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Obama: a yet another Neocon in foreign policy

Obama like Clinton before him is yet another "CIA-democrat". He managed to inflate a giant, empty balloon of promises of hope and change for working Americans in domestic policy delivering goods and protecting ruling neoliberal kleptocracy

Thos who claim that Obama was born in Kenya miss the point: he was incubated by CIA

News Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Recommended Links Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton New American Militarism Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Obama, the Prince of Bait-and-Switch Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Robert Kagan Samantha Power Wolfowitz Doctrine
 "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Hillary Clinton email scandal Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Madeleine Albright Color revolutions Leo Strauss and the Neocons
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Deception as an art form The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
Mayberry Machiavellians John Dilulio letter Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Big Uncle is Watching You Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Guardian paper LA Times Paper by Neal Gabler Washington Post paper by Mike Allen  From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few American Exceptionalism Politically Incorrect Humor Etc


It would be wrong to excuse the inaction of the Obama DOJ and SEC crews as being the result of some larger “corrosion of our collective values.”

The capos in those crews are the people doing the corroding, and not one of them was forced to (not) do what they did.

Notice that every last one of the initial bunch is presently being paid, by Wall Street, to the tune of millions of dollars per year. They opted to cover up crimes and take a pay-off in exchange. And they are owed punishment.

Obama said all the right things while methodically doing the bidding of oligarchy. He captured the imagination of millions, if not billions, around the world with his soaring rhetoric, yet rarely skipped a beat when it came to the advancement of imperial policies. He made bailing out Wall Street, droning civilians and cracking down on journalists seem progressive. He said one thing, did another, and people ate it up. This is an extraordinarily valuable quality when it comes to a vicious and unelected deep state that wants to keep a corrupt empire together.

Valissa -> jsn... , 01 March 2018 at 07:44 PM

Obama became famous as the first President who used counterintelligence powers to investigate the opposition party’s presidential campaign. In this case Trump campaign. There was no criminal deeds to justify an investigation of any Trump-campaign official. So, the FBI did not open a criminal investigation. Instead, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation and hoped that evidence of crimes committed by Trump officials would emerge. Such an abuse of power to use counterintelligence powers, including spying and electronic surveillance, is a sign of a mature "national security state". An interesting nuance was the Obama used British MI6 too to spy on Trump. His head of CIA was involved in creation and dissimilation of Steele dossier, which was MI6 product.  

He also produced several other notable dirty tricks including his unprecedented "bait and switch" scam.   That's why his election slogan -- "Change we can believe in"  -- became a synonym for snake oil in the modern English. According to Wikipedia

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are "baited" by merchants' advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items ("switching").

 Obama is perhaps the most lethal combination of neolib & neocon, a darling of the "deep state". While deception was used by all presidential candidates, past and present, Obama can be called Prince of bait and switch tactics. Even "Slick Willy"  with his "it's economy stupid" did not reach the higher of betrayal of the electorate delivered by Obama  with his famous and completely fraudulent "change we can believe it" slogan.  

Nicknamed "Barack CIA 0bama" and 'teleprompter" he actually represents the second president closely allied with CIA (the first was Bush the Older; Obama might be the third, as Bill Clinton connections with  CIA during his time in Arkansas recently resurfaced too).  He symbolized the merger of  economic/financial interests of financial oligarchy (neolib) with the imperial ambitions of neocon -- both well represented in US intelligence  services, especially CIA, which was actually created by Wall Street lawyers for Wall Street policies enforcement, despite initial desire of Truman to see it as an informational agency, and not as a "cloak and dagger" agency.  And in just 15 year the agency start playing a political role on the USA as it was instrumental in JFK assassination. After Triumphal march of neoliberalism from late 70th till late 90th and quote coup against the New Deal under Reagan, the viability of the USA and the USA led global neoliberal empire is now closely tied to the viability of the transnational corporations, for whom the USA Department of State, CIA and the USA military are serving as an enforcer.

Actually it is proper not to view Obama as a person. Obama is more of an artificially created political brand. He was brought to power by the pure force of advertizing, which exploit the fact that you can project wishes of electorate into any person with no political history (the trick later repeated with Trump). That's how famous  fake slogan "change we can believe in" was created. Political promises that later will be  discarded with impunity were the rule of the political game in the USA probably since Reagan. With Obama they just achieved  a new level in which the person itself was also an artificial construct, an actor. 

They managed to prove that the real person does not matter (similarly to how Caligula wanted to make his  horse a senator). A constructed "image" is enough.  And absence of previous political experience is ideal prerequisite for the construction of the fake image that electorate wants (which is the essence of "change we can believe in" trick.) BTW, during Presidential elections cycle Obama managed to outspend republican McCain (the darling of MIC) mostly due to financial industry contributions. Tell me who is paying for your election, and I will tell what policies you will pursue ;-)

And Obama campaign once again demonstrated old truth: Democratic Party just plays the role of destroyer of radical left, while Republican Party plays the same role for radical right. This provides a kind of political stability. Those two parties being two wings of a singles "Neoliberal Party of the USA."  See also   Trump vs. Deep State.

And Obama was preselected by the same "deep state" handlers, which preselected Bill and Hillary Clinton. All talks about democracy after 1963, when "shadow government" came in power in the USA is akin to a slick advertizing trick. All the US people are allowed to do is to confirm one two preselected by deep state politicians (who later can prove to be a complete puppets, or not), providing political legitimacy.

Obama has close ties with the "deep state" are undeniable. Historically Obama spend some time working in Business International Corporation, the CIA outlet (Wikipedia)

In the late summer of 1983, future United States President Barack Obama interviewed for a job at Business International Corporation. He worked there for "little more than year."[3] As a research associate in its financial services division, he edited Financing Foreign Operations, a global reference service, and wrote for Business International Money Report, a weekly financial newsletter.[4] His responsibilities included "interviewing business experts, researching trends in foreign exchange, following market developments. . . . He wrote about currency swaps and leverage leases. . . . Obama also helped write financial reports on Mexico and Brazil.[5]

See also Verified CIA Front, Business International Corp, Paid for Obama’s Columbia College Tuition

 Export Blueprint

After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Barack Obama went to work for a firm called Business International Corporation (BIC), a firm that was linked to economic intelligence gathering for the CIA.

For one year, Obama worked as a researcher in BIC’s financial services division where he wrote for two BIC publications, Financing Foreign Operations and Business International Money Report, a weekly newsletter. An informed source has told WMR that Obama’s tuition debt at Columbia was paid off by BIC.

In addition, WMR has learned that when Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and his adoptive father Lolo Soetoro, the 20-year-old Obama, who was known as “Barry Soetoro,” traveled to Pakistan in 1981 and was hosted by the family of Muhammadmian Soomro, a Pakistani Sindhi who became acting President of Pakistan after the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf on August 18, 2008. WMR was told that the Obama/Soetoro trip to Pakistan, ostensibly to go “partridge hunting” with the Soomros, related to unknown CIA business.

The covert CIA program to assist the Afghan mujaheddin was already well underway at the time and Pakistan was the major base of operations for the CIA’s support. Obama also reportedly traveled to India, again, on unknown business for U.S. intelligence. WMR has been told by knowledgeable sources that Obama has, in the past, traveled on at least three passports: U.S., Indonesian, and British. BIC also maintained a European subsidiary, Business International S.A., in Geneva. BIC had long been associated with CIA activities since being founded by Eldridge Haynes, a self-professed liberal Democrat. The BIC headquarters was located at the prestigious address of 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan. BIC held a series of off-the-record, no press, meetings between top U.S. business executives and top government officials, including the President, and the Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, Commerce, and Labor; the Attorney General, Senate leadership, and the heads of the Export-Import Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. BIC held international meetings in locations like Brussels and Mexico City.

In 1986, BIC was bought by the Economist Group in London and its operations were merged with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). There have been a number of reports that the EIU works as closely with Britain’s MI-6 intelligence service as BIC once worked with or for the CIA. One of BIC’s directors was the late Lord Pilkington, who was also a director of the Bank of England.

Obama’s work for a company having ties to the CIA barely registered a blip on the 2008 presidential campaign radar screen. At the very least, Obama helped in providing economic intelligence to the CIA as a contract employee. At most, Obama was, like previous BIC employees who operated abroad for the CIA, a full-fledged non-official cover (NOC) agent. Since President Obama has backpedaled on CIA renditions and torture, as well as warrantless electronic surveillance by U.S. intelligence, he owes the American people a full explanation of the circumstances behind his being hired by BIC, what his job actually entailed, and whether he continued to have a relationship with BIC or any other CIA operation while attending Harvard Law School and thereafter.

In foreign policy Obama was simply a close variation of Bush II, and can well be called Bush III. He behaved like a staunch neocon (like Hillary Clinton to whom he "outsourced" his foreign policy during his first term in the office). He was a firm believer in American Exceptionalism (which is a flavor of radical nationalism), in the necessity of the US global dominance at all costs, in the maintenance and expansion of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. He managed to destroy one country (Libya) and institute a regime change operation in other (Ukraine), unleashing civil war in both. He also unleashed  regime change operations and civil war in Syria, essentially creating ISIS.

During his presidency he never got tied of imperial adventures and bombing poor brown people (The Bush-Obama-Neocon Doctrine):

It’s official: When it comes to foreign policy, Barack Obama’s first term is really George W. Bush’s third. Bill Kristol, son of the late neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol and editor of the Weekly Standard, declared that Obama is “a born-again neocon” during a March 30 appearance on the Fox News Channel’s Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld. Kristol’s remark came in the context of a discussion of Obama’s consultation with Kristol and other influential columnists prior to his March 28 address to the nation about his military intervention in Libya. Gutfeld quizzed Kristol about the President’s asking him for “help” with his speech. Kristol denied that Obama had sought his help. Instead, Kristol said,

In case anyone missed the significance of Kristol’s comment, Gutfeld made it clear: “We’ve got the drones. We’ve got military tribunals. We’ve got Gitmo. We’re bombing Libya. People who voted for Obama got four more years of Bush.”

Kristol agreed, adding: “What’s the joke — they told me if I voted for McCain, we’d be going to war in a third Muslim country…. I voted for McCain and we’re doing it.”

Of course, to Kristol, calling someone a neocon is a compliment. Indeed, Kristol praised Obama’s speech on the Weekly Standard blog, saying the President “had rejoined — or joined — the historical American foreign policy mainstream.” The speech was “reassuring,” Kristol explained, saying, “The president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn’t shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests.” In other words, it was a neocon speech, cloaking the use of violence in the language of liberty and treating the U.S. military as the President’s personal mercenaries to reshape the globe rather than as defenders of the territorial United States.

This is not the first time Kristol and other neocons have lauded Obama’s foreign policy. After Obama made a speech in 2009 announcing he was sending more troops to Afghanistan — that is, he was replicating Bush’s Iraq “surge” in another location — Michael Goldfarb, a Weekly Standard writer, asked Kristol for his reaction to the speech. “He said he would have framed a few things differently,” Goldfarb related, “but his basic response was: ‘All hail Obama!’”

Similarly, when the President last August claimed that “the American combat mission in Iraq has ended” while asserting that “our commitment to Iraq’s future is not” ending, New York Post resident neocon John Podhoretz applauded Obama for his “rather neoconservative speech, in the sense that Neoconservatism has argued for aggressive American involvement in the world both for the world’s sake and for the sake of extending American freedoms in order to enhance and preserve American security.” [Emphasis in original.]

Sheldon Richman, writing in Freedom Daily, reminded readers of just exactly what neocon policies have wrought:

Just to be clear, the neocons were among the key architects of the war against Iraq in 1991, followed by the embargo that killed half a million children. That war and embargo set the stage for the 9/11 attacks, which were then used to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq (an ambition long predating 9/11) and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, American’s [sic] longest military engagement — all of which have killed more than a million people, wreaked political havoc, and made life in those countries (and elsewhere) miserable. Let’s not forget the drone assassination and special ops programs being run in a dozen Muslim countries. The neocon achievement also has helped drive the American people deep into debt.

Nice crowd Obama is hanging with these days. And that’s no exaggeration. Frederick Kagan, one of the top neocon brains and a signatory of the Project of the New American Century imperial manifesto, now works for Gen. David Petraeus.

Barack Obama, the candidate of “change we can believe in,” turned out to be the President of “more of the same.” Lest there remain any doubt about this, one need only turn to establishment news organ Time magazine. There Mark Halperin, explaining “why Obama’s Libya address was strong,” states quite bluntly: “George W. Bush could have delivered every sentence.”

In foreign policy the crown achievement of Obama was putsch in Ukraine, which brought in power far right government of Western Ukrainian nationalists, destroyed the Ukrainian economy, plunging the majority of population into abysmal, Central-African-level poverty (less then $2 a day) and unleashed civil war in Donbass region. But strategically it cut the most important of post-Soviet Republics from Russia, and that all that matters for Obama and his handlers. 

In internal, domestic  policy Obama was iether criminally negligent or criminally complicit , serving as a stooge of financial oligarchy. Essentially trying to imitate worst features of Clinton administration (despite deep hate between Obama and Clinton families, especially Michelle and Hillary; the later called Hillary Hilderbeast). He continued, but is much slower page (as after 2008 the wind changed the direction) the same deregulation policies and destruction the remnants of the New Deal.

The crown achievement of Obama is the push for TPP (derailed by Trump), which would  impoverish working Americans, proliferate McJobs and contractor jobs instead of normal full-time well paying jobs (that were the cornerstone of the New Deal) and enlarge the third country that exists within the USA today (50 million Americans who are on food stamps are in reality not a regular "upscale" US citizens, that world wants to imitate, but a citizens of this third world country within the USA).  In other words he was a selloff. The neoliberal transformation of the economy that all three last administrations advocated proved to be a cruel joke.

If you do not pay people well they can't buy the products on their income and go deeply into debts, trying to maintain their sliding standard of living.  While debt is freely available under neoliberalism to "shmucks" (lower 99% of the US population; the upper 0.1% is called  the "Masters of the Universe"), people can carry only so much of it and at some point the system goes into deep crisis and debt reached the critical mass and sink the economy. 

So you get into "let them eat cakes" situation, in which Obama and Hillary Clinton found themselves during the Democratic convention, when Sanders supporters walked out, it is understandable why they unleashed the new McCarthyism campaign against Russia. They faced the problem of  Demexit and fueling anti-Russian hysteria was a convenient way of offloading the responsibility for this political fiasco and preventing Demexit  from becoming a catastrophe for the neoliberalized by Bill Clinton Democratic Party, which betrayed its working class and lower middle class voters in favor of Wall street financial oligarchy.   

The rise of Trump and Bernie Sanders in the recent presidential election also signify the crisis of neoliberal governance within the USA. People simply became fed of immigration,. globalization and, most important, destruction of jobs and the standard of living for the majority of the population.

People are just fed up with the establishment and the prince of "bait and switch Obama, despite  much better  popularly ratings at the end of his presidency, he is as a disastrous president as Buss II was. Just with slightly darker skin, and without the same speech mistakes. Although it is difficult to say for any teleprompter loving President what was his actual level of conversation. Obama mostly avoid "open questions" interviews during his presidency which suggest that he was afraid of such encounters, where teleprompter is not available. 

What features defines the neocon foreign policy

 

The essence of imperial hubris is the belief that one's country is omnipotent; that the country can shape and create reality. The country's main aspiration is to create clients, dependencies and as the Godfather Zbigniew Bzrezinski candidly put it, "vassals".

Such a mindset does not just appreciate the reality of contingency; it also does not appreciate the nature of complex systems. The country's elites believe that both soft and hard power should be able to ensure the desired outcomes. But resistance to imperial designs and blowback from the imperial power's activities induce cognitive dissonance. Instead of such cognitive crises leading to a return to reality, they lead to denial amongst this elite. This elite lives in a bubble. Their discourse is intellectually incestuous and anybody that threatens this bubble is ostracized. Limits are set to what can be debated.

That is why realists like John Mearsheimer, Steve Walt, Michael Scheuer and Stephen Cohen are ignored by this elite even though their ideas are very germane. If other countries don't bow down to their dictates, they have only a combination of the following responses: sanctions, regime change and chaos. The paradox is that the more they double down with their delusions the more the country's power continues to decline. My only hope is that this doubling down will not take the world down with it.

Makutwa Omutiti | Aug 4, 2017 3:51:17 PM | 25

The neoconservative impulse became visible in modern American foreign policy since Reagan but became dominant ideology and foreign policy practice during criminal George W. Bush administration, which unleashed disastrous for American people Iraq war and destabilized the region, which eventually led to creation of ISIS. Those disastrous neoconservative policies were continued during Obama administration ("Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place. Especially sinister role was played  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton  while she was the Secretary of State. She was the butcher of Libya and Syria.

Unlike traditionalist conservatism (which in the USA survived in the form of Paleoconservatism) and preaches noninterventionism, Neoconservatism has nothing to do with conservative doctrine at all. This is neoliberal interpretation of Trotskyism -- neoTrotskyism. Like neofascism it glories militarism (in the form of New American Militarism as described by Professor Bacevich),. emphasizes confrontation, and regime change in countries hostile to the interests of global corporation and which are a barrier of spread of neoliberalism and extension of global, US dominated neoliberal empire. It is extremely jingoistic creed.

The unspoken assumptions of neocon cult have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual wars of neoliberal conquest. It also led to destabilization of the whole regions, creation of political Islam and at the end creation of ISIS and "institutionalization" of  suicide bombings as the only means to fight against global neoliberal empire by people deprived of regular military means.  From which many nations, suffered especially in Russia and Europe.  In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism preaching extremists (sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies), considering it the lesser evil, and were trying to dismember Russia.  In Ukraine neocons supported far right nationalists with distinct national socialism leanings and history of crime against humanity (Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia - Wikipedia), which make the country a debt slave of IMF and dropped already low standard of living of population almost three times. Making the Ukraine probably the poorest country in Europe where large percent of population (especially pensioners and single mothers) needs to survive of less the $3 a day. Average (note the word "average")  pension in Ukraine is about $1500 grivna which at the current exchange rate is approximately $60. It was three times higher before the Maydan color revolution which State Department so skillfully organized. Everywhere they bring wars and disasters. And they impoverish the US middle class. To say nothing about desperate, completely robbed 50 or so million people with Mcjobs, who are liming essentially in the third world country that exists within the USA now  (Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 38 Straight Months ).  They are concerned mainly with enriching themselves and their masters from military industrial complex and bloating government bureaucracy. In other words they behave like the USSR nomenklatura -- a privileged, above the law class, degeneration of which eventually led to collapse of the USSR. Such a conservatives. And not unlike Party bureaucracy of the Third Reich, despite being disproportionally Jewish. 

And in foreign policy they were a real, unmitigated  disaster.  Or more correctly series of disaster of varying magnitudes. Iraq was a huge, humiliating disaster. Probably the biggest one.  Afghanistan was a disaster of lesser scale. Libya were another, more small scale disaster. Syria is a potentially huge disaster, due to international consequences of creating ISIS in this region.  Ukraine is a huge and very expensive disaster, which might lead to the WWIII, a nuclear holocaust (neocons like to speculate on tragedy of Jewish population during the WWII).   which revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (and probably was done in the name of US security, as neocons understand it ;-). Moreover it moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests. Starting from Clinton administration their attitude to Russia was essentially was: be our vassal, or you have no right to exist. Which is reckless attitude to the second most powerful nuclear armed state in the world.  Even taking into account huge difficulties and huge deterioration of the Russia military capabilities after the dissolution of the USSR they are playing with fire. And enjoying every minute of it. Just look at Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was appointed as advisor to State Department by Hillary Clinton) face during his public speeches. This man is definitely enjoying himself and his wit. 

An assertion that the fundamental determinant of the relationship between states rests on military power and the willingness to use it is clearly wrong. It is a foreign policy equivalent to Al Capone idea that "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone". It is very close to neo-Nazi idea that "War is a natural state, and peace is a utopian dream that induces softness, decadence and pacifism." The problem here is that it's the person who promotes this creed can be shot. Of course neocons are chickenhawks and prefer other people die for their misguided adventures.  

The idea  that disagreement about this postulate is tantamount to defeatism is simply silly. "Global unilateralism" is capable to bankrupt the USA.  Democracy promotion was a nice racket until probably 2008, but now way too many countries understand what it is about. The same is true about color revolutions.

It created level of anti-American sentiment at Middle East unheard before,  provoked rearmament of Russia and armament of China which together represent a formidable force able to turn the USA into radioactive ash no less effectively then the USA can turn them. 

Despite disastrous results of the Neocon foreign policy neocons remain a powerful, dominant political force in Washington. In recent Presidential race neocons are represented by Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton.


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Old News ;-)

[Apr 18, 2019] The FBI Tried and Failed to Entrap Trump by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... One of the many critical questions that need to be asked is who at the FBI directed Felix Sater to try to bait the Trump team with the Putin/Moscow opportunity. Felix Sater, given his long track record with the FBI, did not come up with this idea on his own. He was put into play as part of a fishing expedition to hook Trump into a Russian collusion narrative. Fortunately for Trump, he did not take the bait. ..."
"... This certainly appears to be part of a broader, orchestrated effort to ensnare Trump. As I noted with respect to the Steele Dossier, the theme of Russian Real Estate deals appeared early on: ..."
"... Thanks to Mueller, we now know that the cultivation operation did not originate in Moscow nor the Kremlin. It came via Felix Sater who was working for the FBI. Do you think that is a mere coincidence? Jack said... Since I don't plan to read the Mueller report, I would like to ask a question of those SST correspondents who have read the report? What evidence was provided that the Russians hacked the DNC servers and provided the contents to Wikileaks? ..."
"... If the Russian interference in the election was of the magnitude asserted to change the election, then the failure to prevent this interference belongs to the Obama administration under whose watch it took place. That would imply that Clapper, Brennan, Comey, Lynch and Rogers failed in their jobs. Why are there no calls to investigate this failure? ..."
"... I think you are on to something important. I suspect the Brits collected on them as well, just in case. When it became clear that Trump was on the road to the nomination, the effort focused on him. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The Mueller Report is damning of the FBI and reveals circumstantial evidence that the FBI was engaged actively as early as September 2015 in trying to entrap Donald Trump in a web of Russian conspiracy. Let's go to the report and you can read the evidence yourself .

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater , a New York based real estate advisor, contacted Michael Cohen, then-executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald J. Trump. Sater had previously worked with the Trump Organization and advised it on a number of domestic and international projects. Sater had explored the possibility of a Trump Tower project in Moscow while working with the Trump Organization and therefore knew of the organization 's general interest in completing a deal there. Sater had also served as an informal agent of the Trump Organization in Moscow previously and had accompanied Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. to Moscow in the mid-2000s.

Sater contacted Cohen on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert.

Cohen was the only Trump Organization representative to negotiate directly with I.C. Expert or its agents.

Please pay attention. It was not Trump that directed Felix Sater to go get a deal in Russia. IT WAS SATER BRINGING THE DEAL (or trying to) to Donald Trump. A key fact not included in this paragraph was the fact--yes, established fact--that Sater was a fully signed up FBI informant. He helped the FBI make multiple cases against the Russian mob and Russian spies. Please go back and re-read the pieces I wrote on Sater:

Felix Sater--The Rosetta Stone for the FBI/CIA Conspiracy Against Trump? Felix Sater and the Steele Dossier

My eyes bugged out with the next revelation from Mueller. Here is what Sater says to Michael Cohen, his old childhood buddy:

On November 3,2015, the day after the Trump Organization transmitted the LOI (i.e., Letter Of Intent), Sater emailed Cohen suggesting that the Trump Moscow project could be used to increase candidate Trump's chances at being elected, writing:

Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process .... Michael, Putin gets on stage with Donald for a ribbon cutting for Trump Moscow, and Donald owns the republican nomination. And possibly beats Hillary and our boy is in . ... We will manage this process better than anyone. You and I will get Donald and Vladimir on a stage together very shortly. That the game changer.

One of the many critical questions that need to be asked is who at the FBI directed Felix Sater to try to bait the Trump team with the Putin/Moscow opportunity. Felix Sater, given his long track record with the FBI, did not come up with this idea on his own. He was put into play as part of a fishing expedition to hook Trump into a Russian collusion narrative. Fortunately for Trump, he did not take the bait.

This certainly appears to be part of a broader, orchestrated effort to ensnare Trump. As I noted with respect to the Steele Dossier, the theme of Russian Real Estate deals appeared early on:

The Kremlin's cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia, especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. However, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.

Thanks to Mueller, we now know that the cultivation operation did not originate in Moscow nor the Kremlin. It came via Felix Sater who was working for the FBI. Do you think that is a mere coincidence? Jack said... Since I don't plan to read the Mueller report, I would like to ask a question of those SST correspondents who have read the report? What evidence was provided that the Russians hacked the DNC servers and provided the contents to Wikileaks?

Jack said... 18 April 2019 at 05:47 PM

Since I don't plan to read the Mueller report, I would like to ask a question of those SST correspondents who have read the report? What evidence was provided that the Russians hacked the DNC servers and provided the contents to Wikileaks?

If the Russian interference in the election was of the magnitude asserted to change the election, then the failure to prevent this interference belongs to the Obama administration under whose watch it took place. That would imply that Clapper, Brennan, Comey, Lynch and Rogers failed in their jobs. Why are there no calls to investigate this failure?

Larry Johnson said in reply to Jack... 18 April 2019 at 06:25 PM

Read the VIPS memo I posted yesterday. It will answer your question.

akaPatience said... 18 April 2019 at 05:47 PM

Wow, what an absolutely smarmy, laughable proposal made to Cohen by Felix Sater. If Cohen didn't stand to personally profit from services rendered to facilitate such a deal, I'd consider it very suspicious that he promoted it to Trump for as long as he did. As it is, knowing how much money lawyers can make in matters like this, the potential for profit can't be discounted enough as motivation.

I recall a strategy of the Clinton campaign called "Pied Piper", revealed in Wikileaks' Podesta dump, in which an email dated April 7, 2015 discussed the goal of "elevating" Trump's candidacy (along with Ted Cruz and Ben Carson), thinking they would be easiest for Hillary to beat. I wonder if we'll ever learn of a connection with efforts to entrap Trump like this Sater offer, the Trump Tower meeting, etc?

ambrit (ex Britam) said in reply to akaPatience ... 18 April 2019 at 09:09 PM

Sirs;

In mentioning the inclusion of Cruz and Carson in the 'Pied Piper' scheme, akaPatience rightly brings up the question as to whether those persons experienced anything similar to Trump regarding 'entrapment.' Are there 'compromising' files in the FBI archives relating to those other politicians? If so, a broad strategy to 'foam the runway' for the presumed Democrat Party candidate in 2016 could be surmised and the "case" for Trump Russian "collusion" as a specific and sinister plot will be demolished. (At least as far as persons with some shreds of attachment to rationality are concerned.)

Larry Johnson said in reply to ambrit (ex Britam)... 18 April 2019 at 11:13 PM

I think you are on to something important. I suspect the Brits collected on them as well, just in case. When it became clear that Trump was on the road to the nomination, the effort focused on him.

Steven Athearn said... 18 April 2019 at 06:02 PM

Given the absence of evidence of the Kremlin trying to cultivate Trump or offer lucrative real estate development deals - Irecall hearing that one of the Cohen trial documents had him emailing the Kremlin with regard to the Trump Tower idea at an email address taken from its public website, and the Kremlin replying with a pro forma "thank you for your interest in doing business in Russia" and an offer of two free tickets to Valdai - and given the abundance of evidence for a wide-ranging FBI entrapment operation in coordination with foreign intelligence operatives, the association between the latter and the specific form the disinformation took is practically obvious.

I haven't read the Papadopoulos book yet (though I have it on hand), but in lieu of that I would recommend the long interview Michael Tracey did with him the other day for an overview of another large chunk of these entrapment operations. Reply

walrus said... 18 April 2019 at 07:57 PM

And the characters in this hall of mirrors; Steele, Mifsud and Sater. What of them?

The entire report is a chronicle of the grubby dealings of the courtiers surrounding any great man, nothing more. My opinion is that President Trump and his organisation successfully navigated through the Russian collusion mine field with only minimal casualties. A minefield laid by Hilary Clinton and her acolytes.

It almost succeeded - Trump, the Republican Presidential nominee, appearing on stage with his good friend Putin? Imagine what Clinton would have done with that...

blue peacock said... 18 April 2019 at 08:45 PM

What were they so concerned about Trump that they'd go to such an extent to entrap him and smear him as Putin's bitch?

He's turned out to be a ziocon and Bibi's bitch instead. He's surrounded himself with neocons. And he's also Wall St's bitch as his primary concern is stock prices. He wants the Fed to lower already low rates and grow its multi-trillion dollar "emergency" balance sheet even more. The federal government will add a trillion dollars to the national debt each year of his term. Isn't this exactly what the establishment of both parties want?

In any case, the hammer needs to come down hard on the putschists, so that law enforcement & the intelligence agencies don't become an extra-constitutional 4th branch of government accountable only to themselves. We'll see how far the Trump administration will go in holding these seditionists to account?

[Apr 18, 2019] Vioding by a CIA and corporate political establishment, who created the fake Steele dossier to bring down Trump (the TPP, and also Brexit, I believe, were in the dossier as reasons why "Putin" wanted Trump to win)

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

George Papadopoulos's story on why he thinks that the RussiaGate probe was started is something out of The Parallax View but, alas, rings true: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, stopping Brexit, and abandoning an Atlanticist foreign policy were opposed by a CIA and corporate political establishment, who created the fake Steele dossier to bring down Trump (the TPP, and also Brexit, I believe, were in the dossier as reasons why "Putin" wanted Trump to win)

Anne Jaclard | Apr 18, 2019 4:33:48 PM | link

Michael Tracey has a long interview with George Papadopoulos at Patreon . Don't like Papadopoulos but it's worth listening to.

[Apr 17, 2019] The Fly in the Mueller Ointment

Apr 17, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs)
SUBJECT: The Fly in the Mueller Ointment

Mr. President:

The song has ended but the melody lingers on. The expected release Thursday of the redacted text of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election" will nudge the American people a tad closer to the truth on so-called "Russiagate."

But judging by Attorney General William Barr's 4-page summary, the Mueller report will leave unscathed the central-but-unproven allegation that the Russian government hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails, gave them to WikiLeaks to publish, and helped you win the election. The thrust will be the same; namely, even if there is a lack of evidence that you colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin, you have him to thank for becoming president. And that melody will linger on for the rest of your presidency, unless you seize the moment.

Mueller has accepted that central-but-unproven allegation as gospel truth, apparently in the lack of any disinterested, independent forensic work. Following the odd example of his erstwhile colleague, former FBI Director James Comey, Mueller apparently has relied for forensics on a discredited, DNC-hired firm named CrowdStrike, whose credibility is on a par with "pee-tape dossier" compiler Christopher Steele. Like Steele, CrowdStrike was hired and paid by the DNC (through a cutout).

We brought the lack of independent forensics to the attention of Attorney General William Barr on March 13 in a Memorandum entitled "Mueller's Forensic-Free Findings", but received no reply or acknowledgment. In that Memorandum we described the results of our own independent, agenda-free forensic investigation led by two former Technical Directors of the NSA, who avoid squishy "assessments," preferring to base their findings on fundamental principles of science and the scientific method. Our findings remain unchallenged; they reveal gaping holes in CrowdStrike's conclusions.

We do not know if Barr shared our March 13 Memorandum with you. As for taking a public position on the forensics issue, we suspect he is being circumspect in choosing his battles carefully, perhaps deferring until later a rigorous examination of the dubious technical work upon which Mueller seems to have relied.

Barr's Notification to Congress

As you know, the big attention-getter came on March 24 when Attorney General William Barr included in his four-page summary a quote from Mueller's report: "The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." Understandably, that grabbed headlines – the more so, since most Americans had been convinced earlier by the media that the opposite was true.

There remains, however, a huge fly in the ointment. Barr's summary makes it clear that Mueller accepts as a given – an evidence-impoverished given – that the Russian government interfered in the election on two tracks:

Track 1 involves what Barr, echoing Mueller, claims "a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA)" did in using social media "to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election." A careful look at this allegation shows it to be without merit, despite Herculean efforts by the NY Times, for example, to put lipstick on this particular pig. After some rudimentary research, award winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter promptly put that pig out of its misery and brought home the bacon. We do not believe "Track 1" merits further commentary.

Track 2 does need informed commentary, since it is more technical and – to most Americans – arcane. In Barr's words: "The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election."

We are eager to see if Mueller's report contains more persuasive forensic evidence than that which VIPS has already debunked. In Barr's summary, the only mention of forensics refers to "forensic accountants" – a far cry from the kind of forensic investigators needed to provide convincing proof of "hacking" by the Russian government.

But They Were Indicted!

Circular reasoning is not likely to work for very long, even with a U.S. populace used to being brainwashed by the media. Many Americans had mistakenly assumed that Mueller's indictment of Russians – whether they be posting on FaceBook or acting like intelligence officers – was proof of guilt. But, as lawyers regularly point out, "one can easily indict a ham sandwich" – easier still these days, if it comes with Russian dressing.

Chances have now increased that the gullible folks who had been assured that Mueller would find collusion between you and Putin may now be a bit more circumspect – skeptical even – regarding the rest of the story-line of the "Russian hack," and that will be even more likely among those with some technical background. Such specialists will have a field day, IF – and it is a capital "IF" – by some miracle, word of VIPs' forensic findings gets into the media this time around.

The evidence-impoverished, misleadingly labeled "Intelligence Community Assessment" of January 6, 2017 had one saving grace. The authors noted: "The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation – malicious or not – leaves a trail." Forensic investigators can follow a trail of metadata and other technical properties. VIPs has done that.

A "High-Class Entity?"

If, as we strongly suspect, Mueller is relying for forensics solely on CrowdStrike, the discredited firm hired by the DNC in the spring of 2016, he is acting more in the mold of Inspector Clouseau than the crackerjack investigator he is reputed to be. It simply does not suffice for Mueller's former colleague James Comey to tell Congress that CrowdStrike is a "high-class entity." It is nothing of the sort and, in addition to its documented incompetence, it is riddled with conflicts of interest. Comey needs to explain why he kept the FBI away from the DNC computers after they were said to have been "hacked."

And former National Intelligence Director James Clapper needs to explain his claim last November that "the forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done." What forensic evidence? From CrowdStrike? We at VIPs, in contrast, are finding more and more forensic evidence that the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked by the Russians or anyone else – and that "Guccifer 2.0" is an out-and-out fraud. Yes, we can prove that from forensics too.

But the Talking Heads Say

Again, if Mueller's incomplete investigation is allowed to assume the status of Holy Writ, most Americans will continue to believe that – whether you colluded the Russians or not – Putin came through for you big time. In short, absent President Putin's help, you would not be president.

Far too many Americans will still believe this because of the mainstream-media fodder – half-cooked by intelligence leaks – that they have been fed for two and a half years. The media have been playing the central role in the effort of the MICIMATT (the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank) complex to stymie any improvement in relations with Russia. We in VIPs have repeatedly demonstrated that the core charges of Russian interference in the 2016 election are built on a house of cards. But, despite our record of accuracy on this issue – not to mention our pre-Iraq-war warnings about the fraudulent intelligence served up by our former colleagues – we have gotten no play in mainstream media.

Most of us have chalked up decades in the intelligence business and many have extensive academic and government experience focusing on Russia. We consider the issue of "Russian interference" of overriding significance not only because that the allegation is mischievously bogus and easily disproven. More important, it has brought tension with nuclear-armed Russia to the kind of dangerous fever pitch not seen since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the Russian provocation was real – authentic, not synthetic.

Sober minds resolved that crisis more than a half-century ago, and we all got to live another day. These days sober minds seem few and far between and a great deal is at stake. On the intelligence/forensics side, we have proved that the evidence adduced to "prove" that the Russians hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails and gave them to WikiLeaks is spurious. For example, we have examined metadata from one key document attributed to Russian hacking and shown that it was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."

Who Left the Bread Crumbs?

So, if it wasn't the Russians, who left the "Russian" bread-crumb "fingerprints?" We do not know for sure; on this question we cannot draw a conclusion based on the principles of science – at least not yet. We suspect, however, that cyber warriors closer to home were responsible for inserting the "telltale signs" necessary to attribute "hacks" to Russia. We tacked on our more speculative views regarding this intriguing issue onto the end of our May 24, 2017 Memorandum to you entitled "Intelligence Veterans Challenge Russia Hack Evidence"

We recall that you were apprised of that Memorandum's key findings because you ordered then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo to talk to William Binney, one of our two former NSA Technical Directors and one of the principal authors of that Memorandum. On October 24, 2017, Pompeo began an hour-long meeting with Binney by explaining the genesis of the odd invitation to CIA Headquarters: "You are here because the president told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk to you."

On the chance Pompeo has given you no report on his meeting with Binney, we can tell you that Binney, a plainspoken, widely respected scientist, began by telling Pompeo that his (CIA) people were lying to him about Russian hacking and that he (Binney) could prove it. Pompeo reacted with disbelief, but then talked of following up with the FBI and NSA. We have no sign, though, that he followed through. And there is good reason to believe that Pompeo himself may have been reluctant to follow up with his subordinates in the Directorate of Digital Innovation created by CIA Director John Brennan in 2015. CIA malware and hacking tools are built by the Engineering Development Group, part of that relatively new Directorate.

' Obfuscation'

A leak from within the CIA, published on March 31, 2017 by WikiLeaks as part of the so-called "Vault 7" disclosures, exposed a cyber tool called "Marble," which was used during 2016 for"obfuscation" (CIA's word). This tool can be used to conduct a forensic attribution double game (aka a false-flag operation); it included test samples in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, and Russian. Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima, to her credit, immediately penned an informative article on the Marble cyber-tool, under the caching (and accurate) headline "WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations." That was apparently before Nakashima "got the memo." Mainstream media have otherwise avoided like the plague any mention of Marble.

Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Directorate of Digital Innovation have been with the White House – or with former Director Pompeo – on this touchy issue. Since it is still quite relevant, we will repeat below a paragraph included in our July 2017 Memorandum to you under the subheading"Putin and the Technology:"

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly, he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today's technology enables hacking to be "masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin" [of the hack] And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack. Hackers may be anywhere," he said. "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? I can."

As we told Attorney General Barr five weeks ago, we consider Mueller's findings fundamentally flawed on the forensics side and ipso facto incomplete. We also criticized Mueller for failing to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks' Julian Assange.

Political Enemies & Mainstream Media (Forgive the Redundancy)

You may be unaware that in March 2017 lawyers for Assange and the Justice Department (acting on behalf of the CIA) reportedly were very close to an agreement under which Assange would agree to discuss "technical evidence ruling out certain parties" in the leak of the DNC emails" and agree to redact some classified CIA information, in exchange for limited immunity. According to the investigative reporter John Solomon of The Hill, Sen. Mark Warner, D,VA, Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, learned of the incipient deal and told then-FBI Director Comey, who ordered an abrupt "stand down" and an end to the discussions with Assange.

Why did Comey and Warner put the kibosh on receiving "technical evidence ruling out certain parties [read Russia]? We won't insult you with the obvious answer. Assange is now in prison, to the delight of so many – including Mrs. Clinton who has said Assange must now "answer for what he has done."

But is it too late to follow up somehow on Assange's offer? Might he or his associates be still willing to provide "technical evidence" showing, at least, who was not the culprit?

You, Mr. President, could cause that to happen. You would have to buck strong resistance at every turn, and there all manner of ways that those with vested interests and a lot of practice in sabotage can try to thwart you – with the full cooperation of most media pundits. By now, you know all too well how that works.

But you are the president. And there may be no better time than now to face them down, show the spurious nature of the concocted "evidence" attempting to put you in "Putin's pocket," and – not least – lift the cloud that has prevented you from pursuing a more decent relationship with Russia.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers and congressional staffers. The organization, founded in 2002, was among the first critics of Washington's justifications for launching a war against Iraq. VIPS advocates a US foreign and national security policy based on genuine national interests rather than contrived threats promoted for largely political reasons. An archive of VIPS memoranda is available at Consortiumnews.com . Reprinted from Consortium News with permission.

Read more by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

[Apr 17, 2019] Six US Agencies Conspired ...

Highly recommended!
Apr 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Here is what we now know, per intelligence gleaned form federal law enforcement sources with insider knowledge of what amounts to a plot by U.S. intelligence agencies to secure back door and illegal wiretaps of President Trump's associates:

Six U.S. agencies created a stealth task force, spearhead by CIA’s Brennan, to run domestic surveillance on Trump associates and possibly Trump himself. To feign ignorance and to seemingly operate within U.S. laws, the agencies freelanced the wiretapping of Trump associates to the British spy agency GCHQ. The decision to insert GCHQ as a back door to eavesdrop was sparked by the denial of two FISA Court warrant applications filed by the FBI to seek wiretaps of Trump associates. GCHQ did not work from London or the UK. In fact the spy agency worked from NSA’s headquarters in Fort Meade, MD with direct NSA supervision and guidance to conduct sweeping surveillance on Trump associates. The illegal wiretaps were initiated months before the controversial Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The Justice Department and FBI set up the meeting at Trump Tower between Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner with controversial Russian officials to make Trump’s associates appear compromised. Following the Trump Tower sit down, GCHQ began digitally wiretapping Manafort, Trump Jr., and Kushner. After the concocted meeting by the Deep State, the British spy agency could officially justify wiretapping Trump associates as an intelligence front for NSA because the Russian lawyer at the meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya was considered an international security risk and prior to the June sit down was not even allowed entry into the United States or the UK, federal sources said. By using GCHQ, the NSA and its intelligence partners had carved out a loophole to wiretap Trump without a warrant. While it is illegal for U.S. agencies to monitor phones and emails of U.S. citizens inside the United States absent a warrant, it is not illegal for British intelligence to do so. Even if the GCHQ was tapping Trump on U.S. soil at Fort Meade. The wiretaps, secured through illicit scheming, have been used by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election, even though the evidence is considered “poisoned fruit.”

-----------.

Someone left this link in a comment to LJ, but as ringmaster of this circus, I choose to publish this as the best summary of all the threads of the supposed conspiracy that I have seen thus far. pl

https://truepundit.com/exclusive-six-u-s-agencies-conspired-to-illegally-wiretap-trump-british-intel-used-as-front-to-spy-on-campaign-for-nsa/

Chris Fahlman said...

Wikipedia page on Paul Manafort says that the FBI began a criminal investigation into him in 2014, associated with his previous dealings in Ukraine. He could have been a target of surveillance and wiretapping since then.

I therefore think Manafort was the key the intelligence agencies used to get to into Trump's organisation. It may have been initially incidental to their ongoing, and much earlier surveillance of Manafort.

Robert Poling said...

Thank-you for this summary. If confirmed, Brennan (and others in the group he formed to spy on Trump and Trump's campaign) should go to jail. Congress specifically forbid American spy agencies spying on American citizens in the U.S. Since that Congressional action, the CIA and NSA have gotten around it by having foreign partners among the 'five eyes' do the collecting and then passing the information back to us.

The spying on Trump was done at the behest of Obama and his minions. I'm reminded of an American president who was hounded from office by the mainstream press for sending minions to spy and collect dirt at the opposition's political headquarters. He had to resign and leave office. Several involved in the burglary went to jail and lost their livelihoods. Why is this situation today any different and why is there a delay in prosecuting them? It's because the major media is bought out and controlled by Trump's political opponents and not demanding justice, indeed is providing cover and excuses for them

[Apr 17, 2019] Never underestimate the CIA by Nancy O'Brien Simpson

"Many in the USA have come to realize this stealth organization does not work on the behalf of the USA but rather to its own ends."
CIA probably was involved in Skripals false flag operation as well. Because the behaviour of Theresa May suggest that she from the very beginning was sure about the USA full and unconditional support and putting pressure on EU allies. Then now we know that Gina Haspel, who was also involved in Steele dossier and handled most oversees assets involved in entrapment of Trump, misled Trump and pervaded him to expel 80 Russian diplomats.
Notable quotes:
"... Then there is 9/11. This one also has a USA government narrative that defies logic. This time it is so blatant and egregious that an organization called "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth" was founded by Richard Gage, an architect with vast experience in steel structured buildings and fire. The organization demands on official investigation by Congress into exactly how the buildings came down. ..."
"... According to a statement reported by the BBC , Loose Change film producer Dylan Avery thinks the destruction of the building was suspicious because it housed some unusual tenants, including a clandestine CIA office on the 25th floor, an outpost of the U.S. Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and New York City's emergency command center." Wikipedia ..."
"... So now we have Prime Minister, Teresa May, accusing Putin and Russia of the May 4 nerve agent attack of Sergei V. Skripal (66) and his daughter, Yulia (33), in Salibury, England. Both are in critical condition after being found unconscious on a bench outside The Maltings Shopping Center in Salibury. As we all know Russia is the new Antichrist. The harbinger of all evil. The enemy we all must view with the utmost fear and loathing. Daily, the MSM in USA recoils as they report story after story of Russia meddling in our elections, shaking the very foundations of our democracy. ..."
"... Let's get this straight. Mr. Skripal was convicted of high treason in Russia in 2004. He was not tortured, killed or murdered, rather he was allowed to settle in Britain after a spy swap in 2010. Sounds pretty friendly to me, considering that Putin is portrayed as a sadistic monster out to settle scores with those who cross him, by the Western media. ..."
"... So, why now? Why this attempted assassination now? This is the question, dear reader. Why attempt to assassinate Mr. Skripal now? He was convicted of high treason 14 years ago. He has been in England for eight years. Russia knew at this point he was no threat to them with no new secrets to betray. What would be gained at this point by assassinating the man? ..."
"... None. However, if the CIA took him out, or paid unscrupulous foreign mercenaries to take him out, much could be gained. The narrative of big bad Putin, in his big bad Russia, would be reinforced. Now, not only is he meddling in elections, getting the dastardly Trump elected, he is using nerve gas to take out enemies on foreign soil. My god, what will be next? ..."
"... "If we don't take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used," said Haley. "They could be used here in New York or in cities of any country that sits on this council." CNN Politics ..."
Mar 18, 2018 | www.veteranstoday.com

Many in the USA have come to realize this stealth organization does not work on the behalf of the USA but rather to its own ends. And, in this realization, comes a jaded view of both the CIA and the government it represents.

This realization may have begun with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The Warren Commission, a congressional investigation was convened. The commission concluded there was a single lone shooter, a fringe outcast, Lee Harvey Oswald who acted alone in the assassination of the president. Many felt, in light of the facts, that the Warren Commission was a cover up of what really went down on November 22, 1963, in Houston, Texas.

In 1976, the Congress reopened the Kennedy investigation. They created The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to investigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy (and Martin Luther King Jr.).

The HSCA completed its investigation in 1978 and determined the Warren Commission was faulty and there was more than one shooter and there was indeed a conspiracy to kill the president. So much for the official narrative of the Warren Commission.

Why the Warren Commission cover up back then that even the Congress in 1976 (HSCA) reported was bogus? One theory April 25, 1966, The New York Times wrote, "And, President Kennedy, as the enormity of the Bay of Pigs disaster came home to him, said to one of the highest officials of his Administration, that he wanted to splinter the C.I.A. in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."

Kennedy was no fan of the Director of the C.I.A. Allen Dulles or his agency, and in the autumn of 1961 he purged the C.I.A. of Dulles and his entourage. This included Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and and Deputy Director Charles Cabell. You do not mess with Allen Dulles and the C.I A. Let's leave it at that. Kennedy was dead within two years.

Then there is 9/11. This one also has a USA government narrative that defies logic. This time it is so blatant and egregious that an organization called "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth" was founded by Richard Gage, an architect with vast experience in steel structured buildings and fire. The organization demands on official investigation by Congress into exactly how the buildings came down.

By December 2014, over 2,300 architectural and engineering professionals had signed a petition for this investigation. If one looks at controlled demolitions and how the buildings actually came down it is obvious the collapse was not due to an airplane flying into the buildings, but rather a controlled demolition. 2,300 architects and engineers with verified credentials all testify that the narrative of the government is patently false and scientifically implausible if not impossible.

At about nine a.m. the Twin Towers are crashed into and collapse. At about five twenty p.m. that same day, Building Seven collapses. No planes fly into Building 7, it just collapses. Again, the videos show a controlled demolition.

There are various theories as to why 7 WTC was taken down. Theories range from 7 WTC being the operation center for the demolition of the Twin Towers to more nefarious motives. "

According to a statement reported by the BBC , Loose Change film producer Dylan Avery thinks the destruction of the building was suspicious because it housed some unusual tenants, including a clandestine CIA office on the 25th floor, an outpost of the U.S. Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and New York City's emergency command center." Wikipedia

What is important to remember is that NO STEEL FRAME HIGH RISE HAS EVER TOTALLY COLLAPSED DUE TO FIRE.

These are but two examples of hundreds where we have been mislead by the official narrative of the government and its MSM news. Remember the Trump Dossier that was leaked and printed as fact? Or, the death of Seth Rich, a "botched" robbery? Or, the list of 200 news outlets in the USA that were Russian Propaganda fronts? All reported as fact by the New York Times and Washington Post. All fake news by the MSM fed to an unsuspecting American people.

So now we have Prime Minister, Teresa May, accusing Putin and Russia of the May 4 nerve agent attack of Sergei V. Skripal (66) and his daughter, Yulia (33), in Salibury, England. Both are in critical condition after being found unconscious on a bench outside The Maltings Shopping Center in Salibury. As we all know Russia is the new Antichrist. The harbinger of all evil. The enemy we all must view with the utmost fear and loathing. Daily, the MSM in USA recoils as they report story after story of Russia meddling in our elections, shaking the very foundations of our democracy.

Let's get this straight. Mr. Skripal was convicted of high treason in Russia in 2004. He was not tortured, killed or murdered, rather he was allowed to settle in Britain after a spy swap in 2010. Sounds pretty friendly to me, considering that Putin is portrayed as a sadistic monster out to settle scores with those who cross him, by the Western media.

Teresa May called the act "reckless" and "indiscriminate", and basically said Putin put innocent English bystanders at risk. She upped the ante by dismissing 23 Russian diplomats, the largest such expulsion in thirty years.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused May of grandstanding in her response to the incident. Russian news agency Interfax reported that The Kremlin denies involvement in the nerve agent poisoning, insisting one motive was to complicate Russia's hosting of the World Cup this summer. Ah, dear Kremin, the motive was much deeper than the World Cup games, which were only a bonus to the attack.

So, why now? Why this attempted assassination now? This is the question, dear reader. Why attempt to assassinate Mr. Skripal now? He was convicted of high treason 14 years ago. He has been in England for eight years. Russia knew at this point he was no threat to them with no new secrets to betray. What would be gained at this point by assassinating the man?

None. However, if the CIA took him out, or paid unscrupulous foreign mercenaries to take him out, much could be gained. The narrative of big bad Putin, in his big bad Russia, would be reinforced. Now, not only is he meddling in elections, getting the dastardly Trump elected, he is using nerve gas to take out enemies on foreign soil. My god, what will be next?

Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the UN tells us, "The United States of America believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent," Haley said in her remarks at a UN Security Council emergency session, blasting the Russian government for flouting international law.

"If we don't take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used," said Haley. "They could be used here in New York or in cities of any country that sits on this council." CNN Politics

The USA needs an enemy to foment fear to justify it's astronomical defense budget. It just loves a good cold war. However, now that Russia is no longer a pinko commie nation to be demonized, and is indeed a capitalist democracy, we have to resurrect a new straw man to hate.

It is remarkable the degree to which the liberal left has bought into this industrial-military-complex narrative. The USA always has to be bombing someone, droning someone or napalming someone to keep the monies flowing into the defense budget. Take a look at our spending compared to Russia or other nations.

Alas, it is certainly not out of the question that the CIA was behind the attack. After this amount of time Mr. Putin had nothing to gain in assassinating Mr. Skripal and his daughter. In fact, he had a lot to lose. The CIA? They had a lot to gain, and nothing to lose. Never underestimate the CIA and its brilliance in setting the narrative for its agenda. And, never underestimate Mr. Putin in his resolve not to become their lapdog.

Ms. Simpson was a radio personality in New York. She was a staff writer for The Liberty Report. A PBS documentary was done on her activism for human rights. She is a psychotherapist and political commentator.

[Apr 17, 2019] A bridge from fiction to reality

Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Koen , Apr 16, 2019 6:13:59 PM | link

B, here's a remarkable fact: The Skripal Novichok perfume bottle assassination story is is eerily similar to episode 2 of BBC show 'Killing Eve' where an assassin uses a perfume bottle to kill her target and where later an innocent person accidentally dies after coming into contact with said perfume bottle.

The episode aired around a month after the Skripal attack but well before the other 2 people fell ill and the perfume bottle theory emerged.

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump was transparently chosen to be the fake "agent of change" for the other half of the US population, just as Obama before

Notable quotes:
"... Therefore, both individuals were both an admission that the change in the system is needed and that the ruling regime is into life-extension by means of "whatever it takes". Once the "change" potential is exhausted, repression must take over as the principal life extension mechanism; clearly, these methods do not have a sharp start-over points in time - they overlap. ..."
"... It is an interesting connection of dots that Bloody Gina is Brennan's protégée and thus that Trump has truly stacked up his administration with former i.e. current enemies, But this only shows that Trump works for the same masters as his political enemies. Again, nothing new. ..."
Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kiza , Apr 16, 2019 5:33:36 PM | link

Trump is like a voodoo doll into which every sh**bag sticks pins. Firstly, it is irrelevant whether he was a swamp creature before election or was coopted into it after.

Secondly, Trump was transparently chosen to be the "agent of change" for the other half of the US population, just as Obama before.

Therefore, both individuals were both an admission that the change in the system is needed and that the ruling regime is into life-extension by means of "whatever it takes". Once the "change" potential is exhausted, repression must take over as the principal life extension mechanism; clearly, these methods do not have a sharp start-over points in time - they overlap.

This is where we are now, Assange was the most prominent member of the real opposition to the regime, where they try to confuse with plenty of faux opposition. Therefore, the Assange's head had to be chopped off publicly and his slowly rotting corpse will now be on display through "courts of justice" for the next couple of years as a warning to the consumers of alternative media. Go back to reading the approved "journalism" or ... To understand better one just needs to read/re-read Solzhenitsyn.

The other major ongoing life-extension activity, overlapping with repression, is the confiscation of guns from the last remaining armed Western population (lots of leftist oxen pulling that cart). Having too many guns amongst the population is bad for resolving personal conflicts peacefully, but it is even worse for the abusive, exploitative regime. Thus, taking the guns away is doing the right thing for a totally wrong reason.

It is an interesting connection of dots that Bloody Gina is Brennan's protégée and thus that Trump has truly stacked up his administration with former i.e. current enemies, But this only shows that Trump works for the same masters as his political enemies. Again, nothing new.

Therefore, where is a Western Solzhenitsyn to document artistically what transpires in a society deeply in debt and in social & moral decline?

[Apr 16, 2019] The Six Degrees of Paul Manafort caucus99percent

Apr 16, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

The Six Degrees of Paul Manafort

span y Bob In Portland on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 3:59pm Under the general rubric of conspiracy theory is the subset called "coincidence theory", which dismisses connections between people as mere happenstance in order to dismiss any thought of networks that exist beyond public scrutiny. But these networks do exist. Sometimes history takes decades to find them, but they exist. Let's take a peek at networks in Paul Manafort's life.

Manafort was an advisor for four Republican presidential candidates: Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, and Bob Dole. Three of these men were connected to the CIA. Gerald Ford was on the Warren Commission and helped its conclusions of a single assassin by moving the bullet hole several inches up from JFK's back to the back of JFK's neck. It was an obvious fraud, and he should have been prosecuted as an accessory after the fact. There are other indications that he was involved with the CIA's mind control program prior to his political career. Ronald Reagan while governor of California blocked extradition requests from New Orleans DA Jim Garrison in the investigation into President Kennedy's murder. Reagan was governor at the time of JFK's brother's assassination in Los Angeles. I'll refer readers to Lisa Pease's A LIE TOO BIG TO FAIL about Reagan during that time. Reagan was also the spokesman for the Crusade For Freedom, a CIA psyop started in the 1950s which in conjunction with Radio Free Europe promoted former Nazis and fascists allied with Hitler during WWII and which imported many of these Nazis into the US. George HW Bush was the CIA Director under Ford, and investigations put him as a CIA agent or asset since his college days at Yale. I haven't looked at Bob Dole's history. But three out of four of Manafort's presidential employers had roots in the CIA.

If you look at Paul Manafort's history, he seems to work for sleazy dictators who were either put into power by the CIA, supported while in power by the CIA or taken out of power by the CIA. And sometimes killed by the CIA. I would suggest that Manafort's ultimate employer was the CIA. After the sitting president of the Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a US-backed coup in Ukraine back in 2014 (under Secretary of State John Kerry) Manafort stuck around there and helped the people who ousted Yanukovich. Even though Yanukovich was the duly elected president of Ukraine, he has been dismissed as a Russian agent because he saw that the terms of Russian treaties with Ukraine would be better for the economy than treaties with the European Union. Therefore, the US branded Yanukovich as a Russian agent.

Just to refresh everyone's memory William Barr worked for the CIA in the seventies until he got his law degree. He was named Attorney General by President GHW Bush (the first Bush president) during congressional and court investigations of Iran-contra, which was a CIA operation to illegally support the contras' attempt to overthrow the Nicaraguan government while also illegally arming both Iraq and Iran, allegedly in exchange for releasing hostages in Beruit. The interagency team investigating the kidnappings in Beruit was on Pan Am 103 and perished returning to the US.

Robert Mueller was the prosecutor in the Pan Am 103 case. He shifted the case to a couple of Libyan jamokes and away from a group of Palestinian terrorists operating in Frankfurt, Germany who allegedly were supplied the bomb used to bring down the airliner by Syrian arms and heroin smuggler Monzer al-Kassar. Al-Kassar was a major arms supplier for the Iran-contra operation. Robert Swan Mueller III has never himself been specifically identified as being a CIA employee. However, his uncle, Richard Bissell, was an officer high in the CIA ranks. Mueller's wife, Ann Cabell Standish, whom he married three years after the John F Kennedy assassination, was the granddaughter of Charles Cabell, Deputy Director of the CIA at the time of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, who was fired by JFK along with the above-mentioned Bissell and Allen Dulles. Ann Mueller's granduncle, Earle Cabell, the mayor of Dallas at the time of President Kennedy's assassination there, was revealed to have been a CIA asset in a recent declassification of JFK papers.

Curiously, Mueller's career has been marked with prosecuting cases that touch on CIA covert activities. He prosecuted John Gotti, who was on trial for distribution of cocaine which has been identified as having arrived in the US via Mena, Arkansas as part of the Iran-contra drug importation operation. Bill Clinton was the governor of Arkansas at the time.

Mueller prosecuted Noriega, who was the CIA's point man in Panama, where the CIA laundered money and moved cocaine and weapons for the contras during Iran-contra. The federal prosecutor in the Mena corner of Arkansas at the time of the Mena operations who steered clear of it was Asa Hutchinson, who went on to become George W Bush's first "drug czar". (More curiously, the person leading the failed attempt to uncover Iran-contra in the US Senate was John Kerry, who just happened to be a teammate of Mueller on their prep school lacrosse team many years earlier.)

Mueller prosecuted BCCI (the international bank which laundered mob and intelligence money) without seeing CIA fingerprints. Mueller became the Director of the FBI a week before 9/11. Look it up.

Some more: Go read Gregory Craig's Wiki page. Robert Mueller just indicted Craig along the lines of Manafort, a la aiding Russians (actually representing Ukrainians). Craig himself has an interesting past. He was the lawyer defending John Hinckley for the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, which, if succcessful, would have put GHW Bush into the White House; Craig defended CIA Director Richard Helms for his part in the coup of Salvador Allende; he was the State Department's director of policy planning under Madeleine Albright; Craig worked with Bill Clinton on his impeachment proceedings; he represented the Cuban father in the Elian Gonzalez case. Craig was on the other side of the Noriega case.

Mueller prosecuted Noriega and Craig defended him. Craig helped Obama flipflop his position over the FISA court and the big communications corporations who cooperated with them. Craig represented John Edwards. And, of course, he did work in UKRAINE.

I realize that some people in the left-right political universe will rejoice that a "Democrat" is being indicted, but Craig's history suggests that like Manafort, Mueller, Barr and others he represents a party across the river in Langley, Virginia. Very interesting, he and Mueller going toe to toe as Noriega was put behind bars without a hint of Noriega's Iran-contra work for Bush and the CIA. If you've got both the prosecutor and the defense attorney you're going to win the trial.

It's a small world after all, but you won't hear Rachel Maddow repeat long-winded linkages among these characters in her stories.

such a web we weave in order to deceive.

CIA psyops where ever you look. Curious or should I say Q reous? Cause Q sure seems CIA to me....or so says Seth Rich...no he said DNC=CIA. up 8 users have voted. —

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

span y Bob In Portland on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:33pm

DLC = DNC

@Lookout At some point the Democratic Party was rolled. Bill Clinton got the big speech at the 1988 convention. He certainly wasn't the speaker he became. That speech went on and on. Then next time around he won the presidency in a three-way race with a funny Texas billionaire and George Bush.

When Bill went to Oxford his classmates presumed he was CIA.

Our election of 1992 may have been to promote Clinton while taking the heat away from GHW Bush.

[Apr 16, 2019] Wall Street and MIC prostitutes are very nicely paid

Revolving door for Obama...
Apr 16, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
dkmich on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:55am
Except for the book years, it roughly is

@Le Frog

One vacation for Obama. One golf outing for Trump.

#6

Okay, that was my last snarky comment!

Those numbers make Bernie a pauper relative to other Congress people. I hope that this pulls on two threads - one is more pressure on Donald Trump to release his, and two, to make it more uncomfortable for the Nancy Pelosis to be so "independently wealthy."

Roy Blakeley on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:39pm
I think Obama gets $250,000 for a speech

@dkmich from a big Wall St. firm (to repay his generosity to them and make sure that future Presidents will know that they will be amply rewarded for being Wall St. friendly). So Obama makes more for an hour's speech than Bernie made in 2015.

[Apr 16, 2019] CIA Director Used Fake Skripal Incident Photos To Manipulate Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. alone expelled 60 Russian officials. Trump was furious when he learned that EU countries expelled less than 60 in total. A year ago the Washington Post described the scene: ..."
"... Today the New York Times portraits Gina Haspel's relation with Trump. The writers seem sympathetic to her and the CIA's position. They include an anecdote of the Skripal expulsion decision that is supposed to let her shine in a good light. But it only proves that the CIA manipulated the president for its own purpose: ..."
"... Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives. ..."
"... Ms Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option. ..."
"... If the NYT piece is correct, the CIA director, in cooperation with the British government, lied to Trump about the incident. Their aim was to sabotage Trump's announced policy of better relations with Russia. The ruse worked. ..."
"... The NYT piece does not mention that the pictures Gina Haspel showed Trump were fake. It pretends that her lies were "new information" and that she was not out to manipulate him: ..."
"... The job of the CIA director is to serve the president, not to protect the agencies own policies. ..."
"... The 1970s movie 3 Days of The Condor is about the evils of the See Eye A. Also they create trial balloon in the movie about taking middle east oil. This later happens in real life with NeoCon See Eye A stooges - Poppy Bush then later GW Bush-Cheney, Clintons and Oboma all agency owned men. ..."
"... The head of the See Eye A is to serve the elites-Central banksters not the President. They did not serve JFK. Any President who crosses the central bankers aka roth-schilds ends up dead. ..."
"... It is interesting to see that nations that have traditionally been pro-American feel that the threat posed by American power is growing. ..."
"... Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter. ..."
"... Photos of fake dead ducks and fake sickened children confirm the Skripal story is, in turn, completely fake. It says a lot that the NY Times either does not know this or that its contempt for its readership matches the contempt by which the intelligence agencies hold for their putative boss. ..."
"... Thanks for bringing this Skripal segment to light, b, as most of us don't read the NY Times in any form. Haspel likely had a hand in the planning of the overall scheme of which the Skripal saga and Russiagate are interconnected episodes. Clearly, the Money Power sees the challenge raised by Russia/China/Eurasia as existential and is trying to counter hybridly as it knows its wealth won't save it from Nuclear War. ..."
"... after integrity initiative, we know the uk is full of shite on most everything... thus, the msm will not be talking about integrity initiative.. ..."
"... once Teresa May has spoken in Parliament, and Trump committed to expelling embassy staff, there is no way any alternative version of the truth is possible. ..."
"... Skripal of course was a colleague of Steele, and possibly the only person he asked to get info for the dossier beyond what Nellie Ohr had already given him. His evidence might have been crucial. The CIA and others have a strong motive to kill Skripal and a stronger one to blame the Russians. ..."
"... The fact that the 'Dirty Dossier' and the 'Skripal "story"' both originate in one and the same small town in the UK, tells you all you need to know about both. ..."
"... Haspel will not be fired. ..."
"... It is clear the USA, France, Israel and UK are fasting approaching ungovernable .. no one in government can keep the lies of the other hidden, and none of the governed believes anyone in government, the MSM, the MIC or the AIG (ATT, Intel and Google). .. ..."
"... The actors in government, their lawyers, playmates and corporations have become the laughing stock of the rest of the world. ..."
Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

An ass kissing portrait of Gina Haspel, torture queen and director of the CIA, reveals that she lied to Trump to push for more aggression against Russia.

In March 2018 the British government asserted, without providing any evidence, that the alleged 'Novichok' poisoning of Sergej and Yulia Skripal was the fault of Russia. It urged its allies to expel Russian officials from their countries.

The U.S. alone expelled 60 Russian officials. Trump was furious when he learned that EU countries expelled less than 60 in total. A year ago the Washington Post described the scene:
President Trump seemed distracted in March as his aides briefed him at his Mar-a-Lago resort on the administration's plan to expel 60 Russian diplomats and suspected spies.

The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies -- part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.

"We'll match their numbers," Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. "We're not taking the lead. We're matching."

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials -- far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.

The president, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.

The expulsion marked a turn in the Trump administration's relation with Russia:

The incident reflects a tension at the core of the Trump administration's increasingly hard-nosed stance on Russia: The president instinctually opposes many of the punitive measures pushed by his Cabinet that have crippled his ability to forge a close relationship with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

The past month, in particular, has marked a major turning point in the administration's stance, according to senior administration officials. There have been mass expulsions of Russian diplomats, sanctions on oligarchs that have bled billions of dollars from Russia's already weak economy and, for the first time, a presidential tweet that criticized Putin by name for backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Today the New York Times portraits Gina Haspel's relation with Trump. The writers seem sympathetic to her and the CIA's position. They include an anecdote of the Skripal expulsion decision that is supposed to let her shine in a good light. But it only proves that the CIA manipulated the president for its own purpose:

Last March, top national security officials gathered inside the White House to discuss with Mr. Trump how to respond to the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, the former Russian intelligence agent.

London was pushing for the White House to expel dozens of suspected Russian operatives, but Mr. Trump was skeptical.
...
During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

Ms Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option.

The Skripal case was widely covered and we followed it diligently (scroll down). There were no reports of any children affected by 'Novichok' nor were their any reports of dead ducks. In the official storyline the Skripals, before visiting a restaurant, fed bread to ducks at a pond in the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury.

They also gave duck-bread to three children to do the same. The children were examined and their blood was tested. No poison was found and none of them fell ill . No duck died. (The duck feeding episode also disproves the claim that the Skripals were poisoned by touching a door handle.)

If the NYT piece is correct, the CIA director, in cooperation with the British government, lied to Trump about the incident. Their aim was to sabotage Trump's announced policy of better relations with Russia. The ruse worked.

The NYT piece does not mention that the pictures Gina Haspel showed Trump were fake. It pretends that her lies were "new information" and that she was not out to manipulate him:

The outcome was an example, officials said, of how Ms. Haspel is one of the few people who can get Mr. Trump to shift position based on new information.

Co-workers and friends of Ms. Haspel push back on any notion that she is manipulating the president. She is instead trying to get him to listen and to protect the agency, according to former intelligence officials who know her.

The job of the CIA director is to serve the president, not to protect the agencies own policies. Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game:

Ms. Haspel won the trust of Mr. Pompeo, however, and has stayed loyal to him. As a result, Mr. Trump sees Ms. Haspel as an extension of Mr. Pompeo, a view that has helped protect her, current and former intelligence officials said.

Posted by b on April 16, 2019 at 08:37 AM | Permalink


Russ , Apr 16, 2019 9:02:41 AM | link

I don't see how it's possible to manipulate someone (and especially the US president) into doing something they don't want to do with lies like the ones described here. On the contrary presidents, CEOs etc. favor the staffers who tell them the kind of lies they want to hear in order to reinforce what they wanted to do in the first place.

I've never seen any reason to alter my first position on Trump, that like any other president he does what he wants to do.

Jerry , Apr 16, 2019 9:14:30 AM | link
The 1970s movie 3 Days of The Condor is about the evils of the See Eye A. Also they create trial balloon in the movie about taking middle east oil. This later happens in real life with NeoCon See Eye A stooges - Poppy Bush then later GW Bush-Cheney, Clintons and Oboma all agency owned men.

The joke 7in the final scene Robert Redford tells See Eye A man Cliff Robertson that he gave all the evidence to the NY Times. What a joke. The NY Times and the Wash Post are the mouthpieces for the SEE Eye A. The AP news sources most of their stories from those two papers and other lackey See Eye A newspapers.

One final criticism in moon's story. The head of the See Eye A is to serve the elites-Central banksters not the President. They did not serve JFK. Any President who crosses the central bankers aka roth-schilds ends up dead.

manny , Apr 16, 2019 9:15:16 AM | link
Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director

After this, she got the top job, so what is the real lesson here? Sociopathic liars get promoted....or you can tell the truth, try to be honorable and fade into obscurity.. In a nest of psychos, you have to really be depraved to become the top psycho...

Nuke it for orbit, it's the only way to be sure...

Sally Snyder , Apr 16, 2019 9:35:40 AM | link
Here is an article that looks at whether nations around the world regard the United States or Russia as the greater threat to their nation:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/03/which-is-greater-threat-russia-or.html

It is interesting to see that nations that have traditionally been pro-American feel that the threat posed by American power is growing.

donkeytale , Apr 16, 2019 9:40:06 AM | link
b

Backing up Russ's point, when will you realise the "buck stops" on Trump's desk for any and all departments he oversees, which are run by his appointees? Trump is dedicated to creating a neoconservative foreign policy melded to a neoliberal economic policy favouring his corporate fascist sponsors. Recently, you've been all over the Assange indictment, Trump's relationship with Nuttyahoo and the related rollback of JCPOA. Is this what you want to see continued into a second term?

There is much evidence to show Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference.

They haven't got there quite yet but once the judiciary is controlled by GOP ideologues it's game over. And McConnell is dedicating his life to make that the reality ASAP.

Meanwhile back at the ranch we are dedicated to knocking down any and all potential opposition to this GOP hostile takeover for some reason I've yet to fathom.

BM , Apr 16, 2019 9:42:46 AM | link
Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game[Pompeo]

Hopefully yes to all four propositions. Why am I sceptical though (except conceivably the first)?

Mataman , Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AM | link
The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. He's the first POTUS in decades I believe to not even pretend to like dogs by having an official White House dog and every policy his Administration can take against animals, they have taken. I'm not even sure I buy the spin that he cared about dead kids either. And NYT readers know this about him, so I don't understand what the point of peddling this fiction is other than to paint Torture Queen in some kind of good light (and we KNOW that she certainly doesn't care about dead anything).
the pair , Apr 16, 2019 10:08:18 AM | link
another example of trump's stupidity and pathological inability to think for himself. he gets his views from fox and his policy from bolton. his equally vapid daughter and kushner whine to him about sooper sad syria pictures they saw in a sponsored link while googling for new tmz gossip.

even worse that this is the twat in charge of one of russiagate's main instigating "deep state" agencies. he spent the entirety of his presidency railing against their various lies then takes this wankery at face value. it's just like the "chinese soldiers in venezuela"; if those pictures were legit they'd have been splattered over every front page and permanently attached to screeching cnn and msnbc segments demanding trump "finally get tough" on "putin's russia".

my only surprise is that she didn't tell him about british babies ripped from incubators and dipped in anthrax powder.
the nyt shilling for a soCIopAth? not that surprising.

Twiki , Apr 16, 2019 10:43:11 AM | link

The consultant in emergency medicine at Salisbury hospital wrote to The Times, shortly after the Skripal incident. His choice of words was odd, and some have said they indicate no novichok poisoning occurred. Leaving that to one side, his letter certainly puts paid to the idea that more than three people (the Skripals and the policeman, DCI Bailey) were poisoned. https://www.onaquietday.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DocSaysNoNerveAgentInSalisbury.jpg
bjd , Apr 16, 2019 10:43:51 AM | link
" the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, "

There was no attack on the Skripals. or on anyone else. The Russophobia in whose context it falls, is of a higher order, in which a fabricated narrative of a Skripal-like attack had an important function. The Skripals were perfectly happy to lend their name to the fabrication, and are living happily, probably in New Zealand.

Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 10:59:48 AM | link
The Daily Beast article that b linked to describes how many serious, well-informed people felt that Haspel was unsuitable to lead the CIA. Even more strange and troubling was that Haspel was supported by Trump's nemesis, John Brennan.

Despite all that, MAGA Trump still nominated her. Any notion that Trump is at odds with, or "manipulated" by, Haspel, Bolton, or Pompeo is just propaganda. We've seen such reporting before (esp. wrt Bolton) and Trump has taken no action.

Babyl-on , Apr 16, 2019 11:04:28 AM | link
I see that Trump derangement is alive and well here at MoA. Commenters talk as if Trump is the first president stupid enough to be manipulated by the security agencies and shadow government sometimes referred to as a "deep state". People don't have to be historians or look back to Rome, just read the books about how the great general who "won WWII" was used by the oligarchy which had full control of US foreign policy throughout Eisenhower's term in office.

Works produced after WWII, C. Wright Mills, The Power elite was written in 1956,The Brothers and The Divil's Chessboard each about the Dulles Brothers and how they operated US foreign policy for the interests of the oligarchy, and the work Peter Phillips, GIANTS: The Global Power Elite and the work of David Rothkopf which thoroughly describes the feudal system under which the Western cultures are ruled.
The US government is a pantomime it is a show it has no power.

How many here can honestly say they understand that the US dollar itself and the ENTIRE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM is privately owned. Why do you think the "banks were bailed out"? because the banks were in power not the government. The US is 22 trillion in debt - the oligarchy is the creditor - take over the US gov. and you have a powerless pile of debt.

Around 6,000 people control 85% of global assets until that changes nothing will change. The oligarchy won virtually all the mines and control the price of all basic commodities necessary for modern life, the internet, oil of course and more.

What is failing and what has failed over and over for 500 years is Western Civilization and its three "great religions" which preach obedience, oppression, domination by a one god suffocating mythology.

But the oligarchy doesn't own just the basic commodities, it owns the religions and it owns the drugs and all illegal trade as well.

Western "civilization" is really nothing more than one vast feudal kingdom, with royal courts in DC, Tel Aviv and Ryiadh. Wheather there is a god or not, religion is made of flesh and blood not miracles. No Rabbi or Priest or Imam claims visitations by god to instruct them on doctrine - they are flesh and blood and they want power so they behave like sycophants to the money they need to expand their power...all for the good souls under their care.

Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 11:16:08 AM | link
Correction @13 Trump's supposed nemesis. Trump has brought several friends and associates of his enemies into his Administration:
  • VP Pence: John McCain's buddy
  • Bolton: a neocon (neocons were "Never Trump", remember?)
  • Wm Barr: close with Mueller
  • Haspel: Brennan's gal at CIA
And Trump himself was close to the Clintons.
lysias , Apr 16, 2019 12:00:59 PM | link
Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter.
Jose Garcia , Apr 16, 2019 12:08:01 PM | link
What can we expect from a tv personality who became a US president? A man who ran with an advertisement worthy of a business man like him, "Make America Great Again." How does he go about doing it? Giving more money to the military industrial-Congressional complex, even though we are really flat broke. Using aggressive tactics used by Wall Street in hostile company takeovers to really intimidate other nations. And hire and place those he really agrees with in important positions who really reflect his true feelings. I'm sure when he spoke with Haspel before offering her the job, he brought up the topic of torture and agreed with her on its use on terrorists.
Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 12:24:11 PM | link
lysias @18: conspired to stop Trump's candidacy

I think there's a reasonable case to be made that they conspired not to stop Trump but to further speculation of Trump's "collusion" with Russia (what would later be known as Russiagate). The "collusion" and "Russia meddled" accusations are what fueled the new McCarthyism.

juliania , Apr 16, 2019 12:28:54 PM | link
I'll just add to Jerry's comment at #3 that the final line in the movie "Day of the Condor" is something like "But will they print it?" which really spoke to the message of the film in its entirety. The condor being an endangered bird for whom the hero is named, and the beginning outrage being the brutal murder of book lovers researching useable plot details for the 'company'makes this message current and applicable to what we see in the Skripal case. And instead of librarians, we now have online commenters, a doughty breed, and we have Assange.

Instead of 'Will they print it?' I am wondering 'Will they make another movie about it?'

"Day of the Condor: Part Two." Some Day.

Ross , Apr 16, 2019 12:41:17 PM | link
Remind me, where is Yulia Skripal these days? Well and truly 'disappeared' it seems. The mask is off. the snarling face of the beast is there for all to see.
Kiza , Apr 16, 2019 12:49:37 PM | link
What a total waste of an article discussing a story published in NYT or WaPo.

b, the World has divided itself into those who consume alternative media such as this and stupidos who consume MSM. There is nothing in-between that you are attempting to discuss and dissect here. NYT = cognitive value zero.

Fake News not worth one millisecond of our time, not even to decode what the regime wants us to know, we know all that already. Personally, I am only interested in the new methods of domestic repression, what is next after the warning of Assange arrest, future rendition and torture. The Deep Stare appears to be coming out into open, will it soon get rid of the whole faux democracy construct and just use iron fist to rule? It already impose its will as the rule of law. All of the Western block is heading in this direction.

jayc , Apr 16, 2019 1:00:38 PM | link
Photos of fake dead ducks and fake sickened children confirm the Skripal story is, in turn, completely fake. It says a lot that the NY Times either does not know this or that its contempt for its readership matches the contempt by which the intelligence agencies hold for their putative boss.
Piotr Berman , Apr 16, 2019 1:11:24 PM | link
The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. Mataman | Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AM

This assumes that Trump would primarily care about the ducks (and children) when he approved a massive expulsion, rather that his image and "ah, in that case it would look bad if we do not do something really decisive".

In any case, I was thinking why NYT would disclose something like that. The point is that readers of Craig Murray (not so few, but mostly Scottish nationalists who are also leftist and have scant possibilities and/or inclination to vote in USA) and MoonOfAlabama would quickly catch a dead fish here, but 99.9% of the public is blissfully unaware of any incongruences in the "established" Skripal narrative.

Piotr Berman , Apr 16, 2019 1:22:03 PM | link
BTW, it is possible that the journalist who scribbled fresh yarn obtained from CIA did it earnestly. Journalists do not necessarily follow stories that they cover -- scribbling from given notes does not require overtaxing the precious attention span that can be devoted to more vital cognitive challenges. I am lazy to find the link, but while checking for news on Venezuela, I stumbled on a piece from Express, a British tabloid, where Guaido was named a "figurehead of the oposition" supported by "450 Western countries". My interpretation was that more literate journalists were moved for to more compelling stories as Venezuela went to the back burner.
JOHN CHUCKMAN , Apr 16, 2019 1:28:11 PM | link
Yes, indeed, the Skripal Affair is one of the obviously contrived stunts we've seen. Just outrageous in its execution. On a par with the US having a man who didn't even run for president of Venezuela swear himself in and then pressure everyone to accept him as president.

Interesting, I had no idea Gina Haspel - aka, The Queen of Blood - played a role. I thought it was all original dirty work by Britain's Theresa May. Boy, I hope people are through with the false notion that if women just get into leadership, the world will become a better gentler place.

Here's some interesting background:

Noirette , Apr 16, 2019 1:28:44 PM | link
Macron was (afaik?) the only EU 'leader' who was quoted in the MSM as bruiting re. the Skripal affair a message like:

.. no culpability in the part of Russia has been evidenced .. for now...

I suppose he was enjoined to shut his gob right quick (have been reading about brexit so brit eng) as nothing more in that line was heard.

Hooo, the EU expelled a lot of Russ. diplomats, obeying the USuk, which certainly created some major upsets on the ground.

Some were expelled, went into other jobs, other places, but then others arrived, etc. The MSM has not made any counts - lists - of names numbers - etc. of R diplos on the job - anywhere. As some left and then others arrived.

Once more, this was mostly a symbolic move, if extremely nasty, insulting, and disruptive.

Theresa May's speech re. Novichok, Independent 14 March 2018:

.. on Monday I set out that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Novichok: a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia. Based on this capability, combined with their record of conducting state sponsored assassinations – including against former intelligence officers whom they regard as legitimate targets – the UK Government concluded it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for this reckless and despicable act. ..

https://ind.pn/2XcAIk4

Cost her a consequent amount of political capital. - Everyone knows the Skripal story is BS.

semiconscious , Apr 16, 2019 1:31:34 PM | link
@25 & @26:

imo, the media has, once again, simply taken its lead from trump himself, & started making things up completely. & you're absolutely correct in pointing out that, much like trump's true believers, the msm's targeted audience never even notices...

karlof1 , Apr 16, 2019 1:53:44 PM | link
Thanks for bringing this Skripal segment to light, b, as most of us don't read the NY Times in any form. Haspel likely had a hand in the planning of the overall scheme of which the Skripal saga and Russiagate are interconnected episodes. Clearly, the Money Power sees the challenge raised by Russia/China/Eurasia as existential and is trying to counter hybridly as it knows its wealth won't save it from Nuclear War.
james , Apr 16, 2019 2:03:20 PM | link
after integrity initiative, we know the uk is full of shite on most everything... thus, the msm will not be talking about integrity initiative..

what i didn't know is what @18 lysias pointed out.."Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter." ditto jr's speculation @20 too...

so gaspel shows trump some cheap propaganda that she got from who??

my main problem with b's post - i tend to see it like kiza @23) is maintaining the idea trump isn't in on all of this.. the thought trump is being duped by his underlings.. if he was and it mattered, he would get rid of them.. the fact he doesn't says to me, he is in on it - get russia, being the 24/7 game plan of the west here still..

c1ue , Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | link
Please stop listening to idiot libertarians and their "US is flat broke" meme. The reality is that: so long as Americans transact in dollars, the United States government can tax anytime it feels like by issuing new dollars via the Fed.

Equally, so long as 60% of the world's trade is conducted in dollars, this is tens to hundreds of billions of dollars of additional taxation surface area. The MMT people - I don't agree 100% with everything they say, but they do understand the actual operation of fiat currency.

The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy.

Michael Droy , Apr 16, 2019 2:12:37 PM | link
Well this could be Syria, not Salisbury!

I doubt Haspel knew the ducks were fake - she was probably just given stuff to pass up the chain. It is a lot like John Kerry who was shown convincing satellite data of the BUK launch that hit MH17 - but no one could be bothered to pass on even the launch site coordinates to the JIT. I'm sure this stuff goes on all the time, and of course, once Teresa May has spoken in Parliament, and Trump committed to expelling embassy staff, there is no way any alternative version of the truth is possible.

Skripal of course was a colleague of Steele, and possibly the only person he asked to get info for the dossier beyond what Nellie Ohr had already given him. His evidence might have been crucial. The CIA and others have a strong motive to kill Skripal and a stronger one to blame the Russians.

bjd , Apr 16, 2019 2:25:23 PM | link
The fact that the 'Dirty Dossier' and the 'Skripal "story"' both originate in one and the same small town in the UK, tells you all you need to know about both.
fastfreddy , Apr 16, 2019 2:48:31 PM | link
Haspel will not be fired.
Russ , Apr 16, 2019 3:02:51 PM | link
@c1ue | Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | 32

"The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy."

The useful idiocy is most surprising among US farmers. In the 19th century they broadly understood that fiat money was good for chronic low-wealth debtors like themselves, while hard money was bad and a gold standard lethal. This was the basis of the Populist movement. Nothing has changed financially, but today's farmers, and the low-wealth debtor class in general, seem more likely to be goldbuggers than to have any knowledge of economics or of their own political history.

karlof1 36

Once a faction becomes submerged in the Mammon theocracy and becomes nothing but mercenary nihilists, thinking is no longer necessary or desirable, except to come up with attractive, pseudo-plausible lies.

This certainly characterizes "the right" (including liberals), but they have no monopoly on it. By now "the left" is nearly as thoughtless and instrumental on behalf of Mammon, except to the extent that a few people are starting to really grapple with what it means to have an intrinsically ecocidal and therefore suicidal civilization. That's really the only thought frontier left, all else has been engulfed in Mammon, productionism, scientism and technocracy.

snake , Apr 16, 2019 3:29:24 PM | link
@7 ..Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference. https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/04/15/593529/Ecuadoran-president-sold-off-Assangeto-America-Ron-Paul

I remind that Mussolini wasted his legislature.. 1 balmy after noon @ a roadside spot. it made his government stronger.?

It is clear the USA, France, Israel and UK are fasting approaching ungovernable .. no one in government can keep the lies of the other hidden, and none of the governed believes anyone in government, the MSM, the MIC or the AIG (ATT, Intel and Google). ..

The actors in government, their lawyers, playmates and corporations have become the laughing stock of the rest of the world. Everyone in the government is covering for the behaviors of someone else in government, the MSM has raised the price of a pencil to just under a million, stock markets are bags of hot thin air, and everyone in side and outside of the centers of power at all levels of government have lied thru their teeth so much that their teeth are melting from the continuous flow of hot deceitful air.

Corrupt is now the only qualification for political office, trigger happy screwball the only qualification for the police and the military and . making progress is like trying to conduct a panty raid at a female nudist camp.

John Anthony La Pietra , Apr 16, 2019 3:47:03 PM | link
https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0073802/quotes?ref_=m_tt_trv_qu

Higgins: Hey, Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk, but how far if they don't print it?

Joe Turner: They'll print it.

Higgins: How do you know?

[Apr 15, 2019] War is the force that gives America its meaning.

Notable quotes:
"... For Christ's sake! The "Deep State"!?! With a well documented pathological liar and a seemingly endless supply of professional sycophants in our government selling our nation to the highest bidder in plain sight why in the world do you folks continue to need grand delusions of demons in the woodwork??? ..."
"... I have no reason to believe Comey, Clapper and Brennen have served this nation with honor and integrity in dealing with more responsibility than that required to sit safely at home and blabber about as the victim of some grand conspiracy ..."
"... Here is a thought; the unprovoked American aggression in Iraq wrecked Iraq! There is no comparison between the millions of dead, dispossessed, displaced, terrorized and radicalized Iraqis and a few thousand PTSD cases with the richest government in the world on their side. ..."
"... It's like a pimp complaining about bruised knuckles on account of hitting a woman too many times! ..."
"... The title of your book sounds like "Invading Iraq was a Good Idea but the Implementation was Bad and I Couldn't Fix It". Did you really think we could invade a sovereign country based on lies and win "hearts and minds" if we just did it the right way? Not possible. ..."
Apr 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

John, says: April 13, 2019 at 3:18 am

With all due respect, Iraq didn't wreck you. The US wrecked Iraq, and the US wrecked you.
Uncle Billy , says: April 13, 2019 at 8:00 am
The invasion of Iraq was a mistake of historic dimensions. The "weapons of mass destruction" excuse was a lie. When I see George W. Bush smiling on TV, I want to puke. Likewise, I cannot view an image of Lyndon Johnson without revulsion. They are both responsible for much death and suffering. I have heard people try to excuse both of them, with the statement that "they meant well." The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
JohnT , says: April 13, 2019 at 8:06 am
@Ken Zaretzke.

For Christ's sake! The "Deep State"!?! With a well documented pathological liar and a seemingly endless supply of professional sycophants in our government selling our nation to the highest bidder in plain sight why in the world do you folks continue to need grand delusions of demons in the woodwork???

I have no reason to believe Comey, Clapper and Brennen have served this nation with honor and integrity in dealing with more responsibility than that required to sit safely at home and blabber about as the victim of some grand conspiracy.

Bob , says: April 13, 2019 at 9:57 am
The war In Afghanistan would have ended 15 years ago if the sons of members of Congress were being drafted. "It's easy to send someone else's sons to war."
Ken Zaretzke , says: April 13, 2019 at 4:43 pm
@JohnT,

You left out the phrase "anything other than" following the phrase "have served this nation with" in your last sentence.

You forgot to express your confidence in John McCain. Good luck with that. McCain's top aide flew to a foreign city to receive the Steele dossier, gave it to the senator, who then gave it to the FBI–as per Steele's script, I assume. It's another reason why we need a special counsel to look into the FBI's role. A special counsel can hardly omit the McCain piece of the puzzle, whereas a regular prosecutor can easily ignore it and cover McCain's keister.

To the extent that McCain comes out looking bad in a special counsel's report, Trump haters like you will no longer be able to talk about Trump's supposed terrible character in dissing noble John McCain, and holding it up as Exhibit A of why Trump shouldn't be president.

More than anything else concerning the FBI's election shenanigans, the McCain-Steele nexus–specifically the report written about it by a special counsel–could expose the deep state's modus operandi. Not even an inspector general's report can do that as well as a special counsel's report.

Sarto , says: April 13, 2019 at 5:02 pm
Remember, 75% of Americans wanted Bush to invade Iraq. War is the force that gives America its meaning.
Lee Green , says: April 13, 2019 at 8:11 pm
Your book will go out of print. In 10 to 20 years it will be reprinted and sell well. It takes that long for people to remove their heads from their nether regions and be willing to contemplate the errors made.

The real irony is that we know better. There is a vast body of literature on major cognitive errors, and the whole catalog is on display in the debacle described. Our failures of statecraft are quite analogous to the ongoing errors in my field (medicine), well described in "To Err is Human." We've made a lot of progress in medicine in addressing them, mostly though systems engineering. That's because the tendency toward these errors is a result of how human brains are wired, and if you have a human brain, no matter how smart or well educated you are, you have those tendencies. The key is to create systems that catch the errors.

Now we have to figure out how to create systems to constrain politicians, and especially the military-industrial-Congressional complex (Eisenhower's actual original term), from making those errors.

George Hoffman , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:09 pm
I commiserate with your disillusioning journey because I went through a similar odyssey into self-awareness like yours many decades ago. I served as a medical corpsman in Vietnam (31 May 1967 – 31 May 1968). It's all been downhill from there. A gradual slide down the slippy slope of history in our decline as a nation. There's not much one can really do. But at my age, I will be long gone when our country hits burns and crashes as it hits bottom.
Talltale , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:11 pm
"Iraq wrecked me, even though I somehow didn't expect it to. I was foolish to think that traveling to the other side of the world and spending a year seeing death and poverty, bearing witness to a war, learning how to be mortared at night and deciding it didn't matter that I might die before breakfast, wasn't going to change me. Of the military units I was embedded in, three soldiers did not come home; all died at their own hands."

Enough books and movies about those poor damaged American boys yet?

The navel gazing never stops.

Here is a thought; the unprovoked American aggression in Iraq wrecked Iraq! There is no comparison between the millions of dead, dispossessed, displaced, terrorized and radicalized Iraqis and a few thousand PTSD cases with the richest government in the world on their side.

Get over yourselves! Honestly! It's like a pimp complaining about bruised knuckles on account of hitting a woman too many times!

Craig Morris , says: April 14, 2019 at 1:59 am
The title of your book sounds like "Invading Iraq was a Good Idea but the Implementation was Bad and I Couldn't Fix It". Did you really think we could invade a sovereign country based on lies and win "hearts and minds" if we just did it the right way? Not possible.

[Apr 15, 2019] Iraq Wrecked Me for Nothing The American Conservative

Apr 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

I recently spoke to some college students who, I realized, were in fifth grade when I got on a plane to Iraq. They now study that stuff in history classes like "Opportunities and Errors: 21st-Century America in the Middle East." About halfway through our conversation, I realized it's coming up on 10 years since I first went to Iraq. Now that's real history.

I was a Foreign Service Officer then, a diplomat, embedded with the U.S. Army at a series of forward operating bases and in charge of a couple of reconstruction teams, small parts of a complex failure to rebuild the Iraq we wrecked. I ended up writing a book about it all, explaining in tragicomic terms how we failed (those "Errors").

The book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People was -- and wasn't -- well-received. People laughed at the funny parts, but my message -- it didn't work and here's why -- was largely dissipated at the time (2012) by government and media propaganda centered on The Surge. That was David Petraeus's plan to pacify the Sunnis and push al-Qaeda away, while clearing, holding, and building across the country, apparently to make room so ISIS and the Iranians could move in.

Meanwhile, the new American president, elected in part based on his "no" vote on the war in 2003, proclaimed it all a victory and started bringing the troops home even while I was still in Iraq. Meanwhile my employer, the U.S. Department of State, was unhappy with my book. After a year-long process , State pushed me into early retirement. My career was history.

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Iraq wrecked me, even though I somehow didn't expect it to. I was foolish to think that traveling to the other side of the world and spending a year seeing death and poverty, bearing witness to a war, learning how to be mortared at night and deciding it didn't matter that I might die before breakfast, wasn't going to change me. Of the military units I was embedded in, three soldiers did not come home; all died at their own hands. Around us, Iraqis blew themselves up alongside children. Everyone was a potential killer and a potential target. I did this at age 49, on antidepressants and with a good family waiting back home. I cannot imagine what it would have done to 18-year-old me. And I had it easier than most, and much easier than many.

People asked in line at Trader Joe's and in interviews on semi-important TV shows, "Was it all worth it to you?" I always answered yes. I'm not important, I said, but the story is. And now we're making the same mistakes in Afghanistan. The only way to even start to justify it was to think there might be some meaning behind it all. It didn't do anything for me but fill my soul with vodka but maybe somehow it helped?

See, my book wasn't aimed at cataloging the failures in Iraq per se, but in trying to make sure we didn't do the same thing in Afghanistan. The initial title wasn't We Meant Well, but Lessons for Afghanistan from the Reconstruction of Iraq . The early drafts were pretentious scholarly stuff, outlining our mistakes. Harvard Business School-like case studies. Maps. Footnotes. It would have sold maybe five copies, and so my editors encouraged me to add more funny parts. NPR's Fresh Air actually added a laugh track to my interview . I figured I'd get the lessons across with humor more effectively anyway. In such situations, you have to think that way. You can't believe that what you went through didn't matter and keep getting out of bed every morning.

I now know officially that it did not matter. It was pointless. SIGAR shows I accomplished nothing.

Rejecting the Mindset of Iraq, Not Just the Outcome The Army's Iraq War History: Truth-Telling or Mythmaking?

SIGAR is the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, a government oversight body that is supposed to prevent waste, fraud, and mismanagement of the billions of dollars being spent rebuilding Afghanistan but that has its hands full just keeping a CVS receipt-length history of what's wrong. Sound familiar?

SIGAR just released its " 2019 High-Risk List ," which points out especially egregious things that will follow in the wake of any peace agreement in Afghanistan. Here are some quoted highlights:

set the cash ablaze on the streets of Kabul for all the good it will do."

That last line really got me. In my book, I'd written, "While a lot of the money was spent in big bites at high levels through the Embassy, or possibly just thrown into the river when no one could find a match to set it on fire ." Had SIGAR read what I'd written? Or was the joke just so obvious that we'd both come to the same punchline 10 years and two countries apart?

Word for word as in Iraq, and after over 17 years of American effort, the U.S. has failed to establish a viable government in Afghanistan, eliminate the local insurgents/patriots/residents, establish a civil society, tamp down corruption, and ensure some sort of national defense. Afghanistan has almost no chance of survival except as a Taliban narcoland with financial support needed indefinitely to avoid whatever "worse" would be in that calculus.

But there still are semi-believers. One former State Department colleague is on her fourth assignment in Kabul, roughly half her career. Her job is to liaise with the few NATO officials still hanging around. She says it's easy work; they've known each other for years. She's heard we're making progress.

Around the same time as the SIGAR report, the Army War College released its history of the Iraqi Surge, a quagmire of dense prose that I'm only about halfway through, but so far no mention of the impact of reconstruction. The theme seems to be that the Army had some good ideas but the politicians got in the way. Fair enough, but they misspelled Vietnam as I-r-a-q all throughout.

The post-9/11 wars have metastasized across three presidencies so far. Pick the thing you detest most about Bush, Obama, and Trump, and complain about how it was never investigated enough and how there weren't enough hearings. And then I'll disagree, for most everything that happened and continues to happen in Iraq and Afghanistan has gone uninvestigated, unheard of, and unpunished. It's ancient history.

We all want to believe that what we did, what we didn't do, the moral injury, the PTSD, the fights with spouses, the kid at home we smacked too hard when she wouldn't eat her green beans, all of what we saw and heard, mattered. You read that SIGAR report and tell me how. Because basically I'm history now.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan.

[Apr 14, 2019] 'Boom!' an autopsy of the media after the Mueller bombshell by Michael Tracey

That was Neo-McCarthyim hysteria plain and simple; and it still is continuing as "FullOfSchiff" fqrse.
Notable quotes:
"... Can you think of a more vulgar and disgraceful manifestation of Trump-Russia media malfeasance than Rachel Maddow? Her deluded nightly conspiratorial rants may have been lucrative for MSNBC, but she fed viewers a complete fraud for three years. Now her show is undergoing a genuine existential crisis after Robert Mueller's exoneration of Trump . ..."
"... The harm Maddow inflicted is unforgivable and she should obviously resign, go into exile, and take up some other line of work: perhaps gardening. That said, she has also become something of a scapegoat. ..."
"... As contemptible as Rachel undoubtedly is, dwelling on her absolves the rest of the industry from acknowledging what really happened: a structural calamity of epic proportions, implicating almost all of them, which has utterly destroyed the reputation of the media writ large. And for good reason. ..."
"... (Brennan infamously declared Trump guilty of treason on Twitter following the Helsinki summit). ..."
"... Last week, Wheeler finally admitted her suspicion that the FBI may have just decided she is 'crazy.' Yes, sounds plausible. ..."
"... Sadly, all the media figures who might have been assigned to legitimate evidence-based inquiries were wrapped up in the never-ending Russia melodrama, based on the hunch that it would result in the revelation of treasonous collusion, followed by the arrest of Trump's family and his swift impeachment. None of this happened. So what was the point? ..."
"... Most disturbing of all is how otherwise-smart journalists and commentators lost their minds and integrity throughout the debacle. It was all a joke, a scam, and I've barely even scratched the surface here. It will take years to fully sift through the wreckage ..."
Apr 04, 2019 | spectator.us
'Boom!': an autopsy of the media after the Mueller bombshell Dunking on Rachel Maddow may be fun, but she's far from the sole perpetrator Michael Tracey Rachel Maddow

Can you think of a more vulgar and disgraceful manifestation of Trump-Russia media malfeasance than Rachel Maddow? Her deluded nightly conspiratorial rants may have been lucrative for MSNBC, but she fed viewers a complete fraud for three years. Now her show is undergoing a genuine existential crisis after Robert Mueller's exoneration of Trump .

The harm Maddow inflicted is unforgivable and she should obviously resign, go into exile, and take up some other line of work: perhaps gardening. That said, she has also become something of a scapegoat. It's convenient to disavow Maddow's excesses if you're a journalist who wants to pretend that the media failures which gave rise to Trump-Russia weren't a full-scale indictment of their entire profession. To act as though the misconduct was somehow confined to one unhinged cable news personality would be a gross distortion.

As contemptible as Rachel undoubtedly is, dwelling on her absolves the rest of the industry from acknowledging what really happened: a structural calamity of epic proportions, implicating almost all of them, which has utterly destroyed the reputation of the media writ large. And for good reason.

Easy as it might be to pooh-pooh Maddow as some zany outlier, the undeniable reality is that the sick conspiratorial mindset she embodied was thoroughly mainstream: it infected virtually every sector of elite American culture, from journalism, to entertainment, to the professional political class. Rachel is just the tip of the rotten iceberg.

Take, for instance, Keith Olbermann. Keith was the most influential host on MSNBC during the George W. Bush years, when audiences ate up his furious denunciations of the Iraq War, which scratched a genuine itch because of the prevailing pro-war media conformity of the time. Olbermann gave voice to frustrated liberals who felt that their well-founded grievances were not being represented in the popular media, and his style came to be emulated across the industry (including by the host he recruited for a top spot on the network, Rachel Maddow.)

Then came the Trump era, when Olbermann's brain appeared to explode. He began recording short video rants for GQ magazine, which rank among the most mind-bendingly deranged content produced throughout the entire Russiagate ordeal. Please, just watch this unbelievable screed from December 2016:

'We are at war with Russia,' Olbermann gravely proclaims. The inauguration of Donald Trump, he prophesies, will mark 'the end of the United States as an independent country.' Anyone who rejects this analysis is a 'traitor' says Olbermann, and in league with 'Russian scum.' His recommendation is to thwart Trump via some harebrained Electoral College scheme where electors are intimidated into violating their duty to vote according to the election outcome in their respective states and districts. I covered this attempted coup at the time, which failed, but was supported by leading Democrats ranging from Hillary Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri to Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe; as well as Michael Moore, Lawrence Lessig, Peter Beinart, DeRay McKesson, Paul Krugman, and Neera Tanden. Prominent liberals had been melodramatically whinging for months about how appalled they were by Trump's alleged propensity to violate 'norms,' but the next minute they turned around and demanded that all norms governing the centuries-old Electoral College process be thrown out the window. The wild propaganda promoted by Olbermann had become the standard, mainstream view among American liberals: fundamentally corrupting their capacity to view subsequent political events with any semblance of rationality.

Despite their truly insane offerings, focusing solely on demented opinionators like Olbermann and Maddow still lets ostensibly 'neutral' journalists off the hook. The amount of journalistic resources squandered on the Trump-Russia boondoggle, for instance by the New York Times and the Washington Post , will never be fully quantified. Both newspapers were lavished with Pulitzer Prizes and every other pointless accolade for their supposedly intrepid journalism. Their constant 'bombshell scoops' routinely ricocheted across Twitter before they were injected into the rest of the turbocharged media ecosystem, each one breathlessly touted on cable news for hours at a time. The harsh truth is that most all of these 'scoops' were predicated on a fiction. There was supposed to be a core conspiracy, which was meant to explain why Trump associates kept getting caught in lies – why their communications were extrajudicially intercepted, why they were surveilled on dubious pretenses. But no underlying conspiracy was ever revealed. The whole thing was based on a fairytale. Shouldn't the Times and WaPo therefore apologize and give back their Pulitzers? Or at very least toss them in the dumpster.

Benjamin Wittes, the LawFare website guru and arguably the most lauded Twitter authority on the Trump-Russia scam, became well-known for his fun slogan, 'BOOM!,' which he would gleefully tweet every time a supposed bombshell article burst on the scene. Here's a Washington Post story from October 21 last year headlined 'Special counsel examines conflicting accounts as scrutiny of Roger Stone and WikiLeaks deepens,' which got the Wittes 'boom' treatment. Wow, very dramatic! Sounds a lot like Mueller and his squad were closing in on Stone as the evil mastermind behind some grand Trump-Russia conspiracy plot, given his suspicious ties to WikiLeaks, right? The only problem is, when Stone was indicted three months later, Mueller not only brought zero charges alleging Stone as party to any conspiracy, he dispelled such notions.

All the correspondence cited in Mueller's indictment showed that Stone had no advanced knowledge of WikiLeaks releases or any privileged access to its operations. Roger Stone was just doing what Roger Stone does best: bullshitting.

Stone was eventually charged by Mueller for making false statements, but again: none of those statements pertained to a conspiracy cover-up. They pertained to the dirty trickster being who he's been for decades: a fabulist who frequently misrepresents himself and gets in stupid feuds with fellow political hucksters. The October 2018 story about which Wittes tweeted 'boom' ultimately had no real significance. Like so many other stories touted at the time as an incredible BOMBSHELL, everyone got amped up over a total fantasy. The story had no serious value, other than to temporarily scintillate now-discredited obsessives like Wittes.

Special scorn should be reserved for those in prominent media positions who ought to have known better, but indulged day after day in conspiratorial nonsense anyway. Take Chris Hayes, the popular 8pm MSNBC host, who unlike Maddow has a journalistic background (he was formerly the Washington Editor of The Nation magazine). Theoretically, Hayes should have been imbued with a greater sense of ingrained skepticism regarding CIA and FBI claims, which are what drove the entire Trump-Russia investigation to begin with. He is also a genuinely intelligent person, having (ironically) written the excellent Twilight of the Elites (2012), a book which examined the propensity for upper-crust society to engage in self-defeating groupthink.

But Hayes too ended up witlessly amplifying the most obscene Russiagate antics – no doubt influenced by the pressure of having to turn in big ratings every night. His shows were always brimming with security state spooks like John Brennan , the former CIA Director and proven fantasist . Brennan was eventually hired by NBC, becoming one of Hayes's colleagues despite having played a central role in instigating the original Trump-Russia investigation in 2016 and inflaming its most incendiary elements (Brennan infamously declared Trump guilty of treason on Twitter following the Helsinki summit).

For further insight on the subject, Hayes generally turned to pseudo-journalistic figures like Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic , whose frenetically conspiratorial Russia coverage has also proven to have been total bunk – as well as former prosecutors and FBI officials like Chuck Rosenberg, disreputable security state apparatchiks like former NSA lawyer Susan Hennessey, and outright charlatans like purported 'intelligence expert' Malcolm Nance. (Here's an example from 2016 of the esteemed Nance getting tricked by a Twitter troll.)

Hayes even went so far as to promote the theory that Trump had been colluding with Russia since 1987, a story somehow featured on the cover of New York magazine despite drawing on source material that literally originated with the recently deceased, notorious madman Lyndon LaRouche. Hayes's descent into fact-free mania culminated with his declaration to Stephen Colbert on March 8 last year that Trump and his associates were 'super guilty' of collusion. Whoops!

While many once-respectable media figures like Hayes have seen their reputations inserted directly into the toilet, maybe the most bizarre case of all is Marcy Wheeler, the independent journalist known as @emptywheel . Wheeler appeared on Hayes's first show after Mueller decisively cleared Trump of collusion – you know, the central tenet of the Special Counsel's mandate. The fact that Hayes would have Wheeler on at that moment – after the entire Trump-Russia drama was definitively exposed as a ludicrous fantasy – showed that Hayes was committed to perpetuating the deceit even in the face of all countervailing evidence, whether unconsciously or consciously. That's because Marcy Wheeler is almost certainly a deluded basket case.

The most obvious evidence for this is Wheeler's sensational admission in July 2018 that she burned a source to the FBI, voluntarily and proactively, thereby committing one of journalism's mortal sins. Wheeler justified her demented action on numerous fronts. First, she claimed that she possessed bombshell, smoking gun info that proved a Trump-Russia conspiracy, and felt a patriotic duty to hand this over to the FBI – in retribution for what she called Russia's 'attack' on the United States. Let's remember, shall we, that said attack at most amounted to some Twitter bots, goofy Facebook memes, and spear-phished Gmail accounts: John Podesta famously clicked on a phony link, which led to his emails being swiped. Hardly 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, wouldn't you say? However, those comparisons have been seriously made by various prominent elected officials, including Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, who would have presided over impeachment proceedings had things panned out differently.

When pressed – even after the Mueller clearly asserted that no such Trump-Russia conspiracy ever existed – Wheeler still refuses to divulge any details about the extraordinary dispositive evidence she mysteriously claims to possess. Second, Wheeler further justified her insane conduct by insisting she could literally be killed by some unknown sinister alliance of Russians and Trump-backed mafia figures, or something ( I'm not making this up .). Shamefully, Wheeler's outlandish assertions were treated as gospel by members of the media who failed to apply even a modicum of critical scrutiny; Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post heralded Wheeler as following her conscience and wrote this about the supposed Russian hit squad out to get her: 'Overly dramatic? Not really. The Russians do have a penchant for disposing of people they find threatening.' Utter lunacy. Since the Mueller finding, Wheeler has strangely not revealed any additional information about the nature of these would-be assassins.

Think about it. For months, Wheeler dangled cryptic hints about the explosive info that she alone supposedly knew about, enthralling blog readers and Twitter followers – and earning her major platforms not just on MSNBC but even the New York Times , where she contributed columns that contained blatant falsehoods. In the pages of the world's most influential newspaper, she claimed that Mueller had been 'hiding' evidence showing Trump's participation in a Russia conspiracy, and it would all come out once Mueller issued his final verdict. No dice.

Last week, Wheeler finally admitted her suspicion that the FBI may have just decided she is 'crazy.' Yes, sounds plausible.

So much journalistic energy was wasted chronicling the ins-and-outs of the Russiagate non-story. Imagine if instead that time was devoted to reporting in the public interest: like, say, I don't know – investigating the militaristic think tanks which attempted to undermine Trump's key diplomatic initiatives (such as North Korea), or how Trump was co-opted by the Republican donor class, or his various actual corruptions that didn't happen to involve any international espionage conspiracy.

Sadly, all the media figures who might have been assigned to legitimate evidence-based inquiries were wrapped up in the never-ending Russia melodrama, based on the hunch that it would result in the revelation of treasonous collusion, followed by the arrest of Trump's family and his swift impeachment. None of this happened. So what was the point?

Most disturbing of all is how otherwise-smart journalists and commentators lost their minds and integrity throughout the debacle. It was all a joke, a scam, and I've barely even scratched the surface here. It will take years to fully sift through the wreckage.

See other Michael Tracy articles Michael Tracey, Author at Spectator USA

[Apr 14, 2019] The FBI/CIA gang is also very stupid. From Halper-the-spy and his incompetent handler Brennan to the obnoxious Zionists of Ledeen kind they, the members of the "gang", show incompetence and the self-endangering and stupid amorality.

Apr 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:19 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer 'This gang is so powerful "

-- The gang is also very stupid. From Halper-the-spy and his incompetent handler Brennan to the obnoxious zionists of Ledeen kind they, the members of the "gang", show incompetence and the self-endangering and stupid amorality.

By destroying whatever decent has been in the western civilization so far, and by spreading the rot around, the gangsters have been destroying their children's & grandchildren's future.

[Apr 11, 2019] Vindicated At Last, Thank You General Barr by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... Attorney General Barr stated the obvious--law enforcement and intelligence agencies spied on Donald Trump's campaign ..."
"... I had learned in December 2016 from friends inside the intelligence community that there was collaboration with the Brits to collect and disseminate intel on persons on the Trump campaign. With Trump's tweet making news, I was invited by RT (i.e., Russia Today) to come on one of their news programs and discuss the matter that same afternoon. ..."
"... I then shared what I had learned about British intelligence ops to intercept U.S. communications on people affiliated with the Trump campagin with members of VIPS—i.e., Veteran Intelligence Professionals. One of these colleagues shared my analysis without my knowledge with Judge Andrew Napolitano. ..."
"... The Brits reportedly initiated collection on their own. The “collection” from those intercepted conversations and emails were shared with the Obama Administration through normal intelligence channels—i.e., principally the NSA. It is important to note that the Brits targeting and collecting on Americans is not illegal. We are foreigners as far as they are concerned. They can collect anything. ..."
"... The Independent ..."
"... I felt sorry for the Judge and knew he was being railroaded. But I did not expect a phone call from him, asking for my help. He called and asked me to help. Prior to the phone call on Thursday, March 16, 2017, I had never spoken to the Judge. We were not even casual acquaintances. ..."
"... Grynbaum is a classic example of what is wrong with the journalism today. For starters, he manufactured the “Frederick Forsyth” quote. I said no such thing. Besides fabricating a quote, he refused to address the substance of my information regarding the activities and conduct of British GCHQ. Instead, he went for the “Whitey” smear. ..."
"... This was a dark period for me. People I thought I could rely on abandoned me. I was on my own. But not for long. Rescue came via Judge Napolitano and an unlikely source, The Guardian—a left leaning British newspaper. The Judge was brought back on air at Fox on March 29, 2017 and stood his ground: ..."
"... On Wednesday morning, Napolitano returned to the network, making an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” His first order of business? Doubling down on the claims that got him suspended in the first place. (From the Washington Post, 29 March 2017, Amy Wang). ..."
"... Two weeks later, on April 13 th , The Guardian not only confirmed what I had said about GCHQ (note, in some of my on air interviews I stupidly and mistakenly called the British spy agence GHCQ) but identified other countries as well who were collecting intelligence, i.e., intercepting communications : ..."
"... There is a simple bottomline—My information was accurate and reliable. Also, I had the story before anyone else. Journalists and pundits were unwilling to listen. ..."
"... Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN. ..."
"... Do you understand what this means? If you have never had a clearance and had access to NSA material then you probably fail to understand how profound this is. Let me explain. There were multiple intelligence reports released by the NSA. I am pretty certain all were classified as Top Secret. Some of these may have been generated by NSA, but most, according to the Guardian piece I mentioned above, were from foreign liaison. The names of the American citizens were initially obscured--e.g., Subject 1 or Subject 2. Hence the "request" to unmask. In other words, identify the nameless person by name. That, boys and girls, is known as spying. ..."
"... Bill Barr is now getting the Larry Johnson treatment for daring to speak a simple, self-evident truth. One big difference. Barr can set in motion the legal process to indict and prosecute those American traitors in the law enforcement and intelligence community who violated their oath to uphold the Constitution and used their positions to launch a political witch-hunt. Stay tuned. ..."
"... Thank you for this clarifying account. I used to read NoQuarter back in the day, and had been mystified when it was taken down. Now I understand, and am glad that Col. Lang has facilitated your return to blogging. ..."
Apr 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Attorney General Barr stated the obvious--law enforcement and intelligence agencies spied on Donald Trump's campaign -- and touched off an incredible display of stupidity and obtuseness among the Trump haters. Me? I was cheering because Bill Barr confirmed what I said two years ago. Unfortunately, for daring to speak a simple truth in the spring of 2017 I immediately was a target of the hate Trump media mob.

I was attacked for telling the public the truth that foreign intelligence--the British to be precise--were spying on the Trump campaign and passing this info along to US intelligence. But the Brits were not acting unilaterally. There was full cooperation and activity by U.S. intelligence agencies and the FBI. Another word for this is "COLLUSION."

My speaking out brought about a furious counter attack by the media. People inside the Department of Justice reached out to my business partner and denounced me as a crank and conspiracy theorist. Because of that backlash I took down my blog, NoQuarter, and "retired" from blogging. Thanks to generosity of Colonel Lang, I eventually climbed back onto the blogging saddle.

Let me take you back to the events that unfolded after Donald Trump tweeted on March 4, 2017 that he was being wiretapped by the FBI. The media establishment erupted in laughter and saw this as just one more piece of evidence proving Trump's mental instability. But I had a different take.

I had learned in December 2016 from friends inside the intelligence community that there was collaboration with the Brits to collect and disseminate intel on persons on the Trump campaign. With Trump's tweet making news, I was invited by RT (i.e., Russia Today) to come on one of their news programs and discuss the matter that same afternoon.

https://youtu.be/gPVkHGmw-7A

Worth noting that my appearance on RT made no waves and generated no pushback. That tells you everything you need to know about RT’s alleged influence over public and punditry opinion as an alleged arm of Russian propaganda.

I then shared what I had learned about British intelligence ops to intercept U.S. communications on people affiliated with the Trump campagin with members of VIPS—i.e., Veteran Intelligence Professionals. One of these colleagues shared my analysis without my knowledge with Judge Andrew Napolitano.

Napolitano went on Fox on Monday, March 13, 2017 and declared:

On Monday, Fox News Channel judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano alleged that three intelligence sources had confirmed to him that the Obama administration used GCHQ (Britain's NSA) to spy on President Trump during the 2016 election so that there would be no paper trail.

"Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the 'chain of command' to conduct the surveillance on Trump," he said. "Obama didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI, and he didn’t use the Department of Justice."

"What happened to the guy who ordered this? Resigned three days after Trump took office," he added.

The Judge got some key nuances wrong. Obama, to my knowledge, did not ask the Brits/GCHQ to do anything on his behalf. The Brits reportedly initiated collection on their own. The “collection” from those intercepted conversations and emails were shared with the Obama Administration through normal intelligence channels—i.e., principally the NSA. It is important to note that the Brits targeting and collecting on Americans is not illegal. We are foreigners as far as they are concerned. They can collect anything.

The Judge’s comments set off a firestorm. In a matter of hours, Fox News Corporation, responding to pressure from the British Government, took Napolitano off the air. The Independent, a British newspaper, reported as follows:

A legal analyst who claimed British intelligence could have helped spy on Donald Trump during his bid to become US president has been taken off the air.

Andrew Napolitano has been pulled from the Fox News Channel, a source at the organisation said.

The Independent understands that Mr Napolitano is not expected to appear on the Fox News Channel anytime in the near future.

The analyst's claim that GCHQ had helped former president Barack Obama bug Trump Tower was cited last week by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, sparking a diplomatic incident.

I felt sorry for the Judge and knew he was being railroaded. But I did not expect a phone call from him, asking for my help. He called and asked me to help. Prior to the phone call on Thursday, March 16, 2017, I had never spoken to the Judge. We were not even casual acquaintances.

Judge Napolitano, clearly smarting over the public lashing he was receiving, asked if I would be willing to speak to a New York Times reporter, Michael Grynbaum, about the matter. I agreed to do so. That was a mistake. Here is how Grynbaum reported what I did not say:

Mr. Napolitano also has a taste for conspiracy theories, which led him to Larry C. Johnson, a former intelligence officer best known for spreading a hoax about Michelle Obama. . . .

But Mr. Johnson, who was himself once a Fox News contributor, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Napolitano called him on Friday and requested that he speak to The New York Times. Mr. Johnson said he was one of the sources for Mr. Napolitano’s claim about British intelligence.

Mr. Johnson became infamous in political circles after he spread false rumors in 2008 that Michelle Obama had been videotaped using a slur against Caucasians. In the interview on Friday, Mr. Johnson acknowledged his notoriety, but said that his knowledge of surveillance of Mr. Trump came from sources in the American intelligence community. Mr. Napolitano, he said, heard about his information through an intermediary.

“It sounds like a Frederick Forsyth novel,” Mr. Johnson said.

Grynbaum is a classic example of what is wrong with the journalism today. For starters, he manufactured the “Frederick Forsyth” quote. I said no such thing. Besides fabricating a quote, he refused to address the substance of my information regarding the activities and conduct of British GCHQ. Instead, he went for the “Whitey” smear.

If you are not familiar with that episode, permit me to refresh your memory or create a new one for you. It is a simple story—I allowed myself to be used by Clinton campaign, Sid Blumenthal in particular, to spread a rumor that turned out to be untrue.

I was an ardent supporter of Hillary in 2007 and 2008. I had previously briefed her in 2007 on the war in Iraq and found her, at least in a one-on-one setting, to be very intelligent and very well informed. But that was then. Her subsequent conduct as the Secretary of State, especially how she mishandled the Benghazi incident, ended any chance that I would ever support her for any role in which the lives of American military, diplomats or intelligence officers are on the line.

After that briefing, I found myself as an unofficial member of the Clinton for President team via my friendship with Sid Blumenthal. I had enormous respect for Sid and his wife. I thought they were good people. The only thing I now know for certain is that they are fiercely loyal to the Clintons.

As the contest between Hillary and Barach Obama heated up, Sid would call me from time to time with suggestions of articles I could write or pieces that could be run on my now defunct blog--NoQuarterUSa.net. I was more than happy to help. I believed then (and have been vindicated by the passage of time) that Barack Obama was just a pretty face with no significant experience and he would be a terrible President.

Then came the fateful phone call from Sid Blumenthal in late May 2008. He told me he had learned of a tape that was circulating in restricted circles that featured Michelle Obama using the derogatory phrase, “whitey.” Armed with that tidbit of gossip I turned to an old friend in the media community and he too confirmed he had heard the same thing (stupidly, I never considered the possibility that Sid was spreading this far and wide and that I was getting blowback).

When I mentioned the possible existence of this tape to a Republican friend of mine and former CIA colleague in California, I was shocked when he said, “I have a friend who has seen and heard the tape. That was enough for me. Based on these two sources, I wrote the story up at NoQuarterUSA.net.

It went viral. But nothing surfaced. I became uneasy. So I went back to Sid and pressed him for more information. He in turn sent me to David Brock of Media Matters. (I had met Brock previously at the Blumenthal home watching election returns in 2006.) Brock told me that the information came from female friend who insisted she had seen and heard the slur by Michelle Obama.

The matter became more confused when the Obama campaign sent out an email to their campaign workers claiming that Michelle said “WHY DID HE” rather than the pejorative, “WHITEY.” That led me to believe there was substance to the Blumenthal/Brock rumor.

Ultimately the story died out. No tape surfaced, but I bore the blame as the “Whitey” guy. With the benefit of hindsight I now understand that I was an unwitting but willing tool in a David Brock dirty trick. No such tape ever surfaced. I can only conclude that the desperation of the Clinton campaign to win was so extreme that they would stoop to use a racist meme to smear Obama.

I regret what I did in writing the story up. But it did not originate with me. It started with David Brock. Which brings me back to the Napolitano affair.

After Grynbaun identified me as one of Judge Napolitano’s sources, it was open season on me. Not one of the media outlets—except for CNN and the Politico — even took the time to reach out to me and ask me to tell my side of the story. Instead, they recirculated talking points from Media Matters.

Here is what I told Brian Stelter during this period:

https://youtu.be/NRxuzxcOLdM

Talk about Chutzpah. David Brock started the Whitey rumor (I will happily take a polygraph on that point) and then has the audacity to attack me and dismiss my information (via Media Matters) simply because I had passed on rumors where he was the original source:

Media Matters first traced Napolitano's wiretapping conspiracy back to an interview on the state-sponsored Russian television network RT with the former CIA analyst and discredited conspiracy theorist Larry C. Johnson, who previously promoted false claims that Michelle Obama used a racial slur against Caucasian people.

This was a dark period for me. People I thought I could rely on abandoned me. I was on my own. But not for long. Rescue came via Judge Napolitano and an unlikely source, The Guardian—a left leaning British newspaper. The Judge was brought back on air at Fox on March 29, 2017 and stood his ground:

On Wednesday morning, Napolitano returned to the network, making an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” His first order of business? Doubling down on the claims that got him suspended in the first place. (From the Washington Post, 29 March 2017, Amy Wang).

Two weeks later, on April 13th, The Guardian not only confirmed what I had said about GCHQ (note, in some of my on air interviews I stupidly and mistakenly called the British spy agence GHCQ) but identified other countries as well who were collecting intelligence, i.e., intercepting communications:

Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.

GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.

Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.

There is a simple bottomline—My information was accurate and reliable. Also, I had the story before anyone else. Journalists and pundits were unwilling to listen.

We know a lot more today then we did in the Spring of 2017. George Papadopoulos was targeted by a MI-6 covert action designed to portray him as a lackey of Russia and promoting Russia to the Trump campaign. Carter Page was spied upon under four separate FISA warrants that were based on the fictitious Steel Dossier. And a CIA "contractor", Stefan Halper, played the role of an agitator trying to lure Papadopoulos into implicating himself in a Russian plot.

And then we have the unmasking of American citizens. Here is but one example:

Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN.

The New York meeting preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House.

Do you understand what this means? If you have never had a clearance and had access to NSA material then you probably fail to understand how profound this is. Let me explain. There were multiple intelligence reports released by the NSA. I am pretty certain all were classified as Top Secret. Some of these may have been generated by NSA, but most, according to the Guardian piece I mentioned above, were from foreign liaison. The names of the American citizens were initially obscured--e.g., Subject 1 or Subject 2. Hence the "request" to unmask. In other words, identify the nameless person by name. That, boys and girls, is known as spying.

Bill Barr is now getting the Larry Johnson treatment for daring to speak a simple, self-evident truth. One big difference. Barr can set in motion the legal process to indict and prosecute those American traitors in the law enforcement and intelligence community who violated their oath to uphold the Constitution and used their positions to launch a political witch-hunt. Stay tuned.

JerseyJeffersonian , 12 hours ago

Mr. Johnson,

Thank you for this clarifying account. I used to read NoQuarter back in the day, and had been mystified when it was taken down. Now I understand, and am glad that Col. Lang has facilitated your return to blogging.

And just in time to see some of your tormentors - and unsurprisingly the very same tormentors of our constitutional republic - be (hopefully) called to account for their actions.

The Lame Stream Media have much for which to answer concerning their part in all of this; they have abrogated their role as even-handed watchdogs through their open-eyed and monolithic dissemination of hyper-partisan, cultural marxist agitprop, much of it focused on character assassination of those who did not share their beliefs, and yet more noxiously by throttling the expression of contrary argumentation across the board.

But the genuine opprobium should be reserved for those officers and officials, sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, who determinedly worked to instead disregard and undermine the Constitution, and the constitutional republic which it undergirds.

[Apr 09, 2019] Launched under the pretext of a UN resolution authorizing the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya to halt the supposed (but non-existent) threat of a massacre in the eastern city of Benghazi, the war saw money and arms poured into Islamist militias and lavished on Al Qaeda operatives, who were backed by a relentless bombing campaign, which included nearly 30,000 sorties in the course of seven months.

Apr 09, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star April 9, 2019 at 1:00 pm

"On Friday, the United Nations Security Council, following a closed-door meeting, issued a statement to the press calling for Hifter's LNA to "halt its military activity" near Tripoli. When Britain proposed a formal resolution along these lines, however, Russia opposed it, no doubt fearing that it could become the pretext for a fresh Western intervention in Libya.

The British draft included a passage calling "for those who undermine Libya's peace and security to be held to account."

What hypocrisy! There was no such call when the UK joined with France and the United States to overthrow the country's government and inflict death upon its population and destruction upon its infrastructure.

*****No one, from Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron on down, was ever held accountable for a criminal war of aggression that turned the country into a living hell.****

Launched under the pretext of a UN resolution authorizing the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya to halt the supposed (but non-existent) threat of a massacre in the eastern city of Benghazi, the war saw money and arms poured into Islamist militias and lavished on Al Qaeda operatives, who were backed by a relentless bombing campaign, which included nearly 30,000 sorties in the course of seven months.

A war launched on the pretext of protecting civilians culminated in the carpet bombing of Sirte, a bastion of popular support for Gaddafi, and the lynch-mob torture and murder of the Libyan leader, over which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laughingly gloated, "We came, we saw, he died."

"In the intervening eight years, the attempts to install a pro-Western puppet regime in a devastated country controlled by clashing Islamist, tribal and other militias have failed miserably. The regime headed up by Sarraj, recognized as Libya's "legitimate" government, barely controls even Tripoli. Under its supposed rule, the country's education and health systems have collapsed, while inflation is ravaging living standards, the unemployment rate has reached 30 percent, and fully a third of the population lives below the poverty line. Conditions of life for masses of Libyans have deteriorated dramatically since the overthrow of Gaddafi."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/04/09/liby-a09.html

[Apr 09, 2019] Mark Bruzonsky explains how Obama sold out to the AIPAC lobby, and how President Obama would never dare oppose the stronghold of the Zionist, Israeli Lobby in the US.

Apr 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Mark Bruzonsky , says: Website April 9, 2019 at 8:18 am GMT

Will the truth set US free, ever ?

PressTV: How Zionism Infiltrated The United States

Interview with Scholar and Journalist, Mark Bruzonsky. Mark Bruzonsky, a Jewish, American Scholar and Journalist, has been a key member behind the scenes of the Israeli Palestinian peace initiative in the 1980s, meeting with Former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and with Palestinian officials. In this exclusive interview with Press TV's Autograph, Mr. Bruzonsky talks about the challenges and missed opportunities he witnessed first-hand, and how Zionist groups infiltrated American politics, US institutions and organizations.

He goes further to explain the specific time and day Obama sold out to the AIPAC lobby, and how President Obama would never dare oppose the stronghold of the Zionist, Israeli Lobby in the US.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mark+Bruzonsky

[Apr 08, 2019] 7 years after the US - led by Obama, Hillary @SamanthaJPower - bombed Libya in the name of "humanitarianism" along with the UK France then utterly ignored it, the country is so violent, unstable dangerous that US troops can no longer safely remain

Notable quotes:
"... The seeds sown in the US' "Long War"* are terrible. Libya discord gave arms and bases for US support to Salafi jihad in Syria, ISIS is US sown, Iraq is to be a permanent occupation more dangerous than South Korea, Afghanistan is a tottering escapade each new commander bringing a fresh set of objectives none connected to an end to the blood shed. ..."
"... The press is at fault, they work for the empire's war profiteers. ..."
"... *Many commentators on the US' military horrors since 9/11/01 stopped saying "global war on terror" and use "Long War". ..."
Apr 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , April 07, 2019 at 08:48 AM

https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1114894864880218112

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

7 years after the US - led by Obama, Hillary & @SamanthaJPower - bombed Libya in the name of "humanitarianism" along with the UK & France & then utterly ignored it, the country is so violent, unstable & dangerous that US troops can no longer safely remain

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/american-troops-in-libya-moved-out-of-country-as-violence-escalates-near-capital/2019/04/07/bf754a6c-58b2-11e9-aa83-504f086bf5d6_story.html

American troops in Libya moved out of country as violence escalates near capital

The announcement comes as the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli vowed to defend the capital against a renegade militia seeking to storm its way into the city, a showdown that threatened to spill into bloody urban combat in the streets of Tripoli.

7:17 AM - 7 Apr 2019

ilsm -> anne... , April 07, 2019 at 09:46 AM
How come none of this is on page one above the fold?

EMichael, goes after Chinese oppression of Muslims, but never a word about humanitarian tragedies US spreads from Caracas to Yemen through Kandahar to Pyongyang.

Russia doing any of this to Ukraine or Georgia would be howled about!

The seeds sown in the US' "Long War"* are terrible. Libya discord gave arms and bases for US support to Salafi jihad in Syria, ISIS is US sown, Iraq is to be a permanent occupation more dangerous than South Korea, Afghanistan is a tottering escapade each new commander bringing a fresh set of objectives none connected to an end to the blood shed.

The press is at fault, they work for the empire's war profiteers.

*Many commentators on the US' military horrors since 9/11/01 stopped saying "global war on terror" and use "Long War".

[Apr 07, 2019] Nunes The Russian Collusion Hoax Meets An Unbelievbable End

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Nice group shot of the three stooges. The most dishonest, disloyal, dipshitted psychopaths a country should never have to endure. ..."
"... The likelihood of anyone being convicted let alone indicted is rather slim. Why? These people know where too many dead bodies are buried. ..."
"... There is an understanding in their circles that certain individuals on both sides of the spectrum are bulletproof. You can't run such a large criminal enterprise without it being this way. Why else would Mueller not talk to Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Steele, the heads of Fusion GPS, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., the promoter who set that up, etc., etc. ..."
"... This whole ordeal was meant to die an uneventful death. It's unlikely Barr will act on any recommendations from Nunes becuase it would start a partisan war that would snare GOP never Trumpers too. It's how Washington works. Like Carlin says - it's a great big club and you ain't in it. They are, and they don't do time. ..."
Apr 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Rep. Devin Nunes, op-ed via The Washington Examiner,

As the Russia collusion hoax hurtles toward its demise, it's important to consider how this destructive information operation rampaged through vital American institutions for more than two years , and what can be done to stop such a damaging episode from recurring.

While the hoax was fueled by a wide array of false accusations, misleading leaks of ostensibly classified information, and bad-faith investigative actions by government officials, one vital element was indispensable to the overall operation: the Steele dossier.

<

Funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee, which hid their payments from disclosure by funneling them through the law firm Perkins Coie, the dossier was a collection of false and often absurd accusations of collusion between Trump associates and Russian officials. These allegations, which relied heavily on Russian sources cultivated by Christopher Steele, were spoon-fed to Trump opponents in the U.S. government, including officials in law enforcement and intelligence.

The efforts to feed the dossier's allegations into top levels of the U.S. government, particularly intelligence agencies, were championed by Steele, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, and various intermediaries. These allegations were given directly to the FBI and Justice Department, while similar allegations were fed into the State Department by long-time Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal.

Their efforts were remarkably effective. Officials within the FBI and DOJ, whether knowingly or unintentionally, provided essential support to the hoax conspirators, bypassing normal procedures and steering the information away from those who would view it critically. The dossier soon metastasized within the government, was cloaked in secrecy, and evaded serious scrutiny.

High-ranking officials such as then-FBI general counsel James Baker and then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr were among those whose actions advanced the hoax. Ohr, one of the most senior officials within the DOJ, took the unprecedented step of providing to Steele a back door into the FBI investigation. This enabled the former British spy to continue to feed information to investigators, even though he had been terminated by the FBI for leaking to the press and was no longer a valid source. Even worse, Ohr directly briefed Andrew Weissmann and Zainab Ahmad, two DOJ officials who were later assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. In short, the investigation was marked by glaring irregularities that would normally be deemed intolerable.

According to Ohr's congressional testimony, he told top-level FBI officials as early as August or September 2016 that Steele was biased against Trump, that Steele's work was connected to the Clinton campaign, and that Steele's material was of questionable reliability. Steele himself confirmed that last point in a British court case in which he acknowledged his allegations included unverified information. Yet even after this revelation, intelligence leaders continued to cite the Steele dossier in applications to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

It is astonishing that intelligence leaders did not immediately recognize they were being manipulated in an information operation or understand the danger that the dossier could contain deliberate disinformation from Steele's Russian sources . In fact, it is impossible to believe in light of everything we now know about the FBI's conduct of this investigation, including the astounding level of anti-Trump animus shown by high-level FBI figures like Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, as well as the inspector general's discovery of a shocking number of leaks by FBI officials.

It's now clear that top intelligence officials were perfectly well aware of the dubiousness of the dossier, but they embraced it anyway because it justified actions they wanted to take - turning the full force of our intelligence agencies first against a political candidate and then against a sitting president.

The hoax itself was a gift to our nation's adversaries, most notably Russia. The abuse of intelligence for political purposes is insidious in any democracy. It undermines trust in democratic institutions, and it damages the reputation of the brave men and women who are working to keep us safe. This unethical conduct has had major repercussions on America's body politic, creating a yearslong political crisis whose full effects remain to be seen.

Having extensively investigated this abuse, House Intelligence Committee Republicans will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in these matters.

These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future. The men and women of our intelligence community perform an essential service defending American national security, and their ability to carry out their mission cannot be compromised by biased actors who seek to transform the intelligence agencies into weapons of political warfare.


-320 for Money , 2 hours ago link

Nice group shot of the three stooges. The most dishonest, disloyal, dipshitted psychopaths a country should never have to endure.

I certainly do not know the cure for all the nations ills, but these 3 ***** could do more by dying than they ever did by living.

Fall on your swords swine, save a smidgen of face, you are a disgrace.

Real Estate Guru , 2 hours ago link

All 3 of them have been confirmed to by lying through their teeth by their own people. They are all going down. We just need the Mueller report to come out to get the ball rolling. Can't do it before the report comes out as they would call it obstruction. So we wait another 9 days, or less, according to AG Barr.

Jackprong , 4 hours ago link

Could be, PapaGeorge. Maybe this time it's different because it could be argued that the TPTB don't want Trump pulling the same thing on the DNC--and get away with it like the Usual Suspects just did. In legal terms, a bar has been set. BARR? Get it? Buwhahahahahahahahahha!!!

The likelihood of anyone being convicted let alone indicted is rather slim. Why? These people know where too many dead bodies are buried. There is an understanding in their circles that certain individuals on both sides of the spectrum are bulletproof. You can't run such a large criminal enterprise without it being this way. Why else would Mueller not talk to Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Steele, the heads of Fusion GPS, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., the promoter who set that up, etc., etc.

This whole ordeal was meant to die an uneventful death. It's unlikely Barr will act on any recommendations from Nunes becuase it would start a partisan war that would snare GOP never Trumpers too. It's how Washington works. Like Carlin says - it's a great big club and you ain't in it. They are, and they don't do time

papageorgeo , 5 hours ago link

The likelihood of anyone being convicted let alone indicted is rather slim. Why? These people know where too many dead bodies are buried.

There is an understanding in their circles that certain individuals on both sides of the spectrum are bulletproof. You can't run such a large criminal enterprise without it being this way. Why else would Mueller not talk to Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Steele, the heads of Fusion GPS, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., the promoter who set that up, etc., etc.

This whole ordeal was meant to die an uneventful death. It's unlikely Barr will act on any recommendations from Nunes becuase it would start a partisan war that would snare GOP never Trumpers too. It's how Washington works. Like Carlin says - it's a great big club and you ain't in it. They are, and they don't do time.

Fred box , 5 hours ago link

<<<House Intelligence Committee Republicans will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in these matters<<< We shall see now, won't we? I won't believe this, till I see It!

[Apr 06, 2019] The Magnitsky Act-Behind the Scenes ASEEES

Highly recommended!
Money quote: "Instead of protecting people, the Magnitsky case helps the "bad guys" to demonstrate to their Russian compatriots that the West is rotten to the core, its policies are created by compliant stooges (lying thieves and useful idiots), and more rockets should be built to confront America's injustice towards Russia and others. A lie can never really protect anyone, in my humble opinion. But the problem is worse. It turns human rights into a hypocritical ideology to protect the interests of the powers that be, a bit like the slogans about brotherhood and justice in the Soviet Union. "
Notable quotes:
"... Taught in tandem with William Browder's book Red Notice , this film can provide students with a real-life experience in the practice of critical thinking. The film also allows us to revive a discussion of Hayden White's penetrating analysis of the ways in which the structure of the form necessarily influences the content of any artistic or historical narrative. The vehicle of the docudrama that Nekrasov uses in his film, and the competing narratives about the circumstances leading to Magnitsky's death, merit literary and intellectual analysis, along with geopolitical commentary. ..."
"... The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes is about the ways in which the notion of human rights is sometimes used as a fake alibi for white-collar crimes. Though I explore just one case, I think that I have managed to show that those ways are exceptionally sophisticated and efficient, and enlist all the major media, civil society, NGOs, governments, parliaments, and major international organizations. ..."
"... The Magnitsky Act, in my view, is not a weapon that can protect people. The Magnitsky Act was designed to punish those deemed murderers and torturers of Magnitsky. Well, if my film demonstrates that Magnitsky was not murdered (by the people Browder claims he was murdered by), nor was he tortured, the Magnitsky Act is nonsensical. You cannot punish someone for something that did not happen. Can you then say, never mind, human rights violations happen, and it's good to have a mechanism to punish violators even if there's no evidence that people named as violators are guilty? I don't think one can say "never mind". Neither legally, nor, morally. ..."
"... There is no evidence whatsoever that the government of the United States conducted independent investigations of the policemen and the judges who were supposedly involved in the death of Magnitsky. And no one seems to be concerned of course about the rights of those on the Magnitsky list, who can't even reply to the accusations, let alone have the accusations verified by an independent investigator or judge. ..."
Apr 06, 2019 | www.aseees.org

In 2016, Andrei Lvovich Nekrasov, a well-known Russian film-maker, playwright, theater director, and actor, released a docudrama entitled, The Magnitsky Act -- Behind the Scenes . Although the film won many artistic accolades, including a special commendation from the Prix Europa Award for a Television Documentary, public screenings were abruptly canceled in both Europe and the United States. Political pressure from various constituents and the threat of lawsuits from William Browder, the American-British billionaire and human-rights activist, ensured the limitation of the film to a single website. To the knowledge of this author, there has been only one public screening of The Magnitsky Act -- Behind the Scenes in the United States. In June 2016, Seymour Hersch, a renowned investigative journalist, presided over a showing of the film at the Newseum in Washington, DC, that generated much controversy. The American press has not been kind to either the film or the director, Andrei Nekrasov. The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Daily Beast all seem to agree that the film is an overt work of Russian propaganda that aims to introduce confusion about the circumstances leading to the death of tax accountant, Sergei Magnitsky, in the minds of the viewers. The Putin administration, which has been the prime target of both the 2012 Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Accountability Act and the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, has good reason to promote a film that questions the circumstances surrounding Magnitsky's untimely death in Moscow's Butyrka Prison in 2009.

Despite a flood of persuasive articles and editorials by well-known journalists suggesting that this inconvenient film deserves no more than a quick burial, I was drawn to reconsider both the film and the political controversy that it continues to create for two main reasons. First, as the collapse of the Soviet Union and our own recent presidential campaigns show, we can never entirely prohibit the intrusion of propaganda or politically slanted content into the public sphere. Instead, as a historian and faculty member who serves at a public university, I believe that it is my job to teach our students how to diagnose an issue, and how to consider the many sides that a story necessarily involves. As an intellectual process this has immense value both in and of itself. Source criticism is a time tested and reliable means through which we can make sense of an event or a phenomenon. Our students need to learn both the mechanics and the intellectual value of analyzing a source and should be able to evaluate the nature of political content whether it is embedded in a Facebook post, a scholarly article, or a documentary.

The Magnitsky Act -- Behind the Scenes can serve as an important vehicle to introduce the contested nature of historical truth, and as a prism, it allows us to view the multiple modes through which various versions of the truth are disseminated in the twenty-first century. Taught in tandem with William Browder's book Red Notice , this film can provide students with a real-life experience in the practice of critical thinking. The film also allows us to revive a discussion of Hayden White's penetrating analysis of the ways in which the structure of the form necessarily influences the content of any artistic or historical narrative. The vehicle of the docudrama that Nekrasov uses in his film, and the competing narratives about the circumstances leading to Magnitsky's death, merit literary and intellectual analysis, along with geopolitical commentary.

Second, I am concerned by the fact that both critics and supporters have turned the debate about the film into a referendum on William Browder, his business dealings as well as his global human rights activism, and the Putin administration. In this interview with Andrei Nekrasov, I turn the spotlight back on the film-maker, his motivations for making the film, and on his political experiences since the release of the film. It is important to remember that in the past Nekrasov has made several politically charged films including Disbelief (2004), and Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File (2007) -- films that are extremely critical of the Putin administration. Nekrasov, a student of philosophy and literature, is in the unique position of having experienced censorship in the Soviet Union, Putin's Russia, and in the democratic countries of Western Europe and the United States.

1) Why did you want to make a film about the Magnitsky Act? What drew you to this project?

Andrei Nekrasov : I felt that the story of Magnitsky, in its accepted version, was very powerful and important. I thought that Sergei Magnitsky was a hero, and I wanted to tell the story of the modern hero, my compatriot. His case seemed very special because Magnitsky, a tax lawyer (in reality, an accountant) had come from the world of capitalism, to symbolize all that is good and moral in modern Russia. I believed that Magnitsky did not surrender under torture and sacrificed his life fighting corruption.

2) Who has funded the making of this film and what motivated them to invest in this production?

AN : The film was produced by Piraya Film, a Norwegian company. There is a long list of funders, and none are from Russia. (Please visit www.magnitskyact.com for further information). And they are all very "mainstream." I believe in the United States and Russia it is easier to construe the specific reasons that motivate funders, who are mostly private, to support a project. In Europe, where more public money is available for the arts, the state is more or less obliged to fund the cultural process. So I submit an idea to a producer, and if they like it, they introduce it into a complex system of funding that is supposed to be politically neutral. Only quality matters, in theory. In practice "quality" has political aspects, and its interpretation is open to prejudices.

But it would be a simplification to say the film was funded because I had set out to tell Browder's version of the Magnitsky case. Those funders who were (through their commissioning editors) monitoring the editing process, ZDF/ARTE, for example, became aware of the inconsistencies in Browder's version and supported my investigation into the truth. What they did not realize was who, and what, we were all dealing with. They did not realize that Browder was supported by the entire political system of North America and Western Europe. They realized that only when they were told by politicians to stop the film. And they obeyed, contrary to what I thought was their principles.

3) How has the role of censorship, both in Russia and the West, affected your artistic career?

AN : Censorship has had a very strong and damaging impact on my career. But while censorship in Russia had never been something surprising to me, the way that the film T he Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes was treated by western politicians was totally unanticipated and shocking. Yet, intellectually, the experience was very illuminating. The pro-Western intelligentsia of Russia, a class to which I have belonged, idolizes the West and believes that the freedom of expression is an essential and even intrinsic part of Western culture. The notion that the interests of economically powerful groups can set a geopolitical agenda and that easily overrides democratic freedom of expression is considered to be a remnant of Soviet era thinking. So I had to have a direct and personal experience of Western censorship to realize that that notion is rooted in reality.

The issue of censorship in Russia is, on the other hand, often misunderstood in the West. There is no direct political censorship of the kind that existed in the Soviet Union, and that possibly exists in countries like China today. Many popular Russian news outlets are critical of the government, and of Putin personally as evidenced by the content in media outlets such as Ekho Moskvy, Novaya Gazeta, Dozhd TV, New Times, Vedomosti, Colta. ru, and others. The internet is full of mockery of Putin, his ministers and of his party's representatives. There is neither a system nor the kind of wellresourced deep state structures that control the flow of information. Many Russian media outlets, for example, repeat Browder's story of Magnitsky killed by the corrupt police with the state covering it up. All that is perfectly "allowed" while Putin angrily condemns Browder as a criminal and Browder calls himself Putin's number one enemy. In reality, it is not allowed but simply happens because of the lack of consistent political censorship.

However, you will hardly ever hear a proper analysis and criticism in the Russian media of the big corporations, and of the oligarchs that make up the state. It is also true that such acute crises as military operations, such as Russian-Georgian war of 2008 produce intolerance to the voices of the opposition. My film Russian Lessons (2008) about the suffering of the Georgians during that short war and its aftermath wasbanned in Russia. But nationalism is not only a government policy. It's the prevailing mood. The supposedly democratic leader of the opposition, that the West seems to praise and support, Alexei Navalny, was on the record insulting Georgians in jingo-nationalistic posts during the war. The film industry is, of course, easier to steer in the "right direction" as films, unlike articles and essays, are very expensive to produce. But Russia is a complex society, deeply troubled, but also misunderstood by the West. If my films, such as Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File , and Russian Lessons (2010) were attacked by pro-government media, then some of my articles were censored by the independent, "opposition" outlets, such as Ekho Moskvy .

4) Did you actually begin filming the movie with an outcome of supporting Browder's story in mind, as you represent in the film, or did you plan from the start of the filming process to end the film as it now stands?

AN : I started filming the story. I totally believed in the story that Browder had told me, and all the mainstream media repeated after him.

5) You know that there are many more "disappeared" journalists and others listed in the formal US Congress Magnitsky Act who have suffered from the effects of corrupt power in Russia. Why did you not address the fates of some of those others as well in your film?

AN : I may be misunderstanding this question, but I do not see how addressing the fates of "disappeared" journalists and others' would be relevant to the topic of my film in its final version. I obviously condemn the "disappearance" of journalists and others. In Russia journalists disappear usually by being "simply" shot (not in "sophisticated" Saudi ways), and as far as I remember only one is referred to in The Magnitsky Act , Paul Khlebnikov. He was the editor of Forbes, Russia , and was shot in 2004 when Bill Browder was a great fan of Vladimir Putin and continued to be for some time. I have not seen any evidence or even claim, that Putin may have been behind that murder. I was a friend of Anna Politkovskaya, perhaps the most famous of all Russian journalists who was assassinated in the recent past. She is featured in my film, Poisoned by Polonium .

The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes is about the ways in which the notion of human rights is sometimes used as a fake alibi for white-collar crimes. Though I explore just one case, I think that I have managed to show that those ways are exceptionally sophisticated and efficient, and enlist all the major media, civil society, NGOs, governments, parliaments, and major international organizations.

6) Does William Browder's role in the formulation of the Magnitsky Act invalidate its value and that of the Global Magnitsky Act, in seeking to provide protection for those suffering from the effects of deadly and corrupt power such as the recently deceased Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi?

AN : Let me, for the argument's sake, pose myself what would seem like a version of your question: "Would Browder's role in creating a weapon that could protect someone like Khashoggi from deadly and corrupt power invalidate that weapon?" My answer would be, no, it would not invalidate that weapon. However, we are dealing with a fallacy here, in my humble opinion. The Magnitsky Act, in my view, is not a weapon that can protect people. The Magnitsky Act was designed to punish those deemed murderers and torturers of Magnitsky. Well, if my film demonstrates that Magnitsky was not murdered (by the people Browder claims he was murdered by), nor was he tortured, the Magnitsky Act is nonsensical. You cannot punish someone for something that did not happen. Can you then say, never mind, human rights violations happen, and it's good to have a mechanism to punish violators even if there's no evidence that people named as violators are guilty? I don't think one can say "never mind". Neither legally, nor, morally.

There is no evidence whatsoever that the government of the United States conducted independent investigations of the policemen and the judges who were supposedly involved in the death of Magnitsky. And no one seems to be concerned of course about the rights of those on the Magnitsky list, who can't even reply to the accusations, let alone have the accusations verified by an independent investigator or judge.

Instead of protecting people, the Magnitsky case helps the "bad guys" to demonstrate to their Russian compatriots that the West is rotten to the core, its policies are created by compliant stooges (lying thieves and useful idiots), and more rockets should be built to confront America's injustice towards Russia and others. A lie can never really protect anyone, in my humble opinion. But the problem is worse. It turns human rights into a hypocritical ideology to protect the interests of the powers that be, a bit like the slogans about brotherhood and justice in the Soviet Union.

Choi Chatterjee is a Professor of History at California State University, Los Angeles. Chatterjee, along with Steven Marks, Mary Neuberger, and Steve Sabol, edited The Wider Arc of Revolution in three volumes (Slavica Publishers).

[Apr 04, 2019] Was John Brennan The Russia Lie Ringleader

Highly recommended!
Apr 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Was John Brennan The Russia Lie Ringleader?

by Tyler Durden Thu, 04/04/2019 - 21:25 550 SHARES Authored by Monica Crowley, op-ed via The Washington Times,

The best defense, the saying goes, is a good offense.

The key orchestrators of the Big Trump-Russia Collusion Lie seem to have hewed tightly to that tactical advice.

Over the past two years, one of their biggest "tells" has been their hyper-aggressive and gratuitous attacks on the president. Given that special counsel Robert Mueller 's investigation found no collusion or obstruction of justice, their constant broadsides now look, in retrospect, like calculated pre-emptive strikes to deflect attention and culpability away from themselves.

By accusing Mr. Trump of what they themselves were guilty of, they created a masterful distraction through projection.

We now know that former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, are hip-deep in the conspiracy. Both wrote supposed "tell-all" books and carpet-bombed the media with interviews in which they regularly flung criminal accusations against the president. Whenever asked about their own roles, they reverted to denouncing Mr. Trump .

With Mr. Mueller 's findings, Mr. Comey 's and Mr. McCabe's media benders look increasingly suspicious.

As do those of their comrades in the Obama national security apparatus, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and his partner in possible crime, former CIA Director John Brennan , who, apart from former President Barack Obama himself, may be the biggest player of them all.

Any investigation into the origins and execution of the Big Lie must focus on Mr. Brennan , whose job as the nation's chief spook would have prohibited him, by law, from engaging in any domestic political spy games.

Of course, the law didn't stop him from illegally spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee by hacking into its computers and lying repeatedly about it, prompting Democratic senators to call for his resignation.

Once out of Langley, Mr. Brennan tore into Mr. Trump, accusing him of "treason" (among other crimes) in countless television appearances and bitter tweets. It got so vicious that Mr. Trump pulled his security clearance.

Consider a few critical data points.

The Obama Department of Justice and FBI targeting of two low-level Trump aides, George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, was carried out in the spring of 2016 because they wanted to spy on the Trump campaign but needed a way in. They enlisted an American academic and shadowy FBI informant named Stefan Halper to repeatedly sidle up to both Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Page. But complementing his work for the FBI , Mr. Halper had a side gig as an intelligence operative with longstanding ties to the CIA and British intelligence MI6.

Another foreign professor, Joseph Mifsud, who played an important early part in targeting Papadopoulos, also had abiding ties to the CIA , MI6 and the British foreign secretary.

A third operative, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, targeted Mr. Papadopoulos in a London bar. It was Mr. Downer's "tip" to the FBI that provided the justification for the start of Russia counterintelligence investigation, complete with fraudulently-obtained FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.

All of these interactions reek of entrapment. Mr. Papadopoulos now says, "I believe Australian and UK intelligence were involved in an active operation to target Trump and his associates." Like Mr. Halper and Mr. Mifsud, Mr. Downer had ties to the CIA , MI6 and (surprise!) the Clintons.

Given the deep intelligence backgrounds of these folks, it's difficult to believe that former DOJ/ FBI officials such as Peter Strzok or even James Comey and Andrew McCabe on their own devised the plan to deploy them.

So: who did? How did the relationships with Messrs. Halper, Mifsud and Downer come about? Who suggested them for these tasks? To whom did they report? How were they compensated?

Any investigation must follow the money -- and the personnel. There were plenty of DOJ/ FBI officials involved, but what about intelligence officials? Was Mr. Brennan a central player in the hoax, which would help explain the participation of Mr. Halper, Mr. Mifsud and Mr. Downer? Intel officials are likely to draw on other intelligence operatives.

There is also a glimpse of a paper trail.

Fox News' Catherine Herridge reported last week that "in a Dec. 12, 2016 text, [ FBI lawyer Lisa] Page wrote to McCabe: "Btw, Clapper told Pete that he was meeting with Brennan and Cohen for dinner tonight. Just FYSA [for your situational awareness ]."

"Within a minute, McCabe replied, "OK."

Ms. Herridge notes that those named are likely Peter Strzok and Mr. Brennan 's then-deputy, David Cohen. Ms. Herridge also notes that while we don't yet know what was discussed during the dinner, government sources thought it "irregular" for Mr. Clapper to be in contact with the more junior-level Mr. Strzok. She also points out that the text came "during a critical time for the Russia probe."

Indeed. It was right before the publication of the ICA, the official Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian 2016 election interference.

As Paul Sperry has reported, "A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.

"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and Comey , and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source." Recall that the dossier-based ICA was briefed to Obama , Trump and Congress ahead of Trump's inauguration.

Post- Mueller report, Mr. Brennan is spinning wildly that perhaps his early condemnations of Mr. Trump were based on "bad information."

These are just some of the threads suggesting Mr. Brennan may be one of the Masters of the Big Lie, requiring full investigation.

If the devil is in the details, Mr. Brennan is all over the details.

No wonder he -- and his fellow caballers -- have been so loud. They doth protest too much.


Luau , 6 minutes ago link

Obama was the ringleader. Brennan's just the fall guy.

Yars Revenge , 7 minutes ago link

Trying to frame a sitting President is treason.

Which under the law is punishable by death.

outofnowhere , 12 minutes ago link

Yes, yes he was. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Brennan was and is the darkest of evil. He is insane.

MoreFreedom , 27 minutes ago link

By accusing Mr. Trump of what they themselves were guilty of, they created a masterful distraction through projection.

Hillary setup a unsecured server and had confidential government information on it, including 20 emails with Obama suspiciously using an alias. If you're in law enforcement, and get a tip that Papadopolous may get some of those emails from Russians, what crime has been committed by Papadopolous? Isn't Papadopolous doing the US a favor by obtaining those emails from those who hacked her server?

If you believe Hillary that her server wasn't hacked (and you don't have any evidence because Obama's people allowed practically all the evidence to be destroyed) then there's no reason to investigate Papadopolous. If you think Hillary's server was hacked, shouldn't you be investigating her and examining her server to see who hacked her and what damage was done, such as blackmailing her and Obama into appeasement and flexibility, like selling 20% of the US's uranium reserves to Russians just before an election?

... ... ...

American2 , 1 hour ago link

John Brennan, James Clapper, Strozk, Ohr, Page were only some of Obama's political pythons operating in the jungle of Washington. Obama orchestrated a symphony of harmful actions that will take the US a generation to recover from. That is if Obama's criminal actions can be undone and then we get to recover.

[Apr 04, 2019] As Merkel is the USA stooge, and Germany needs to be freed from the USA vassalitete, and re-installed as an independent country; Putin should do is set up a "Free" German government in K nigsburg just like the US is doing with Gaido in Venezuela.

Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

Cowboy , says: April 4, 2019 at 3:35 pm GMT

@Rurik Upon consideration, what Putin should do is set up a "Free" German government in Königsburg just like the US is doing with Gaido in Venezuela. Get China to recognize it. Then they should start negotiating lucrative contracts, treaties and alliances between the Free Germans and the rest of OBOR. It would be fascinating to see how ZOG reacted.

Oh, and most important of all, declare a new debt free currency, perhaps gold backed. I could live with the Reichsmark.

[Apr 02, 2019] Poroshenko was just a US marionette which helped to loot the country and impoverish Ukrainian people

Under neoliberalism any regime change is necessary followed by an economic rape. That was the case with the USSR in 1991, that was the case in Ukraine in 2014. Only the size and length of the looting varies depending of the strength of new government. Both the size and the length is maximal if in power are marionette like Yeltsin or Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko.
Saying "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts" now should sound as "Beware of Americans who bring you color revolutions." They bring the economic rape (aka "Disaster capitalism") as the second phase. That's the nature of neocolonialism -- now you do not need to occupy the country. It's enough to make it a debt slave using IMF and install compradors to endure the low of money and continuing impoverishment of the population.
With such crooked and greedy friends as Biden and Kerry and their narcoaddicts sons you do not need enemies. But the main danger are not individual sharks but Western financial institutions like IMF and World bank. Those convert countries into debt slaves and that means permanently low standard (Central African in case of Ukraine, something like $2 a day) of living for generations to come.
What is interesting is that unlike say German nationalists in 30th, the Ukrainian nationalists proved to be completly useless in defending the Ukraine from looting. They actually serves as supplementary tool of the same looting.
The standard of living of Ukrainians dropped 2-3 times since 2014. How pensioners survive, on $50 a month pension I simply do not understand. In any case Neoliberalism proved to be very effecting is keeping "developing" nations economic growth down and converting them into debt slaves. The fact that Biden use loans as a tool of extortion (as in threat to cancel one billion loan) to close criminal investigation of his sons company is just an icing on the cake. Poroshenko and his camarilla should be tried in the court of law for his corruption and pandering to the Western sharks, who were happy to steal from Ukraine as much as then can.
To pay $166K a month for Biden's son cocaine is way too much to such impoverished country as Ukraine.
Notable quotes:
"... "I said, ' You're not getting the billion .' I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ' I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money, '" bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko. ..."
"... " Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden said at the Council on Foreign Relations event - while insisting that former president Obama was complicit in the threat. ..."
"... The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden's younger son, Hunter, as a board member. ..."
"... U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden's American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts -- usually more than $166,000 a month -- from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia. - The Hill ..."
"... And before he was fired, Shokin says he had made "specific plans" for the investigation - including "interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden." "I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine," added Shokin. Joe Biden "clearly had to know" about the probe before he insisted on Shokin's ouster . Via The Hill: ..."
"... The U.S. Embassy in Kiev that coordinated Biden's work in the country repeatedly and publicly discussed the general prosecutor's case against Burisma; ..."
"... President Obama named Biden the administration's point man on Ukraine in February 2014 ..."
"... Remember Victoria Nuland's famous phone recording of "**** the EU?" This was nothing more than another CIA destabilization campaign carried out of another Sovereign Country. With the goal of breaking the Bush Senior & Jim Baker agreement of not surrounding Russia with NATO countries after their Collapse. ..."
"... Let's face it. If Ukrainians loved it's Country, Joey, Hunter and the Choco-**** would have wound up like Mikhail Lesin during an all night party in an upscale grotto in Kiev by now! ..."
"... At last some questions for this dirt ball-burisma is tied in with one of the most if not the most corrupt oligarch, Koloimiski. Biden is up to his eyeballs in some dodgy deals in china as well-this guy and his son are walking corruption personified. ..."
"... Didn't Hillary teach Joe that a tax free foundation is better than using your son's LLC for laundering the bribes... This is basic stuff. ..."
"... Joe "the Conqueror" "Caesar Magnus" Biden. Joe of Ukraine, the best bud of $oro$. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Originally from: Forget 'Creepy' - Biden Has A Major Ukraine Problem Joe Biden appears to have made a major tactical error last year when he bragged to an audience of foreign policy experts how he threatened to hurl Ukraine into bankruptcy if their top prosecutor, General Viktor Shokin, wasn't immediately fired, according to The Hill 's John Solomon.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees , sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn't immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. - The Hill

"I said, ' You're not getting the billion .' I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ' I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money, '" bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko.

" Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden said at the Council on Foreign Relations event - while insisting that former president Obama was complicit in the threat.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0_AqpdwqK4?start=3128

Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden's account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day . Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine's parliament obliged by ending Shokin's tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired. - The Hill

And why would Biden want the "son of a bitch" fired?

In what must be an amazing coincidence, the prosecutor was leading a wide-ranging corruption investigation into a natural gas firm - which Biden's son, Hunter, sat on the board of directors.

The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden's younger son, Hunter, as a board member.

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden's American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts -- usually more than $166,000 a month -- from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia. - The Hill

The Hill 's Solomon reviewed the general prosecutor's file for the Burisma probe - which he reports shows Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

And before he was fired, Shokin says he had made "specific plans" for the investigation - including "interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden." "I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine," added Shokin. Joe Biden "clearly had to know" about the probe before he insisted on Shokin's ouster . Via The Hill:

Although Biden made no mention of his son in his 2018 speech, U.S. and Ukrainian authorities both told me Biden and his office clearly had to know about the general prosecutor's probe of Burisma and his son's role. They noted that:

President Obama named Biden the administration's point man on Ukraine in February 2014 , after a popular revolution ousted Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych and as Moscow sent military forces into Ukraine's Crimea territory.

***

Key questions for 'ol Joe:

Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden's firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?

Read the rest of Solomon's report here .

Chupacabra-322 , 58 minutes ago link

Remember Victoria Nuland's famous phone recording of "**** the EU?" This was nothing more than another CIA destabilization campaign carried out of another Sovereign Country. With the goal of breaking the Bush Senior & Jim Baker agreement of not surrounding Russia with NATO countries after their Collapse.

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Let's face it. If Ukrainians loved it's Country, Joey, Hunter and the Choco-**** would have wound up like Mikhail Lesin during an all night party in an upscale grotto in Kiev by now!

Amazing that all 3 of them are still alive and that "Song Bird" McCain (#4) was allowed to die from his brain cancer instead of joining them or being dismembered and put on display when he made these visit(s) ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbfsTcJCKDE ) along with General Vallely (#5)!!!

Taras Bulba , 1 hour ago

At last some questions for this dirt ball-burisma is tied in with one of the most if not the most corrupt oligarch, Koloimiski. Biden is up to his eyeballs in some dodgy deals in china as well-this guy and his son are walking corruption personified.

CarifonianSeven, 2 hours ago

Didn't Hillary teach Joe that a tax free foundation is better than using your son's LLC for laundering the bribes... This is basic stuff.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy, 1 hour ago

Joe cheated his way through undergrad and law school. He would be unable to understand any of that.

whittler, 1 hour ago

What? You mean folks will finally care about little Hunter hiring Azov neo-Nazi fighters (oops! security I mean) to protect his fracking site just north of the 'troubles' in the eastern Ukraine? I'm sure they were working for free and that no Biden money was ever used to payoff (oops again! I mean pay the wages of) a bunch of Nazis (dang it again, I mean neo-Nazis, it sounds so much warmer and fuzzier when you add 'neo').

Creepy Joe and all D's agree, 'Nazi' = bad, neo-Nazi = warm, fuzzy and good; heck, they even like to kill Russians Russians Russians!!!

Cracker 16 , 1 hour ago

Joe "the Conqueror" "Caesar Magnus" Biden. Joe of Ukraine, the best bud of $oro$.

[Apr 02, 2019] Requiem to Russiagate by CJ Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Neoliberal MSM j ust “got it wrong,” again … exactly like was the case with those Iraqi WMDs ;-).
So many neocons and neolibs seem so disappointed to find out that the President is not a Russian asset that it looks they’d secretly wish be ruled by Putin :-).
But in reality there well might be a credible "Trump copllition with the foreign power". Only with a different foreign power. Looks like Trump traded American foreign policy for Zionist money, not Russian money. That means that "the best-Congress-that-AIPAC-money-can-buy" will never impeach him for that.
And BTW as long as Schiff remains the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee the witch hunt is not over. So the leash remains strong.
Notable quotes:
"... it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement. ..."
"... That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy. ..."
"... Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,

So the Mueller report is finally in, and it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement.

If you didn't know better, you'd think we were all a bunch of hopelessly credulous imbeciles that you could con into believing almost anything, or that our brains had been bombarded with so much propaganda from the time we were born that we couldn't really even think anymore.

That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy.

After two long years of bug-eyed hysteria, Inspector Mueller came up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. Or, all right, he indicted a bunch of Russians that will never see the inside of a courtroom, and a few of Trump's professional sleazebags for lying and assorted other sleazebag activities (so I guess that was worth the $25 million of taxpayers' money that was spent on this circus).

Notwithstanding those historic accomplishments, the entire Mueller investigation now appears to have been another wild goose chase (like the "search" for those non-existent WMDs that we invaded and destabilized the Middle East and murdered hundreds of thousands of people pretending to conduct in 2003). Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House.

The jig, as they say, is up.

But let's try to look on the bright side, shall we?

... ... ...

[Apr 02, 2019] Were Bill Clinton and Obama CIA assets at some point of their careers?

Notable quotes:
"... Slick Willy, recruited by the CIA to report on anti-war activism from Oxford back in 1968. ..."
"... we get America's first Black President, which serves to paralyze the left with identity politics in exactly the same way that the first woman President would. ..."
"... Unfortunately for the CIA and neoliberal establishment, Trump's unexpected win ( "Damn you ornery American voters!" ) has mortally wounded identity politics as an ideology, so the corporate mass media has tons of work ahead of them for getting plans back on track, if it is possible at all. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Apr 1, 2019 2:38:16 PM | link

So this Buttgig guy is gay?

Here is the way the CIA planned it from way back in Ronald Raygun's presidency:

But the American electorate threw a monkey wrench (or an orange buffoon?) into the works and screwed everything up. Trump was just floated as a "heel" (pro wrestling term) or "foil" to be beaten, and in the process of being beaten reinforce the identity politics of the victor and discredit populism.

Not having any better ideas, and not having any idea why their plans failed, the CIA is just charging ahead with their idea of installing a gay President in 2024 and giving the electorate some exposure to their tool now.

Unfortunately for the CIA and neoliberal establishment, Trump's unexpected win ( "Damn you ornery American voters!" ) has mortally wounded identity politics as an ideology, so the corporate mass media has tons of work ahead of them for getting plans back on track, if it is possible at all.

[Apr 02, 2019] Is/was Trump a drug addict?

Notable quotes:
"... Trump crushes adderol and snorts the powder. ..."
"... Whereas, Obama maintained a cool composure as he lied - those whoppers!; and as he expanded Corporate and MIC power and Cut Taxes on the rich, while smiling and telling you he was on your side, but gosh darn it - those mean republicans.... ..."
"... Obama seemed the Cyborg. Not on drugs, but who knows? ..."
"... Now Trump and Dubya. These guys share certain drug induced behaviors. Harder to control. Neither is very bright or curious. Bit of a loose cannon, harder to control. So you see these ticks and twitches and highs and lows. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

fast freddy , Mar 31, 2019 3:04:25 PM | link

Noel Casler worked 6 seasons of The Apprentice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxwYrANiPt4

Trump crushes adderol and snorts the powder.

Whereas, Obama maintained a cool composure as he lied - those whoppers!; and as he expanded Corporate and MIC power and Cut Taxes on the rich, while smiling and telling you he was on your side, but gosh darn it - those mean republicans....

Obama seemed the Cyborg. Not on drugs, but who knows? He's got Michael's big pecker, so he's content; and he'll make lots of money and live a jet set lifestyle of the rich and famous. Easy. He's smart and slicker than cat shite. He guided the USA farther down the path to the New World Order. No problem.

Now Trump and Dubya. These guys share certain drug induced behaviors. Harder to control. Neither is very bright or curious. Bit of a loose cannon, harder to control. So you see these ticks and twitches and highs and lows.

And Kushner. Too Young and inexperienced to do all that he does. It points to puppet masters pulling their strings.

Trump just wanted some good looking pussycats to come up to his suite; and some hamberders.

[Apr 01, 2019] Trey Gowdy Adam Schiff is a 'deeply partisan person' - YouTube

Notable quotes:
"... It was the DNC and Ukraine. They wanted HRC to win. No collusion was on President Trump's side. All the top players in the FBI and DOJ played games and lost. President Trump won and plays the game better than those on the DNC. Their game book has been showed to be stupid. ..."
"... Brennan thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. He spins lies like a hungry spider. Brennan, Clapper, Schiff, Swalwell, and some others need to go. ..."
Apr 01, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Rosemary Storm , 1 day ago

Trump HATER Brennan - says: "U.S. PERSONS" - meaning Schiff, Comey, Obama, Strozk, His Lover, The OBAMAS, - are all THOSE "U.S. PERSONS" who gave him the so-called "INTELLIGENCE" - at WHAT POINT does "UN-VERIFIED INFO" become a TREASONOUS WEAPONIZED INSTRUMENT of an ATTEMPTED COUP D'eta against the President Of The United States of America.

Stan Wilson , 1 day ago

Seditious liar Schifty Adam Schiff was involved in criminal leaking of classified information to Democrat propaganda machines CNN and MSNBC -- Should not just resign but held accountable for his crimes and major role he played in the Coup attempt against the duly elected US president

halas , 1 day ago

If Brennan didn't know, he admits to being incompetent. If he did know, he is complicit. He accused someone of treason without evidence. Losing his security clearance is not justice. He needs to pay a bigger price.

Steven Miller , 1 day ago

Gowdy is correct. Had there been something there, yes perhaps then people should see it. When there results yield "not even probable cause", it probably shouldn't be released in it's entirety.

Andrea Visconti , 1 day ago

It was the DNC and Ukraine. They wanted HRC to win. No collusion was on President Trump's side. All the top players in the FBI and DOJ played games and lost. President Trump won and plays the game better than those on the DNC. Their game book has been showed to be stupid.

TNA2Me , 1 day ago

Brennan thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. He spins lies like a hungry spider. Brennan, Clapper, Schiff, Swalwell, and some others need to go.

Robert Silvermyst , 1 day ago

Adam Schiff claims there is clear evidence, yet never states what this evidence is. Yet it is so clear that Muller, the FBI, the Senate investigation and the House spent two years and never found it. Must be extremely transparent to the point of not existing period. I think Schiff needs to not only step down, but he needs to see a psychitatrist.

[Mar 31, 2019] Trump and GOP Allies Want Investigation of Mueller Probe s Roots

Notable quotes:
"... Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, tweeted: "Time to investigate the Obama officials who concocted and spread the Russian conspiracy hoax!" Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said "underlying documents" supporting what became Mueller's probe should be released to the public. ..."
"... A McCain associate, David Kramer, acknowledged in a deposition in a libel case that he spread word of the dossier to several news organizations. ..."
Mar 25, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

President Donald Trump and a key ally, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, said Monday that after Robert Mueller closed his Russia probe, they want an investigation of the investigators.

Graham said at a news conference that Attorney General William Barr should appoint a new special counsel to examine why the U.S. government, under President Barack Obama, decided to open an investigation into Russian election interference in 2016, and whether it was an excuse to spy on Trump's campaign.

"Was it a ruse to get into the Trump campaign?" Graham said at the news conference. "I don't know but I'm going to try to find out."

Trump told reporters at the White House that unspecified "people" behind the Russia probe would "be looked at."

The remarks show that Trump and some of his allies have retribution and score-settling on their minds after Mueller found no evidence that the president or his campaign colluded with the Kremlin's election interference. It's unclear whom Trump wants investigated, but possibilities include former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired in May 2017; Obama's CIA Director John Brennan, whom Trump stripped of his security clearance last year; and other former intelligence and Justice Department officials who have vocally criticized the president.

The stage is also set for dueling and contradictory congressional investigations. In the House, controlled by Democrats, several committees have opened investigations into the president's financial and business affairs, and Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Sunday he wants Barr to testify soon on his finding that Mueller didn't produce sufficient evidence that Trump obstructed justice by interfering in the Russia inquiry.

The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, on Monday blocked a vote on a measure by the Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, calling for Mueller's report to be made public. McConnell said Barr should have time to consider which portions of the report can be publicly released given concerns about classified information, ongoing investigations and other information protected by law.

Republican Allies

Several other Republicans backed Graham and Trump on Monday. Senate Oversight Committee Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said he'd like to work with Graham "to get those answers for the American public."

"We need to find out what happened," he said in an interview.

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, tweeted: "Time to investigate the Obama officials who concocted and spread the Russian conspiracy hoax!" Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said "underlying documents" supporting what became Mueller's probe should be released to the public.

"Let them decide for themselves whether this investigation was warranted -- or whether it was a two-year long episode of political targeting, driven by FBI and DOJ executives who wanted to retaliate against a legitimately elected president," Meadows said in an interview.

Graham said his committee would also look into the FBI's handling of the inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, saying that Comey's actions in that investigation "did affect" the 2016 election. Comey held a news conference in July 2016 to announce that Clinton wouldn't be charged with a crime, and then announced less than two weeks before the election that the investigation had been re-opened after additional emails were discovered.

'Evil Things'

Trump's indication that unnamed people responsible for the probe would be investigated was vague. He didn't name anyone, and after he made similar remarks on Sunday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters that Barr hadn't been directed to open any investigations of Democrats.

"People that have done such harm to our country," Trump complained on Monday. "We've gone through a period of really bad things happening. Those people will certainly be looked at. I've been looking at them for a long time and I'm saying, why haven't they been looked at. They lied to Congress. Many of them. You know who they are. They've done so many evil things."

Trump added that he hasn't considered pardoning anyone convicted in connection to Mueller's probe.

Graham said he planned to talk with Barr on Monday and hoped to hold a public hearing with the attorney general to explain his findings in the Mueller probe. Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress on Sunday summarizing Mueller's findings, which have not been publicly released.

"I'm asking him to lay it all out," Graham said.

Both Trump and Graham said they support Barr publicly releasing as much of Mueller's report as possible. The investigation turned out "100 percent" as it should have, Trump told reporters.

Dossier Distribution

Trump has previously singled out individuals over their role in the probe, calling for an investigation into the " other side " of the investigation. He's mentioned Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and Justice Department attorney Bruce Ohr.

Graham also said he advised his friend and Senate colleague John McCain to give the FBI the so-called Steele dossier on Trump, rebutting the president's accusations that McCain tried to hinder his 2016 election.

Graham told reporters that McCain, an Arizona Republican who died last year, had shown him the unverified collection of intelligence reports on Trump's links to Russia that was put together by a former British spy, Christopher Steele. Steele was commissioned to compile the information by an opposition research firm hired by Democrats.

McCain put the dossier in his safe and handed it over to the FBI the next day, Graham said.

A McCain associate, David Kramer, acknowledged in a deposition in a libel case that he spread word of the dossier to several news organizations.

-- With assistance by Billy House

( Updates with McConnell blocking Schumer measure in seventh paragraph. ) Published on ‎March‎ ‎25‎, ‎2019‎ ‎12‎:‎37‎ ‎PM
Updated on ‎March‎ ‎25‎, ‎2019‎ ‎5‎:‎58‎ ‎PM

[Mar 30, 2019] John Brennan, embattled ex-CIA chief, meets with Rep. Hoyer, Democrats to discuss national security issues Fox News

Notable quotes:
"... Brennan, whose security clearance has been revoked and who this week admitted he may have "received bad information" while opining about the Russia investigation in his role as an MSNBC analyst, discussed a wide range of national security issues with Democrats, an official familiar with the meeting told Fox News. ..."
"... Brennan's meeting with Democrats comes amid a reexamination of his role in the launching and furthering of the narrative that President Trump's campaign colluded with Russia. ..."
"... Paul added: "Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP." The next day, Brennan was just steps from the Senate -- but as part of the Hoyer meeting. ..."
"... Brennan on Monday issued one of the few mea culpas offered by members of the media in the aftermath of Barr's letter, in which he quoted Mueller as having found no evidence of any collusion or coordination between the Trump team and Russia. Prior to that finding, Brennan, the CIA Director from 2013-2017, had adamantly insinuated in tweets and on TV that Mueller would put Trump's "political & financial future in jeopardy." ..."
"... "I don't know if I received bad information, but I think I suspected there was more than there actually was," Brennan said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." ..."
"... Trump has frequently hit back at Brennan's broadsides. "I think Brennan is a very bad guy and, if you look at it, a lot of things happened under his watch," Trump once told Fox News' Tucker Carlson. "I think he's a very bad person." ..."
Mar 30, 2019 | www.foxnews.com

Former CIA Director John Brennan – who's come under fire in recent days for his alleged role in pushing the unverified anti-Trump dossier – met with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and other House Democrats on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Fox News has learned.

Brennan, whose security clearance has been revoked and who this week admitted he may have "received bad information" while opining about the Russia investigation in his role as an MSNBC analyst, discussed a wide range of national security issues with Democrats, an official familiar with the meeting told Fox News.

Brennan was invited "long before" the Mueller investigation was reportedly concluded last Friday, the official told Fox News, but it was not clear if the Mueller report or the four-page summary letter of it released by Attorney General Bill Barr on Sunday were discussed during the "Leader's Council" meeting.

SEN. PAUL: SOURCE SAID BRENNAN, CLAPPER AND COMEY PUSHED DISCREDITED DOSSIER

The council is composed of a "diverse group of members of the caucus" and meet on a regular basis with a wide range of guests, the official said.

Brennan's meeting with Democrats comes amid a reexamination of his role in the launching and furthering of the narrative that President Trump's campaign colluded with Russia.

The day before his Capitol Hill meeting, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tweeted he'd been told by a "high-level source" that Brennan "insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report "

Paul added: "Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP." The next day, Brennan was just steps from the Senate -- but as part of the Hoyer meeting.

Video

Brennan on Monday issued one of the few mea culpas offered by members of the media in the aftermath of Barr's letter, in which he quoted Mueller as having found no evidence of any collusion or coordination between the Trump team and Russia. Prior to that finding, Brennan, the CIA Director from 2013-2017, had adamantly insinuated in tweets and on TV that Mueller would put Trump's "political & financial future in jeopardy."

FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: INTERNAL TEXTS SHOW DOJ CONCERNS OVER 'BIAS' OF DOSSIER AUTHOR BEFORE CRUCIAL WARRANT APPLICATION

Going even beyond that, Brennan said Trump's July 2018 Helsinki press conference alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin "rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous." Brennan later doubled-down on the "treasonous" line during a television appearance.

But he struck a different tone Monday in the wake of the Mueller news.

"I don't know if I received bad information, but I think I suspected there was more than there actually was," Brennan said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Trump has frequently hit back at Brennan's broadsides. "I think Brennan is a very bad guy and, if you look at it, a lot of things happened under his watch," Trump once told Fox News' Tucker Carlson. "I think he's a very bad person."

To that end, in 2018, the Trump administration revoked Brennan's security clearance, saying the former Obama official had been "leveraging" his clearance to make "wild outbursts" about the president.

TheOutlawJoseyWales518 1h

Old Johnny is in a bunch of trouble....hopefully he will take all the Obama/Clinton Cabal down with him. F him.

Lugnuts30Leader

John Brennan is as crooked as Adam Schiff. Actually he is worse. He is guilty of everything that he adamantly accused President Trump of doing. The Democrats are about to find out what happens when you are caught lying and committing treasons' crimes. They are running around like the rats they are.

nationalist70Leader

Brennan is everything he accusesTrump of being!! That goes for the rest of the democrats too!!!

[Mar 29, 2019] Early troubling sign of Trump: most individuals Trump is considering for his administration, including those already picked have a deep-seated obsession with Iran

One of the rare early realistic assessments of Trump foreign policy. most were wrong. Circe was right in major points. The appointment of CIA director was the litmus test and Trump failed it by appointing neocon Pompeo.
Trump foreign policy is a typical neocon foreign policy. People just tried to overlook it in vain hopes that Trump will change the US foreign policy
Notable quotes:
"... 95% or more of the individuals Trump is considering for his administration, including those already picked have a deep-seated obsession with Iran. This is very troubling. It's going to lead to war and not a regular war where 300,000 people die. This is a catastrophic error in judgment I don't give a sh...t who makes such an error, Trump or the representative from Kalamazoo! This is so bad that it disqualifies whatever else appears positive at this time. ..."
"... And one more deeply disturbing thing; Pompeo, chosen to head the CIA has threatened Ed Snowden with the death penalty, if Snowden is caught, and now as CIA Director he can send operatives to chase him down wherever he is and render him somewhere, torture him to find out who he shared intelligence with and kill him on the spot and pretend it was a foreign agent who did the job. He already stated before he was assigned this powerful post that Snowden should be brought back from Russia and get the death penalty for treason. ..."
"... Pompeo also sided with the Obama Administration on using U. S. military force in Syria against Assad and wrote this in the Washington Post: "Russia continues to side with rogue states and terrorist organizations, following Vladimir Putin's pattern of gratuitous and unpunished affronts to U.S. interests,". ..."
"... Aside: I find those who talk about "factions" in foreign policy making to be un-credible. Among these were those that spoke of 'Obama's legacy'. A bullshit concept for a puppet. The neocons control FP. And they could only be unseated if a neocon -unfriendly President was elected. ..."
"... Trump is turning animosity away from Russia and toward Iran. But I doubt that it will result in a shooting war with Iran. The 'deep-state' (arms industry and security agencies) just wants a foreign enemy as a means of ensuring that US govt continues to fund security agencies and buy arms. ..."
"... And really, Obama's "peace deal" with Iran was bogus anyway. It was really just a placeholder until Assad could be toppled. Only a small amount of funds were released to Iran, and US-Iranian relations have been just as bad as they were before the "peace deal". So all the hand-wringing about Trump vs. Iran is silly. ..."
"... What is important is that with Iran as the nominal enemy du jour plus Trump's campaign pledge to have the "strongest" military (note: every candidate was for a strong military), the neocons have no case to make that Trump is weak on defense. ..."
"... he is close to Jews/Zionists/Israel or even Jewish himself. Funny that Trump wasn't attacked like that before the election, huh? ..."
www.moonofalabama.org
Circe | Nov 19, 2016 8:37:46 PM | 23

95% or more of the individuals Trump is considering for his administration, including those already picked have a deep-seated obsession with Iran. This is very troubling. It's going to lead to war and not a regular war where 300,000 people die. This is a catastrophic error in judgment I don't give a sh...t who makes such an error, Trump or the representative from Kalamazoo! This is so bad that it disqualifies whatever else appears positive at this time.

And one more deeply disturbing thing; Pompeo, chosen to head the CIA has threatened Ed Snowden with the death penalty, if Snowden is caught, and now as CIA Director he can send operatives to chase him down wherever he is and render him somewhere, torture him to find out who he shared intelligence with and kill him on the spot and pretend it was a foreign agent who did the job. He already stated before he was assigned this powerful post that Snowden should be brought back from Russia and get the death penalty for treason.

Pompeo also sided with the Obama Administration on using U. S. military force in Syria against Assad and wrote this in the Washington Post: "Russia continues to side with rogue states and terrorist organizations, following Vladimir Putin's pattern of gratuitous and unpunished affronts to U.S. interests,".

That's not all, Pompeo wants to enhance the surveillance state, and he too wants to tear up the Iran deal.

Many of you here are extremely naïve regarding Trump.

b's speculation has the ring of truth. I've often wondered if Trump was encouraged to run by a deep-state faction that found the neocons to be abhorrent and dangerous.

Aside: I find those who talk about "factions" in foreign policy making to be un-credible. Among these were those that spoke of 'Obama's legacy'. A bullshit concept for a puppet. The neocons control FP. And they could only be unseated if a neocon-unfriendly President was elected.

Jackrabbit | Nov 19, 2016 10:20:57 PM | 26

Trump is turning animosity away from Russia and toward Iran. But I doubt that it will result in a shooting war with Iran. The 'deep-state' (arms industry and security agencies) just wants a foreign enemy as a means of ensuring that US govt continues to fund security agencies and buy arms.

And really, Obama's "peace deal" with Iran was bogus anyway. It was really just a placeholder until Assad could be toppled. Only a small amount of funds were released to Iran, and US-Iranian relations have been just as bad as they were before the "peace deal". So all the hand-wringing about Trump vs. Iran is silly.

What is important is that with Iran as the nominal enemy du jour plus Trump's campaign pledge to have the "strongest" military (note: every candidate was for a strong military), the neocons have no case to make that Trump is weak on defense.

And so it is interesting that those that want to undermine Trump have resorted to the claim that he is close to Jews/Zionists/Israel or even Jewish himself. Funny that Trump wasn't attacked like that before the election, huh?

The profound changes and profound butt-hurt lead to the following poignant questions:

>> Have we just witnessed a counter-coup?

>> Isn't it sad that, in 2016(!), the only check on elites are other elite factions? An enormous cultural failure that has produced a brittle social fabric.

>> If control of NSA snooping power is so crucial, why would ANY ruling block ever allow the another to gain power?

Indeed, the answer to this question informs one's view on whether the anti-Trump protests are just Democratic Party ass-covering/distraction or a real attempt at a 'color revolution'.

[Mar 27, 2019] John Brennan Pulls a 180 on MSNBC Says He Might Have Received Bad Information - Sara A. Carter

Mar 27, 2019 | saraacarter.com

For those that remember all the statements that former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan made on Trump-Russia investigation, his latest appearance on MSNBC this morning might come as a huge surprise:

Brennan on MSNBC: Well, I don't know if I received bad information but I think I suspected there was more than there actually was. I am relieved that it's been determined there was not a criminal conspiracy with the Russian government over our election.

Embedded video


[Mar 27, 2019] Russia is perforce the enemy that Washington needs in order to stay in the business of Empire by David Stockman

Notable quotes:
"... Namely, that America is suffering Regime Failure. Thus, wrong-headed Washington policies have brought prosperity to Wall Street but not main street, which is what actually explains why Trump won the left-behind precincts of Flyover America. ..."
"... Regime Failure has also fostered confrontation with Russia when it is no threat to homeland security at all, but so doing has vilified Putin and Russia to the point that random dots of RussiaGate got woven into a preposterous theory of collusion. ..."
"... The foundation document which turned these random developments into the Russia Collusion story, of course, was the January 6, 2017 report entitled, "Assessing Russian Activities And Intentions in Recent US Elections". The report was nothing of the kind, of course, and is now well-understood to have been written by outgoing CIA director John Brennan and a hand-picked posse of politicized analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA. It was essentially a political screed thinly disguised as the product of the professional intelligence community and was designed to discredit and sabotage the Trump presidency. ..."
"... William Binney, who is the father of modern NSA internet spying technologies, says that the DNC emails were leaked on a thumb-drive and couldn't have been hacked as a technical matter; and equally competent analysts have shown that Guccifer 2.0 is almost surely a NSA contrived fiction based on the oldest trick in the police precinct station house – planting evidence, in this case telltale Cyrillic letters and the name of a notorious head of the Soviet secret police. ..."
"... So what we are left with is the fact that Binney, a NSA veteran and actually the father of much of today's NSA internet spying capability, says that the recorded download speed of the DNC emails could only have been done by plugging a thumb-drive into the machines on site. That is, nothing downloads across 5,000 miles of digital expanse at the recorded 22.7 megabytes per second. ..."
"... The pure grandstanding nature of this blow against the purported election meddling of the nefarious Russians is more than evident in the 3,000 ads IRA bought on Facebook for about $100,000 – more than half of which were posted after the election. ..."
"... Yet here's a typical example of how the Russians stormed into America's sacred election space – even if according to Facebook this particular ad got less than 10,000 "impressions" and the mighty sum of 160 "shares" . For crying out loud, it didn't take any nefarious Russian intelligence agent to post this kind of cartoonish Islamophobia. There are millions of American xenophobes more than happy to do it with their own dime, time and bile. ..."
Mar 27, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

Originally from: Not Mueller Time: Hey, MSM, This Dud's For You! ,

Now that the giant Mueller Nothingburger (with a side of crow-flavored fries, per Jim Kunstler) has been officially delivered unto the mainstream media's wailing and gnashing of teeth, the essence of the matter should be obvious: To wit, the RussiaGate Collusion story was always way above the pay grade of the legal sleuths and gunslingers who wasted $25 million on it – and notwithstanding 2,800 subpoenas, 500 witnesses, 40 FBI agents and 21 lawyers.

This prosecutorial blitzkrieg had no chance of discovering the nefarious facts of conspiracy, however, because there never were any worthy of adult consideration. To the contrary, from day #1 the whole cock-and-bull story was based on a syllogism which held that Trump's very election victory and support for rapprochement with Russia were in themselves proof of a conspiracy with the Kremlin to steal the election.

That is to say, by the lights of the Dems, official Washington and their mainstream media echo chamber, Hillary Clinton could not have lost the 2016 election to the worst GOP candidate in history including Barry Goldwater and Alf Landon (true) without the sinister intervention of a foreign power hostile to Hillary.

Therefore, Putin and the Russians elected Trump. Q.E.D.

Likewise, Russia is perforce the enemy that Washington needs in order to stay in the business of Empire. So advocacy of rapprochement with Moscow was per se evidence that the Kremlin had blackmail (kompromat for the RussiaGate cognoscenti) on Trump and his campaign.

Once these predicates were established, of course, any old dog-eared "facts" could be hung on the frame in order to establishment an air of verisimilitude.

But now we know. Strip away the false predicates and the flotsam and jetsam of the case fall flat on their face. Even 22 months of Mueller Time couldn't stich together a Humpty-Dumpty that never was.

As it happens, however, there has been all along a perfectly plausible alternative explanation for why Trump won and why repairing relations with Russia made eminent good sense.

Namely, that America is suffering Regime Failure. Thus, wrong-headed Washington policies have brought prosperity to Wall Street but not main street, which is what actually explains why Trump won the left-behind precincts of Flyover America.

Regime Failure has also fostered confrontation with Russia when it is no threat to homeland security at all, but so doing has vilified Putin and Russia to the point that random dots of RussiaGate got woven into a preposterous theory of collusion.

What is left without the syllogistic predicates, of course, are the ludicrous threadbare facts of the case.

After all, can there be anything more pitiful after 22 months of prosecutorial scorched earth on the Russian collusion file than Mueller's list of indictments. These include:

That's all she wrote and it's about as pathetic as it gets. Mueller should have been guffawed out of town on account of this tommyrot long before belatedly delivering a report that proved exactly that.

So it is perhaps a measure of the degree to which the Imperial City has fallen prey to the Trump Derangement Syndrome that the five core events of the case survived as long as they did. In fact, it has long been evident from public information that there was nothing nefarious about any of these ragged building blocks of the case:

The foundation document which turned these random developments into the Russia Collusion story, of course, was the January 6, 2017 report entitled, "Assessing Russian Activities And Intentions in Recent US Elections". The report was nothing of the kind, of course, and is now well-understood to have been written by outgoing CIA director John Brennan and a hand-picked posse of politicized analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA. It was essentially a political screed thinly disguised as the product of the professional intelligence community and was designed to discredit and sabotage the Trump presidency.

And it was lied about over and over by the MSM who called it an assessment of the 17 US intelligence agencies when it was nothing of the kind, and said so right on the cover page.

In fact, when we first read this ballyhooed report our thought was that someone at the Onion had pilfered the CIA logo and published a sidesplitting satire.

The 9-pager on RT America, which is presented as evidence of "Kremlin messaging", is so sophomoric and hackneyed that it could have been written by a summer intern at the CIA. It consists entirely of a sloppy catalogue of leftist and libertarian based dissent from mainstream policy that has been aired on RT America on such subversive topics as Occupy Wall Street, anti-fracking, police brutality, foreign interventionism and civil liberties.

Actually, your editor has appeared dozens of times on RT America and advocated nearly every position cited by the CIA as evidence of nefarious Russian propaganda.

And we thought it up all by ourselves!

So, yes, we do think US intervention in Syria was wrong; that Georgia was the aggressor when it invaded South Ossetia; that the American people have been disenfranchised and need to "take this government back"; that Washington runs a "surveillance state" where civil liberties are being ridden roughshod upon; that Wall Street is riven with "greed" and the "US national debt" is out of control; that the two-party system is a "sham "and that it doesn't represent the views of "one-third of the population" (at least!); and that most especially after killing millions in unnecessary wars Washington has "no moral right to teach the rest of the world".

So there you have it: Policy views on various topics that are embraced in some instances by both your libertarian editor and the left-wing Nation magazine were held to be examples of Russian messaging, and alarming evidence of nefarious meddling in our electoral process at that.

In fact, the single proposition in the entire ten-pages of political opinionating that relates to an actual Russian intrusion (other than the hideous St. Petersburg troll farm which we debunk below) in the American electoral process is the completely discredited notion that the Russian GRU hacked the DNC emails and handed them off to WikiLeaks

No, not at all.

William Binney, who is the father of modern NSA internet spying technologies, says that the DNC emails were leaked on a thumb-drive and couldn't have been hacked as a technical matter; and equally competent analysts have shown that Guccifer 2.0 is almost surely a NSA contrived fiction based on the oldest trick in the police precinct station house – planting evidence, in this case telltale Cyrillic letters and the name of a notorious head of the Soviet secret police.

Indeed, if the Russians did it – from a troll farm in St. Petersburg or the Kremlin itself – the fingerprints from any remote hacking operation would be all over the computers involved. Moreover, the National Security Agency (NSA) would have a record of the breach stored at one of its server farms because it does capture and store everything that comes into the US over the internet.

Said record, of course, would amount to the Smoking Intercept. So the only thing Mueller really needed to do was to call the head of NSA and request the NSA intercept – something he obviously didn't do or it would have leaked long ago.

In the alternative, if NSA has no such record, he could have confiscated the DNC computers – which had never even been inspected by the FBI, let alone taken into custody – to determine whether William Binney is right.

That didn't happen, either, or it too would have leaked in a heartbeat.

So what we are left with is the fact that Binney, a NSA veteran and actually the father of much of today's NSA internet spying capability, says that the recorded download speed of the DNC emails could only have been done by plugging a thumb-drive into the machines on site. That is, nothing downloads across 5,000 miles of digital expanse at the recorded 22.7 megabytes per second.

In short, if the Russians hacked them, the evidence is all there in the hard drives; and if they didn't, the entire RussiaGate hoax should have been shutdown long ago.

That's because the only thing that remotely smacks of untoward meddling by the Kremlin is the DNC emails – and even then, they only concerned intra-party squabbles between the Clinton and the Sandernista factions of the Dem party that were already well advertised and known to the American electorate.

Cyber Garbage From the St. Petersburg Troll Farm

By contrast, another prime exhibit in the meddling narrative is the pitiful efforts of the Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency (IRA). This is was cited over and over by the RussiaGaters as evidence of Putin's nefarious hand at work, but did they ever investigate the matter?

The fact is, the IRA was such a belly-splitting joke that they only thing it proved is that prosecutor Mueller did actually indict 13 Russian-speaking ham sandwiches.

Indeed, the joker in the whole deck is that the nefarious"troll farm" in St. Petersburg was not even a Russian intelligence agency operation at all.

It was just "Russian" even by the careful terminology of Barr's summary. As it happened, the RussiaGate hysteria had reached such a point that any contact with any of Russia's 144 million citizens became inherently suspect, as if that beleaguered nation had become a race of evildoers.

Actually, the IRA was the relatively harmless Hobby Farm of a fanatical Russian oligarch and ultra-nationalist, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has a great big beef against Imperial Washington's demonization of Russia and Vlad Putin. Apparently, the farm was (it's apparently being disbanded) the vehicle through which he gave Washington the middle finger and buttered up his patron.

Prigozhin is otherwise known as "Putin's Cook" because he made his fortune in St. Petersburg restaurants that Putin favored and via state funded food service operations at Russian schools and military installations.

Like most Russian oligarchs not in jail, he apparently tithes in gratitude to the Kremlin: In this case, by bankrolling the rinky-dink operation at 55 Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg that was the object of Mueller's pretentious foray into the flotsam and jetsam of social media low life.

Prigozhin's trolling farm was grandly called the Internet Research Agency (IRA), but what it actually did was hire (apparently) unemployed 20-somethings at $4-8 per hour to pound out ham-handed political messaging on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. They banged away twelve hours at a shift on a quota-driven paint-by-the-internet-numbers basis where their output was rated for engagements, likes, retweets etc.

Whatever these keyboard drones might have been, they were not professional Russian intel operators. And the collection of broken English postings strewn throughout Mueller's indictment were not one bit scary.

The pure grandstanding nature of this blow against the purported election meddling of the nefarious Russians is more than evident in the 3,000 ads IRA bought on Facebook for about $100,000 – more than half of which were posted after the election.

Yet here's a typical example of how the Russians stormed into America's sacred election space – even if according to Facebook this particular ad got less than 10,000 "impressions" and the mighty sum of 160 "shares" . For crying out loud, it didn't take any nefarious Russian intelligence agent to post this kind of cartoonish Islamophobia. There are millions of American xenophobes more than happy to do it with their own dime, time and bile.

[Mar 25, 2019] Bush lied, people died, Obama lied people died, Trump lied people died. What changed?

Bush II campaigned on "no nation building" mantra. He lied. Crump campaigned no foreign wars manta. He lied.
Notable quotes:
"... The 16th anniversary of the Iraq war last week was marked by a shortage of people defending the costliest foreign policy blunder of this young century, even in circles where support for that misadventure was once sacrosanct. ..."
"... Yet even as the folly and injustice of Iraq congeals into conventional wisdom inside the Beltway, famously resistant to rethinking bipartisan military interventions no matter how ill-advised, it is an open question whether anything has changed. Dick Cheney's protestations notwithstanding , the presidential wars largely continue unimpeded by the "America First" commander-in-chief. ..."
"... John Bolton seems to have more say about when American troops will leave Syria or Afghanistan than the president of the United States. Trump's second veto will almost certainly be of a bipartisan resolution rebuking -- and terminating -- U.S. support for the war in Yemen. We appear to be escalating in Somalia. Tensions are rising with Iran and Venezuela, with the administration trending toward a functionally neoconservative position on both despite major newspapers publishing pleas to retire that label . ..."
Mar 25, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The 16th anniversary of the Iraq war last week was marked by a shortage of people defending the costliest foreign policy blunder of this young century, even in circles where support for that misadventure was once sacrosanct.

Former George W. Bush mouthpiece Ari Fleischer supplied a promptly ratioed tweetstorm that quibbled with the "Bush lied, people died" mantra concerning his old boss's handling of the intelligence on Iraq's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. Never Trumper David French gamely argued that Saddam Hussein was a greater source of instability than the chaos brought about by the invasion, followed by Barack Obama's withdrawal. In so doing, French reminded us that, however off-putting some conservatives find Donald Trump, the president's criticism of the war matters more to many of those who devote their time to denouncing his every utterance.

Yet even as the folly and injustice of Iraq congeals into conventional wisdom inside the Beltway, famously resistant to rethinking bipartisan military interventions no matter how ill-advised, it is an open question whether anything has changed. Dick Cheney's protestations notwithstanding , the presidential wars largely continue unimpeded by the "America First" commander-in-chief.

John Bolton seems to have more say about when American troops will leave Syria or Afghanistan than the president of the United States. Trump's second veto will almost certainly be of a bipartisan resolution rebuking -- and terminating -- U.S. support for the war in Yemen. We appear to be escalating in Somalia. Tensions are rising with Iran and Venezuela, with the administration trending toward a functionally neoconservative position on both despite major newspapers publishing pleas to retire that label .

[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 applicatio