauma to the head causing damage to a nerve resulting in the double vision requiring the Fresnel prism lens.

“That is the more likely scenario, but without a complete medical record, or unless I examined her myself, I cannot say for sure.”

Fresnel glasses require specialist diagnosis

Dr. Daniel Kassicieh, D.O., a dual board certified osteopathic neurologist and a leading headache specialist who directs the Florida Headache and Movement Disorder Center in Sarasota, Florida, agreed that the diagnosis of Clinton’s double vision and the prescription of a Fresnel prism lens would require consultation with a medical specialist.

“I saw Hillary Clinton first wearing the eyeglasses with the Fresnel prisms when she testified to Congress on Benghazi in January 2013, and she continued to wear them a while,” Kassicieh told WND. “Then I saw her again this week in Las Vegas wearing those black eyeglasses with the Fresnel prism lenses, and I wondered when her double vision came back, or if it never really went away.”

Kassicieh said he noticed Clinton’s coughing spells seem also to be a persistent and recurring problem.

“I think Hillary’s cough is a separate medical problem from her double vision,” he said. “But it makes me wonder if there isn’t something else going on with her health that we don’t know about.”

He said that if Clinton is taking medication for high blood pressure, she may be on ACE inhibitor, a pharmaceutical drug used to help relax blood vessels that in some patients causes a dry, persistent cough.

“But if high blood pressure medications were causing Hillary Clinton to have the persistent cough, I can’t imagine why her physicians wouldn’t do something about it, like simply changing her medications,” Kassicieh said.

“Or, the coughing could be related to a problem she has with gastroesophageal reflux disease [stomach acid flowing back into esophagus],” he posed. “But without having access to Hillary Clinton’s medical records, we really don’t know what the problem is causing her to have this persistent, hacking cough.”

But Kassicieh said it was nearly certain that wearing eyeglasses fitted with Fresnel prisms meant Clinton was under the care of a specialist eye doctor whose medical records have not been made public.

As WND reported Feb. 12, Kassicieh believes the concussion Clinton suffered in December 2012 that led to a serious blood clot requiring hospitalization may also have caused her to suffer post-concussion syndrome, with symptoms including confusion, headaches and dizziness.

“If I were treating a patient for post-concussion syndrome who complained of diplopia [the medical term for double vision] and had a history of concussion, I would send the patient to a neuro-opthamologist, to get an M.D. specialist consult. That would be the best medical practice,” he said.

“It takes a very complex examination and diagnosis to prescribe a Fresnel prism correctly, and no one other than trained eye physicians are qualified,” he continued.

“So when you are talking about someone who is a candidate for the president of the United States, I would assume, she would be referred to a high-end neuro-opthamologist to make the diagnosis and write the prescription if a Fresnel prism were required.”

‘Public has a right to know’

Dr. Ronald Hoffman, a New York City physician who hosts the nationally syndicated radio program “Intelligent Medicine,” told WND in a telephone interview that without the medical records, “we really have no idea what the medical condition causing Hillary Clinton to be wearing eyeglasses fitted with Fresnel prism lenses.”

Hoffman is past president of the nation’s largest organization of complementary and alternative doctors, the American College for Advancement in Medicine, or ACAM. He’s the founder and medical director of the Hoffman Center, specializing in a natural medicine approach that combines nutritional and metabolic medical assessment tools with high-tech innovations in traditional medicine.

On Feb. 4, WND reported Hoffman’s concerns that Clinton’s underactive hypothyroid condition complicates the medical treatment she is receiving for her genetic propensity to form blood clots.

This week, he told WND there is “no reason to suspect the medications Hillary Clinton is currently taking for her hypothyroid condition (Armour Thyroid) or for her blood clotting condition (Coumadin) are causing as a side-effect the persistent coughing we have seen interrupt her speeches recently.”

“I can’t imagine her diplopia is related to her hypothyroidism or her blood-clotting,” he continued. “The persistent coughing has to have some explanation. Maybe there is an underlying condition that is not being divulged. But with access to examine her full medical records, we simply do not know.

He said it’s unusual for a person to have an uncontrolled coughing spell that lasts for minutes at a time.

“That is something more than just an occasional clearing of the throat,” he said.

“But the real problem here with the Clintons is non-disclosure,” he concluded. “If she has some medical issues, let’s hear about them.

“It would not be unexpected her physicians might want to gloss over some medical problems to pronounce her in excellent health,” Hoffman said. “The truth is she might be in average health, taking several medications. It’s to be expected there might be some medical problems that beset people in their 60s.

“Why not just air out her full medical records? If she has some medical problems that are not yet disclosed, let’s hear about them,” he said. “Especially for a person running for president, the public has a right to know and there is no reason her full medical records should not be made open for examination.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/hillary-mum-on-coughing-fits-special-eyeglasses/#bl54pJedJwqj4uAl.99

Not holding press conferences for more then 260 days during her 2015-2016 campaign

Hillary Clinton hasn't held a press conference in 180 days. That fact hasn't been lost on reporters who cover her, nor has it escaped the notice of her Republican opponent. "I am getting great credit for my press conference today," Trump tweeted, referring to the Trump Tower fiasco on Tuesday in which he scolded reporters for doing their jobs.

"Crooked Hillary should be admonished for not having a press conference in 179 days." Likewise, political reporters have hinted that they'd really, really like Clinton to hold a press conference of her own, if only to counterbalance Trump's.

See also David Gregory Makes Excuses For Hillary Not Holding Press Conferences)

On Monday's New Day, CNN's David Gregory barely acknowledged the criticism of Hillary Clinton for not holding press conferences before trying to offer excuses for the former first lady: "I think she would much rather give the spotlight of negative publicity to Donald Trump, who's doing an excellent job occupying that spotlight....I don't think she wants to face a series of questions and follow-up questions on the I.G. report; on Clinton Foundation donations, and the, kind of, unscripted nature of a press conference." [video below]

Moments earlier, anchor Chris Cuomo asked The Daily Beast's Jackie Kucinich, "What are you seeing with Hillary Clinton, in terms of how she is working with the media? Do you believe that something is seen as needing to shift within that campaign? If so, do you believe you are seeing any shift or being told about a potential shift?" Kucinich answered, in part, that "it's a great contrast; and when you look at Donald Trump, who...will have a press conference. Whether or not what he says in them are true, he's at least having them."

Another fact is that she is traveling with at least one personal full time physician who according to reports in one episode administered valium  to her when her was making her speech:

Wikipedia on auto-injector pen:

“An autoinjector (or auto-injector) is a medical device designed to deliver a dose of a particular drug. Most autoinjectors are spring-loaded syringes. By design, autoinjectors are easy to use and are intended for self-administration by patients, or administration by untrained personnel.”

Accompanying her physician might be Oladotun Okunola, M.D., of the Neuroscience Center of Northern New Jersey. The picture in his profile shows a man who, although younger and thinner, has the same facial features as "Burly Black Man." (H/t The Last Refuge and FOTM‘s Anon )

Oladotun A. Okunola, M.D.

Dr. Okunola joins the prestigious Neurology group, Neuroscience Center of Northern New Jersey, to provide a variety of specialized care. He specializes in
epilepsy, clinical neurophysiology, and sleep medicine.

Dr. Okunola completed medical school at Howard University College of Medicine. He stayed and completed his internship and neurology residency at Howard University Hospital,
Washington, DC. He received fellowship training in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at Georgetown University Hospital Washington, DC. He also completed a sleep medicine fellowshij
at Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut.

As part of his fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology/epilepsy, he focused on intraoperative and epilepsy monitoring; EEG and EMG. As a sleep specialist, he diagnoses and treats sleep related disorders such as daytime sleepiness (hypersomnolence), insomnia, narcolepsy, obstructive, central, and complex sleep apnea, etc.

Dr. Okunola is board-certified in both adult neurology and clinical neurophysiology. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Neurology.

The neoliberal MSM try to swipe those facts under the carpet, but sensationalism sometime stake over. for example, the New York Post ran a provocative headline: “Karl Rove: Hillary may have brain damage.”

The newspaper reported that George W. Bush’s former chief strategist suggested as much at a recent conference near Los Angeles.

Rove, reached by The Washington Post, insisted that he had not gone quite that far, saying instead that the former secretary of state should provide more information about a head injury she sustained after a fall in December 2012.

“Of course she doesn’t have brain damage,” Rove said in the interview. But he maintained that Clinton had suffered “a serious health episode” about which “she is going to have to be forthcoming.”

Of course, those words coming from the Republican Party’s most famous bare-knuckles operative were read as something more than an expression of concern for her health.

“All he wants to do is inject the issue into the echo chamber, and he’s succeeding. It’s flagrant and thinly veiled,” said Clinton’s press secretary, Nick Merrill. “They are scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer. What he’s doing is its own form of sickness. But she is 100 percent, period. Time for them to move on to their next desperate attack.”

Rove also came under harsh criticism from some in his party, including former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

“It’s a terrible thing for Karl to do,” said Gingrich, who is not known for being shy about attacking an opponent. “It’s petty. It’s personal. It’s negative. It eats up time and space with things that make no difference. . . . We are never going to beat her with this kind of stuff.”

The injury that Clinton suffered has been the subject of speculation by both her friends and her enemies.

Her doctors said that she had become severely dehydrated with an intestinal infection and fainted, suffering a concussion and a subsequent blood clot.

As a result, she had to reschedule her congressional testimony regarding the September 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. When she did appear, Clinton wore special eyeglasses, with a lens known as a Fresnel prism, that help treat double vision.

“Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that,” Rove was quoted as saying at the conference.

In fact, Clinton spent only three days in the hospital. She was hospitalized Dec. 30, 2012, and released Jan. 2, 2013.

But Rove was correct that the health of presidential candidates — and presidents themselves — is no longer a subject they can avoid.

Early information from the book “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas,” by Edward Klein

On June 23, 2014 Jow Tacopino published in New York Post his review of the book “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas,” by Edward Klein. Here is what he extracted from the book:

Hillary Clinton’s health issues are drastically worse than she has revealed publicly — and the potential presidential candidate tried to keep her medical information private for fear that it would damage her bid for the White House in 2016, according to a new book.

The 66-year-old former secretary of state has suffered more fainting spells than publicly known, is prone to have blood clots, and may be at serious risk of a stroke, according to the book, “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas,” by Edward Klein.

The medical scare that forced Clinton to be rushed to New York-Presby­terian Hospital on Dec. 30, 2013, revealed how serious the situation is.“She has to be carefully monitored for the rest of her life,” doctors warned former President Bill Clinton before Hillary was released from the hospital, according to the book. The book claims Hillary was taken to New York­Presbyterian after a fainting spell and concussion that she suffered in her seventh-floor office at the State Department — not at her home, as claimed.

Hillary was initially treated at a State Department facility and was transferred to her home to recover. Bill Clinton, however, insisted Hillary be flown to New York City and be treated by specialists there, Klein claims. During her visit to the Manhattan hospital, the presumed 2016 Democratic front-runner was diagnosed with several problems, including the clots. Hillary had a right transverse venous thrombosis, or a blood clot, between her brain and skull. “The unique thing about clotting in the brain is that it could have transformed into a stroke,” a cardiac specialist with knowledge of Hillary’s condition says in the book.

Increased  health problems, especially the cognitive ones, might explain why she doesn’t do press conferences for so long. She probably can’t "think fast enough" to answer bombarding by questions. Such an atmosphere creates “confusion.” People with dementia do not like chaotic atmospheres, a lot of loud talking, etc.

Leaked documents supposedly originated by her physician  Dr. Bardack

Hillary Clinton diagnosed with Subcortical Vascular Dementia by Dr. Lisa Bardack, Medical records on Twitter forged, Hillary

Hillary Clinton diagnosed with Subcortical Vascular Dementia by Dr. Lisa Bardack?, Medical records on Twitter forged?, Hillary has diagnosed ailments and exhibits suspicious traits, HillsMedRecords account deleted retrieved from WayBack Machine

“Binswanger’s disease (BD), also called subcortical vascular dementia, is a type of dementia caused by widespread, microscopic areas of damage to the deep layers of white matter in the brain.”
“symptoms include forgetfulness (but not as severe as the forgetfulness of Alzheimer’s disease), changes in speech, an unsteady gait, clumsiness or frequent falls, changes in personality or mood (most likely in the form of apathy, irritability, and depression), and urinary symptoms that aren’t caused by urological disease.”…NIH

“The main stream media has been doing it’s best to hide the truth about Hillary Clinton’s rapidly deteriorating health, but it’s getting to be a harder and harder trick to continue to pull off. Just yesterday the Twitterverse lit up with photographs of her seemingly unable to make it up a flight of steps as seen here”…nowtheendbegins.com

“We are being lied to on a scale unimaginable by George Orwell.”…Citizen Wells

Hillary Clinton has ailments diagnosed by Dr. Lisa Bardack.

From a Healthcare Statement from Dr. Bardack dated July 28, 2015 we learn:

Hillary suffered a concussion in 2012.
Diagnosed with a transverse sinus venous thrombosis.
Anticoagulation therapy to disolve the clot.
Experienced double vision for a period of time.
Daily Coumadin treatment.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/clintonhealth2015.pdf

For months Hillary Clinton has been exhibiting erratic behaviour in her speech, mannerisms and walking.

This has prompted numerous rumors and questions in the media and on the internet.

I was given a heads up during the past 24 hours about some alleged medical records placed on a Twitter account which was subsequently deleted.

The account was Hillary’s Records @HillsMedRecords on Twitter.

The account was deleted but I was able to retrieve the records from the WayBack Machine.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160809081237/https:/twitter.com/HillsMedRecords

Are these 2 “medical records” Forged?

HillaryMedical

HillaryMedicalMar5

All of the information looks plausible.

The account owner made the following claim:

“Hillary’s Records ‏@HillsMedRecords 1 d
Dr Bardack, you should have been honest about #HillaryClinton health. Luckily I saved a few things when I left for a new job. #NeverHillary”

I will let the reader decide.

But something is affecting Hillary’s body.

From Dr. Drew on Breitbart January 8, 2016.

“‘Sudden Death’: Dr. Drew Warns of Coming Pulmonary Embolism with Hillary Clinton’s ‘Shoddy’ Health”

““Why is somebody who’s running for the President of the United States getting such shoddy care?” Drew stressed on KABC’s Midday Live. “My problem is the quality of the overall care she is getting,” he added.

Dr. Drew was reacting to a recent report by Breitbart News that revealed security officials and medical professionals speculate Clinton could be suffering from long-term health issues stemming from a concussion and blood clot, a claim that the Clinton campaign denied – referencing Clinton’s health statement produced by her physician and published on her campaign website.”

“Dr. Drew noted several of his concerns:

Why is Clinton on Armor Thyroid “and not something that would be a higher standard of care?”
“Why is she clotting repeatedly? Something is wrong with her coagulation system.”
“Did she have an echocardiogram” and has she had a “sleep study?”
Dr. Drew, after reviewing Clinton’s doctor’s health statement, said she had “peculiar medical histories.”

“Forget the politics…all aside, my physician senses are tingling and I’m worried about the human being who also happens to be a presidential candidate,” he said.”

Read more:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/08/sudden-death-dr-drew-warns-of-coming-pulmonary-embolism-with-hillary-clintons-shoddy-health/

From Now The End Begins August 9, 2016.

“ARE HILLARY CLINTON’S SEIZURES AND STUMBLING BEING CAUSED BY SUBCORTICAL VASCULAR DEMENTIA?

Then there was this freakish episode from her rally on August 4th where she was momentarily disoriented and needed to be steadied by someone who was either a Secret Service agent or one of her doctors. Take a good, close look at the expression on her face as she loses sense of where she is mentally, and does not regain her composure until the man who appeared at her side steadied her.”

Read more:

Are Hillary Clinton’s Seizures And Stumbling Being Caused By Subcortical Vascular Dementia?

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

Dr. Mike Cernovich document

Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson’s Disease, Physician Confirms

The 2009 fall where HRC broke her elbow suggests that she had working protective reflexes, and her arm took the brunt of the fall. But three years later, she had a catastrophic fall where her reflexes were unable to help her. It is notable that this fall took place at home, where she would have been unstressed and in a familiar setting. Failing reflexes are common in PD. Poor balance is also common in PD, and a fall without working protective reflexes is a prescription for head injury. Her subsequent concerns with transverse sinus thrombosis are plausibly related to the fall. Her need for fresnel lens glasses also fits with post-concussion syndrome.

Huma Abedin’s email comment can be referring to PCS as well, since it was during the six-month period of rehab. One must, however, be cautious not to overlook persistent cognitive problems that PCS can have. (Editorial note: The reader will note that this discussion is giving the benefit of the doubt to as many HRC memes as can reasonably earn it.)

2016 starts a spate of new data. The photos of HRC being helped up the steps is consistent with a fall similar to 2012, but with a security detail close enough to catch her before she fell to the ground. This matches the loss of reflexes and balance with PD.

On July 21 a video of HRC is posted that has many observers calling a “seizure.”

We should note the setting. She is answering questions, and then multiple reporters call out at the same time. Such a shock is often too much stress for a PD patient, and the patient suffers an “on/off” episode. Higher control turns off and an unpredictable dyskinesia takes over. Shortly she switches back “on” and regains control. Her mind froze during the “off” state, but was aware, so she is able to speak again, but inappropriately.

It should be noted that such dyskinesias are sufficiently common with long term treatment that they have a name: Parkinson’s Disease LevoDopa Induced Dyskinesia (PD LID).

A week later, during the balloon drop at the Convention, HRC suddenly “freezes.” This is an “off” moment manifested by bradykinesia, another PD problem. The particular form is a brief oculogyric crisis, complete with head arched back, fixed gaze, and wide open mouth. Again, this is common in PD. We should compare it to HRC’s facial expressions on “Live with Kelly and Michael” on November 19, 2015.[xiii] At 6:30 in that video, we also see a PD tremor and posture in her left hand when it comes to rest momentarily. In most videos her hands are in constant motion or clasped against some object. These are strategies to suppress a tremor.

HRC’s description of her false answers to Chris Wallace as a “short circuit” is extremely unusual.

It comes from the field of electronics, in which HRC has never been involved. The Urban Dictionary definition is electrical, and there is no popular or slang usage. But one semi-technical description of PD calls it “short-circuiting” brain circuits.[xiv] Did she hear this during a doctor’s explanation of her disease? It would not be unusual to parrot such a phrase if she has PD.

Days later, HRC “freezes” again at a campaign rally. This “off” state is like the others, triggered by a startle/stress reaction. But what is more telling is that the security detail gives her specific instructions in an attempt to get her to turn “on” again. She then parrots those exact words as she restarts. This is another PD sign.

The numerous episodes of prolonged coughing are another tell. Swallowing disorders are very common in PD. They can lead to aspiration pneumonia, the most common cause of death in PD. But before that they lead to chronic difficulty swallowing saliva. It gets onto the vocal cords, leading to coughing in an attempt to clear them. The high frequency of these episodes strongly suggests a major swallowing disorder.

Multiple episodes of inappropriate and extended laughter have also been documented. This, again, is common in PD.

We do not have video evidence of the “pill rolling” tremor that is common in PD. But that is not a major concern for our thesis. Treatment with levodopa can reduce it. Also, PD sufferers develop a variety of techniques to hide it. Since it is a tremor at rest, keeping the hands in motion suppresses it. Grasping objects such as a lectern can also hide it. As long as the hands are busy, it is usually not visible.

Summary: HRC probably has PD.

She has had clinical symptoms for a minimum of 4 years, and probably much longer, given that the fall leading to her head injury required a significant progression of the disease. All of her bizarre physical actions since that time fit nicely into the spectrum of signs that we expect in PD. And since PD explains all of them, we have a high probability of a correct diagnosis. It has almost certainly been treated with levodopa. Some of her symptoms may be related to this drug treatment.

It is most curious that all of the bizarre physical signs seem to be in 2016 videos. HRC was a public figure in 2015, with a lot of campaign work underway. Yet all of the oddities seem to be within the last several months. This suggests a significant progression of her PD. We also know that her contact with the public has been rigidly controlled. She has not done news conferences during the campaign. These would be highly stressful to a PD sufferer and would elicit many PD signs.

PD is a chronic disease with a downhill prognosis. HRC’s instability and frequent cough suggest that her PD is advanced. This is not a good outlook for someone running for the Presidency. The office of the President is one of the highest stress jobs in the world. Stress sets off PD episodes, which render the sufferer incapable of proper response.

At this point, a bit of speculation seems appropriate. HRC talks about her yoga sessions. But no one we know of has ever documented one. It is possible that this is cover for sessions designed to teach her coping mechanisms for PD or for rest breaks. Exhaustion makes PD worse.

HRC’s coughing suggests that her swallowing disorder is advanced, placing her closer to an aspiration pneumonia that would disable or kill her. That’s bad enough, but PD has one more, even more dangerous step in its progression.

As PD continues, cognitive problems can develop. In time, they become full-blown dementia. The United States cannot survive if its President is mentally impaired.

 

Conclusion:

It is not appropriate for a physician to make a diagnosis at a distance. But since the evidence in the public record so strongly suggests that HRC has moderate to advanced PD, it is imperative that HRC release her complete medical record to an impartial panel of physicians for review. It is not necessary for the public at large to see them. Such a panel should be secure in its deliberations and should present a summary to the public. If she has PD, the panel would know and it would be made public. If not, then the air would clear.

 

Note on authorship:

The author of this document is a board-certified Anesthesiologist with 36 years of experience. That brings with it the ability to understand medical discussions, but not the expertise to evaluate PD signs and symptoms.

The first subject matter expert is a close friend of the author. This person is a brilliant businessman who was forced to sell his interest in eight successful businesses because early onset PD made him unable to continue in the daily duties of business. He is well versed in PD and sees its ravages in himself.

The second subject matter expert is the author’s brother. He is an RN who spent two years working 12-hour shifts caring for PD patients in a nursing home. This saturation experience allows him to pick up PD signs automatically. He notes that he called HRC’s PD and levodopa therapy when he watched the famous “What difference does it make?” exchange. Her mannerisms and behavior were classic and stereotypical.

Of interest is that during a teleconference, the author called the others to look at HRC’s left hand during the “Live With Kelly and Michael” video. The clip was played, and neither of the others even saw her hand. They were both riveted to her eyes, and both exclaimed that her eyes were “classic PD.” The clip had to be played a second and third time before they could even take their gaze away from her eyes. They did finally see her hand and agree that it was also demonstrating PD.

 

[i] http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/06/18/hillary-clinton-faces-surgery-for-broken-elbow/

[ii] http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/hillary-clinton-treated-concussion-fall-article-1.1220947

[iii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/hillary-clintons-blood-clot-most-likely-in-a-leg-experts-say/2012/12/31/d2c853ea-5376-11e2-bf3e-76c0a789346f_story.html

[iv] http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/05/hillary-clinton-took-6-months-to-get-over-concussion-bill-says-of-timeline/

[v] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3320900/Newly-released-email-shows-aide-Huma-Abedin-warned-colleagues-Hillary-confused-needed-hand-holding-calls-foreign-leaders.html

[vi] http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/08/07/hillary-clinton-needs-help-getting-stairs/

[vii] https://youtu.be/jkOUwIHUIgo

[viii] http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/283066-clinton-acts-startled-when-reporters-ask-about-warren-as

[ix] http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/video-news/watch-hillary-clintons-amazing-reaction-to-the-dnc-balloon-drop-34922354.html

[x] http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/05/politics/hillary-clinton-attacks-donald-trump-journalism/

[xi] http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/07/31/full_interview_hillary_clinton_on_fox_news_sunday.html

[xii] http://thelastgreatstand.com/2016/08/07/hillary-clinton-freezes-fear-secret-agents-says-keep-talking-video/

[xiii] https://youtu.be/OKUi0sd1Ocg

[xiv] Rodgers, R, PhD, Road to Recovery from Parkinson’s Disease, ISBN 978-0-9819767-5-4, 2013, p. 94.

 


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Old News ;-)

[Mar 25, 2019] Spygate The True Story of Collusion (plus Infographic) by Jeff Carlson

Highly recommended!
This is probably the most comprehensive outline of the color revolution against Trump. Bravo, simply bravo !!!
Reads like Agatha Christi Murder on the Orient Express ;-) Rosenstein role is completely revised from a popular narrative. Brennan role clarifies and detailed. Obama personal role hinted. Victoria Nuland role and the role of the State Department in Russiagate is documented for the first time, I think.
Notable quotes:
"... The "insurance policy" appears to have been the effort to legitimize the Trump–Russia collusion narrative so that an FBI investigation, led by McCabe, could continue unhindered. ..."
"... Ohr, one of the highest-ranking officials in the DOJ, was communicating on an ongoing basis with Steele, whom he had known since at least 2006 , well into mid-2017. He is also married to Nellie Ohr, an expert on Russia and Eurasia who began working for Fusion GPS sometime in late 2015 . Nellie Ohr likely played a significant role in the construction of the dossier. ..."
"... The Obama administration provided a simultaneous layer of protection and facilitation for the entire effort. One example is provided by Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 , also known as Obama's data-sharing order . With the passage of the order, agencies and individuals were able to ask the NSA for access to specific surveillance simply by claiming the intercepts contained relevant information that was useful to a particular mission. ..."
"... Leaking, including felony leaking of classified information, has been widespread. The Carter Page FISA warrant -- likely the unredacted version -- has been in the possession of The Washington Post and The New York Times since March 2017. Traditionally, the intelligence community leaked to The Washington Post while the DOJ leaked to sources within The New York Times. This was a historical pattern that stood until this election. The leaking became so widespread, even this tradition was broken. ..."
"... The information contained within both articles likely came via felony leaks from James Wolfe, former director of security for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who was arrested on June 7, 2018, and charged with one count of lying to the FBI. Wolfe's indictment alleges that he was leaking classified information to multiple reporters over an extended period of time. ..."
"... The Steele dossier was fed into U.S. channels through several different sources. One such source was Sir Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia, who had been briefed about the dossier by Steele. Wood later relayed information regarding the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who dispatched David Kramer, a fellow at the McCain Institute, to London to meet with Steele in November 2016. McCain would later admit in a Jan. 11, 2017, statement that he had personally passed on the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey. ..."
"... Trump, after issuing an order for the declassification of documents and text messages related to the Russia-collusion investigations -- including parts of the Carter Page FISA warrant application -- received phone calls from two U.S. allies saying, "Please, can we talk." Those "allies" were almost certainly the UK and Australia. ..."
"... Questions to be asked are why is it that two of our allies would find themselves so opposed to the release of these classified documents that a coordinated plea would be made directly to the president? And why would these same allies have even the slightest idea of what was contained in these classified U.S. documents? ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.theepochtimes.com
Spygate: The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] How America's most powerful agencies were weaponized against President Donald Trump

Although the details remain complex, the structure underlying Spygate -- the creation of the false narrative that candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia, and the spying on his presidential campaign -- remains surprisingly simple:

  1. CIA Director John Brennan, with some assistance from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, gathered foreign intelligence and fed it throughout our domestic Intelligence Community.
  2. The FBI became the handler of Brennan's intelligence and engaged in the more practical elements of surveillance.
  3. The Department of Justice facilitated investigations by the FBI and legal maneuverings, while providing a crucial shield of nondisclosure.
  4. The Department of State became a mechanism of information dissemination and leaks.
  5. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee provided funding, support, and media collusion.
  6. Obama administration officials were complicit, and engaged in unmasking and intelligence gathering and dissemination.
  7. The media was the most corrosive element in many respects. None of these events could have transpired without their willing participation. Stories were pushed, facts were ignored, and narratives were promoted.

Let's start with a simple premise: The candidacy of Trump presented both an opportunity and a threat.

Initially not viewed with any real seriousness, Trump's campaign was seen as an opportunistic wedge in the election process. At the same time, and particularly as the viability of his candidacy increased, Trump was seen as an existential threat to the established political system.

The sudden legitimacy of Trump's candidacy was not welcomed by the U.S. political establishment. Here was a true political outsider who held no traditional allegiances. He was brash and boastful, he ignored political correctness, he couldn't be bought, and he didn't care what others thought of him -- he trusted himself.

Governing bodies in Britain and the European Union were also worried. Candidate Trump was openly challenging monetary policy, regulations, and the power of special interests. He challenged Congress. He challenged the United Nations and the European Union. He questioned everything.

Brennan played a crucial role in the creation of the Russia-collusion narrative and the spying on the Trump campaign. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Brennan became the point man in the operation to stop a potential Trump presidency. It remains unclear whether his role was self-appointed or came from above. To embark on such a mission without direct presidential authority seems both a stretch of the imagination and particularly foolhardy.

Brennan took unofficial foreign intelligence compiled by contacts, colleagues, and associates -- primarily from the UK , but also from other Five Eyes members, such as Australia.

Individuals in official positions in UK intelligence, such as Robert Hannigan -- head of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, Britain's equivalent of the National Security Agency) -- partnered with former UK foreign intelligence members. Former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove , former Ambassador Sir Andrew Wood, and private UK intelligence firm Hakluyt all played a role.

In the summer of 2016, Hannigan traveled to Washington to meet with Brennan regarding alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. On Jan. 23, 2017 -- three days after Trump's inauguration -- Hannigan abruptly announced his retirement. The Guardian openly speculated that Hannigan's resignation was directly related to the sharing of UK intelligence.

One method used to help establish evidence of collusion was the employment of "spy traps." Prominent among these were ones set for Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. The intent was to provide or establish connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. The content and context mattered little as long as a connection could be established that could then be publicized. The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was another such attempt.

Western intelligence assets were used to initiate and establish these connections, particularly in the cases of Papadopoulos and Page.

Ultimately, Brennan formed an inter-agency task force comprising an estimated six agencies and/or government departments. The FBI, Treasury, and DOJ handled the domestic inquiry into Trump and possible Russia connections. The CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency (NSA) handled foreign and intelligence aspects.

Brennan's inter-agency task force is not to be confused with the July 2016 FBI counterintelligence investigation, which was formed later at Brennan's urging.

During this time, Brennan also employed the use of reverse targeting , which relates to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen. This effort was uncovered and made public by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in a March 2017 press conference :

"I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show the president-elect and his team were monitored and disseminated out in intelligence-reporting channels. Details about persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little apparent foreign-intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.

"From what I know right now, it looks like incidental collection. We don't know exactly how that was picked up but we're trying to get to the bottom of it."

As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of any traditional channels -- was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence investigation. Brennan repeatedly noted this during a May 23, 2017, congressional testimony :

"I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the [FBI]."

Brennan also admitted that his intelligence helped establish the FBI investigation:

"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred."

This admission is important, as no official intelligence was used to open the FBI's investigation.

Once the FBI began its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016, Brennan shifted his focus. Through a series of meetings in August and September 2016, Brennan informed the congressional Gang of Eight regarding intelligence and information he had gathered. Notably, each Gang of Eight member was briefed separately, calling into question whether each of the members received the same information. Efforts to block the release of the transcripts from each meeting remain ongoing.

The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports and greater participation from Clapper. The first report, the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security ," was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, "GRIZZLY STEPPE -- Russian Malicious Cyber Activity ," was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) -- was released on Jan. 6, 2017.

This final report was used to continue pushing the Russia-collusion narrative following the election of President Donald Trump. Notably, Admiral Mike Rogers of the NSA publicly dissented from the findings of the ICA, assigning only a moderate confidence level.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bMcNbum93cU?wmode=transparent&wmode=opaque

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Although the FBI is technically part of the DOJ, it is best for the purposes of this article that the FBI and DOJ be viewed as separate entities, each with its own related ties.

The FBI itself was comprised of various factions, with a particularly active element that has come to be known as the "insurance policy group." It appears that this faction was led by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and comprised other notable names such as FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and FBI general counsel James Baker.

The FBI established the counterintelligence investigation into alleged Russia collusion with the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016. Comey initially refused to say whether the FBI was investigating possible connections between members of the Trump campaign and Russia. He would continue to refuse to provide answers until March 20, 2017, when he disclosed the existence of the FBI investigation during congressional testimony.

Comey also testified that he did not provide notification to the Gang of Eight until early March 2017 -- less than one month earlier. This admission was in stark contrast to actions taken by Brennan, who had notified members of the Gang of Eight individually during August and September 2016. It's likely that Brennan never informed Comey that he had briefed the Gang of Eight in 2016. Comey did note that the DOJ "had been aware" of the investigation all along.

Comey opened the counterintelligence investigation into Trump on the urging of CIA Director John Brennan.
Following Comey's firing on May 9, 2017, the FBI's investigation was transferred to special counsel Robert Mueller. The Mueller investigation remains ongoing.

The FBI's formal involvement with the Steele dossier began on July 5, 2016, when Mike Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the US Embassy in Rome, was dispatched to visit former MI6 spy Christopher Steele in London. Gaeta would return from this meeting with a copy of Steele's first memo. This memo was given to Victoria Nuland at the State Department, who passed it along to the FBI.

Gaeta, who also headed the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime unit, had known Steele since at least 2010, when Steele had provided assistance to the FBI's investigation into the FIFA corruption scandal .

Prior to the London meeting, Gaeta may also have met on a less formal basis with Steele several weeks earlier. "In June, Steele flew to Rome to brief the FBI contact with whom he had cooperated over FIFA," The Guardian reported. "His information started to reach the bureau in Washington."

It's worth noting that there was no "dossier" until it was fully compiled in December 2016. There was only a sequence of documents from Steele -- documents that were passed on individually -- as they were created. Therefore, from the FBI's legal perspective, they didn't use the dossier. They used individual documents.

For the next month and a half, there appeared to be little contact between Steele and the FBI. However, the FBI's interest in the dossier suddenly accelerated in late August 2016, when the bureau asked Steele "for all information in his possession and for him to explain how the material had been gathered and to identify his sources."

In September 2016, Steele traveled back to Rome to meet with the FBI's Eurasian squad once again. It's likely that the meeting included several other FBI officials as well. According to a House Intelligence Committee minority memo , Steele's reporting reached the FBI counterintelligence team in mid-September 2016 -- the same time as Steele's September trip to Rome.

The reason for the FBI's renewed interest had to do with an adviser to the Trump campaign -- Carter Page -- who had been in contact with Stefan Halper, a CIA and FBI source, since July 2016. Halper arranged to meet with Page for the first time on July 11, 2016, at a Cambridge symposium , just three days after Page took a trip to Moscow. Speakers at the symposium included Madeleine Albright, Vin Webber, and Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6.

Page was now the FBI's chosen target for a FISA warrant that would be obtained on Oct. 21, 2016. The Steele dossier would be the primary evidence used in obtaining the FISA warrant, which would be renewed three separate times, including after Trump took office, finally expiring in September 2017.

Former volunteer Trump campaign adviser Carter Page on Nov. 2, 2017. The FBI obtained a retroactive FISA spy warrant on Page.

After being in contact with Page for 14 months, Halper stopped contact exactly as the final FISA warrant on Page expired. Page, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, was never charged with any crime by the FBI. Efforts for the declassification of the Page FISA application are currently ongoing through the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General.

Peter Strzok and Lisa Page

Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were two prominent members of the FBI's "insurance policy" group. Strzok, a senior FBI agent, was the deputy assistant director of FBI's Counterintelligence Division. Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer, served as special counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Strzok was in charge of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for government business. He helped FBI Director James Comey draft the statement exonerating Clinton and was personally responsible for changing specific wording within that statement that reduced Clinton's legal liability. Specifically, Strzok changed the words "grossly negligent," which could be a criminal offense, to "extremely careless."

Strzok also personally led the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the alleged Trump–Russia collusion and signed the documents that opened the investigation on July 31, 2016. He was one of the FBI agents who interviewed Trump's national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn. Strzok met multiple times with DOJ official Bruce Ohr and received information from Steele at those meetings.

Following the firing of FBI Director James Comey, Strzok would join the team of special counsel Robert Mueller. Two months later, he was removed from that team after the DOJ inspector general discovered a lengthy series of texts between Strzok and Page that contained politically charged messages. Strzok would be fired from the FBI in August 2018.

Both Strzok and Page engaged in strategic leaking to the press. Page did so at the direction of McCabe, who directly authorized Page to share information with Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett. That information was used in an Oct. 30, 2016, article headlined "FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe ." Page leaked to Barrett thinking she had been granted legal and official authorization to do so.

McCabe would later initially deny providing such authorization to the Office of Inspector General. Page, when confronted with McCabe's denials, produced texts refuting his statement. It was these texts that led to the inspector general uncovering the texts between Strzok and Page.

The two exchanged thousands of texts, some of them indicating surveillance activities, over a two-year period. Texts sent between Aug. 21, 2015, and June 25, 2017, have been made public . The series comes to an end with a final text by Page telling Strzok, "Don't ever text me again."

On Aug. 8, 2016, Stzrok wrote that they would prevent candidate Trump from becoming president:

Page: "[Trump is] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!"

Strzok: "No. No he won't. We'll stop it."

On Aug. 15, 2016, Strzok sent a text referring to an "insurance policy":

"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way [Trump] gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."

The "insurance policy" appears to have been the effort to legitimize the Trump–Russia collusion narrative so that an FBI investigation, led by McCabe, could continue unhindered.

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice, which comprises 60 agencies , was transformed during the Obama years. The department is forbidden by federal law from hiring employees based on political affiliation.

However, a series of investigative articles by PJ Media published during Eric Holder's tenure as attorney general revealed an unsettling pattern of ideological conformity among new hires at the DOJ: Only lawyers from the progressive left were hired. Not one single moderate or conservative lawyer made the cut. This is significant as the DOJ enjoys significant latitude in determining who will be subject to prosecution.

The DOJ's job in Spygate was to facilitate the legal side of surveillance while providing a protective layer of cover for all those involved. The department became a repository of information and provided a protective wall between the investigative efforts of the FBI and the legislative branch. Importantly, it also served as the firewall within the executive branch, serving as the insulating barrier between the FBI and Obama officials. The department had become legendary for its stonewalling tactics with Congress.

DOJ Official Bruce Ohr on Aug. 28, 2018. Ohr passed on information from Christopher Steele to the FBI.

The DOJ, which was fully aware of the actions being taken by James Comey and the FBI, also became an active element acting against members of the Trump campaign. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, along with Mary McCord, the head of the DOJ's National Security Division, was actively involved in efforts to remove Gen. Michael Flynn from his position as national security adviser to President Trump.

To this day, it remains unknown which individual was responsible for making public Flynn's call with the Russian ambassador. Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty to a process crime: lying to the FBI. There have been questions raised in Congress regarding the possible alteration of FD-302s, the written notes of Flynn's FBI interviews. Special counsel Robert Mueller has repeatedly deferred Flynn's sentencing hearing.

David Laufman, deputy assistant attorney general in charge of counterintelligence at the DOJ's National Security Division, played a key role in both the Clinton email server and Russia hacking investigations. Laufman is currently the attorney for Monica McLean, the long-time friend of Christine Blasey Ford, who recently accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while in high school. McLean was also employed by the FBI for 24 years.

Bruce Ohr was a significant DOJ official who played a key role in Spygate. Ohr held two important positions at the DOJ: associate deputy attorney general, and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. As associate deputy attorney general, Ohr was just four offices away from then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and he reported directly to her. As director of the task force, he was in charge of a program described as "the centerpiece of the attorney general's drug strategy."

Ohr, one of the highest-ranking officials in the DOJ, was communicating on an ongoing basis with Steele, whom he had known since at least 2006 , well into mid-2017. He is also married to Nellie Ohr, an expert on Russia and Eurasia who began working for Fusion GPS sometime in late 2015 . Nellie Ohr likely played a significant role in the construction of the dossier.

According to testimony from FBI agent Peter Strzok, he and Ohr met at least five times during 2016 and 2017. Strzok was working directly with then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Additionally, Ohr met with the FBI at least 12 times between late November 2016 and May 2017 for a series of interviews. These meetings could have been used to transmit information from Steele to the FBI. This came after the FBI had formally severed contact with Steele in late October or early November 2016.

John Carlin is another notable figure with the DOJ. Carlin was an assistant attorney general and the head of the DOJ's National Security Division until October 2016. His role will be discussed below in the section on FISA abuse.

The Battle Between Rosenstein and McCabe

Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe held a pivotal role in what has become known as "Spygate." He directed the activities of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and was involved in all aspects of the Russia investigation. He was also mentioned in the infamous "insurance policy" text message.

McCabe was a major component of the insurance policy.

On April 26, 2017, Rosenstein found himself appointed as the new deputy attorney general. He was placed into a somewhat chaotic situation, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the ongoing Russia investigation a little less than two months earlier, on March 2, 2017. This effectively meant that no one in the Trump administration had any oversight of the ongoing investigation being conducted by the FBI and the DOJ.

Additionally, the leadership of then-FBI Director James Comey was coming under increased scrutiny as the result of actions taken leading up to and following the election, particularly Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation.

On May 9, 2017, Rosenstein wrote a memorandum recommending that Comey be fired. The subject of the memo was "Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI." Comey was fired that day. McCabe was now the acting director of the FBI and was immediately under consideration for the permanent position.

On the same day Comey was fired, McCabe would lie during an interview with agents from the FBI's Inspection Division (INSD) regarding apparent leaks that were used in an Oct. 30, 2016, Wall Street Journal article, "FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe" by Devlin Barrett. This would later be disclosed in the inspector general report, "A Report of Investigation of Certain Allegations Relating to Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe."

At the time, nobody, including the INSD agents, knew that McCabe had lied, nor were the darker aspects of McCabe's role in Spygate fully known.

In late April or early May 2016, McCabe opened a federal criminal investigation on Sessions, regarding potential lack of candor before Congress in relation to Sessions's contacts with Russians. Sessions was unaware of the investigation.

Sessions would later be cleared of any wrongdoing by special counsel Robert Mueller.

On the morning of May 16, 2017, Rosenstein reportedly suggested to McCabe that he secretly record President Trump. This remark was reported in a New York Times article that was sourced from memos from the now-fired McCabe, along with testimony taken from former FBI general counsel James Baker, who relayed a conversation he had with McCabe about the occurrence. Rosenstein issued a statement denying the accusations.

The alleged comments by Rosenstein occurred at a meeting where McCabe was "pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president." An unnamed participant at the meeting, in comments to The Washington Post, framed the conversation somewhat differently, noting Rosenstein responded sarcastically to McCabe, saying, "What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?"

Later, on the same day that Rosenstein had his meetings with McCabe, President Trump met with Mueller, reportedly as an interview for the FBI director job. On May 17, 2017, the day after President Trump's meeting with Mueller -- and the day after Rosenstein's encounters with McCabe -- Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel.

The May 17 appointment of Mueller in effect shifted control of the Russia investigation from the FBI and McCabe to Mueller. Rosenstein would retain ultimate authority for the probe and any expansion of Mueller's investigation required authorization from Rosenstein.

Interestingly, without Comey's memo leaks, a special counsel might not have been appointed -- the FBI, and possibly McCabe, would have remained in charge of the Russia investigation. McCabe was probably not going to become the permanent FBI director, but he was reportedly under consideration. Regardless, without Comey's leak, McCabe would have retained direct involvement and the FBI would have retained control.

On July 28, 2017, McCabe lied to Inspector General Michael Horowitz while under oath regarding authorization of the leaking to The Wall Street Journal. At this point, Horowitz knew McCabe was lying, but did not yet know of the May 9 INSD interview with McCabe.

On Aug. 2, 2017, Rosenstein secretly issued Mueller a revised memo on "the scope of investigation and definition of authority" that remains heavily redacted. The full purpose of this memo remains unknown. On this same day, Christopher Wray was named as the new FBI director.

Two days later, on Aug. 4, 2017, Sessions announced that the FBI had created a new leaks investigation unit. Rosenstein and Wray were tasked with overseeing all leak investigations.

That Aug. 2 memo from Rosenstein to Mueller may have been specifically designed to remove any residual FBI influence -- specifically that of McCabe -- from the Russia investigation. The appointment of Wray as FBI director helped cement this. McCabe was finally completely neutralized.

On March 16, 2018, McCabe was fired for lying under oath at least three different times and is currently the subject of a grand jury investigation.

State Department

The State Department, with its many contacts within foreign governments, became a conduit for the flow of information. The transfer of Christopher Steele's first dossier memo was personally facilitated by Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland gave approval for FBI agent Michael Gaeta to travel to London to obtain the memo from Steele. The memo may have passed directly from her to FBI leadership. Secretary of State John Kerry was also given a copy.

Steele was already well-known within the State Department. Following Steele's involvement in the FIFA scandal investigation, he began to provide reports informally to the State Department. The reports were written for a "private client" but were "shared widely within the U.S. State Department, and sent up to Secretary of State John Kerry and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who was in charge of the U.S. response to Putin's annexation of Crimea and covert invasion of eastern Ukraine," the Guardian reported.

Nuland passed on parts of the Steele dossier to the FBI. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In July 2016, when the FBI wanted to send Gaeta to visit Steele in London, the bureau sought permission from the office of Nuland, who provided this version of events during a Feb. 4, 2018, appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation":

"In the middle of July, when [Steele] was doing this other work and became concerned, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding and our immediate reaction to that was, this is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That's something for the FBI to investigate."

Steele also met with Jonathan Winer, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement and former special envoy for Libya. Steele and Winer had known each other since at least 2010. In an opinion article in The Washington Post, Winer wrote the following:

"In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the 'dossier.' Steele's sources suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign."

In a strange turn of events, Winer also received a separate dossier , very similar to Steele's, from long-time Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. This "second dossier" had been compiled by another longtime Clinton operative, former journalist Cody Shearer, and echoed claims made in the Steele dossier. Winer then met with Steele in late September 2016 and gave Steele a copy of the "second dossier." Steele went on to share this second dossier with the FBI, which may have used it to corroborate his dossier.

Winer passed on memos from Christopher Steele to Victoria Nuland. (State Department)

Other foreign officials also used conduits into the State Department. Alexander Downer, Australia's high commissioner to the UK, reportedly funneled his conversation with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos -- later used as a reason to open the FBI's counterintelligence investigation -- directly to the U.S. Embassy in London.

"The Downer details landed with the embassy's then-chargé d'affaires, Elizabeth Dibble, who previously served as a principal deputy assistant secretary in Mrs. Clinton's State Department," The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel wrote in a May 31, 2018, article .

If true, this would mean that neither Australian intelligence nor the Australian government alerted the FBI to the Papadopoulos information. What happened with the Downer details, and to whom they were ultimately relayed, remains unknown.

Curiously, details surprisingly similar to the Papadopoulos–Downer conversation show up in the first memo written by Steele on June 20, 2016:

"A dossier of compromising information on Hillary Clinton has been collated by the Russian Intelligence Services over many years and mainly comprises bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls. It has not yet been distributed abroad, including to Trump."

Clinton Campaign and the DNC

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee both occupied a unique position. They had the most to gain but they also had the most to lose. And they stood willing and ready to do whatever was necessary to win. Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, is credited with being the first to raise the specter of candidate Donald Trump's alleged collusion with Russia.

The entire Clinton campaign willfully promoted the narrative of Russia–Trump collusion despite the uncomfortable fact that they were the ones who had engaged the services of Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele through their law firm Perkins Coie. Information flowed from the campaign -- sometimes through Perkins Coie, other times through affiliates -- ultimately making its way into the media and sometimes to the FBI. Information from the Clinton campaign may also have ended up in the Steele dossier.

Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for the Clinton campaign, in tandem with Jake Sullivan, the senior policy adviser to the campaign, took the lead in briefing the press on the Trump–Russia collusion story.

Another example of this behavior can be seen from an instance when Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann leaked information from Steele and Fusion GPS to Franklin Foer of Slate magazine. This event is described in the House Intelligence Committee's final report on Russian active measures , in footnote 43 on page 57. Foer then published the article "Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia? " on Oct. 31, 2016. The article concerns allegations regarding a server in the Trump Tower.

The Slate article managed to attract the immediate attention of Clinton, who posted a tweet on the same day the article was published:

"Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank."

Attached to her tweet was a statement from Sullivan:

"This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow. Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.

"This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia. It certainly seems the Trump Organization felt it had something to hide, given that it apparently took steps to conceal the link when it was discovered by journalists."

These statements, which were later proven to be incorrect, are all the more disturbing with the hindsight knowledge that it was a senior Clinton/DNC lawyer who helped plant the story. And given the prepared statement by Sullivan, the Clinton campaign knew this.

This type of behavior would be engaged in repeatedly -- damning leaks leading to media stories, followed by ready attacks from the Clinton campaign.

Alexandra Chalupa is a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee. Chalupa met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, Paul Manafort, and Russia. Chalupa began investigating Manafort in 2014. In late 2015, Chalupa expanded her opposition research on Manafort to include Trump's ties to Russia. In January 2016, Chalupa shared her information with a senior DNC official.

Chalupa's meetings with DNC and Ukrainian officials would continue. On April 26, 2016, investigative reporter Michael Isikoff published a story on Yahoo News about Manafort's business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. It was later learned from a DNC email leaked by Wikileaks that Chalupa had been working with Isikoff -- the same journalist Christopher Steele leaked to in September 2016. Manafort would later be indicted for Foreign Agents Registration Act violations that occurred during the Obama administration.

Perkins Coie

International law firm Perkins Coie served as the legal arm for both the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Ties to Perkins Coie extended beyond the DNC into the Obama White House.

Bob Bauer, a partner at the law firm and founder of its political law practice, served as White House counsel to President Barack Obama throughout 2010 and 2011. Bauer was also general counsel to Obama's campaign organization, Obama for America, in 2008 and 2012.

Perkins Coie partners Marc Elias and Michael Sussmann each played critical roles and were the ones who hired Fusion GPS and Steele. Sussmann personally handled the alleged hack of the DNC server. He also transmitted information, likely from Steele and Fusion GPS, to James Baker, then-chief counsel at the FBI, and to several members of the press.

Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann. Sussmann transmitted information to FBI chief counsel James Baker and several journalists. (Courtesy Perkins Coie)

According to a letter dated Oct. 24, 2017, written by Matthew Gehringer, general counsel at Perkins Coie, the firm was approached by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson in early March 2016 regarding the possibility of hiring Fusion GPS to continue opposition research into the Trump campaign. Simpson's overtures were successful, and in April 2016, Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS on behalf of the DNC.

Sometime in April or May 2016, Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele. During this same period, Fusion also reportedly hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Steele would complete his first memo on June 20, 2016, and send it to Fusion via enciphered mail.

Perkins Coie appears to have also been acting as a conduit between the DNC and the FBI. Documents suggest that Sussmann was feeding information to FBI general counsel James Baker and at least one journalist ahead of the FBI's application for a FISA warrant on the Trump campaign.

The information provided by Sussmann may have been used by the FBI as "corroborating information."

Obama Administration

The Obama administration provided a simultaneous layer of protection and facilitation for the entire effort. One example is provided by Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 , also known as Obama's data-sharing order . With the passage of the order, agencies and individuals were able to ask the NSA for access to specific surveillance simply by claiming the intercepts contained relevant information that was useful to a particular mission.

Section 2.3 had been expected to be finalized by early to mid-2016. Instead, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper didn't sign off on Section 2.3 until Dec. 15, 2016. The order was finalized when Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed it on Jan. 3, 2017.

The reason for the delay could relate to the fact that while the executive order made it easier to share intelligence between agencies, it also limited certain types of information from going to the White House.

An example of this was provided by Evelyn Farkas during a March 2, 2017, MSNBC interview , where she detailed how the Obama administration gathered and disseminated intelligence on the Trump team:

"I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill 'Get as much information as you can. Get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration.'

"The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff's dealing with Russians, [they] would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. That's why you have the leaking."

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia Evelyn Farkas on May 6, 2014. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Many of the Obama administration's efforts appear to have been structural in nature, such as establishing new procedures or creating impediments to oversight that enabled much of the surveillance abuse to occur.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was appointed by Obama in 2011. From the very start, he found his duties throttled by the attorney general's office. According to congressional testimony by Horowitz:

"We got access to information up to 2010 in all of these categories. No law changed in 2010. No policy changed. It was simply a decision by the General Counsel's Office in 2010 that they viewed, now, the law differently. And as a result, they weren't going to give us that information."

These new restrictions were put in place by Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

On Aug. 5, 2014, Horowitz and other inspectors general sent a letter to Congress asking for unimpeded access to all records. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates responded on July 20, 2015, with a 58-page memorandum . The memo specifically denied the inspector general access to any information collected under Title III -- including intercepted communications and national security letters.

The New York Times recently disclosed that national security letters were used in the surveillance of the Trump campaign.

At other times, the Obama administration's efforts were more direct. The Intelligence Community assessment was released internally on Jan. 5, 2017. On this same day, Obama held an undisclosed White House meeting to discuss the dossier with national security adviser Susan Rice, FBI Director James Comey, and Yates. Rice would later send herself an email documenting the meeting.

The following day, Brennan, Clapper, and Comey attached a written summary of the Steele dossier to the classified briefing they gave Obama. Comey then met with President-elect Trump to inform him of the dossier. This meeting took place just hours after Comey, Brennan, and Clapper formally briefed Obama on both the Intelligence Community assessment and the Steele dossier.

Comey would only inform Trump of the "salacious" details contained within the dossier. He later explained on CNN in an April 2018 interview why:

"Because that was the part that the leaders of the Intelligence Community agreed he needed to be told about."

Shortly after Comey's meeting with Trump, both the Trump–Comey meeting and the existence of the dossier were leaked to CNN. The significance of the meeting was material, as Comey noted in a Jan. 7 memo he wrote:

"Media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material."

Clapper leaked information to CNN, after which he publicly condemned the leaks. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The media had widely dismissed the dossier as unsubstantiated and, therefore, unreportable. It was only after learning that Comey briefed Trump that CNN reported on the dossier. It was later revealed that DNI James Clapper personally leaked Comey's meeting with Trump to CNN.

The Obama administration also directly participated in a series of intelligence unmaskings , the process whereby a U.S. citizen's identity is revealed from collected surveillance. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power reportedly engaged in hundreds of unmasking requests. Rice has admitted to doing the same.

The Obama administration engaged in the ultimately successful effort to oust Trump's newly appointed national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn. Yates, along with Mary McCord, head of the DOJ's National Security Division, led that effort .

Executive Order 13762

President Barack Obama issued a last-minute executive order on Jan. 13, 2017, that altered the line of succession within the DOJ. The action was not done in consultation with the incoming Trump administration.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired on Jan. 30, 2017, by a newly inaugurated President Trump for refusing to uphold the president's executive order limiting travel from certain terror-prone countries. Yates was initially supposed to serve in her position until Jeff Sessions was confirmed as attorney general.

Obama's executive order placed the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia next in line behind the department's senior leadership. The attorney at the time was Channing Phillips.

Phillips was first hired by former Attorney General Eric Holder in 1994 for a position in the D.C. U.S. attorney's office. Phillips, after serving as a senior adviser to Holder, stayed on after he was replaced by Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

It appears the Obama administration was hoping the Russia investigation would default to Channing in the event Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the investigation. Sessions, whose confirmation hearings began three days before the order, was already coming under intense scrutiny.

The implementation of the order may also tie into Yates's efforts to remove Gen. Michael Flynn over his call with the Russian ambassador.

Trump ignored the succession order, as he is legally allowed to do, and instead appointed Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, as acting attorney general on Jan. 30, 2017, the same day Yates was fired.

Trump issued a new executive order on Feb. 9, 2017, the same day Sessions was sworn in, reversing Obama's prior order.

On March 10, 2017, Trump fired 46 Obama-era U.S. attorneys, including Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan. These firings appear to have been unexpected.

Media

In some respects, the media has played the most disingenuous of roles. Areas of investigation that historically would have proven irresistible to reporters of the past have been steadfastly ignored. False narratives have been all-too-willingly promoted and facts ignored. Fusion GPS personally made a series of payments to several as-of-yet- unnamed reporters .

The majority of the mainstream media has represented positions of the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

Steele met with members of certain media with relative frequency. In September 2016 , he met with a number of U.S. journalists for "The New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo! News, the New Yorker and CNN," according to The Guardian. It was during this period that Steele met with Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News.

In mid-October 2016, Steele returned to New York and met with reporters again. Toward the end of October, Steele spoke via Skype with Mother Jones reporter David Corn.

Leaking, including felony leaking of classified information, has been widespread. The Carter Page FISA warrant -- likely the unredacted version -- has been in the possession of The Washington Post and The New York Times since March 2017. Traditionally, the intelligence community leaked to The Washington Post while the DOJ leaked to sources within The New York Times. This was a historical pattern that stood until this election. The leaking became so widespread, even this tradition was broken.

On April 3, 2017, BuzzFeed reporter Ali Watkins wrote the article " A Former Trump Adviser Met With a Russian Spy ." In the article, she identified "Male-1," referred to in court documents relating to the case of Russian spy Evgeny Buryakov, as Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who had provided the FBI with assistance in the case. Just over a week later, on April 11, 2017, a Washington Post article, " FBI Obtained FISA Warrant to Monitor Former Trump Adviser Carter Page ," confirmed the existence of the October 2016 Page FISA warrant.

The information contained within both articles likely came via felony leaks from James Wolfe, former director of security for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who was arrested on June 7, 2018, and charged with one count of lying to the FBI. Wolfe's indictment alleges that he was leaking classified information to multiple reporters over an extended period of time.

Reporter Ali Watkins likely received the undredacted FISA application on Carter Page from James Wolfe.
It appears probable that Wolfe leaked unredacted copies of the Page FISA application. According to the indictment , Wolfe exchanged 82 text messages with Watkins on March 17, 2017. That same evening they engaged in a 28-minute phone call. The original Page FISA application is 83 pages long, including one final signatory page.

In the public version of the application, there are 37 fully redacted pages. In addition to that, several other pages have redactions for all but the header. There are only two pages in the entire document that contain no redactions.

Why would Wolfe bother to send 37 pages of complete redactions? It seems more than plausible that Wolfe took pictures of the original unredacted FISA application and sent them by text to Watkins.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has repeatedly stated that evidence within the FISA application shows the counterintelligence agencies were abused by the Obama administration. Most of the mainstream media has known this.

Despite this, most major news organizations for over two years have promoted the Russia-collusion narrative. Despite ample evidence having come out to the contrary, they have not admitted they were wrong, likely because doing so would mean they would have to admit their complicity.

Foreign Intelligence

UK and Australian intelligence agencies also played meaningful roles during the 2016 presidential election.

Britain's GCHQ was involved in collecting information regarding then-candidate Trump and transmitting it to the United States. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, the head of GCHQ, flew from London to meet personally with then-CIA Director John Brennan, The Guardian reported.

Former GCHQ head Robert Hannigan in this file photo. Hannigan transmitted information regarding Donald Trump to John Brennan in the summer of 2016. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images)

Hannigan's meeting was noteworthy because Brennan wasn't Hannigan's counterpart. That position belonged to NSA Director Mike Rogers. In the following year, Hannigan abruptly announced his retirement on Jan. 23, 2017 -- three days after Trump's inauguration.

As GCHQ was gathering intelligence, low-level Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted after a series of highly coincidental meetings. Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, FBI informant Stefan Halper, and officials from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) all crossed paths with Papadopoulos -- some repeatedly so.

Christopher Steele, who authored the dossier on Trump, was an MI6 agent while the agency was headed by Sir Richard Dearlove. Steele retains close ties with Dearlove.

Dearlove has ties to most of the parties mentioned. It was he who advised Steele and his business partner, Chris Burrows, to work with a top British government official to pass along information to the FBI in the fall of 2016. He also was a speaker at the July 2016 Cambridge symposium that Halper invited Carter Page to attend.

Dearlove knows Halper through their mutual association at the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar. Dearlove also knows Sir Iain Lobban, a former head of GCHQ, who is an advisory board member at British strategic intelligence and advisory firm Hakluyt , which was founded by former MI6 members and retains close ties to UK intelligence services.

Halper has historical connections to Hakluyt through Jonathan Clarke, with whom he has co-authored two books.

Downer, who met Papadopoulos in a May 2016 meeting established through a chain of two intermediaries, served on the advisory board of Hakluyt from 2008 to 2014. He reportedly still maintains contact with Hakluyt officials. Information from his meeting with Papadopoulos was later used by the FBI to establish the bureau's counterintelligence investigation into Trump–Russia collusion. Downer has changed his version of events multiple times.

The Steele dossier was fed into U.S. channels through several different sources. One such source was Sir Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia, who had been briefed about the dossier by Steele. Wood later relayed information regarding the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who dispatched David Kramer, a fellow at the McCain Institute, to London to meet with Steele in November 2016. McCain would later admit in a Jan. 11, 2017, statement that he had personally passed on the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey.

Trump, after issuing an order for the declassification of documents and text messages related to the Russia-collusion investigations -- including parts of the Carter Page FISA warrant application -- received phone calls from two U.S. allies saying, "Please, can we talk." Those "allies" were almost certainly the UK and Australia.

In a Twitter post , Trump wrote that the "key Allies called to ask not to release" the documents.

Questions to be asked are why is it that two of our allies would find themselves so opposed to the release of these classified documents that a coordinated plea would be made directly to the president? And why would these same allies have even the slightest idea of what was contained in these classified U.S. documents?

Britain and Australia appear to know full well what those documents contain, and their attempt to prevent their public release appears to be because they don't want their role in events surrounding the 2016 presidential election to be made public.

Fusion GPS/Orbis/Christopher Steele

Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, is co-founder of Fusion GPS, along with Peter Fritsch and Tom Catan. Fusion was hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign through law firm Perkins Coie to produce and disseminate the Steele dossier used against Trump. The dossier would later be the primary evidence used to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page on Oct. 21, 2016.

The company was hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC–through law firm Perkins Coie–to produce the dossier on Trump.

Christopher Steele, who retains close ties to UK intelligence, worked for MI6 from 1987 until his retirement in 2009, when he and his partner, Chris Burrows, founded Orbis Intelligence. Steele maintains contact with British intelligence, Sir Richard Dearlove , and UK intelligence firm Hakluyt.

Steele appears to have been represented by lawyer Adam Waldman, who also represented Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. We know this from texts sent by Waldman. On April 10, 2017, Waldman sent this to Sen. Mark Warner:

"Hi. Steele: would like to get a bi partisan letter from the committee; Assange: I convinced him to make serious and important concessions and am discussing those w DOJ; Deripaska: willing to testify to congress but interested in state of play w Manafort. I will be with him next tuesday for a week."

Steele also appears to have lobbied on behalf of Deripaska, who was discussed in emails between Bruce Ohr and Steele that were recently disclosed by the Washington Examiner:

"Steele said he was 'circulating some recent sensitive Orbis reporting' on Deripaska that suggested Deripaska was not a 'tool' of the Kremlin. Steele said he would send the reporting to a name that is redacted in the email."

Fusion GPS was also employed by Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in a previous case. Veselnitskaya was involved in litigation pitting Russian firm Prevezon Holdings against British-American financier William Browder. Veselnitskaya hired U.S. law firm BakerHostetler, who, in turn, hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Browder. Veselnitskaya was one of the participants at the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, at which she discussed the Magnitsky Act .

Fox News reported on Nov. 9, 2017, that Simpson met with Veselnitskaya immediately before and after the Trump Tower meeting.

A declassified top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court report released on April 26, 2017, revealed that government agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and NSA, had improperly accessed Americans' communications. The FBI specifically provided outside contractors with access to raw surveillance data on American citizens without proper oversight.

Communications and other data of members of the Trump campaign may have been accessed in this way.


Nellie Ohr, the wife of high-ranking DOJ official Bruce Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS to work on the dossier on Trump.

Bruce and Nellie Ohr have known Simpson since at least 2010 and have known Steele since at least 2006. The Ohrs and Simpson worked together on a DOJ report in 2010 . In that report, Nellie Ohr's biography lists her as working for Open Source Works, which is part of the CIA. Simpson met with Bruce Ohr before and after the 2016 election.

Bruce Ohr had been in contact repeatedly with Steele during the 2016 presidential campaign -- while Steele was constructing his dossier. Ohr later actively shared information he received from Steele with the FBI, after the agency had terminated Steele as a source. Interactions between Ohr and Steele stretched for months into the first year of Trump's presidency and were documented in a number of FD-302s -- memos that summarize interviews with him by the FBI.

Spy Traps

In an effort to put forth evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, it appears that several different spy traps were set, with varying degrees of success. Many of these efforts appear to center around Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and involve London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, who has ties to Western intelligence, particularly in the UK.

Papadopoulos and Mifsud both worked at the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP). Mifsud appears to have joined LCILP around November 2015 . Papadopoulos reportedly joined LCILP sometime in late February 2016 after leaving Ben Carson's presidential campaign. However, some reports indicate Papadopoulos joined LCILP in November or December of 2015. Mifsud and Papadopoulos reportedly never crossed paths until March 14, 2016, in Italy.

Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos to several Russians, including Olga Polonskaya, whom Mifsud introduced as "Putin's niece," and Ivan Timofeev, an official at a state-sponsored think tank called the Russian International Affairs Council. Both Papadopoulos and Mifsud were interviewed by the FBI. Papadopoulos was ultimately charged with a process crime and was recently sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI. Mifsud was never charged by the FBI.

Throughout this period, Papadopoulos continuously pushed for meetings between Trump campaign officials and Russian contacts but was ultimately unsuccessful in establishing any meetings.

Papadopoulos met with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer on May 10, 2016. The Papadopoulos–Downer meeting has been portrayed as a chance encounter in a bar. That does not appear to be the case.

Papadopoulos was introduced to Downer through a chain of two intermediaries who said Downer wanted to meet with Papadopoulos. Another individual happened to be in London at exactly the same time: the FBI's head of counterintelligence, Bill Priestap. The purpose of Priestap's visit remains unknown.

The Papadopoulos–Downer meeting was later used to establish the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Trump–Russia collusion. It was repeatedly reported that Papadopoulos told Downer that Russia had Hillary Clinton's emails. This is incorrect.

Foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign was approached by several individuals with ties to UK and U.S. intelligence agencies. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

According to Downer, Papadopoulos at some point mentioned the Russians had damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

"During that conversation, he [Papadopoulos] mentioned the Russians might use material that they have on Hillary Clinton in the lead-up to the election, which may be damaging,'' Downer told The Australian about the Papadopoulos meeting in an April 2018 article. "He didn't say dirt, he said material that could be damaging to her. No, he said it would be damaging. He didn't say what it was."

Downer, while serving as Australia's foreign minister, was responsible for one of the largest foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation: $25 million from the Australian government.

Unconfirmed media reports, including a Jan. 12, 2017, BBC article , have suggested that the FBI attempted to obtain two FISA warrants in June and July 2016 that were denied by the FISA court. It's likely that Papadopoulos was an intended target of these failed FISAs.

Interestingly, there is no mention of Papadopoulos in the Steele dossier. Paul Manafort, Carter Page, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, Gen. Michael Flynn, and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski are all listed in the Steele dossier.

Papadopoulos may have started out assisting the FBI or CIA and later discovered that he was being set up for surveillance himself.

After failing to obtain a spy warrant on the Trump campaign using Papadopoulos, the FBI set its sights on campaign volunteer Carter Page. By this time, the counterintelligence investigation was in the process of being established, and we know now that it was formalized with no official intelligence. The FBI needed some sort of legal cover. They needed a retroactive warrant. And they got one on Oct. 21, 2016. The Page FISA warrant would be renewed three times and remain in force until September 2017.

Stefan Halper met with Page for the first time on July 11, 2016, at a Cambridge symposium , just three days after Page's July 2016 Moscow trip. As noted previously, former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove was a speaker at the symposium. Halper and Dearlove have known each other for years and maintain several mutual associations.

Page was already known to the FBI. The Page FISA warrant application references the Buryakov spy case and an FBI interview with Page. Current information suggests there was only one meeting between Page and the FBI in 2016. It happened on March 2, 2016. It was in relation to Victor Podobnyy, who was named in the Buryakov case.

Page, who cooperated with the FBI on the case, almost certainly was providing testimony or details against Podobnyy. Page had been contacted by Podobnyy in 2013 and had previously provided information to the FBI. Buryakov pleaded guilty on March 11, 2016 -- nine days after Page met with the FBI on the case -- and was sentenced to 30 months in prison on May 25, 2016. On April 5, 2017, Buryakov was granted early release and was deported to Russia.

FBI informant Stefan Halper approached Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said in August that exculpatory evidence on Page exists that wasn't included by the DOJ and the FBI in the FISA application and subsequent renewals. The exculpatory evidence likely relates specifically to Page's role in the Buryakov case.

If the FBI failed to disclose Page's cooperation with the bureau or materially misrepresented his involvement in its application to the FISA Court, it means that the FBI's Woods procedures, which govern FISA applications, were violated.

Page has not been arrested or charged with any crime related to the investigation.

FISA Abuse

Admiral Mike Rogers, while director of the NSA, was personally responsible for uncovering an unprecedented level of FISA abuse that would later be documented in a 99-page unsealed FISA court ruling . As the FISA court noted in the April 26, 2017, ruling, the abuses had been occurring since at least November 2015:

"The FBI had disclosed raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information, to private contractors.

"Private contractors had access to raw FISA information on FBI storage systems.

"Contractors had access to raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to the FBI's requests."

The FISA Court report is particularly focused on the FBI:

"The Court is concerned about the FBI's apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported."

The FISA Court disclosed that illegal NSA database searches were endemic. Private contractors, employed by the FBI, were given full access to the NSA database. Once in the contractors' possession, the data couldn't be traced.

In April 2016, after Rogers became aware of improper contractor access to raw FISA data on March 9, 2016, he directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to conduct a "fundamental baseline review of compliance associated with 702."

On April 18, 2016, Rogers shut down all outside contractor access to raw FISA information -- specifically outside contractors working for the FBI.

Then-NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers on May 23, 2017. Rogers uncovered widespread abuse of FISA data by the FBI. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the Office of the Inspector General and associated FISA abuse to the FISA Court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702 compliance review.

The following day, on Sept. 27, 2016, Carlin announced his resignation, effective Oct. 15, 2016.

After receiving a briefing by the NSA compliance officer on Oct. 20, 2016, detailing numerous "about query" violations from the 702 NSA compliance audit, Rogers shut down all "about query" activity the next day and reported his findings to the DOJ. "About queries" are searches based on communications containing a reference "about" a surveillance target but that are not "to" or "from" the target.

On Oct. 21, 2016, the DOJ and the FBI sought and received a Title I FISA probable-cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISA Court.

At this point, the FISA Court was still unaware of the Section 702 violations.

On Oct. 24, 2016, Rogers verbally informed the FISA Court of his findings. On Oct. 26, 2016, Rogers appeared formally before the FISA Court and presented the written findings of his audit.

The FISA Court had been unaware of the query violations until they were presented to the court by Rogers.

Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA Court ahead of receiving the Page FISA warrant.

The FBI and the NSD were literally racing against Rogers's investigation in order to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page.

While all this was transpiring, DNI James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter submitted a recommendation that Rogers be removed from his post as NSA director.

The move to fire Rogers, which ultimately failed, originated sometime in mid-October 2016 -- exactly when Rogers was preparing to present his findings to the FISA Court.

The Insurance Policy

Ever since the release of FBI text messages revealing the existence of an "insurance policy," the term has been the subject of wide speculation.

Some observers have suggested that the insurance policy was the FISA spy warrant used to monitor Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and, by extension, other members of the Trump campaign. This interpretation is too narrow and fails to capture the underlying meaning of the text.

The insurance policy was the actual process of establishing the Trump–Russia collusion narrative.

It encompassed actions undertaken in late 2016 and early 2017, including the leaking of the Steele dossier and James Clapper's leaks of James Comey's briefing to President Trump. The intent behind these actions was simple. The legitimization of the investigation into the Trump campaign.

The strategy involved the recusal of Trump officials with the intent that Andrew McCabe would end up running the investigation.

The Steele dossier, which was paid for by the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the foundation for the Russia narrative.

The intelligence community, led by CIA Director John Brennan and DNI James Clapper, used the dossier as a launching pad for creating their Intelligence Community assessment.

This report, which was presented to Obama in December 2016, despite NSA Director Mike Rogers having only moderate confidence in its assessment, became one of the core pieces of the narrative that Russia interfered with the 2016 elections.

Through intelligence community leaks, and in collusion with willing media outlets, the narrative that Russia helped Trump win the elections was aggressively pushed throughout 2017.

Spygate

Spygate represents the biggest political scandal in our nation's history. A sitting administration actively colluded with a political campaign to affect the outcome of a U.S. presidential election. Government agencies were weaponized and a complicit media spread intelligence community leaks as facts.

But a larger question remains: How long has the United States been subject to interference from the intelligence community and our political agencies? Was the 2016 presidential election a one-time aberration, or is this episode symptomatic of a larger pattern extending back decades?

The intensity, scale, and coordination suggest something greater than overzealous actions taken during a single election. They represent a unified reaction of the establishment to a threat posed by a true outsider -- a reaction that has come to be known as Spygate.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[Mar 24, 2019] The accountability that must follow Mueller's report

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The bent cops at the FBI and the madmen like Brennan, Clapper and Comey, who treacherously used the government's forces against the Constitution, must be punished so severely as to make an example that will dissuade other midgets on horseback from making similar attempts to overturn the results of elections. ..."
"... At the bottom of the cauldron overflowing with political misdeeds shines the face of Hillary Clinton and the army of clever people who ran her 2016 campaign. They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever idea of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. There must be retribution for this. ..."
"... I would be most interested if one of the legally competent members of this Committee – Robert Willman perhaps? – could give us us an idea of what charges could be leveled against Christopher Steele under U.S. law in relation to his clearly central role in this conspiracy. ..."
"... It also seems reasonably clear that he was not acting in isolation, and that there is a strong 'prima facie' case that senior figures in the British 'intelligence community' – notably Robert Hannigan and probably Sir Richard Dearlove – were involved, in which case the complicity is likely to have gone very much further. ..."
"... They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels, by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. ..."
"... Both sides were furiously engaged in throwing mud at each other. Situation normal. Then an odd thing happens. A particularly foolish piece of mud comes along. All that Golden Showers nonsense. Regard that as normal if we please. I expect worse comes along sometimes. Then it turns out that that piece of mud comes from an Intelligence source. Situation no longer normal. ..."
"... The coup may be over, but the witch hunt will continue; ..."
"... Col. Lang is absolutely correct that those involved in attempting to reverse the results of the 2016 election, de-legitimize an elected president, and remove him should be thoroughly pursued through all avenues and procedures of the civil and criminal law. ..."
"... It's a dirty business. If half this stuff is true, and not just layers of increasingly unbelievable cover stories (I mean, a tangential example, is the whole Skripal thing a weirdly, too obviously fake cover show for what was in reality a "witness protection" operation? A witness who could and would reveal much? On this matter even, perhaps. Such obvious deceptions are harmful to respect for authority and the law.) ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
  1. President Trump was not indicted, nor did Mueller recommend an indictment against him for collusion or obstruction.
  2. There were no major disagreements between Mueller and his managers at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
  3. The Russians who tried to interfere in the 2016 election were exposed and charged -- but no American was charged with any effort to conspire with Moscow and hijack the election.
  4. While nearly three dozen people were charged , including a few close to the president or who worked for his campaign, no one in proximity to the president was formally charged with colluding with Russia. Most, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn or campaign adviser George Papadopoulos , were charged with process crimes or felonies unrelated to the main case, as in Paul Manafort 's secretive, multimillion-dollar foreign lobbying spree through Ukraine.

*********

Such omissions are so glaring as to constitute defrauding a federal court. And each and every participant to those omissions needs to be brought to justice.

An upcoming DOJ inspector general's report should trigger the beginning of that accountability in a court of law, and President Trump can assist the effort by declassifying all evidence of wrongdoing by FBI, CIA and DOJ officials. " The Hill

------------

Pilgrims, the seditious conspiracy to depose the elected president of the United States for conspiracy to commit treason with the Government of the Russian Federation has been defeated.

The bent cops at the FBI and the madmen like Brennan, Clapper and Comey, who treacherously used the government's forces against the Constitution, must be punished so severely as to make an example that will dissuade other midgets on horseback from making similar attempts to overturn the results of elections.

At the bottom of the cauldron overflowing with political misdeeds shines the face of Hillary Clinton and the army of clever people who ran her 2016 campaign. They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever idea of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. There must be retribution for this.

The leftist press is already discounting the results of Mueller's investigation while gloating over how long the Democratic held House of Representatives can continue to search through Trump's life trying to find criminality.

AG Barr should stand Mueller up next to him at a press conference to make clear the results of his report and to answer questions about it. After that the prosecutions should begin. pl

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/435394-the-wisdom-of-trumps-lawyers-and-the-accountability-that-must-follow

Posted at 09:00 AM in government , Justice , Politics | Permalink | 20 Comments


David Habakkuk , 14 hours ago

I would be most interested if one of the legally competent members of this Committee – Robert Willman perhaps? – could give us us an idea of what charges could be leveled against Christopher Steele under U.S. law in relation to his clearly central role in this conspiracy.

It also seems reasonably clear that he was not acting in isolation, and that there is a strong 'prima facie' case that senior figures in the British 'intelligence community' – notably Robert Hannigan and probably Sir Richard Dearlove – were involved, in which case the complicity is likely to have gone very much further.

The argument that declassification of relevant documentation would harm the intelligence relationship between the U.S. and U.K. has clearly been made with great emphasis from this side.

In fact, it is pure bollocks. A serious investigation on your side, which could lead to the kind of clean-out which should have happened when the scale of the corruption of intelligence in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq became clear, might pave the way for us to reconstruct reasonably functional intelligence services.

Doing this on both sides of the Atlantic might pave the way for a reconstruction of an intelligence relationship which was actually beneficial to both countries, as in recent years it patently has not been.

Whether there is a realistic prospect of people on your side opening the cans of worms on ours, as well as your own, of course remains a moot point.

English Outsider -> David Habakkuk , 12 hours ago
Mr Habakkuk,

I'm glad the Steele affair has been examined at the American end -

"They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels, by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. "

What about the UK end? We're fussing over some little local difficulties in the UK at the moment and at our end the questions still remain - Who in the UK authorised it and how high did it go?

Mark Logan -> David Habakkuk , 9 hours ago

The problem with criminal prosecution is one must cite a Brit or US law which was violated. The only ones in US law that I am aware of stipulate that the plotting must be by means of violence, "by force". All this appears to me to be only the propagation of rumors.
English Outsider -> Mark Logan , 6 hours ago
I think it might be more the investigation of the propagation of rumours. Think back to that election campaign, and to the period before the inauguration.

Both sides were furiously engaged in throwing mud at each other. Situation normal. Then an odd thing happens. A particularly foolish piece of mud comes along. All that Golden Showers nonsense. Regard that as normal if we please. I expect worse comes along sometimes. Then it turns out that that piece of mud comes from an Intelligence source. Situation no longer normal.

With respect it is not propagating rumours to ask how that happened. As for my own interest in the affair, it is not propagating rumours to ask how a senior UK ex-Intelligence Officer comes to be mixed up in it all. I suppose I started to look on it as rather more than a prank or a few cogs slipping when that senior UK ex-Intelligence Officer got whisked away to a safe house. We're a penny pinching lot over here and we don't run to that sort of thing for nothing.

Pat Lang Mod -> English Outsider , 6 hours ago
Ex?
Mad_Max22 , 11 hours ago
An investigation could certainly be predicated on the reasonable suspicion that Steele, et al, conspired to defraud the United States, in this case a purposeful and knowing smear of a candidate for office; also, another potential violation could be lying to the FBI, T 18 USC 1001.

The problem, as I see it, is sorting out the malignant from the merely incompetent. As I've argued many times, the dossier should have been dismissed from the outset as a pile of garbage, empty of actionable content, because the ultimate sources could not be vetted: the information could not be said to be either credible or reliable. The information was acted on by screening it behind the reliabilty and credibility, so called, of Steele. So it would be necessary to show that Steele knew that the information, point by point, was false. This could be difficult. Steele's first line of defense would be that he threw everything that he heard from anyone at all into the mix in the expectation that the "professionals" would figure it out.

Yes, they were all partisan, Steele, his sources, his bosses, the so called professionals, and their partisanship would be easy to prove; and yes, almost assuredly their partisanship contributed, perhaps even explained, their defective judgement as to how to handle the scurrilous information, especially on the part of the so called professionals, but proving they actually knew the materials to be false would be difficult.

They couldn't know that it was false because they had no ability to run down the sources. The professionals would defend themselves by saying they had no ability to vet the sources but the information represented such a serious security threat that they had no alternative but to try to vet the information by launching the investigation against the targets. This puts the cart before the horse, represents an astonishing lack of judgement, especially considering the "exalted" positions in the Intel Community the people exercising the bad judgement occupied, but there it is - "we thought we were doing the right thing."

Perhaps this defense could be overcome by demonstrating that people at such high and important heights of government could not possible be so stupid... maybe.

And of course we have the orchestrated leaks to various media, the orchestrated unmaskings, all of which kept the media frenzy fired up. All in all, it was the greatest political dirty trick ever attempted in American Politics, and did devastating damage to both domestic tranquility and national security. Trump survived, but the damage done is incalculable.

So It pains me greatly to think that the reckoning will likely have to be political rather than criminal because the malice that can be demonstrated is so admixed and even overshadowed by incompetence and judgement flaws; and even a political reckoning given the state of the country is so uncertain.

I hope that I am wrong and that some kind of prosecution can be fashioned because of the sheer enormity of violence that was done to our electoral system, surpassing by far the chickenshit case Mueller brought against the Russian troll farm; but I fear that I am right. It hurts to think that so much damage can be caused by scheming little political weasels and that they all may well walk away scot free; and even be lionized by their political confreres as having tried to do the right thing. This is the state of American politics today!!!

Eric Newhill , 12 hours ago
I see that some of the midgets on horseback are saying that they will bring Mueller before congress to explain himself. Their knight in shining armor has failed to return with the holy grail. A couple even suggested that perhaps Mueller has been influenced by the Russians or somehow intimated by Trump.

The coup may be over, but the witch hunt will continue;

and that + all the crazy Marxism (social and economic), bad immigration policy and Green New Deal is going to doom the Democrats in 2020. They look like they are jumping off a final sake fueled banzai charge. Maybe they think the best defense is a good offense re; the prosecutions that should happen. What is the chance that Mueller will pass *all* he has learned to help get the criminal cases under way?

robt willmann , 3 hours ago
seesee2468,

On 13 July 2018, when announcing the indictment of 12 Russian military officers by the Mueller group for "conspiring to interfere" in the 2016 presidential election, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein admitted that no "interference" actually happened. In this video of his announcement, starting at 5 minutes, 52 seconds into it and ending at the 6 minute, 5 second mark, he says--

"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result."

https://www.c-span.org/vide...

Col. Lang is absolutely correct that those involved in attempting to reverse the results of the 2016 election, de-legitimize an elected president, and remove him should be thoroughly pursued through all avenues and procedures of the civil and criminal law.

However, I am concerned that the new attorney general, William Barr, will not do so based on his past associations and work. I hope I am wrong about that, but I am not optimistic.

Divadab Newton , 10 hours ago
It's a dirty business. If half this stuff is true, and not just layers of increasingly unbelievable cover stories (I mean, a tangential example, is the whole Skripal thing a weirdly, too obviously fake cover show for what was in reality a "witness protection" operation? A witness who could and would reveal much? On this matter even, perhaps. Such obvious deceptions are harmful to respect for authority and the law.)

I'm wrestling with the idea that 'twas ever thus and now with the internet its workings are revealed to a "lay" audience with no connection to the dark arts of the spy business. But I am curious, with the good Colonel's indulgence, if the new tools of the trade have made things which should be secret not possible to be kept secret?

Walrus , 13 hours ago
Amen to the prosecutions. If there is seen to be no accountability for this fraud then we are seriously damaging what's left of democracy. Who, in their right mind, is going to publicly support and assist a political candidate who is not "Swamp approved" if they face the threat of thereby triggering their own, and their family's destruction by the judicial system?

I suggest that even a pardon is not enough for those entrapped in this mess. There needs to be restitution.

To put that another way, in my opinion, "birther" allegations could be passed off as political tactics. Nobody got hurt. It is just good luck that Russiagate hasn't resulted in suicide or worse - so far.

ugluk2 , 3 hours ago
Matt Taibbi on how the press has destroyed its credibility.

https://taibbi.substack.com...

Taras77 , 8 hours ago
I certainly agree that consequences must be brought to bear: lying politicians without a shred of evidence, nor did they offer any for their lies; press for their utter and complete malfeasance and corruption without a shred of evidence, the doj/fbi corrupted and coup plotting officials,and finally the shame to all who shrieked about "evil" putin, russia the aggressor, etc. It has set our discourse back decades, forced any critics of this insanity into the shadows, and completely killed any attempt at normal diplomacy between nations.

I noted one astute writer as equating this russiagate insanity to the lies surrounding wmd and the destruction of iraq. Close. The damage from this criminality is incalculable!

Will the shrillest of all in the press lose their jobs? Nah, not a chance. Prob get raise or promotion.Will the brennans, clintons, clappers, et al do the perp walk. Nah, not a chance. High paid lawyers will tie the courts up for years if not decades.

And america has the institutional memory of a gnat. And of course, the question is as to high up did this criminality go? I personally do not believe it is a question-it is obvious to me. The major question for me is how high up the prosecution, if any, will go.

MP98 , 12 hours ago
Problem is...who's going to do the prosecuting? The DOJ - protector of the swamp - has become thoroughly corrupted as an arm of the Democrat-media party. Should (can) Trump appoint a special prosecutor as far as possible from the DOJ?
Greco , 12 hours ago
The president might use this and any Republican-led prosecutions as leverage to work out deals that will allow him to achieve his agenda. I think he'll need to given how the Democrats intend to use their house majority to launch investigations and hearings to find something, anything to howl about and impede his agenda.
Fred W , 12 hours ago
Still need to see the full report. I hope it is releasable. Otherwise the conspiracy theories or leaks will never let up. The article cited is a partisan opinion piece, not a news report. It accepts the fallback stance that yes, crimes were committed but collusion by Trump was not among them. This actually seems possible if only in light of the chaotic condition of the campaign.

That said, I would not be surprised to find collusion discounted. Not that the Russians didn't interfere. That would be entirely in character. But I don't know any reason for supposing that they would have a better understanding of American political dynamics than the Americans who make good livings being the best in that arena. The Russians seem to have been doing the same things as numerous other players. They shouldn't have been in that game, but there is no strong reason for according them Superman status. Their strongest feature seems to have been sheer quantity. Outrage over their actions often seems to flow from a poor grasp of the real nature of normal political process.

Fred -> Fred W , 4 hours ago
"The Russians seem to have been doing the same things..."

Multiple members of the FBI and DOJ seem to have been interfering in the 2016 Presidential election. How many other federal and state elections did they interfere with?

seesee2468 -> Fred W , 6 hours ago
Can you cite a single piece of hard evidence, not simply allegation, that proves the Russians interfered in the 2016 election? If so, please cite it, since I know of none. Thank you.
Pat Lang Mod -> seesee2468 , 6 hours ago
I cannot.
peter hodges , 12 hours ago
Nothing will happen. In fact, the way things have been going, Trump will make Mueller the next AG.

[Mar 24, 2019] "Russia Gate" investigation was a color revolution agaist Trump. But a strnge side effect was that Clintons have managed to raise a vicious, loud mouthed thug to the status of some kind of martyr.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Back in November of 2016, the American people were so fed up with the neoliberal oligarchy that everyone knows really runs the country that they actually elected Donald Trump president ..."
"... The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a daily basis for nearly three years, and appointing a special prosecutor to conduct an official investigation in order to lend it the appearance of legitimacy. Every component of the ruling establishment (i.e., the government, the media, the intelligence agencies, the liberal intelligentsia, et al.) collaborated in an unprecedented effort to remove an American president from office based on a bunch of made-up horseshit which kind of amounts to an attempted soft coup. ..."
"... It now appears that the world will see that the so-called "Russia Gate" investigation was nothing more than the pro-Clintonista BS that Trump always claimed it was. ..."
"... As for the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary, they should be treated like the creeps they are: corrupt, opportunistic and power hungry. Like Typhoid Mary, they infect everything they touch ..."
"... I'm also convinced that Trump and Clinton colluded, but that they did so in order to get her elected. I don't think he really wanted the job. But still, Hillary can do nationalist, and the designs of the Empire would have proceeded either way. ..."
"... Trump is a crook who takes money wherever he can get it, from subcontractors foolish enough to work for him to bankers dumb enough to believe his financial statements. No doubt he has helped Russian crooks sanitize their booty, but that is apparently too difficult for Mueller to prove. ..."
"... It is not good news that this troglodyte was not indicted, but it is good news that Russia was not found guilty of electing him. Russiagate is an existential issue for the "national security" establishment and just another propaganda offensive designed to justify the largely useless & destructive activities of the Pentagon. ..."
"... It is time to build cooperation not continue the stupidity of US unilateralism and pursuit of global hegemony. Trump and his team have to be removed from office. Democrats don't need Russiagate to do it. The truth will work better. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ken , Mar 23, 2019 2:09:31 PM | link

Back in November of 2016, the American people were so fed up with the neoliberal oligarchy that everyone knows really runs the country that they actually elected Donald Trump president. They did this fully aware that Trump was a repulsive, narcissistic ass clown who bragged about "grabbing women by the pussy" and jabbered about building "a big, beautiful wall" and making the Mexican government pay for it. They did this fully aware of the fact that Donald Trump had zero experience in any political office whatsoever, was a loudmouth bigot, and was possibly out of his gourd on amphetamines half the time. The American people did not care. They were so disgusted with being conned by arrogant, two-faced, establishment stooges like the Clintons, the Bushes, and Barack Obama that they chose to put Donald Trump in office, because, fuck it, what did they have to lose?

The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a daily basis for nearly three years, and appointing a special prosecutor to conduct an official investigation in order to lend it the appearance of legitimacy. Every component of the ruling establishment (i.e., the government, the media, the intelligence agencies, the liberal intelligentsia, et al.) collaborated in an unprecedented effort to remove an American president from office based on a bunch of made-up horseshit which kind of amounts to an attempted soft coup.

This is the story Donald Trump is going to tell the American people.
https://consentfactory.org/2019/03/21/mueller-dammerung/

GeorgeV , Mar 23, 2019 2:13:42 PM | link

It now appears that the world will see that the so-called "Russia Gate" investigation was nothing more than the pro-Clintonista BS that Trump always claimed it was. The Clintons once again, both Bill and Hillary, have managed to raise a vicious, loud mouthed thug in the White House to the status of some kind of martyr. What a country America it is. One thing should be clear however. Any politician or media pundit that towed the pro-Clintonista line should be barred from public office or the media forever.

As for the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary, they should be treated like the creeps they are: corrupt, opportunistic and power hungry. Like Typhoid Mary, they infect everything they touch. There is one difference between Typhoid Mary, and Bill and Hillary: Typhoid Mary didn't realize what she was doing, the Clintons did!

the pair , Mar 23, 2019 2:14:43 PM | link
sorry to double post, but it just occurred to me that they pulled a classic DC move: if you have something humiliating or horrible to admit, do it on a friday night.

i have to wonder if the entire western media is cynically praying for a (coincidentally distracting) school shooting or terrorist attack within the next two days.

ger , Mar 23, 2019 2:16:08 PM | link
I have close friends that have been on the MSNBC/Maddow Kool-Ade for years. Constantly declaring Mueller was on the verge of closing in on Trump and associates for treason with the Russians. On Friday night after dinner at our home, the TV was tuned to MSNBC so they could watch their spiritual leader Rachel Maddow....what a pitiful sight (both Maddow and friends). No one was going to jail or be impeached for conspiring with Putin.....how on how could that be true. Putin personally stole the election from Clinton and THEY are just going to let him walk was the declaration a few feet from my chair. Normally, I would recommend grieve counseling, but they are still my friends ... now they can go back to blaming Bernie for Clinton's loss. Maybe I will recommend grieve counseling!
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Mar 23, 2019 2:27:18 PM | link
@dltravers: Apart from the "goyim" you may be right.. But if you want to claim with that Trumps opponents where under the pressure of the Zionists, you got it all wrong man.. ;) No presidents been more under the Zionist thumb than DJT.
That ofc doesnt make Hillarys Saudi and Muslim brotherhood connections better.. ;)

Anyway, cheers to the end of this BS! And lets hope that Trump has now payed off his debts with Adelson now that he secured Bibis reelection. But dont hold your breath.. ;)

Nathan Mulcahy , Mar 23, 2019 2:31:06 PM | link
"very politician, every media figure, every Twitter pundit and everyone who swallowed this moronic load of bull spunk has officially discredited themselves for life".

I wish so, but that's not how the exceptional nation of US of A works, as demonstrated by the Iraq WMD fiasco case. In fact, very politician, every media figure, every Twitter pundit (about Saddam's WMD" BS) is alive and well, spreading more BS. What is even more depressing is that the huge chunk of this exceptional nation cannot have enough of the BS and is chanting "give me more, give me more...".

Disgusting! sorry for the pessimistic rant.

renfro , Mar 23, 2019 2:56:18 PM | link
The Dems were stupid to gin up the Russian collusion.

However some good things have come out of the investigation. It cost taxpayers 2 million but recouped over 25 million from those convicted of fraud and tax evasion.
And its not over, Mueller has sent 5 to 7 referrals or evidence/witnesses to SDNY, EDNY, DC, EDVA, plus the National Security and Criminal Divisions. These from information turned up crimes unrelated to his Russia probe and allegedly concerning Trump or his family business, a cadre of his advisers and associates. They are being conducted by officials from Los Angeles to Brooklyn.

The bad news is it exposed how wide spread and corrupt the US has become...in private and political circles.

The other bad news is most of the Trump lovers and Trump haters are too stupid to drop their partisan and personal blinders and recognize that ....ITS THE CORRUPTION STUPID.

BraveNewWorld , Mar 23, 2019 3:00:34 PM | link
b you have repeatedly made the case that this whole thing was kicked off by the Steele dossier. That is factually incorrect. The first investigation was already running before the dossier ever materialized. That investigation spawned the special prosecutors investigation when Trump fired Comey and then went on TV and said it was because of the Russia investigation. The Russia investigation was originally kicked off by Papadopoulos drinking with the the Australian ambassador and bragging about what the campaign was doing with Russia. Remember the original evidence was presented to the leadership of both the House and the Senate when they were both controlled by the Republican party and every one that was briefed came out on camera and said the Justice dept was doing the right thing in pursuing this.

I think the Democrats should lose Hillary down a deep hole and not let her near any of the coming campaign events. But this came about because of the actions of the people around Trump. Not because Hillary controls the US government from some secret bunker some where.

Lozion , Mar 23, 2019 3:09:29 PM | link
One could argue Russiagate was on the contrary quite a success. The Elites behind the scheme never believed it would end up with Trump's impeachment. What they did accomplish though is a deflection via "Fake News" from the Dem's election failures & shenanigans and refocus the attention towards the DNC's emerging pedophilia scandals (Weiner, the Podesta's, Alefantis, etc) & suspicious deaths (Seth Rich, etc) towards a dead-end with the added corollary of preventing US/Ru rapprochement for more then half an administration..
Blooming Barricade , Mar 23, 2019 3:10:02 PM | link
The deeply tragic thing about this for the media, the neocons, and the liberals is that they brought it upon themselves by moving the goalposts continuously. If, after Hillary lost, they had stuck to the "Russia hacked WikiLeaks" lie, then they probably have sufficient proof from their perspective and the perspective of most of the public that Russia helped Trump win. In this case it would be remembered by the Democrats like the stolen election of 2000 (albeit the fact that it was a lie this time). They had multiple opportunities to jump off this train. Even the ridiculous DNI report could have been their final play: "Russia helped Trump." Instead of going with 2000 they went with 2001, aka 9-11, with the same neocon fearmongers playing the pipe organ of lies. As soon as they accepted the Steele Dossier, moving the focus to "collusion" they discredited themselves forever. Many of the lead proponents were discredited Iraq war hawks. Except this time it was actually worse because the whole media bought into it. This leaves an interesting conundrum: there were at least some pro-Afghanistan anti-Iraq warmongers who rejected the Bush premise in the media, so they took over the airwaves for about two years before the real swamp creatures returned. This time, it will be harder to issue a mea culpa. They made this appear like 9-11, well, this time the truthers have won, and they are doomed.
dh-mtl , Mar 23, 2019 3:11:13 PM | link
Societies collapse when their systems (institutions) become compromised. When they are no longer capable of meeting the needs of the population, or of adapting to a changing world.

Societal systems become compromised when their decision making structures, which are designed to ensure that decisions are taken in the best interest of the society as a whole, are captured by people who have no legitimacy to make the decisions, and who make decisions for the benefit of themselves, at the expense of society as a whole.

Russia-gate is a flagrant example of how the law enforcement and intelligence institutions have been captured. Their top officials, no longer loyal to their country or their institution, but rather to an international elite (including the likes of Soros, the Clintons, and far beyond) have used these institutions in an attempt to delegitimize a constitutionally elected president and to over turn an election. This is no less than treason of the highest order.

Indeed, the actions much of the Washington establishment, as well as a number international actors, since Trump was elected seems suspiciously like one of the 'Color Revolutions' that are visited upon any country who's citizens did not 'vote right' the first time. Over-throw the vote, one way or another, until the result that is wanted is achieved. None of these 'Color Revolutions' has resulted in anything good for the country involved. Rather they have resulted in the destruction of each country's institutions, and eventually societal collapse.

In the U.S. the capturing of systems' decision making structures is not limited to Russia-Gate and the overturning of the electoral system. Their are other prime examples:

- The capture of the Air Transport Safety System by Boeing that has resulted in the recent 737 Max crashes, and likely the destruction of the reputation of the U.S. aviation industry, in an industry where reputation is everything.

- The capture of the Financial Regulatory System, by Wall Street, who in 1998 rewrote the rules in their own favor, against the best interests of the population as a whole. The result was the 2008 financial crisis and the inability of the U.S. economy to effectively recover from that crisis.

- This capture is also seen in international diplomatic systems, where the U.S. is systematically by-passing or subverting international law and international institutions, (the U.N. I.C.J., I.N.F. treaty) etc., and in doing so is destroying these institutions and the ability to maintain peace.

The result of system (institution) capture is difficult to see at first. But, in time, the damage adds up, the ability of the systems to meet the needs of the population disappears, and societal decline sets in.

It looks today like the the societal decline is acellerating. Russia-gate is just one of many indicators.

English Outsider , Mar 23, 2019 3:27:38 PM | link
The pair @ 3.

Your comment on the BBC is on the mild side. I listen to it when I drive in in the morning and also get annoyed sometimes. When it is reporting on the Westminster bubble it is factually accurate as far as I can judge. Apart from that, and particularly in the case of the BBC news, we're in information control territory.

But accept that and the BBC turns into quite a valuable resource. It's well staffed, has good contacts, and picks up what the politicians want us to think with great accuracy.

In that respect it's better than the newspapers and better also than the American media. Those news outlets have several masters of which the political elite is only one. The BBC has just the one master, the political elite, and is as sensitive as a stethoscope to the shifting currents within that political elite.

So I wouldn't despise the BBC entirely. It tells us how the politicians want us to think. In telling us that it sometimes gives us a bearing on what the politicians et al are doing and what they intend to do.

worldblee , Mar 23, 2019 3:28:20 PM | link
The never-Trumpers will never let their dreams die. Of course, they never oppose Trump on substantive issues like attempting a coup in Venezuela, withdrawing from the INF treaty, supporting the nazis in Ukraine, supporting Al Qaeda forces in Syria, etc. But somehow they're totally against him and ready to haul out the latest stupid thing he said as their daily fodder for conversation...
ben , Mar 23, 2019 3:32:48 PM | link
renfro @ 10 said;"The Dems were stupid to gin up the Russian collusion."

Uh no, just doing their job of distracting the public, while ignoring the real issues the
American workers care about. You know, the things DJT promised the workers, but has never delivered.(better health care for all, ending the useless wars overseas, an infrastructure
plan to increase good paying jobs), to name just a few.

The corporate Dems( which is the lions share of them), are bought and paid for to distract, and they've done it well.

The Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas, and most who have come before, are of the same ilk.

Bend over workers and lube up, for more of the same in 2020...

Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 3:48:10 PM | link
I profoundly disagree with the notion that Russiagate had anything to do with Hillary's collusion with the DNC. Gosh, that is naive at best.
1) Hillary didn't need to collude against Sanders - the additional money that she got from doing so was small change compared the to overall amount she raised for her campaign.

2) Sanders was a long-time friend of the Clintons. He boasted that he's known Hillary for over 25 years.

3) Sanders was a sheepdog meant to keep progressives in the Democratic Party. He was never a real candidate. He refused to attack Hillary on character issues and remained loyal even after Hillary-DNC collusion was revealed.

When Sanders had a chance to total disgrace Hillary, he refused to do so. Hillary repeatedly said that she had NEVER changed for vote for money but Warren had proven that she had: Hillary changed her vote on the Bankruptcy Bill for money from the credit card industry.

4) Hillary didn't try to bury her collusion with the DNC (as might be expected), instead she used it to alienate progressive voters by bring Debra Wasserman-Shultz into her campaign.

5) Hillary also alienated or ignored other important constituencies: she wouldn't support an increase in the minimum wage but accepted $750,000 from Goldman Sachs for a speech; she took the black vote for granted and all-but berated a Black Lives Matters activist; and she called whites "deplorables".

Hillary threw the race to her OTHER long-time friend in the race: Trump. The Deep-State wanted a nationalist and that's just what they got.

6) Hillary and the DNC has shown NO REMORSE whatsoever about colluding with Sanders and Sanders has shown no desire whatsoever to hold them accountable.

IMO Russiagate (Russian influence on Trump) and accusations of "Russian meddling" in the election are part of the same McCarthyist psyop to direct hate at Russia and stamp out any dissent. Trump probably knowingly, played into the Deep State's psyop by:

> hiring Manafort;

> calling on Russia to release Hillary's emails;

> talking about Putin in a admiring way.

And it accomplished much more than hating on Russia:

> served as excuse for Trump to do Deep State bidding;

> distracted from the real meddling in the 2016 election;

> served as a device for settling scores:

- Assange isolated
(Wikileaks was termed an "agent of a foreign power");

- Michael Flynn forced to resign
(because he spoke to the Russian ambassador).

hopehely , Mar 23, 2019 3:49:15 PM | link The US owes Russia an official apology. And also Russia should get its stolen buildings and the consulate back. And maybe to get paid some compensation for the injustice and for damages suffered. Without that, the Russiagate is not really over.
Jen , Mar 23, 2019 4:01:43 PM | link
BraveNewWorld @ 11:

If memory serves me correctly, the initial accusations of collusion between DJT's presidential campaign and the Kremlin came from Crowdstrike, the cybersecurity company hired by the Democratic National Committee to oversee the security of its computers and databases. This was done to deflect attention away from Hillary Clinton's illegal use of a personal server at home to conduct government business during her time as US State Secretary (2009 - 2013), business which among other things included plotting with the US embassy in Libya (and the then US ambassador Chris Stevens) to overthrow Muammar Gaddhafi's government in 2011, and conspiring also to overthrow the elected government in Honduras in 2010.

The business of Christopher Steele's dossier (part or even most of which could have been written by Sergei Skripal, depending on who you read) and George Papadopoulos' conversation with the half-wit Australian "diplomat" Alexander Downer in London were brought in to bolster the Russiagate claims and make them look genuine.

As B says, Crowdstrike does indeed have a Ukrainian nationalist agenda: its founder and head Dmitri Alperovich is a Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council (the folks who fund Bellingcat's crapaganda) and which itself receives donations from Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk. Crowdstrike has some association with one of the Chalupa sisters (Alexandra or Andrea - I can't be bothered dredging through DuckDuckGo to check which - but one of them was employed by the DNC) who donated money to the Maidan campaign that overthrew Viktor Yanukovych's government in Kiev in February 2014.

james , Mar 23, 2019 4:16:03 PM | link
thanks b... i would like russiagate to be finished, but i tend to see it much like kadath @2.. the link @2 is worth the read as a reminder of how far the usa has sunk in being a nation of passive neocons... emptywheel can't say no to this as witnessed by her article from today.. ) as a consequence, i agree with @14 dh-mtl's conclusion - "It looks today like the the societal decline is acellerating. Russia-gate is just one of many indicators."

the irony for those of us who don't live in the usa, is we are going to have watch this sad state of affairs continue to unravel, as the usa and the west continue to unravel in tandem.. the msm as corporate mouthpiece is not going to be tell us anything of relevance.. instead it will be continued madcow, or maddow bullshit 24-7... amd as kadath notes @2 - if any of them are to step up as a truth teller - they will be marginalized or silenced... so long as the mainstream swallow what they are fed in the msm, the direction of the titanic is still on track...

@19 hopehely... you can forget about anything like that happening..

WDDiM , Mar 23, 2019 4:36:17 PM | link
What Difference Does it Make?
They don't really need Russia-gate anymore. It bought them time. As we speak nuclear bombers make runs near Russian borders every day and Russian consulates get attacked with heavy weaponry in the EU and no Russian outlet is even making a reference,while Israel is ready to move heavy artillery in to Golan targeting Russia bases in Syria and China raking all their deals for civilian projects in the Med.
Russia got stuffed in the corner getting all the punches.
Zanon , Mar 23, 2019 4:37:43 PM | link
What a horrible witch hunt, but the msm will keep on denying and keep creating new hoaxes about Trump, Russia.
Heck the media even deny there was no collussion, they keep spinning it in different ways!

But remember folks, we here was always right...
The Mueller Report Is In. They Were Wrong. We Were Right.
https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-mueller-report-is-in-they-were-wrong-we-were-right-a915d23a6d82

iv> also, there is a big risk that the media, deep state will create new accusations coming days.

Posted by: Zanon , Mar 23, 2019 4:39:30 PM | link

also, there is a big risk that the media, deep state will create new accusations coming days.

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 23, 2019 4:39:30 PM | link

Russ , Mar 23, 2019 4:41:30 PM | link
People are forgetting to call Dembot agent Wheeler "FBI rat Wheeler", or just Rat Wheeler. Or EmptySqueal.
karlof1 , Mar 23, 2019 4:47:23 PM | link
Thanks for citing Caitlin Johnstone's wonderful epitaph, b--Russiavape indeed!

During the fiasco, the Outlaw US Empire provided excellent proof to the world that it does everything it accused Russia of doing and more, while Russia's cred has greatly risen. Meanwhile, there're numerous other crimes Trump, his associates, Clinton, her associates--like Pelosi--ought to be impeached, removed from office, arrested, then tried in court, which is diametrically opposed to the current--false--narrative.

Scotch Bingeington , Mar 23, 2019 4:47:39 PM | link
The people who steered us into two years of Russiavape insanity are the very last people anyone should ever listen to ever again when determining the future direction of our world.

Yes, absolutely. And not just regarding the world's future, but even if you happen to be in the same building with one of them and he/she bursts into your already smoke-filled room yelling that the house is on fire.

Btw, whatever authority has ever ruled that "ex-MI6 dude" Steele (who doesn't remind me of steel at all, but rather of a certain nondescript entity named Anthony Blair) is in fact merely 'EX'? He himself? The organisation? The Queen perhaps?

Zanon , Mar 23, 2019 4:52:41 PM | link
Scotch Bingeington

Expose them at every opportunity, they should not get away with this like nothing happend:

If you think a single Russiagate conspiracist is going to be held accountable for media malpractice, you clearly haven't been awake the past 2 decades. No one will pay for being wrong. This profession is as corrupt & rotten as the kleptocracy it serves

defeatism isn't the answer -- should remind & mock these hacks every opportunity. Just need to be aware of the beast we're up against.


https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/1109235461430657026
Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 5:00:23 PM | link
Who will say that the King has no clothes?

The establishment plays on peoples fears and so we all sink together as we all cling to our "lesser evils", tribal allegiances, and try to avoid the embarrassment of being wrong.

Although everyone is aware of the corruption and insider dealing, no one seems to want to acknowledge the extent, or to think critically so as to reveal any more than we already know.

It's almost as though corruption (the King's nudity) is a national treasure and revealing it would be a national security breach in the exceptional nation.

And so to the Deep State cabal continues to rule unimpeded.

WDDiM , Mar 23, 2019 5:08:16 PM | link
The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a daily basis for nearly three years

Posted by: Ken | Mar 23, 2019 2:09:31 PM | 4

You people don't get it do you?
'The Plan' was to get rid of Turkey-Russia-Israel (and a few others) with one fell swoop....

steve , Mar 23, 2019 5:11:08 PM | link
Deep state makes the warren commish seem authoritative
john , Mar 23, 2019 5:13:37 PM | link
the rot in DC is palpable. this whole russiagate fiasco's been like some kind of really bad audition for deeper state kabuki...what's next?

keeping brand Trump alive.

Blooming Barricade , Mar 23, 2019 5:22:08 PM | link
Matt Taibbi:

It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD
The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

Pft , Mar 23, 2019 5:38:41 PM | link
Russia gate was both a diversion from the real collusions (Russian Mafia , China and Israel) and a clever ruse to allow Trump to back off from his campaign promise to improve relations with Russia. US policy toward Russia is no different under Trump than it was during Obamas administration. Exactly what the Russia Gaters wanted and Trump delivered.

That Mueller could find nothing more than some tax/money laundering/perjury charges in which the culprits in the end get pardoned is hardly surprising given his history. Want something covered up? Put Mueller on it.

To show how afraid Trump was of Mueller he appointed his long term friend Barr as AJ and pretended he didn't know how close they were when it came out. There is no lie people wont believe. Lol

Meanwhile Trumps Russian Mafia connections stay under the radar in MSM, Trump continues as Bibi's sock puppet, the fake trade war with China continues as Ivanka is rolling in China trademarks .

The Rothschild puppet that bailed out Trumps casinos as Commerce Secretary overseeing negotiations that will open the doors for more US and EU (they willy piggy back on the deal like hyenas) jobs to go to China (this time in financial/services) and stronger IPR protections that will facilitate this transfer, and will provide companies more profits in which to buyback stocks but wont bring manufacturing jobs back.

tuyzentfloot , Mar 23, 2019 5:46:31 PM | link
The collusion story has been hit badly and it will likely lose its momentum, but I wonder how far reaching this loss of momentum is. There are many variants. The 'unwitting accomplice' is an oxymoron which isn't finished yet. The Russians hacking the election: not over. The Russians sowing discord and division. Not over. Credibility of the Russiagate champions overall? Not clear. Some could take a serious hit. Brennan and other insiders who made it onto cable tv?
It is possible that the whole groupthink about Russiagate changes drastically
and that 'the other claims' also lose their credibility but it's far from certain. After years of building up tension Russia's policies are also changing. I think they have shown restraint but their paranoia and aggressiveness is also increasing and some claims will become true after all.
JOHN CHUCKMAN , Mar 23, 2019 5:48:55 PM | link

"Russiagate" has always been a meaningless political fraud.

When folks like Hillary Clinton sign on to something and give it a great deal of weight, you really do know you are talking about an empty bag of tricks. She is a psychopathic liar, one with a great deal of blood on her hands.

My problem with this official result is that it may tend to give Trump a boost, new credibility.

The trouble with Trump has never been Russia - something only blind ideologues and people with the minds of children believe - it is that he is genuinely ignorant and genuinely arrogant and loud-mouthed - an extremely dangerous combination.

And in trying to defend himself, this genuine coward has completely surrendered American foreign policy to its most dangerous enemies, the Neocons.


https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/04/20/john-chuckman-comment-americas-democrats-launch-lawsuit-against-trump-and-russia-and-wiki-leaks-over-election-hilarious-this-is-a-country-fit-to-dominate-the-earth-they-cant-manage-their-own/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/john-chuckman-comment-yet-more-ignorant-gossip-and-innuendo-about-trump-and-russia-this-all-reminds-me-of-insane-past-american-campaigns-against-procter-gamble-or-harry-potter-charging-devil/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/john-chuckman-comment-what-americas-neocons-represent-for-arms-control-agreements-such-as-the-inf-with-russia-and-heres-the-deadly-weakness-in-trumps-psychology-that-has-allowed-neocons-to-ta/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/john-chuckman-comment-a-comment-rightly-asks-with-trump-doing-everything-the-establishment-wants-why-do-they-still-want-to-get-rid-of-him-i-think-these-are-the-essential-reasons/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/john-chuckman-comment-some-very-dark-thoughts-of-where-america-is-going-in-its-relations-with-russia-and-iran-i-do-think-we-live-in-dangerous-times-and-they-are-deliberately-manufactured/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/john-chuckman-comment-complete-degradation-of-a-self-styled-great-nation-which-allows-paid-thugs-to-use-poison-gas-to-give-it-an-excuse-for-still-more-killing-the-dark-place-we-are-brought-to-by-tr/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/john-chuckman-comment-more-on-the-strange-phenomenon-of-trump-and-americas-neocons-a-man-who-imagines-himself-a-great-leader-leading-nothing-and-he-still-has-pathetic-followers-who-think-hes-fi/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/john-chuckman-comment-new-phony-book-on-trump-and-russia-whats-really-going-on-with-all-the-mumbo-jumbo-insanity-in-america-the-real-target-aint-trump-neocons-and-russia/


Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 5:59:03 PM | link
Blaming Russiagate on Hillary is very easy for those who hate her or hope that Trump will deliver on his faux populist fake-agenda.

No one wants to contemplate the possibility that Hillary and Trump, and the duopoly they lead, fixed the election and planned Russiagate in advance.

It seems a bridge too far, even for the smart skeptics at MoA.

So funny.

Trump has proven himself to be a neocon. He broke his campaign promise to investigate Hillary within DAYS of being elected. He has brought allies of his supposed enemies into his Administration.

Yet every one turns from the possibility that the election was fixed. LOL.

The horrible possibility that our "democracy" is managed is too horrible to contemplate. Lets just blame it all on Hillary.

Welcome to the rabbithole.

Copeland , Mar 23, 2019 6:23:41 PM | link
Those who have been holding their breath for two years can finally exhale. I guess the fever of hysteria will have to be attended a while longer. A malady of this kind does not easily die out overnight. Those who have been taken in, and duped for so long, can not so easily recover. The weight of so much cognitive dissonance presses down on them like a boulder. The dust of the stampeded herd behind Russiagate is enough paralyze the will of those who have succumbed.

As Joseph Conrad once wrote, "The ways of human progress are inscrutable."

Jonathan , Mar 23, 2019 7:02:54 PM | link
@37 Jackrabbit,

Of course it was fixed. That's what the Electoral College is for .

Arioch , Mar 23, 2019 7:06:26 PM | link
Russiagate is a pendulum, it reached the dead point, it would hange in the air for a moment, then it would start swinging right backwards at full speed crashign everything in the way!

It would be revealed, it was Russia who paid Muller to start that hysteria and stole money from American tax-payers and make America an international laughing stock. "Putin benefited from it", highly likely!

Muller's investigation is paid for with Manafort's seized cash and property and Manafort has made Yanukovich king of Ukraine, so Manafort is Putin's agent, so Muller is working of Putin's money, so it was Putin's collusion everything that Muller is doing! Highly likely.

fast freddy , Mar 23, 2019 7:12:20 PM | link
There is no "Liberal Media". Those whom claim to be Liberal and yet support the Warmonger Democratic Party (Republican lite) are frauds. Liberalism does not condone war and it most certainly does not support wars of aggression - especially those wars waged against defenseless nations. Neither can liberalism support trade sanctions or the subjugation of Palestinians in the Apartheid State of ISreal.
Peter , Mar 23, 2019 7:16:00 PM | link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHo6cW0HVkQ DISGRACEFUL WILL WE EVER SAY NO?
vk , Mar 23, 2019 7:24:32 PM | link
@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 23, 2019 3:48:10 PM | 18

We must be very careful with the words we choose, in order to paint the correct conjuncture and not to throw the bathtub with the baby inside.

It's one thing to say Bernie Sanders is not a revolutionary; it's another completely different thing to say he was in cahoots with the Clintons.

If Bernie Sanders really was a "friend" of the Clintons, then he wouldn't even have disputed the primaries against Hillary. Not only he chose to do so, but he only didn't win because the DNC threw all its weight against him.

Now, I agree he's not a revolutionary socialist. He's an imperialist who believes the spoils of the empire should be also used to build a Scandinavian-style Welfare State for the American people only. A cynic would tell you this would make him a Nazi without the race theme, but you have to keep in mind societies move in a dialectical patern, not a linear one: if you preach for "democratic socialism", you're bringing the whole package, not only the bits you want.

I believe the rise of Bernie Sanders had an overall positive impact in the world as it exists. Americans are more aware of their own contradictions (more enlightened) now than before he disputed those faithful primaries of 2016. And the most important ingredient for that, in my opinion, was the fact he was crushed by both parties; that the "establishment" acted in unison not to let him get near the WH. That was a didactic moment for the American people (or a signficant part of it).

But I agree Russiagate went well beyond just covering the Clintons' dirt in the DNC.

It may have be born like that, but, if that was the case, the elites quickly realized it had other, ampler practical uses. The main one, in my opinion, was to drive a wedge between Trump's Clash of Civilizations's doctrine -- which perceives China as the main long term enemy, and Russia as a natural ally of the West -- and the public opinon. The thing is most of the American elite is far too dependent on China's productive chain; Russia is not, and can be balkanized.

Sandwichman , Mar 23, 2019 7:30:58 PM | link
counterpoint: If the Mueller report does not EXPLICITLY exonerate Trump, it does NOT exonerate Trump.
wagelaborer , Mar 23, 2019 7:43:06 PM | link
There is a funny video compilation of the TV talking heads predicting the end of Trump, new bombshells, impeachment, etc., over the last two years.
Unfortunately, the same sort of compilation could be made of sane people predicting "this new information means the end of Russiagate" over the same time period.
The truth is that the truth doesn't matter, only the propaganda, and it has not stopped, only spun onto new hysteria.
Rob , Mar 23, 2019 7:58:15 PM | link
As others have said, hard core Russiagaters will likely not be convinced that they have been wrong all along. They have too much emotional investment in the grand conspiracy theory to simply let it go. Rather, they will forever point to what they believe are genuine bits of evidence and curse Mueller for not following the leads. And the Dems in the House of Representatives will waste more time and resources on pointless investigations in an effort to keep the public sufficiently distracted from more important matters, such as the endless wars and coups that they support. A pox on all their houses, both Democrats and Republicans.
Sandwichman , Mar 23, 2019 8:08:59 PM | link
"...hard core Russiagaters will likely not be convinced that they have been wrong all along."

Wrong about what? There seems to be "narrative" operative here that there are only two positions on this matter: the "right" one and the "wrong" one and nothing else.

Sunny Runny Burger , Mar 23, 2019 8:10:36 PM | link
Ben nails it in "Mar 23, 2019 3:32:48 PM | 17".

Ben's and other comments might make this a little bit superfluous but it's short.

A case of divide and conquer against the population

This time it was a fabricated scandal.

Continued control over "facts" and narratives, the opportunity for efficient misdirection and distraction, stealing and wasting other people's time and effort, spurious disagreements, wearing down relations.

The illusion of choice, (false) opposition, blinded "oversight", and mythical claims concerning a civilian government (in the case of the US: "of, for, and by" or something like that).

Who knew or knows is irrelevant as long as the show goes on. There's nothing to prove anything significant about who if anyone may or may not be behind the curtain and thus on towards the next big or small scandal we go because people will be dissatisfied and hungry and ready to bite as hard as possible on some other bait for or against something.

Maybe "Russiagate" was impeccably engineered or maybe it organically outcompeted other distractions on offer that would ultimately also waste enormous amounts of time and effort.

Management by crisis

The scandals, crises, "Science says" games and rubbish, outrage narratives, and any other manipulations attempt and perhaps succeed at controlling the US and the world through spam.

Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 8:11:22 PM | link
Jonathan @39: Of course it was fixed. That's what the Electoral College is for.

Well, you can say the same think about money-as-speech , gerrymandering, voter suppression, etc. Despite all these, Americans believe that their democracy works.

I contend that what we witnessed in 2016 was a SHOW. Like American wrestling. It was (mostly) fake. The proper term for this is kayfabe .

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

And we have seen other 'shows' also, like:

> White Helmets;

>> Skripal;

>> the Kavanaugh hearings;

>> pulling troops out of Syria.

aspnaz , Mar 23, 2019 8:19:24 PM | link
My advice to the yanks mourning Russiagate: move to the UK. The sick Brits will keep the Russia hating cult alive even after they spend a decade puking over Brexit.
mourning dove , Mar 23, 2019 8:50:48 PM | link
Jackrabbit @18
So, you don't think HRC qualifies as a nationalist? She can't fake populist, but she can do nationalist.
I also think she is much too ambitious to have intentionally thrown the election. It was her turn dammit! Take a look at her behavior as First Lady if you think she's the kind of personality that is content to wield power from behind the scenes.
Cortes , Mar 23, 2019 8:51:27 PM | link
As usual, a fine essay. Thank you.

A couple of suggestions?

The headline would be better worded "Russiagate really is finished."

And the reaction at Colonel Lang's site makes interesting reading.

Les , Mar 23, 2019 8:55:52 PM | link
They didn't fall for the Steele dossier. I recall that emptywheel had discredited the dossier during the election as it was known to have been rejected by major media outlets leading up to the election. I think they merely fell behind the others as the outgoing administration, the Democrats, the CIA, and the media chose to use the dossier to 'blackmail' Trump.
paul , Mar 23, 2019 8:56:02 PM | link
The most important fruit of russiagate, from the view of the establishment of the hegemon, is that America has now taken a giant step towards full bore censorship.
Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 9:00:35 PM | link
vk @43

We must be very careful ... and not to throw the bathtub with the baby inside.
Don't we already have plenty of evidence that there is no precious democratic baby in the bath? What do you think the Yellow Vests are doing every weekend?

If Bernie Sanders really was a "friend" of the Clintons, then he wouldn't even have disputed the primaries against Hillary.
Why not? Do you know him personally? Can you vouch for him?

Have you read this: Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016 ?

Bernie referred to Hillary as "my friend" many times on the campaign trail. He told Politico that he's known her for 25 years but they are not "best friends". That's Sander's typical word judo. Like when he was asked about Zionism, his response: what's that?

The fact is, Bernie is friendly with all the top Democrats: Obama campaigned for him and Schumer wouldn't allow funding for democratic candidates that opposed him.

Then there's other strangeness. Like Bernie's refusal to release his 2014 tax returns. Bernie said his returns were "boring" but when his 2015 tax return was delayed the press asked him to release his 2014 return (Hillary boasted that she had released 10 years of returns). Bernie refused.

Now, I agree he's not a revolutionary socialist.... I believe the rise of Bernie Sanders had an overall positive impact in the world as it exists.
Really? LOL. Sanders REFUSED to lead a Movement for real change. That might've changed things for the better Mi>- like the Yellow Vests are changing things for the better.

What have we seen from the Democratics since 2016? Bullshit like Russiagate, meaningless astroturf activism around bathrooms and statues, and outlandish policies like open borders. These things just irritate most Americans and will lead to more failure for the Democrats and another 4 years for Trump.

Lastly, you said nothing about Bernie's refusal to attack Hillary on character issues and to counter her assertion that she NEVER changed her vote for money. Other examples: Bernie refused to discuss Hillary's home email server, never mentioned Hillary's well known work to squash investigations of Bill Clinton for abusing women (Jennifer Flowers), and didn't talk about other scandals like Benghazi ("What difference does it make") and her glee at the overthrow of Quadaffi ("we came, we saw, we kicked his ass").

And what of Trump? He was the ONLY republican populist in a field of 19. Do you find that even a little bit strange?

Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 9:02:11 PM | link
Sorry, here's a more readable version:

We must be very careful ... and not to throw the bathtub with the baby inside.
Don't we already have plenty of evidence that there is no precious democratic baby in the bath? What do you think the Yellow Vests are doing every weekend?

If Bernie Sanders really was a "friend" of the Clintons, then he wouldn't even have disputed the primaries against Hillary.
Why not? Do you know him personally? Can you vouch for him?

Have you read this: Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016 ?

Bernie referred to Hillary as "my friend" many times on the campaign trail. He told Politico that he's known her for 25 years but they are not "best friends". That's Sander's typical word judo. Like when he was asked about Zionism, his response: what's that?

The fact is, Bernie is friendly with all the top Democrats: Obama campaigned for him and Schumer wouldn't allow funding for democratic candidates that opposed him.

Then there's other strangeness. Like Bernie's refusal to release his 2014 tax returns. Bernie said his returns were "boring" but when his 2015 tax return was delayed the press asked him to release his 2014 return (Hillary boasted that she had released 10 years of returns) . Bernie refused.

Now, I agree he's not a revolutionary socialist.... I believe the rise of Bernie Sanders had an overall positive impact in the world as it exists.
Really? LOL. Sanders REFUSED to lead a Movement for real change. That might've changed things for the better Mi>- like the Yellow Vests are changing things for the better.

What have we seen from the Democratics since 2016? Bullshit like Russiagate, meaningless astroturf activism around bathrooms and statues, and outlandish policies like open borders. These things just irritate most Americans and will lead to more failure for the Democrats and another 4 years for Trump.

Lastly, you said nothing about Bernie's refusal to attack Hillary on character issues and to counter her assertion that she NEVER changed her vote for money. Other examples: Bernie refused to discuss Hillary's home email server, never mentioned Hillary's well known work to squash investigations of Bill Clinton for abusing women (Jennifer Flowers), and didn't talk about other scandals like Benghazi ("What difference does it make") and her glee at the overthrow of Quadaffi ("we came, we saw, we kicked his ass").

And what of Trump? He was the ONLY republican populist in a field of 19. Do you find that even a little bit strange?

mourning dove , Mar 23, 2019 9:06:00 PM | link
Jonathan @39
Exactly! It's the Electoral College that decides elections, not voters.
Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 9:13:59 PM | link
mourning dove @57: Exactly! It's the Electoral College that decides elections, not voters.

Do you think Hillary didn't know that? She refused to campaign in the three mid-western states that would've won her the electoral college. Each of the states were won by Trump by a thin margin.

Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 23, 2019 9:14:04 PM | link
Gosh and Blimey!
Comment #56 in a thread about an utterly corrupt political system and no-one has mentioned the pro-"Israel" Lobby?
Words fail me. So I'll use someone else's...

From Xymphora March 21, 2019.

"Truth or Trope?" (Sailer):

"Of the top 50 political donors to either party at the federal level in 2018, 52 percent were Jewish and 48 percent were gentile. Individuals who identify as Jewish are usually estimated to make up perhaps 2.2 percent of the population.
Of the $675 million given by the top 50 donors, 66 percent of the money came from Jews and 34 percent from gentiles.
Of the $297 million that GOP candidates and conservative causes received from the top 50 donors, 56 percent was from Jewish individuals.
Of the $361 million Democratic politicians and liberal causes received, 76 percent came from Jewish givers.
So it turns out that Rep. Omar and Gov. LePage appear to have been correct, at least about the biggest 2018 donors. But you can also see why Pelosi wanted Omar to just shut up about it: 76 percent is a lot."

Erelis , Mar 23, 2019 9:35:12 PM | link
Next up another false flag operation. The thing is, it would have be non-trivial and involving the harming of people to jolt the narrative back to that favoring the deep state. And taking off the proverbial media table, that Mueller found no collusion. Yes, election in 2016 no collusion, but Putin was behind the latest horrific false flag, "oh look, Trump is not confronting Putin"...
daffyDuct , Mar 23, 2019 9:40:02 PM | link

Not even getting into the "treason", "putin's c*ckholster", "what's the time on Moscow, troll!" crap we've been subjected to for 3 years, please enjoy this mashup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjUvfZj-Fm0.

mourning dove , Mar 23, 2019 9:54:13 PM | link
Jackrabbit,

I've said before that she's a terrible strategist and she ran a terrible campaign and she's terribly out of touch. I think she expected a cake walk and was relying on Trump being so distasteful to voters that they'd have no other option.

I think Trump legitimately won the election and I don't believe for a second that she won the popular vote. There were so many problems with the election but since they were on the losing side, nobody cares. In 2012 I didn't know anyone else who was voting for Jill Stein, way too many people were still in love with Obama. She got .4% of the vote. In 2016 most of the people I knew were voting for Jill Stein, she drew a large crowd from DemExit, but they say she got .4% of the vote. Total bullshit. There was also ballot stuffing and lots of other problems, but it still wasn't enough.

I'm also convinced that Trump and Clinton colluded, but that they did so in order to get her elected. I don't think he really wanted the job. But still, Hillary can do nationalist, and the designs of the Empire would have proceeded either way.

jadan , Mar 23, 2019 9:56:37 PM | link

Trump is a crook who takes money wherever he can get it, from subcontractors foolish enough to work for him to bankers dumb enough to believe his financial statements. No doubt he has helped Russian crooks sanitize their booty, but that is apparently too difficult for Mueller to prove.

It is not good news that this troglodyte was not indicted, but it is good news that Russia was not found guilty of electing him. Russiagate is an existential issue for the "national security" establishment and just another propaganda offensive designed to justify the largely useless & destructive activities of the Pentagon.

It is time to build cooperation not continue the stupidity of US unilateralism and pursuit of global hegemony. Trump and his team have to be removed from office. Democrats don't need Russiagate to do it. The truth will work better.

[Mar 24, 2019] With RussiaGate Over Where's Hillary

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there. ..."
"... And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that Hillary's blackmail is now worthless. ..."
"... They don't fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power. ..."
"... The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled. If they don't do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, "No evidence of collusion." ..."
"... It's clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point? Comey? No. McCabe? No. ..."
"... If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb. ..."
"... If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate. ..."
"... And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us. ..."
"... Hillary is the epitome of evil. ..."
"... I don't think Hillary is enough. I want McCabe, Comey, Mueller, Rosenstein, Loretta Lynch, Obama, Lois Lerner, Blasey Ford, Brennan, Clapper, Abedin, Weiner, Cheryl Mills, Susan Rice, Strzok, Page, Sally Yates, all of the phony FISA cohort brought to justice. ..."
"... Her DNC cabal cooked in less than 24 hours from the election defeat a conspiracy of Russian meddling and now, when more information became available, HCR is involved in two separate cases of foreign collusion, The Steele dossier, with Russo-Anglo meddling and another a Ukrainian one, which is now under investigation and the purpose was getting their help for becoming elected. ..."
"... Without a doubt the Russian collusion is the most serious one, because it deliberately sabotaged diplomatic relations with Russia and lead into to a new cold war era. This also raised substantially risks for a direct confrontation with catastrophic consequences. The damage from these treacherous acts is huge and the felony bears pretty much all hallmarks of treason. Se deliberately undermined her own nation´s interests and rather risked even a war simply, because she is a psychopath, who refused to concede the defeat in due elections and instead wanted to hide real reasons for her loss to any cost for everybody else, "because it was her turn to get elected". ..."
"... HIS NAME WAS SETH RICH ..."
"... It is clear that from the beginning, fraudulent FISA warrants, that it was a case of Obama's administration digging dirt on Trump believing that when Hillary wins there will be nobody to hold them responsible ..."
"... When Hillary lost there was only one way out for them to justify that kind of abuse, to find something, anything on Trump so they can say that they were right. Worse than Watergate by orders of magnitude, involving FBI, DOJ and WH itself. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

During most of the RussiaGate investigation against Donald Trump I kept saying that all roads lead to Hillary Clinton.

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including 'Miss' Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Robert Mueller's investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.

It was so effective it paralyzed the country for more than two years, just like Europe has been held hostage by Brexit. And all of this because, in the end, the elites I call The Davos Crowd refused to accept that the people no longer believed their lies about the benefits of their neoliberal, globalist agenda.

Hillary Clinton's ascension to the Presidency was to be their apotheosis along with the Brexit vote. These were meant to lay to rest, once and for all time, the vaguely libertarian notion that people should rule themselves and not be ruled by philosopher kings in some distant land.

Hillary's failure was enormous. And the RussiaGate gambit to destroy Trump served a laundry list of purposes to cover it:

  1. Undermine his legitimacy before he even takes office.
  2. Accuse him of what Hillary actually did: collude with Russians and Ukrainians to effect the outcome of the election
  3. Paralyze Trump on his foreign policy desires to scale back the Empire
  4. Give aid and comfort to hurting progressives and radicalize them further undermining our political system
  5. Polarize the electorate over the false choice of Trump's guilt.
  6. Paralyze the Dept. of Justice and Congress so that they would not uncover the massive corruption in the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and the U.K.
  7. Isolate Trump and take away every ally or potential ally he could have by turning them against him through prosecutor overreach.

Hillary should have been thrown to the wolves after she failed. When you fail the people she failed and cost them the money she cost them, you lose more than just your funding. What this tells you is that Hillary has so much dirt on everyone involved, once this thing started everyone went along with it lest she burn them down as well.

Burnin' Down da House

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else's life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It's the sin of Cain. She envies what Trump has, the Presidency. And she was willing to tear it down to keep him from having it no matter how much damage it would do. She's worse than the Joker from The Dark Knight.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/efHCdKb5UWc

Because while the Joker is unfathomable to someone with a conscience there's little stopping us from excising him from the community completely., even though Batman refuses.

Hillary hates us for who we are and what we won't give her. And that animus drove her to blackmail the world while putting on the face of its savior.

And that's what makes what comes next so obvious to me. RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there.

Mueller thought all he had to do was lean on corrupt people and threaten them with everything. They would turn on Trump. He would resign in disgrace from the public outcry. It didn't work. In the end Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone all held their ground or perjured themselves into the whole thing falling apart.

Andrew Weissman's resignation last month was your tell there was nothing. Mueller would pursue this to the limit of his personal reputation and no further. Just like so many other politicians.

Vote Your Pocketbook

With respect to Brexit I've been convinced that it would come down to reputations. Would the British MP's vote against their own personal best interests to do the bidding of the EU? Would Theresa May eventually realize her historical reputation would be destroyed if she caves to Brussels and betrays Brexit in the end? Always bet on the fecklessness of politicians. They will always act selfishly when put to the test. While leading RussiaGate, Mueller was always headed here if he couldn't get someone to betray Trump.

And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that Hillary's blackmail is now worthless.

They don't fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power. The progressives that were convinced of Trump's treason are bereft; their false hope stripped away like standing in front of a sandblaster. They will be raw, angry and looking for blood after they get over their denial.

Everyone else who was blackmailed into going along with this lunacy will begin cutting deals to save their skins. The outrage over this will not end. Trump will be President when he stands for re-election.

The Wolves Beckon

The Democrats do not have a chance against him as of right now. When he was caving on everything back in December it looked like he was done. That there was enough meat on the RussiaGate bones to make Nancy Pelosi brave. Then she backed off on impeachment talk. Oops....

... ... ...

The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled. If they don't do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, "No evidence of collusion."

It's clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point? Comey? No. McCabe? No. There is only one answer. And Obama's people are still in place to protect him. I said last fall that " Hillary would indict herself. " And I meant it. Eventually her blackmail and drive to burn it all down led to this moment.

The circumstances are different than I expected back then, Trump didn't win the mid-terms. But the end result was always the same. If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb.

Because the bigger project, the erection of a transnational superstate, is bigger than any one person. Hillary is expendable. Lies are expensive to maintain. The truth is cheap to defend. Think of the billions in opportunity costs associated with this. Once the costs rise above the benefits, change happens fast. If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate.

We all know it's the truth. So, the cheapest way out of this mess for them is to give the MAGApedes what they want, Hillary.

And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us.


Jdhank , 27 minutes ago link

Hillary ain't enough!

We demand Comey, Brennan, Bill, the Podesta's, and the prancing little effiminate pony himself.

consider me gone , 29 minutes ago link

I'm surprised Donna Brazier and Pedo Podesta are still breathing. Maybe Hillary got God. Or gin.

Koba the Dread , 32 minutes ago link

Hillary is the epitome of envy.

Your spelling is atrocious. Let me correct it.

Hillary is the epitome of evil.

There, that does it.

KnitDame , 1 hour ago link

I don't think Hillary is enough. I want McCabe, Comey, Mueller, Rosenstein, Loretta Lynch, Obama, Lois Lerner, Blasey Ford, Brennan, Clapper, Abedin, Weiner, Cheryl Mills, Susan Rice, Strzok, Page, Sally Yates, all of the phony FISA cohort brought to justice. Think of the taxpayer money wasted on this ridiculous Mueller investigation! The Roger Stone arrest was an outrage. Who tipped off CNN? Who ordered it? What was with the attack dogs and machine guns?

And now we have Nadler trying to destroy anyone and everyone who ever did business with Trump. All those 80 people who got letters from him asking for documents will now be bankrupted by legal fees.

According to Scott Adams, one recipient is refusing to cooperate -- he's saying "I can't afford for me and family to be destroyed." He put the request for documents in a drawer. He has no money for lawyers.

This insanity and abuse of power has got to stop. Meanwhile, nothing gets done in Congress. We're all looking at censorship, tilted search engines, de-monetization, being beat up on campus for trying to express an opinion, being accosted in a restaurant (or, VP Pence, from the stage ("Hamilton"), getting sucker-punched for wearing a MAGA hat, having elections stolen through myriad Dem cheating methods, and NOTHING is being done.

2willies , 1 hour ago link

You forgot Rachel

TeraByte , 1 hour ago link

"all roads lead to Hillary Clinton"

Her DNC cabal cooked in less than 24 hours from the election defeat a conspiracy of Russian meddling and now, when more information became available, HCR is involved in two separate cases of foreign collusion, The Steele dossier, with Russo-Anglo meddling and another a Ukrainian one, which is now under investigation and the purpose was getting their help for becoming elected.

Without a doubt the Russian collusion is the most serious one, because it deliberately sabotaged diplomatic relations with Russia and lead into to a new cold war era. This also raised substantially risks for a direct confrontation with catastrophic consequences. The damage from these treacherous acts is huge and the felony bears pretty much all hallmarks of treason. Se deliberately undermined her own nation´s interests and rather risked even a war simply, because she is a psychopath, who refused to concede the defeat in due elections and instead wanted to hide real reasons for her loss to any cost for everybody else, "because it was her turn to get elected".

Dragon HAwk , 1 hour ago link

Hillary is expendable.

God I Love Feel Good Stories.

East Indian , 1 hour ago link

And, oh, I almost forgot.

HIS NAME WAS SETH RICH

Neochrome , 1 hour ago link

It is clear that from the beginning, fraudulent FISA warrants, that it was a case of Obama's administration digging dirt on Trump believing that when Hillary wins there will be nobody to hold them responsible.

When Hillary lost there was only one way out for them to justify that kind of abuse, to find something, anything on Trump so they can say that they were right. Worse than Watergate by orders of magnitude, involving FBI, DOJ and WH itself.

[Mar 22, 2019] Mobsters have better morale that the Democratic establishment

But Clintons are mobsters in disguise, so what's the difference. Jared Kushner father is as close to a mobster as one can get (hiring a prostitute to compromise relative is one of his tricks)
Notable quotes:
"... Don't ever think the Democratic establishment is your friend. They want you to die in foreign wars and your children to work in starvation-wage service jobs until they're 70 so that the top 0.1% can buy their kids' way into Yale ..."
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

Mike Gravel ‏ 9:37 AM - 22 Mar 2019

Don't ever think the Democratic establishment is your friend. They want you to die in foreign wars and your children to work in starvation-wage service jobs until they're 70 so that the top 0.1% can buy their kids' way into Yale

Navi ‏ 9:50 AM - 22 Mar 2019

"It's already happening" while the DCCC is trying their best to stop primary challenges is a little shortsighted no? If you don't call out what is wrong what are you really 'fixing'? We can walk and chew gum at the same time!

[Mar 07, 2019] How Trump Happened by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Right now the title should "Can Trump happen again?" ;-)
But this is from 2016 and Professor Stiglitz missed the foreign policy and neoliberal globalization aspects of "Hillary vs Trump" battle. A vote for Hillary was a vote for continuation of wars of expansion of neoliberal empire.
It is unclear where is political force that can reverse neoliberal deregulation and neoliberal tax cuts. for example full set of taxes on all kind of income might help (so that dividends owners should pay Social security tax too) but currently is politically unfeasible, as control of Washington is in the hands of financial oligarchy which will not relinquish its power without a fight.
Notable quotes:
"... reforms that political leaders promised would ensure prosperity for all – such as trade and financial liberalization – have not delivered. Far from it. And those whose standard of living has stagnated or declined have reached a simple conclusion: America's political leaders either didn't know what they were talking about or were lying (or both). ..."
"... Thus, many Americans feel buffeted by forces outside their control, leading to outcomes that are distinctly unfair. Long-standing assumptions – that America is a land of opportunity and that each generation will be better off than the last – have been called into question. The global financial crisis may have represented a turning point for many voters: their government saved the rich bankers who had brought the US to the brink of ruin, while seemingly doing almost nothing for the millions of ordinary Americans who lost their jobs and homes. The system not only produced unfair results, but seemed rigged to do so. ..."
"... Support for Trump is based, at least partly, on the widespread anger stemming from that loss of trust in government. ..."
"... The simplistic neo-liberal market-fundamentalist theories that have shaped so much economic policy during the last four decades are badly misleading, with GDP growth coming at the price of soaring inequality. Trickle-down economics hasn't and won't work. Markets don't exist in a vacuum. The Thatcher-Reagan "revolution," which rewrote the rules and restructured markets for the benefit of those at the top, succeeded all too well in increasing inequality, but utterly failed in its mission to increase growth. ..."
"... The interests that have secured control of the US government -- again, the legislative and executive at the federal and state levels, in particular -- will not easily or readily let go of the power they have amassed, vis-à-vis their control over the writing and execution of laws and regulations lesser mortals must live under but from which the elites are exempt (cf, banking crisis). ..."
"... Either we find a TR and FDR -- and the modern-day equivalent of their allies in Congress -- or our society will continue to erode. ..."
"... the balance of global power likely will continue to shift to the more pragmatic and less constrained Hobbesian forms of societal organization -- most likely some variant of strongman rule, with China at the vanguard, if Xi Jinping (or a competitor) is able to successfully consolidate power. ..."
"... we still lack the details and a roadmap towards a new economy. ..."
"... The vehicle for shifting the fruits of that growth has more to do with our free trade agreements than tax cuts. Corporations were just as greedy before we had free trade agreements but tariffs prevented the enrichment free trade opens up. That GDP increase would have happened without free trade as workers enjoyed higher wages. Which makes Trump correct after all. ..."
"... From shortly after the end of the War of 1812 until the Kennedy Round of tariff reductions in 1967 the United States was the most tariff protected nation on earth. ..."
"... How is it possible that two powerful families (Bush and Clinton) are nearly have a monopoly on becoming US presidents. ..."
"... Just twenty five years ago Mr. Robert McNamara came to Matsue, a Japanese city near where I live, to attend a US-Japanese conference. I was appalled to hear, as he said and I was in the audience, that the income of the American middle-class had not risen at all for the past twenty or so years. His words were less an explanation of what had been going on in the American economy and more a warning of what was going to happen in the Japanese economy. The rules need to be rewritten. ..."
"... The Americans shall be voting Trump for the same reasons they voted Bush Jr. The democratic [neoliberal] establishment failed miserably ..."
Project Syndicate

But several underlying factors also appear to have contributed to the closeness of the race. For starters, many Americans are economically worse off than they were a quarter-century ago. The median income of full-time male employees is lower than it was 42 years ago, and it is increasingly difficult for those with limited education to get a full-time job that pays decent wages.

Indeed, real (inflation-adjusted) wages at the bottom of the income distribution are roughly where they were 60 years ago. So it is no surprise that Trump finds a large, receptive audience when he says the state of the economy is rotten. But Trump is wrong both about the diagnosis and the prescription. The US economy as a whole has done well for the last six decades: GDP has increased nearly six-fold. But the fruits of that growth have gone to a relatively few at the top – people like Trump, owing partly to massive tax cuts that he would extend and deepen.

At the same time, reforms that political leaders promised would ensure prosperity for all – such as trade and financial liberalization – have not delivered. Far from it. And those whose standard of living has stagnated or declined have reached a simple conclusion: America's political leaders either didn't know what they were talking about or were lying (or both).

Trump wants to blame all of America's problems on trade and immigration. He's wrong. The US would have faced deindustrialization even without freer trade: global employment in manufacturing has been declining, with productivity gains exceeding demand growth.

Where the trade agreements failed, it was not because the US was outsmarted by its trading partners; it was because the US trade agenda was shaped by corporate interests. America's companies have done well, and it is the Republicans who have blocked efforts to ensure that Americans made worse off by trade agreements would share the benefits.

Thus, many Americans feel buffeted by forces outside their control, leading to outcomes that are distinctly unfair. Long-standing assumptions – that America is a land of opportunity and that each generation will be better off than the last – have been called into question. The global financial crisis may have represented a turning point for many voters: their government saved the rich bankers who had brought the US to the brink of ruin, while seemingly doing almost nothing for the millions of ordinary Americans who lost their jobs and homes. The system not only produced unfair results, but seemed rigged to do so.

Support for Trump is based, at least partly, on the widespread anger stemming from that loss of trust in government. But Trump's proposed policies would make a bad situation much worse. Surely, another dose of trickle-down economics of the kind he promises, with tax cuts aimed almost entirely at rich Americans and corporations, would produce results no better than the last time they were tried.

In fact, launching a trade war with China, Mexico, and other US trading partners, as Trump promises, would make all Americans poorer and create new impediments to the global cooperation needed to address critical global problems like the Islamic State, global terrorism, and climate change. Using money that could be invested in technology, education, or infrastructure to build a wall between the US and Mexico is a twofer in terms of wasting resources.

There are two messages US political elites should be hearing. The simplistic neo-liberal market-fundamentalist theories that have shaped so much economic policy during the last four decades are badly misleading, with GDP growth coming at the price of soaring inequality. Trickle-down economics hasn't and won't work. Markets don't exist in a vacuum. The Thatcher-Reagan "revolution," which rewrote the rules and restructured markets for the benefit of those at the top, succeeded all too well in increasing inequality, but utterly failed in its mission to increase growth.

This leads to the second message: we need to rewrite the rules of the economy once again, this time to ensure that ordinary citizens benefit. Politicians in the US and elsewhere who ignore this lesson will be held accountable. Change entails risk. But the Trump phenomenon – and more than a few similar political developments in Europe – has revealed the far greater risks entailed by failing to heed this message: societies divided, democracies undermined, and economies weakened.

markets aurelius OCT 15, 2016

I've yet to see such a succinct or well-presented analysis on the rise of Trump and the far-left and -right in Europe. Thank you.

Where I disagree with Prof. Stiglitz, however, is in the second point of his conclusion; to wit, "... we need to rewrite the rules of the economy once again, this time to ensure that ordinary citizens benefit. Politicians in the US and elsewhere who ignore this lesson will be held accountable. Change entails risk. But the Trump phenomenon – and more than a few similar political developments in Europe – has revealed the far greater risks entailed by failing to heed this message: societies divided, democracies undermined, and economies weakened." A political solution is impossible at this point in the USA since the legislative and executive branches of the have been completely captured by cartels, just as Hayek warned back in the '40s.

It took centuries of war -- civil and foreign -- to evolve the English common law and representative government from which America derived is greatest strengths. Included in that are the quaint cultural memes of civility and "fair play," which permeated all levels of society, not just sports; these norms were violated at great personal expense, in that it was difficult to gain the trust of one's fellow citizens if one violated them. However, it is not an immutable fact of nature such a system will persist throughout history. Truth be told, it is an outlier in the history of the world. Typically, and to this day outside the Anglosphere, most societies are spoils systems, in which the strong impose their will on the weak, and take the larger share of everything their societies produce. Some operate artfully (e.g., Mediterranean Europe), while others are just ham-handed (e.g., Russia, the Middle East). The ordering described by Hobbes more appropriately captures the state of affairs to a greater or lesser degree in these states.

It took a revolution, a civil war, and a century-long struggle post-civil war to evolve the US society to its modern, yet-to-be-fully-formed state. The interests that have secured control of the US government -- again, the legislative and executive at the federal and state levels, in particular -- will not easily or readily let go of the power they have amassed, vis-à-vis their control over the writing and execution of laws and regulations lesser mortals must live under but from which the elites are exempt (cf, banking crisis).

Either we find a TR and FDR -- and the modern-day equivalent of their allies in Congress -- or our society will continue to erode. Either we fade into history as much of Europe did during the Dark Ages or we have another revolution.

While that's going on, the balance of global power likely will continue to shift to the more pragmatic and less constrained Hobbesian forms of societal organization -- most likely some variant of strongman rule, with China at the vanguard, if Xi Jinping (or a competitor) is able to successfully consolidate power.

Daniel Esmond OCT 15, 2016

I agree with nearly everything in Prof Stiglitz' analysis. However, I would like some details about the new 'rules of the economy'. There is a realisation in many circles that something has to change and the solutions advanced by the new populists are unworkable. But we still lack the details and a roadmap towards a new economy. While analysis like this one about how we got here are useful and enlightening, we need (desperately!) to move on and do something. I really would like to see a follow up of this article with Prof Stigliz outlining his plans for a new economic order.

James Murphy OCT 15, 2016

"But Trump is wrong both about the diagnosis and the prescription. The US economy as a whole has done well for the last six decades: GDP has increased nearly six-fold. But the fruits of that growth have gone to a relatively few at the top.."

The vehicle for shifting the fruits of that growth has more to do with our free trade agreements than tax cuts. Corporations were just as greedy before we had free trade agreements but tariffs prevented the enrichment free trade opens up. That GDP increase would have happened without free trade as workers enjoyed higher wages. Which makes Trump correct after all.

We are a trade deficient nation. As such the only way we lose a trade war is not to fight one. Aside from the short transition harm the American people would be better off with tariff protection as they were in the past.

From shortly after the end of the War of 1812 until the Kennedy Round of tariff reductions in 1967 the United States was the most tariff protected nation on earth. During that time absolutely none of the bad things you postulate actually happened. Free trade is an Ivory Tower theory that has never worked in the real world experience of the United States. We have more free trade today than we have ever had. Where are the blessings of those free trade deals? We abandoned free trade in 1967 and the real wages of blue collar workers peaked 5 years later never to come back.

Simon Barnard OCT 14, 2016
Rules of the economy do need to be rewritten and also do the rules of economic measurement.

Growth of GDP is not a valid measurement of whether or not an economy is healthy (or indeed growing). Should vast inequalities be created, that in turn cause social unrest, that in turn lead to a disintegration of society, this society may find it necessary to build a lot of prisons. The capital expenditure on these prisons will contribute to the GDP. Is it really healthier? Is this what is happening in the US? - it could be going that way.

So is it any wonder that people are looking for an alternative to the status quo, of which Hilary Clinton is certainly part of? NO.

Is Trump an alternative? DEFINITELY NO.

As Joseph Stiglitz put very well, he would make things still worse.

So I feel sorry for the USA having such a poor choice and I hope that soon we can change from the neo-liberal hegemony and develop a new one that will allow a progressive new choice to make itself available.

Vicky Lavendel OCT 14, 2016

The true questions is: How is it possible that two powerful families (Bush and Clinton) are nearly have a monopoly on becoming US presidents. And furthermore all presidential candidates who want to have a chance must be ultra rich (like Trump) or must have very wealthy donors (like Obama). Is this still a democracy or already an oligarchy? That Stieglitz doesnt ask this question might be a hint that he is part of this wealthy establishment as well.
Yoshimichi Moriyama OCT 14, 2016
The word liberalization is so dazzling that we are captured and made by it to be unable to see the reality; we are often duped by it. When we hear or see the word, we need to be very careful of what the speaker or writer actually means by it. Corporate and financial interests have made an extensive use of it to camouflage and promote their selfishness.

Just twenty five years ago Mr. Robert McNamara came to Matsue, a Japanese city near where I live, to attend a US-Japanese conference. I was appalled to hear, as he said and I was in the audience, that the income of the American middle-class had not risen at all for the past twenty or so years. His words were less an explanation of what had been going on in the American economy and more a warning of what was going to happen in the Japanese economy.
The rules need to be rewritten.

M M OCT 14, 2016
The Americans shall be voting Trump for the same reasons they voted Bush Jr. The democratic [neoliberal] establishment failed miserably. They had eight years to put things right and what did they do, not only maintaining the status quo which made inequality worse but created mayhem everywhere and the Clintons were part of it throughout the Obama tenure. So Mr. "Yes We Can" not only managed to increase inequality, re-introduce slavery (albeit in many new forms), help spread terrorism all over the place and this to state just a few examples.

... ... ...

[Jan 11, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, The Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic And Pro-War Than Republicans by Glenn Greenwald

Clinton Democrats (DemoRats) are so close to neocons that the current re-alliance is only natural and only partially caused by Trump. Under Obama some of leading figures of his administration were undistinguishable from neocons (Samantha Power is a good example here -- she was as crazy as Niki Haley, if not more). There is only one "war party in the USA which continently consists of two wings: Repugs and DemoRats.
Notable quotes:
"... Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham , one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton , who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon. ..."
"... That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" ..."
"... But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent. ..."
"... This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan ..."
"... While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining ..."
"... At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions. ..."
"... By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism"). ..."
"... All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S December 18 announcement that he intends to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria produced some isolated support in the anti-war wings of both parties , but largely provoked bipartisan outrage among in Washington's reflexively pro-war establishment.

Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton, who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon.

But while official Washington united in opposition, new polling data from Morning Consult/Politico shows that a large plurality of Americans support Trump's Syria withdrawal announcement: 49 percent support to 33 percent opposition.

That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" far more than they agree with the pro-war view that "the U.S. needs to keep troops in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to help support our allies fight terrorism and maintain our foreign policy interests in the region."

But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent.

A similar gap is seen among those who voted Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections (28 percent support withdrawal while 54 percent oppose it), as opposed to the widespread support for withdrawal among 2018 GOP voters: 74 percent to 18 percent.

Identical trends can be seen on the question of Trump's announced intention to withdraw half of the U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, where Democrats are far more supportive of keeping troops there than Republicans and independents.

This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan:

With Trump rather than Obama now advocating troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, all of this has changed. The new polling data shows far more support for troop withdrawal among Republicans and independents, while Democrats are now split or even opposed . Among 2016 Trump voters, there is massive support for withdrawal: 81 percent to 11 percent; Clinton voters, however, oppose the removal of troops from Afghanistan by a margin of 37 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

This latest poll is far from aberrational. As the Huffington Post's Ariel Edwards-Levy documented early this week , separate polling shows a similar reversal by Democrats on questions of war and militarism in the Trump era.

While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining. "Those who voted for Democrat Clinton now said by a 42-point margin that the U.S. had a responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria involving ISIS," Edwards-Levy wrote, "while Trump voters said by a 16-point margin that the nation had no such responsibility." (Similar trends can be seen among GOP voters, whose support for intervention in Syria has steadily declined as Trump has moved away from his posture of the last two years -- escalating bombings in both Syria and Iraq and killing far more civilians , as he repeatedly vowed to do during the campaign -- to his return to his other campaign pledge to remove troops from the region.)

This is, of course, not the first time that Democratic voters have wildly shifted their "beliefs" based on the party affiliation of the person occupying the Oval Office. The party's base spent the Bush-Cheney years denouncing war on terror policies, such as assassinations, drones, and Guantánamo as moral atrocities and war crimes, only to suddenly support those policies once they became hallmarks of the Obama presidency .

But what's happening here is far more insidious. A core ethos of the anti-Trump #Resistance has become militarism, jingoism, and neoconservatism. Trump is frequently attacked by Democrats using longstanding Cold War scripts wielded for decades against them by the far right: Trump is insufficiently belligerent with U.S. enemies; he's willing to allow the Bad Countries to take over by bringing home U.S. soldiers; his efforts to establish less hostile relations with adversary countries is indicative of weakness or even treason.

At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions.

By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism").

All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way.

[Jan 11, 2019] Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming

Highly recommended!
Seeing Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters suggest that the collapse of neoliberalism is coming...
Notable quotes:
"... Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

bruce wilder, January 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Barkley insists on a left-right split for his analysis of political parties and their attachment to vague policy tendencies and that insistence makes a mess of the central issue: why the rise of right-wing populism in a "successful" economy?

Naomi Klein's book is about how and why centrist neoliberals got control of policy. The rise of right-wing populism is often supposed (see Mark Blyth) to be about the dissatisfaction bred by the long-term shortcomings of or blowback from neoliberal policy.

Barkley Rosser treats neoliberal policy as implicitly successful and, therefore, the reaction from the populist right appears mysterious, something to investigate. His thesis regarding neoliberal success in Poland is predicated on policy being less severe, less "shocky".

In his left-right division of Polish politics, the centrist neoliberals -- in the 21st century, Civic Platform -- seem to disappear into the background even though I think they are still the second largest Party in Parliament, though some seem to think they will sink in elections this year.

Electoral participation is another factor that receives little attention in this analysis. Politics is shaped in part by the people who do NOT show up. And, in Poland that has sometimes been a lot of people, indeed.

Finally, there's the matter of the neoliberal straitjacket -- the flip-side of the shock in the one-two punch of "there's no alternative". What the policy options for a Party representing the interests of the angry and dissatisfied? If you make policy impossible for a party of the left, of course that breeds parties of the right. duh.

Likbez,

Bruce,

Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming. I would consider the current situation in the USA as the starting point of this "slow-motion collapse of the neoliberal garbage truck against the wall." Neoliberalism like Bolshevism in 1945 has no future, only the past. That does not mean that it will not limp forward in zombie (and pretty bloodthirsty ) stage for another 50 years. But it is doomed, notwithstanding recently staged revenge in countries like Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil.

Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events.

At least half of Americans now hate soft neoliberals of Democratic Party (Clinton wing of Bought by Wall Street technocrats), as well as hard neoliberal of Republican Party, which created the " crisis of confidence" toward governing neoliberal elite in countries like the USA, GB, and France. And that probably why the intelligence agencies became the prominent political players and staged the color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate ) in the USA.

The situation with the support of neoliberalism now is very different than in 1994 when Bill Clinton came to power. Of course, as Otto von Bismarck once quipped "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America." and another turn of the technological spiral might well save the USA. But the danger of never-ending secular stagnation is substantial and growing. This fact was admitted even by such dyed- in-the-wool neoliberals as Summers.

This illusion that advances in statistics gave neoliberal access to such fine-grained and timely economic data, that now it is possible to regulate economy indirectly, by strictly monetary means is pure religious hubris. Milton Friedman would now be laughed out the room if he tried to repeat his monetarist junk science now. Actually he himself discarded his monetarist illusions before he died.

We probably need to the return of strong direct investments in the economy by the state and nationalization of some assets, if we want to survive and compete with China. Australian politicians are already openly discussing this, we still are lagging because of "walking dead" neoliberals in Congress like Pelosi, Schumer, and company.

But we have another huge problem, which Australia and other countries (other than GB) do not have: neoliberalism in the USA is the state religion which completely displaced Christianity (and is hostile to Christianity), so it might be that the lemming will go off the cliff. I hope not.

The only thing that still keeps neoliberalism from being thrown out to the garbage bin of history is that it is unclear what would the alternative. And that means that like in 1920th far-right nationalism and fascism have a fighting chance against decadent neoliberal oligarchy.

Previously financial oligarchy was in many minds associated with Jewish bankers. Now people are more educated and probably can hang from the lampposts Anglo-Saxon and bankers of other nationalities as well ;-)

I think that in some countries neoliberal oligarchs might soon feel very uncomfortable, much like Soros in Hungary.

As far as I understood the level of animosity and suppressed anger toward financial oligarchy and their stooges including some professors in economics departments of the major universities might soon be approaching the level which existed in the Weimar Republic. And as Lenin noted, " the ideas could become a material force if they got mass support." This is true about anger as well.

[Jan 05, 2019] Obama as the agent of the Deep State consciously deciving his voters with faux populism promises which he never intended to follow

Obama strategy in Syria was replica of Clinton strategy in Yugoslavia during the Balkan Wars. Divide everybody up by ethnicity or religion (Croats are Catholics, Serbians are Orthodox not to mention the various Muslims and Albanians lurking about), arm them, create false flags to set them at each other's throats. Enjoy the results.
Obama like Clinton before him was a real wolve in sheep's clothing
Notable quotes:
"... Jackrabbit, I agree with Bevin. Obama was really useful to the deep state because, as the "First Black President" he was widely popular, not just inside the US but outside it as well. Before the 2016 election, there was a widespread hope inside the US elite that Hillary Clinton, as the "First Woman President" would be able to serve a similar function in giving US imperialism a pleasing face. ..."
"... Trump, by contrast, hurts the US deep state because his true nature as a greedy, incompetent egotist is just too blatantly obvious to too many people. And he won't follow a script, the way GW Bush usually did. That's why we see major sections of the US deep state going out of their way to be publically hostile towards Trump. ..."
Jan 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jan 5, 2019 6:10:33 PM | 17

bevin @10:

But the notion that it is part of a complex and tightly scripted conspiracy in which he plays his public part and the deep state play theirs, pretending to be at odds with each other, is bizarre.
I would've agreed with you before Obama. I followed the criticisms of Obama from true progressives closely. It was clear within 2 or 3 years that Obama was betraying his 'base'.

His lofty rhetoric didn't match his actions. His Nobel Peace Prize can only be viewed today as a ruse. He talked of peace and fairness but worked behind the scenes to further the establishment.

Fast forward to the 2016 election where Sanders was a sheepdog and Hillary ran a terrible campaign. It's difficult to look back and not be at least somewhat suspicious of the 2016 election. A populist nationalist was what the Deep State NEEDED to face the threat from Russia and China to their NWO project. And that is what they got. After recognizing the threat in 2013-14 (when Russia countered the Empire in Syria and Ukraine).

Similar excuses are made for both Obama and Trump. We are told that they were FORCED to succumb to Deep State scheming and political power. But a much more logical view is that these "populists" know exactly what they are doing: they know what their 'job' is to serve the establishment and act as the leader of the Deep State's political arm. In return they get financial gain, social standing, and life long protection. Sweet.

Obama 'turned the page' on the Bush Administration's warmongering. He promised a more peaceful USA. But he conducted covert wars and bragged of his drone targeting.

Trump 'turned the page' on Obama's deceitfulness. He promised to put 'America First' but within months attacked Syria with missiles "for the babies". Evidence that his first attack was prompted by a false flag didn't deter him from attacking AGAIN - also based on a false flag. Trump is still helping the Saudis in Yemen. And he's not doing what's necessary to get peace in Korea.

Obama promised 'transparency' ("Sunlight is the best disinfectant") but 'no drama' Obama protected CIA torturers, NSA spies, and bankers. Trump promised to "drain the swamp" but has welcomed oligarchs and neocons into his Administration.

How much sly BS do we have to see before people connect the dots? A real populist will NEVER be elected in USA unless there is a revolution; USA political elites are fully committed to a neoliberal economics that make society neofeudal, and a neoconservative-driven foreign policy that demands full spectrum dominance that brooks no opposition to its NWO goals.

Anyone who believes otherwise has drunk the Kool-Aid, an addictive, saccharine concoction, provided without charge and in abundance.

Glenn Brown | Jan 5, 2019 10:27:14 PM |

39@ 10 17

Jackrabbit, I agree with Bevin. Obama was really useful to the deep state because, as the "First Black President" he was widely popular, not just inside the US but outside it as well. Before the 2016 election, there was a widespread hope inside the US elite that Hillary Clinton, as the "First Woman President" would be able to serve a similar function in giving US imperialism a pleasing face.

Trump, by contrast, hurts the US deep state because his true nature as a greedy, incompetent egotist is just too blatantly obvious to too many people. And he won't follow a script, the way GW Bush usually did. That's why we see major sections of the US deep state going out of their way to be publically hostile towards Trump.

Yes, their public rejection of Trump is partly motivated by the need to be able to claim that Trump is an aberration from all previous US Presidents, as opposed to Trump and his policies being just a particularly explicit continuation of the same underlying trends.

But I see no reason to doubt that the US elites really wish they had someone as President who was better at supplying the right propaganda and less obviously an incompetent fool. So I don't understand why you think the US oligarchy and deep state would have thought they needed someone like Trump, or would have greatly preferred him to Hillary Clinton.

[Nov 27, 2018] The political fraud of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal"

Highly recommended!
After Democratic party was co-opted by neoliberals there is no way back. And since Obama the trend of Democratic Party is toward strengthening the wing of CIA-democratic notthe wing of the party friendly to workers. Bought by Wall Street leadership is uncable of intruting any change that undermine thier current neoliberal platform. that's why they criminally derailed Sanders.
Notable quotes:
"... When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism. ..."
"... To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!" ..."
"... "Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad." ..."
"... "It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party." ..."
"... "And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats ..."
"... It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class. ..."
"... First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious! ..."
"... from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/... ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Raymond Colison4 days ago

they literally ripped this out of the 2016 Green Party platform. Jill Stein spoke repeatedly about the same exact kind of Green New Deal, a full-employment, transition-to-100%-renewables program that would supposedly solve all the world's problems.

When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism.

In 2016, when the Greens made this their central economic policy proposal, the Democrats responded by calling that platform irresponsible and dangerous ("even if it's a good idea, you can't actually vote for a non-two-party candidate!"). Why would they suddenly find a green new deal appealing now except for its true purpose: left cover for the very system destroying the planet.

To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!"

Greg4 days ago
"Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad."

Their political position not only lacks seriousness, unserious is their political position.

"It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party."

For subjective-idealists, what you want to believe, think and feel is just so much more convincing than objective reality. Especially when it covers over single-minded class interests at play.

"And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats

Penny Smith4 days ago
It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class.
Jim Bergren4 days ago
First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious!

Only an International Socialist program led by Workers can truly lead a "green revolution" by expropriating the billionaire oil barons of their capital and redirecting that wealth into the socialist reconstruction of the entire economy.

Master Oroko4 days ago
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal" is a nice laugh. Really, it sure is funny hearing these lies given any credence at all. This showmanship belongs in a fantasy book, not in real life. The Democratic Party as a force for good social change Now that's a laugh!
Vivek Jain4 days ago
from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/...
лидия5 days ago
"Greenwashing" of capitalism (and also of Zionist apartheid colony in Palestine) is but one of dirty tricks by Dems and their "left" backers.
Kalen5 days ago
Lies, empty promises, meaningless tautologies and morality plays, qualified and conditional declarations to be backpedalled pending appropriate political expediencies, devoid any practical content that is what AOC, card carrying member of DSA, and in fact young energetic political apparatchik of calcified political body of Dems establishment, duty engulfs. And working for socialist revolution is no one of them.

What kind of socialist would reject socialist revolution, class struggle and class emancipation and choose, as a suppose socialist path, accommodation with oligarchic ruling elite via political, not revolutionary process that would have necessarily overthrown ruling elite.

What socialist would acquiesce to legalized exploitation of people for profit, legalized greed and inequality and would negotiate away fundamental principle of egalitarianism and working people self rule?

Only National Socialist would; and that is exactly what AOC campaign turned out to be all about.

National Socialism with imperial flavor is her affiliation and what her praises for Pelosi, wife of a billionaire and dead warmonger McCain proved.

Now she is peddling magical thinking about global change and plunge herself into falacy of entrepreneurship, Market solution to the very problem that the market solutions were designed to create and aggravate namely horrific inequality that is robbing people from their own opportunities to mitigate devastating effects of global change.

The insidiousness of phony socialists expresses itself in the fact that they lie that any social problem can be fixed by current of future technical means, namely via so called technological revolution instead by socialist revolution they deem unnecessary or detrimental.

Me at home Kalen4 days ago
The technical means for achieving socialism has existed since the late 19th century, with the telegraph, the coal-powered factory, and modern fertilizer. The improvements since then have only made socialism even more streamlined and efficient, if such technologies could only be liberated from capital! The idea that "we need a new technological revolution just to achieve socialism" reflects the indoctrination in capitalism by many "socialist" theorists because it is only in capitalism where "technological growth" is essential simply to maintain the system. It is only in capitalism (especially America, the most advanced capitalist nation, and thus, the one where capitalism is actually closest towards total crisis) where the dogma of a technological savior is most entrenched because America cannot offer any other kind of palliative to the more literate and productive sections of its population. Religion will not convince most and any attempt at a sociological or economic understanding would inevitably prove the truth of socialism.

[Nov 25, 2018] Let s recap what Obama s coup in Ukraine has led to shall we?

Highly recommended!
CIA democrats of which Obama is a prominent example (and Hillary is another one) are are Werewolfs, very dangerous political beasts, probably more dangerous to the world then Republicans like George W Bush. But in case of Ukraine, it was easily pushed into Baltic orbit, because it has all the preconditions for that. So Nuland has an relatively easy, albeit dirty task. Also all this probably that "in five years we will be living like French" was pretty effective. Now the population faces consequences of its own stupidity. This is just neoliberal business as usual or neocolonialism.
Notable quotes:
"... populists on the right ..."
"... hired members of Ukraine's two racist-fascist, or nazi, political parties ..."
"... Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment ..."
"... @snoopydawg ..."
"... @snoopydawg ..."
"... @gulfgal98 ..."
"... @gulfgal98 ..."
Nov 25, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Let's recap what Obama's coup in Ukraine has led to shall we? Maybe installing and blatantly backing Neo Nazis in Ukraine might have something to do with the rise of " populists on the right " that is spreading through Europe and this country, Hillary.

America's criminal 'news' media never even reported the coup, nor that in 2011 the Obama regime began planning for a coup in Ukraine . And that by 1 March 2013 they started organizing it inside the U.S. Embassy there . And that they hired members of Ukraine's two racist-fascist, or nazi, political parties , Right Sector and Svoboda (which latter had been called the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine until the CIA advised them to change it to Freedom Party, or "Svoboda" instead). And that in February 2014 they did it (and here's the 4 February 2014 phone call instructing the U.S. Ambassador whom to place in charge of the new regime when the coup will be completed), under the cover of authentic anti-corruption demonstrations that the Embassy organized on the Maidan Square in Kiev, demonstrations that the criminal U.S. 'news' media misrepresented as 'democracy demonstrations ,' though Ukraine already had democracy (but still lots of corruption, even more than today's U.S. does, and the pontificating Obama said he was trying to end Ukraine's corruption -- which instead actually soared after his coup there).

But wait there's more .... Remember that caravan of refugees making their way through Mexico? Guess where a number of them came from? Honduras. Yep. Another coup that happened during Obama's and Hillary's tenure.

Hard choices: Hillary Clinton admits role in Honduran coup aftermath

In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a review of Henry Kissinger's latest book, "World Order ," to lay out her vision for "sustaining America's leadership in the world." In the midst of numerous global crises, she called for return to a foreign policy with purpose, strategy and pragmatism. She also highlighted some of these policy choices in her memoir "Hard Choices" and how they contributed to the challenges that Barack Obama's administration now faces.
**
The chapter on Latin America, particularly the section on Honduras, a major source of the child migrants currently pouring into the United States, has gone largely unnoticed. In letters to Clinton and her successor, John Kerry, more than 100 members of Congress have repeatedly warned about the deteriorating security situation in Honduras, especially since the 2009 military coup that ousted the country's democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. As Honduran scholar Dana Frank points out in Foreign Affairs, the U.S.-backed post-coup government "rewarded coup loyalists with top ministries," opening the door for further "violence and anarchy."

The homicide rate in Honduras, already the highest in the world, increased by 50 percent from 2008 to 2011; political repression, the murder of opposition political candidates, peasant organizers and LGBT activists increased and continue to this day. Femicides skyrocketed. The violence and insecurity were exacerbated by a generalized institutional collapse. Drug-related violence has worsened amid allegations of rampant corruption in Honduras' police and government. While the gangs are responsible for much of the violence, Honduran security forces have engaged in a wave of killings and other human rights crimes with impunity.

Despite this, however, both under Clinton and Kerry, the State Department's response to the violence and military and police impunity has largely been silence, along with continued U.S. aid to Honduran security forces. In "Hard Choices," Clinton describes her role in the aftermath of the coup that brought about this dire situation. Her firsthand account is significant both for the confession of an important truth and for a crucial false testimony.

First, the confession: Clinton admits that she used the power of her office to make sure that Zelaya would not return to office. "In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico," Clinton writes. "We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot."

Clinton's position on Latin America in her bid for the presidency is another example of how the far right exerts disproportionate influence on US foreign policy in the hemisphere. up 24 users have voted. --

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment


aliasalias on Fri, 11/23/2018 - 6:16pm

Count on Wikileaks for the unvarnished truth

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg Obama, Hillary and the rest of that administration knew it was a coup because that was the goal.

"..4. (C) In our view, none of the above arguments has any substantive validity under the Honduran constitution. Some are outright false. Others are mere supposition or ex-post rationalizations of a patently illegal act. Essentially: --
the military had no authority to remove Zelaya from the country;
-- Congress has no constitutional authority to remove a Honduran president;
-- Congress and the judiciary removed Zelaya on the basis of a hasty, ad-hoc, extralegal, secret, 48-hour process;
-- the purported "resignation" letter was a fabrication and was not even the basis for Congress's action of June 28; and
-- Zelaya's arrest and forced removal from the country violated multiple constitutional guarantees, including the prohibition on expatriation, presumption of innocence and right to due process. "
https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09TEGUCIGALPA645_a.html

gulfgal98 on Fri, 11/23/2018 - 5:45am
How un-self aware is Hillary?

That evil woman thinks she has the right to preach to others about how to handle the very fallout from the horrific disasters that she HERself created? Hillary, look in the mirror, you evil woman.

From the Guardian article that snoopy linked above comes this not so shocking but arrogant statement by the evil queen herself.

Clinton said rightwing populists in the west met "a psychological as much as political yearning to be told what to do, and where to go, and how to live and have their press basically stifled and so be given one version of reality.

" The whole American system was designed so that you would eliminate the threat from a strong, authoritarian king or other leader and maybe people are just tired of it. They don't want that much responsibility and freedom. They want to be told what to do and where to go and how to live and only given one version of reality.

"I don't know why at this moment that is so attractive to people, but it's a serious threat to our freedom and our democratic institutions, and it goes very deep and very far and we've got to do a better job of shining a light on it and trying to combat it."

This arrogance of looking down on the populace is very part and parcel of the neoliberal attitude of the ruling class takes to the rest of us peons. They created this unreality for the American people and have suppressed our right to know what is really happening in the world. Obama destroyed the Occupy Movement with violent police attacks and kettling. And then disgustingly, Clinton comes out with her hubristic victim blaming.

The Clintons are nearly single handedly responsible for much of the destruction of the American middle class and the repression of poor and black people under Bill and the violent destruction of many countries under Hillary. And yet neither Clinton is willing to own up for all the human misery that they have caused wherever they go. Unfortunately, the one place they refuse to go is just away forever.

gulfgal98 on Fri, 11/23/2018 - 6:26am
Twitter is not too kind to Hillary, just a sampling

@gulfgal98

Apparently Hillary Clinton's 2020 platform will consist of two things:

1. We need to stop all these fucking brown people who sneak into our countries and ruin things for the nice, white population.

2. Bernie Sanders is a racist.

Well, that's one more than last time. #Progress https://t.co/H5jb5l5ZNK

-- "Angry Jon Snow" Graziano (@jvgraz) November 22, 2018

The belief that HRC & her circle are principled & progressive is just as fictitious as the belief that they lost to a reality TV host because of stolen emails, social media trolls, & a (fictitious) conspiracy between the reality TV host & the Kremlin: https://t.co/iyTC1M6uws

-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) November 22, 2018

Bombing a nation into smithereens like a real neocon, then refusing to help its people fleeing from the terror she created -like a real neocon.

Hillary Clinton, a progressive who gets things done -you know, like the neocon she really is. https://t.co/IQWFy4Rn3O

-- Amir (@AmirAminiMD) November 22, 2018

Clinton says Europe should make clear that "we are not going to be able to continue provide refuge & support." Isn't this the attitude we denounce Trump for? Speaking of irony, Clinton's regime wars in Libya & Syria (& Iraq, indirectly) fueled the migration she wants to stop. https://t.co/CIkkGRRKNd

-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) November 22, 2018

This ego-maniac sees the world's problems - which she had a huge hand in creating - only through the lens of her electability. Apparently, the only problems the world has are the one's that keep her from sitting in the Oval Office. Everything else is fine. She is deplorable.

-- Tom Hillgardner (@Tom4CongressNY6) November 22, 2018

Ah yes, Trump only won because the Democrats weren't harsh enough on immigration https://t.co/0ULBP23O4S

-- Abby Martin (@AbbyMartin) November 22, 2018

Hillary Clinton & Tony Blair now say migration issues "lit the flame" of RW populism in Europe and they must crack down.

Neither admits THEIR disastrous war & destabilization policy, neoliberal economics (incl sanctions) drive millions to flee https://t.co/8HUY2i25Sy pic.twitter.com/MaRiRkPjRM

-- Joanne Leon (@joanneleon) November 22, 2018

That evil woman thinks she has the right to preach to others about how to handle the very fallout from the horrific disasters that she HERself created? Hillary, look in the mirror, you evil woman.

From the Guardian article that snoopy linked above comes this not so shocking but arrogant statement by the evil queen herself.

Clinton said rightwing populists in the west met "a psychological as much as political yearning to be told what to do, and where to go, and how to live and have their press basically stifled and so be given one version of reality.

" The whole American system was designed so that you would eliminate the threat from a strong, authoritarian king or other leader and maybe people are just tired of it. They don't want that much responsibility and freedom. They want to be told what to do and where to go and how to live and only given one version of reality.

"I don't know why at this moment that is so attractive to people, but it's a serious threat to our freedom and our democratic institutions, and it goes very deep and very far and we've got to do a better job of shining a light on it and trying to combat it."

This arrogance of looking down on the populace is very part and parcel of the neoliberal attitude of the ruling class takes to the rest of us peons. They created this unreality for the American people and have suppressed our right to know what is really happening in the world. Obama destroyed the Occupy Movement with violent police attacks and kettling. And then disgustingly, Clinton comes out with her hubristic victim blaming.

The Clintons are nearly single handedly responsible for much of the destruction of the American middle class and the repression of poor and black people under Bill and the violent destruction of many countries under Hillary. And yet neither Clinton is willing to own up for all the human misery that they have caused wherever they go. Unfortunately, the one place they refuse to go is just away forever.

The Aspie Corner on Fri, 11/23/2018 - 6:46am
And amazingly, should she run, the 'left' will back her anyway.

@gulfgal98 Because they just HAVE to get a rich, far-right, patriarchal white woman elected at any cost for the sake of 'making history'. If these idiots really wanted to make history, they'd work like hell to put someone in charge who actually had the balls to hang the pigs and their collaborators for their crimes.

#5

Apparently Hillary Clinton's 2020 platform will consist of two things:

1. We need to stop all these fucking brown people who sneak into our countries and ruin things for the nice, white population.

2. Bernie Sanders is a racist.

Well, that's one more than last time. #Progress https://t.co/H5jb5l5ZNK

-- "Angry Jon Snow" Graziano (@jvgraz) November 22, 2018

The belief that HRC & her circle are principled & progressive is just as fictitious as the belief that they lost to a reality TV host because of stolen emails, social media trolls, & a (fictitious) conspiracy between the reality TV host & the Kremlin: https://t.co/iyTC1M6uws

-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) November 22, 2018

Bombing a nation into smithereens like a real neocon, then refusing to help its people fleeing from the terror she created -like a real neocon.

Hillary Clinton, a progressive who gets things done -you know, like the neocon she really is. https://t.co/IQWFy4Rn3O

-- Amir (@AmirAminiMD) November 22, 2018

Clinton says Europe should make clear that "we are not going to be able to continue provide refuge & support." Isn't this the attitude we denounce Trump for? Speaking of irony, Clinton's regime wars in Libya & Syria (& Iraq, indirectly) fueled the migration she wants to stop. https://t.co/CIkkGRRKNd

-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) November 22, 2018

This ego-maniac sees the world's problems - which she had a huge hand in creating - only through the lens of her electability. Apparently, the only problems the world has are the one's that keep her from sitting in the Oval Office. Everything else is fine. She is deplorable.

-- Tom Hillgardner (@Tom4CongressNY6) November 22, 2018

Ah yes, Trump only won because the Democrats weren't harsh enough on immigration https://t.co/0ULBP23O4S

-- Abby Martin (@AbbyMartin) November 22, 2018

Hillary Clinton & Tony Blair now say migration issues "lit the flame" of RW populism in Europe and they must crack down.

Neither admits THEIR disastrous war & destabilization policy, neoliberal economics (incl sanctions) drive millions to flee https://t.co/8HUY2i25Sy pic.twitter.com/MaRiRkPjRM

-- Joanne Leon (@joanneleon) November 22, 2018

[Nov 23, 2018] Sitting on corruption hill

Highly recommended!
Mueller is in the cave just below the Clinton foundation" sign. Entrance is behind the bag with the dollars ;-)
Nov 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

[Nov 06, 2018] 'Somebody' made fradulent promises and put people in danger to acheive some political goal. Sounds like Clintons or Soros.

Notable quotes:
"... "a group called CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project" a group that has received funding from Soros, to Pueblo Sin Fronteras through a person named 'Alex Mensing' who works both for CARA and as "an on-the ground coordinator in Mexico for the Pueblo Sin Fronteras". ..."
"... ..A vital part of that expansion has involved money: major donations from some of the nation's wealthiest liberal foundations, including the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Open Society Foundations of the financier George Soros, and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Over the past decade those donors have invested more than $300 million in immigrant organizations, including many fighting for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally.... ..."
"... US based groups or cutouts are the organizers of the caravan. ..."
"... The list of Democratic Party-connected organizations that might have originated the idea of a caravan from Central America is small. I surmise Clinton Global Initiative because they would have the requisite connections and blaming Soros seems to easy and convenient. But Soros is also rumored to be behind support for European migrants so it's certainly possible. ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 2:28:56 PM | link

How did this group of thousands come together to walk to US were Trump has vowed to keep illegals out. People like this would naturally come together if they were catching a ship, or at some sort of aid post refugee camp ect.

After a search on caravan starting point, I found this at the Guardian.

"Who organized the caravan?
In interviews, Honduran members of the group said that they learned about the caravan from Facebook posts, and a report on the local HCH television station, which erroneously suggested that a former congressman and radio host would cover the costs of the journey.
After that, rumours spread quickly, including the mistaken promise that any member would be given asylum in the US. Darwin Ramos, 30, said he was desperate to flee threats from a local drug gang, and when news of the caravan reached his neighbourhood, he seized on it as his best chance to escape."
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/24/caravan-migrants-what-is-it-where-from-guatemala-honduras-immigrants-mexico


Uh huh. 'Somebody' made mistaken promises.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 4:06:27 PM | link

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pueblo_Sin_Fronteras
"Pueblo Sin Fronteras (en: People without Borders) is an immigration rights group known for organizing several high profile migrant caravans in Mexico and Central America. The organization's efforts to facilitate immigration and calls for open borders attracted considerable amounts of coverage in the Mexican and American media."

Pueblo Sin Fronteras website. Zero information there other than the have bases or offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tijuana in Mexico.
https://www.pueblosinfronteras.org/commitees.html
No information on who they are or who funds them. Very much a political organization.
On two caravans like this have occurred, both organized by this shadowy group.
Slow moving lots of press coverage that can last for weeks so long as the peasant suckers stay suckers and don't pull out. Very much an anti Trump political show put on by whoever funds and controls this Pueblo Sin Fronteras organisation.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 4:34:48 PM | link
Centro Sin Fronteras is the parent group to Pueblo Sin Fronteras.
https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/centro-sin-fronteras/
"Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, former fugitive from U.S. immigration authorities, and activist for illegal immigrants in the U.S., formed the activist group La Familia Latina Unida ("The United Latin Family") as an expansion of the Centro Sin Fronteras. [7] La Familia Latina Unida runs Pueblo Sin Fronteras ("People Without Borders"), a group that organizes "migrant caravans" from Mexico and Latin America to cross the U.S. border illegally"

CSF website here https://fluenglish.wordpress.com/about/
Again nothing on who finances them.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 4:41:49 PM | link
The majority of people in the caravan may be leaving their own countries due to violence poverty ect, but the caravan itself is a manufactured political event. left to their own devices, some may have moved towards the US in small groups, others would have been deterred due to Trumps immigration policy, but they have joined this so called caravan on false promises made by the organisers. Nothing better than kids, women and oldies doing it tough or better yet dying for political media coverage.
dh-mtl , Nov 5, 2018 5:26:11 PM | link
Peter AU 1 | Nov 5, 2018 4:34:48 PM | 73 says:

"Again nothing on who finances them. (Pueblo Sin Fronteras)"


This article, published the last time that Pueblo Sin Fronteras was in the headlines, ( https://joeforamerica.com/2018/04/whos-really-behind-the-illegal-immigrants-the-migrant-caravan-and-pueblo-sin-fronteras/) links "a group called CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project" a group that has received funding from Soros, to Pueblo Sin Fronteras through a person named 'Alex Mensing' who works both for CARA and as "an on-the ground coordinator in Mexico for the Pueblo Sin Fronteras".

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 5:41:08 PM | link
Sleepy "If they request asylum, their entry is legal"

If they get into the US, immediately present themselves to authorities and request asylum, then their entry is deemed legal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_Relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees
US has signed up to the 1967 protocol but not the 1951 convention.

As for the politically organized caravan, the peasants have officially been offered a home in Mexico, but the organizers prefer them to go on to the US. As they have been offered a place in mexico, they are now economic migrants wanting greener pastures in the US rather than refugees.

The peasants themselves, I think are mostly genuine though organizers are mixed through the group. The peasants are no more than consumables in a political action.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 6:16:23 PM | link
The money.

. ..A vital part of that expansion has involved money: major donations from some of the nation's wealthiest liberal foundations, including the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Open Society Foundations of the financier George Soros, and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Over the past decade those donors have invested more than $300 million in immigrant organizations, including many fighting for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally....
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/us/obama-immigration-policy-changes.html

Pft , Nov 5, 2018 6:36:34 PM | link
How can people not see this caravan march as the obvious false flag it is to influence the election. The actors are being paid and busses have been mobilized and paid for to move them forward. The right says Soros money might be behind it and they may be right. Surprised the left has not blamed Putin. Which proves my point that the left is actively conspiring with the right the keep them in power. Why wouldnt they care?. As Caitlin Johnstone says, after I said it, they get paid the same no matter what. As part of a 2 party monopoly,with 2 parties the minimum to serve the illusion of a representative Democracy,the oiligarchs will continue to throw money to the loser.

This has been scripted well in advance. Republicans need to maintain both houses for the 2nd stage of Trumps destruction of America (credibility and finance), especially its government and middle class as the elite will be protected from the damage. Democrats are standing on the sidelines rambling about Russia Gate or Khashoggi Gate or mobilizing their forces to support gay marriages and transgender access to bathrooms. And to boot they bring out Hillary and Obama at the last moment to bash Trump to galvanize the rights voters even more. No other purpose for doing so.

To be sure, a Democratic win means nothing except perhaps as a poor proxy for a lack of support for Trump. 40% of their candidates come from the military or intelligence services. They are owned by the oligarchs as much as tbe Republicans. The only difference in the parties is the costumes they wear and the rhetoric the speak

Or perhaps its as simple as not wanting to share responsibility for what is to come as their best shot to win in 2020

Frankly the best outcome would be the decimation of the Democrat Party and its subsequent dissolution. Lets end the farce of a Democracy. One party for all. Hail Trump or whomever he appoints as his successor, or just let the elites vote and announce who they voted for every 4 years. Thats pretty much what the constitution meant for us to be doing anyways. The idea of a Direct vote by all citizens for President and Senate would have horrified them. Seeing the results of elections these past 40 years I have concluded they are right.


Jackrabbit , Nov 5, 2018 6:42:21 PM | link
b, RJPJR, Jay, Yeah Right, et al

Invaders or Dupes? Have the caravan migrants been misled?

While it's true that anyone can request asylum, the caravan migrants appear to be under the impression that they have a legitimate claim to asylum in USA because they are fleeing gang violence in their home country. That is very likely to be untrue.

Such a claim MIGHT be valid in countries that have signed the Cartagena Declaration and ratified it into law - but the US has not. The Declaration expands the definition of refugees to include:

"persons who have fled their country because their lives, security or freedom have been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances which have seriously disturbed public order".

The Brazil Declaration is an effort to expand the Cartegena Declaration . The USA is also not involved in this effort either, though I believe that they have "observer" status.

FYI
The 1951 UN Convention as amended defines a refugee as someone with a "well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion" . The caravan stories I have heard are unlikely to qualify under this definition.

Some countries that have loads of asylum seekers have set up camps to hold them. Some, like Australia, even have camps in foreign countries. Trump's talk of setting up tents implies that USA will also establish such camps. Life in these camps is likely to be uncomfortable and unproductive. Only those will genuine asylum claims would tough it out.

Grieved , Nov 5, 2018 7:40:05 PM | link
How telling it is that when we disagree on the nature of the Caravan, we fall into an either-or choice between 2 absolutes. Either it is a complete hoax from the ground up, or it's a completely authentic grass-roots happening.

But we have seen enough color revolutions to understand that there is always an authentic component to each one. I have commented several times on how delicately the CIA and other organizers of color revolutions symbiotically fuse with good and authentic people who have a noble cause. How these bad people can merge with such good people is a wonder to me.

But this itself is the fact that must demolish the partisan thinking of "one side or the other". It's clear that the people who run things and their henchmen who arrange things are marvelously nuanced when it comes to good and evil. They'll be good when it suits them and evil for the same reason, and treat people well and badly, all depending on the exigencies of the mission.

In simple words, there undoubtedly is a core heart to the population of the caravan that is good, hopeful, enterprising and industrious, and that hopes to receive just one little break from the world, and a sliver of social justice. This radiating core of goodness and humanity, which would break open the hearts of ordinary people like you and me, to the organizers and their fixers is simply the perfect place to hide, concealed by superb protective coloration.

Take a look at the Maidan in Ukraine, and see how many good people thought they were fighting to create a wonderful new world, until the snipers fired on both sides and brought off the color revolution with superb skill and complete amoral ruthlessness - all as a result of long planning and preparation, not to mention the cash to hire mercenaries and provide the best logistics.

So I personally will stand by my thought that we will see what this is when the shooters begin to provoke the violence. And if that happens, then sadly, it will be the innocents who again, as always, are massacred.

But if the US handles it well, and permits controlled entry under the supervision of the border authorities, and there are no shooters and no provocations coming either from the Caravan people - or from some other force off to the side that doesn't seem to belong to anyone, but which seems to be the cause of death to both sides - then this will all fizzle out as another political skirmish of short duration, and the Democrats and Republicans will move on to their next diversions.

RJPJR , Nov 5, 2018 7:47:23 PM | link
Posted by: Grieved | Nov 5, 2018 7:40:05 PM | 97

You wrote: "Either it is a complete hoax from the ground up, or it's a completely authentic grass-roots happening."

I am inclined to believe that it is both, to wit an authentic grass-roots happening that has been hijacked (like so many others) by interested parties for their own ends.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 5, 2018 6:59:25 PM | 95

Thanks for the link!

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 7:53:13 PM | link
Grieved 97
That's the way I'm seeing it. "But we have seen enough color revolutions to understand that there is always an authentic component to each one. I have commented several times on how delicately the CIA and other organizers of color revolutions symbiotically fuse with good and authentic people who have a noble cause. How these bad people can merge with such good people is a wonder to me."

Well put, not only the above paragragh but the whole comment. Not much most of us can do to help the naive perhaps desperate people sucked in to the US political caravan but we should at least be exposing those who are exploiting and furthingf their misery for political purposes.

Jackrabbit , Nov 5, 2018 8:27:50 PM | link
RJPJR:
I am inclined to believe that it is both, to wit an authentic grass-roots happening that has been hijacked ...

I think it is fake as per info @93.

The caravan people are real and hopeful of a better life but they have been duped into believing that they could get asylum.

Pft , Nov 5, 2018 8:40:05 PM | link
Nemesiscalling@94

Requirement for any President or political leader is to be a good actor. I believe they simply follow a script prepared by the real rulers operating in the shadows. Maybe I am wrong. Its like fake wrestling as Caitlin Johnstone pointed out. You have to be a good actor and pretend to care while actually making sure you qlose if the script calls for it

Jackrabbit@100

Its true they have been duped but the point is that desparate and poor people rarely work together spontaneously in an organized fashion and a caravan such as this must be organized and paid for. Someone is feeding them. The timing is too good to be true. Obviously they have been promised something, asylum, money or whatever and assured of their safety. To determine who is behind it you simply need to look at who benefits.

Jackrabbit , Nov 5, 2018 9:35:42 PM | link
Pft

@91 you wrote: The actors are being paid ...

When discussing this caravan "false flag", many people will dismiss "conspiracy theories" that involve paid actors.

RJPJR @98 thought the caravan an an "authentic grass-roots happening that has been hi-jacked" . But that theory is also unsatisfying. As you point out (Pft), it is strange that ordinary people organize themselves to make a march like the caravan.

The best explanation is that people were organized to make the march by local groups [connected to Clinton Global Initiative?] which got PAID to do so. These trusted local groups then told the marchers that: 1) they would get support along the way, and 2) that they have a good/great chance of actually getting asylum.

Organizers would not want a member of the caravan to tell a reporter that the march was fake, or that they are paid. But it has been reported that "well wishers" have given the marchers food and money. And the press has not questioned that support. And the marchers seem to have a genuine belief that they qualify for asylum. Such a belief would be easy to instill in poor, uneducated people who can be easily duped into believing that an international treaty like the Cartegena Declaration applies to all countries.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 9:55:29 PM | link
Jackrabbit, in my post @67 I linked the Pueblo Sin Fronteras website. When I found out about this group I looked for their website which I was able to access, and although information was sparse on this shadowy group, they proudly advertised their work on this caravan.
Since posting a link here I am now censored from that website - security exceptions blah blah.
Not local globalist groups but US based groups or cutouts are the organizers of the caravan.
Jackrabbit , Nov 5, 2018 10:24:10 PM | link
Peter AU1

Good detective work!

But my hunch is that the trail ends with a one or more local groups that are known to people in the area. These poor people basically had to be sold a 'bill of goods'. That's difficult unless you are known/trusted (have a "brand" like Coca-Cola).

There would be several intermediary groups. Maybe a large in-country charity with US connections? And one or more groups outside the country (US, Mexico, even EU) that are connected to / get funding and direction from a major US group.

Let's face it, whoever was behind this would not want the caravan to be connected to back to group with US political connections. And it's probably unlikely that we will find any 'smoking gun' that does that.

The list of Democratic Party-connected organizations that might have originated the idea of a caravan from Central America is small. I surmise Clinton Global Initiative because they would have the requisite connections and blaming Soros seems to easy and convenient. But Soros is also rumored to be behind support for European migrants so it's certainly possible.

It really the same reasoning that led b to suspect that it was CIA/MI6 that foiled assassination plot in Denmark, not Mossad.

[Nov 03, 2018] Kunstler The Midterm Endgame Democrats' Perpetual Hysteria

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Party split into a four-headed monster comprised of Wall Street patrons seeking favors, war hawks and their corporate allies looking for new global rumbles, the permanent bureaucracy looking to always expand itself, and the various ethnic and sexual minorities whose needs and grievances are serviced by that bureaucracy. It's the last group that has become the party's most public face while the party's other activities – many of them sinister -- remain at least partially concealed. ..."
"... the Republicans are being forced to engage on some real issues, such as the need for a coherent and effective immigration policy and the need to redefine formal trade relations. (Other issues like the insane system of medical racketeering and the deadly racket of the college loan industry just skate along on thin ice. And then, of course, there's the national debt and all its grotesque outgrowths.) ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has become the party of bad ideas and bad faith, starting with the position that "diversity and inclusion" means shutting down free speech, an unforgivable transgression against common sense and common decency. It's a party that lies even more systematically than Mr. Trump, and does so knowingly (as when Google execs say they "Do no Evil"). Its dirty secret is that it relishes coercion, it likes pushing people around, telling them what to think and how to act. Its idea of "social justice" is a campus kangaroo court, where due process of law is suspended. And it is deeply corrupt, with good old-fashioned grift, new-fashioned gross political misconduct in federal law enforcement, and utter intellectual depravity in higher education. ..."
"... I hope that the party is shoved into an existential crisis and is forced to confront its astounding dishonesty. I hope that the process prompts them to purge their leadership across the board. ..."
Nov 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kunstler: The Midterm Endgame & Democrats' "Perpetual Hysteria"

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/02/2018 - 17:05 44 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Back in the last century, when this was a different country, the Democrats were the "smart" party and the Republicans were the "stupid" party.

How did that work?

Well, back then the Democrats represented a broad middle class, with a base of factory workers, many of them unionized, and the party had to be smart, especially in the courts, to overcome the natural advantages of the owner class.

In contrast, the Republicans looked like a claque of country club drunks who staggered home at night to sleep on their moneybags. Bad optics, as we say nowadays.

The Democrats also occupied the moral high ground as the champion of the little guy. If not for the Dems, factory workers would be laboring twelve hours a day and children would still be maimed in the machinery. Once the relationship between business and labor was settled in the 1950s, the party moved on to a new crusade on even loftier moral high ground: civil rights, aiming to correct arrant and long-lived injustices against downtrodden black Americans. That was a natural move, considering America's self-proclaimed post-war status as the world's Beacon of Liberty. It had to be done and a political consensus that included Republicans got it done. Consensus was still possible.

The Dems built their fortress on that high ground and fifty years later they find themselves prisoners in it. The factory jobs all vamoosed overseas. The middle class has been pounded into penury and addiction.

The Democratic Party split into a four-headed monster comprised of Wall Street patrons seeking favors, war hawks and their corporate allies looking for new global rumbles, the permanent bureaucracy looking to always expand itself, and the various ethnic and sexual minorities whose needs and grievances are serviced by that bureaucracy. It's the last group that has become the party's most public face while the party's other activities – many of them sinister -- remain at least partially concealed.

The Republican Party has, at least, sobered up some after getting blindsided by Trump and Trumpism. Like a drunk out of rehab, it's attempting to get a life. Two years in, the party marvels at Mr. Trump's audacity, despite his obvious lack of savoir faire. And despite a longstanding lack of political will to face the country's problems, the Republicans are being forced to engage on some real issues, such as the need for a coherent and effective immigration policy and the need to redefine formal trade relations. (Other issues like the insane system of medical racketeering and the deadly racket of the college loan industry just skate along on thin ice. And then, of course, there's the national debt and all its grotesque outgrowths.)

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has become the party of bad ideas and bad faith, starting with the position that "diversity and inclusion" means shutting down free speech, an unforgivable transgression against common sense and common decency. It's a party that lies even more systematically than Mr. Trump, and does so knowingly (as when Google execs say they "Do no Evil"). Its dirty secret is that it relishes coercion, it likes pushing people around, telling them what to think and how to act. Its idea of "social justice" is a campus kangaroo court, where due process of law is suspended. And it is deeply corrupt, with good old-fashioned grift, new-fashioned gross political misconduct in federal law enforcement, and utter intellectual depravity in higher education.

I hope that Democrats lose as many congressional and senate seats as possible. I hope that the party is shoved into an existential crisis and is forced to confront its astounding dishonesty. I hope that the process prompts them to purge their leadership across the board. If there is anything to salvage in this organization, I hope it discovers aims and principles that are unrecognizable from its current agenda of perpetual hysteria. But if the party actually blows up and disappears, as the Whigs did a hundred and fifty years ago, I will be content. Out of the terrible turbulence, maybe something better will be born.

Or, there's the possibility that the dregs of a defeated Democratic Party will just go batshit crazy and use the last of its mojo to incite actual sedition. Of course, there's also a distinct possibility that the Dems will take over congress, in which case they'll ramp up an even more horrific three-ring-circus of political hysteria and persecution that will make the Spanish Inquisition look like a backyard barbeque. That will happen as the US enters the most punishing financial train wreck in our history, an interesting recipe for epic political upheaval.

[Oct 05, 2018] How the Russia Spin Got So Much Torque by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... Shattered ..."
"... Yet last year, notably without success, the Clinton campaign devoted plenty of its messaging to the Trump-Russia theme. As the "Shattered" book notes, "Hillary would raise the issue herself repeatedly in debates" with Trump. For example, in one of those debates she said: "We have seventeen – seventeen ..."
"... In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summed up the post-election approach neatly in a Washington Post ..."
"... The inability of top Clinton operatives to identify with the non-wealthy is so tenacious that they still want to assume "the public will be with us" the more they talk about Russia Russia Russia. Imagine sitting at a kitchen table with average-income voters who are worried sick about their financial futures – and explaining to them that the biggest threat they face is from the Kremlin rather than from US government policies that benefit the rich and corporate America at their expense ..."
"... One of the most promising progressives to arrive in Congress this year, Rep. Jamie Raskin from the Maryland suburbs of D.C., promptly drank what might be called the "Klinton Kremlin Kool-Aid." His official website features an article about a town-hall meeting that quotes him describing Trump as a "hoax perpetrated by the Russians on the United States of America. ..."
"... Like hundreds of other Democrats on Capitol Hill, Raskin is on message with talking points from the party leadership. That came across in an email that he recently sent to supporters for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser. It said: "We pull the curtain back further each day on the Russian Connection, forcing National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to resign, Attorney General Sessions to recuse, and America to reflect on who's calling the shots in Washington. ..."
A new book about Hillary Clinton's last campaign for president – Shattered , by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes – has gotten a lot of publicity since it appeared two weeks ago. But major media have ignored a revealing passage near the end of the book.

Soon after Clinton's defeat, top strategists decided where to place the blame. "Within 24 hours of her concession speech," the authors report, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta "assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

Six months later, that centerpiece of the argument is rampant – with claims often lurching from unsubstantiated overreach to outright demagoguery.

A lavishly-funded example is the "Moscow Project," a mega-spin effort that surfaced in midwinter as a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It's led by Neera Tanden, a self-described "loyal soldier" for Clinton who also runs the Center for American Progress (where she succeeded Podesta as president). The Center's board includes several billionaires.

The "Moscow Project" is expressly inclined to go over the top, aiming to help normalize ultra-partisan conjectures as supposedly factual. And so, the homepage of the "Moscow Project" prominently declares: "Given Trump's obedience to Vladimir Putin and the deep ties between his advisers and the Kremlin, Russia's actions are a significant and ongoing cause for concern."

Let's freeze-frame how that sentence begins: "Given Trump's obedience to Vladimir Putin." It's a jaw-dropping claim; a preposterous smear.

Echoes of such tactics can be heard from many Democrats in Congress and from allied media. Along the way, no outlet has been more in sync than MSNBC, and no one on the network has been more promotional of the Russia-runs-Trump meme than Rachel Maddow, tirelessly promoting the line and sometimes connecting dots in Glenn Beck fashion to the point of journalistic malpractice.

Yet last year, notably without success, the Clinton campaign devoted plenty of its messaging to the Trump-Russia theme. As the "Shattered" book notes, "Hillary would raise the issue herself repeatedly in debates" with Trump. For example, in one of those debates she said: "We have seventeen – seventeen – intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election ."

After Trump's election triumph, the top tier of Clinton strategists quickly moved to seize as much of the narrative as they could, surely mindful of what George Orwell observed: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." After all, they hardly wanted the public discourse to dwell on Clinton's lack of voter appeal because of her deep ties to Wall Street. Political recriminations would be much better focused on the Russian government.

In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summed up the post-election approach neatly in a Washington Post opinion article : "If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they'll be with us."

The inability of top Clinton operatives to identify with the non-wealthy is so tenacious that they still want to assume "the public will be with us" the more they talk about Russia Russia Russia. Imagine sitting at a kitchen table with average-income voters who are worried sick about their financial futures – and explaining to them that the biggest threat they face is from the Kremlin rather than from US government policies that benefit the rich and corporate America at their expense.

Tone deaf hardly describes the severe political impairment of those who insist that denouncing Russia will be key to the Democratic Party's political fortunes in 2018 and 2020. But the top-down pressure for conformity among elected Democrats is enormous and effective.

One of the most promising progressives to arrive in Congress this year, Rep. Jamie Raskin from the Maryland suburbs of D.C., promptly drank what might be called the "Klinton Kremlin Kool-Aid." His official website features an article about a town-hall meeting that quotes him describing Trump as a "hoax perpetrated by the Russians on the United States of America. "

Like hundreds of other Democrats on Capitol Hill, Raskin is on message with talking points from the party leadership. That came across in an email that he recently sent to supporters for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser. It said: "We pull the curtain back further each day on the Russian Connection, forcing National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to resign, Attorney General Sessions to recuse, and America to reflect on who's calling the shots in Washington. "

You might think that Wall Street, big banks, hugely funded lobbyists, fat-check campaign contributors, the fossil fuel industry, insurance companies, military contractors and the like are calling the shots in Washington. Maybe you didn't get the memo.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy . His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death .

[Oct 02, 2018] Kavanaugh vs Bill Clinton

Looks like Neoliberal Democrats have zero problem with rapists as long as they are democrats.
Oct 02, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Jean , September 28, 2018 at 11:58 pm

BS

I Believe Juanita

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/opinion/juanita-broaddrick-bill-clinton.html

What About Bil

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/us/politics/bill-clinton-sexual-misconduct-debate.amp.html

What Hillary Knew
Hillary Clinton once tweeted that "every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported." What about Juanita Broaddrick?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/546170/

The Clinton Double Standard

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/10/bill-clinton-harvey-weinstein-sexual-assault

rife kimler , September 29, 2018 at 6:18 am

So Clinton did not fly around with Jeffery Epstein?

jean , September 29, 2018 at 7:43 pm

https://www.salon.com/2017/10/16/hillary-clinton-weinstein-bbc-trump-bill/

You'd Better Put Some Ice On That: How I Survived Being Raped by Bill Clinton

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37797819-you-d-better-put-some-ice-on-that

[Sep 29, 2018] The Schizophrenic Deep State is a Symptom, Not the Disease by Charles Hugh Smith

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse ... shared values and consensus which had held the Empire's core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained." ..."
"... If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines. ..."
"... If we consider the state of the nation from 40,000 feet, several key indicators of profound political disunity within the elites pop out: ..."
"... Psychopaths with no moral principles. The nation's elites are not just divided--they're exhibiting signs of schizophrenic breakdown : disassociation and a loss of the ability to discern the difference between reality and their internal fantasies. ..."
"... A funny thing happens when a nation allows itself to be ruled by Imperial kleptocrats: such rule is intrinsically destabilizing, as there is no longer any moral or political center to bind the nation together. The public sees the value system at the top is maximize my personal profit by whatever means are available , i.e. complicity, corruption, monopoly and rentier rackets , and they follow suit by pursuing whatever petty frauds and rackets are within reach: tax avoidance, cheating on entrance exams, gaming the disability system, lying on mortgage and job applications, and so on. ..."
"... But the scope of the rentier rackets is so large, the bottom 95% cannot possibly keep up with the expanding wealth and income of the top .1% and their army of technocrats and enablers, so a rising sense of injustice widens the already yawning fissures in the body politic. ..."
"... As the Power Elites squabble over the dwindling crumbs left by the various rentier rackets, there's no one left to fight for the national interest because the entire Status Quo of self-interested fiefdoms and cartels has been co-opted and is now wedded to the Imperial Oligarchy as their guarantor of financial security. ..."
"... The divided Deep State is a symptom of this larger systemic political disunity. I have characterized the divide as between the Wall Street-Neocon-Globalist Neoliberal camp--currently the dominant public face of the Deep State, the one desperately attempting to exploit the "Russia hacked our elections and is trying to destroy us" narrative--and a much less public, less organized "rogue Progressive" camp, largely based in the military services and fringes of the Deep State, that sees the dangers of a runaway expansionist Empire and the resulting decay of the nation's moral/political center. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | russia-insider.com

"a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse ... shared values and consensus which had held the Empire's core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained."

If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines.

If we consider the state of the nation from 40,000 feet, several key indicators of profound political disunity within the elites pop out:

  1. The overt politicization of the central state's law enforcement and intelligence agencies: it is now commonplace to find former top officials of the CIA et al. accusing a sitting president of treason in the mainstream media. What was supposed to be above politics is now nothing but politics.
  2. The overt politicization of the centralized (corporate) media: evidence that would stand up in a court of law is essentially non-existent but the interpretations and exaggerations that fit the chosen narrative are ceaselessly promoted--the classic definition of desperate propaganda by those who have lost the consent of the governed.
Psychopaths with no moral principles.
The nation's elites are not just divided--they're exhibiting signs of schizophrenic breakdown : disassociation and a loss of the ability to discern the difference between reality and their internal fantasies.

I've been writing about the divided Deep State for a number of years, for example, The Conflict within the Deep State Just Broke into Open Warfare . The topic appears to be one of widespread interest, as this essay drew over 300,000 views.

It's impossible to understand the divided Deep State unless we situate it in the larger context of profound political disunity , a concept I learned from historian Michael Grant, whose slim but insightful volume The Fall of the Roman Empire I have been recommending since 2009.

As I noted in my 2009 book Survival+ , this was a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse. The shared values and consensus which had held the Empire's core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained.

A funny thing happens when a nation allows itself to be ruled by Imperial kleptocrats: such rule is intrinsically destabilizing, as there is no longer any moral or political center to bind the nation together. The public sees the value system at the top is maximize my personal profit by whatever means are available , i.e. complicity, corruption, monopoly and rentier rackets , and they follow suit by pursuing whatever petty frauds and rackets are within reach: tax avoidance, cheating on entrance exams, gaming the disability system, lying on mortgage and job applications, and so on.

But the scope of the rentier rackets is so large, the bottom 95% cannot possibly keep up with the expanding wealth and income of the top .1% and their army of technocrats and enablers, so a rising sense of injustice widens the already yawning fissures in the body politic.

Meanwhile, diverting the national income into a few power centers is also destabilizing , as Central Planning and Market Manipulation (a.k.a. the Federal Reserve) are intrinsically unstable as price can no longer be discovered by unfettered markets. As a result, imbalances grow until some seemingly tiny incident or disruption triggers a cascading collapse, a.k.a. a phase shift or system re-set.

As the Power Elites squabble over the dwindling crumbs left by the various rentier rackets, there's no one left to fight for the national interest because the entire Status Quo of self-interested fiefdoms and cartels has been co-opted and is now wedded to the Imperial Oligarchy as their guarantor of financial security.

The divided Deep State is a symptom of this larger systemic political disunity. I have characterized the divide as between the Wall Street-Neocon-Globalist Neoliberal camp--currently the dominant public face of the Deep State, the one desperately attempting to exploit the "Russia hacked our elections and is trying to destroy us" narrative--and a much less public, less organized "rogue Progressive" camp, largely based in the military services and fringes of the Deep State, that sees the dangers of a runaway expansionist Empire and the resulting decay of the nation's moral/political center.

What few observers seem to understand is that concentrating power in centralized nodes is intrinsically unstable. Contrast a system in which power, control and wealth is extremely concentrated in a few nodes (the current U.S. Imperial Project) and a decentralized network of numerous dynamic nodes.

The disruption of any of the few centralized nodes quickly destabilizes the entire system because each centralized node is highly dependent on the others. This is in effect what happened in the 2008-09 Financial Meltdown: the Wall Street node failed and that quickly imperiled the entire economy and thus the entire political order, up to and including the Global Imperial Project.

Historian Peter Turchin has proposed that the dynamics of profound political disunity (i.e. social, financial and political disintegration) can be quantified in a Political Stress Index, a concept he describes in his new book Ages of Discord .

If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines. There is no other possible output of a system of highly concentrated nodes of power, wealth and control and the competing rentier rackets of these dependent, increasingly fragile centralized nodes.

[Sep 12, 2018] If You Read This Book, It'll Make You a Radical A Conversation with Thomas Frank by John Siman

Notable quotes:
"... "Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps ..."
"... And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory. ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thomas Frank's new collection of essays: Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society (Metropolitan Books 2018) and Listen, Liberal; or,Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? (ibid. 2016)

To hang out with Thomas Frank for a couple of hours is to be reminded that, going back to 1607, say, or to 1620, for a period of about three hundred and fifty years, the most archetypal of American characters was, arguably, the hard-working, earnest, self-controlled, dependable white Protestant guy, last presented without irony a generation or two -- or three -- ago in the television personas of men like Ward Cleaver and Mister Rogers.

Thomas Frank, who grew up in Kansas and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, who at age 53 has the vibe of a happy eager college nerd, not only glows with authentic Midwestern Nice (and sometimes his face turns red when he laughs, which is often), he actually lives in suburbia, just outside of D.C., in Bethesda, where, he told me, he takes pleasure in mowing the lawn and doing some auto repair and fixing dinner for his wife and two children. (Until I met him, I had always assumed it was impossible for a serious intellectual to live in suburbia and stay sane, but Thomas Frank has proven me quite wrong on this.)

Frank is sincerely worried about the possibility of offending friends and acquaintances by the topics he chooses to write about. He told me that he was a B oy Scout back in Kansas, but didn't make Eagle. He told me that he was perhaps a little too harsh on Hillary Clinton in his brilliantly perspicacious "Liberal Gilt [ sic ]" chapter at the end of Listen, Liberal . His piercing insight into and fascination with the moral rot and the hypocrisy that lies in the American soul brings, well, Nathaniel Hawthorne to mind, yet he refuses to say anything (and I tried so hard to bait him!) mean about anyone, no matter how culpable he or she is in the ongoing dissolving and crumbling and sinking -- all his metaphors -- of our society. And with such metaphors Frank describes the "one essential story" he is telling in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "This is what a society looks like when the glue that holds it together starts to dissolve. This is the way ordinary citizens react when they learn that the structure beneath them is crumbling. And this is the thrill that pulses through the veins of the well-to-do when they discover that there is no longer any limit on their power to accumulate" ( Thomas Frank in NYC on book tour https://youtu.be/DBNthCKtc1Y ).

And I believe that Frank's self-restraint, his refusal to indulge in bitter satire even as he parses our every national lie, makes him unique as social critic. "You will notice," he writes in the introduction to Rendezvous with Oblivion, "that I describe [these disasters] with a certain amount of levity. I do that because that's the only way to confront the issues of our time without sinking into debilitating gloom" (p. 8). And so rather than succumbing to an existential nausea, Frank descends into the abyss with a dependable flashlight and a ca. 1956 sitcom-dad chuckle.

"Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps " (p. 178).

And it is his analysis of this "Creative Class" -- he usually refers to it as the "Liberal Class" and sometimes as the "Meritocratic Class" in Listen, Liberal (while Barbara Ehrenreich uses the term " Professional Managerial Class ,"and Matthew Stewart recently published an article entitled "The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy" in the Atlantic ) -- that makes it clear that Frank's work is a continuation of the profound sociological critique that goes back to Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) and, more recently, to Christopher Lasch's The Revolt of the Elites (1994).

Unlike Veblen and Lasch, however, Frank is able to deliver the harshest news without any hauteur or irascibility, but rather with a deftness and tranquillity of mind, for he is both in and of the Creative Class; he abides among those afflicted by the epidemic which he diagnoses: "Today we live in a world of predatory bankers, predatory educators, even predatory health care providers, all of them out for themselves . Liberalism itself has changed to accommodate its new constituents' technocratic views. Today, liberalism is the philosophy not of the sons of toil but of the 'knowledge economy' and, specifically, of the knowledge economy's winners: the Silicon Valley chieftains, the big university systems, and the Wall Street titans who gave so much to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign . They are a 'learning class' that truly gets the power of education. They are a 'creative class' that naturally rebels against fakeness and conformity. They are an ' innovation class ' that just can't stop coming up with awesome new stuff" ( Listen, Liberal , pp. 27-29).

And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory.

The class that now runs the so-called Party of the People is impoverishing the people; the genius value-creators at Amazon and Google and Uber are Robber Barons, although, one must grant, hipper, cooler, and oh so much more innovative than their historical predecessors. "In reality," Frank writes in Listen, Liberal ,

.there is little new about this stuff except the software, the convenience, and the spying. Each of the innovations I have mentioned merely updates or digitizes some business strategy that Americans learned long ago to be wary of. Amazon updates the practices of Wal-Mart, for example, while Google has dusted off corporate behavior from the days of the Robber Barons. What Uber does has been compared to the every-man-for-himself hiring procedures of the pre-union shipping docks . Together, as Robert Reich has written, all these developments are 'the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.' This is atavism, not innovation . And if we keep going in this direction, it will one day reduce all of us to day laborers, standing around like the guys outside the local hardware store, hoping for work. (p. 215).

And who gets this message? The YouTube patriot/comedian Jimmy Dore, Chicago-born, ex-Catholic, son of a cop, does for one. "If you read this b ook, " Dore said while interviewing Frank back in January of 2017, "it'll make y ou a radical" (Frank Interview Part 4 https://youtu.be/JONbGkQaq8Q ).

But to what extent, on the other hand, is Frank being actively excluded from our elite media outlets? He's certainly not on TV or radio or in print as much as he used to be. So is he a prophet without honor in his own country? Frank, of course, is too self-restrained to speculate about the motives of these Creative Class decision-makers and influencers. "But it is ironic and worth mentioning," he told me, "that most of my writing for the last few years has been in a British publication, The Guardian and (in translation) in Le Monde Diplomatique . The way to put it, I think, is to describe me as an ex-pundit."

Frank was, nevertheless, happy to tell me in vivid detail about how his most fundamental observation about America, viz. that the Party of the People has become hostile to the people , was for years effectively discredited in the Creative Class media -- among the bien-pensants , that is -- and about what he learned from their denialism.

JS: Going all the way back to your 2004 book What's the Matter with Kansas? -- I just looked at Larry Bartels's attack on it, "What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas?" -- and I saw that his first objection to your book was, Well, Thomas Frank says the working class is alienated from the Democrats, but I have the math to show that that's false. How out of touch does that sound now?

TCF: [laughs merrily] I know.

JS: I remember at the time that was considered a serious objection to your thesis.

TCF: Yeah. Well, he was a professor at Princeton. And he had numbers. So it looked real. And I actually wrote a response to that in which I pointed out that there were other statistical ways of looking at it, and he had chosen the one that makes his point.

JS: Well, what did Mark Twain say?

TCF: Mark Twain?

JS: There are lies, damned lies --

TCF: [laughs merrily] -- and statistics! Yeah. Well, anyhow, Bartels's take became the common sense of the highly educated -- there needs to be a term for these people by the way, in France they're called the bien-pensants -- the "right-thinking," the people who read The Atlantic, The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington Post op-ed page, and who all agree with each other on everything -- there's this tight little circle of unanimity. And they all agreed that Bartels was right about that, and that was a costly mistake. For example, Paul Krugman, a guy whom I admire in a lot of ways, he referenced this four or five times. He agreed with it . No, the Democrats are not losing the white working class outside the South -- they were not going over to the Republicans. The suggestion was that there is nothing to worry about. Yes. And there were people saying this right up to the 2016 election. But it was a mistake.

JS: I remember being perplexed at the time. I had thought you had written this brilliant book, and you weren't being taken seriously -- because somebody at Princeton had run some software -- as if that had proven you wrong.

TCF: Yeah, that's correct . That was a very widespread take on it. And Bartels was incorrect, and I am right, and [laughs merrily] that's that.

JS: So do you think Russiagate is a way of saying, Oh no no no no, Hillary didn't really lose?

TCF: Well, she did win the popular vote -- but there's a whole set of pathologies out there right now that all stem from Hillary Denialism. And I don't want to say that Russiagate is one of them, because we don't know the answer to that yet.

JS: Um, ok.

TCF: Well, there are all kinds of questionable reactions to 2016 out there, and what they all have in common is the faith that Democrats did nothing wrong. For example, this same circle of the bien-pensants have decided that the only acceptable explanation for Trump's victory is the racism of his supporters. Racism can be the only explanation for the behavior of Trump voters. But that just seems odd to me because, while it's true of course that there's lots of racism in this country, and while Trump is clearly a bigot and clearly won the bigot vote, racism is just one of several factors that went into what happened in 2016. Those who focus on this as the only possible answer are implying that all Trump voters are irredeemable, lost forever.

And it comes back to the same point that was made by all those people who denied what was happening with the white working class, which is: The Democratic Party needs to do nothing differently . All the post-election arguments come back to this same point. So a couple years ago they were saying about the white working class -- we don't have to worry about them -- they're not leaving the Democratic Party, they're totally loyal, especially in the northern states, or whatever the hell it was. And now they say, well, Those people are racists, and therefore they're lost to us forever. What is the common theme of these two arguments? It's always that there's nothing the Democratic Party needs to do differently. First, you haven't lost them; now you have lost them and they're irretrievable: Either way -- you see what I'm getting at? -- you don't have to do anything differently to win them.

JS: Yes, I do.

TCF: The argument in What's the Matter with Kansas? was that this is a long-term process, the movement of the white working class away from the Democratic Party. This has been going on for a long time. It begins in the '60s, and the response of the Democrats by and large has been to mock those people, deride those people, and to move away from organized labor, to move away from class issues -- working class issues -- and so their response has been to make this situation worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse! And there's really no excuse for them not seeing it. But they say, believe, rationalize, you know, come up with anything that gets then off the hook for this, that allows them to ignore this change. Anything. They will say or believe whatever it takes.

JS: Yes.

TCF: By the way, these are the smartest people! These are tenured professors at Ivy League institutions, these are people with Nobel Prizes, people with foundation grants, people with, you know, chairs at prestigious universities, people who work at our most prestigious media outlets -- that's who's wrong about all this stuff.

JS: [quoting the title of David Halberstam's 1972 book, an excerpt from which Frank uses as an epigraph for Listen, Liberal ] The best and the brightest!

TCF: [laughing merrily] Exactly. Isn't it fascinating?

JS: But this gets to the irony of the thing. [locates highlighted passage in book] I'm going to ask you one of the questions you ask in Rendezvous with Oblivion: "Why are worshippers of competence so often incompetent?" (p. 165). That's a huge question.

TCF: That's one of the big mysteries. Look. Take a step back. I had met Barack Obama. He was a professor at the University of Chicago, and I'd been a student there. And he was super smart. Anyhow, I met him and was really impressed by him. All the liberals in Hyde Park -- that's the neighborhood we lived in -- loved him, and I was one of them, and I loved him too. And I was so happy when he got elected.

Anyhow, I knew one thing he would do for sure, and that is he would end the reign of cronyism and incompetence that marked the Bush administration and before them the Reagan administration. These were administrations that actively promoted incompetent people. And I knew Obama wouldn't do that, and I knew Obama would bring in the smartest people, and he'd get the best economists. Remember, when he got elected we were in the pit of the crisis -- we were at this terrible moment -- and here comes exactly the right man to solve the problem. He did exactly what I just described: He brought in [pause] Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard, considered the greatest economist of his generation -- and, you know, go down the list: He had Nobel Prize winners, he had people who'd won genius grants, he had The Best and the Brightest . And they didn't really deal with the problem. They let the Wall Street perpetrators off the hook -- in a catastrophic way, I would argue. They come up with a health care system that was half-baked. Anyhow, the question becomes -- after watching the great disappointments of the Obama years -- the question becomes: Why did government-by-expert fail?

JS: So how did this happen? Why?

TCF: The answer is understanding experts not as individual geniuses but as members of a class . This is the great missing link in all of our talk about expertise. Experts aren't just experts: They are members of a class. And they act like a class. They have loyalty to one another; they have a disdain for others, people who aren't like them, who they perceive as being lower than them, and there's this whole hierarchy of status that they are at the pinnacle of.

And once you understand this, then everything falls into place! So why did they let the Wall Street bankers off the hook? Because these people were them. These people are their peers. Why did they refuse to do what obviously needed to be done with the health care system? Because they didn't want to do that to their friends in Big Pharma. Why didn't Obama get tough with Google and Facebook? They obviously have this kind of scary monopoly power that we haven't seen in a long time. Instead, he brought them into the White House, he identified with them. Again, it's the same thing. Once you understand this, you say: Wait a minute -- so the Democratic Party is a vehicle of this particular social class! It all makes sense. And all of a sudden all of these screw-ups make sense. And, you know, all of their rhetoric makes sense. And the way they treat working class people makes sense. And they way they treat so many other demographic groups makes sense -- all of the old-time elements of the Democratic Party: unions, minorities, et cetera. They all get to ride in back. It's the professionals -- you know, the professional class -- that sits up front and has its hands on the steering wheel.

* * *

It is, given Frank's persona, not surprising that he is able to conclude Listen, Liberal with a certain hopefulness, and so let me end by quoting some of his final words:

What I saw in Kansas eleven years ago is now everywhere . It is time to face the obvious: that the direction the Democrats have chosen to follow for the last few decades has been a failure for both the nation and for their own partisan health . The Democrats posture as the 'party of the people' even as they dedicate themselves ever more resolutely to serving and glorifying the professional class. Worse: they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning . The Democrats have no interest in reforming themselves in a more egalitarian way . What we can do is strip away the Democrats' precious sense of their own moral probity -- to make liberals live without the comforting knowledge that righteousness is always on their side . Once that smooth, seamless sense of liberal virtue has been cracked, anything becomes possible. (pp. 256-257).

[Aug 18, 2018] Best Available Evidence Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson's by Rudy Panko

Aug 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Sep 13, 2016

Clinton has been using her "dehydration" story for years. This time it won't work. 219 The media is already working around the clock to hush up questions about Hillary's rapidly deteriorating health. She overheated has allergies pneumonia! She'll be back on her feet soon, citizen. End of discussion. Anyone who says otherwise is a Looney Tune. (Remember that just a week ago the media shamed anyone who even suggested that Hillary Clinton might be sick.)

We don't buy it . Commenting on Clinton's latest "medical episode", Dr. Zuhdi Jasser M.D. observed : "What she had was a syncopal episode. She passed out. That's either cardiovascular or neurologic. Now, her team wants us to believe it is dehydration. She didn't appear to be dehydrated and that doesn't get fixed in 90 minutes."

There's a very good reason why Bill has already replaced his wife on the campaign trail : Hillary Clinton is suffering from advanced stages of Parkinson's. And it's just going to get worse.

But first, what is Parkinson's?

The Parkinson's theory has been floating around for quite some time, but in our humble opinion, Dr. Ted Noel, a physician who worked for 32 years in clinical medicine, makes the most compelling case that Clinton is suffering from this very serious neurological condition. We want to emphasize that Dr. Noel made this video on August 29 , long before Hillary's "medical episode" on September 11:

In his video analysis, Dr. Noel makes the following points:

  1. Leaked e-mails show that Clinton's aides researched medication used to treat Parkinson's.
  2. Clinton has suffered from fainting spells as early as 2005, when she lost consciousness while making a speech. In 2009 she fell and broke her elbow. In 2012 she suffered a concussion after fainting and striking her head. All of these falls can be explained by Parkinson's, which affects the motor system. (Team Hillary blames dehydration.)
  3. Hillary's personal aide Huma Abedin wrote in an e-mail that Clinton is "often confused." Again, this would be consistent with Parkinson's, which in its advanced stages can even lead to dementia.
  4. Numerous documented cases where Clinton needed physical assistance, whether it's using a chair as a support while giving a stump speech, or requiring help climbing stairs. Again, Parkinson's severely impedes motor functions.
  5. During a roundtable discussion in April, Hillary nodded her head for an extended period -- one estimate puts the number of nods at 400; it looks odd, but it makes perfect sense if she has Parkinson's: It's a head-nodding tremor. (Go to 5:45 in the video. Truly bizarre behavior.)
  6. Clinton has also shown signs of "pin-rolling" tremors, as well as unnatural (and even painful) finger positions.
  7. The now-famous video of Hillary's head bobbing uncontrollably while speaking with the press was not a "seizure" (or a result of "iced chai"): It's a very common side-effect of Levadopa, a common and effective treatment for Parkinson's. However, visual stimulus, or anxiety, can cause unnatural reactions. Which brings Dr. Noel to his next point:
  8. It's been nearly 300 days since Hillary Clinton has held a press conference. No one has offered a rational reason for this. But here's an easy explanation: It's because Hillary's condition makes it very difficult for her to handle stressful situations in which she is bombarded with multiple questions and requests at the same time. Furthermore:
  9. This also explains her frankly bizarre facial expressions during her nomination. (Go to 9:38 in the video, because you can't do this point justice without watching the video.)
  10. In response to a protestor at a rally, Clinton literally freezes. She's unable to move, let alone speak. An aide rushes up to her and says "It's okay. We're still here. Keep talking." We urge everyone to watch Dr. Noel's analysis of this event, which begins at the 11:14 mark.
  11. Her coughing fits are evidence of a swallowing disorder -- common in those who suffer from Parkinson's. It could even be a symptom of pneumonia, which is also quite common among those with Parkinson's. (NOTE: Dr. Noel made this observation more than a week before Hillary was "diagnosed" with pneumonia.)

After Clinton "overheated" on September 11 , Dr. Noel made a follow-up video:

The keys points in this video:

  1. Hillary's doctor claims that Clinton's behavior on September 11 was due to "dehydration", the excuse used every time Clinton has a "medical episode". Here you really have to watch the video to fully appreciate how unbelievable this claim is -- and how often it's been used.
  2. Clinton is wearing blue-tinted glasses, which are used to help stabilize motor functions in those suffering from Parkinson's.
  3. When Clinton begins to fall, as shown in the video, she doesn't attempt to hold out her arms or protect her face. She's frozen into a board-like rigidity. Again, common for someone with Parkinson's.
  4. It's obvious that Clinton's condition is serious -- but instead of going to the hospital, she is taken (against protocol) to Chelsea's apartment. The only way this makes sense is if Clinton's team already knew what was wrong.

  5. Pneumonia cannot explain much of Clinton's behavior. Parkinson's, on the other hand, would explain all of it.

me frameborder=

#Hillary squeezing her nurse's fingers. Clearly, she's disoriented. Final stages of Parkinson's disease? pic.twitter.com/E5SJjcIvDA

-- Mathijs Koenraadt (@mkoenraadt) September 12, 2016

Aside from Dr. Noel's analysis, it appears that Clinton took a neurological test shortly before collapsing:

Pneumonia!

As Paul Joseph Watson explains :

The image shows Hillary grasping the woman's fingers with her fist, which is a classic motor neuron test to determine abnormalities in the nervous system.

The NYU School of Medicine details how the test is conducted;

"Test the patient's grip by having the patient hold the examiner's fingers in their fist tightly and instructing them not to let go while the examiner attempts to remove them. Normally the examiner cannot remove their fingers. This tests the forearm flexors and the intrinsic hand muscles. Compare the hands for strength asymmetry."

This is precisely what appears to be taking place in the image above. So why would Hillary be receiving a motor neuron test if she was only suffering from pneumonia, as her campaign claimed?

Taken as separate, isolated incidents, one could easily dismiss any of the points made by Dr. Noel. But when examined as a whole, Clinton's "odd behavior" and "accidents due to dehydration" over the last ten years are much harder to dismiss as benign or symptoms of pneumonia.

There's a very good reason why Hillary Clinton hasn't held a press conference for nearly 300 days: Her physical and neurological condition simply won't allow for it. She can't even take softball questions from her list of pre-approved journalsts without breaking into a coughing fit .

Clinton is scheduled to debate Trump in two weeks. The pneumonia cover story will likely disintegrate long before then.

The DNC should find a new candidate before it's too late. The game is up.


This post first appeared on Russia Insider

[Aug 15, 2018] Some suggestions about contra sanctions that Russia can implement

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes says: August 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm

...Call a presser at the UN and have the Ambassador confirm that Obama and HRC are wholly paid-up RF assets and watch Civil War II unfold.

[Jul 17, 2018] I think there is much more to the comment made by Putin regarding Bill Browder and his money flows into the DNC and Clinton campaign. That would explain why the DNC didn t hand the servers over to the FBI after being hacked.

Highly recommended!
Jul 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

NumNutt -> 847328_3527 Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:41 Permalink

I think there is much more to the comment made by Putin regarding Bill Browder and his money flows into the DNC and Clinton campaign. That would explain why the DNC didn't hand the servers over to the FBI after being hacked. If you follow the money a lot of what happened during the election and afterwards in regards to Russia and Trump start to make sense. Could it be that we are finally witnessing the removal the last layers of the center of the onion?

[Jun 21, 2018] Britain In Panic As Trump-Putin Summit Looms : all roads in Russiagate lead to London, not, be it noted, Moscow. by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... In my article for Consortium News I discussed at length the size of the British footprint in the scandal, and the outsized role in it of various British or British connected individuals such as the ex British spy Christopher Steele who compiled the Trump Dossier, the former chief of Britain's NSA equivalent GCHQ Robert Hannigan, the former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, and the Cambridge based US academic Stefan Halper. ..."
"... I would add that there are now rumours that Professor Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious London based Maltese Professor who also had a big role in the Russiagate affair, may also have had connections to British intelligence. ..."
"... As this article in Zerohedge says, all roads in Russiagate lead to London, not, be it noted, Moscow. ..."
Jun 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alexander Mercouris via TheDuran.com,

Britain alarmed as John Bolton travels to Moscow to prepare summit...

Days after I discussed rumours of an imminent Trump-Putin summit , seeming confirmation that such a summit is indeed in the works has been provided with the Kremlin's confirmation that President Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton is travelling to Moscow next week apparently to discuss preparations for the summit.

The Kremlin's confirmation of John Bolton's visit was given today by President Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov

As far as we know, such a visit is going to take place. This is all we can say for now.

Further suggestions that some sort of easing of tensions between Washington and Moscow may be in the works has been provided by confirmation that a group of US Republican Senators will shortly be visiting Moscow.

It seems that a combination of the collapse in the credibility of the Russiagate collusion allegations – which I suspect no Republican member of the House or Senate any longer believes – unease in the US at Russia's breakthrough in hypersonic weapons technology (recently discussed by Alex Christoforou and myself in this video ), and the failure of the recent sanctions the US Treasury announced against Rusal, has concentrated minds in Washington, and is giving President Trump the political space he needs to push for the easing of tensions with Russia which he is known to have long favoured.

One important European capital cannot conceal its dismay.

In a recent article for Consortium News I discussed the obsessive quality of the British establishment's paranoia about Russia , and not surprisingly in light of it an article has appeared today in The Times of London which made clear the British government's alarm as the prospect of a Trump-Putin summit looms.

As is often the way with articles in The Times of London, this article has now been "updated" beyond recognition. However it still contains comments like these

Mr Trump called for Russia to be readmitted to the G8 this month, wrecking Mrs May's efforts to further isolate Mr Putin after the Salisbury poisonings. Mr Trump then linked US funding of Nato to the trade dispute with the EU, singling out Germany for special criticism.

The prospect of a meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Putin appalls British officials. "It's unclear if this meeting is after or before Nato and the UK visit," a Whitehall official said. "Obviously after would be better for us. It adds another dynamic to an already colourful week." .

A senior western diplomatic source said that a Trump-Putin meeting before the Nato summit would cause "dismay and alarm", adding: "It would be a highly negative thing to do."

Nato is due to discuss an escalation of measures to deter Russian aggression. "Everyone is perturbed by what is going on and is fearing for the future of the alliance," a Whitehall source said.

I will here express my view that the Russiagate scandal was at least in part an attempt by some people in Britain to prevent a rapprochement between the US and Russia once it became clear that achieving such a rapprochement was a policy priority for Donald Trump.

In my article for Consortium News I discussed at length the size of the British footprint in the scandal, and the outsized role in it of various British or British connected individuals such as the ex British spy Christopher Steele who compiled the Trump Dossier, the former chief of Britain's NSA equivalent GCHQ Robert Hannigan, the former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, and the Cambridge based US academic Stefan Halper.

I would add that there are now rumours that Professor Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious London based Maltese Professor who also had a big role in the Russiagate affair, may also have had connections to British intelligence.

As this article in Zerohedge says, all roads in Russiagate lead to London, not, be it noted, Moscow.

A summit meeting between the US and Russian Presidents inaugurated an improvement in relations between the US and Russia is exactly the opposite outcome which some people in London want.

That however looks to be what they are facing.

[May 03, 2018] Alert The Clintonian empire is still here and tries to steal the popular vote throug

Highly recommended!
The dramatic rise fo the number of CIA-democrats as candidates from Democratic Party is not assedental. As regular clintonites are discredited those guys can still appeal to patriotism to get elected.
Notable quotes:
"... Bernie continuously forcing Hillary to appear apologetic about her campaign funding from big financial interests. She tries hard to persuade the public that she will not serve specific interests. Her anxiety can be identified in many cases and it was very clear at the moment when she accused Bernie of attacking her, concerning this funding. Hillary was forced to respond with a deeply irrational argument: anyone who takes money from big interests doesn't mean that he/she will vote for policies in favor of these interests! ..."
"... Bernie drives the discussion towards fundamental ideological issues. He forced Hillary to defend her "progressiveness". She was forced to speak even about economic interests by names. A few years ago, this would be nearly a taboo in any debate between any primaries. ..."
"... After the disastrous defeat by Trump in 2016 election, the corporate Democrats realized that the progressive movement, supported mostly by the American youth, would not retreat and vanish. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders' popularity still goes up and there is a wave of progressive candidates who appear to be a real threat to the DNC establishment and the Clintonian empire. ..."
"... It seems that the empire has upgraded its dirty tactics beyond Hillary's false relocation to the Left. Seeing the big threat from the real progressives, the empire seeks to "plant" its own agents, masked as progressives, inside the electoral process, to disorientate voters and steal the popular vote. ..."
"... This is a Master's class in blatant historical revisionism and outright dishonesty. Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq. ..."
May 03, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing

globinfo freexchange

During the 2016 Democratic party primaries we wrote that what Bernie achieved, is to bring back the real political discussion in America, at least concerning the Democratic camp. Bernie smartly "drags" his primary rival, Hillary Clinton, into the heart of the politics. Up until a few years ago, you could not observe too much difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, who were just following the pro-establishment "politics as usual", probably with a few, occasional exceptions. The "politics as usual" so far, was "you can't touch the Wall Street", for example.

Bernie continuously forcing Hillary to appear apologetic about her campaign funding from big financial interests. She tries hard to persuade the public that she will not serve specific interests. Her anxiety can be identified in many cases and it was very clear at the moment when she accused Bernie of attacking her, concerning this funding. Hillary was forced to respond with a deeply irrational argument: anyone who takes money from big interests doesn't mean that he/she will vote for policies in favor of these interests!

Bernie drives the discussion towards fundamental ideological issues. He forced Hillary to defend her "progressiveness". She was forced to speak even about economic interests by names. A few years ago, this would be nearly a taboo in any debate between any primaries.

After the disastrous defeat by Trump in 2016 election, the corporate Democrats realized that the progressive movement, supported mostly by the American youth, would not retreat and vanish. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders' popularity still goes up and there is a wave of progressive candidates who appear to be a real threat to the DNC establishment and the Clintonian empire.

It seems that the empire has upgraded its dirty tactics beyond Hillary's false relocation to the Left. Seeing the big threat from the real progressives, the empire seeks to "plant" its own agents, masked as progressives, inside the electoral process, to disorientate voters and steal the popular vote.

Eric Draitser gives us valuable information for such a type of candidate. Key points:

One candidate currently generating some buzz in the race is Jeff Beals, a self-identified "Bernie democrat" whose campaign website homepage describes him as a " local teacher and former U.S. diplomat endorsed by the national organization of former Bernie Sanders staffers, the Justice Democrats. " And indeed, Beals centers his progressive bona fides to brand himself as one of the inheritors of the progressive torch lit by Sanders in 2016. A smart political move, to be sure. But is it true?

Beals describes himself as a "former U.S. diplomat," touting his expertise on international issues born of his experience overseas. In an email interview with CounterPunch, Beals describes his campaign as a " movement for diplomacy and peace in foreign affairs and an end to militarism my experience as a U.S. diplomat is what drives it and gives this movement such force. " OK, sounds good, a very progressive sounding answer. But what did Beals actually do during his time overseas?

By his own admission, Beals' overseas career began as an intelligence officer with the CIA. His fluency in Arabic and knowledge of the region made him an obvious choice to be an intelligence spook during the latter stages of the Clinton Administration.

Beals shrewdly attempts to portray himself as an opponent of neocon imperialism in Iraq. In his interview with CounterPunch, Beals argued that " The State Department was sidelined as the Bush administration and a neoconservative cabal plunged America into the tragic Iraq War. As a U.S. diplomat fluent in Arabic and posted in Jerusalem at the time, I was called over a year into the war to help our country find a way out. "

This is a Master's class in blatant historical revisionism and outright dishonesty. Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq.

Moreover, no one who knows anything about the Iraq War could possibly swallow the tripe that CIA/State Department officials in Iraq were " looking to help our country find a way out " a year into the war. A year into the war, the bloodletting was only just beginning, and Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, and the other corporate vultures had yet to fully exploit the country and make billions off it. So, unfortunately for Beals, the historical memory of the anti-war Left is not that short.

It is self-evident that Beals has a laundry list of things in his past that he must answer for. For those of us, especially Millennials, who cut our activist teeth demonstrating and organizing against the Iraq War, Beals' distortions about his role in Iraq go down like hemlock tea. But it is the associations Beals maintains today that really should give any progressive serious pause.

When asked by CounterPunch whether he has any connections to either Bernie Sanders and his surrogates or Hillary Clinton and hers, Beals responded by stating: " I am endorsed by Justice Democrats, a group of former Bernie Sanders staffers who are pledged to electing progressives nationwide. I am also endorsed for the Greene County chapter of the New York Progressive Action Network, formerly the Bernie Sanders network. My first hire was a former Sanders field coordinator who worked here in NY-19. "

However, conveniently missing from that response is the fact that Beals' campaign has been, and continues to be, directly managed in nearly every respect by Bennett Ratcliff, a longtime friend and ally of Hillary Clinton. Ratcliff is not mentioned in any publicly available documents as a campaign manager, though the most recent FEC filings show that as of April 1, 2018, Ratcliff was still on the payroll of the Beals campaign. And in the video of Beals' campaign kickoff rally, Ratcliff introduces Beals, while only being described as a member of the Onteora School Board in Ulster County . This is sort of like referring to Donald Trump as an avid golfer.

Beals has studiously, and rather intelligently, avoided mentioning Ratcliff, or the presence of Clinton's inner circle on his campaign. However, according to internal campaign documents and emails obtained by CounterPunch, Ratcliff manages nearly every aspect of the campaign, acting as a sort of éminence grise behind the artifice of a progressive campaign fronted by a highly educated and photogenic political novice.

By his own admission, Ratcliff's role on the campaign is strategy, message, and management. Sounds like a rather textbook description of a campaign manager. Indeed, Ratcliff has been intimately involved in "guiding" Beals on nearly every important campaign decision, especially those involving fundraising .

And it is in the realm of fundraising that Ratcliff really shines, but not in the way one would traditionally think. Rather than focusing on large donations and powerful interests, Ratcliff is using the Beals campaign as a laboratory for his strategy of winning elections without raising millions of dollars.

In fact, leaked campaign documents show that Ratcliff has explicitly instructed Beals and his staffers not to spend money on food, decorations, and other standard campaign expenses in hopes of presenting the illusion of a grassroots, people-powered campaign with no connections to big time donors or financial elites .

It seems that Ratcliff is the wizard behind the curtain, leveraging his decades of contact building and close ties to the Democratic Party establishment while at the same time manufacturing an astroturfed progressive campaign using a front man in Beals .

One of Ratcliff's most infamous, and indefensible, acts of fealty to the Clinton machine came in 2009 when he and longtime Clinton attorney and lobbyist, Lanny Davis, stumped around Washington to garner support for the illegal right-wing coup in Honduras, which ousted the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in favor of the right-wing oligarchs who control the country today. Although the UN, and even U.S. diplomats on the ground in Honduras, openly stated that the coup was illegal, Clinton was adamant to actively keep Zelaya out.

Essentially then, Ratcliff is a chief architect of the right-wing government in Honduras – the same government assassinating feminist and indigenous activists like Berta Cáceres, Margarita Murillo, and others, and forcibly displacing and ethnically cleansing Afro-indigenous communities to make way for Carribbean resorts and golf courses.

And this Washington insider lobbyist and apologist for war criminals and crimes against humanity is the guy who's on a crusade to reform campaign finance and fix Washington? This is the guy masquerading as a progressive? This is the guy working to elect an "anti-war progressive"?

In a twisted way it makes sense. Ratcliff has the blood of tens of thousands of Hondurans (among others) on his hands, while Beals is a creature of Langley, a CIA boy whose exceptional work in the service of Bush and Clinton administration war criminals is touted as some kind of merit badge on his resume.

What also becomes clear after establishing the Ratcliff-Beals connection is the fact that Ratcliff's purported concern with campaign financing and "taking back the Republic" is really just a pretext for attempting to provide a "proof of concept," as it were, that neoliberal Democrats shouldn't fear and subvert the progressive wing of the party, but rather that they should co-opt it with a phony grassroots facade all while maintaining links to U.S. intelligence, Wall Street, and the power brokers of the Democratic Party .

Info from the article How Clintonites Are Manufacturing Faux Progressive Congressional Campaigns by Eric Draitser

[Apr 21, 2018] On the Criminal Referral of Comey, Clinton et al by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created." ..."
"... The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served . ..."
"... What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law. ..."
"... None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win. ..."
"... Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls." ..."
"... The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego. ..."
"... "Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either. ..."
"... there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign. ..."
"... We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out ..."
"... The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. ..."
"... Former CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails. ..."
"... Assange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/ ..."
"... I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier" ..."
"... Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups. ..."
"... Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.) ..."
"... Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

Wednesday's criminal referral by 11 House Republicans of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as several former and serving top FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials is a giant step toward a Constitutional crisis.

Named in the referral to the DOJ for possible violations of federal law are: Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey; former Attorney General Loretta Lynch; former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe; FBI Agent Peter Strzok; FBI Counsel Lisa Page; and those DOJ and FBI personnel "connected to" work on the "Steele Dossier," including former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente.

With no attention from corporate media, the referral was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber. Sessions appointed Huber months ago to assist DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. By most accounts, Horowitz is doing a thoroughly professional job. As IG, however, Horowitz lacks the authority to prosecute; he needs a U.S. Attorney for that. And this has to be disturbing to the alleged perps.

This is no law-school case-study exercise, no arcane disputation over the fine points of this or that law. Rather, as we say in the inner-city, "It has now hit the fan." Criminal referrals can lead to serious jail time. Granted, the upper-crust luminaries criminally "referred" enjoy very powerful support. And that will come especially from the mainstream media, which will find it hard to retool and switch from Russia-gate to the much more delicate and much less welcome "FBI-gate."

As of this writing, a full day has gone by since the letter/referral was reported, with total silence so far from T he New York Times and The Washington Post and other big media as they grapple with how to spin this major development. News of the criminal referral also slipped by Amy Goodman's non-mainstream DemocracyNow!, as well as many alternative websites.

The 11 House members chose to include the following egalitarian observation in the first paragraph of the letter conveying the criminal referral: "Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately." If this uncommon attitude is allowed to prevail at DOJ, it would, in effect, revoke the de facto "David Petraeus exemption" for the be-riboned, be-medaled, and well-heeled.

Stonewalling

Meanwhile, the patience of the chairmen of House committees investigating abuses at DOJ and the FBI is wearing thin at the slow-rolling they are encountering in response to requests for key documents from the FBI. This in-your-face intransigence is all the more odd, since several committee members have already had access to the documents in question, and are hardly likely to forget the content of those they know about. (Moreover, there seems to be a good chance that a patriotic whistleblower or two will tip them off to key documents being withheld.)

The DOJ IG, whose purview includes the FBI, has been cooperative in responding to committee requests for information, but those requests can hardly include documents of which the committees are unaware.

Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

Whether the House will succeed in overcoming the resistance of those criminally referred and their many accomplices and will prove able to exercise its Constitutional prerogative of oversight is, of course, another matter -- a matter that matters.

And Nothing Matters More Than the Media

The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served .

Nor is the Post above issuing transparently clever warnings -- like this one in a lead article on March 17: "Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. 'This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI's going to win,' said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. 'You can't fight the FBI. They're going to torch him.'" [sic]

Mind-Boggling Criminal Activity

What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law.

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win.

But she lost.

Comey himself gives this away in the embarrassingly puerile book he has been hawking, "A Higher Loyalty" -- which

amounts to a pre-emptive move motivated mostly by loyalty-to-self, in order to obtain a Stay-Out-of-Jail card. Hat tip to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone for a key observation, in his recent article , "James Comey, the Would-Be J. Edgar Hoover," about what Taibbi deems the book's most damning passage, where Comey discusses his decision to make public the re-opening of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls."

The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego.

I think it can be said that readers of Consortiumnews.com may be unusually well equipped to understand the anatomy of FBI-gate as well as Russia-gate. Listed below chronologically are several links that might be viewed as a kind of "whiteboard" to refresh memories. You may wish to refer them to any friends who may still be confused.

2017

2018

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).


Mike Whitney , April 20, 2018 at 4:15 am GMT

This story appears to be developing very fast. Interested readers might want to look at this short video on the Tucker Carlson show last night: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5773524495001/?playlist_id=5198073478001#sp=show-clips

Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!

jilles dykstra , April 20, 2018 at 6:05 am GMT
A weird country, the USA. Reading the article I'm reminded of the 1946 Senate investigation into Pearl Harbour, where, in my opinion, the truth was unearthed. At the same time, this truth hardly ever reached the wider public, no articles, the book, ed. Harry Elmer Barnes, never reviewed.
Greg Bacon , Website April 20, 2018 at 6:54 am GMT

Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!

The short answer is NO. McCabe might, but not Comey and the Killer Queen, they've both served Satan, uh I mean the Deep State too long and too well.Satan and the banksters–who really run the show–take care of their own and apex predators like Hillary won't go to jail. But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 20, 2018 at 7:23 am GMT
"Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either.

Consortium News many sops tossed to 'realpolitik' where false narrative is attacked with alternative false narrative, example given, drunk Ukrainian soldiers supposedly downing MH 17 with a BUK as opposed to Kiev's Interior Ministry behind the Ukrainian combat jet that actually brought down MH 17, poisons everything (trust issues) spewed from that news service.

The realpolitik 'face saving' exit/offer implied in the Consortium News narrative where Russia doesn't have to confront the West with Ukraine's (and by implication the western intelligence agencies) premeditated murder of 300 innocents does truth no favors.

Time to grow up and face reality. Realpolitik is dead; the caliber of 'statesman' required for these finessed geopolitical lies to function no longer exist on the Western side, and the Russians (I believe) are beginning to understand there is no agreement can be made behind closed doors that will hold up; as opposed to experiencing a backstabbing (like NATO not moving east.)

Back on topic; the National Security Act of 1947 and the USA's constitution are mutually exclusive concepts, where you have a Chief Justice appoints members of our FISA Court, er, nix that, let's call a spade a spade, it's a Star Chamber. There is no constitution to uphold, no matter well intended self deceits. There will be no constitutional crisis, only a workaround to pretend a constitution still exists:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/12/01/the-oath-and-the-trash-bin/

For those who prefer the satire:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2016/01/07/moot-court/^

animalogic , April 20, 2018 at 8:00 am GMT
To comprehend the internal machinations s of US politics one needs a mind capable of high level yoga or of squaring a circle. On the one hand there is a multimillion, full throttle investigation into – at best – nebulus, inconsequential links between trump/ his campaign & Russia.
On the other there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign.

Naturally, its this 2nd conspiracy which is retarded. Imagine, a mere agency of a dept, the FBI, is widely considered untouchable by The President ! Indeed, they will "torch" him. AND the "the third estate" ie: the msm will support them the whole way! As a script the "The Twilight Zone" would have rejected all this as too ludicrous, too psychotic for even its broad minded viewers.

Jake , April 20, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT
The Deep State will make certain none of its most important functionaries get anything close to what they deserve.
redmudhooch , April 20, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
Just a show, nothing will happen. Anything to keep you talking about anything other than 9/11, fake economy, fake war on terror, or Zionists..
jacques sheete , April 20, 2018 at 11:49 am GMT

And that will come especially from the mainstream media

I quit reading right there. Use of that term indicates mental laziness at best. What's mainstream about it? Please refer to corporate media in proper terms, such as PCR's "presstitute" media. Speaking of PCR, it's too bad he doesn't allow comments.

DESERT FOX , April 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
The MSM is controlled by Zionists as is the U.S. gov and the banks, so it is no surprise that the MSM protects the ones destroying America, this is what they do. Nothing of consequence will be done to any of the ones involved, it will all be covered up, as usual.
tjm , April 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
What utter nonsense. These people are ALL actors, no one will go to jail, because everything they do is contrived, no consequence for doing as your Zionist owners command.

There is no there there. This is nothing but another distraction, something o feed the dual narratives, that Clinton and her ilk are out to get Trump, and the "liberal media" will cover it up. This narrative feeds very nicely into the primary goal of driving Republicans/conservatives to support Trump, even as Trump does everything they elected him NOT TO DO!

We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out

Yet even while Obama did the work of the Zionist money machine, the media played up the fake battle between those who thought he was not born in America, "birthers" and his blind supporters.

Nothing came of any of it, just like Monica Lewinsky, nothing but theater, fill the air waves, divide the people, while America is driven insane.

anon [321] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. It's seriously way pass time for Jeff Sessions to grow a pair, put on his big boy pants, unrecuse himself from the Russian collusion bullshit case, fire Rosenstein and Mueller and end the case once and for all. These two traitors are in danger of completely derailing the Trump agenda and toppling the Republican majority in November, yet Jeff Sessions is still busy arresting people for marijuana, talk about missing the forest for the trees.

As far as where this referral will go from here, my guess is, nowhere. Not as long as Jeff Sessions the pussy is the AG. It's good to hear that Giuliani has now been recruited by Trump to be on his legal team. What Trump really needs to do is replace Jeff Sessions with Giuliani, or even Chris Christie, and let them do what a real AG should be doing, which is clean house in the DOJ, and prosecute the Clintons for their pay-to-play scheme with their foundation. Not only is the Clinton corruption case the biggest corruption case in US history, but this might be the only way to save the GOP from losing their majority in November.

anon [321] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.

Sadly I think you're right. Things might be different if we had a real AG, but Jeff Sessions is not the man I thought he was. He's been swallowed by the deep state just like Trump. At least Trump is putting up a fight, Sessions just threw in the towel and recused himself from Day 1. Truly pathetic. Some patriot he is.

Twodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
@Nick Granite

" He's ferreted out more than a few and probably has a lot better idea who his friends are he certainly knows the enemies by now."

He failed to ferret out Haley, Pompeo, or Sessions and he just recently appointed John Bolton, so I don't agree with your assessment. If his friends include those three, that says enough about Trump to make any of his earlier supporters drop him.

Anyway, not having a ready made team, or at least a solid short list of key appointees shows that he was just too clueless to have even been a serious candidate. It looks more as though Trump is doing now what he intended to do all along. That means he was bullshitting everybody during his campaign.

So, maybe the neocons really have been his friends all along.

Twodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:46 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

It's also telling that Ray didn't mention what was included in the referral regarding an enforced recusal of Rosenstein going forward.

https://desantis.house.gov/_cache/files/8/0/8002ca75-52fc-4995-b87e-43584da268db/472EBC7D8F55C0F9E830D37CF96376A2.final-criminal-referral.pdf

Authenticjazzman , April 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
@Renoman

" America is a very crooked country, nothing suprises me".

Every country on this insane planet is "crooked" to a greater or lesser degree, when to a lesser degree, this is simply because they, the PTB, have not yet figured out how to accelerate, how to increase their corruption and thereby how to increase their unearned monetary holdings.

Money is the most potent singular factor which causes humans to lose their minds, and all of their ethics and decency.
And within the confines of a "socialist" system, "money" is replaced by rubber-stamps, which then wield, exactly in the manner of "wealth", the power of life or death, over the unwashed masses.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.

anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

BTW Jeff Sessions is a fraternal brother of Pence (a member of the same club, same [recently deceased] guru) and is no friend of Trump.

That would explain why Sessions reclused himself from the start, and refused to appoint a special council to investigate the Clintons. He's in on this with Pence.

anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm GMT
Just as it looks like the Comey memos will further exonerate Trump, we now have this farce extended by the DNC with this latest lawsuit on the "Trump campaign". The Democrats are now the most pathetic sore losers in history, they are hell bent on dragging the whole country down the pit of hell just because they can't handle a loss.
anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMT
Wishful thinking that anything will come of this, just like when the Nunes memo was released. Nothing will happen as long as Jeff Sessions is AG. Trump needs to fire either Sessions or Rosenstein ASAP, before he gets dragged down by this whole Russian collusion bullshit case.
SunBakedSuburb , April 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMT
Former CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails.

John Podesta, in addition to being a top Democrat/DC lobbyist and a criminal deviant, is also a long-time CIA asset running a blackmail/influence operation that utilized his deviancy: the sexual exploitation of children.

Haxo Angmark , Website April 20, 2018 at 10:38 pm GMT
Seth Rich is still dead...
utu , April 20, 2018 at 11:33 pm GMT
Assange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/
UrbaneFrancoOntarian , April 21, 2018 at 12:18 am GMT
@anon

His cowardice is shocking. I wonder what they have on him? Probably some Roy Moore shit. Some shady stuff happened in the old South.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 12:56 am GMT
@utu

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/09/16/incompetent-espionage-wikileaks-iii/

Yeah, and General Kelly won't let Rohrabacher meet with Trump. What do you suppose is up with that (rhetorical question)

RobinG , April 21, 2018 at 1:02 am GMT
@utu

What kind of "physical proof" could Assange have? A thumb drive that was provably American, or something? Rohrabacher only got Red Pilled on Russia because he had one very determined (and well heeled) constituent. But he did cosponsor one of Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop Funding Terrorists" bills, which he figured out on his own. Nevertheless, a bit of a loose cannon and an eff'd up hawk on Iran He's probably an 'ISIS now, Assad later' on Syria.

anonymous [185] Disclaimer , April 21, 2018 at 2:36 am GMT
I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier". Anyone could see it was absurd but he played his hand with it, pretending it was being looked at. I would say Trump could see through this sleazy game Comey was trying to play and sized him up. Comey is about as slimy as they get even as he parades around trying to look noble. What a corrupt bunch.
Culloden , April 21, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT
"The culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain "

[What follows is excerpted from an article headlined Robert Mueller's Questionable Past that appeared yesterday on the American Free Press website:]

During his tenure with the Justice Department under President George H W Bush, Mueller supervised the prosecutions of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Lockerbie bombing (Pan Am Flight 103) case, and Gambino crime boss John Gotti. In the Noriega case, Mueller ignored the ties to the Bush family that Victor Thorn illustrated in Hillary (and Bill): The Drugs Volume: Part Two of the Clinton Trilogy. Noriega had long been associated with CIA operations that involved drug smuggling, money laundering, and arms running. Thorn significantly links Noriega to Bush family involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Regarding Pan Am Flight 103, the culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain. Pro-Palestinian activists, Libyans, and Iranians have all officially been blamed when US intelligence and the mainstream mass media needed to paint each as the antagonist to American freedom. Mueller toed the line, publicly ignoring rumors that agents onboard were said to have learned that a CIA drug-smuggling operation was afoot in conjunction with Pan Am flights. According to the theory, the agents were going to take their questions to Congress upon landing. The flight blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/

"We were in Libya for oil" (only). Who said that:

http://www.firmmagazine.com

Bennis Mardens , April 21, 2018 at 2:47 am GMT
Without exception, leftists are degenerate filth.

But they won't be going to jail.

It's kabuki theater.

Art , April 21, 2018 at 5:21 am GMT
My god – who believes this woman?

Hillary says "they would never let me be president" – she is serious. She has gone bonkers with self-pity.

This is no longer laughable – it boarders on the pathological.

Art

WhiteWolf , April 21, 2018 at 5:39 am GMT
@Bennis Mardens

There has been some former high flyers going to jail recently. Sarkozy is facing a hard time at the moment. If it can happen to a former president of France it can happen to Hillary.

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:20 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

I still read ZH articles, but the commentariat has devolved to lockeroom towel-snapping, barely above YouTube chattering.

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:42 am GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 7:56 am GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?

Twodees Partain , April 21, 2018 at 10:11 am GMT
@Culloden

Here's another about Mueller's involvement with the FBI's Whitey Bulger scandal.

https://saraacarter.com/questions-still-surround-robert-muellers-boston-past/

Mueller's past is so laden with misfeasance and malfeasance that he should have been disbarred a few decades ago.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 1:14 pm GMT
@Stonehands

Am I a Christian? Well, no. I had some exposure to Christianity but it never took hold. On the other hand, I do believe there was a historical Jesus that was a remarkable man, but there is a world (or universe) of difference between the man and the mythology. Here's some of my thoughts on the matter:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2013/04/11/celebrating-the-anti-christ/

^ It doesn't necessarily go where the title might suggest (for many)

CIA in Charge , April 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
@Authenticjazzman

Nothing uncanny about it. There's a frenetic Democratic cottage industry inferring magical emotional charisma powers that explain the outsized influence of those three. The fact is very simple. All three are CIA nomenklatura.

(1.) Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups.

(2.) Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.)

(3.) Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. While he was vocationally wet behind the ears he not only got into Pakistan, no mean feat at the time, but he went to a falconry outing with the future acting president of Pakistan. And is there anyone alive who wasn't flabbergasted at the instant universal acclaim for some empty suit who made a speech at the convention? Like Bill Clinton, successor to DCI Bush, Obama was blatantly, derisively installed in the president slot of the CIA org chart.

Authenticjazzman , April 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm GMT
@CIA in Charge

Excellent post and quite accurate information, however my point being that the irrational fear harbored by the individuals who could actually begin to rope these scumbags in, is just that : Irrational, as they seem to think or have been lead/brainwashed to believe that these dissolute turds are somehow endowed with supernatural, otherworldy powers and options, and that they are capable of unholy , merciless vengeance : VF, SR, etc.

And the truth is as soon as they finally start to go after them they, they will fall apart at the seams, such as with all cowards, and this is the bottom line : They, the BC/HC/BO clique, they are nothing more than consumate cowards, who can only operate in such perfidious manners when left unchallenged.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz artist.

[Apr 17, 2018] Poor Alex

Highly recommended!
Now the color revolution against Trump just does not make any sense. We got to the point where Trump=Hillary. Muller should embrace and kiss Trump and go home... Nobody care if Trump is impeached anymore.
Apr 17, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Donald Trump's far-right loyal fans must be really pissed off right now after permanently switching himself to pro-war mode with that evil, warmongering triplet in charge and the second bombing against Syria. Even worse, this time he has done it together with Theresa May and the neoliberal globalist Emmanuel Macron.

We can tell that by watching the mind-blowing reactions of one of his most fanatic alt-right media supporters: Alex Jones. Jones nearly cried(!) in front of the camera, feeling betrayed from his 'anti-establishment', 'anti-interventionist' idol and declared that he won't support Trump anymore. Well, what did you expect, Alex? expect, Alex?

A year before the 2016 US national elections, the blog already warned that Trump is a pure product of the neoliberal barbarism , stating that the rhetoric of extreme cynicism used by Trump goes back to the Thatcherian cynicism and the division of people between "capable" and "useless".
Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders. Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders.

Then, Donnie sent the first shock wave to his supporters by literally hiring the Goldman Sachs banksters to run the economy. And right after that, he signed for more deregulation in favor of the Wall Street mafia that ruined the economy in 2008!

The only hope that has been left, was to resist against starting a war with Russia, as the US deep state (and Hillary of course) wanted. Well, it was proven to be only a hope too. Last year, Trump bombed Syria under the same pretext resembling the lies that led us to the Iraq war disaster. Despite the fact that the US Tomahawk missile attack had zero value in operational level (the United States allegedly warned Russia and Syria, while the targeted airport was operating normally just hours after the attack), Trump sent a clear message to the US deep state that he is prepared to meet all its demands - and especially the escalation of confrontation with Russia. Indeed, a year later, Trump already built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish triplet.

And then, Donnie ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neo-colonial friends.

It seems that neither this strike was a serious attempt against the Syrian army and its allies. Yet, Donnie probably won't dare to escalate tension in the Syrian battlefield before the next US national elections. That's because many of his supporters are already pissed off with him and therefore, he wants to go with good chances for a second term.

Although we really hope that we are are wrong this time, we guess that, surrounded by all these warmongering hawks, Donnie, in a potential second term, will be pushed to open another war front in Syria and probably in Iran, defying the Russians and the consequent danger for a WWIII.

Poor Alex et al: we told you about Trump from the beginning. You didn't listen ...

[Apr 16, 2018] Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda. Less slick, but more jingoistic

In reality Trump proved again that POTUS does not matter and presidential elections matter very little. In was he is like drunk Obama, reckelss and jingoistic to the extreme. Both foreign and domestic policy is determined by forces, and are outside POTUS control, with very little input possible. But the "deep state" fully control the POTUS, no matter who he/she are.
Notable quotes:
"... To Trump apologists: Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda. ..."
"... Obamabots gave similar excuses. Real populists simply don't get have a chance of being elected in US money-driven elections. ..."
"... Why was there only two populists running for President in 2016? Sanders, Hillay's sheepdog, destroyed the movement that would been the best check on the establishment and the rush to war. That movement was never going to be allowed to take root. Trump, a friend of the Clinton's was probably meant to prevail. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Apr 15, 2018 5:57:58 PM | 105

To Trump apologists: Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda.

Obamabots gave similar excuses. Real populists simply don't get have a chance of being elected in US money-driven elections.

Why was there only two populists running for President in 2016? Sanders, Hillay's sheepdog, destroyed the movement that would been the best check on the establishment and the rush to war. That movement was never going to be allowed to take root. Trump, a friend of the Clinton's was probably meant to prevail.

Rome had bread and circuses. We've got crumbs and tweets.

[Apr 01, 2018] Big American Money, Not Russia, Put Trump in the White House: Reflections on a Recent Report by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. ..."
"... Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. ..."
"... Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. ..."
"... one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary ..."
"... Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate ..."
"... Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. ..."
"... My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency ..."
"... Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton ..."
"... The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America ..."
"... Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. ..."
"... Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache ..."
"... "In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added). ..."
"... "What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large." ..."
"... "In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million. ..."
"... Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. ..."
"... Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent " ..."
"... The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote ..."
"... Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." ..."
"... An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces: ..."
"... By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. ..."
"... Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ." ..."
"... no support from Big Business ..."
"... Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ." ..."
"... American Oligarchy ..."
"... teleSur English ..."
"... we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 ..."
"... Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements." ..."
"... Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like ..."
"... Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. ..."
"... Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos." ..."
"... His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging. ..."
Mar 30, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"She Doesn't Have Any Policy Positions"

On the Friday after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and prior to the Tuesday on which the vicious racist and sexist Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Bernie Sanders spoke to a surprisingly small crowd in Iowa City on behalf of Hillary Clinton. As I learned months later, Sanders told one of his Iowa City friends that day that Mrs. Clinton was in trouble. The reason, Sanders reported, was that Hillary wasn't discussing issues or advancing real solutions. "She doesn't have any policy positions," Sanders said.

The first time I heard this, I found it hard to believe. How, I wondered, could anyone run seriously for the presidency without putting issues and policy front and center? Wouldn't any serious campaign want a strong set of issue and policy positions to attract voters and fall back on in case and times of adversity?

Sanders wasn't lying. As the esteemed political scientist and money-politics expert Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen note in an important study released by the Institute for New Economic Thinking two months ago, the Clinton campaign "emphasized candidate and personal issues and avoided policy discussions to a degree without precedent in any previous election for which measurements exist .it stressed candidate qualifications [and] deliberately deemphasized issues in favor of concentrating on what the campaign regarded as [Donald] Trump's obvious personal weaknesses as a candidate."

Strange as it might have seemed, the reality television star and presidential pre-apprentice Donald Trump had a lot more to say about policy than the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a wonkish Yale Law graduate.

"Courting the Undecideds in Business, not in the Electorate"

What was that about? My first suspicion was that Hillary's policy silence was about the money. It must have reflected her success in building a Wall Street-filled campaign funding war-chest so daunting that she saw little reason to raise capitalist election investor concerns by giving voice to the standard fake-progressive "hope" and "change" campaign and policy rhetoric Democratic presidential contenders typically deploy against their One Percent Republican opponents. Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. She would cruise into the White House with no hurt plutocrat feelings simply by playing up the ill-prepared awfulness of her Republican opponent.

If Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Chen (hereafter "JFC") are right, I was on to something but not the whole money and politics story. Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. Sophisticated funders get it that the Democratic candidates' need to manipulate the electorate with phony pledges of democratic transformation. The big money backers know it's "just politics" on the part of candidates who can be trusted to serve elite interests (like Bill Clinton 1993-2001 and Barack Obama 2009-2017 ) after they gain office.

What stopped Hillary from playing the usual game – the "manipulation of populism by elitism" that Christopher Hitchens once called "the essence of American politics" – in 2016, a year when the electorate was in a particularly angry and populist mood? FJC's study is titled " Industrial Structure and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games : Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Election." It performs heroic empirical work with difficult campaign finance data to show that Hillary's campaign funding success went beyond her party's usual corporate and financial backers to include normally Republican-affiliated capitalist sectors less disposed than their more liberal counterparts to abide the standard progressive-sounding policy rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates. FJC hypothesize that (along with the determination that Trump was too weak to be taken all that seriously) Hillary's desire get and keep on board normally Republican election investors led her to keep quiet on issues and policy concerns that mattered to everyday people. As FJC note:

"Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. For Clinton's campaign the temptation was irresistible: Over time it slipped into a variant of the strategy [Democrat] Lyndon Johnson pursued in 1964 in the face of another [Republican] candidate [Barry Goldwater] who seemed too far out of the mainstream to win: Go for a grand coalition with most of big business . one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary . Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate " (emphasis added). Hillary Happened

FJC may well be right that a wish not to antagonize off right-wing campaign funders is what led Hillary to muzzle herself on important policy matters, but who really knows? An alternative theory I would not rule out is that Mrs. Clinton's own deep inner conservatism was sufficient to spark her to gladly dispense with the usual progressive-sounding campaign boilerplate. Since FJC bring up the Johnson-Goldwater election, it is perhaps worth mentioning that 18-year old Hillary was a "Goldwater Girl" who worked for the arch-reactionary Republican presidential candidate in 1964. Asked about that episode on National Public Radio (NPR) in 1996 , then First Lady Hillary said "That's right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don't recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl."

It was a revealing reflection. The right-wing Democrat Hillary acknowledged that her ideological world view was still rooted in the conservatism of her family of origin. Her problem with the reactionary Republicanism afoot in the U.S. during the middle 1990s was that it was "not conservative in many respects." Her problem with the far-right Republican Congressional leaders Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay was that they were betraying true conservatism – "the conservatism [Hillary] was raised with." This was worse even than the language of the Democratic Leadership Conference (DLC) – the right-wing Eisenhower Republican (at leftmost) tendency that worked to push the Democratic Party further to the Big Business-friendly right and away from its working-class and progressive base.

Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. (I cannot reprise here the voluminous details of Mrs. Clinton's longstanding alignment with the corporate, financial, and imperial agendas of the rich and powerful. Two short and highly readable volumes are Doug Henwood, My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency [OR Books, 2015]; Diana Johnstone, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton [CounterPunch Books, 2015]. On the stealth, virulent racism of the Clintons in power, see Elaine Brown's classic volume The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America [2003].)

What happened? Horrid corporate Hillary happened. And she's still happening. The "lying neoliberal warmonger" recently went to India to double down on her "progressive neoliberal" contempt for the "basket of deplorables" (more on that phrase below) that considers poor stupid and backwards middle America to be by saying this : "If you look at the map of the United States, there's all that red in the middle where Trump won. I win the coasts. But what the map doesn't show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product (GDP). So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward" (emphasis added).

That was Hillary Goldman Sachs-Council on Foreign Relations-Clinton saying "go to Hell" to working- and middle-class people in Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia. It was a raised middle and oligarchic finger from a super-wealthy arch-global-corporatist to all the supposedly pessimistic, slow-witted, and retrograde losers stuck between those glorious enclaves (led by Wall Street, Yale, and Harvard on the East coast and Silicon Valley and Hollywood on the West coast) of human progress and variety (and GDP!) on the imperial shorelines. Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin had to go on television to say that Hillary was "wrong" to write off most of the nation as a festering cesspool of pathetic, ass-backwards, lottery-playing, and opioid-addicted white-trash has-beens. It's hard for the Inauthentic Opposition Party (as the late Sheldon Wolin reasonably called the Democrats ) to pose as an authentic opposition party when its' last big-money presidential candidate goes off-fake-progressive script with an openly elitist rant like that.

Historic Mistakes

Whatever the source of her strange policy silence in the 2016 campaign, that hush was "a miscalculation of historic proportion" (FJC). It was a critical mistake given what Ferguson and his colleagues call the "Hunger Games" misery and insecurity imposed on tens of millions of ordinary working- and middle-class middle-Americans by decades of neoliberal capitalist austerity , deeply exacerbated by the Wall Street-instigated Great Recession and the weak Obama recovery. The electorate was in a populist, anti-establishment mood – hardly a state of mind favorable to a wooden, richly globalist, Goldman-gilded candidate, a long-time Washington-Wall Street establishment ("swamp") creature like Hillary Clinton.

In the end, FJC note, the billionaire Trump's ironic, fake-populist "outreach to blue collar workers" would help him win "more than half of all voters with a high school education or less (including 61% of white women with no college), almost two thirds of those who believed life for the next generation of Americans would be worse than now, and seventy-seven percent of voters who reported their personal financial situation had worsened since four years ago."

Trump's popularity with "heartland" rural and working-class whites even provoked Hillary into a major campaign mistake: getting caught on video telling elite Manhattan election investors that half of Trump's supporters were a "basket of deplorables." There was a hauntingly strong parallel between Wall Street Hillary's "deplorables" blooper and the super-rich Republican candidate Mitt Romney's infamous 2012 gaffe : telling his own affluent backers saying that 47% of the population were a bunch of lazy welfare cheats. This time, though, it was the Democrat – with a campaign finance profile closer to Romney's than Obama's in 2012 – and not the Republican making the ugly plutocratic and establishment faux pas .

"A Frontal Assault on the American Establishment"

Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. As FJC explain:

"In 2016 the Republicans nominated yet another super-rich candidate – indeed, someone on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. Like legions of conservative Republicans before him, he trash-talked Hispanics, immigrants, and women virtually non-stop, though with a verve uniquely his own. He laced his campaign with barely coded racial appeals and in the final days, ran an ad widely denounced as subtly anti-Semitic. But in striking contrast to every other Republican presidential nominee since 1936, he attacked globalization, free trade, international financiers, Wall Street, and even Goldman Sachs. ' Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache . When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing. For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into depression-level unemployment.'"

"In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added).

Big Dark Money and Trump: His Own and Others'

This cost Trump much of the corporate and Wall Street financial support that Republican presidential candidates usually get. The thing was, however, that much of Trump's "populist" rhetoric was popular with a big part of the Republican electorate, thanks to the "Hunger Games" insecurity of the transparently bipartisan New Gilded Age. And Trump's personal fortune permitted him to tap that popular anger while leaping insultingly over the heads of his less wealthy if corporate and Wall Street-backed competitors ("low energy" Jeb Bush and "little Marco" Rubio most notably) in the crowded Republican primary race.

A Republican candidate dependent on the usual elite bankrollers would never have been able to get away with Trump's crowd-pleasing (and CNN and FOX News rating-boosting) antics. Thanks to his own wealth, the faux-populist anti-establishment Trump was ironically inoculated against pre-emption in the Republican primaries by the American campaign finance "wealth primary," which renders electorally unviable candidates who lack vast financial resources or access to them.

Things were different after Trump won the Republican nomination, however. He could no longer go it alone after the primaries. During the Republican National Convention and "then again in the late summer of 2016," FJC show, Trump's "solo campaign had to be rescued by major industries plainly hoping for tariff relief, waves of other billionaires from the far, far right of the already far right Republican Party, and the most disruption-exalting corners of Wall Street." By FJC's account:

"What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large."

"The run up to the Convention brought in substantial new money, including, for the first time, significant contributions from big business. Mining, especially coal mining; Big Pharma (which was certainly worried by tough talk from the Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, about regulating drug prices); tobacco, chemical companies, and oil (including substantial sums from executives at Chevron, Exxon, and many medium sized firms); and telecommunications (notably AT&T, which had a major merge merger pending) all weighed in. Money from executives at the big banks also began streaming in, including Bank of America, J. P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Parts of Silicon Valley also started coming in from the cold."

"In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million.

Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. A wave of new money swept in from large private equity firms, the part of Wall Street which had long championed hostile takeovers as a way of disciplining what they mocked as bloated and inefficient 'big business.' Virtual pariahs to main-line firms in the Business Roundtable and the rest of Wall Street, some of these figures had actually gotten their start working with Drexel Burnham Lambert and that firm's dominant partner, Michael Milkin.

Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent "

The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote . Along with the racist voter suppression carried out by Republican state governments (JFC rightly chide Russia-obsessed political reporters and commentators for absurdly ignoring this important factor) and (JFC intriguingly suggest) major anti-union offensives conducted by employers in some battleground states, this major late-season influx of big right-wing political money tilted the election Trump's way.

The Myth of Potent Russian Cyber-Subversion

As FJC show, there is little empirical evidence to support the Clinton and corporate Democrats' self-interested and diversionary efforts to explain Mrs. Clinton's epic fail and Trump's jaw-dropping upset victory as the result of (i) Russian interference, (ii), then FBI Director James Comey's October Surprise revelation that his agency was not done investigating Hillary's emails, and/or (iii) some imagined big wave of white working-class racism, nativism, and sexism brought to the surface by the noxious Orange Hulk. The impacts of both (i) and (ii) were infinitesimal in comparison to the role that big campaign money played both in silencing Hillary and funding Trump.

The blame-the-deplorable-racist-white-working-class narrative is belied by basic underlying continuities in white working class voting patterns. As FJC note: " Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." It was about the money – the big establishment money that the Clinton campaign took (as FJC at least plausibly argue) to recommend policy silence and the different, right-wing big money that approved Trump's comparative right-populist policy boisterousness.

An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces:

"The real masters of these black arts are American or Anglo-American firms. These compete directly with Silicon Valley and leading advertising firms for programmers and personnel. They rely almost entirely on data purchased from Google, Facebook, or other suppliers, not Russia . American regulators do next to nothing to protect the privacy of voters and citizens, and, as we have shown in several studies, leading telecom firms are major political actors and giant political contributors. As a result, data on the habits and preferences of individual internet users are commercially available in astounding detail and quantities for relatively modest prices – even details of individual credit card purchases. The American giants for sure harbor abundant data on the constellation of bots, I.P. addresses, and messages that streamed to the electorate "

" stories hyping 'the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another by the Russians miss the mark.' By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. Large numbers of conservative websites, including many that that tolerated or actively encouraged white supremacy and contempt for immigrants, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, or the aspirations of women had been hard at work for years stoking up 'tensions between groups already wary of one another.' Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ."

" the evidence revealed thus far does not support strong claims about the likely success of Russian efforts, though of course the public outrage at outside meddling is easy to understand. The speculative character of many accounts even in the mainstream media is obvious. Several, such as widely circulated declaration by the Department of Homeland Security that 21 state election systems had been hacked during the election, have collapsed within days of being put forward when state electoral officials strongly disputed them, though some mainstream press accounts continue to repeat them. Other tales about Macedonian troll factories churning out stories at the instigation of the Kremlin, are clearly exaggerated."

The Sanders Tease: "He Couldn't Have Done a Thing"

Perhaps the most remarkable finding in FJC's study is that Sanders came tantalizingly close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination against the corporately super-funded Clinton campaign with no support from Big Business . Running explicitly against the "Hunger Games" economy and the corporate-financial plutocracy that created it, Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ."

Sanders pulled this off, FJC might have added, by running in (imagine) accord with majority-progressive left-of-center U.S. public opinion. But for the Clintons' corrupt advance- control of the Democratic National Committee and convention delegates, Ferguson et al might further have noted, Sanders might well have been the Democratic presidential nominee, curiously enough in the arch-state-capitalist and oligarchic United States

Could Sanders have defeated the billionaire and right-wing billionaire-backed Trump in the general election? There's no way to know, of course. Sanders consistently out-performed Hillary Clinton in one-on-one match -up polls vis a vis Donald Trump during the primary season, but much of the big money (and, perhaps much of the corporate media) that backed Hillary would have gone over to Trump had the supposedly "radical" Sanders been the Democratic nominee.

Even if Sanders has been elected president, moreover, Noam Chomsky is certainly correct in his recent judgement that Sanders would have been able to achieve very little in the White House. As Chomsky told Lynn Parramore two weeks ago, in an interview conducted for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the same think-tank that published FJC's remarkable study:

"His campaign [was] a break with over a century of American political history. No corporate support, no financial wealth, he was unknown, no media support. The media simply either ignored or denigrated him. And he came pretty close -- he probably could have won the nomination, maybe the election. But suppose he'd been elected? He couldn't have done a thing. Nobody in Congress, no governors, no legislatures, none of the big economic powers, which have an enormous effect on policy. All opposed to him. In order for him to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy -- you have to build the whole system from the bottom."

As Chomsky might have added, Sanders oligarchy-imposed "failures" would have been great fodder for the disparagement and smearing of "socialism" and progressive, majority-backed policy change. "See? We tried all that and it was a disaster!"

I would note further that the Sanders phenomenon's policy promise was plagued by its standard bearer's persistent loyalty to the giant and absurdly expensive U.S.-imperial Pentagon System, which each year eats up hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars required to implement the progressive, majority-supported policy agenda that Bernie F-35 Sanders ran on.

"A Very Destructive Ideology"

The Sanders challenge was equally afflicted by its candidate-centered electoralism. This diverted energy away from the real and more urgent politics of building people's movements – grassroots power to shake the society to its foundations and change policy from the bottom up (Dr. Martin Luther King's preferred strategy at the end of his life just barely short of 50 years ago, on April 4 th , 1968) – and into the narrow, rigidly time-staggered grooves of a party and spectacle-elections crafted by and for the wealthy Few and the American Oligarchy 's "permanent political class" (historian Ron Formisano). As Chomsky explained on the eve of the 2004 elections:

"Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, 'That's politics.' But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics The urgency is for popular progressive groups to grow and become strong enough so that centers of power can't ignore them. Forces for change that have come up from the grass roots and shaken the society to its core include the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the women's movement and others, cultivated by steady, dedicated work at all levels, every day, not just once every four years sensible [electoral] choices have to be made. But they are secondary to serious political action."

"The only thing that's going to ever bring about any meaningful change," Chomsky told Abby Martin on teleSur English in the fall of 2015, "is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don't pay attention to the election cycle." Under the American religion of voting, Chomsky told Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson in the spring of 2016, "Citizenship means every four years you put a mark somewhere and you go home and let other guys run the world. It's a very destructive ideology basically, a way of making people passive, submissive objects [we] ought to teach kids that elections take place but that's not politics."

For all his talk of standing atop a great "movement" for "revolution," Sanders was and remains all about this stunted and crippling definition of citizenship and politics as making some marks on ballots and then returning to our domiciles while rich people and their agents (not just any "other guys") "run [ruin?-P.S.] the world [into the ground-P.S.]."

It will take much more in the way of Dr. King's politics of "who' sitting in the streets," not "who's sitting in the White House" (to use Howard Zinn's excellent dichotomy ), to get us an elections and party system worthy of passionate citizen engagement. We don't have such a system in the U.S. today, which is why the number of eligible voters who passively boycotted the 2016 presidential election is larger than both the number who voted for big money Hillary and the number who voted for big money Trump.

(If U.S. progressives really want to consider undertaking the epic lift involved in passing a U.S. Constitutional Amendment, they might want to focus on this instead of calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment. I'd recommend starting with a positive Democracy Amendment that fundamentally overhauls the nation's political and elections set-up in accord with elementary principles and practices of popular sovereignty. Clauses would include but not be limited to full public financing of elections and the introduction of proportional representation for legislative races – not to mention the abolition of the Electoral College, Senate apportionment on the basis of total state population, and the outlawing of gerrymandering.)

Ecocide Trumped by Russia

Meanwhile, back in real history, we have the remarkable continuation of a bizarre right-wing, pre-fascist presidency not in normal ruling-class hands, subject to the weird whims and tweets of a malignant narcissist who doesn't read memorandums or intelligence briefings. Wild policy zig-zags and record-setting White House personnel turnover are par for the course under the dodgy reign of the orange-tinted beast's latest brain spasms. Orange Caligula spends his mornings getting his information from FOX News and his evenings complaining to and seeking advice from a small club of right-wing American oligarchs.

Trump poses grave environmental and nuclear risks to human survival. A consistent Trump belief is that climate change is not a problem and that it's perfectly fine – "great" and "amazing," in fact – for the White House to do everything it can to escalate the Greenhouse Gassing-to-Death of Life on Earth. The nuclear threat is rising now that he has appointed a frothing right-wing uber-warmonger – a longtime advocate of bombing Iran and North Korea who led the charge for the arch-criminal U.S. invasion of Iraq – as his top "National Security" adviser and as he been convinced to expel dozens of Russian diplomats. Thanks, liberal and other Democratic Party RussiaGaters!

The Clinton-Obama neoliberal Democrats have spent more than a year running with the preposterous narrative that Trump is a Kremlin puppet who owes his presence in the White House to Russia's subversion of our democratic elections. The climate crisis holds little for the Trump and Russia-obsessed corporate media. The fact that the world stands at the eve of the ecological self-destruction, with the Trump White House in the lead, elicits barely a whisper in the reigning commercial news media. Unlike Stormy Daniels, for example, that little story – the biggest issue of our or any time – is not good for television ratings and newspaper sales.

Sanders, by the way, is curiously invisible in the dominant commercial media, despite his quiet survey status as the nation's "most popular politician." That is precisely what you would expect in a corporate and financial oligarchy buttressed by a powerful corporate, so-called "mainstream" media oligopoly.

Political Parties as "Bank Accounts"

One of the many problems with the obsessive Blame-Russia narrative that a fair portion of the dominant U.S. media is running with is that we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 . Saying that Russia has "undermined [U.S.-] American democracy" is like me – middle-aged, five-foot nine, and unblessed with jumping ability – saying that the Brooklyn Nets' Russian-born center Timofy Mozgof subverted my career as a starting player in the National Basketball Association. In state-capitalist societies marked by the toxic and interrelated combination of weak popular organization, expensive politics, and highly concentrated wealth – all highly evident in the New Gilded Age United States – electoral contests and outcomes boil down above all and in the end to big investor class cash. As Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues explain:

"Where investment and organization by average citizens is weak, however, power passes by default to major investor groups, which can far more easily bear the costs of contending for control of the state. In most modern market-dominated societies (those celebrated recently as enjoying the 'end of History'), levels of effective popular organization are generally low, while the costs of political action, in terms of both information and transactional obstacles, are high. The result is that conflicts within the business community normally dominate contests within and between political parties – the exact opposite of what many earlier social theorists expected, who imagined 'business' and 'labor' confronting each other in separate parties Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements."

Here Ferguson might have said "corporate-dominated" instead of "market-dominated" for the modern managerial corporations emerged as the "visible hand" master of the "free market" more than a century ago.

We get to vote? Big deal.

People get to vote in Rwanda, Russia, the Congo and countless other autocratic states as well. Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like, which includes any country that dares to "question the basic principle that the United States effectively owns the world by right and is by definition a force for good" ( Chomsky, 2016 ).

Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. The list of interrelated and mutually reinforcing culprits behind this oligarchic defeat of popular sentiment in the U.S. is extensive. It includes but is not limited to: the campaign finance, candidate-selection, lobbying, and policy agenda-setting power of wealthy individuals, corporations, and interest groups; the special primary election influence of full-time party activists; the disproportionately affluent, white, and older composition of the active (voting) electorate; the manipulation of voter turnout; the widespread dissemination of false, confusing, distracting, and misleading information; absurdly and explicitly unrepresentative political institutions like the Electoral College, the unelected Supreme Court, the over-representation of the predominantly white rural population in the U.S. Senate; one-party rule in the House of "Representatives"; the fragmentation of authority in government; and corporate ownership of the reigning media, which frames current events in accord with the wishes and world view of the nation's real owners.

Yes, we get to vote. Super. Big deal. Mammon reigns nonetheless in the United States, where, as the leading liberal political scientists Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens find , "government policy reflects the wishes of those with money, not the wishes of the millions of ordinary citizens who turn out every two years to choose among the preapproved, money-vetted candidates for federal office."

Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos."

He is a homegrown capitalist oligarch nonetheless, a real estate mogul of vast and parasitic wealth who is no more likely to fulfill his populist-sounding campaign pledges than any previous POTUS of the neoliberal era.

His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Paul Street

Paul Street's latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)

[Mar 16, 2018] Will the State Department Become a Subsidiary of the CIA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... is an ex-geek turned writer and editor. He hails from Boston and writes about whatever distortions of reality strike his fancy. Currently, he's pedaling a novel chronicling the lives and times of members of a cell of terrorists in Europe, completing a collection of essays on high technology delusions, and can be found barking at progressivepilgrim.review. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

March 15, 2018 Will the State Department Become a Subsidiary of the CIA? by Geoff Dutton

Photo by Mark Taylor | CC BY 2.0

I wonder how Rex Tillerson feels about being the first high-level federal official to be fired publically and online, in one brutal tweet. I'm sure he expected the hammer to come down on him, but not like that. And I wonder if he will come forward to describe what led up to it. Unlikely, as he's an extremely wealthy and still influential corporate player who would have little to gain from telling all. Still, some intrepid journalist should take Rex to lunch and encourage him to cry in his beer.

The events unfurled in typical chaotic Trumpian fashion. According to The Atlantic,

The White House said Tuesday that Tillerson was informed last Friday that he would be replaced as secretary of state. But the statement released Tuesday by Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, suggested Tillerson did not see it coming until he saw the president's tweet Tuesday morning that he would be replaced by Mike Pompeo, the CIA director. Goldstein himself has been fired since making the statement.

Chief of Staff John Kelly claimed to have informed Tillerson three days previously that a tweet would be forthcoming, and let it hang. That's how long it took for the triumvirate behind the throne (Kelly, DoD Secretary James Mattis, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster) to line up a B team. These military officers have become Trump's minders, nudging him toward decisions that implement deep state war plans. John Grant writes in CounterPunch :

The ex-Nixon dirty trickster Roger Stone, who Kelly blocked from Trump access, is cited in Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House as telling people, "Mattis, McMaster and Kelly had agreed that no military action would ever be taken unless the three were in accord -- and that at least one of them would always remain in Washington if the others were away."

And so, here we have a junta minding the store whose collective wisdom had determined that State under Tilllerson wasn't accommodating US bellicosity as enthusiastically as it should. Their solution? Elevate CIA Chief Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson. Pompeo, whom NPR glowingly described as having "an extraordinary résumé. He graduated at the top of his class at West Point. He served as a tank officer in Europe. He went to Harvard Law School." He's also a bombastic Tea-Party Republican and a national security hawk who takes a hard line no matter what crisis is at hand. I'm sure that résumé will be useful in convincing North Korea to disarm and Putin to back off from Syria. At least, that seems to be the troika's current calculus. Trump seems amenable to their choice: "With Mike, we've had a very good chemistry from the beginning," he told reporters. And Pompeo says he's equally chill with the Tweeter-in-Chief: "We have a half-hour, 40 minutes every day. He asks lots of hard questions as any good intelligence consumer would. He's very engaged."

Before that hammer hit Tillerson, they had already cleared the way to replace Pompeo with seasoned spook Gina Haspel, who proved her loyalty to the Company by destroying evidence of systematic torture. "She ran the 'black site' prison in Thailand where al-Qaida suspect Abu Zabaydah was waterboarded 83 times," NPR reported last winter. "Those sessions were videotaped but the tapes were destroyed in 2005, two years after a member of Congress called on the CIA to preserve such tapes." Who ordered or at least expedited their destruction? Gina Haspel herself. Running a torture center was a "dirty job," John Bennett, the chief of the CIA's clandestine service at the time later told NPR, but Gina bravely stepped up to do it. " it was not only legal but necessary for the safety of the country. And they did it – Gina did it – because they felt it was their duty."

Obama apparently felt that way, since he declined to prosecute any CIA officials for engaging in torture. Had he had the guts to go after them, Gina might be wearing a jumpsuit now instead of a business suit. As Dexter Filkins wrote in the New Yorker last year after Trump named Haspel Deputy Director,

When Obama took office, in 2009, he declared that he would not prosecute anyone involved in the C.I.A.'s interrogation programs, not even senior officers, among whom Haspel was one. At the time, Obama said he wanted to look forward and not back. But the past, as Obama well knows, never goes away. With the prospect of American torture looming again, I wonder if Obama regrets his decision. After all, people like Haspel, quite plausibly, could have gone to prison.

When Edward Snowden heard of her advancement, he tweeted ( March 13, 2018 )

Interesting: The new CIA Director Haspel, who "tortured some folks," probably can't travel to the EU to meet other spy chiefs without facing arrest due to an @ECCHRBerlin complaint to Germany's federal prosecutor. Details: https://t.co/7q4euQKtm7

Such team spirit clearly deserves a promotion. A round of applause, then, for Gina Haspel, someone who has known no calling besides black ops, winner of the George H. W. Bush Award for excellence in counterterrorism, and the first of her sex to crash through CIA's bulletproof glass ceiling to the Director's office. Her résumé implies she must have been born at Langley HQ. There's no paper trail for her prior to 1985, when she joined the agency.

The one bright spot is that both Pompeo and Haspel will have to testify before Congress votes of on their appointments. John McCain and Ron Wyden are already on record as being opposed to Haspel's appointment. Intense public pressure may help to drag skeltons of torture victims out of the agency's closet, but don't expect it to matter. The deep state is used to getting what it wants and doesn't let things like due process get in the way.

Now that the Department of State is to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the CIA, America can rest easy. No more mister nice guy. Diplomacy is for wimps. Let's show all those upstart nations and that upstart commander-in-chief who's boss. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Geoff Dutton

Geoff Dutton is an ex-geek turned writer and editor. He hails from Boston and writes about whatever distortions of reality strike his fancy. Currently, he's pedaling a novel chronicling the lives and times of members of a cell of terrorists in Europe, completing a collection of essays on high technology delusions, and can be found barking at progressivepilgrim.review.

[Feb 25, 2018] Any hierarchic system can and will be exploited by intelligent sociopaths

Notable quotes:
"... Democracy is not under stress – it's under aggressive attack, as unconstrained financial greed overrides public accountability ..."
Feb 25, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

albert , February 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

" Democracy is not under stress – it's under aggressive attack, as unconstrained financial greed overrides public accountability ."

I request a lessatorium* on the term 'democracy', because there aren't any democracies. Rather than redefine the term, why not use a more accurate one, like 'plutocracy', or 'corporatocracy'.
-- -- -- -
* It's like a moratorium, you just do less of it.

[Feb 18, 2018] Had Hillary Won What Now by Andrew Levine

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Then Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, would be president of the United States, but the Senate, probably, and the House of Representatives, certainly, would have remained under Republican control.

In other words, had Hillary won, we would now have pretty much what we had when Barack Obama was president – but with the executive branch less competently led and more packed with Clintonite (neoliberal, liberal imperialist, shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later) officials, and with a Congress run by obstinate Republican troglodytes running roughshod over feckless, slightly less retrograde Democrats.

Radical impulses would, of course, continue to stir throughout the general population but notwithstanding widespread and deep popular support, to even less avail than before.

A Clinton presidency wouldn't make the blood of high-minded people boil, the way the Trump presidency has done, though, for anyone with the courage to face reality squarely, it would be nearly as painful to endure.

That pain would be much less constructive than the pain that is now so widely felt. Instead of sparking anodyne "resistance," it would be drowned out in a sea of acquiescence.

In a word, Clinton's first term would be what a third Obama term would have been – ratcheted down a few notches in the squelched "hope" and "change" departments.

By being African American, Obama stirred up plenty of hope and change illusions, especially at first, in many, maybe most, sectors of the population. In other sectors, Obama's race brought barely suppressed prejudices and resentments out into the open.

Because it soon became clear – not to everybody, but to everybody not willfully blind – that, under Obama, little, if any, good would come, Obamaphilia eventually faded away; the racism and nativism Obama's election boosted proved more durable.

Hillary, on the other hand, was anything but a beacon of hope – except perhaps to those of her supporters whose highest priority was electing a woman president. Hardly anyone else ever expected much good to come from her calling the shots.

In comparison with Obama, she wasn't even good at what she did. Despite a constant barrage of public relations babble about how experienced and competent she is, this was widely understood, even if seldom conceded.

She hadn't been much of a First Lady or Senator; among other things, she helped set the cause of health insurance reform back a generation, and she supported the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

Then, as Secretary of State, she was at least partly responsible for devastating levels of disorder and mayhem throughout North Africa (Libya especially), the Greater Middle East (not just Syria), and elsewhere (Honduras, for example). But for her tenure at Foggy Bottom, there would be many fewer refugees in the world today.

It is therefore a good bet that were she president now, Obama would be sorely missed – notwithstanding his fondness for terrorizing civilians with weaponized drones, and for deporting Hispanics and others with a zeal exceeding George Bush's.

Inasmuch as he did break a color line that seemed infrangible, it was impossible for persons of good will not to root for the man. That would be like not rooting for Jackie Robinson. But the fact remains: except in comparison to his rivals and to Trump, he was no prize.

Because it was clear to nearly everybody outside the Clinton propaganda circuit that, by 2016, there really was no "glass ceiling" holding women back, Hillary had nothing like that going for her.

There were and are plenty of people of all ages and genders who would have liked to see a woman elected president; the time for that is long past due. But, by the time Clinton became the Democratic standard bearer, hardly anyone could truly believe that patriarchal attitudes or rampant misogyny were significant factors standing in her way.

To be sure, the lingering effects of attitudes in place years ago have diminished the pool of plausible female candidates. But then so too did the idea that Clinton was somehow entitled to the office. Because that attitude was so deeply entrenched, few women wanted to cross her.

Nevertheless, there are women who, running on the Democratic line, could surely have defeated Trump. An obvious example is Elizabeth Warren.

I am not alone in thinking that had the Democratic National Committee not rigged the nomination process in Clinton's favor, Bernie Sanders would have become the party's nominee and then gone on to defeat Trump. Warren's chances of winning the election were better still – precisely because, she is a woman.

Clinton's problem was not her gender; it was her politics.

Even so, we would be a lot better off now had she won in 2016 -- not just because the evil we know (too well!) is easier to deal with than the blooming buzzing confusion we ended up with instead, but also because, despite her Russophobia and fondness for "military solutions," the likelihood that the United States would blunder into a nuclear Armageddon would now be significantly less.

Too bad therefore that she flubbed even more egregiously than those of us who saw through the public relations myths about her accomplishments and competence thought possible.

Needless to say, in the alternative universe that Democrats and their media flacks have concocted, they explain the election outcome differently. In their view, Hillary lost because "the Russians" subverted our democratic institutions.

Or was it because James Comey, then the Director of the FBI, tipped that election to Trump by refocusing attention on Clinton's emails as Election Day approached?

One would think that it would faze Democratic confabulators that, shortly after the election was over, Comey rose to the top of Donald Trump's shit list – and was unceremoniously fired. They really should get their story straight.

While they are sorting that out, they might also make an effort to be a tad less besotted with the FBI. It is, to say the least, unseemly, even for faux-progressives, to cozy up to the perennial scourge of every progressive tendency in the American body politic.

And it isn't just the FBI – Democrats nowadays are smitten with the entire national security state apparatus, including the CIA and the NSA.

Democrats have always been that way to some extent, but, in the pre-Trump era, Republicans were generally the more gung ho of our two semi-established parties.

For decades, Cold War anti-Communist paranoia endeared the FBI and the others to wide swathes of the general public and to Republicans and Democrats alike. When a dearth of real world Communists made that story line impossible to maintain, "Islamic terrorists" were on hand to take their place.

These obsessions pair well with the right's passion for law and order – in other words, for keeping the poor generally, and persons of color especially, down.

And so, being the more rightwing of the duopoly parties, Republicans, before Trump, were especially besotted with the forces of order – from local police (for whom, black lives don't really matter) on up (or is it down?).

Democrats have never had any real quarrel with any of this, but, being the "nicer" and more reasonable of the duopoly parties, they were less inclined to go overboard.

It grieves me to say anything good about Donald Trump, but, to his credit, he did force Republicans onto a less unreasonable track – not in general, but towards Russia, a country with a nuclear arsenal so formidable that only maniacs would want to mess with it unnecessarily.

In all likelihood, Trump's reasons are venal or otherwise nefarious, and have little if anything to do with common sense. But anything that holds back the Doomsday Clock is welcome.

It is likely, though, that, before long, Republicans will revert back to their old ways.

Indeed, this is already happening: witness Trump's new "defense strategy" – aimed at the old Cold War bugaboos, Russia and China.

The scare quotes are in order because there is no strategy there, and what Trump is proposing has nothing to do with defense. It has everything to do, however, with giving free rein to the Pentagon to squander monies that could be otherwise spent in socially useful ways, and with stuffing the pockets of death merchants ("defense contractors") and those who feed off the taxpayer money our political class throws their way.

***

Despite even this, Democrats remain the less odious duopoly party. On nearly all "issues," just about any Republican is worse than any Democrat; and the attitudes and instincts Republicans evince are more execrable by far.

It should be born in mind, however, that the Democratic Party is, if anything, even more responsible for Trump than the Republicans are.

Insofar as he has set political views and attitudes, they were forged in New York City, under the aegis of Democratic Party politicians. And the Clintonite (neoliberal) turn in the larger political culture created the conditions for the possibility of Trump, or someone like him, rising to national prominence.

Democrats pulled this off by malignly neglecting the working class – and therefore less well-off white voters, among others – and by euthanizing nascent left oppositions that showed promise of challenging the economic supremacy and political power of the so-called "donor class" and of capitalists generally.

Neoliberalism shifts power and resources from the state sector to private capital, it encourages the globalization of trade, and it facilitates the free flow of capital around the world.

Its nostrums are integral to a form of class struggle aimed at weakening working class opposition – largely, but not exclusively, by attacks on the labor movement.

The classical fascism of the interwar years took aim at workers' economic and political organizations too – more directly, through violent frontal assaults. Neoliberalism works more gently, through protracted wars of attrition. The consequences, however, are much the same.

The Clintons and Tony Blair and their counterparts in other countries make a show of their progressivism – limiting their efforts, however, to cultural issues that do not materially harm capitalists' interests.

Around election times, they even make nice with union leaders -- because they need the resources and manpower they can still provide. But it is all a ruse, as workers and others know well.

Real fascists set out to intimidate workers' organizations; they liked bloodying noses. Neoliberals take aim at workers' power in such subtle but far-reaching ways that they often don't even realize that they have been had.

In the early days of the Regan era, Bertram Gross famously introduced the notion of "friendly fascism." The GOP used to be the friendly fascist's natural home. These days, however, Republicans are a lot nastier than they were in Reagan's time.

In recent years, the Tea Party and then Trump and the miscreants he has empowered have accentuated the GOP's racist, nativist, and authoritarian side. It is not a fascist party in the traditional sense, but the resemblances are more than a little worrisome.

And so, Reagan-style friendly fascism has largely disappeared from the Republican fold. But for what has taken its place, this would be a reason to celebrate.

Meanwhile, the spirit of the "Reagan revolution" lives on in the other duopoly party –where, thanks to the Clintons and others like them, efforts to keep "the donor class up" and everyone else down continue in a seemingly more benign way.

The electoral consequences are predictable. The kinds of working class people whom Trump derides – basically, everyone who is not white, male and straight – are, of course, more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans. But they are more likely still not to vote at all.

Why would they when they have nothing to vote for ?

And, in large (mainly rural) swathes of the country, white working class men and the women who stand by them will vote for anyone, even an obviously incompetent billionaire buffoon whose policies will do nothing for them materially, provided only that he channels their resentments at Clintonite policies and people.

However, malign neglect of an important segment of the working class is only partly responsible for Trump. The absence of a genuine left is of far greater importance.

The reasons for its absence are many, and go far beyond the Democratic Party. Even so, Democrats have a lot to answer for.

As it became increasingly clear that the Bush-Cheney wars launched after 9/11 were responsible for enormous harm to people and to geopolitical stability, a peace movement took shape that, by 2006, had become a force to be reckoned with.

At the same time, in anticipation of the 2008 election, the leadership of the Democratic Party did its best to keep dissent in bounds. Their aim was to get Hillary Clinton elected president, and they feared that political turbulence would upset their plans.

At the very least, with the House back under Democratic control in 2006, Democrats could have initiated impeachment proceedings against George Bush; they had more than ample grounds. Whether or not he would then have been removed from office, he and his subordinates would have been impeded to some extent from doing at least some of the harm they went on to do.

But Nancy Pelosi and her co-thinkers in Congress put the kibosh on that idea. Their efforts did not stifle the growing peace movement entirely, but it did take some of the wind out its sails.

When it turned out that Obama was a stronger candidate than Clinton, and that the nomination would go his way, leading Democrats adapted. Hillary was their favorite, but Obama had been thoroughly vetted for corporate-friendliness and passed all the tests with flying colors. That was good enough for them.

And so it fell to the Nobel laureate to put the peace movement definitively down, even as he continued – temporarily even escalating -- the Bush-Cheney wars.

For too long and against too much contrary evidence, liberals took it for granted that Obama was on the side of the angels. They therefore let pass the murder and mayhem he was responsible for.

After eight years of that, what little semblance of a genuine left there had been within the Democratic Party's ambit found itself narcotized into oblivion.

An appetite for real opposition, even rebellion, existed within the general public; under the pressure of events it was growing all the time. But, with our debilitating duopoly party system in place, there was no political way out of the status quo.

Had Hillary won, that sad state of affairs would have continued, while the underlying maladies that Trump exploited for the benefit of himself and his class would have continued to fester.

And we would now likely be on the brink of even more appalling electoral outcomes than we suffered through in 2010 and 2014, and in 2016, when the Trump phenomenon defied all expectations.

Paradoxically, though, with Trump's victory, the prospects for a better mainstream politics actually improved. Trump is so manifestly unfit for the job he holds that his hold over the White House and the Republican Party actually harms the right more than it helps it.

His ever expanding docket of impeachable offenses and his crude misogyny are doing the work an organized left opposition would be doing, if only one existed -- creating space for popular movements to develop.

It started with the Women's March, immediately after Inauguration Day, and has been growing ever since; with women – black, brown, and white – leading the surge.

With midterm elections looming, the danger of cooptation is great -- Democrats, their media in tow, are working overtime to make that happen. But thanks to Trump, things have gone too far by now to be squelched entirely.

What Obama's victory did to the peace movement after 2008, a Hillary victory in 2016 would have done ten times over to the several (mainly woman-led) insurgencies that were beginning to take shape during the campaign.

With Trump in the White House, progressive women remain in the forefront of struggles to change the world for the better. With Clinton there instead, their best efforts would be swamped by anodyne campaigns led by well-meaning liberals of the kind that understandably rile up the Trump base.

All things considered, it would have been better (less catastrophically awful) had Hillary won. Even so, there is some reason to be grateful that she did not. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Andrew Levine

ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Dec 23, 2017] Neither party is on our side. The establishment in both parties is crooked and corrupt.

Notable quotes:
"... Of course, the notion of 'reform' within the Democratic Party is an oxymoron. Its been around since Nader, when the corrupt-corporate Democrats tried to tell us that the way forward was to work within the corrupt-corporate Democratic Party and change things that way. ..."
"... And I see Steve Bannon trying to wage the fight within the Republican party that the fake-reformers in the Democrats never even tried . ie, numerous primary challenges to corrupt-corporate Democrats. ..."
"... Neither party represents any but the richest of the rich these days. Both parties lie to voters and try to pretend that they might actually give a damn about the rest of us. But the only sign of life that I see of anyone trying to fight back against this Bannon inside the Republicans. I'm not thrilled with Bannon, although he's not nearly as bad as the loony-lefties in the corrupt-corporate Democratic Party and their many satellites call him. But he's the only one putting up a fight. I just hope that maybe someone will run in primaries against the corrupt-corporate-Republicans who fake-represent the part of the map where I live. ..."
Dec 23, 2017 | www.unz.com

Liverpool , December 22, 2017 at 9:16 pm GMT

I was raised by Democrats, and used to vote for them. But these days, I think heck would freeze over before I'd vote Democrat again. From my point of view, Bernie tried to pull them back to sanity. But the hard core Clinton-corporate-corrupt Democrats have declared war on any movement for reform within the Democratic Party. And there is no way that I'm voting for any of these corrupt-corporate Democrats ever again.

Of course, the notion of 'reform' within the Democratic Party is an oxymoron. Its been around since Nader, when the corrupt-corporate Democrats tried to tell us that the way forward was to work within the corrupt-corporate Democratic Party and change things that way. We saw the way the corrupt-corporate Democrats colluded and rigged the last Presidential Primaries so that Corrupt-Corporate-Clinton was guaranteed the corrupt-corporate Democrat nomination. That's a loud and clear message to anyone who thinks they can achieve change within the corrupt-corporate-colluding-rigged Democratic Party.

Since I've always been anti-war, I've been forced to follow what anti-war movement there is over to the Republicans. And I see Steve Bannon trying to wage the fight within the Republican party that the fake-reformers in the Democrats never even tried . ie, numerous primary challenges to corrupt-corporate Democrats. That never happened, and by 2012 I was convinced that even the fake-reformers within the corrupt-corporate Democrats were fakes who only wanted fund-raising but didn't really fight for reform.

Neither party represents any but the richest of the rich these days. Both parties lie to voters and try to pretend that they might actually give a damn about the rest of us. But the only sign of life that I see of anyone trying to fight back against this Bannon inside the Republicans. I'm not thrilled with Bannon, although he's not nearly as bad as the loony-lefties in the corrupt-corporate Democratic Party and their many satellites call him. But he's the only one putting up a fight. I just hope that maybe someone will run in primaries against the corrupt-corporate-Republicans who fake-represent the part of the map where I live.

Neither party is on our side. The establishment in both parties is crooked and corrupt. Someone needs to fight them. And I sure as heck won't vote for the corrupt and the crooked. Since the Democrats are doubling down on corrupt and crooked and telling such big lies that even Goebbels would blush, it doesn't look like I'll ever vote Dem0crat again.

[Dec 14, 2017] The Foundering Russia-gate 'Scandal' Consortiumnews

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The disclosure of fiercely anti-Trump text messages between two romantically involved senior FBI officials who played key roles in the early Russia-gate inquiry has turned the supposed Russian-election-meddling "scandal" into its own scandal, by providing evidence that some government investigators saw it as their duty to block or destroy Donald Trump's presidency. ..."
"... As much as the U.S. mainstream media has mocked the idea that an American "deep state" exists and that it has maneuvered to remove Trump from office, the text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal how two high-ranking members of the government's intelligence/legal bureaucracy saw their role as protecting the United States from an election that might elevate to the presidency someone as unfit as Trump. ..."
"... In the text messages, Strzok also expressed visceral contempt for working-class Trump voters, for instance, writing on Aug. 26, 2016, "Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support. it's scary real down here." ..."
"... Another text message suggested that other senior government officials – alarmed at the possibility of a Trump presidency – joined the discussion. In an apparent reference to an August 2016 meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016, "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." ..."
"... The scheme involved having some Democratic electors vote for former Secretary of State Colin Powell (which did happen), making him the third-place vote-getter in the Electoral College and thus eligible for selection by the House. But the plan fizzled when enough of Trump's electors stayed loyal to their candidate to officially make him President. ..."
"... After that, Trump's opponents turned to the Russia-gate investigation as the vehicle to create the conditions for somehow nullifying the election, impeaching Trump, or at least weakening him sufficiently so he could not take steps to improve relations with Russia. ..."
"... And, the new revelations of high-level FBI bias puts Clapper's statement about "hand-picked" analysts in sharper perspective, since any intelligence veteran will tell you that if you hand-pick the analysts you are effectively hand-picking the analysis. ..."
"... Although it has not yet been spelled out exactly what role Strzok and Page may have had in the Jan. 6 report, I was told by one source that Strzok had a direct hand in writing it. Whether that is indeed the case, Strzok, as a senior FBI counterintelligence official, would almost surely have had input into the selection of the FBI analysts and thus into the substance of the report itself. [For challenges from intelligence experts to the Jan. 6 report, see Consortiumnews.com's " More Holes in the Russia-gate Narrative. "] ..."
"... If the FBI contributors to the Jan. 6 report shared Strzok's contempt for Trump, it could explain why claims from an unverified dossier of Democratic-financed "dirt" on Trump, including salacious charges that Russian intelligence operatives videotaped Trump being urinated on by prostitutes in a five-star Moscow hotel, was added as a classified appendix to the report and presented personally to President-elect Trump. ..."
"... That discovery helped ensnare another senior Justice Department official, Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who talked with Steele during the campaign and had a post-election meeting with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Recently, Simpson has acknowledged that Ohr's wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS last year to investigate Trump. ..."
"... But the story soon collapsed when it turned out that the date on the email was actually Sept. 14, 2016, i.e., the day after ..."
"... Yet, despite the cascade of errors and grudging corrections, including some belated admissions that there was no "17-intelligence-agency consensus" on Russian "hacking" – The New York Times made a preemptive strike against the new documentary evidence that the Russia-gate investigation was riddled with conflicts of interest. ..."
"... Pursuing the truth can be a fascinating hobby, that leads to a person awakening. Make it interesting, awaken your friend's curiosity. ..."
"... Weeks before the 2016 election, Peter Strzok's FBI team agreed to pay former MI6 agent and Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele $50,000 if he could verify the claims contained within the dossier – which relied on the cooperation of two senior Kremlin officials. (One more time for you, Walter Devine -- "if he [Steele] could verify the claims"). When Steele was unable to verify the claims in the dossier, the FBI wouldn't pay him according to the New York Times. ..."
"... Despite the fact that Steele was not paid by the FBI for the dossier, Peter Strzok used it to launch a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's team. Steele was ultimately paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS to assemble the dossier. ..."
"... Of interest to me is why the Republicans did not hammer Hillary for placing an ambassador in what was essentially a CIA compound in the first place. My guess and I can only guess is that they no objection to its being a ratline to ship Libya's stolen armaments to head-chopping jihadists (with USA blessing) fighting Assad. So to raise the issue of why putting an ambassador there would have opened the door to sensitive questions -- if the press would ask them, of course. ..."
"... That's the real Benghazi story the MSM won't talk about. Although I suspect the armaments were given to the head choppers by the CIA, and then they rebelled at having them transferred to the head choppers in Syria after they had succeeded in killing Ghaddafi. ..."
"... "Madame Secretary, WHY was it necessary to destroy Libya?" No republican asked THAT question. ..."
"... Hello Skip, nice to read your good comments again and to exchange info. Here is an article which talks about the weapons ratline in Syria. Within four days, the powerful anti-tank missiles that CIA bought in Bulgaria and (supposedly) delivered to "moderate" rebels, ended up in ISIS hands. The only problem with the article's narrative is that it is still drawing the official line that the lack of oversight is to blame for such, whilst it was clearly a deliberate action to supply weapons to ISIS wrapped up in plausible deniability of passing them through the hands of some poor inept souls serving as intermediaries. ..."
"... Starting a grand-scale investigation on the basis of allegations of conspiracy with another government and treason is rather dubious when these allegations from dirty campaign tactics are not based on any tangible facts. It is true that the Muller team does not leak as much to the press as the intelligence services did previously. This investigation still plays an important role for the media propaganda that still pushes the Russiagate conspiracy theory even though there had never been any factual basis for it and no evidence has been found in over a year. Since there is still this investigation is going on, they can use it for justifying their daily minutes of hate against Russia, their calls for censorship and denounciation of any political position that diverges from the neoconservative and neoliberal ideology. ..."
"... the most dubious thing was, of course, the lobbying related to a UN security council resolution vote, but that might at best hint at colluding with Israel, it certainly does not fit the Russiagate conspiracy theory ..."
"... So, if we judge the Muller investigation by its results, it is not going anywhere. Obviously, that is what should be expected when a commission is set up for investigating a conspiracy theory for which there had never been any evidence to begin with. I suppose the result would be similar if the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, or reptiloids were officially investigated. ..."
"... It seems that the Muller team wants to delay that moment when they have to confess that the conspiracy theory has broken down, but that won't necessarily make it easier, either. ..."
"... Think you nailed it. The bankster regime changers already tried once to structurally adjust Russia into being a US puppet state in the 90s under Clinton. Russia was robbed blind while Yeltzin drank himself into a stupor. Putin is the one who put a stop to the looting. That is his crime against the western oligarchs and why he is enemy #1. ..."
"... There's no 'lack of discussion about what they have uncovered' which has basically amounted to a pile of dirt. Have not read from the VIPS and William Binney? Uncovering shady business with oligarchs doesn't show collusion, but the dossier oppo does, but it's business as usual. Denying the FBI-DNC server subpoena was odd don't you think? ..."
"... "Fusion GPS appears to be in the center of a web of corruption. Who hired Fusion GPS to ramp up its opposition research against Trump? Hillary Clinton and the DNC. the wife of Justice Department official Bruce G. Ohr worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential election. Nellie Ohr is listed as working for the CIA's Open Source Works department in a 2010 DOJ report." Look how the CIA, FBI, and DNC have found each other and made a friendship forever. ..."
"... Also, do you personally have any concern about the murder of Seth Rich? -- Donna Brazil has become afraid of being Seth-Riched. How come? What kind of scum the Democratic apparatus has become? -- Guess Tony Podesta and Bill Clinton and madame "we came, we saw, he died ha, ha, ha " are the composite face of the Democratic Party today. ..."
"... Have at it Walter. What exactly have they uncovered? The "process" lost credibility long ago. The "intelligence" report of January 6th was garbage and it's been all downhill since. ..."
"... Obama's expulsion of the Russian diplomats after Trump's election, with no reason based on fact/danger to the USA gave a good start to the Russophobia encouraged by the Clinton losers and leading on to the ludicrous extreme situation still going on. ..."
"... Since the whole Guccifer 2.0 operation appears to be an attempt to falsely smear WikiLeaks as a Russian agent (by publicly claiming to be a hacker associated with WikiLeaks and then being "caught" releasing documents (the ones of June 15, 2016) with "Russian fingerprints"), perhaps his uploading files (Sept 13, 2016) to a server with (past) ties to someone associated with WikiLeaks (Kim Dot Com) would have been part of the same effort. ..."
"... Such a reversal of evidence and conclusion bespeaks deliberate deception. The motive is unclear, as the failed Newsweek is said to have been revived in 2013 by a Korean-American Christian fundamentalist David Jang formerly of Moon's Unification Church, whose followers consider him the Second Coming of JC, according to the linked source. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/03/newsweek-ibt-olivet-david-jang/ ..."
"... It's been a year and a half since Hillary Clinton first accused Donald Trump of being a Putin puppet and in collusion with the Kremlin. Any fool should be able to understand that if there existed any real evidence to support this accusation the world would have seen it under banner headlines long ago. ..."
"... Thank you for your spot-on analysis! The motives of the deep state – including FBI operatives, NY Times and WAPO – is crystal clear. They do not want Trump to be president, and are determined to either remove him or handcuff him indefinitely. But why? Why has the establishment gone crazy? Is it simply political, or something deeper and darker? ..."
"... The real "deep" reason is the PNAC plot to make sure that the USA remains the sole super power that can impose its will anywhere in the world. Trump's campaign position of seeking detente with Russia would have led us into a multi-polar world giving Russia a sphere of influence. That is unacceptable to the empire. ..."
"... RussiaGate is an attempt to remove Trump from power, or at a minimum make it impossible for him to seek detente. I am no Trump apologist, but I do think our only hope for a future in this nuclear age is to seek peace and cooperation in a multi-polar world that respects national sovereignty and the rule of law. I suspect Trump will continue to be brought to heel, with or without the success of RussiaGate. And there is always the JFK solution as a last resort. ..."
"... Where is William Binney's "Thin String" signals intelligence (SIGINT) software when it's needed? Wouldn't it be lovely to focus it on the communications of our own government? Binney says applying it after 9/11 to the pre-9/11 communications streams did successfully predict the 9/11 attacks. If only we had stored all communications of government officials dating back to . hey, let's say 1774 or so, what truths might we now know, and what proofs might we now have? What would FDR's communications prior to Pearl Harbor reveal? What about the JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X assassinations? ..."
Dec 14, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: Taking on water from revealed FBI conflicts of interest, the foundering Russia-gate probe – and its mainstream media promoters – are resorting to insults against people who note the listing ship, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The disclosure of fiercely anti-Trump text messages between two romantically involved senior FBI officials who played key roles in the early Russia-gate inquiry has turned the supposed Russian-election-meddling "scandal" into its own scandal, by providing evidence that some government investigators saw it as their duty to block or destroy Donald Trump's presidency.

Peter Strzok, who served as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, second in command of counterintelligence.

As much as the U.S. mainstream media has mocked the idea that an American "deep state" exists and that it has maneuvered to remove Trump from office, the text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal how two high-ranking members of the government's intelligence/legal bureaucracy saw their role as protecting the United States from an election that might elevate to the presidency someone as unfit as Trump.

In one Aug. 6, 2016 text exchange, Page told Strzok: "Maybe you're meant to stay where you are because you're meant to protect the country from that menace." At the end of that text, she sent Strzok a link to a David Brooks column in The New York Times, which concludes with the clarion call: "There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you're not in revolt, you're in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame."

Apparently after reading that stirring advice, Strzok replied, "And of course I'll try and approach it that way. I just know it will be tough at times. I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps."

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, criticized Strzok's boast that "I can protect our country at many levels." Jordan said: "this guy thought he was super-agent James Bond at the FBI [deciding] there's no way we can let the American people make Donald Trump the next president."

In the text messages, Strzok also expressed visceral contempt for working-class Trump voters, for instance, writing on Aug. 26, 2016, "Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support. it's scary real down here."

Another text message suggested that other senior government officials – alarmed at the possibility of a Trump presidency – joined the discussion. In an apparent reference to an August 2016 meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016, "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk."

Strzok added, "It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event that you die before you're 40."

It's unclear what strategy these FBI officials were contemplating to ensure Trump's defeat, but the comments mesh with what an intelligence source told me after the 2016 election, that there was a plan among senior Obama administration officials to use the allegations about Russian meddling to block Trump's momentum with the voters and -- if elected -- to persuade members of the Electoral College to deny Trump a majority of votes and thus throw the selection of a new president into the House of Representatives under the rules of the Twelfth Amendment .

The scheme involved having some Democratic electors vote for former Secretary of State Colin Powell (which did happen), making him the third-place vote-getter in the Electoral College and thus eligible for selection by the House. But the plan fizzled when enough of Trump's electors stayed loyal to their candidate to officially make him President.

After that, Trump's opponents turned to the Russia-gate investigation as the vehicle to create the conditions for somehow nullifying the election, impeaching Trump, or at least weakening him sufficiently so he could not take steps to improve relations with Russia.

In one of her text messages to Strzok, Page made reference to a possible Watergate-style ouster of Trump, writing: "Bought all the president's men. Figure I needed to brush up on watergate."

As a key feature in this oust-Trump effort, Democrats have continued to lie by claiming that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred" in the assessment that Russia hacked the Democratic emails last year on orders from President Vladimir Putin and then slipped them to WikiLeaks to undermine Hillary Clinton's campaign.

That canard was used in the early months of the Russia-gate imbroglio to silence any skepticism about the "hacking" accusation, and the falsehood was repeated again by a Democratic congressman during Wednesday's hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

But the "consensus" claim was never true. In May 2017 testimony , President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged that the Jan. 6 "Intelligence Community Assessment" was put together by "hand-picked" analysts from only three agencies: the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

Biased at the Creation

And, the new revelations of high-level FBI bias puts Clapper's statement about "hand-picked" analysts in sharper perspective, since any intelligence veteran will tell you that if you hand-pick the analysts you are effectively hand-picking the analysis.

Although it has not yet been spelled out exactly what role Strzok and Page may have had in the Jan. 6 report, I was told by one source that Strzok had a direct hand in writing it. Whether that is indeed the case, Strzok, as a senior FBI counterintelligence official, would almost surely have had input into the selection of the FBI analysts and thus into the substance of the report itself. [For challenges from intelligence experts to the Jan. 6 report, see Consortiumnews.com's " More Holes in the Russia-gate Narrative. "]

If the FBI contributors to the Jan. 6 report shared Strzok's contempt for Trump, it could explain why claims from an unverified dossier of Democratic-financed "dirt" on Trump, including salacious charges that Russian intelligence operatives videotaped Trump being urinated on by prostitutes in a five-star Moscow hotel, was added as a classified appendix to the report and presented personally to President-elect Trump.

Though Democrats and the Clinton campaign long denied financing the dossier – prepared by ex-British spy Christopher Steele who claimed to rely on second- and third-hand information from anonymous Russian contacts – it was revealed in October 2017 that the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign shared in the costs, with the payments going to the "oppo" research firm, Fusion GPS, through the Democrats' law firm, Perkins Coie.

That discovery helped ensnare another senior Justice Department official, Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who talked with Steele during the campaign and had a post-election meeting with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Recently, Simpson has acknowledged that Ohr's wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS last year to investigate Trump.

Bruce Ohr has since been demoted and Strzok was quietly removed from the Russia-gate investigation last July although the reasons for these moves were not publicly explained at the time.

Still, the drive for "another Watergate" to oust an unpopular – and to many insiders, unfit – President remains at the center of the thinking among the top mainstream news organizations as they have scrambled for Russia-gate "scoops" over the past year even at the cost of making serious reporting errors .

For instance, last Friday, CNN -- and then CBS News and MSNBC -- trumpeted an email supposedly sent from someone named Michael J. Erickson on Sept. 4, 2016, to Donald Trump Jr. that involved WikiLeaks offering the Trump campaign pre-publication access to purloined Democratic National Committee emails that WikiLeaks published on Sept. 13, nine days later.

Grasping for Confirmation

Since the Jan. 6 report alleged that WikiLeaks received the "hacked" emails from Russia -- a claim that WikiLeaks and Russia deny -- the story seemed to finally tie together the notion that the Trump campaign had at least indirectly colluded with Russia.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona. March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

This new "evidence" spread like wildfire across social media. As The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald wrote in an article critical of the media's performance, some Russia-gate enthusiasts heralded the revelation with graphics of cannons booming and nukes exploding.

But the story soon collapsed when it turned out that the date on the email was actually Sept. 14, 2016, i.e., the day after WikiLeaks released the batch of DNC emails, not Sept. 4. It appeared that "Erickson" – whoever he was – had simply alerted the Trump campaign to the public existence of the WikiLeaks disclosure.

Greenwald noted , "So numerous are the false stories about Russia and Trump over the last year that I literally cannot list them all."

Yet, despite the cascade of errors and grudging corrections, including some belated admissions that there was no "17-intelligence-agency consensus" on Russian "hacking" – The New York Times made a preemptive strike against the new documentary evidence that the Russia-gate investigation was riddled with conflicts of interest.

The Times' lead editorial on Wednesday mocked reporters at Fox News for living in an "alternate universe" where the Russia-gate "investigation is 'illegitimate and corrupt,' or so says Gregg Jarrett, a legal analyst who appears regularly on [Sean] Hannity's nightly exercise in presidential ego-stroking."

Though briefly mentioning the situation with Strzok's text messages, the Times offered no details or context for the concerns, instead just heaping ridicule on anyone who questions the Russia-gate narrative.

"To put it mildly, this is insane," the Times declared. "The primary purpose of Mr. Mueller's investigation is not to take down Mr. Trump. It's to protect America's national security and the integrity of its elections by determining whether a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election – a proposition that grows more plausible every day."

The Times fumed that "roughly three-quarters of Republicans still refuse to accept that Russia interfered in the 2016 election – a fact that is glaringly obvious to everyone else, including the nation's intelligence community." (There we go again with the false suggestion of a consensus within the intelligence community.)

The Times also took to task Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, for seeking "a Special Counsel to investigate ALL THINGS 2016 – not just Trump and Russia." The Times insisted that "None of these attacks or insinuations are grounded in good faith."

But what are the Times editors so afraid of? As much as they try to insult and intimidate anyone who demands serious evidence about the Russia-gate allegations, why shouldn't the American people be informed about how Washington insiders manipulate elite opinion in pursuit of reversing "mistaken" judgments by the unwashed masses?

Do the Times editors really believe in democracy – a process that historically has had its share of warts and mistakes – or are they just elitists who think they know best and turn away their noses from the smell of working-class people at Walmart?

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

mike k , December 13, 2017 at 9:54 pm

The NYT is just another tool of the multi-billionaire oligarchs who rule this USA from the shadows. They fear nothing more than the light. When that investigative light gets strong enough, more and more ordinary folks will begin to awake to the massive fraud that has been perpetrated at their expense. And when that happens, we will finally see the Oligarchy begin to crumble under the pressure of the 99%. The truth will out, then heads will roll ..

mike k , December 13, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Keep up the pressure – get your friends interested, tell them about CN, Counterpunch, Strategic-Culture, Chris Hedges, etc. Pursuing the truth can be a fascinating hobby, that leads to a person awakening. Make it interesting, awaken your friend's curiosity.

incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:04 am

How about also including RT in your list? It's a news and commentary site with strong journalistic values and credibility, notwithstanding what the Administration or the MSM may say or imply.

T.J , December 14, 2017 at 8:45 am

If RT didn't have the qualities you describe, attempts by the Administration and the MSM to discredit it would have been successful. However they will attempt to silence it by other means.

Adam Kraft , December 14, 2017 at 11:59 am

Very true TJ. I found counterpunch when wapo / propornot blacklisted them. Gave 'em creds imo. I also like mint press, occupy, naked capitalism, **world socialist website**, disobedient media, truthout, some of Glenns work on the Intercept and my youtube subs include: wearechange, **anonymous Scandinavia**, **the jimmy dore show**, RT America, TeleSUR English*, Zoon Politikon, **democracy at work**, HA Goodman, theRealNews*, mintpressnews, watching the hawks, secular talk, laura kinhtlinger, judicial watch, empire files, redacted tonight, TBTV, a little from Julian Assange's twitter.

tina , December 14, 2017 at 11:06 pm

what about Al-Jazeera?

Erik G , December 14, 2017 at 8:03 am

Good suggestion; in such persuasion, one must respectfully suggest better sources and avoid any conflict.

Mr. Parry has well summarized for beginners these essential counterpoints to the mass media propaganda.

Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
https://www.change.org/p/new-york-times-bring-a-new-editor-to-the-new-york-times?recruiter=72650402&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
While Mr. Parry may prefer independence, and we all know the NYT ownership makes it unlikely, and the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.

Amyg , December 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm

I like this use of "awakened," in contrast to the establishment culture's fascination with "woke." People don't need to get woke. They need to become awakened. Thanks to Robert Parry.

Walter Devine , December 13, 2017 at 10:15 pm

I thought we were waiting to hear what the evidence is found. The lack of discussion about what they have uncovered seems to me to speak of a professional operation. Once they are done and present what they have found, then everyone can get on their soap boxes and let loose. As for Bias, that exists in everyone to some extent or another, where was the moral outrage from the Republicans charging this today when the Benghazi investigation was being conducted by folks with known axes to grind themselves? It is the Washington hypocrisy machine at its most obvious. As for the media, print or otherwise, they are just preaching to their choirs in order to sell whatever their particular consumers are buying. Frankly I have come to expect more from you than this article Mr. Parry, here's hoping

Robert Gardner , December 13, 2017 at 10:45 pm

I've been skeptical out the Russian conspiracy so far, but I agree with what Walter Devine wrote.

tina , December 13, 2017 at 11:42 pm

I am still waiting . Mr. Parry can ride on his story back in the 1980's. We are in 2017, The internet is good. What did those people in Washington do today? get rid of net neutrality? Love you all people on CN, Happy Hanukah Merry Christmas, and Kwanzaa, And the winter solstice. Peace to all. Love, tina everyone is going to believe that they want to believe.

incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:08 am

Are you kidding about Benghazi? Obviously you have still not informed yourself about the egregious security breakdown of the Administration or how the Benghazi facility factored into the CIA's proxy war in Syria. (And, btw, where was Hillary "Rod up her Hiney" Clinton when that '3AM call' came in at 4pm?

Larco Marco , December 14, 2017 at 4:32 am

Hillary Rodham Clinton AND William Hamrod Clinton

Anna , December 14, 2017 at 12:56 am

Thank you for bringing attention to the Benghazi scandal: "FBI Chief Instructed Agents To Lie About Benghazi To Protect Hillary" http://yournewswire.com/fbi-lie-benghazi-hillary/

"By placing the interests of the Obama administration over the public's interests, the order is yet another data point highlighting the politicization of the FBI: After the September 11, 2012 attack against U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration peddled a lie, telling the public that the attack was related to Muslims who had become enraged at an anti-Islam YouTube video, and not a planned act of terrorism – despite Hillary Clinton emailing Chelsea Clinton from her unsecure @clintonemail.com server the night of the attack to say exactly that."

-- On a topic of evidence: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/anti-trump-texts-between-fired-fbi-agents-having-extramarital-affair-leak-and-theyre "

In 2016, [the FBI] received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" The "dossier" was a compendium of allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Weeks before the 2016 election, Peter Strzok's FBI team agreed to pay former MI6 agent and Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele $50,000 if he could verify the claims contained within the dossier – which relied on the cooperation of two senior Kremlin officials. (One more time for you, Walter Devine -- "if he [Steele] could verify the claims"). When Steele was unable to verify the claims in the dossier, the FBI wouldn't pay him according to the New York Times.

Despite the fact that Steele was not paid by the FBI for the dossier, Peter Strzok used it to launch a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's team. Steele was ultimately paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS to assemble the dossier.

-- More evidence" "FBI Texts Reveal "Insurance Policy" To Prevent Trump Presidency" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/we-cant-take-risk-fbi-texts-reveal-insurance-policy-prevent-trump-presidency

-- Have you noticed the numbers for payments? The bank records? The names? -- these are the evidence. Or you believe that there a Bias against the miserable Steele?

bobzz , December 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Of interest to me is why the Republicans did not hammer Hillary for placing an ambassador in what was essentially a CIA compound in the first place. My guess and I can only guess is that they no objection to its being a ratline to ship Libya's stolen armaments to head-chopping jihadists (with USA blessing) fighting Assad. So to raise the issue of why putting an ambassador there would have opened the door to sensitive questions -- if the press would ask them, of course.

Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 4:28 pm

That's the real Benghazi story the MSM won't talk about. Although I suspect the armaments were given to the head choppers by the CIA, and then they rebelled at having them transferred to the head choppers in Syria after they had succeeded in killing Ghaddafi.

Jon Adams , December 14, 2017 at 6:17 pm

"Madame Secretary, WHY was it necessary to destroy Libya?" No republican asked THAT question.

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm

Hello Skip, nice to read your good comments again and to exchange info. Here is an article which talks about the weapons ratline in Syria. Within four days, the powerful anti-tank missiles that CIA bought in Bulgaria and (supposedly) delivered to "moderate" rebels, ended up in ISIS hands. The only problem with the article's narrative is that it is still drawing the official line that the lack of oversight is to blame for such, whilst it was clearly a deliberate action to supply weapons to ISIS wrapped up in plausible deniability of passing them through the hands of some poor inept souls serving as intermediaries.

Thus, the CIA kept being surprised that its powerful weapons kept ending up in ISIS hands but kept doing the same over and over: oops an oversight mistake, oops and another one, oops one more, and another one, . the two hundredth one

https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/blowback-isis-got-a-powerful-missile-the-cia-secretly?utm_term=.joevpx9dG#.lxegj54A7

Adrian Engler , December 14, 2017 at 3:44 am

Starting a grand-scale investigation on the basis of allegations of conspiracy with another government and treason is rather dubious when these allegations from dirty campaign tactics are not based on any tangible facts. It is true that the Muller team does not leak as much to the press as the intelligence services did previously. This investigation still plays an important role for the media propaganda that still pushes the Russiagate conspiracy theory even though there had never been any factual basis for it and no evidence has been found in over a year. Since there is still this investigation is going on, they can use it for justifying their daily minutes of hate against Russia, their calls for censorship and denounciation of any political position that diverges from the neoconservative and neoliberal ideology.

I wonder how long this can go on. So far, the indictments of the Muller team have had nothing to do with the Russiagate conspiracy theory. Paul Manafort was indicted for tax evasion related to lobbying business with Ukraine, mostly years ago. Michael Flynn was indicted because when he reported a call from his holidays to the Russian ambassador to the FBI more than three weeks later, he left out two elements (the FBI had the recordings from the NSA, anyway, so they wouldn't have had to ask him about the telephone call). There was nothing illegal about the contents of the telephone call (the most dubious thing was, of course, the lobbying related to a UN security council resolution vote, but that might at best hint at colluding with Israel, it certainly does not fit the Russiagate conspiracy theory). It seems quite plausible that Flynn just forgot these two elements of a telephone call in which quite a large number of points was raised and that he pleaded guilty because of a plea deal (otherwise he might have been indicted in connection with his lobbying work for Turkey). Superficially, the closest to the idea of Russiagate is the indictment of Papadopoulos, someone who played a minor role in the Trump campaign and was looking for contacts with Russians, but, as it seems did not get very far (for some reasons he seemed to think a Russian woman he was talking with was a relative of Putin). His actions may have been naïve or misguided, but nothing about them was illegal, like in the case of Michael Flynn, he is only accused of lying to the FBI about normal, legal actions.

So, if we judge the Muller investigation by its results, it is not going anywhere. Obviously, that is what should be expected when a commission is set up for investigating a conspiracy theory for which there had never been any evidence to begin with. I suppose the result would be similar if the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, or reptiloids were officially investigated.

The question is how they will wind down. If they just say that apart from things like Manafort's possible tax evation and Flynn's lobbying for Israel, they have not found anything – certainly nothing that confirms the Russiagate conspiracy theory -, that will be quite difficult, people will demand that it is investigated how it came about that such a conspiracy was spread and played such an influential role in political discourse for some time. It seems that the Muller team wants to delay that moment when they have to confess that the conspiracy theory has broken down, but that won't necessarily make it easier, either.

Antiwar7 , December 14, 2017 at 7:24 am

How long should we wait until we hear of ONE, that's right, ONE piece of evidence backing these claims up? Please answer: 2 years? 10 years? The only evidence so far amounts to "trust us".

And that's ignoring the monumental number of pieces of false evidence that have been put forward. That in itself makes the whole "investigation" suspicious. On top of the long, documented history of the CIA planting false stories in the press.

bobzz , December 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm

I don't know. How long did it take the Dutch to cook the evidence to condemn Russian partisans for the downing of the Malaysian airliner -- with Ukraine holding a gun to their heads.

Dunno , December 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Dear Mr. 7, I have come to the grudging conclusion that Russia-gate is and has always been more about Russia and Putin than about the crooked Don. If we stop to think about it, Trump has succumbed to the deep control of the Deep-State colossus. Russia evil; Israel good! Got it? When the pathetic wiener & crotch-grabber isn't bitchin' for Bibi and doing little pooch tricks for Israel, he is being programmed by the pentagon and the Deep State, and making sure that the super-rich get super richer. His own SOS Tillerson called him an effin' moron. Enough said!

Therefore, 7, Russia-gate is all about keeping the pot boiling for the presidential election in Russia next year. Demonizing Putin and Russia is the new great game of our era. The NWO Nebula lusts after Russia's geostrategic location and its abundant resources. It's 1905-1925 all over again. Read the book, "Wall Street and the Russian Revolution 1905-1925" by Richard B. Spence and also take a gander at Trine Day books' website of suppressed books. The deep-state Plutocrats and their secret societies hatch their evil little plots, while trying to keep the rest of us in the dark. Right now, Trump is a convenient platform for anti-Russian propaganda.

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Think you nailed it. The bankster regime changers already tried once to structurally adjust Russia into being a US puppet state in the 90s under Clinton. Russia was robbed blind while Yeltzin drank himself into a stupor. Putin is the one who put a stop to the looting. That is his crime against the western oligarchs and why he is enemy #1.

Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 8:10 am

Once more the standard troll line about being a prior supporter, which plainly "Devine" is not.
We are well over a year into this matter with nothing but speculation and manufactured claims.
It is clear that Russia-gate = Israel-gate, a diversion from zionist control of the DNC.
Where is the concern of "Devine" for the lack of investigation of control of elections and mass media by Israel?
Why does he seek to cover up the complete destruction of democracy by the foreign power Israel?

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Oliver Stone had this to say on the matter on FaceBook. If you're on FB, here is the link.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=oliver%20stone

Adam Kraft , December 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm

facts don't show bias walt. yeah, media sells to the public, but they're also selling (or trading narratives for access) to the gov't. Wikileaks exposed the MSM – DNC collusion and we've witnessed the leaks and anonymous sources from the IC. Trust the CIA?

There's no 'lack of discussion about what they have uncovered' which has basically amounted to a pile of dirt. Have not read from the VIPS and William Binney? Uncovering shady business with oligarchs doesn't show collusion, but the dossier oppo does, but it's business as usual. Denying the FBI-DNC server subpoena was odd don't you think?

I personally believe that progressive hope dies at the DNC and exposing the party's lies (their private and public views) and undemocratic practices (preliminary process, fundraising) is the best thing for the country. It brings us one step closer to potentially building a third party that represents the proletariat and petty bourgeois classes.

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm

I agree with your sentiment, but I'm finding it disturbing how many so called progressives are convinced beyond any doubt, despite the evidence I produce to instill doubt, that Russia interfered in "our democracy."

They have come unglued to the point of idiocy over Trump. They are firmly in the clutches of the CIA Deep State apparatus.

Anna , December 14, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Hey, Walter Devine, here is more for your whining about evidence: There are plenty of evidence when the disgusting clintonistas are concerned: http://theduran.com/fusion-gps-admits-that-it-hired-wife-of-doj-official-to-investigate-then-candidate-trump/

"Fusion GPS appears to be in the center of a web of corruption. Who hired Fusion GPS to ramp up its opposition research against Trump? Hillary Clinton and the DNC. the wife of Justice Department official Bruce G. Ohr worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential election. Nellie Ohr is listed as working for the CIA's Open Source Works department in a 2010 DOJ report." Look how the CIA, FBI, and DNC have found each other and made a friendship forever.

Also, do you personally have any concern about the murder of Seth Rich? -- Donna Brazil has become afraid of being Seth-Riched. How come? What kind of scum the Democratic apparatus has become? -- Guess Tony Podesta and Bill Clinton and madame "we came, we saw, he died ha, ha, ha " are the composite face of the Democratic Party today.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , December 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

@ Walter Devine: "Once they are done and present what they have found, then everyone can get on their soap boxes and let loose."

But overlook that the Democrats and mainstream media are doing the opposite? It seems to me that this is precisely the point that Mr. Parry's reporting has been aimed at, that the Democrats and mainstream media are jumping enormously to RussiaGate conclusions without disclosing any evidence to back up their incredibly dangerous claims and that there *is* very strong evidence of ulterior motives.

Gregory Herr , December 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

Have at it Walter. What exactly have they uncovered? The "process" lost credibility long ago. The "intelligence" report of January 6th was garbage and it's been all downhill since.

Peter de Klerk , December 14, 2017 at 8:53 pm

I had great respect Parry's earlier writing which had a healthy dose of MSM skepticism (albeit largely for personal reasons). This whole business of jumping to conclusions on the Russia meddling has put me off him totally. All the reporting seems to be in service of defending a forgone conclusion. I wonder if this has anything to do with fundraising.

falcemartello , December 13, 2017 at 10:28 pm

This whole Russia ate my lunch has entered the realm of alternate truth. The MSM are now actually stating that the Russian hacking the 2016 election as fact. Just like all the other false and fabricated statements of world events in the last 20 years . Fro Yugoslavia, Milosovic exonerated for the falsely laid charges of genocide . How convenient after his death . Qadaffi murdering and slaughtering his own people hence RPL interventionist and voila the highest standard of living in the African continent is now reduced to takfiri heaven for the NATO proxy army recruiting centre. MH17 disaster is still being paroled as Russian deliberate murder. No facts no evidence that would stand even in a Stalinist show trial. Assad gassing his own people. More than debunked by multiple sources and US academics to boot no still being paroled as fact by western MSM.

The whole charade post 9/11 has gone into this Orwellian nightmare that just keep on growing and news and information has become pure Hollwoodian fantasy that the sheeple are sleep walking into this futuristic hell hole that these vile masters of the universe will not be able to back track without losing face and without causing the populace to stand up and be counted and kick tjhese vile players out for good.

john wilson , December 14, 2017 at 6:00 am

Take heart Falcemartello, its not all bad. Over here in the Britain RT has its own free to view TV channel which sits next to the BBC news and the parliament programme. It is now widely watched by the public and has millions of viewers with many using RT as their main news source. The fact that the American deep state criminals have made things difficult for RT America in the US, is a clear indication that the fake news masters otherwise known as the MSN, and their handlers in the deep state are rattled by the ever growing alternative voice. Its up to you, me and the rest of the posters on CN to tell our friends colleagues and others about CN, RT etc. If only one percent take a look then alternative opinion will start to filter through and more importantly, show the public what liars and criminals are in charge of their country.

Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 8:15 am

Thanks for the info John. I am really glad that at least Britain has a reasonable degree of freedom of the press. If it spreads across Europe, the USA may eventually find itself so isolated by its own propaganda that the whole evil empire scheme will implode, and we will have to learn to wage peace in a multi-polar world. That is my Christmas wish.

BobS , December 14, 2017 at 11:36 am

It's not difficult to get RT in the US- I watch it regularly on Dish Network. Youtube is another option- I'm guessing it's big and rich enough to survive any changes in net neutrality that will result from the Trump/Pai FCC (of course, Obama and Clinton were just as bad, DEEP STATE!!!!, etc.).
If you're going to tout conspiracies, get your facts straight.

rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 4:48 pm

John Pilger has an article in counterpunch explaining the importance of documentaries (not just his!). It is notable that his first one, on Cambodia, in 1970, was shown free to air on TV in the UK and thirity other countries, with huge audience impact, but refused by PBS as too disturbing!!

The free press in the USA is in tune with the ptb.

rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm

I see the Pilger article is here on consortiumnews. It is worth a read, like the rest here!

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 7:58 pm

What you wrote john wilson is simply not the complete truth, although I wish it was. It is true that RT UK has its own terrestrial digital TV channel. It appears that Margarita Simonyan bid for such channel at an auction when Britain was converting from analogue to digital TV and got it. Thus, the British TV viewers can now see RT without any subscription or special equipment, "next to BBC" as you optimistically say.

What you did not mention john wilson is that the British Government regulator Ofcom is putting severe pressure on RT because their news offered an alternative view to the British propaganda. They rinse and repeat the same biased-news allegations almost every year, keeping RT UK under constant threat of the loss of its broadcasting licence due to "breach of truth standards" = "fake news". They even banned the lightbox, radio and other media advertising campaign of RT in Britain, the so called "RT is the second opinion", only because the campaign claimed that if RT existed before UK attack on Iraq in 2003, Tony Blair may have not been successful in passing the war resolutions through the parliament.

What most people do not appreciate is that the methods of suppression are not the same in all Western countries, and why should they be? Simonyan got a terrestrial TV channel and the broadcasting licence because of the British propaganda hubris – the British still believed that their post-imperial propaganda is the best in the World, just because it was the best in the world during the empire. They simply never expected the Russians to be so successful, just the same as US.

In summary:
US => force RT to register as a foreign agent to force reporting of every little detail of its operations; refuse journalistic credentials to Congress etc to disadvantage its reporting
UK => keep constant threat of the loss of broadcasting licence to skew the reporting towards the British Government version of the news

I post the links relevant to what I wrote here separately to avoid being put on hold.

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm

https://secondopinion.rt.com/

https://www.rt.com/about-us/press-releases/rt-uk-second-opinion/

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/nov/10/russia-today-ofcom-sanctions-impartiality-ukraine-coverage

https://theintercept.com/2015/03/02/uk-media-regulator-threatens-rt-bias-airing-anti-western-views/

Joe Tedesky , December 13, 2017 at 10:32 pm

Philip Giraldi writes about a shift occurring over at the CIA in Trump's favor, Politico's interview with a somewhat repentant Trump hater Mike Morell now saying 'maybe our plan wasn't that well thought out' , and now these MSM Russia Gate screwups coupled with a discovery of FBI Trump haters, is a result of Trump's recognizing Jerusalem as it being Israel's capital? Just say'n.

rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Obama's expulsion of the Russian diplomats after Trump's election, with no reason based on fact/danger to the USA gave a good start to the Russophobia encouraged by the Clinton losers and leading on to the ludicrous extreme situation still going on.

BobH , December 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Amen

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Spot on Bob, the unfortunate and idealistic Mr Seth Rich became the DNC's bottom line, the shining example of its "anything goes as long as we have friends in the right places" (FBI, DOJ, CIA, etc etc).

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm

Agreed. Let's not forget Process Server for the DNC Fraud Lawsuit Shawn Lucas who died mysteriously 2 weeks after serving the DNC either.

I never would have believed the rot in the Democratic Party establishment would rival the Republicans, but here we are.

Anon , December 14, 2017 at 8:23 am

"Tina" is a troll assigned to CN to claim extremism, and never presents evidence or argument.

Steven A , December 13, 2017 at 11:16 pm

This is another great review by Robert Parry. However, he again uses the formulation that "WikiLeaks published" and "WikiLeaks released" purloined DNC emails on September 13, 2016. Greenwald and the Washington Post have stated, more carefully, that WikiLeaks "promoted" the data source of these emails by means of a Tweet on that date.

Adam Carter noted in a comment under Parry's previous article that the DNC emails in question are the NGP/VAN files associated with Guccifer 2.0's pre-announced "hack" on July 5, 2016 and reportedly released by him on Sept 13, 2016.

In fact, they are certainly not part of WikiLeak's official archive. One can see from their website that they published nothing between the times of the DNC emails release of July 22, 2016 and the Podesta emails release of October 7. So "published" is clearly the wrong word.

Whether or in what sense it may fairly be stated that WikiLeaks "released", "promoted" or "uploaded" (as according to the Erickson email, which probably represents nothing more than an outsider's impression) the September 13 files needs to be cautiously assessed. Their Tweet did include an access key, as did the Erickson email, and the address for the file given in the latter was a "mega.nz" address. I assume that this address is associated with Kim Dot Com, who also claims to have been involved with WikiLeaks.

Did Guccifer 2.0 himself upload the files to mega.nz? Did he play Kim Dot Com to use the latter's association with Wikileaks to get Wikileaks itself to put out the Sept 13 Tweet advertising the data release? I'm not sure how this all worked, but it seems that it is misleading to simply refer to this set of emails as having been "published" by Wikileaks.

incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:12 am

Didn't you read the VIPS analyses of the DNC leaks?

Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 8:21 am

Yes, I did, but not while writing my comment above. Do they say anything relevant to the question of whether it is accurate to correct the false media report that the Trump campaign was given access to the NGP/VAN DNC emails before WikiLeaks published them with a "corrected" statement that the Trump campaign was notified (but may never have noticed) of a link to those files by a random member of the public _after WikiLeaks had already published them_? As I recall, the original VIPS memo was itself somewhat confused about the distinction between the NGP/VAN material and the five DNC documents made public by "Guccifer 2.0" on June 15, 2016, so I'm not sure one will find anything relevant to my question there.

While it is true that the "correction" here is _much_ closer to the truth than the original misinformation, the underlined part at the end of my question still seems misleading in that the "publication" is attributed to WikiLeaks without qualification. And it seems Parry is not the only one to make this mistake. As Adam Carter pointed out two days ago, he was very surprised that almost no one has been noticing that the files in question came from "Guccifer 2.0" and not from WikiLeaks. While Parry's attribution misleading, I am still not clear in my own mind about precisely what did happen, i.e. how WikiLeaks came to "promote" the release of the files and whether in some loose or indirect sense WikiLeaks did "release" them.

mike k , December 14, 2017 at 11:08 am

Is there really any other purpose in your involved questioning but seeking to cloud and confuse the obvious issues in the "Russia hacked" affair?

Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm

How is it clouding the issue to suggest, as Adam Carter did, that one element in Parry's (and others') description of the facts in an otherwise excellent article seems to be misleading?

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , December 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

@ "the address for the file given in the latter was a "mega.nz" address. I assume that this address is associated with Kim Dot Com, who also claims to have been involved with WikiLeaks."

Kim Dot Com's relationship with Mega was already extremely strained by the time of the Guccifer leaks and to the extent he ever had control of the company it had apparently ended. See e.g., https://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcom-warns-mega-users-to-backup-their-files-160421/

Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm

These are the sort of details I haven't been familiar with and about which I was hoping to learn more – so thanks! I was relying on a vague impression from memory when I made the link between the "mega.nz" address seen in the email from Erickson and Kim Dot Com.

Since the whole Guccifer 2.0 operation appears to be an attempt to falsely smear WikiLeaks as a Russian agent (by publicly claiming to be a hacker associated with WikiLeaks and then being "caught" releasing documents (the ones of June 15, 2016) with "Russian fingerprints"), perhaps his uploading files (Sept 13, 2016) to a server with (past) ties to someone associated with WikiLeaks (Kim Dot Com) would have been part of the same effort.

A contemporary article says this about the release: "'Guccifer 2.0' released over 670 megabytes of documents at a cybersecurity conference in London Tuesday . The documents were released on a file storage system and not on WikiLeaks or on Guccifer 2.0's website." https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/hacker-guccifer-2-0-releases-more-dnc-docs-including-tim-n647921

Thus the statement that "WikiLeaks published" the files in question (repeated by Parry, Justin Raimondo and others) appears to be false. I share the surprise expressed by Adam Carter (under Parry's previous piece) that few appear to have noticed or bothered to correct this error – even though they were on target in exposing the main part of the latest MSM lie.

robjira , December 14, 2017 at 12:17 am

Great related reporting on BAR.
https://www.blackagendareport.com/entire-russian-hacking-narrative-invalidated-single-assange-tweet
https://www.blackagendareport.com/russsiagate-and-collapse-obamas-war-against-syria

Bob Van Noy , December 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Excellent links, robjira. Thanks.

Karl Sanchez , December 14, 2017 at 12:57 am

Those of us who live within the Outlaw US Empire have been seduced by lies Big and small since we could understand language. RussiaGate is an example of a Big Lie, just as the Outlaw US Empire being a democracy is a Big Lie–both are indoctrinational. Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Great Pumpkin, Sand Man, Cupid, et al are other excellent examples of indoctrinational Big Lies. One of the most severe is the maxim delivered from parents: You must share and play nice, when the real world acts in the exact opposite fashion. What's more, RussiaGate serves as a cover-up for several major crimes–some by Clinton, some by DNC, some by FBI, some by Justice Department, and some by CIA: None of them are being actively investigated despite there being lots of evidence existing in the public domain, which is why we know those crimes occurred.

I very highly suggest reading this article, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/13/the-u-s-is-not-a-democracy-it-never-was/

Marko , December 14, 2017 at 2:22 am

The last great hope for the Dems :

"A Russian hacker accused of stealing from Russian banks reportedly confessed in court that he hacked the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) and stole Hillary Clinton's emails under the direction of agents from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB)"

PUTIN ORDERED THEFT OF CLINTON'S EMAILS FROM DNC, RUSSIAN HACKER CONFESSES
BY CRISTINA MAZA ON 12/12/17

http://www.newsweek.com/russian-hacker-stealing-clintons-emailshacking-dnc-putinsfsb-745555

irina , December 14, 2017 at 4:03 am

And on PBS tonite the author of this Atlantic article got to put in her two cents about Putin:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/putins-game/546548/

in which she stated that not only did Putin 'annex Crimea' but also invaded Ukraine, among other things. None of her statements were backed up by any facts, which apparently are irrelevant anymore. Wikipedia has an interesting bio on her.

Bob Van Noy , December 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

Thank you irina for that "catch". I'm a long time reader of "The Atlantic Magazine" well aware of its long, liberal history and was surprised to find David Frum reporting there. David was a speech writer for W. Bush and apparently came up with the infamous "Axis of Evil" tag for President Bush's State Of The Union speech. I'll link the Wikipedia page below for those interested. I'm concerned that propaganda has spread far and wide

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_of_evil

Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 8:56 am

Despite its extremely conclusive title and substance, the Newsweek article later admits the extremely suspect nature of the accusation, and the lack of any evidence whatsoever:

"Andrei Soldatov an expert on Russian cybersecurity, said he believes Kozlovsky invented the story about his direction from the FSB for personal gain. 'I've been communicating with [Kozlovsky] for four months, and he has failed to give me any proof or answer my questions," Soldatov told Newsweek .'He was put in jail by these guys so it could be out of revenge, or he wanted to make a deal with the FSB,'"

Such a reversal of evidence and conclusion bespeaks deliberate deception. The motive is unclear, as the failed Newsweek is said to have been revived in 2013 by a Korean-American Christian fundamentalist David Jang formerly of Moon's Unification Church, whose followers consider him the Second Coming of JC, according to the linked source. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/03/newsweek-ibt-olivet-david-jang/

Perhaps another quasi-religious CIA front like Fethullah Gulen's madrassas in Turkey and across central Asia.

exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:13 pm

They keep publishing the same horseshit just like Pravda did in the Soviet era and just like the Voelkischer Beobachter and Stuermer did during the Nazi era. I guess the uninformed hoi polloi get so used to it in these situations that they accept the situation, like ducks and frogs accept watery ponds as their environments.

Manfred Whimplebottem , December 14, 2017 at 9:20 pm

I think I heard a similar story from newsweek months ago, looks like someone took the deal(?).

FBI Probe Into Clinton Emails Prompted Offer of Cash, Citizenship for Confession, Russian Hacker Claims

"On October 5, 2016, days before U.S. intelligence publicly accused Russia of endorsing an infiltration of Democratic Party officials' emails, Nikulin was arrested in Prague at the request of the U.S. on separate hacking charges. Now, Nikulin claims U.S. authorities tried to pin the email scandal on him."

"ikulin's lawyer, Martin Sadilek, [claims] that the FBI visited him at least a couple of times, offering to drop the charges and grant him U.S. citizenship as well as cash and an apartment in the U.S. if the Russian national confessed to participating in the 2016 hacks of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta's emails in July."

"[They told me:] you will have to confess to breaking into Clinton's inbox for [U.S. President Donald Trump] on behalf of [Russian President Vladimir Putin]," Nikulin wrote"

http://www.newsweek.com/fbi-investigation-clinton-emails-russia-hack-607538

Wm. Boyce , December 14, 2017 at 2:33 am

I'm curious as to why this is still an issue. Here's a link to an article from last August:
http://www.businessinsider.com/top-fbi-investigator-peter-strzok-steps-away-from-russia-probe-2017-8

At that time, it wasn't known why Mr. Strzok was transferred/whatever from counter-intelligence, but since then it has been revealed that Mr. Mueller did so for his ( Strzok) political opinions. That would seem a fair thing to do. What's the problem? Might be right-wing fear.

Marko , December 14, 2017 at 4:43 am

" What's the problem? "

C'mon , man. Given Strzok's position and his influence on Russiagate AND the earlier Hillarygate investigations , the fact that he was transferred in July is of little comfort. Any damage he could do he'd already done by then. Jim Jordan will explain it to you , in six minutes :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=69&v=cShxjlUfmhk

exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm

The problem is that when that story first appeared, nothing else was disclosed. The damning material took months to emerge, as did Strzok's links to the Clinton coverups and the links to the fake dossier and the FBI's "anti-Trump" insurance policy. Those who want to believe the regime's falsehoods can always come up with rationales such as "I guess the government people know best" which was typical of the answers to sceptics against the Viet Nam war in the mid '60s.

Realist , December 14, 2017 at 2:43 am

It's been a year and a half since Hillary Clinton first accused Donald Trump of being a Putin puppet and in collusion with the Kremlin. Any fool should be able to understand that if there existed any real evidence to support this accusation the world would have seen it under banner headlines long ago. Instead, we get nothing but one set of sensational fake headlines unsupported by any actual facts time and again, all in an attempt to fool the mentally-challenged public. Yet the NYT and the rest of the yellow press continue to insist that the evidence continues to mount against Trump. What a laugh. Moreover, these deceivers are the people that want what they define as "fake news" to be systematically rooted out and stricken from the public record so no thinking person can ever see it. And, they tell us this is a free and democratic country. Got any more jokes?

Homina , December 14, 2017 at 3:48 am

Totally agree. And it reminds me of some reality "quest" shows about finding Bigfoot or the Oak Island treasure, etc.

If those were actually found, it would be reported a day or two later, unless every single one of the producers, actors, workers, etc. were under an NDA enough to wait until some season finale a year or two later. Ridiculous. If Bigfoot exists that will come to us on news, and big news, international. It won't come on a 4th season of some Bigfoot-finding show.

So yeah, season two of the Trump-Russia whatever.

Maddow/MSNBC and the likes have gone utterly insane. Bigfoot behind every door. Scant or zero facts, who cares. This isn't like Benghazi or White Water or Bush's air service this is 24/7 inane terrible journalism from nearly every journalist publisher in the US.

exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:30 am

I think that the new evidence discussed provides Trump the cover to pull the plug on the whole Mueller operation despite the Alabama debacle. Sure the media talkers would compare it to the Saturday Night Massacre, but the proven falsity of the whole absurd circus renders risible such comparisons. While I don't expect much out of Trump, the championing of this absurd theory by the mainstream democrats renders them an existential threat to civilization itself based on the fact that enmity with Russia seems to be their be-all and end-all. It is all not only criminal but profoundly stupid.

Homina , December 14, 2017 at 3:40 am

"The primary purpose of Mr. Mueller's investigation is not to take down Mr. Trump. It's to protect America's national security and the integrity of its elections by determining whether a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election – a proposition that grows more plausible every day."

1. How is Russia an "adversary"? And even if Russia is, that's weasel-words and subjective. Is Turkey a foreign adversary? Is Israel? China? Mexico?

2. Why wasn't there decades ago a special Election Panel looking into foreign influence? I guess it just started to happen in this last election though .Only with Putin!

3. "more plausible" .this fucking idiot. After a year of headlines of "this is what will finally take down Trump" and such, all with zero reasons, zero facts .Is naught more plausible than naught?

4. I detest Trump. I more detest hypocrites and idiots.

But sure, "blah blah more possible take trump down" says some idiot or collective NYT idiocy. Bore me more your next op-ed, you partisan morons.

Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Yes, the NYT is mere propaganda. We already know that "a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election" because Clinton's top ten donors were all Zionists, and she supported all wars for Israel.

Rich Monahan , December 14, 2017 at 3:57 am

Thank you for your spot-on analysis! The motives of the deep state – including FBI operatives, NY Times and WAPO – is crystal clear. They do not want Trump to be president, and are determined to either remove him or handcuff him indefinitely. But why? Why has the establishment gone crazy? Is it simply political, or something deeper and darker?

Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

The real "deep" reason is the PNAC plot to make sure that the USA remains the sole super power that can impose its will anywhere in the world. Trump's campaign position of seeking detente with Russia would have led us into a multi-polar world giving Russia a sphere of influence. That is unacceptable to the empire.

RussiaGate is an attempt to remove Trump from power, or at a minimum make it impossible for him to seek detente. I am no Trump apologist, but I do think our only hope for a future in this nuclear age is to seek peace and cooperation in a multi-polar world that respects national sovereignty and the rule of law. I suspect Trump will continue to be brought to heel, with or without the success of RussiaGate. And there is always the JFK solution as a last resort.

M C Martin , December 14, 2017 at 6:08 am

Where is William Binney's "Thin String" signals intelligence (SIGINT) software when it's needed? Wouldn't it be lovely to focus it on the communications of our own government? Binney says applying it after 9/11 to the pre-9/11 communications streams did successfully predict the 9/11 attacks. If only we had stored all communications of government officials dating back to . hey, let's say 1774 or so, what truths might we now know, and what proofs might we now have? What would FDR's communications prior to Pearl Harbor reveal? What about the JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X assassinations?

While I can't endorse our government's illegal and immoral collection and storing of virtually all communications among people, if the store is there and is used against petty criminals, why couldn't or shouldn't it be used to detect and prove the illegal acts of our government power brokers?

What's good for the goose

[Dec 10, 2017] When Washington Cheered the Jihadists Consortiumnews

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany. ..."
"... A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .) ..."
"... So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs." ..."
"... The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark. ..."
"... The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place. ..."
"... The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency." ..."
"... ancien régime, ..."
"... With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway. ..."
"... Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad. ..."
"... So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it. ..."
"... It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for. ..."
"... The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy ..."
"... I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them. ..."
"... The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. ..."
"... Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business. ..."
"... It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people! ..."
"... The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC. ..."
"... This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end. ..."
"... Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves. ..."
"... On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives. ..."
"... The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria. ..."
"... Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities. ..."
"... An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena." ..."
"... The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)." ..."
"... To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime." ..."
"... The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines. ..."
"... The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime. ..."
"... The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians. ..."
"... In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision." ..."
"... Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making ..."
"... General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria. ..."
"... The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection. ..."
"... That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions". ..."
"... The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces. ..."
"... I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm ..."
"... Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. ..."
"... Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. ..."
"... The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic. ..."
"... Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union. ..."
"... All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth. ..."
"... There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html ..."
"... Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg. ..."
"... The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth. ..."
"... The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292 ..."
"... This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions ..."
"... Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated ..."
"... So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either. ..."
"... From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm". ..."
"... For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree. ..."
"... I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit. ..."
"... Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking. The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences. ..."
"... I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r? ..."
"... Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars. ..."
"... Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy. ..."
"... Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace? ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

When a Department of Defense intelligence report about the Syrian rebel movement became public in May 2015, lots of people didn't know what to make of it. After all, what the report said was unthinkable – not only that Al Qaeda had dominated the so-called democratic revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for years, but that the West continued to support the jihadis regardless, even to the point of backing their goal of creating a Sunni Salafist principality in the eastern deserts.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative in August 2014.

The United States lining up behind Sunni terrorism – how could this be? How could a nice liberal like Barack Obama team up with the same people who had brought down the World Trade Center?

It was impossible, which perhaps explains why the report remained a non-story long after it was released courtesy of a Judicial Watch freedom-of-information lawsuit . The New York Times didn't mention it until six months later while the Washington Post waited more than a year before dismissing it as "loopy" and "relatively unimportant." With ISIS rampaging across much of Syria and Iraq, no one wanted to admit that U.S. attitudes were ever anything other than hostile.

But three years earlier, when the Defense Intelligence Agency was compiling the report, attitudes were different. Jihadis were heroes rather than terrorists, and all the experts agreed that they were a low-risk, high-yield way of removing Assad from office.

After spending five days with a Syrian rebel unit, for instance, New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers wrote that the group "mixes paramilitary discipline, civilian policing, Islamic law, and the harsh demands of necessity with battlefield coldness and outright cunning."

Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, assured the Washington Post that "al Qaeda is a fringe element" among the rebels, while, not to be outdone, the gossip site Buzzfeed published a pin-up of a "ridiculously photogenic" jihadi toting an RPG.

"Hey girl," said the subhead. "Nothing sexier than fighting the oppression of tyranny."

And then there was Foreign Policy, the magazine founded by neocon guru Samuel P. Huntington, which was most enthusiastic of all. Gary Gambill's " Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists ," which ran on the FP web site just a couple of weeks after the DIA report was completed, didn't distort the facts or make stuff up in any obvious way. Nonetheless, it is a classic of U.S. propaganda. Its subhead glibly observed: "So the rebels aren't secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn't much matter."

Assessing the Damage

Five years later, it's worth a second look to see how Washington uses self-serving logic to reduce an entire nation to rubble.

First a bit of background. After displacing France and Britain as the region's prime imperial overlord during the 1956 Suez Crisis and then breaking with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser a few years later, the United States committed itself to the goal of defeating Arab nationalism and Soviet Communism, two sides of the same coin as far as Washington was concerned. Over the next half-century, this would mean steering Egypt to the right with assistance from the Saudis, isolating Libyan strong man Muammar Gaddafi, and doing what it could to undermine the Syrian Baathist regime as well.

William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany.

A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .)

Since the United States didn't like what such governments were doing, the solution was to install more pliable ones in their place. Hence Washington's joy when the Arab Spring struck Syria in March 2011 and it appeared that protesters would soon topple the Baathists on their own.

Even when lofty democratic rhetoric gave way to ominous sectarian chants of "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin," U.S. enthusiasm remained strong. With Sunnis accounting for perhaps 60 percent of the population, strategists figured that there was no way Assad could hold out against religious outrage welling up from below.

Enter Gambill and the FP. The big news, his article began, is that secularists are no longer in command of the burgeoning Syrian rebel movement and that Sunni Islamists are taking the lead instead. As unfortunate as this might seem, he argued that such a development was both unavoidable and far from entirely negative.

"Islamist political ascendancy is inevitable in a majority Sunni Muslim country brutalized for more than four decades by a secular minoritarian dictatorship," he wrote in reference to the Baathists. "Moreover, enormous financial resources are pouring in from the Arab-Islamic world to promote explicitly Islamist resistance to Assad's Alawite-dominated, Iranian-backed regime."

So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs."

The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark.

"So long as Syrian jihadis are committed to fighting Iran and its Arab proxies," the article concluded, "we should quietly root for them – while keeping our distance from a conflict that is going to get very ugly before the smoke clears. There will be plenty of time to tame the beast after Iran's regional hegemonic ambitions have gone down in flames."

Deals with the Devil

The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place.The Islamists were something America could employ to their advantage and then throw away like a squeezed lemon. A few Syrians would suffer, but America would win, and that's all that counts.

The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency."

Where Gambill predicted that "Assad and his minions will likely retreat to northwestern Syria," the DIA speculated that the jihadis might establish "a declared or undeclared Salafist principality" at the other end of the country near cities like Hasaka and Der Zor (also known as Deir ez-Zor).

Where the FP said that the ultimate aim was to roll back Iranian influence and undermine Shi'ite rule, the DIA said that a Salafist principality "is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

Bottle up the Shi'ites in northwestern Syria, in other words, while encouraging Sunni extremists to establish a base in the east so as to put pressure on Shi'ite-influenced Iraq and Shi'ite-ruled Iran.

As Gambill put it: "Whatever misfortunes Sunni Islamists may visit upon the Syrian people, any government they form will be strategically preferable to the Assad regime, for three reasons: A new government in Damascus will find continuing the alliance with Tehran unthinkable, it won't have to distract Syrians from its minority status with foreign policy adventurism like the ancien régime, and it will be flush with petrodollars from Arab Gulf states (relatively) friendly to Washington."

With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway.

Disastrous Thinking

Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad.

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video] War-time destruction totals around $250 billion , according to U.N. estimates, a staggering sum for a country of 18.8 million people where per-capita income prior to the outbreak of violence was under $3,000. From Syria, the specter of sectarian violence has spread across Asia and Africa and into Europe and North America as well. Political leaders throughout the advanced industrial world are still struggling to contain the populist fury that the Middle East refugee crisis, the result of U.S.-instituted regime change, helped set off.

So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it.

It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for.

The forum is particularly well known for its Campus Watch program, which targets academic critics of Israel, Islamists, and – despite Gambill's kind words about "suicide bombings and roadside bombs" – anyone it considers the least bit apologetic about Islamic terrorism.

Double your standard, double the fun. Terrorism, it seems, is only terrorism when others do it to the U.S., not when the U.S. does it to others.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

Babyl-on , December 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm

I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them.

The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. When that happens the world will return to the gold standard + Bitcoin possibly and US dollar hegemony will end. After that the trillion dollar a year military and the 20 trillion debt take on a different meaning. Before that slaughter non-stop will continue.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:31 am

Really, Baby-lon, your first short paragraph sums this piece by Lazare perfectly and makes the rest of his blog seem rather pointless. Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business.

Jerald Davidson , December 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

Babyl-on and John Wilson: you have nailed it. The last thing the US (gov't.) wants is peace. War is big business; casualties are of no concern (3 million Koreans died in the Korean War; 3 million Vietnamese in that war; 100's of thousands in Iraq [including Clinton's sanctions] and Afghanistan). The US has used jihadi proxies since the mujahedeen in 1980's Afghanistan and Contras in Nicaragua. To the US (gov't.), a Salafist dictatorship (such as Saudi Arabia) is highly preferable to a secular, nationalist ruler (such as Egypt's Nasser, Libya's Gaddafi, Syria's Assad).
So the cover story of the jjihadi's has changed – first they are freedom fighters, then terrorists. What does not change is that in either case they are pawns of the US (gov't.) goal of hegemony.
(Incidentally, Drew Hunkins must be responding to a different article.)

BannanaBoat , December 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Exactly Baby right on, Either USA strategists are extremely ignorant or they are attempting to create chaos, probably both. Perhaps not continuously but surely frequently the USA has promoted war prior to the last 73 years. Native Genocide , Mexican Wars, Spanish War, WWI ( USA banker repayment war)

Richard , December 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Exactly Babylon! Looks like consortiumnews is turning into another propaganda rag. Assad was allied with Russia and Iran – that's why the U.S. wanted him removed. Israel said that they would preferred ISIS in power over Assad. The U.S. would have happily wiped out 90% of the population using its terrorist proxies if it thought it could have got what it wanted.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

CN tends to make moderate statements so as to communicate with those most in need of them. One must start with the understandings of the audience and show them that the evidence leads further.

Richard , December 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

Sam F, no, it's a DELIBERATE lie in support of U.S. foreign policy. The guy wrote: "the NAIVE belief that jihadist proxies could be used to TRANSFORM THE REGION FOR THE BETTER." It could have been written as: "the stated justification by the president that he wanted to transform the region for the better, even though there are often ulterior motives."

It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people!

Either Robert Parry or the author wrote that introduction. I suspect Mr Parry – he always portrays the president as having a heart of gold, but, always, sadly, misinformed; being a professional journalist, he knows full well that people often only read the start and end of an article.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm

What we have occurring right now in the United States is a rare divergence of interests within our ruling class. The elites are currently made up of Zionist-militarists. What we're now witnessing is a rare conflict between the two factions. This particular internecine battle has reared its head in the past, the Dubai armaments deal comes to mind off the top of my head.

Trump started the Jerusalem imbroglio because he's concerned about Mueller's witch hunt.

The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC.

Since Trump's concerned about 1.) Mueller's witch hunt (he definitely should be deeply concerned, this is an out of control prosecutor on mission creep), and 2.) the almost total negative coverage the press has given him over the last two years, he's made a deal with the Zionist Power Configuration; Trump, effectively saying to them: "I'll give you Jerusalem, you use your immense influence in the American mass media to tamp down the relentlessly hostile coverage toward me, and perhaps smear Mueller's witch hunt a bit ".

This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end.

How this all eventually plays out is anyone's guess indeed. Let's just make sure it doesn't end with mushroom clouds over Tehran, Saint Petersburg, Paris, Chicago, London, NYC, Washington and Berlin.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Trump's purported deviation from foreign policy orthodoxy regarding both Russia and Israel was a propaganda scam engineered by the pro-Israel Lobby from the very beginning. As Russia-gate fiction is progressively deconstructed, the Israel-gate reality becomes ever more despicably obvious.

The shamelessly Israel-pandering Trump received the "Liberty Award" for his contributions to US-Israel relations at a 3 February 2015 gala hosted by The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news.

"We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent." VIDEO minutes 2:15-8:06 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiwBwBw7R-U

After the event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, which raised speculation about a Trump bid for the presidency. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

Trump's purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel's commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel's undivided capital, were all stage-managed for the campaign.

Cheap theatrics notwithstanding, the Netanyahu regime in Israel has "1000 percent" support from the Trump regime.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 8:10 pm

If Trump were totally and completely subservient to Netanyahu he would have bombed Damascus to remove Assad and would have bombed Tehran to obliterate Iran. Of course thus far he has done neither. Don't get me wrong, Trump is essentially part and parcel of the Zionist cabal, but I don't quite think he's 1,000% under their thumb (not yet?).

I don't think the Zionist Power Configuration concocted Trump's policy of relative peace with the Kremlin. Yes, the ZPC is extremely powerful in America, but Trump's position of detente with Moscow seemed to be genuine. He caught way too much heat from the mass media for it to be a stunt, it's almost torpedoed his presidency, and may eventually do just that. It was actually one of the very few things Trump got right; peace with Russia, cordial relations with the Kremlin are a no-brainer. A no-brainer to everyone but the military-industrial-complex.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Russian. Missiles. Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves.

Whether it was "bird strike" or something more technological that recently grounded the "mighty" Israeli F-35I, it's clear that America isn't eager to have those "Inherent Resolve" jets, so busily not bombing ISIS, painted with Russian SAM radar.

Russia made it clear that Trump's Tomahawk Tweet in April 2017 was not only under totally false pretenses. It had posed a threat to Russian troops and Moscow took extra measures to protect them.

Russian deployment of the advanced S-400 system on the Syrian coast in Latakia also impacts Israel's regional air superiority. The S-400 can track and shoot down targets some 400 kilometers (250 miles) away. That range encompasses half of Israel's airspace, including Ben Gurion International Airport. In addition to surface-to-air missiles installations, Russian aircraft in Syria are equipped with air-to-air missiles. Those weapons are part of an calculus of Israeli aggression in the region.

Of course, there's much more to say about this subject.

WC , December 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Here's a good one from Hedges (for what little good it will do). https://www.truthdig.com/articles/zero-hour-palestine/

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:34 am

Surely, Drew, even the brain washed sheep otherwise known as the American public can't seriously believe that their government armed head choppers in a bid to bring peace to the region, can they?

Drew Hunkins , December 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Yup Mr. Wilson. It's too much cognitive dissonance for them to process. After all, we're the exceptional nation, the beacon on the hill, the country that ONLY intervenes abroad when there is a 'right to protect!' or it's a 'humanitarian intervention.' As Ken Burns would say: Washington only acts "with good intentions. They're just sometimes misplaced." That's all. The biggest global empire the world has ever seen is completely out of the picture.

mike k , December 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

When evil people with evil intentions set out to do something in the world, the result is evil. Like Libya, or Iraq, or Syria. Why do I call these people who killed millions for their own selfish greed for power evil? If you have to ask that, then you just don't understand what evil is – and you have a lot of company, because many people believe that evil does not even exist! Such sheeple become the perfect victims of the evil ones, who are destroying our world.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:36 am

Correction, Mike. The public do believe that evil exists but they sincerely think that Putin and Russia are the evil ones'

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm

One of the ways to avoid recognizing evil is to ascribe it to inappropriate, incorrect sources usually as a result of believing misleading propaganda. Another common maneuver is to deny evil's presence in oneself, and believe it is always "out there". Or one can feel that "evil" is an outmoded religious concept that is only used to hit at those one does not like.

Mild - ly Facetious , December 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Oh Jerusalem: Requiem for the two-state solution (Gas masks required)

https://electronicintifada.net/content/oh-jerusalem-requiem-two-state-solution/22521

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm

On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/24/syria-rebels-nsa-saudi-prince-assad/

Marked "Top Secret" the NSA memo focuses on events that unfolded outside Damascus in March of 2013.

The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria.

Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm

An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena."

The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime."

The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines.

The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime.

The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Y274U7QIs

Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making:

Hasan: "You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn't listening?"

Flynn: "I think the administration."

Hasan: "So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?"

Flynn: "I don't know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision."

Hasan: "A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Flynn: "It was a willful decision to do what they're doing."

Holding up a paper copy of the 2012 DIA report declassified through FOIA, Hasan read aloud key passages such as, "there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

Rather than downplay the importance of the document and these startling passages, as did the State Department soon after its release, Flynn did the opposite: he confirmed that while acting DIA chief he "paid very close attention" to this report in particular and later added that "the intelligence was very clear."

Lt. Gen. Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, is the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record saying the United States and other state sponsors of rebels in Syria knowingly gave political backing and shipped weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to put pressure on the Syrian regime:

Hasan: "In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you're worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?"

Flynn: "I hate to say it's not my job but that my job was to was to to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be."

Flynn unambiguously confirmed that the 2012 DIA document served as source material in his own discussions over Syria policy with the White House. Flynn served as Director of Intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during a time when its prime global mission was dismantling Al-Qaeda.

Flynn's admission that the White House was in fact arming and bolstering Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria is especially shocking given his stature. The Pentagon's former highest ranking intelligence officer in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden confessed that the United States directly aided the Al Qaeda terrorist legions of Ayman al-Zawahiri beginning in at least 2012 in Syria.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency

Full Transcript: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2016/01/transcript-michael-flynn-160104174144334.html

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm

"Flynn would later tell the New York Times that this 2012 intelligence report in particular was seen at the White House where it was 'disregarded' because it 'didn't meet the narrative' on the war in Syria. He would further confirm to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that Defense Department (DoD) officials and DIA intelligence in particular, were loudly warning the administration that jihadists were leading the opposition in Syria -- warnings which were met with 'enormous pushback.' Instead of walking back his Al Jazeera comments, General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria.

"In a personal exchange on his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, legendary DoD intelligence officer and former presidential briefer Pat Lang explained [ ] that the DIA memo was used as a 'warning shot across the [administration's] bow.' Lang has elsewhere stated that DIA Director Flynn had 'tried to persuade people in the Obama Administration not to provide assistance to the Nusra group.' It must be remembered that in 2012 what would eventually emerge as distinct 'ISIS' and 'Nusra' (AQ in Syria) groups was at that time a singular entity desiring a unified 'Islamic State.' The nascent ISIS organization (referenced in the memo as 'ISI' or Islamic State in Iraq) was still one among many insurgent groups fighting to topple Assad.

"In fact, only one year after the DIA memo was produced (dated August 12, 2012) a coalition of rebels fighting under the US-backed Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo were busy celebrating their most strategic victory to date, which served to open an opposition corridor in Northern Syria. The seizure of the Syrian government's Menagh Airbase in August 2013 was only accomplished with the military prowess of fighters identifying themselves in front of cameras and to reporters on the ground as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

"Public embarrassment came for Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford who reluctantly confirmed that in fact, yes, the US-funded and supplied FSA commander on the ground had personally led ISIS and Nusra fighters in the attack (Ford himself was previously filmed alongside the commander). This after the New York Times publicized unambiguous video proof of the fact. Even the future high commander of Islamic State's military operations, Omar al-Shishani, himself played a leading role in the US sponsored FSA operation."

Obama and the DIA 'Islamic State' Memo: What Trump Gets Right
By Brad Hoff
https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/07/01/obama-and-the-dia-islamic-state-memo-what-trump-gets-right/

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm

"one first needs to understand what has happened in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries in recent years. The original plan of the US and Saudi Arabia (behind whom stood an invisible Israel) was the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and his replacement with Islamic fundamentalists or takfiris (Daesh, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra).

"The plan involved the following steps:

"It was an ambitious plan, and the Israelis were completely convinced that the United States would provide all the necessary resources to see it through. But the Syrian government has survived thanks to military intervention by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Daesh is almost defeated and Iran and Hezbollah are so firmly entrenched in Syria that it has driven the Israelis into a state of fear bordering on panic. Lebanon remains stable, and even the recent attempt by the Saudis to abduct Prime Minister Saad Hariri failed.

"As a result, Saudi Arabia and Israel have developed a new plan: force the US to attack Iran. To this end, the 'axis of good"' (USA-Israel-Saudi Arabia) was created, although this is nothing new. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab States in the Persian Gulf have in the past spoken in favor of intervention in Syria. It is well known that the Saudis invaded Bahrain, are occupying it de facto, and are now at war in Yemen.

"The Israelis will participate in any plan that will finally split the Sunnis and Shiites, turning the region into rubble. It was not by chance that, having failed in Lebanon, they are now trying to do the same in Yemen after the murder of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"For the Saudis and Israelis, the problem lies in the fact that they have rather weak armed forces; expensive and high-tech, but when it comes to full-scale hostilities, especially against a really strong opponent such as the Iranians or Hezbollah, the 'Israel/Wahhabis' have no chance and they know it, even if they do not admit it. So, one simply needs to think up some kind of plan to force the Shiites to pay a high price.

"So they developed a new plan. Firstly, the goal is now not the defeat of Hezbollah or Iran. For all their rhetoric, the Israelis know that neither they nor especially the Saudis are able to seriously threaten Iran or even Hezbollah. Their plan is much more basic: initiate a serious conflict and then force the US to intervene. Only today, the armed forces of the United States have no way of winning a war with Iran, and this may be a problem. The US military knows this and they are doing everything to tell the neo-cons 'sorry, we just can't.' This is the only reason why a US attack on Iran has not already taken place. From the Israeli point of view this is totally unacceptable and the solution is simple: just force the US to participate in a war they do not really need. As for the Iranians, the Israeli goal of provoking an attack on Iran by the US is not to defeat Iran, but just to bring about destruction – a lot of destruction [ ]

"You would need to be crazy to attack Iran. The problem, however, is that the Saudis and the Israelis are close to this state. And they have proved it many times. So it just remains to hope that Israel and the KSA are 'crazy', but 'not that crazy'."

The Likelihood of War with Iran By Petr Lvov https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/09/the-likelihood-of-war-with-iran/

BobH, December 8, 2017 at 7:13 pm

The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection.

That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions".

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

There WAS dissension within the Pentagon, not only about being in a coalition with the Gulf States and Turkey in support of terrorist forces, but about allowing ISIS to invade Ramadi, which CENTCOM exposed by making public that US forces watched it happen and did nothing. In addition, CENTCOM and SOCOM publicly opposed switching sides in Yemen.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/17/us-generals-think-saudi-strikes-in-yemen-a-bad-idea.html

A senior commander at Central Command (CENTCOM), speaking on condition of anonymity, scoffed at that argument. "The reason the Saudis didn't inform us of their plans," he said, "is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think -- that it was a bad idea.

Military sources said that a number of regional special forces officers and officers at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) argued strenuously against supporting the Saudi-led intervention because the target of the intervention, the Shia Houthi movement -- which has taken over much of Yemen and which Riyadh accuses of being a proxy for Tehran -- has been an effective counter to Al-Qaeda.

The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces.

BobH , December 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Thanks, I never read anything about it in the MSM (perhaps Aljazeera was an exception?). However, this doesn't explain Gen. Flynn's tight relationship with Turkey's Erdogan who clearly backed the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels to the point of shooting down a Russian jet over Syria.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:57 am

The fighter shoot-down incident was before Erdogan's reversals in Syria policy.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm

I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

B. THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.

C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA, AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.

C. IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN).

D. THE DETERIORATION OF THE SITUATION HAS DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON THE IRAQI SITUATION AND ARE AS FOLLOWS:

–1. THIS CREATES THE IDEAL ATMOSPHERE FOR AQI TO RETURN TO ITS OLD POCKETS IN MOSUL AND RAMADI, AND WILL PROVIDE A RENEWED MOMENTUM UNDER THE PRESUMPTION OF UNIFYING THE JIHAD AMONG SUNNI IRAQ AND SYRIA ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY

https://geopolitics.co/2015/12/22/dempseys-pentagon-aided-assad-with-military-intelligence-hersh/
London Review of Books Vol. 38 No. 1 · 7 January 2016
Military to Military: US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war
Seymour M. Hersh

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn't doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,' Flynn told me. 'We understood Isis's long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.' The DIA's reporting, he said, 'got enormous pushback' from the Obama administration. 'I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.'

j. D. D. , December 9, 2017 at 8:33 am

Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. Ironically, the MSM is now going bananas over his support for nuclear power in the region, which he had tied to desalination of sea water, toward alleviating that crucial source of conflict in the area.

Abbybwood , December 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm

I believe Wesley Clark told Amy Goodman that he was handed the classified memo regarding the U.S. overthrowing seven countries in five years starting with Iraq and ending with Iran, in 2001, not 2006. He said it was right after 9/11 when he visited the Pentagon and Joint Chief of Staff's office and was handed the memo.

jaycee , December 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm

The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic.

One disturbing common feature across the years have been US sponsored airlifts of Islamist fighters facing defeat, as seen in Afghanistan in late 2001 and just recently in eastern Syria. In 2001, some of those fighters were relocated to North Africa, specifically Mali – the roots of the Islamist insurgency which has destabilized that country over the past few years. Where exactly the ISIS rebels assisted some weeks ago were relocated is yet unknown.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union.

Hence the birth of the Mujaheddin and Bin Laden, the rest is history.

j. D. D. , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

The article does not support the sub-headline. There is no evidence provided, nor is there any evidence to be found, that Washington's policy in the region was motivated by anything other than geopolitical objectives.

David G , December 9, 2017 at 7:25 am

I think that phrasing may point to the hand of editor Robert Parry. The incredible value of CN notwithstanding, Parry in his own pieces (erroneously in my eyes) maintains a belief that Obama somehow meant well. Hence the imputation of some "naïve" but ultimately benevolent motive on the part of the U.S. genocidaires, as the whole Syria catastrophe got going on Obama's watch.

Anon , December 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

The imputation of naivete works to avoid accusation of a specific strategy without sufficient evidence.

Skip Scott , December 9, 2017 at 9:45 am

Although I am no fan of Obama, and most especially the continuation of the warmongering for his 8 years, he did balk at the "Red line" when he found out he was being set up, and it wasn't Assad who used chemical weapons. I don't think he "meant well" so much as he knew the exact length of his leash. His bragging about going against "The Washington playbook" was of course laughable; just as his whole hopey/changey thing was laughable with Citigroup picking his cabinet.

Stephen , December 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Off topic but you can listen to some of Obama's banking handiwork here: https://sputniknews.com/radio_loud_and_clear/201712091059844562-looming-government-shutdown-will-democrats-fight-trumps-pro-rich-plan/ It starts at about minute 28:14. It explains the whole reaction by Obama and Holder to the banking fiasco in my mind. Sorry but I had to get it from the evil Rooski radio program.

Lois Gagnon , December 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm

All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth.

Stephen J. , December 8, 2017 at 8:42 pm

There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

MarkU , December 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare." What a load of old rubbish, naïve belief indeed. it is difficult to believe that anyone could write this stuff with a straight face.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

That Gary Gambill character "outed" himself as a Zionist on September 4 of this year. He appears to have mastered the propaganda associated with the breed. At the link see if you can find any mention of the murders, thefts, ethnic cleansing, or apartheid of his adopted nation. Blaming the victim may be this fellow's specialty. Sample:

The well-intentioned flocked in droves to the belief that Israeli- Palestinian peace was achievable provided Israel made the requisite concessions, and that this would liberate the Arab-Islamic world from a host of other problems allegedly arising from it: bloated military budgets, intolerance of dissent, Islamic extremism, you name it.

Why tackle each of these problems head on when they can be alleviated all at once when Israel is brought to heel? Twenty years later, the Middle East is suffering the consequences of this conspiracy of silence.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-accidental-Zionist-504221

Gerry , December 9, 2017 at 4:51 am

The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth.

It takes courage to go against the flow of course and one can only hope that the Americans are what they think they are: courageous and strong enough to hear their cherished truths smashed, allow the scales before their eyes to fall and practise free speech and free thought.

Theo , December 9, 2017 at 6:35 am

Thanks for this article and many others on this site.In Europe and in Germany you hardly hear,read or see any of these facts and their connections.It seems to be only of marginal interest.

Josh Stern , December 9, 2017 at 6:49 am

The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292

triekc , December 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions.

Beginning in the 1990's, neocons who would become W's cabinet, wrote detailed plans of military regime change in Middle East, but stating they needed a "strong external shock to the United States -- a latter-day 'Pearl Harbor", to get US sheeple to support increased militarism and global war. Few months after W took office, and had appointed those war mongering neocons to positions of power, Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated

Joe Tedesky , December 9, 2017 at 11:27 am

You commented on what I was thinking, and that was, 'remember when al Queda was our enemy on 911'? So now that bin Laden is dead, and his al Queda now fights on our side, shouldn't the war be over? And, just for the record who did attack us on 911?

So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either.

Knowing the Pentagon mentality they probably have an 'al Queda combat medal' to pin on the terrorists chest. Sarcasm I know, but seriously is anything not within the realm of believable when it comes to this MIC establishment?

Christene Bartels , December 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

Great article and spot on as far as the author takes it. But the world is hurtling towards Armageddon so I'd like to back things up about one hundred years and get down to brass tacks.

The fact of the matter is, the M.E. has never been at total peace but it has been nothing but one colossal FUBAR since the Ottoman Empire was defeated after WWI and the Allied Forces got their grubby, greedy mitts on its M.E. territories and all of that luscious black gold. First up was the British Empire and France and then it really went nuclear (literally) in 1946 when Truman and the U.S. joined in the fun and decided to figure out how we could carve out that ancient prime piece of real estate and resurrect Israel. By 1948 ..violà ..there she was.

So now here we sit as the hundred year delusion that we knew what the hell we were doing comes crashing down around us. Seriously, whoever the people have been who thought that a country with the historical perspective of a toddler was going to be able to successfully manage and manipulate a region filled with people who are still tribal in perspective and are still holding grudges and settling scores from five thousand years ago were complete and total arrogant morons. Every single one of them. Up to the present moment.

Which gets me down to those brass tacks I alluded to at the beginning of my comment. Delusional crusades lead by arrogant morons always, always, always end up as ash heaps. So, I would suggest we all prepare for that rapidly approaching conclusion accordingly. For me, that means hitting my knees.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Middle Eastern people are no more "tribal" or prone to holding grudges than any other people. Middle Eastern people have exhibited and practiced peaceful and tolerant living arrangements within several different contexts over the centuries. Iraq had a fairly thriving middle class and the Syrians are a cultured and educated people.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Syrian society is constructed very much within the construct of close family ties and a sense of a Syrian homeland. It is solely the business of the Syrian people to decide whether the socialist Ba'ath government functions according to their own sense of realities and standards. Some of those realities may include aspects of a necessitated national security state (necessitated by CIA and Israeli subterfuge) that prompts shills to immediately characterize the Assad government as "an authoritarian regime" and of course that's all you need to know. Part of what pisses the West off about the Syrians is that they are so competent, and that includes their intelligence and security services. One of the other parts is the socialist example of government functioning in interests of the general population, not selling out to vultures.

It bothers me that Mr. Lazare wrote: "Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair." Really? Well the Syrian government can hardly be blamed for the vile strategy of using terrorist mercenaries to take or destroy a people's homeland–killing horrific numbers of fathers, mothers, and children on the way to establish some kind of Wild West control over Damascus that can then be manipulated for the typical elite deviances. What was purposely planned and visited upon the Syrian people has had human consequences that were known and disregarded by the planners. It has been and continues to be a grave crime against our common humanity that should be raised to the roof of objection! People like Gambill should be excoriated for their crass appraisal of human costs .and for their contrived and twisted rationalizations and deceits. President Assad recently gave an interview to teleSUR that is worth a listen. He talks about human costs with understanding for what he is talking about. Gambill doesn't give a damn.

BASLE , December 9, 2017 at 10:46 am

From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm".

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:08 am

Yes, Israel is the cut-out or fence for US politicians stealing campaign money from the federal budget. US policy is that of the bribery sources and nothing else. And it believes that to be professional competence. For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree.

Herman , December 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare."

Lazare makes the case very well about our amoral foreign policy but I think he errs in saying our aim was to "transform the region for the better." Recent history, going back to Afghanistan shows a very different goal, to defeat our enemies and the enemies of our allies with little concern for the aftermath. Just observing what has happened to the people where we supported extremists is evidence enough.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men. We hope the conscience of our nation is bothered by our behavior but we know that is not true, and we sleep very well, thank you.

Marilyn Vogt-Downey , December 9, 2017 at 11:18 am

I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit.

There is ample evidence–see the Brookings Institute study among many others–that the Gulf monarchies–flunkies of US imperialism–who "host" dozens of US military bases in the region, some of them central to US war strategy–initiated and nourished and armed and financed the "jihadi armies" in Syria AND Libya AND elsewhere; they did not do this on their own. The US government–the executive committee of the US ruling class–does not naively support the Gulf monarchies because it doesn't know any better! Washington (following British imperialism) organized, established and backed these flunky regimes. They are autocratic, antediluvian regimes, allowing virtually civil rights, with no local proletariat to speak of, no popular base. They are no more than sheriffs for imperialism in that region of the world, along with the Zionist state of Israel, helping imperialism do the really dirty work.

I research this and gathered the evidence to support what I just asserted in a long study printed back in Dec. 2015 in Truthout. Here is the link: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34151-what-is-the-war-on-terror-and-how-to-fight-it

Look at the evidence. Stop the totally foolish assessment that the US government spends all this money on a war machine just to "naively" blunder into wars that level entire nations–and is not taking on destruction of the entire continent of Africa to eliminate any obstacles to its domination.

No! That is foolish and destructive. Unless we look in the face what is going on–the US government since its "secret" intervention in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s, has recruited, trained, armed, funded and relied on jihadi armies to unseat regimes and destabilize and destroy populations and regimes the US government wants to overthrow, and destroy, any that could potentially develop into an alternative model of nationalist, bourgeois industrial development on any level.

Wake up!!! The evidence is there. There is no reason to bumble and bungle along as if we are in the dark.

Randal Marlin , December 9, 2017 at 11:26 am

Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking.
The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences.

Behind all this is the thinking that the survival of Israel outweighs anything else in any global ethical calculus. Those who don't accept this moral premise but who believe in supporting the survival of Israel have their work cut out for them. This work would be made easier if the U.S. population saw clearly what was going on, instead of being preoccupied with salacious sexual misconduct stories or other distractions.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

A Russian interceptor has been scrambled to stop a rogue US fighter jet from actively interfering with an anti-terrorist operation, the Russian Defense Ministry said. It also accused the US of provoking close encounters with the Russian jets in Syria.

A US F-22 fighter was preventing two Russian Su-25 strike aircraft from bombing an Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) base to the west of the Euphrates November 23, according to the ministry. The ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov described the episode as yet another example of US aircraft attempts to prevent Russian forces from carrying out strikes against Islamic State.

"The F-22 launched decoy flares and used airbrakes while constantly maneuvering [near the Russian strike jets], imitating an air fight," Konashenkov said. He added that the US jet ceased its dangerous maneuvers only after a Russian Su-35S fighter jet joined the two strike planes.

If this story is true, then it illustrates a number of things. First, the US is still providing ISIS air cover. Second, either the F-22 pilot or his commander is dumber than dirt. The F-22 may be a fine airplane, but getting into a contest with an equally fine non-stealth airplane at eyeball distances means throwing away every advantage of the super-expensive stealth.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

https://www.rt.com/news/412590-russia-us-syria-air-force/

Pablo Diablo , December 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Gotta keep the War Machine well fed and insure Corporate control of markets and taking of resources.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

In October 1973, a nuclear armed rogue state almost triggered a global thermonuclear war.

Yom Kippur: Israel's 1973 nuclear alert
By Richard Sale
https://www.upi.com/Yom-Kippur-Israels-1973-nuclear-alert/64941032228992/

Israel obtained operational nuclear weapons capability by 1967, with the mass production of nuclear warheads occurring immediately after the Six-Day War. In addition to the Israeli nuclear arsenal, Israel has offensive chemical and biological warfare stockpiles.

Israel, the Middle East's sole nuclear power, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In 2015, the US-based Institute for Science and International Security estimated that Israel had 115 nuclear warheads. Outside estimates of Israel's nuclear arsenal range up to 400 nuclear weapons.

Israeli nuclear weapons delivery mechanisms include Jericho 3 missiles, with a range of 4,800 km to 6,500 km (though a 2004 source estimated its range at up to 11,500 km), as well as regional coverage from road mobile Jericho 2 IRBMs.

Additionally, Israel is believed to have an offshore nuclear capability using submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles, which can be launched from the Israeli Navy's Dolphin-class submarines.

The Israeli Air Force has F-15I and F-16I Sufa fighter aircraft are capable of delivering tactical and strategic nuclear weapons at long distances using conformal fuel tanks and supported by their aerial refueling fleet of modified Boeing 707's.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona, fled to the United Kingdom and revealed to the media some evidence of Israel's nuclear program and explained the purposes of each building, also revealing a top-secret underground facility directly below the installation.

The Mossad, Israel's secret service, sent a female agent who lured Vanunu to Italy, where he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and smuggled to Israel aboard a freighter. An Israeli court then tried him in secret on charges of treason and espionage, and sentenced him to eighteen years imprisonment.

At the time of Vanunu's kidnapping, The Times reported that Israel had material for approximately 20 hydrogen bombs and 200 fission bombs by 1986. In the spring of 2004, Vanunu was released from prison, and placed under several strict restrictions, such as the denial of a passport, freedom of movement limitations and restrictions on communications with the press. Since his release, he has been rearrested and charged multiple times for violations of the terms of his release.

Safety concerns about this 40-year-old reactor have been reported. In 2004, as a preventive measure, Israeli authorities distributed potassium iodide anti-radiation tablets to thousands of residents living nearby. Local residents have raised concerns regarding serious threats to health from living near the reactor.

According to a lawsuit filed in Be'er Sheva Labor Tribunal, workers at the center were subjected to human experimentation in 1998. According to Julius Malick, the worker who submitted the lawsuit, they were given drinks containing uranium without medical supervision and without obtaining written consent or warning them about risks of side effects.

In April 2016 the U.S. National Security Archive declassified dozens of documents from 1960 to 1970, which detail what American intelligence viewed as Israel's attempts to obfuscate the purpose and details of its nuclear program. The Americans involved in discussions with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and other Israelis believed the country was providing "untruthful cover" about intentions to build nuclear weapons.

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm

The machinations of those seeking to gain advantages for themselves by hurting others, are truly appalling. If we fail to name evil for what it is, then we fail as human beings.Those who look the other way as their country engages in an organized reign of terror, are complicit in that enormous crime.

Den Lille Abe , December 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm

The path the US has chosen since the end of WWII has been over dead bodies. In the name of "security", bringing "Freedom" and "Democracy" and complete unconstrained greed it has trampled countless nations into piles of rubble. To say it is despised or loathed is an overwhelming understatement. It is almost universally hated in the third world. Rightly. Bringing this monstrosity to a halt is a difficult task, and probably cannot be done militarily without a nuclear war, economically could in the end have the same outcome, then how?

Easy! Ruin its population. This process has started, long ago. The decline in the US of health, general wealth, nutrition, production, education, equality, ethics and morals is already showing as cracks in the fabrics of the US.

A population of incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns, in a country with a crumbling infrastructure, full of environmental disasters is 21 st century for most Americans. In all the areas I mentioned the US is going backwards compared to most other countries. So the monster will come down.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:20 pm

I think you are being a little hard on the incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns

I am not sure who is more loathsome the evangelicals who were supporting the Bush / Cheney cabal murderous wars until the bitter end or the liberal intelligentsia careerist cheerleaders for Obama and Hilary's Wars in Iraq and Syria, who also dont give a damn about another Arab country being destroyed and sold into slavery as long as Hillary gets elected. At least with the former group, you can chalk it up to a lack of education.

Linda Wood , December 10, 2017 at 1:52 am

This is possibly the most intelligent and hopeful discussion I have read since 9/11. It says that at least some Americans do see that we have a fascist cell in our government. That is the first step in finding a way to unplug it. Best wishes to all of you who have written here. We will find a way to put war out of business.

Barbara van der Wal-Kylstra , December 10, 2017 at 2:46 am

I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r?

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:18 am

Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars.

Luutzen , December 10, 2017 at 9:15 am

Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy.

mike k , December 10, 2017 at 11:05 am

The US Military is part of the largest terrorist organization on Earth. For the super rich and powerful rulers of that US Mafia, the ignorant religious fanatics and other tools of Empire are just pawns in their game of world domination and universal slavery for all but themselves. These monsters of evil delight in profiting from the destruction of others; but their insatiable greed for more power will never be satisfied, and will become the cause of the annihilation of every living thing – including themselves. But like other sold out human addicts, at this point they don't really care, and will blindly pursue their nightmare quest to the very end – and perhaps they secretly hope that that final end of everything will at last quench their burning appetite for blood and gold.

Joe Tedesky , December 10, 2017 at 11:12 am

I'm leaving a link to a very long David Swanson article, where Mr Swanson goes into quite a lot of detail to how the U.S. wages war.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/12/76-years-pearl-harbor-lies.html

Brendan , December 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm

What's interesting of course is how not just Washington, but much of the 'left' also cheered on the jihadists.

Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace?

[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 McGove