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NeoMcCartyism as a smoke screen to hide the crisis of neoliberalism

Election of Trump is the sign of crisis of neoliberal ideology and decadence of US elite; warmongering neocon Hillary was the establishment candidate that was rejected by votes and which represented a grave threat to the US national security. War hysteria unleashed is an attempt to put a smoke screen of Hillary fiasco and preserve Democratic Party establishment from purges, as well as a sure way to renew hostile to each other social groups cooperation and patch cracks

A case study of state-fuelled paranoia designed to provide a smoke screen over crisis of neoliberalism in the USA which led to Trump victory. Samuel Johnson saying  "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" can be modified to "McCarthyism is the last refuge of Washington neocon scoundrels"

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Marina Butina case as classic neo-McCarthyism witch hunt Nation under attack meme Steele dossier Putin-did-it meme
Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of suppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative US and British media are servants of security apparatus Media as a weapon of mass deception MSM as fake news industry Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria in MSM Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections? Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite National Security State The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Trump vs. Deep State Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Color revolutions "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Brennan elections machinations Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Frustrated underachievers
Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia History of American False Flag Operations Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism FBI Mayberry Machiavellians PeterStrzok and Strzok-gate Andrew McCabe James Comey role in preventing election of Sanders
Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Neocons Credibility Scam Doublespeak Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Demonization of Putin Cold War II Predator state Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Diplomacy by deception Obama: a yet another Neocon Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Due to the size the introductory article was  moved to NeoMcCartyism an introduction

===Sample ==

Russiagate is McCarthyism-style witch hunt that strives to achieve three main goals:

  1. Block any attempts of rapprochement and detente with Russia and preserve of, better, increase military budget. Detente contradicts that goals (and  wellbeing) of MIC, defense contractors,  and intelligence agencies as well as their lobbyists in Congress and MSM (Chris Hedges: The Demonization of Russia is Driven by Defense Contractors)
  2. Absolve the leadership of Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton fiasco and ensure that there will be no purges of discredited leadership.
  3. To patch cracks in the USA neoliberal society and to renew support of some social groups of Democratic Party. Or at least stem "Demexit"

While there might be better labels, we will call this new Anti-Russian hysteria neo-McCarthyism, because it is pretty diligent replication of "Red Scare" (which BTW lasted a decade)  in which Communist agents are replaced with "Russian agents" who are everywhere.  Marina Butina case is a textbook example here

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia also reflects the depth of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA.  A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug.

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia also reflects the depth of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA.  A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. 

When they start pretending that the growing level of dissent is the work of "foreign enemies", well, this is an important sign of decadence/degeneration of the US elite as well as profound weakness of neoliberal ideology. The latter was discredited in 2008 and since then neoliberalism became a zombie. Bloodthirsty, but still zombie.  Latest counterrevolutions in Argentina and Brazil which brought back neoliberals into power should not hide the fact that the  time for Triumph March of neoliberalism over the globe is over. It is in retreat and is endangered in some countries.  Like Soviet Empire in 70th the US global neoliberal empire experience stress and might soon start to crumble (if oil prices go up above $100 then sooner, rather then later). Trump "might makes right" foreign policy just speed up the inevitable process, at the base of which are "secular stagnation" in the USA due to high oil prices and excesses of financialization, which weakened the country manufacturing base, while the competitors such  as Germany, Japan, and China now completely recovered from the post WWII destruction  and  now represent a real threat to the USA manufacturing having a more modern and more efficient manufacturing base.

Looking at the Integrity Initiative it's clear that UK was the key player in Russiagate, promoting information warfare with Russia at all levels - academia, the media, on down to the subsidized web sites and the individuals who are paid to insert comments on social media. The latter is now regarded in England as an integral part of Intelligence work.  Britain strived to stem Russian influence in Europe and block any possibility of the alliance of Germany and Russia or France and Russia for centuries. So, in a way, nothing changed.

That's why British intelligence services (working with the US intelligence services, which promote the US MIC interests that include creating anti-Russian hysteria) played important role in several recent false flag operations. Such as Steele dossier, Papadopoulos entrapmentNatalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. All of those false flags were designed to poison the US-Russia and EU-Russia relationships and block the possibilities of any detente.  And only as a side effect to entrap Trump.  I suspect Trump was never the primary goal as Mueller was appointed in May 2017, while Trump completely folded in April 2017. So creating the atmosphere of anti-Russian hysteria was probably the primary goal and instigation of Trump only secondary goal

They fully accomplished this goal. The level of anti-Russian hysteria in the USA now reached such height that merely passing the salt to a Russian guest at a dinner party makes you "an unregistered foreign agent" of Russia bent on implementing Putin's evil plans.

At the same time Mueller investigation exposed the MI6 and UK government attempts to manipulate the result of the 2016 US Presidential elections (the fact the Mueller tried to conceal in his disingenuous report).

The pillars of the USA "Deep State" such  as CIA, FBI and the Department of State are interested in enlargement of the military budget. And that requires elevated level of anti-Russian hysteria. Nothing personal, only business. That's why they tried to entrap Trump associates such as Papadopoulos  implicating them with ties to Russia. Simply because the détente with Russia contradicts their interests,  which they are ready to defend tooth and nail.  So any change in the USA foreign policy that threaten their budgets and influence is naturally defined as a treason, which we saw in the rhetoric of Brennan and Clapper (who more intellectually limited, but overambitious and ruthless  representatives of the upper echelons of the US intelligence community)  That's why on Russiagate all neoliberal MSM sing in unison, using intelligence agencies talking points. The  result is almost complete brainwashing which was can observe even among academic blogs such as  Angry Bear.  Relations with Russia are probably now spoiled for a generation or more.

The supporting factor is that ordinary people in the USA (who are busy with their lives and most of which struggle just to survive economically) have no time to decipher all those complex games. Most buy neoliberal MSM coverage uncritically. While neoliberal MSM lie and deceive the US public as if there is a war with Russia. Using all tried and true principles of war propaganda (10 principles of war propaganda):

  1. We don't want war, we are only defending ourselves
  2. The other guy is the sole responsible for this war
  3. Our adversary's leader is evil and looks evil
  4. We are defending a noble purpose, not special interest
  5. The enemy is purposefully causing atrocities; we only commit mistakes
  6. The enemy is using unlawful weapons
  7. We have very little losses, the enemy is losing big
  8. Intellectuals and artists support our cause
  9. Our cause is sacred
  10. Those who doubt our propaganda are traitors.

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[Jul 22, 2019] The press of the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class

Jul 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"The press of the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class. Its function is to serve the established by moulding public opinion, and right well it serves it.

I know nothing that I may say can influence you. You have no souls to be influenced. You are spineless, flaccid things. You pompously call yourselves Republicans and Democrats. There is no Republican Party. There is no Democratic Party.

There are no Republicans nor Democrats in this House. You are lick-spittlers and panderers, the creatures of the Plutocracy.

You talk verbosely in antiquated terminology of your love of liberty, and all the while you wear the scarlet livery of the Iron Heel."

Jack London, The Iron Heel

[Jul 22, 2019] Comey Under DOJ Investigation For Misleading Trump While Targeting Him In FBI Probe

Notable quotes:
"... Former FBI Director James Comey has been under investigation for misleading President Trump - telling him in private that he wasn't the target of an ongoing FBI probe, while refusing to admit to this in public. ..."
"... Comey was essentially "running a covert operation" against Trump - which began with a private "defensive briefing" shortly after the inauguration. RCI 's sources say that Horowitz has pored over text messages between the FBI's former top-brass and other communications suggesting that Comey was in fact conducting a "counterintelligence assessment" of the president during their January 2017 meeting in New York. ..."
"... What's more, the FBI couldn't treat Trump as a suspect - formally, as they didn't have the legal grounds to do so according to former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck. " They had no probable cause against Trump himself for 'collusion' or espionage ," he said, adding "They were scrambling to come up with anything to hang a hat on, but had found nothing." ..."
"... According to House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Comey and the rest of the FBI's top team (including Peter Strzok and Lisa Page) were attempting to "stop" Trump's presidency for political reasons. ..."
"... "You have the culmination of the ultimate spying, where you have the FBI director spying on the president, taking notes [and] illegally leaking those notes of classified information" to the MSM, said Nunes in a recent interview. ..."
"... Comey is just the political class operative who they brought in to save Scooter Libby's butt in the Valerie Flame leak. Then he got a seven figure job as a reward at a hedge fund (with no prior experience in the financial industry). Then, they took him off the bench to be FBI director. ..."
"... The larger problem is that the "five eyes" system is broken in favor of British surveillance and interference in our elections, and, the Patriot Act practice of "masking" is a complete violation of the fourth amendment and a fraud. From a fourth amendment analysis, it's like letting the police search everyone's house every day as long as they don't look at the name on the address. ..."
"... This investigation would explain why Comey, Brennan, and other members of Barry Obama's regime are very quiet, while Congressional Democrats are freaking out. ..."
"... Does the DOJ investigate British agents? Serious question. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former FBI Director James Comey has been under investigation for misleading President Trump - telling him in private that he wasn't the target of an ongoing FBI probe, while refusing to admit to this in public.

According to RealClearInvestigations ' Paul Sperry, "Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will file a report in September which contains evidence that Comey was misleading the president " while conducting an active investigation against him.

Even as he repeatedly assured Trump that he was not a target, the former director was secretly trying to build a conspiracy case against the president, while at times acting as an investigative agent . - RCI

According to two US officials familiar with Horowitz's upcoming report on FBI misconduct, Comey was essentially "running a covert operation" against Trump - which began with a private "defensive briefing" shortly after the inauguration. RCI 's sources say that Horowitz has pored over text messages between the FBI's former top-brass and other communications suggesting that Comey was in fact conducting a "counterintelligence assessment" of the president during their January 2017 meeting in New York.

What's more, Comey had an FBI agent in the White House who reported the activities of Trump and his aides, according to 'other officials familiar with the matter.'

The agent, Anthony Ferrante, who specialized in cyber crime, left the White House around the same time Comey was fired and soon joined a security consulting firm, where he contracted with BuzzFeed to lead the news site's efforts to verify the Steele dossier, in connection with a defamation lawsuit. -RCI

According to the report, Horowitz and his team have examined over 1 million documents and conducted over 100 interviews - including sit-downs with Comey and other current and former FBI and DOJ employees. "The period covering Comey's activities is believed to run from early January 2017 to early May 2017, when Comey was fired and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as the acting FBI director, formally opened full counterintelligence and obstruction investigations of the president."

McCabe's deputy, Lisa Page, appeared to dissemble last year when asked in closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary Committee if Comey and other FBI brass discussed opening an obstruction case against Trump prior to his firing in May 2017. Initially, she flatly denied it , swearing: "Obstruction of justice was not a topic of conversation during the time frame you have described." But then, after conferring with her FBI-assigned lawyer, she announced: " I need to take back my prior statement ." Page later conceded that there could have been at least "discussions about potential criminal activity" involving the president . -RCI

Comey coordination

Sperry notes that Comey wasn't working in isolation on the Trump effort. In particular, Horowitz has looked at the January 6, 2017 briefing on the infamous 'Steele Dossier' - a meeting which was used by BuzzFeed, CNN and others to legitimize reporting on the dossier's salacious and unsubstantiated claims .

Comey's meeting with Trump took place one day after the FBI director met in the Oval Office with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss how to brief Trump -- a meeting attended by National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who would soon go to work for CNN. -RCI

While Comey claims in his book, "A Higher Loyalty" that he didn't have "a counterintelligence case file open on [Trump]," former federal prosecutor and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy notes that just because Trump's name wasn't on a formal file or surveillance warrant doesn't mean that he wasn't under investigation.

"They were hoping to surveil him incidentally, and they were trying to make a case on him," said McCarthy. " The real reason Comey did not want to repeat publicly the assurances he made to Trump privately is that these assurances were misleading . The FBI strung Trump along, telling him he was not a suspect while structuring the investigation in accordance with the reality that Trump was the main subject ."

What's more, the FBI couldn't treat Trump as a suspect - formally, as they didn't have the legal grounds to do so according to former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck. " They had no probable cause against Trump himself for 'collusion' or espionage ," he said, adding "They were scrambling to come up with anything to hang a hat on, but had found nothing."

What remains unclear is why Comey would take such extraordinary steps against a sitting president . The Mueller report concluded there was no basis for the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theories. Comey himself was an early skeptic of the Steele dossier -- the opposition research memos paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign that were the road map of collusion theories -- which he dismissed as "salacious and unverified." -RCI

According to House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Comey and the rest of the FBI's top team (including Peter Strzok and Lisa Page) were attempting to "stop" Trump's presidency for political reasons.

"You have the culmination of the ultimate spying, where you have the FBI director spying on the president, taking notes [and] illegally leaking those notes of classified information" to the MSM, said Nunes in a recent interview.

Read the rest of Sperry's report here .


AI Agent , 4 minutes ago link

They will whitewash Comey. The deep state is alive and well, the DoJ and the FBI are as corrupt as they were the day before Trump took office.

Why do I say this? Well, the canary hasn't fallen off her perch yet. Hillary Clinton is still singing her song, and even making noises like she's going to run again, and she's not in prison. They have her solid on over a hundred felony counts of mishandling classified documents and they've not touched her. Proof of life that the Deep State is still in power.

MoreFreedom , 8 minutes ago link

So, was the Steele dossier the ex post facto excuse for illegally spying on Trump, or was it the ex post facto diversion for ALL of Obama's spying on politically powerful people, which we know included spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, spying on reporters, and spying on Trump. I'll bet Obama hopes the investigation doesn't get into all of his spying activities, and I wouldn't be surprised government officials in charge of the spying equipment are keeping it covered up because they don't want to lose their jobs (for either allowing such to happen, or because they fear the spying apparatus will be eliminated).

Did Obama also spy on SCOTUS justices, Congressmen, other Senators and other rich and powerful people? I'll bet he did, because we haven't seen all the unmasking documentation, and Obama took it to his library so no one can see it (at least so he thinks). Further, look at the way Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Rice are disparaging Trump (they protest too much). And look at how all the allegations about Trump are blowing right back into the faces of the Democrats who've shown their MO is to accuse their political opponents, of the illegal activity in which the Democrats are engaged.

They need to go to jail, for a long time, if not be executed for treason.

SgtShaftoe , 4 minutes ago link

Did Obama spy on SCOTUS justices, et al? - Yes. Look up project HAMR or "Hammer". MI5/6 was spying on all Americans comms to circumvent legal frameworks (5 eyes). Google is now fully Chinese intelligence - TREASON. It's coming and it's gonna blow most people's minds.

dcmbuffy , 10 minutes ago link

Just the minute the FBI begins making recommendations on what should be done with its information, it becomes a Gestapo.

J. Edgar Hoover

i at least agree with him on this one thought.

peippe , 9 minutes ago link

you realize J.Edgar probably said the above with a smile on his face.

Playtime's Over , 8 minutes ago link

been going on for longer than Obongo, but he put an inner cooled turbo on it.

radar99 , 13 minutes ago link

it all started with Obama. Time to investigate him and hang him for treason

SgtShaftoe , 8 minutes ago link

It started a very long time ago. 1913 was a notable date, so was JFK's assassination. So was 9/11. So was Operation Paperclip. These monsters have been slithering around a while. Now it's time for them to go bye-bye. Dark to Light. Execute.

Indelible Scars , 13 minutes ago link

B-B-But Nadler said...

JaxPavan , 14 minutes ago link

This goes back to Obama asking MI6 to surveil Trump and his campaign, and to continue it past the inauguration.

JaxPavan , 13 minutes ago link

correction: GCHQ

JaxPavan , 6 minutes ago link

Comey is just the political class operative who they brought in to save Scooter Libby's butt in the Valerie Flame leak. Then he got a seven figure job as a reward at a hedge fund (with no prior experience in the financial industry). Then, they took him off the bench to be FBI director.

The larger problem is that the "five eyes" system is broken in favor of British surveillance and interference in our elections, and, the Patriot Act practice of "masking" is a complete violation of the fourth amendment and a fraud. From a fourth amendment analysis, it's like letting the police search everyone's house every day as long as they don't look at the name on the address.

That our broken secrecy system effectively legalized Watergate under Obama and the "five eyes" is the real problem that needs fixing.

Stainless Steel Rat , 1 hour ago link

Three Things We Know For Sure

1. Trump did not collude with Russia

2. Mueller was sent on a witch hunt

3. Somebody's going under the bus

If not Comey, then who?

StiffLittleFinger , 39 minutes ago link

“I executed the session exactly as planned,”* Comey reported back to his “sensitive matter team.”

*in the meeting with Obama the day before

Equinox7 , 45 minutes ago link

This investigation would explain why Comey, Brennan, and other members of Barry Obama's regime are very quiet, while Congressional Democrats are freaking out. The end of the Deep State is starting.

valerie24 , 21 minutes ago link

Let’s hope so. The clock is ticking and this needs to happen by early 2020 or it won’t happen at all.

carbonmutant , 1 hour ago link

Are Comey's phones being bugged?

punchasocialist , 43 minutes ago link

Does the DOJ investigate British agents? Serious question.

[Jul 22, 2019] Russians believe that the Skripal affair has been much more damaging to HMG than it has to Russia

Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Jul 22 2019 15:15 utc | 154

....Russians believe that the Skripal affair has been much more damaging to HMG than it has to Russia, and have no interest in removing the mystery surrounding it - the more people delve, the more it stinks. Montreal @ 135 on Skripal thread.

I have heard similar, along the lines 'storm in a tea cup makes the Brits ridiculous',.. Putin knows what went down (or at least what didn't and the rough scenario.)

Remember when VP said in public that he encouraged the two Russians identified as 'culprits' (tourists in Salisbury..) to come forward - they promtly did so, correctly figuring that this was a protection guarantee for them. They hated, were afraid, to do it, and set stupid conditions with the Head of RT, trying to limit personal image damage. She couldn't refuse because of VP's advice.

Putin could publicly wonder why Britain is keeping them incommunicado. What are the Brits hiding? Even a devoted Empire supporter would have to agree that it is most peculiar. Yet Putin claims to have no knowledge on the subject, which is almost certainly untrue. Rob 136 that thread.

The Russians have made, and make, regular requests to have access to the Skripals via the usual channels, int'l etc. (+ by Red Cross if need be.) They are turned down everytime, but the situation is complex, as GB has various 'excuses' to hand: -> for protection of Skripals -> Yulia has stated she does not want -> Sergei is a swapped spy and etc. etc. (briefly and not 'legal' terms.) Conventional moves from the Russian side.

Putin has strenuously stated that traitors are the vilest scum, in harmony imho with his general principles as presented to the public, so why should he do SFA to help, or stand by, Sergei, who sold his country's 'secrets' for paltry sums and privileges .. (and Yulia, who is most likely? involved somehow? - maybe not .. -) On the other hand, Sergei did his time, has been pardoned, can do as he likes, where is the problem, the rule of law is such .. (alaff at 137 that thread makes that point forcibly..)

> The Russians sneer at this crazed hyped-up scenario of Novichok poisoning, re. some minor incident, rightly so, imho. Which does NOT mean the Skripals weren't targeted with some 'substance', hospitalized, etc. nor that Dawn Sturgess didn't die, and Charlie survived but has lost his agency and sense, nor that Porton Down was involved somehow.

The Skripals are kept incommunicado because they can't be allowed to speak out about what happened. Clue: nothing to do with Novichok or anything of world importance.

These local minor stories, situations, which may even be fabricated or 'engineered', are cynically upgraded to world-wide-media horrors by pols and the media, to manipulate the plebs with movie-script scenarios they can understand and relate to and take sides on and also at the same time 'be divided' endlessly discussing BS about this that the other and what more etc. etc.

[Jul 21, 2019] Putin Confirms Sergei Skripal Wanted To Go Back To Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Putin now confirms that Skripal was indeed willing to come back to Russia. Oliver Stone thinks Skripal wanted to present something to the press. If Skripal had publicly said that he made up and wrote the Steele dossier, the anti-Trump/anti-Russia campaign by the Clinton 'resistance' would have been over. The whole Mueller investigation nonsense would never have happened. ..."
"... The reality probably is thus: The Brits cold-bloodedly poisoned him and his daughter to tar the Russians. Then a straight British fabrication story that holds no water anywhere along the way. They did it, and he had no value to them, so why not? His daughter? She's Russian. Of no use to them. ..."
"... In the scheme of things, it was a trivial act of poisoning with a huge payoff, which they achieved. ..."
"... The Skripals were doped with BZ nerve agent. It is likely that Sergei has been maintained in a near vegetative state with psychotropic drugs since then as a means to keep him in storage. There was no novichok other than the fresh batch made at Porton Down and used to amateurishly spike the sample sent to the OPCW for analysis. ..."
"... The scenario b describes is the most probable of all that I've heard. Spook agencies such as the MI6 and CIA like to think of themselves as thrifty with their assets and thus accomplish multiple objectives with a single operation. They believe themselves to be clever that way. For this reason they would have been unlikely to have doped the Skripals for the sole purpose of implicating Russia. There are any number of other ways that they could have arranged an incident that makes Russia look bad. The operation would have had to serve other purposes as well, and silencing Sergei and preventing his embarrassing return to Russia would be suitable additional purposes. There were likely other objectives within the operation as well such as smoking out leakers. ..."
"... It would be well to remember that in early March last year, about the same time that the Skripals were found collapsed on the park bench in The Maltings shopping centre by Alison McCourt and her award-winning heroic teenage daughter, that the Syrian Arab Army liberated Douma / East Ghouta (or most of that area anyway) near Damascus and captured 300 terrorists. Among the captured fighters were found British and French "military advisors". The British government (and probably likely the French government: do people remember that Moscow also thumped Paris over its role in the Skripal poisoning saga?) needed a diversion from that sorry tale that would have exposed Britain and France's sordid roles in the failed US-led invasion of Syria and the overthrow of Syria's government. ..."
"... It is possible that Skripal, living alone in his house and his pets, and facing a lonely future in Britain after his daughter, the other surviving member of his family, started making wedding arrangements that would have meant fewer visits to Britain to see her father, had contemplated returning to Russia and had made known his wish to a few people he thought he could trust. ..."
"... It might very well be that - unfortunately for the Skripals - Skripal's handler and British government spook agencies were and are as much taken with conspiracy thinking and the conspiracy mind-set as Oliver Stone was (in his interview with Vladimir Putin) and those agencies feared that Skripal was going to spill the beans about his (possible) involvement in the Steele dossier and implicate them. ..."
"... Thanks b, a timely post. I sometimes suspect that the outing of Integrity Initiative and Institute for Statecraft was a Russian payback for the defaming antics perpetrated by the MI6 morons. I have no proof as it was meticulously anonymous. Its a comforting thought here in the gaslit studio of humanity. ..."
"... Putin states now openly it helped "to cause a scandal" supposedly for various geopolitical reasons. ..."
"... As I understood it, Sergei Skripal was more mercenary than spook, in the business of selling info because he could profit from it. In other words, more Aldrich Ames or Hanssen than Philby. ..."
"... He may have overplayed his hand - obviously, his plans leaked out - and UK intelligence (perhaps with the US involved) decided to stage the incident. Or perhaps - as is possible with someone who'll play both sides - Sergei was the leaker in an attempt to gain more currency with Moscow. ..."
"... The British police knew of the perfume bottle early on. The first theory of the poisoning presented to the public was that Yulia had brought the novichok from Russian in her luggage. There was even speculation that it was in a perfume bottle that Yulia had suddenly decided to open on the bench. (This did not sound plausible at the time as it would not explain how the novichok hit Sergei.) ..."
"... We know the police were all over looking for the missing perfume bottle. They could not find it, because Sergei had already dumped it in the charity bin. Maybe Sergei even told them where he put it, but Charlie had found it before MI6 could recover it. ..."
"... There is no Russian state component in it. Not even a Roque element. The claim is total BS. Short analysis shows, that management of this "case" is entirely in the realm of the UK. ..."
"... A lot of elements of this operation had to be prepared upfront and controlled while the operation is unfolding. It remains open, whether or not the skripals where in on the plot, probably not. But anyone asserting the "Russia did it/novichok" story does lack the sanity to be trusted with state matters. ..."
"... Both from interview transcripts and RT article it's clear that the part P. says he does not believe is that S. has been poisoned by the British services (in response to Stone's question floating such a possibility). ..."
"... if Skripal suspected that the bottle contained something dodgy, wouldn't you think the last place he'd dispose of it would be a charity bin, if he were an intelligent ex-spook? ..."
"... That remark by Putin was actually in response only to the question of whether UK spooks poisoned Skripal to stop him returning to Russia, not about whether Skripal wanted to return: ..."
"... However, since the "agent" found by Swiss was Agent BZ, it might be more interesting to hear what poster 101 has to say about synthesizing BZ... ..."
"... From what I have heard, the Russians believe that the Skripal affair has been much more damaging to HMG than it has to Russia, and have no interest in removing the mystery surrounding it - the more people delve, the more it stinks. ..."
"... As an inhabitant of the UK, I can say that a lot of us were very shocked when the Government was trying to stuff these obvious lies down our throats, and it is what got a few of us onto alternative media - sick to death as we already were of the Brexit poison in the MSM. So a belated thank you to b, and your colleagues, what would we do without you. ..."
"... Btw, just to remind - Boris Berezovsky also was going to come back from UK to Russia, he wrote a letter to Putin. But "suddenly" it happened so that Berezovsky committed a "suicide". We can only guess what he could tell if he returned to Russia. Someone really did not want this information to become known... ..."
"... The presence of HMG nurse on site, and the subsequent Monty Pythom-esque cover up, seems proof enough that the UK had foreknowledge and without question, worked to keep the Russophobia stoked high not only after the incident, but the later killed a UK citizen to continue the incident. Mr. P is being diplomatic. ..."
Jul 21, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Putin Confirms: Sergei Skripal Wanted To Go Back To Russia

Filmmaker Oliver Stone recently interviewed the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. The transcript was published yesterday evening. Most of the interview is about Ukraine. A separate piece will cover that country. There is also a passage about the U.S. election.

But the most interesting bits from Putin are about the Skripal affair.

The British and Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia were impaired by some chemical substance in early March 2018 in Salisbury. Britain blamed the incident on Russia. CIA Director Gina Haspel, a former CIA station chief in London, used fake pictures of the incident to deceive Trump and to push him to kick out 60 Russian diplomats. (The NYT later ran cover for Haspel.)

We have speculated since the very beginning of the Skirpal case that the 'former' spy wanted to go back to Russia. Putin now confirms , to my knowledge for the first time, that this was the case (underline added):

Oliver Stone: What has happened to Skripal? Where is he?

Vladimir Putin: I have no idea. He is a spy, after all. He is always in hiding.

Oliver Stone: They say he was going to come back to Russia. He had some information.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, I have been told that he wants to make a written request to come back.

Oliver Stone: He knew still and he wanted to come back. He had information that he could give to the world press here in Russia.

Vladimir Putin: I doubt it. He has broken the ranks already. What kind of information can he possess?

The information Sergei Skripal possessed might have been related to the U.S. election and the Steele dossier which alleged that Russia had dirt on Trump. On March 8 2018, only a few days after the Sergei and Julia Skripal were allegedly poisoned, we discussed the connection in our first post on the Skripal affair :

[Christopher] Steele was an MI6 undercover agent in Moscow around the time when Skripal was recruited and handed Russian secrets over to the MI6. He [later] ran the MI6 Russia desk so anything about Skripal will have passed through him. It is very likely that they personally knew each other. Pablo Miller, who worked for Steele's private company [Orbis], lived in the same town as Skripal and they seems to have been friends since Miller had recruited him. Miller or someone else attempted to cover up the connection to Steele by editing his LinkedIn entry.

Here are some question:

If there is a connection between the dossier and Skripal, which seems very likely to me, then there are a number of people and organizations with potential motives to kill him. Lots of shady folks and officials on both sides of the Atlantic were involved in creating and running the anti-Trump/anti-Russia campaign. There are several investigations and some very dirty laundry might one day come to light. Removing Skripal while putting the blame on Russia looks like a convenient way to get rid of a potential witness.

The British government issued a D-Notice which prohibited the British press from further mentioning Pablo Miller.

We also speculated that Skripal wanted to go back to Russia:

The most curious point in the affair though is the visit of the daughter. She had just come from Moscow to visit her lonely father when both were poisoned in a rather sensational way. There must be some reason why she was involved in this.

or

The above questions are all highly speculative. But the connection between Steele and Skripal is way too deep to be irrelevant here. It certainly deserves more digging.

Putin now confirms that Skripal was indeed willing to come back to Russia. Oliver Stone thinks Skripal wanted to present something to the press. If Skripal had publicly said that he made up and wrote the Steele dossier, the anti-Trump/anti-Russia campaign by the Clinton 'resistance' would have been over. The whole Mueller investigation nonsense would never have happened.

Pablo Miller, the British spy, also appeared in the papers of the shady Integrity Initiative :

There is additional suspicion that the Integrity Initiative, whose primary function is to stoke Russophobia, was one of the brains behind the Skripal incident.

The Initiative was also involved in the Steele dossier and the russophobic anti-Trump campaign. Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow, is employed by the Institute for Statecraft , the shadowy parent organization of the Integrity Initiative funded by the Ministry of Defense and Foreign Office. It was Andrew Wood who helped to disseminate the Steele dossier to U.S. Senator John McCain. McCain then gave the dossier to FBI Director James Comey. The FBI used the dossier first to get FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign, and, after Comey was fired, to launch a counter-intelligence investigation (section 3) against Trump himself.

Here is a theory how all this may come together. Back in 2015 the Institute of Statecraft and its russophobic director Colonel Donnelly discussed how to increase sanctions on Russia. In 2016 the Steele dossier was created in an attempt to connect Trump to Russia. Steele's colleague Pablo Miller and his spy Sergei Skripal were quite likely involved in creating the dossier. The dossier was disseminated with the help of Donnelly's Institute of Statecraft .

For some reason the Skripals had to be taken out. Sergei Skripal probably threatened to spill the beans about the dossier after it became public. The highly scripted 'Novichok' incident in Salisbury was staged to remove Skripal and to smear Russia with an alleged murder attempt. Colonel McCourt, the trusted army nurse, was asked to help on the scene. After the Skripal incident, and with no evidence shown, Russia was blamed and massive sanctions followed. The Integrity Initiative , the propaganda arm of the Institute of Statecraft , analyzes the media results of the Skripal affair and continues to stoke the anti-Russia campaign.

It might be possible that Steele's 'dirty dossier', the Skripal case and the Integrity Initiative operation are unrelated. But that chance for that now tends towards zero.

The weak part of that theory was always that we did not know for sure if Sergei Skripal really wanted to go back to Russia. We now know that this was the case. Oliver Stone seems to know that Skripal wanted to go public about something. That makes the theory fit even better.

Putin does not believe that the Skripals were poisoned to kill them:

Oliver Stone: Who poisoned him? They say English secret services did not want Sergei Skripal to come back to Russia?

Vladimir Putin: To be honest, I do not quite believe this. I do not believe this is the case.

Oliver Stone: Makes sense. You do not agree with me?

Vladimir Putin: If they had wanted to poison him, they would have done so.

Oliver Stone: Ok, that makes sense. I don't know. Who did then?

Vladimir Putin: After all, this is not a hard thing to do in today's world. In fact, a fraction of a milligram would have been enough to do the job. And if they had him in their hands, there was nothing complicated about it. No, this does not make sense. Maybe they just wanted to provoke a scandal.

Oliver Stone: I think it is more complicated. You know, you think I am much too much of a conspiracy guy.

Vladimir Putin: I do not believe this.

Oliver Stone: I have seen things. I do.

Vladimir Putin: You should not.

When and where will the Oliver Stone documentary about the Skripal affair have its premiere?

---
Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the Skripal case:


Zanon , Jul 20 2019 17:04 utc | 1

Doubt that, Skripal's enemies is in Russia, Putin have earlier stated Skripal was a traitor and should be treated as such. Why Skripal would go Russia after he deliberately moved out of Russia after an assault most likely carried out by someone in Russia, that makes no sense.
DG , Jul 20 2019 17:11 utc | 3
"Maybe they just wanted to provoke a scandal." ... he is right
bjd , Jul 20 2019 17:21 utc | 4
Ukraine.
CD Waller , Jul 20 2019 17:28 utc | 5
Zanon,

On what do base your conclusion that the Skripals were most likely poisoned by someone in Russia?

semiconscious , Jul 20 2019 17:37 utc | 6
@3

this sounds like the most straight-forward explanation to me, as well...

b , Jul 20 2019 17:46 utc | 7
@Zanon @1

Doubt that, Skripal's enemies is in Russia, Putin have earlier stated Skripal was a traitor and should be treated as such. Why Skripal would go Russia after he deliberately moved out of Russia after an assault most likely carried out by someone in Russia, that makes no sense.

Skripal was caught in Russia when he spied for the Brits. He went to jail for five or so years. Then the Brits wanted to exchange him for a Russian agent they (or the U.S.) had caught. Skripal was released from jail for having served most his time and exchanged. Russia has no more interest in persecuting him. Skripal did not 'deliberately move out of Russia'. There was no assault by Russia on him.

padre , Jul 20 2019 17:50 utc | 8
Zanon you statement it typical misinformation, you took only a part of Putin statement!Yes, he said that, but he also said, that he already served his time for that so he is of no interest to the authorities!
jayc , Jul 20 2019 18:10 utc | 10
It's been a full year now since Yulia's last (controlled) appearance to the public. The notion that the Skripals are in some kind of "witness protection program" has been suggested but never confirmed. There's no indication as to what they may have been witness to, let alone any statement of fact from them at all regarding the Salsbury events. This is highly unusual since the UK government made such a high-profile international incident of it all. Is Putin asked of the apparent forced disappearance of a Russian citizen (Yulia Skripal)?
elkern , Jul 20 2019 18:14 utc | 12
This adds some weight to the theory that the two Russian "tourists" were delivering something (paperwork? fake passports? ) that Skripal wanted, not trying to kill him. Or, perhaps, they picked up something FROM Skripal?

The sentence where Putin confirms Stone's idea that Skripal wanted to go back to Russia is oddly stated:

"Yes, I have been told that he wants to make a written request to come back."

1. Putin used present tense: Skripal "wants", rather than "wanted". Doesn't that imply some communication since the "incident"?
2. The bit about the "written request" part is way more specific than I would have expected. It sounds like Skripal wasn't just vaguely dreaming about going back to Mother Russia, but was taking steps to do so. Were the "tourists" delivering the proper bureaucratic Form that Skripal would need to fill out?

I may be reading way to much into this - it could just be idiosyncratic aspects of Putin speaking in English, or bad translation.

Red Ryder , Jul 20 2019 18:25 utc | 14
Who would not poison him and his daughter? The Russians. If he wanted to return, he would have to possess information that was worth taking him back and letting him live out his life in peace.
Would the crap Trump wanted to know be that infrmation?

He was being handled by Mi6 and knew he had no way to communicate with the Russians.
He needed his daughter to cut a deal.

The Brits could have easily pierced Skirpal's communication with his daughter (even if it was a whisper in her ear).
Would he risk his life and his daughter's life for such a long-shot 'deal'?

And the foundation question in all this is "Did Skirpal work on the Steele Dossier, and what did he contribute to that document?"

It's all a MacGuffin.

The reality probably is thus: The Brits cold-bloodedly poisoned him and his daughter to tar the Russians. Then a straight British fabrication story that holds no water anywhere along the way. They did it, and he had no value to them, so why not? His daughter? She's Russian. Of no use to them.

In the scheme of things, it was a trivial act of poisoning with a huge payoff, which they achieved.

Highly Likely it was a dirty trick by the Russophobic Brits. Nothing more. Sloppy Mi6 poisoning.

Mina , Jul 20 2019 18:29 utc | 15
He speaks in the present, not in the past. And says 'he is a spy' meaning the guy kept working for the Brits in the recent years. The Skripal affair was possibly used by May when she was cornered during the Brexit negotiation. No doubt it had other effects as well, such as forbidding any EU deal with the Russians over Syria.
DontBelieveEitherPr. , Jul 20 2019 18:46 utc | 19
Mina: Good catch.. IMHO all our speculations are futile anyway at this point. BOTH sides DO NOT want to know us the whole truth. Only time will tell, when those people directly involve actually talk and present hard evidence.
DontBelieveEitherPr. , Jul 20 2019 18:49 utc | 21
Addition: I would asume the Interview will be worth a watch anyway. The "Putin Interviews" makes for an interesting watch.Though stone seems sometimes more taken away by his own world view and narrative. But he has his hearth in the right place i assume, and provides some insights to western mass media watchers that they would otherwise never get.
DG , Jul 20 2019 18:53 utc | 23
There was no poisoning ... nobody died of Novichok ... Skripal and his daughter are alive and well ... the incident was staged ... it was a kabuki piece of anti - Russia malarkey poorly executed
Russ , Jul 20 2019 18:57 utc | 24
If Skripal had publicly said that he made up and wrote the Steele dossier, the anti-Trump/anti-Russia campaign by the Clinton 'resistance' would have been over. The whole Mueller investigation nonsense would never have happened.

I doubt that. The Russiagate-mongers have always been totally proof against any and all evidence of reality, from day one to today. In this case they would've just said he was lying, either to suck up to Putin and/or because Putin threatened him.

et Al , Jul 20 2019 19:01 utc | 25
Boris Berezovsky wanted to return to Russia too...
Ghost Ship , Jul 20 2019 19:05 utc | 26
Why has Skripal never given a public interview? Because he's dead? Nah, the idiots in the Conservative government would have milked that dry. My best guess is that the British government know that he'll say something very damaging to the Conservative government and that can't be allowed to happen. What that something could be can only be guessed at, but it could be that the Steele Report was authorised and approved by the Conservative government.
gzon , Jul 20 2019 19:19 utc | 29
This is one event I get nowhere with. In fact the only piece of information that gives me any info that I feel credible is how convinced a UK ambassador I am familiar with was about Russia being behind it, not by details given in person to me but just how they went about in reaction. There are ambassadors and ambassadors, and this one being a nicer person, quite meticulous, and not one to purposefully lie. That proves nothing though :( .

Did they move to the US in the end ?

Zanon , Jul 20 2019 19:45 utc | 33
Oliver stone is already attacked by liberals in the media:

"Oliver stone's latest piece of pro-putin-propaganda may be his most shameless move yet"
https://www.thedailybeast.com/revealing-ukraine-oliver-stones-latest-piece-of-pro-putin-propaganda-may-be-his-most-shameless-move-yet

and second article startts with:

"Filmmaker and conspiracy theorist Oliver Stone has made no secret of his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but now he has taken it to a whole new level by trying to make him his 22-year-old daughter's godfather. "

https://www.yahoo.com/news/oliver-stone-asks-vladimir-putin-031303288.html

somebody

Oliver stone is not a journalist, he asks questions he want to get exposure, is hidden in the western media.

Rob , Jul 20 2019 19:46 utc | 35
So, the question remains: Where in the world are the Skripals at this very moment? I do not believe that Putin does not know the answer, but for reasons of his own, he is keeping it to himself. Possibly, he wants the whole affair to disappear quietly down the memory hole. Of course, the story may return to the public eye someday. Sort of like a cold-case murder that finally gets solved.
ben , Jul 20 2019 19:52 utc | 36
@33 said;"Oliver stone is already attacked by liberals in the media:"

These are not "liberals", they are pretend liberals. MSM personnel are totally CORPORATE.

Their job is to protect the MIC's profits, and as such, hating RUSSIA funnels more $ in to
the system.

james , Jul 20 2019 19:56 utc | 38
@35 rob.... the skripals are being frozen out by the same means at the uk's D-notice... do the math.. it is very clear.. it has nothing to do with putin, in fact they need to keep skripals out of the picture forever, or until that is way past it's by use date - 30 years??
Michael Droy , Jul 20 2019 20:13 utc | 40
I don't think the Putin statement makes any difference. It confirms the Theory that the Russians did it equally as well as it confirms that the Brits or Americans did it.
MRD applies.
And it won't convince anyone either.

Whereas Chief Nursing Officer (Army): Colonel Alison McCourt OBE ARRC QHN L/QARANC, has pretty much convinced everyone something was dodgy about the affair. That and the ducks and most recently "the Antidote" that saved Charlie Rowley's life and just happened to be carried by the ambulance staff that arrived at his door. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/08/revealed-anti-nerve-agent-drug-was-used-for-first-time-in-uk-to-save-novichok-victim

And of course the "believe 10 incredible things before breakfast" claims in the straits of Hormuz this month. We are getting close to the point where May or Trump is going to flat out call their own intelligence services liars and creators of false flags.

William Gruff , Jul 20 2019 20:17 utc | 43
The Skripals were doped with BZ nerve agent. It is likely that Sergei has been maintained in a near vegetative state with psychotropic drugs since then as a means to keep him in storage. There was no novichok other than the fresh batch made at Porton Down and used to amateurishly spike the sample sent to the OPCW for analysis.

Putin refers to Sergei being a spy in the present tense since Putin knows that once someone is a spook they are always a spook. It is not a career one can retire from.

The scenario b describes is the most probable of all that I've heard. Spook agencies such as the MI6 and CIA like to think of themselves as thrifty with their assets and thus accomplish multiple objectives with a single operation. They believe themselves to be clever that way. For this reason they would have been unlikely to have doped the Skripals for the sole purpose of implicating Russia. There are any number of other ways that they could have arranged an incident that makes Russia look bad. The operation would have had to serve other purposes as well, and silencing Sergei and preventing his embarrassing return to Russia would be suitable additional purposes. There were likely other objectives within the operation as well such as smoking out leakers.

Do feel pity for the Atlantic Council trolls who are tasked with trying to subtly reinforce the nonsense novichok narrative. Theirs is not an easy job.

somebody , Jul 20 2019 20:18 utc | 44
add to 32

This here, by the way, was the rumour that Skripal wrote a letter to Putin asking to return .

Spread by the Guardian and the BBC.

The former Russian intelligence officer, who came to Britain in 2010 as part of a spy swap, regretted being a double agent and wanted to visit his family, his friend Vladimir Timoshkov told the BBC.

So HMG was embarrassed they could not protect their spy?

William Gruff , Jul 20 2019 20:29 utc | 45
As for Putin's responses to Stone being more ambiguous than you would like, please consider Putin's position. He is trying to be diplomatic and is unlikely to come out and make blunt accusations even if he is certain about them beyond any shadow of doubt. He needs to leave his "partners" in Britain and the US the wiggle room to climb down from their nonsense if they come to their senses. Furthermore, if he gives signals that Russia is willing to repatriate the Skripals then that could sign the Skripals' death warrant. Best for the Skripals if the British and Americans feel confident that the Skripals are securely pinned down.

You have to be careful what you say when dealing with psychopaths that you don't trigger them into violence with a misplaced word.

harry , Jul 20 2019 20:37 utc | 46
I thought this made a lot of sense https://southfront.org/michael-antony-the-alternative-skripal-narrative/
Jen , Jul 20 2019 21:13 utc | 50
It would be well to remember that in early March last year, about the same time that the Skripals were found collapsed on the park bench in The Maltings shopping centre by Alison McCourt and her award-winning heroic teenage daughter, that the Syrian Arab Army liberated Douma / East Ghouta (or most of that area anyway) near Damascus and captured 300 terrorists. Among the captured fighters were found British and French "military advisors". The British government (and probably likely the French government: do people remember that Moscow also thumped Paris over its role in the Skripal poisoning saga?) needed a diversion from that sorry tale that would have exposed Britain and France's sordid roles in the failed US-led invasion of Syria and the overthrow of Syria's government.

At the same time a military exercise in which troops apparently rehearsed a poisoning incident had just been completed in the Salisbury / Porton Down area. McCourt had taken part in that exercise.

It is possible that Skripal, living alone in his house and his pets, and facing a lonely future in Britain after his daughter, the other surviving member of his family, started making wedding arrangements that would have meant fewer visits to Britain to see her father, had contemplated returning to Russia and had made known his wish to a few people he thought he could trust. But whether he had information about his role (or no role) in cooking up the stories in the Steele dossier that Oliver Stone suggested he had, that he was planning to tell the Kremlin, is another thing. It might very well be that - unfortunately for the Skripals - Skripal's handler and British government spook agencies were and are as much taken with conspiracy thinking and the conspiracy mind-set as Oliver Stone was (in his interview with Vladimir Putin) and those agencies feared that Skripal was going to spill the beans about his (possible) involvement in the Steele dossier and implicate them.

These people are spies after all, and once a spook, always a spook. And spooks also look for a scheme that can hit two (and more) birds with the one stone; any consequences that arise, such as what to tell the public, can be dealt with later. Hence, the poisoning incident, that can be blamed on Russia and justify further sanctioning and arms build-up and expenditures (benefiting then PM Theresa May's husband financially), that deflects attention away from what just happened in Syria, and which removes someone from (possibly) telling the truth about supposed Russian involvement in the 2016 US Presidential elections, was a concoction too good to pass up.

uncle tungsten , Jul 20 2019 21:30 utc | 53
Thanks b, a timely post. I sometimes suspect that the outing of Integrity Initiative and Institute for Statecraft was a Russian payback for the defaming antics perpetrated by the MI6 morons. I have no proof as it was meticulously anonymous. Its a comforting thought here in the gaslit studio of humanity.

I had a good laugh at one poster who had it on good authority from a trustworthy ambassador that the Skripals are in USA. The ambassadors of the world are usually well versed in gaslighting. More on that subject at Corbet Report or Thomas Sheridan.

The big problem with Skripals etc was that they would reveal the complicity of the UK in developing the Steele dirty dossier to get Hillary the vulgar elected. They backed the wrong team and got caught playing dirty.

Mike-O , Jul 20 2019 21:49 utc | 55
Finding ambiguity or evasiveness in President Putin's answers to Skripal-related questions is not surprising - after all he knows that anything he says will automatically be discredited by the MSM echo chambers. By keeping his answers open-ended he challenges the western public to ask questions and find their own answers. Sadly, few will read or view with the open minds often found here at MoA.
Don Karlos , Jul 20 2019 22:07 utc | 58
Russian and English transcripts are not identical. In the Russian version, they both speak in the past sense, literally:

-It WAS said, that he would return to Russia, that he has some information
-Yes, I WAS told, he wants to write a paper, ask to return
-It WAS said that he intendED to return here and to provide some information to the press

From grammar, that was all said in the past, and was accurate as of that past moment (: the present tense is used after "that")

The source was not explained by either of them (...and indeed FWIW it reminds of Berezovsky...)

gzon , Jul 20 2019 22:08 utc | 59
From an establishment mouthpiece

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sergei-and-yulia-skripal-offered-new-identities-with-cia-help-ztf896rnj

but it makes sense because they would be recognised everywhere in UK.

I don't get the insinuation from you Uncle T, I mean that is not what I said if it was me you meant. Same goes for WG insinuating there are trolls on board, it puts an air of uncertainty amongst commentators like they have to check what they say not to be called troll, and that is trolling. Why not just criticise a commentator directly and allow the discussion to continue from that instead if you are serious, of setting the whole board on edge ?

karlof1 , Jul 20 2019 22:22 utc | 60
When I linked to the Putin-Stone transcript yesterday on the open thread, I purposely omitted the Skripal discussion and posted the bit about American culture. I did so because of its convoluted nature, as many have noted. I read it 3-4 times and I still couldn't make sense of it via my usual methods of discourse analysis. In fact, the entire transcript is a series of convolutions. It would be better to see the filmed original and go from there. Of course, the Kremlin seemed okay with the transcript's form otherwise it wouldn't have been published.

As for the kidnapping of the Skripals by the UK government, IMO that's now the real scandal, but there seems no interest in it as BigLie Media has dumped the affair down its memory hole. And the truth of the matter is yet another reason why the UK's Deep State cannot allow Corbyn to gain power. Somehow, the UK citizenry must oust the Tories and Blairites, install Corbyn, and regain control over their destiny. Until that happens, the Skripals's fate and so much more will remain unanswered.

karlof1 , Jul 20 2019 22:54 utc | 61
As for the UK-sponsored Lie Machines, Kit Klarenberg continues his excellent work uncovering their schemes and continues to get his reporting published by Sputnik , as with the item linked within the above tweet:

"A reminder of when Integrity Initiative's bff @haynesdeborah, who'd been writing about #Skripal on an almost daily basis for over a year, believed an NYT story that totally contradicted the official Salisbury narrative and her own reporting on the subject."

Kit's just one of a small army of excellent online investigators worthy of following on Twitter and their publishing outlets.

John Dowser , Jul 20 2019 23:28 utc | 64
"For some reason the Skripals had to be taken out".

Is in this case perhaps not the simplest provided reason not also the best candidate? Skripal f#@&ed his old KGB buddies and he got payed back while of course, for dual use purposes, Putin states now openly it helped "to cause a scandal" supposedly for various geopolitical reasons. Russia already see itself at war, it's not "hoping".

Putin 2010" "Traitors will kick the bucket, believe me. Those other folks betrayed their friends, their brother in arms" and "Whatever they got in exchange for it, those 30 pieces of silver they were given, they will choke on them."

Putin 2019 (FT interview)" "Treason is the gravest crime possible and traitors must be punished. I am not saying that the Salisbury incident is the way to do it. Not at all. But traitors must be punished."

Now do we *really* need a complex theory when Putin calls it openly "the gravest crime possible"? Of course, some parties could have used this tension but sometimes we should not look for complexity when simpler solutions are there: motive, some evidence, perpetrator and murder weapon. Just not very *refined* but efficiency in terms of killing was perhaps not even the point being made. What is being demonstrated is willingness and means.

Evelyn , Jul 20 2019 23:44 utc | 65
Vladimir Putin : Is there an American culture?

GOOD QUESTION!

Lochearn , Jul 20 2019 23:45 utc | 67
Oliver Stone. Well, at least he tries. His most brilliant film, in my opinion, was Natural Born killers which was Kubrikesque as a sort of new take on A Clockwork Orange. But being a great film director does not make you a great researcher and analyst.

Putin most definitely has a sense of humour and I think that's what keeps him going.

... ... ...

Ort , Jul 21 2019 0:23 utc | 68
Just to throw it into the bubbling pot, there was that single report in May that Sergei Skripal, like ET, had finally phoned home. IIRC, earlier (c. March or April) there was a story with an audio clip about a telephone call between Yulia and her cousin in Russia.

I'm providing this link to a Telegraph article about the Sergei call just as a starting point for anyone who may be curious. I certainly can't vouch for the Telegraph's veracity, and of course have no rational way to assess the account's authenticity and significance.

"Sergei Skripal heard for the first time since poisoning in phone call, relatives say"

True or not, like every other "development" in this riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma of l'affaire Skripal, it raises far more questions than it answers.

FWIW, I think Putin's intellect and statesmanship is impressive. But he's undoubtedly a bit of a Cheshire Cat.

karlof1 , Jul 21 2019 0:28 utc | 69
Now here's a comment about US society that's more complex than Putin's:

"... what is actually the American essence: a society & economy built on pervasive and persistent structural racism."

Hard to fault that opinion. The overall context it was made in the reader can discover.

Rely , Jul 21 2019 0:54 utc | 71
As I understood it, Sergei Skripal was more mercenary than spook, in the business of selling info because he could profit from it. In other words, more Aldrich Ames or Hanssen than Philby.

He was selling info to MI6 in exchange for cash and a holiday home in Spain. He got caught, spent some time in jail and Russia swapped him because there was no further damage he could do.

It was probably that same mercenary spirit that made him want to go back and he would have known he'd have to make his wares really appealing to Moscow to let him back in. I'd think the Steele dossier and Russiagate seemed like a perfect opportunity for him to state - or perhaps -- overstate the importance of his information.

He may have overplayed his hand - obviously, his plans leaked out - and UK intelligence (perhaps with the US involved) decided to stage the incident. Or perhaps - as is possible with someone who'll play both sides - Sergei was the leaker in an attempt to gain more currency with Moscow.

I'd think that Putin knows exactly what went on and this would also explain why Russia hasn't been making a stink about one of their citizens - Yulia - being held prisoner/hostage in the UK for well over a year.

Petri Krohn , Jul 21 2019 2:07 utc | 72
Did Sergei Skripal dump the perfume bottle?

Michael Antony provides the best explanation for how the Nina Ricci box ended up in the charity box.

The Alternative Skripal Narrative - Michael Antony, The Saker Blog , February 17, 2019

Let's take the famous Nina Ricci perfume bottle, laced with novichok, which was found in a rubbish bin or charity bin by a homeless man and given weeks later to his woman friend, who tragically died after spraying it on her wrist. The police/MI6 narrative is that this perfume bottle was used to transport the novichok from Russia in the baggage of one of the alleged GRU men caught on CCTV in Salisbury. The novichok was then sprayed on the door handle of the Skripals' house. The assassins then callously threw away the bottle (which they knew contained enough novichok to kill more people) in a dustbin or charity bin, demonstrating their indifference to loss of life as well as their indifference to leaving clues all over the place. There are problems with this narrative.

The homeless man claimed he had found the perfume bottle still in its box sealed in cellophane, proof it was not reopened after it had been laced with novichok and professionally repackaged. The bottle could not therefore have been used (as claimed) to spray the novichok on the doorknob, or the cellophane seal would have been broken. Assassins far from home don't usually carry around cellophane-wrapping machines to repackage opened perfume bottles, especially when they are just going to chuck them in the bin. Nor would they take the risk, having fitted the separate spray nozzle onto the bottle and sprayed the doorknob, of disassembling it again to put it back in the box, knowing that a drop on their skin would kill them. And where would they perform this delicate operation? On the street? This poisoned perfume bottle was therefore never reopened, never used and it affected nobody until it ended up in the hands of the homeless man. So who or what was it intended for?

Ladies' perfume bottles are normally intended for women. How many women are there in this story? Only one. The only possible explanation for the existence of this unopened, unused bottle of perfume laced with novichok is that it was a poisoned gift meant for Yulia Skripal. Why didn't she open it? Because she had a spy father who took one look at it and said: "Don't touch it!"

So here is the alternative narrative. MI6 had the bright idea of putting novichok in a Nina Ricci perfume bottle and sending it as a birthday present to Yulia Skripal at her father's house. Her birthday was on 17th March, but the present was probably delivered on the 3rd, the day she arrived, so as to nip their escape plan in the bud. It was meant to seem like a present from her family or boyfriend. No doubt the parcel had Russian stamps on it, designed to frame the Russian state when the Skripals were found dead in their house with an open perfume bottle in Yulia's hands. Unfortunately for MI6, Sergei took one look at this Nina Ricci perfume bottle and his spy instincts smelled danger. He refused to open it, but instead went for a long walk with it and put it in a rubbish bin or charity bin half-way across town. There it was found by the homeless man and given to his woman friend, a victim of MI6's murderous callousness. Even after MI6 knew it had gone missing, they did not warn the public to beware of picking up a Nina Ricci perfume bottle because they didn't want to give themselves away as the assassins.

The British police knew of the perfume bottle early on. The first theory of the poisoning presented to the public was that Yulia had brought the novichok from Russian in her luggage. There was even speculation that it was in a perfume bottle that Yulia had suddenly decided to open on the bench. (This did not sound plausible at the time as it would not explain how the novichok hit Sergei.)

Suitcase spy poisoning plot: nerve agent 'was planted in luggage of Sergei Skripal's daughter' - The Telegraph , March 15, 2018

The nerve agent that poisoned the Russian spy Sergei Skripal was planted in his daughter's suitcase before she left Moscow, intelligence agencies now believe.

Senior sources have told the Telegraph they are convinced the Novichok nerve agent was hidden in the luggage of Yulia Skripal, the double agent's 33-year-old daughter.

They are working on the theory that the toxin was impregnated in an item of clothing or cosmetics or else in a gift that was opened in his house in Salisbury, meaning Miss Skripal was deliberately targeted to get at her father.

We know the police were all over looking for the missing perfume bottle. They could not find it, because Sergei had already dumped it in the charity bin. Maybe Sergei even told them where he put it, but Charlie had found it before MI6 could recover it.

Yeah, Right , Jul 21 2019 3:03 utc | 76
@1 Zanon posits a big ol' pile of tripe.

Zanon: "Doubt that, Skripal's enemies is in Russia, Putin have earlier stated Skripal was a traitor and should be treated as such."

He *was* a traitor, and he *was* treated as such: arrest, trial, conviction, imprisonment.

But business is business. Once the Russians had let him rot away in prison for years then there was still some residual value to be squeezed from him i.e. a spy-swap.

The rules of that game are very well-defined: you agree on the people, you do the swap-over, and then you walk away.

The dude you hand over goes into anonymous retirement, and both sides are content that they have done the right thing by their own.

Zanon: "Why Skripal would go Russia after he deliberately moved out of Russia after an assault most likely carried out by someone in Russia"

Oh, pllllllllllease. That sentence makes no chronological sense.

This is the sequence of events that makes the most sense:
1) Skripal is recruited by Pablo Miller
2) Skripal spies on behalf of the British
3) Skripal is caught and imprisoned by the Russians
4) Skripal is swapped for some Russian spies
5) Skripal "retires" to Salisbury
6) Skripal and Miller concoct the entire "dossier" in a pub, laughing uproariously
7) Skripal sees The Shit Hit The Fan in the USA over that "dossier"
8) Skripal thinks "Oh, crap, this could end badly" and puts out some feelers
9) Skripal's daughter brings a message: Two men are coming in a few days to talk to you, you can trust them, the deal they will propose is that you will be welcome back to Russia if you agree dump on the "dossier" in a press conference.

The two dudes turn up, but no meeting took place because someone else "novichoked" Skripal before he could get to that meeting.

Zanon: ", that makes no sense."

Pig's arse it doesn't. It. Makes. Perfect. Sense.

Skripal was swapped because as far as the Russians were concerned that was all the value he had left to him.

Once he got involved in the "dossier" then his value to the Russians skyrocket i.e. he could blow the lid off "Russiagate", but only if the Russians can get him back to Moscow.

They tried, and they failed. Someone else got to him first.

Yeah, Right , Jul 21 2019 3:17 utc | 77
@49 Zanon "I am not here to post syncopath comments as you do, "

Zanon, baby, you are here for one purpose only: to suggest - time after tedious time - that Vladimir Putin is to blame for everything that happens in this world.

A poisoning in Salisbury? Putin ordered the hit. Israel bombs Syria? That was Putin's idea. Iran is in Syria? Putin has already agreed to get rid of them. Blaming the Russians is your one and only trick.

Yeah, Right , Jul 21 2019 3:23 utc | 78
@65 John Dowser, your argument makes no sense.

Skripal was arrested and spent 5 years in a Russian prison. If "his old KGB buddies" had wanted him dead then that's when he would have been killed.

Why on Earth would they swap him, watch him go into "retirement" in Salisbury, and only then slap their foreheads and shout "Oh, shit, we gosh-darned forgot to kill him. Better send some guys over there and bump him off".

dltravers , Jul 21 2019 4:30 utc | 79
@ William Gruff

Yesterday you posted an interesting heads up about state dept and Atlantic council trolls working here. The context being crowing about the Panamanian deflagging of the Iranian vessel.

They fear this blog that much to commit resources in order to change minds? I an disappointed that Kissinger has not shown up yet. It makes me feel lowly and unimportant.

Even if Putin is perceived to be our enemy having a conversation would make some sense. The West fears that they could not stand in a room with him openly and beat him in a debate. His intellect would outclass them on every level. Minds would be changed and they fear that hence the fear of even having a conversation about him.

This garbage works on many but I have noticed that people do eventually begin to think differently if you softly point things out when the conversation turns that direction. They fear open conversations like this unless they can tightly control and edit.

curious man , Jul 21 2019 6:38 utc | 80
Posted by: Evelyn | Jul 20 2019 23:44 utc | 66

Vladimir Putin: Is there an American culture?

GOOD QUESTION!

ABC News :

"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning that Russian agents could seek to further divide Americans by exploiting U.S. passions over whether pineapple belongs on pizza.

It's a cheesy, playful warning -- but it's trying to deliver a serious message. Posted online Wednesday by the department's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the tongue-in-cheek warning aims to help Americans identify and protect against propaganda campaigns from Russia and other foreign adversaries.

After all, the DHS warning says, Russian agents are capable of simultaneously insisting online that "Being anti-pineapple is un-American!" while also pushing out posts saying "Millennials are ruining pizza!""

curious man , Jul 21 2019 7:03 utc | 81
Posted by: Evelyn | Jul 20 2019 23:44 utc | 66

Vladimir Putin: Is there an American culture?

GOOD QUESTION!

Business Insider :

" A recent survey of 3,000 kids found that being a YouTube star was a more sought-after profession than being an astronaut among kids in the US and the United Kingdom.

Children ages 8 to 12 in the US, the UK, and China were recently polled in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, which resulted in the first person to walk on the moon.

Kids in the US and the UK were three times as likely to want to be YouTubers or vloggers as astronauts, while kids in China were more likely to want to be astronauts."

Results of the Harris Poll survey https://tinyurl.com/yybydxhe

Norwegian , Jul 21 2019 7:14 utc | 82
Here's a simple hypothesis: Sergey Skripal was involved with the fabrication of the Steele dossier (we know this). Therefore, he was a risk to the UK government and security services, as well as the US "democrats". Quite possibly Skripal signalled that he wanted to return to Russia, but if he didn't he was still a risk because of what he knew. So TPTB made up the story that the "russians had poisoned the Skripals with Novichok". As always in these cases, it serves more than one purpose. In this case they got rid of the Skripal risk and they could blame Russia again.
Joost , Jul 21 2019 8:04 utc | 84
First Recorded Successful Novichok Synthesis was in 2016 – By Iran, in Cooperation with the OPCW
This has always smelled fishy to me. Why Iran? One of the most sanctioned countries in the world is allowed to make nerve agents, supported by OPCW? Why not some top class western chemical lab like Porton Down?

Could it be that PD already made the stuf but did not want to take credit, just in case it ever proved useful in blaming some Douma-style incident to Russia? But before that happened, everyone and his cat must know what Novichok is and that only Russia can make it. It had to be introduced to the public somehow. And then the wrong President got elected.

Brendan , Jul 21 2019 8:17 utc | 86
@somebody, # 44
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov quickly denied that claim last year: "No. That's not true," https://sputniknews.com/europe/201803241062856023-skripal-letter-putin-return/

I agree with what you said in #32. What Putin might have meant was that he was told the story, not that it was true.

moscowexile , Jul 21 2019 8:43 utc | 88
@ Piotr Berman

I understand Russian and I speak a language with a similar grammar, and I have no idea how to say "he said that he wants" in a way that implies something different than a wish made at the time of speaking ("he wants") or a wish that existed before he spoke ("he wanted"). Implication about wishing after the time of speaking would require some elaboration, you cannot make it by selecting tenses.

In Russian, as I have written above, one reports the tense as used by the person whose action one is reporting. Thus:

"I want to go back to Russia" [Я хочу вернуться в Россию] is reported in Russian literally as: Он сказал, что хочет вернуться в Россию [He said that he wants to go back to Russia], whereas in English, one should say: He said that he wanted to go back to Russia.

However, in Russian, one can add, for example, the term якобы in order to express one's doubts about the veracity of that action which one is reporting:

Он сказал, что хочет, якобы, вернуться в Россию [literally: He said that he, allegedly, wants to go back to Russia].

curious man , Jul 21 2019 9:23 utc | 90
Posted by: Joost | Jul 21 2019 8:04 utc | 95

First Recorded Successful Novichok Synthesis was in 2016 – By Iran,
in Cooperation with the OPCW

This has always smelled fishy to me. Why Iran?

Cornell chemistry professor states 'Novichok so simple to make, many labs could do it' -- The Skwawkbox, 05/04/2018

Dave Collum :

I asserted that any credible organic chemist could make novichok nerve agents. Here is my final exam in my 1st year graduate organic synthesis course. Only one kid of 15 lost any points. Uniquely Russian technology my ass....

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DdvJfIgUwAE6u17.jpg

David B. Collum is a Prof of Organic Chemistry @ Cornell.
somebody , Jul 21 2019 9:25 utc | 91
Posted by: Brendan | Jul 21 2019 8:17 utc | 97

RT clarifies

Stone asked the Russian leader if he believes in the theory that Sergei Skripal wanted to return to Russia and divulge some secrets but was stopped by the British government.

"Honestly, I don't really believe it. I don't believe it," Putin replied.

curious man , Jul 21 2019 9:25 utc | 92
Sorry ...

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DdvJfIgUwAE6u17.jpg

curious man , Jul 21 2019 9:46 utc | 95
Files from the Porton Down military laboratory were found in a trash can in Northern London. It's the laboratory where, according to the British authorities, nobody could walk out with the poison on the eve of the Skripal poisoning. Classified documents are a terrorist's dream, according to British intelligence agencies. So, they managed to walk out with them but failed to walk out with the poison?

Political analyst Alexander Nekrasov is now speaking from London. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaee-URe04g

curious man , Jul 21 2019 9:56 utc | 96
Mystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia -- The Hill, 07/18/19

The Trump administration has not imposed a second round of sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain more than eight months after telling Congress that Moscow had triggered them.

State Department officials have repeatedly insisted the United States intends to impose new sanctions, which are required under a law passed by Congress in 1991 on eliminating chemical and biological weapons.

But several months have passed without news, and members of Congress say they have heard little from the administration on the topic.

A former government official familiar with the matter told The Hill that the State and Treasury departments finalized a proposed sanctions package by March at the latest, but top officials have yet to sign off.

"Options have been ready to go for several months at this point and senior folks in the administration haven't made the decision or given the green light to roll them out," the former official said.

Bloomberg reported at the end of March that the White House had received the sanctions package and that State and Treasury were waiting for the White House to sign off before they issued the new punishment for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

The reason for the lack of action is shrouded in mystery. The White House did not offer a comment for this story.

<...>

curious man , Jul 21 2019 10:06 utc | 97
Putin: Why Would Anybody Be Interested in Skripal? He Served His Time For Being Traitor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM4J8zwf7wU
Insane scenario , Jul 21 2019 10:27 utc | 98
C'mon guys, the handling of the case shortly after the event rules out any Russian induced poisoning, circumstantial evidence does not fit a nerve agent. Its an utmost hilarious propaganda narrative. The Russian state orders an attack with an internationally banned weapon of mass destruction on the territory of a Nato member? For late revenge, hurt feelings? Doesn't anybody realize how stupid that sounds? The scenario brought forward, with the perfume bottle, could (thinking opsec) have easily involve thousands of innocent victims. Imagine the opening of the bottle in a mall. There is no Russian state component in it. Not even a Roque element. The claim is total BS. Short analysis shows, that management of this "case" is entirely in the realm of the UK.

The opcw sampling, the coincidental first responder military nurse, Pablo Miller...

A lot of elements of this operation had to be prepared upfront and controlled while the operation is unfolding. It remains open, whether or not the skripals where in on the plot, probably not. But anyone asserting the "Russia did it/novichok" story does lack the sanity to be trusted with state matters.

curious man , Jul 21 2019 10:36 utc | 99
UK: Police threaten to treat the publication of leaked information as criminal -- Reporters Without Borders, July 15, 2019 - Updated on July 16, 2019

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns recent threats made by the London Metropolitan Police to treat the publication of leaked information as a "criminal matter" - marking the latest move to restrict press freedom in the UK in favour of national security.

Following a series of media reports containing details from leaked diplomatic cables preceding the resignation of Sir Kim Darroch from his post as UK Ambassador to the US, the London Metropolitan Police threatened to treat the publication of leaked documents as criminal.

[...] On 12 July, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu stated that "The publication of leaked communications, knowing the damage they have caused or are likely to cause, may also be a criminal matter...I would advise all owners, editors and publishers of social and mainstream media not to publish leaked government documents that may already be in their possession, or which may be offered to them, and to turn them over to the police or give them back to their rightful owner, Her Majesty's Government."

The following day, 13 July, Basu appeared to partially back down, stating that the Met "respects the rights of the media and has no intention of seeking to prevent editors from publishing stories in the public interest in a liberal democracy. The media hold an important role in scrutinising the actions of the state." However, Basu maintained that publication "could also constitute a criminal offence, and one that carries no public interest defence".

<...>

uncle tungsten , Jul 21 2019 10:37 utc | 100
They are most likely in a black site lock up in Swest of England. Life sentence for sure. There are plenty of suitable estates that are probable black sites. Every nation has them I guess for their special prisoners. Julia and Sergei are prisoners of conscience, no habeas corpus in UK.
Don Karlos , Jul 21 2019 10:49 utc | 101
previous page @97 Brendan, @ 102

Both from interview transcripts and RT article it's clear that the part P. says he does not believe is that S. has been poisoned by the British services (in response to Stone's question floating such a possibility).

On 24 March 2018 BBC posted a piecemeal-videoed interview with S. classmate named Vladimir Timoshkov, who said that sometime in 2012 S. called him from London for about 30 minutes, argued that he did not commit treason since his allegiance had been to the USSR, and "wrote to Putin" (timing not provided) asking for full pardon to be able to return to Russia on family grounds. Writing to Putin was denied by Kremlin to BBC, and by Peskov in Russian media the next day.

Exact meaning is unclear. Timoshkov recollection is not very confident, he is not entirely sure about the year when this conversation took place, or the exact wording. It's not impossible that S. only planned to write such letter, not actually wrote it, and that such a possibility is tentatively confirmed by P. (However Stone version is coming back with some 'information', not coming on family grounds).

It is also possible that S. wrote such letter few years earlier, around the time of the spy swap in 2010. He had to write to Pres. Medvedev asking for pardon, at least formally, and it is not impossible that he was retelling some bits from that earlier letter. (Pardon was granted after it was requested).

jen , Jul 21 2019 11:01 utc | 102
Petri Krohn @ 74:

The problem with Michael Antony's explanation is that the charity bin has to remain untouched and unopened or emptied from about 5 March to about 5 July or the first week of July at least. That would be roughly four months from the time Sergei Skripal pops the bottle into the bin to the time Charlie Rowley finds the package and gives it to Dawn Sturgess who then opens the package, applies the perfume to her wrists and promptly keels over.

Plus if Skripal suspected that the bottle contained something dodgy, wouldn't you think the last place he'd dispose of it would be a charity bin, if he were an intelligent ex-spook?

Brendan , Jul 21 2019 11:01 utc | 103
@somebody # 102 ,
RT is mixing two different questions in one sentence: "Stone asked the Russian leader if he believes in the theory that Sergei Skripal wanted to return to Russia and divulge some secrets but was stopped by the British government. "Honestly, I don't really believe it. I don't believe it," Putin replied."

That remark by Putin was actually in response only to the question of whether UK spooks poisoned Skripal to stop him returning to Russia, not about whether Skripal wanted to return:

Oliver Stone: Who poisoned him? They say English secret services did not want Sergei Skripal to come back to Russia?

Vladimir Putin: To be honest, I do not quite believe this. I do not believe this is the case.

John Smith , Jul 21 2019 11:47 utc | 104
b: "Filmmaker Oliver Stone recently interviewed the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. The transcript was published yesterday evening. Most of the interview is about Ukraine. A separate piece will cover that country. There is also a passage about the U.S. election."

The "passage" about Ukraine is no less interesting. For example,

Oliver Stone: I remember you were telling me about the Obama phone call, Obama and you had an agreement that there would be no firing on the last day. And he gave you a promise that he would

Vladimir Putin: You know, while Obama is no longer President, there are certain things we do not discuss in public. At any rate, I can say that the US did not follow through on the agreements that we reached during this phone call [ my emphasis ]. I will stop there without going into detail.

truth seeker , Jul 21 2019 11:52 utc | 106
b: "Filmmaker Oliver Stone recently interviewed the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. The transcript was published yesterday evening. Most of the interview is about Ukraine. A separate piece will cover that country. There is also a passage about the U.S. election."

The "passage" about Ukraine is no less interesting. For example,

Oliver Stone: I remember you were telling me about the Obama phone call, Obama and you had an agreement that there would be no firing on the last day. And he gave you a promise that he would

Vladimir Putin: You know, while Obama is no longer President, there are certain things we do not discuss in public. At any rate, I can say that the US did not follow through on the agreements that we reached during this phone call [ my emphasis ]. I will stop there without going into detail.

Yeah, Right , Jul 21 2019 12:45 utc | 112
@109 Insane scenario "C'mon guys, the handling of the case shortly after the event rules out any Russian induced poisoning, circumstantial evidence does not fit a nerve agent."

I was always puzzled by how inept the British government's pronouncements were following the poisoning of the Skripals.

But once Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were fingered then the penny dropped.

Here are my two hypotheses:
a) Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were Russian intelligence officers sent to make contact with Sergei Skripal to parlay a deal.
b) British intelligence knew all about their upcoming visit (perhaps Yulia had been instructed to vouch for them, and was sloppy)

Easy-peasy: poison the Skripals at that park bench, then do some detective work to "discover" that those two weaselly-looking Russians were in Salisbury at the exact some time that Ol' Sergei was keeling over.

Open and shut case, m'lord.

Only the two Russians had left Salisbury (1:50pm) before the Skripals had even entered the Mill Pub (2:20pm). Therefore they could not possibly have attacked Sergei and Yulia at that park bench (4:15pm).

Shit, meet Fan.

Q: What do the Brits do once they find out that they had no fall-guy?
A: Scramble. Improvise. Wave their arms around like demented pigeons.

For starters, keep very quiet about Petrov and Boshirov until it is possible to come up with some way to squeeze them into the narrative.

And, for goodness sake, squash any suggestion that the Skripals had been attacked at that park bench. No, perish the thought, even if it is the obvious conclusion.

Errrr, how about the car! No, that's stupid. The poison was in Zizzi's? No, that doesn't actually help. The ducks... no, get a grip man, that's dumber than the car... ummm.. umm.. umm..

Flunky: What about the doorknob?
Flustered: What?
Flunky: We can claim they smeared the poison on the doorknob.
Flustered: Oh, what the heck. OK, we'll go with that.
Flunky: And Petrov and Boshirov?
Flustered: Yes, yes [waves hand] release their pictures.

These are facts:
a) Petrov and Boshirov were on a train back to London by 2pm
b) Sergei and Yulia were found on that park bench around 4pm
c) The Brits therefore had to come up with a timeline that has the Skripals poisoned well *before* 2pm but only collapsing *after* 4pm.

What we see now is the result of that need i.e. it is an insult to the intelligence, but the only way for the Brits to pin the attack on their pre-planned fall-guys.

truth seeker , Jul 21 2019 12:51 utc | 113
Posted by: Evelyn | Jul 20 2019 23:44 utc | 66

Vladimir Putin: Is there an American culture?

GOOD QUESTION!

Yes, of course, there is.

NHL, NBA, NFL, KFC, McDonald's, hamburgers, hotdogs, coke and other junk food...

panem et circenses!

Joke!

Walter , Jul 21 2019 12:55 utc | 114
@ in re organic chem prof and novowhatever... The Prof is obviously correct, dd simple. There are guys in jails, busted for dope, who could make novowhatever...

However, since the "agent" found by Swiss was Agent BZ, it might be more interesting to hear what poster 101 has to say about synthesizing BZ...

"I asserted that any credible organic chemist could make novichok nerve agents. Here is my final exam in my 1st year graduate organic synthesis course. Only one kid of 15 lost any points. Uniquely Russian technology my ass...."

So, Professor Collum, speak, please, to matter of BZ, as this seems far more interesting and congruent with observations.

Thanks.

William Gruff , Jul 21 2019 13:06 utc | 115
Nothing wrong with paid work being tiring. It lets the employee know they have earned their shekels, or benjamins as the case may be. It helps keep the "impostor syndrome" at bay.

I wonder if Sergei got impostor syndrome when he was writing up his part of the Steele Dossier or if he was just enjoying an opportunity to be creative?

Noirette , Jul 21 2019 14:59 utc | 125
The weak part of that theory was always that we did not know for sure if Sergei Skripal really wanted to go back to Russia.

b top post.

Iirc, Sergei's desire to do so was reported from various sources, Viktoria Skripal (niece) in first place, Yulia perhaps as well. It was just a part of the story for those who were gripped by it, incl. me. Getting the quotes together would take hours, in any case they might be contested, be merely some 'option', etc.

Makes sense: his wife and son had died, his (one guesses beloved) daughter was established in Russia, he never adapted except superficially, was never successful, in GB. (i can't speak to steele dossier etc.)

Sergei holding Yulia post birth: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43353178

Guardian, by Luke Harding, published an article stating that Sergei did not at first believe that Russia 'poisoned him' - parts ring very true, and are counter to the MSM narrative.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/02/sergei-skripal-initially-did-not-believe-russia-tried-to-kill-him-book

Sergei is alive (I tend to believe that), just as Yulia said in her last phone call.

Sergei called Viktoria (niece) who is living with and taking care of his mother, May 2019.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/23/sergei-skripal-heard-first-time-since-poisoning-phone-call-relatives/

Putin knows pretty much what happened but won't say imho.

Here a report on upping spy vs spy stories to inflame international relations co. Putin.

https://tass.com/world/1065970

Formerly T-Bear , Jul 21 2019 15:07 utc | 126
Theresa May should be installed in the Tower of London until she habeas the Scripal's corpses or provides verifiable information as to their estate. Should said Theresa May expire in said Tower of London, she can do so in knowledge and consolation that so many much better than herself have done so already.

The Tower of London stands as the best monument to the liquidation of the British Monarchy and their Royal Family as well as the Aristocracy that supports that enterprise. May it soon be so dedicated. Maybe the lies will then stop.

Only an opinion (and prayer).

Russ , Jul 21 2019 15:11 utc | 127
Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 21 2019 14:45 utc | 123

"I tend to think they are deceased, or they would have been trotted out for more coerced interviews."

I disagree with those. As it is, it seems literally no one in Britain cares about this case. (I'm not there, but I'm assuming if there were a civil liberties group trying to make a public issue of their disappearance, loudly demanding of the government, "Where are the Skripals? Are you illegally imprisoning them?", that I would've read about it here at some point.) So why remind the people of their bizarrely disappeared existence?

As for killing them, though, if the government were smart in this case (I know they're stupid in general, yes), they'd still keep them alive just in case there somehow were public pressure to produce them. Look at the mistake Richard III made.

William Gruff , Jul 21 2019 15:15 utc | 128
Arioch @122 pointed out: "...maybe for Putin there is really nothing of importance that Skrypal could know and tell."

This is an significant distinction. Does it really matter to Putin or Russian geostrategic interests if Sergei Skripal wanted to announce that he was one of the authors of the Steele Dossier, and that he just did it for fun and profit? To the British and the Americans this would be a huge embarrassment, but aside from some sweet schadenfreude what would Russia gain from it?

From Stone's perspective this issue would be very important, but from Putin's, not so much. When assigning an issue importance, one must always consider to whom the issue is important as importance is rarely universal.

Bemildred , Jul 21 2019 15:55 utc | 132
russ @127: I said deceased, not killed by UK, that was some other posters.

The UK government has not showed a shred of intelligence for several decades now. They take orders from us, and we are not really their friends, we intend to rule, not ally. you can't get more naive than that. But I don't really care, like with Kashoggi, I want to know where there are now, before I starting putting emotional weight behind any stories I'm being told about how they got there.

(Not trying to get in your face, just like accurate representation of what I said.)

Don Karlos , Jul 21 2019 16:14 utc | 134
@ Arioch 124

Actually, he would have quite a number of ways to "write to P", if he really wanted.

E.g. he could (a) send an electronic message directly using electronic letter submission option on the official website, or (b) he could ask Yulia to do so for him, and she had a social media account (that's how his classmate established a contact with him), + almost surely a email address,+ able to visit (c) or similarly via Victoria (d) or that classmate (e) or come to any Rus. consulate anywhere and ask for it to be done --and one of his UK acquaintances was telling he visited the embassy 'often' (f) or do it in lots of other ways he could easily come up with, given his background in intelligence, + contacts and experience, even if his communications were monitored

Montreal , Jul 21 2019 16:15 utc | 135
From what I have heard, the Russians believe that the Skripal affair has been much more damaging to HMG than it has to Russia, and have no interest in removing the mystery surrounding it - the more people delve, the more it stinks.

As an inhabitant of the UK, I can say that a lot of us were very shocked when the Government was trying to stuff these obvious lies down our throats, and it is what got a few of us onto alternative media - sick to death as we already were of the Brexit poison in the MSM. So a belated thank you to b, and your colleagues, what would we do without you.

Rob , Jul 21 2019 16:30 utc | 136
@james (38) Not sure what your point is re Putin's silence on the Skripal's whereabouts. Putin could publicly wonder why Britain is keeping them incommunicado. What are the Brits hiding? Even a devoted Empire supporter would have to agree that it is most peculiar. Yet Putin claims to have no knowledge on the subject, which is almost certainly untrue. His reason for this is unclear, but Putin is nothing if not shrewd. In time, the story will come out one way or another.
alaff , Jul 21 2019 16:32 utc | 137
@ Zanon, #1:
Doubt that, Skripal's enemies is in Russia, Putin have earlier stated Skripal was a traitor and should be treated as such. Why Skripal would go Russia after he deliberately moved out of Russia after an assault most likely carried out by someone in Russia, that makes no sense.

It seems you just watch/read MSM too much. "would go Russia", "moved out of Russia", "by someone in Russia" etc. Russia, Russia, Russia...

The thing is that Russia has nothing to do with all this stuff (mean, "Skripal case").
Yes, Putin called Skripal a traitor. Why? Because Skripal is a traitor.
If you didn't know, Putin is used to calling a spade a spade, without prevarication or double meanings.

"Why Skripal would go Russia"

You reason in categories that you understand, although in reality people may have dozens of reasons to do what you do not understand.
Why Skripal would go Russia? Well, don't you think the answer may be that Skripal simply love Russia? Because Russia is his Motherland, his home, his country. Because he has his mother here, relatives, friends etc.
He can love Russia, his country, even in spite of the harm that has caused her by his betrayal.
He may experience shame, remorse, and other feelings. Don't you think about it?

And you don't understand the main thing. Because of Western MSM propaganda it may seems to people that something is "wrong" with living in Russia.
This is pure nonsense. Just to remind - Skripal was arrested, and he served his time in Russian jail, according to law.
Then he was officially pardoned and was released free. Since that moment he was free to do whatever he wanted.

The right to come back to Russia was/is his right.
There's no law in Russia that if you served prison term and was released, you can't come back from another country.
So, i repeat, Skripal can do whatever he wants.

The fact that Putin called him a traitor does not matter. Traitors can come back, bastards can come back, liars can come back etc.
If you have no problems with the law, the Russian state will have no complaints about you.
Since 2011, when Skripal was pardoned, he is clean under Russian law, so can do whatever he wants.

Btw, just to remind - Boris Berezovsky also was going to come back from UK to Russia, he wrote a letter to Putin. But "suddenly" it happened so that Berezovsky committed a "suicide". We can only guess what he could tell if he returned to Russia. Someone really did not want this information to become known...

Casey , Jul 21 2019 17:49 utc | 143
The presence of HMG nurse on site, and the subsequent Monty Pythom-esque cover up, seems proof enough that the UK had foreknowledge and without question, worked to keep the Russophobia stoked high not only after the incident, but the later killed a UK citizen to continue the incident. Mr. P is being diplomatic.
Don Karlos , Jul 21 2019 18:11 utc | 144
The guy who said that Skripal has been visiting the embassy "monthly" is Valery Morozov, who has a refugee status in the UK. He made the claim in interviews to Western and Russian opposition media, saying that he did not like that and stopped his contacts with S.

E.g. here https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fellow-russian-exile-claims-poisoned-12146023 and https://tvrain.ru/news/znakomyj-459957/ here. Video seems gone, the text is still there.

Apparently not confirmed by the embassy

FWIW

PS. For the official website submission, one does not need to "authorize" it, one needs to provide the full name, email, and phone number on electronic form, that's all. It may be not the best way but the office is required to confirm receipt and to answer. Of course it may not be the kind of answer which he sought...

Zanon , Jul 21 2019 19:41 utc | 145
alaff

Very easy, Skripal have not moved to Russia, nor has his daughter. he is not friend of Russian state, after the swap he kept working with intelligence services in the whole of the west, giving them information on Russia. You don't go back to live freely in the nation you repeatedly committed high treason against, then, you are just foolish, begging to be killed.

karlof1 , Jul 21 2019 21:11 utc | 150
flankerbandit @149--

Ditto your thanks! Zanon's been outed as a troll for months, yet he keeps being fed and FUDs with its fellows.

[Jul 19, 2019] The 'Unconstitutional Animus' Against UK Labour Leader by Johanna Ross

Notable quotes:
"... A couple of weeks ago, The Times of London published an article about senior civil servants fearing U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was "too frail" to be prime minister. Reportedly they also thought he "lacks both a firm grasp of foreign affairs and the domestic agenda. ..."
"... This is the same civil service that is supposed to maintain complete neutrality and according to its code "must not act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminates against particular individuals or interests." ..."
"... Corbyn fought back, arguing that it was unacceptable that civil servants were briefing newspapers on an elected politician. He demanded an independent inquiry into who was spreading such fabrications in the press and "compromising the integrity of the civil service." ..."
"... Miller, who runs the Bristol-based Organisation for Propaganda Studies, said the scheme was found to be spreading its own disinformation and openly criticizing opposition leader Corbyn and his party. ..."
"... Miller said this was clear from the very beginning of the Integrity Initiative when it was regularly engaged in tweeting or retweeting attacks on Corbyn and his closest advisors. ..."
"... Miller calls the use of taxpayers' money to interfere in domestic politics an affront to democracy. ..."
"... Chris Williamson, a Labour MP and Corbyn supporter who was trying to investigate the Integrity Initiative, found himself suspended from the party after he was targeted with allegations of anti-Semitism. ..."
"... Corbyn's call for an independent investigation into the civil service leak to the press has also, as expected, been rejected by the government. ..."
"... If you enjoyed this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one. ..."
"... Jews in Europe and the US have gone from being heavily discriminated against to having much more influence on government than their numbers warrant. I'm going to tell the Netanyahu joke to make my point. Don't know who to credit. Kudos anyway. "It is not anti-Semitic to disagree with Benjamin Netanyahu as he is as white as the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan." ..."
"... If the Integrity Initiative really is shut down, the little Simon Bracey-Lane will be free to cross the pond and campaign for Bernie just like he did in 2015 / 2016. Nah, just kiddin', his cover is blown. But seriously, campaign managers for Tulsi Gabbard best be on guard against inflation from these snakes. ..."
"... This is a joke right. You say communist and you reference China, but in the last century it was ok to ship nearly the entire industrial base of Western Democracies to China so that a bunch of fat cat tycoons, investment bankers, hedge funders et al could become so rich they finally had enough money to purchase the U.S. Government, and it looks like the government of Britain too. ..."
"... This incessant accusation of antisemitism against anyone who supports justice for Palestinians does seem to be effective. A decade ago when I first noticed this smear tactic I assumed it would be self defeating on the part of the Zionists and their backers. It sort of seemed obvious that such a tactic would be self limiting with the broader world beginning to reject such slander. However, it seems the smear is more effective today than it was ten years ago. So depressing. Watching Corbyn's supporters ripping apart his own base in the Labour Party in an effort to appease the Israelis is appalling -- it seems the more that is conceded the more aggressive the Zionist become. Ten years ago it was proper to describe the West Bank as "occupied territory", soon it will be considered antisemitic to even go that far. ..."
"... in 2015, an unnamed, serving British general was quoted saying that if a Corbyn government implemented his well-established anti-imperial and anti-nuke agenda, "there would be mass resignations at all levels [of the military] and you would face the very real prospect of an event which would effectively be a mutiny." https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-army-could-stage-mutiny-under-corbyn-says-senior-serving-general-10509742.html ..."
"... As Mayhew noted, 'the turning point' was the speech of George Marshall the US Secretary of State in June 1947. From 'the middle of 1947 onwards, decisions were taken towards uniting the free world, at the expense of widening the gap with the Communist world our immediate objective changed, from "one world" to "one free world"'. ..."
"... . That is what all of this is about: this is all a campaign by capitalists, plutocrats, oligarchs, monarchs, aristocrats, to keep expandable, pitiful average plebs from ever voting for something better than corporate serfdom and debt slavery. ..."
Jul 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

The 'Unconstitutional Animus' Against UK Labour Leader July 16, 2019 • 39 Comments

Johanna Ross spoke with David Miller, a propaganda researcher, after the recent publicity of U.K. civil service murmurings about Jeremy Corbyn's "fitness."

By Johanna Ross
in Edinburgh, Scotland
Special to Consortium News

A couple of weeks ago, The Times of London published an article about senior civil servants fearing U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was "too frail" to be prime minister. Reportedly they also thought he "lacks both a firm grasp of foreign affairs and the domestic agenda."

This is the same civil service that is supposed to maintain complete neutrality and according to its code "must not act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminates against particular individuals or interests."

Corbyn fought back, arguing that it was unacceptable that civil servants were briefing newspapers on an elected politician. He demanded an independent inquiry into who was spreading such fabrications in the press and "compromising the integrity of the civil service."

Controversial BBC graphic seeking to link Corbyn to Russia.

For David Miller, a professor of political sociology at the University of Bristol, who investigates concentrations of power and ways to hold them accountable, the idea that the British civil service may not be impartial in its operations is hardly surprising.

Far from ever being objective, he told Consortium News that the civil service now clearly has "an unconstitutional animus against a potential Corbyn government and has been briefing against it one way or another through various agencies for some time now."

Catalog of Smears

Indeed, the anti-Corbyn bias within the establishment has been obvious in the catalog of smears on Corbyn and his team since he came to the Labour leadership; from allegations of being a "Soviet sleeper" to being "anti-Semitic" and now to questions about his overall fitness.

David Miller: Faction fight against Corbyn. (University of Bristol)

Miller said most of the allegations were created by a number of organisations and individuals who are "involved in a faction fight with the Corbyn leadership."

Noam Chomsky, a leading U.S. social critic, is among those who have spoken out against what he termed a "witch hunt" against the Labour leader and his supporters.

Whether or not anti-Semitism exists in the party, Miller said the accusations are out of hand. "Almost everyone who says anything which is either critical of Israel or critical of the party's response to the anti-Semitism crisis is denounced as an anti-Semite," Miller said. "The question is how long will it be before everyone sees that the people who are involved in this have overreached themselves."

Attempts to undermine potential socialist governments are of course, not new.

Miller gives the example of the Zinoviev case – when a fake letter was published in the Daily Mail in 1924 just prior to the general election, suggesting Communists in Britain were taking orders from Moscow. The goal was clearly to undermine the British Labour movement.

Miller also points to the case of former Prime Minister Harold Wilson. "Despite what may now be said by some elements of the security state," Miller said that British agencies were engaged in an active plot to undermine Wilson's elected government.

As another example, Miller offered the "Information Research Department," first proposed in 1947 and sold to the cabinet as a bipartisan, anti-Communist and anti-American propaganda operation. In fact, Miller described it as a "secret, covert, anti-Communist propaganda operation which in the 70s was engaged in undermining the Wilson government."

Today, Miller said, similar agencies in the U.K. government are doing the same thing.

Harold Wilson in 1986. (Allan Warren, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Integrity Initiative

As an example, Miller cites the Integrity Initiative; organized by the government's Institute for Statecraft, which has a stated mission of countering "Russian disinformation and malign influence by harnessing existing expertise and establishing a network of experts, opinion formers and policy makers to educate national audiences in the threat and to help build national capacities to counter it." Its website is incidentally now empty pending an investigation into the "theft of its data" – after a hack exposed detail of the extent to which the government-funded program was itself engaged in disinformation.

Miller, who runs the Bristol-based Organisation for Propaganda Studies, said the scheme was found to be spreading its own disinformation and openly criticizing opposition leader Corbyn and his party.

"Corbyn has recently said in relation to the most recent criticism from the civil service that there are people in the establishment that are trying to undermine Corbyn, his office, his advisors and supporters of him," Miller said. "And that's what the Integrity Initiative was doing."

Cartoon published by Punch after the Zinoviev letter was released, depicting a Bolshevik campaigning for Ramsay MacDonald, head of the short-lived Labour government of 1924. (Wikimedia Commons)

Miller said this was clear from the very beginning of the Integrity Initiative when it was regularly engaged in tweeting or retweeting attacks on Corbyn and his closest advisors.

Miller calls the use of taxpayers' money to interfere in domestic politics an affront to democracy.

"A government-funded project was engaged in attacking the leader of the opposition," Miller said, "which is unconstitutional and something the U.K. civil service should not be involved in they crossed the line when they started attacking Corbyn. And when we look back on this period, the Integrity Initiative, its funding by the Foreign Office and its base in British military intelligence will be one of the strands of the activities which will be seen to have been a secret state campaign against the elected leader of the Labour party."

Miller would like to see an investigation into the attacks on Corbyn and whether they had been effectively funded by the Foreign Office, but doesn't hold out much hope of that happening.

Six months ago, Shadow Home Secretary Emily Thornberry demanded answers to how this could have happened, with no result.

And Chris Williamson, a Labour MP and Corbyn supporter who was trying to investigate the Integrity Initiative, found himself suspended from the party after he was targeted with allegations of anti-Semitism.

Corbyn's call for an independent investigation into the civil service leak to the press has also, as expected, been rejected by the government.

Johanna Ross is a freelance journalist based in the United Kingdom.

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


Michael McNulty , July 18, 2019 at 05:52

After he won the second round to remain Labour Party leader Corbyn should have left the party to form a new socialist party, taking his large following and their subscriptions with him. He would have had three years behind him with a new movement, one which would not have had the back-stabbers and poisoners he's having to deal with daily. It would have been quite established now and a real political force. I think the Labour Party is so polluted that the left must break away; it's the only way we can overturn the excesses and failures of neo-liberalism which for most people is a truly dreadful system.

Maz Palmer , July 17, 2019 at 15:02

They are all much worse than bozos (or Bezos); they are all plutocrats, oligarchs, neo-liberal neo-fascist capitalists. That is what all of this is about: this is all a campaign by capitalists, plutocrats, oligarchs, monarchs, aristocrats, to keep expandable, pitiful average plebs from ever voting for something better than corporate serfdom and debt slavery.

Hopelb , July 17, 2019 at 21:52

Upvote!

Piotr Berman , July 17, 2019 at 14:55

"lacks both a firm grasp of foreign affairs and the domestic agenda."

It makes me wonder how Teresa May and her Cabinet, including the next PM, fares in such assessment. Nincompoops, loud mouths, poodles, and worshipers of woodoo economics.

James , July 17, 2019 at 14:22

I get it. Corbyn is Pro-Palestinian, anti-war and Pro-Worker so they are trying to get rid of him.

All I see are articles attacking him. Are there people/forces behind him supporting him? Is his support significant among other Labour MP's and the Public at large?

Piotr Berman , July 17, 2019 at 16:11

The problem is that UK public opinion is quite chaotic at this point and "everything is possible". At some point, four parties had roughly the same poll numbers: Tories, Brexit, Labour and LibDems. However, in the last two weeks Labour and Tories gained with Labour ahead. In a system with single seat districts, "anything can happen", and a recent by-election suggested that Labour may have an advantage in "foot soldiers", volunteers who walk around a district chatting up voters. The internal fights in Labour attracted many new members, and from the point of view of "sensible folks in the Establishment", this is the worst type of rubble. No respect for monarchy, the Trident, necessity of low taxes on business and the rich and so on. And anti-Semitic to boot.

So the meaning of "Corbyn is frail" is that while he himself seems mild mannered, his victory will unleashed the unwashed hordes wrecking everything which is good and he hold dear, like the monarchy, the Trident and so on.

Piotr Berman , July 17, 2019 at 16:45

The problem is that UK public opinion is quite chaotic lately and "everything is possible". At some point, four parties had roughly the same poll numbers: Tories, Brexit, Labour and LibDems. However, in the last two weeks Labour and Tories gained with Labour ahead. In a system with single seat districts, "anything can happen", and a recent by-election suggested that Labour may have an advantage in "foot soldiers", volunteers who walk around a district chatting up voters. The internal fights in Labour attracted many new members, and from the point of view of "sensible folks in the Establishment", this is the worst type of rabble. No respect for the monarchy, the Trident, the necessity of low taxes on business and the rich and so on. And anti-Semitic to boot.

So the meaning of "Corbyn is frail" is that while he himself seems mild mannered, his victory would unleashed unwashed hordes wrecking everything which is good and that we hold dear, like the monarchy, the Trident and so on.

Jeff Ewener , July 17, 2019 at 13:26

Gob-smacking. To call a man with the intelligence, experience, sensitivity & integrity of Jeremy Corbyn "unfit" to be the British Prime Minister, while a monstrosity like Boris Johnson is standing on the doorstep of Number 10 – just takes the breath away.

rosemerry , July 17, 2019 at 15:45

Not to mention the former "New Labour" leaders whose policies fell far away from the traditional policies Corbyn has held to and which caused so many Britons to support him as leader.

Hayman Fan , July 18, 2019 at 11:49

Integrity? Are you joking? Corbyn has been anti-EU for 40 years. In fact, he is the only main party leader who voted leave in the last people's vote (aka the referendum). But he has tried to hid that fact. He has been sitting on the fence and playing politics with the issue. Many fools in Britain believe Corbyn is a remainer. A man of integrity would have explained to the British people his long held position on the EU and Brexit. But he didn't do that because he isn't a man of integrity. He wants to con his way into power and if he gets there (looking unlikely right now), he and his Stalinist henchpeople will wield that power ruthlessly.

Richard Kuper , July 17, 2019 at 12:37

Fascinating article. May we repost it on jvl.org.uk?

Eddie , July 17, 2019 at 12:36

Comment that I posted on the Malware article do not post.

Zenobia van Dongen , July 17, 2019 at 11:39

In English-speaking countries anti-Semitic is just a code word for pro-Islamic. Miller himself is deeply involved in efforts to make extremist Islam respectable and justifying terrorist indoctrination.

Simeon Hope , July 17, 2019 at 13:05

Okay, I'll take your comment as made in good faith but you will need to back it up with good evidence. Where is it?

Qui? , July 18, 2019 at 03:22

Palestinians are semites, as the rest of the Arabs. So who is the real antisemite now?

Truth first , July 17, 2019 at 11:37

A "communist" who is against war, nukes and massive inequality is OK by me.

Hayman Fan , July 18, 2019 at 07:28

Is it indeed. Then your are a fool. Pol Pot was a communist who was against war and nukes and massive inequality. But implementing totalitarism by force didn't turn out well for the Cambodian people. And it wouldn't turn out well for the British people either. Except for Corbyn and his henchpeople of course.

dean 1000 , July 17, 2019 at 10:42

Jews in Europe and the US have gone from being heavily discriminated against to having much more influence on government than their numbers warrant. I'm going to tell the Netanyahu joke to make my point. Don't know who to credit. Kudos anyway. "It is not anti-Semitic to disagree with Benjamin Netanyahu as he is as white as the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan."

Given the influence of US and European Jews it is well past time for them to stop screaming anti-semitism when someone has a divergent opinion. They should stop using Semitic people as human shields.

The left also likes to hurl anti-Semitism at political opponents when they don't have a relevant answer.

Unfounded criticism of Jews is anti-Jewish rather than anti-Semitic. Call it what it is.

Ron Striebig , July 17, 2019 at 06:26

As Albert Einstein says Capitalism is an Evil supported by those who are terrified of Jeremy Corbyn because like Jesus he is a true Socialist

Que Nelle , July 17, 2019 at 05:52

To be accused of antisemitism by zionists that champion the racist entity israel, is a badge of honor.

Vivian O'Blivion , July 17, 2019 at 03:30

If the Integrity Initiative really is shut down, the little Simon Bracey-Lane will be free to cross the pond and campaign for Bernie just like he did in 2015 / 2016. Nah, just kiddin', his cover is blown. But seriously, campaign managers for Tulsi Gabbard best be on guard against inflation from these snakes.

Hayman Fan , July 17, 2019 at 02:51

Guys be careful with this. Corbyn is a communist. He is surrounded by Stalinists. Their modus operandi is entryism + free stuff + perpetual attacks on cultural norms. They used to laud the USSR. Then Venezuala. Now China. If they ever manage to grab power, they will stamp on individual liberty. Just like China does. The Muslim vote is very important to them and whilst they despise conventional religions, they will happily 'buy' Muslim votes with anti Israeli and anti Semitic rhetoric. The loudest voices speaking up against Corbyn and his henchpeople are on the left. Be a little bit circumspect.

Truth first , July 17, 2019 at 11:36

A "communist" who is against war, nukes and massive inequality is OK by me.

Simeon Hope , July 17, 2019 at 13:09

Errr what ? Israel does enough on its own to show how anti-Arab and undemocratic it is without the need for Jeremy Corbyn to add anything. I'm a socialist. I support what Mr Corbyn is doing to promote socialism in the UK. There's not the slightest evidence he's an anti-Semite, and the tiny amount of anti-Semitism in the Labour party is dwarfed by what's emanating from the right against Jews and Muslims.

Just say no , July 17, 2019 at 13:58

This is a joke right. You say communist and you reference China, but in the last century it was ok to ship nearly the entire industrial base of Western Democracies to China so that a bunch of fat cat tycoons, investment bankers, hedge funders et al could become so rich they finally had enough money to purchase the U.S. Government, and it looks like the government of Britain too. That's where we are today.

There may be "communists" lurking somewhere mostly in the imagination who are trotted out whenever a left person obtains a plurality. What has happened to Jeremy Corbyn is horrifying and we have our own issues in the U.S. with the endless smears and lies regarding the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. We live in a world of fabrication, sanctions enough to go around for everyone. Even the little state of RI is sanctioned by Moody's for having the effrontery to pass a bill which "gives too much away to labor" but Moody's and the other ratings agencies gave triple AAA ratings to junk during the "great recession" plain and simple, and no one cared. We need a Nuremburg trial for Capitalism and all its practioners.

Piotr Berman , July 18, 2019 at 00:33

"You say communist and you reference China, "

You are wrong is several ways. First, "There may be "communists" lurking somewhere mostly in the imagination who are trotted out whenever a left person obtains a plurality." Corbyn was observed to be a threat the moment he was elected Labour leader, something that stumped large segments of "informed public". Due to the surprise element, the anti-Semitic angle was not exploited properly, with possible exception of some Zionist whack jobs who harranged him. Instead, two points were raised that really jolted my attention.

First, Corbyn was sooo extreme that he advocated discontinuation of Trident program and even, horror!, the entirety of British nuclear arms program. You could as well raise huge signs ?????? ?y???? ???????! on English shores.

Second, his bicycling habits were compared to China during the orthodox Communist year, when riding on non-descript bikes was heavily supported by pre-Capitalist leadership.

Mind you, a person of note may ride a bike without shame, but not the cheap and aged specimen favored by Corbyn. Finally, compromising photos were found showing Corbyn relaxing and revealing his red socks.

Paul Merrell , July 17, 2019 at 23:40

@ "Hayman Fan"

A rather dubious name, methinks. See https://preview.tinyurl.com/y3us8776

Sounds like you just couldn't stand not posting a troll comment on an article about your own activities, yes?

ToivoS , July 16, 2019 at 22:54

This incessant accusation of antisemitism against anyone who supports justice for Palestinians does seem to be effective. A decade ago when I first noticed this smear tactic I assumed it would be self defeating on the part of the Zionists and their backers. It sort of seemed obvious that such a tactic would be self limiting with the broader world beginning to reject such slander. However, it seems the smear is more effective today than it was ten years ago. So depressing. Watching Corbyn's supporters ripping apart his own base in the Labour Party in an effort to appease the Israelis is appalling -- it seems the more that is conceded the more aggressive the Zionist become. Ten years ago it was proper to describe the West Bank as "occupied territory", soon it will be considered antisemitic to even go that far.

David G , July 16, 2019 at 21:21

In addition, in 2015, an unnamed, serving British general was quoted saying that if a Corbyn government implemented his well-established anti-imperial and anti-nuke agenda, "there would be mass resignations at all levels [of the military] and you would face the very real prospect of an event which would effectively be a mutiny." https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-army-could-stage-mutiny-under-corbyn-says-senior-serving-general-10509742.html

David G , July 16, 2019 at 21:07

" the 'Information Research Department,' first proposed in 1947 and sold to the cabinet as a bipartisan, anti-Communist and anti-American propaganda operation."

"Anti-American" is a slip, right? I assume it was pro-American (or pro-USAian).

David Miller , July 17, 2019 at 04:17

My apologies, I was paraphrasing the work of Lyn Smith in her article on IRD in Millennium in 1980. It should really be 'anti capitalist'. According Smith the founder of IRD (Christopher Mayhew) put forward a plan to set up a cold war propaganda agency:

'Mayhew put forward his ideas: the campaign should be as positive as possible laying stress on the merits of Social Democracy but, he pointed out "we shouldn't appear as defenders of the status quo but should attack Capitalism and Imperialism along with Russian Communism" In fact at this early stage, the idea was more of a "third force" propaganda attacking Capitalism as well as communism (this, however, was not to last for, as later documents reveal, anti Communism soon cam to the fore).'(Covert British Propaganda: The Information Research Department: 1947-77, Millennium, 9(1), p68-9)

In fact the idea that it would be anti capitalist was a ruse used by Mayhew to deceive the left members of the British cabinet. As my colleague and I Will Dinan summarised in our book A Century of Spin (Pluto Press, 2008, p130-1):

IRD was not created with the knowing support of the Labour Cabinet. The author of the paper which went to the cabinet – Christoper Mayhew – was a Labour right winger and cold warrior. He dissembled to the cabinet about the purpose and function of the IRD by claiming that it was to be a 'Third Force' campaign, understood as policy intended by the left to be independent of both the US and the USSR. According to Mayhew himself:

I thought it was necessary to present the whole campaign in a positive way, in a way which Dick Crossman and Michael Foot would fi nd it hard to oppose. And they were calling for a Third Force so I recommended in the original paper I put to Bevin that we call it a Third Force propaganda campaign.

As Mayhew noted, 'the turning point' was the speech of George Marshall the US Secretary of State in June 1947. From 'the middle of 1947 onwards, decisions were taken towards uniting the free world, at the expense of widening the gap with the Communist world our immediate objective changed, from "one world" to "one free world"'.

It is interesting, in this light, to reflect what might/will happen once a Corbyn government is elected with – how should we put this – a minority of leftists in the cabinet.

David G , July 17, 2019 at 15:27

Very interesting! I guess the propagandists back then had a little more finesse than the idiotic bludgeoning the US/UK establishment is laying on us these days. Thanks for the clarification, David Miller!

Jeff Harrison , July 16, 2019 at 21:05

The British Political Class has the same problem as the American Political Class – No integrity, No Honesty, No ethics. Just the sort of bozos we need running countries.

Maz Palmer , July 17, 2019 at 14:59

They are all much worse than bozos (or Bezos); they are all plutocrats, oligarchs, neo-liberal neo-fascist capitalists. That is what all of this is about: this is all a campaign by capitalists, plutocrats, oligarchs, monarchs, aristocrats, to keep expandable, pitiful average plebs from ever voting for something better than corporate serfdom and debt slavery.

[Jul 18, 2019] The more "effective" the sanctions, the closer to war

Jul 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

elkern , Jul 17 2019 16:08 utc | 31

Trailer Trash is exactly right about brittle supply chains. To "maximize Shareholder value" (the Prime Directive from Wall Street), corporations are maximizing (not optimizing) efficiency, at the expense of long-term priorities.

Summer Diaz is sorta right about what I might describe as US cultural/political obesity, but I don't look forward to living here after the shit hits the fan. There are lotsa crazy bastards with guns. We'll see real race war, starvation, all 4 Horsemen.

Re questions about Israel's fate in Marandi's scenario: I think it's smart that he/they don't talk about retaliation against Israel. Everybody knows that Iran has the ability to really hurt Israel (sans Nukes, they probably can't obliterate it); but this threat is much better left unsaid, just hanging in the air. Threatening Israel would be bad PR, decreasing chances that EU, Russia, & China can talk the US back from the brink of WWIII. And making sure Israel knows they're in danger - without bragging about it - gets (non-crazy) Zionists in USA to help prevent all-out war!

It's OK for Iran to talk about the threat to KSA, UAE, etc, because everybody hates them anyway, and cutting off the world's energy supply is their Doomsday Bomb. They need to remind the world that if the US attacks Iran, everybody loses.


karlof1 , Jul 17 2019 16:23 utc | 32

Three main antagonists have aimed at post-revolution Iran: The Outlaw US Empire, Occupied Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, the latter being the most recent and vulnerable, while the first two have already waged varying degrees of war with the Empire's Economic War having existed for 40+ years. The Levant's former Colonial powers--Turkey, France, UK--are feeble, and in Turkey's case is allied with Iran while being spurned by NATO and EU. Lurking in the background are Russia and China's designs for Eurasian Integration which only the Outlaw US Empire seeks to prevent as such integration benefits Saudi Arabia, Occupied Palestine, France and UK. Thus the only entity that might benefit from non-hybrid war with Iran is the Outlaw US Empire--Occupied Palestine's interests actually lie with becoming part of an Integrated Eurasia not in trying to impede it. And the same goes for the other nations occupying the Arabian Peninsula--but they all need to come to their senses by deeply examining their actual long term interests as Qatar seems to have done in its rapprochement with Iran.

But, just how would a non-hybrid conflict with Iran benefit the Outlaw US Empire if it consumes its regional allies? Would it bring more riches or create greater debt atop the human cost? Most analysts have pointed to the Empire's vulnerability upon the trashing of the current global economic structure. Indeed, the only visible benefit might accrue from slowing Eurasian Integration. Then there's the highly negative result to the Empire's global credibility which is already scrapping rock bottom and the likely end of Dollar Hegemony and the Free Lunch it's lived on for the past 70+ years. But what about the fulfillment of the Christian Rapture Myth? Sorry, but there should be no need to answer that fantastical, magical, thinking. Not a very good balance sheet is it as liabilities seem to vastly outweigh assets. Unfortunately, such logic is ignored by ideologues drunk on magical thinking. And these results don't take into consideration an escalation into global nuclear conflict that's in nobody's interest.

But as noted, Trump's up a tree and keeps climbing higher onto ever thinner, more precarious branches. Iran offered him a chance to climb down if he removes illegal sanctions and returns to JCPOA, which Pompeo promptly replied to with a lie that Iran would negotiate on its ballistic missiles, thus giving the overall goal away.

So, Trump can't/won't climb down and non-hybrid conflict would do great damage to Outlaw US Empire interests, which is where we were at July's beginning.

goldhoarder , Jul 17 2019 16:41 utc | 33
Iran will respond to a limited military strike with a massive and disproportionate counterstrike targeting both the aggressor and its enablers.
Which will be the green light for an even more violent & disproportionate counterstrike on Iran. Make no mistake - there are plenty of gung-ho Washington & Tel Aviv power brokers who want to trash Iran. And they will do it, given the chance. The above scenario is precisely what the war gods are hoping for.

I don't know about that. The US and Israel would really be opening up a can of worms. Any over reaction by the USA and Israel gives Russia, India, and China a precedent to follow. China might it easy to settle their difficulties with Taiwan. Kiev might go up in a mushroom cloud. The USA isn't the only country in the world with problems. If they don't play by the rules it just leads to more rule breakers.

arata , Jul 17 2019 16:47 utc | 34
An Alternate Scenario
There is a saying in Persian language called "Namad Maali" translates as "feltman massag", it means slow killing.
This proverb is very often used in contemporary Persian language but most of the people do not know the actual origin of the proverb.
There is an interesting legend behind it. Holagu Khan, a Mongol ruler, the grandson of Chengiz Khan conquered Baghdad on year 1258, and captured the Caliph Al-Mo'tasam, the last Caliph of Abbasid dynasty. Holagu decided to execute the Caliph and finish the 500 years Muslim caliphate.
Many statesmen begged him to hold on. They told him that the caliph is legitimate successor of prophet Mohammad. Caliphate is the pillar of the world, if you remove this pillar there will be sun eclipse, thunder storm and total darkness. Holagu, with his shamanistic believes fearing sky revenge was yielding, but he consulted his prime minister a Persian mullah, Nasir al-Din Tusi. Nasir told him do not worry, these are total nonsense, all of our great Shai twelve imams were direct descendants of prophet Mohammad, they were inherently innocent, while Abbasid are not direct descendants of prophet. See that our imams, eleven out of twelve, were martyred, there was no sun eclipse, no thunder storm, no darkness of the world.
Holagu was bold enough to carry out the execution. Other statesmen brought forward a group of astrologists who searched through their horoscopes and studied signs of stars and concluded that all the signs are catastrophic, if a drop of caliph's blood drops on earth, there will be a devastating thunder storm, rain of bloods pours down from sky and end of world ...
Holagu consulted Nasi again. Nasir being a great humorist, told him not worry, we can devise a pretty easy solution for your peace of mind, send the caliph to hot bath of feltman workshop, order to be wrapped in felt, they will give him a hot water bath with soap, they will roll him slowly over and over, as they are crafting a felt, his life will be ended peacefully in massage, without a drop of blood, meanwhile I will assign one of my intelligent apprentice who is familiar with sky ways ( Nasir was a great mathematician and Astronomer, he founded a famous observatory, he was inventor of trigonometry), to sit on the roof top of the feltman workshop, he will monitor any changes on sky if there is a minor change, he will signal to the feltman to release the caliph.
President Vladimir Khan has been giving warnings to Ayatollah do not burn JCPOA, do not close Strait of Hurmoz. Ayatollah is telling him do not worry we are giving a feltman massage. Just tell Xi khan do not lean his back against the wall street pillar, clean up your hands from future fund casino, the pillars are collapsing slowly.



jason , Jul 17 2019 17:13 utc | 35
the US and its allies are bluffing. don't get caught up in wars and rumors of it. the only way it was going to happen was if syria and iraq fell and both of them didn't.

when it didn't. they resort back to the usual MO, look busy.

OutOfThinAir , Jul 17 2019 17:31 utc | 36
A reminder from Iran that they can hit back.

Hopefully folks who can influence power have been reading the Guns of August.

Possible miscalculations are everywhere and the parties are no strangers to false flags and proxy actors.

So I'm crossing my fingers for strong back channel communications.

I'm not expecting outright major war. Perhaps a skirmish or two, but a negotiated deal is still the most likely outcome.

c1ue , Jul 17 2019 17:56 utc | 37
@C I eh? #14
I don't see China as the same situation as Russia.
The Russians who have largely supported Putin despite economic ill-effects from sanctions are, at best, 1 generation removed from 1991-1996 post-Soviet collapse privation. They remember the bad times and how to get through them.
The mainland Chinese today are 2 generation removed from the famines in the 50s and 60s, and furthermore there is a largely generational break due to the Cultural Revolution.
I don't see China collapsing, but I also don't see the mainstream population taking a oil-starvation induced economic collapse well at all, because the deal is social repression if the economy and standards of living continue to improve.
The difference is French cheese and EU fruits and vegetables - luxury goods vs. oil = energy = everything.
Uncle Jon , Jul 17 2019 17:57 utc | 38
There seems to be misconception about Kuwait, in particular.

Kuwaitis are fed up with the Saudis and are more Iranophile than anything. They see who is a true regional power.

Recently, I happen to be invited to a diplomatic function, welcoming a new Kuwaiti ambassador (Not in US). There were several businessmen associates of the new ambassador at that function. In an impromptu conversation, they professed their love for anything Iranian or Persian, from culture and history to food and the people, and their disdain for the Saudis and their ruling family.

In fact, one of them, much to my shock, uttered the circulating rumor that the ruling family in SA are actually Jews. He said everyone in the region knows about this open secret but afraid to talk about. That was a revelation for me coming from a Kuwaiti since I never did pay attention to those rumors.

I think in the event of a regional conflict, Kuwait will be spared by Iran. What would happen to the ruling family will be another story.

james , Jul 17 2019 18:04 utc | 39
thanks Seyed Mohammad Marandi.. i agree with your headline...

the usa is not agreement friendly.. everything is on their terms only... they rip up contracts when a new president doesn't like it, and make endless demands of others under threat, just like bullies do. they sanction countries and don't mind killing, starving and subjecting people in faraway lands to their ongoing and desperate means of domination.. nothing about the usa is friendly... they spend all their money on the military not just because it works so well for wall st and the corporations but because they think they can continue to bully everyone and anyone indefinitely.. they get support from the obvious suspects and all the other colonies of the usa - europe, canada and etc - turn a type of blind eye to it all, fearful they might be next if they step out of line.. thus, all these chattel countries fail in line with the usa regime sanctions...

basically, the prognosis isn't good.. none of the colonies are capable of speaking up to the usa regime, largely because they lack strong leadership and independence of thought in all this... we continue to slip towards ww3 and at present all the observing countries sit on their hands waiting for the next shoe to drop.. that is where we are at present with regard the ramp up to war on iran...

Harry Law , Jul 17 2019 21:24 utc | 60
The Gulf states know they would be in the front lines in any conflict, Saudi and UAE infrastructure destruction would mean Kings, Princes and Emir's scurrying from their destroyed countries because of their inability to sell oil and feed their people, as one Iranian General said.. the US bases in the region are not threats, "they are targets". Its true Iran has an army of 500,000, they also have millions of military aged men who would form militias and have the reputation of taking their shrouds with them into battle.
I think a major miscalculation by Trump, initiating this kind of scenario is unlikely, those other whack jobs Pence, Pompeo and Bolton are a cause for concern, just hear this nutcase Lindsey Graham threatening the Europeans....
"The United States should sanction "to the ground" European countries that continue to trade with Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal and refuse to join America's pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic, says top Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
"I will tell the Europeans, 'If you want to side with the Iranians, be my guest, but you won't use an American bank or do business with the American economy,'" Graham said".
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/16/601067/US-Graham-Trump-Iran-JCPOA-EU-sanction-to-ground
William Herschel , Jul 17 2019 21:39 utc | 61
Punitive sanctions against nations with a powerful military establishment have an incredibly poor track record. Germany after WWI. Japan prior to Pearl Harbor. And one might add Russia today. The more "effective" the sanctions, the closer to war.

But, of course, military planners in the U.S. and Israel have already picked out the targets for nuclear strikes during the very first wave of attacks on Iran. It will be nuclear first, ask questions later. Heil Trump has already said he will use nuclear weapons: "obliterate". But will even that work? I doubt it. Iran must expect nuclear attacks in the first wave. Yes, their urban populations will be destroyed, but their military? I doubt it.

Formerly T-Bear , Jul 17 2019 21:54 utc | 62
@ Harry Law | Jul 17 2019 21:24 utc | 60

The folks who now are called Iranian once fought the most militaristic society ever - the Spartans. There is likely a memory of that conflict still, and the lessons learned. They face a military that no longer remembers Vietnam or its lessons. Sanctions are an act of war, not military war but war against another who have been made into enemies nonetheless. Be mightily careful who you make your enemy, one sage reminds that you become like them. Look at those the U.S. has made enemy: Hitler and National Socialism; Mussolini and Fascism; Stalin and State Authoritarianism; Franco and Military Repression; and the list continues substantially, and then look at the U.S. in a distortion free mirror and what does one see?

Maracatu , Jul 17 2019 22:00 utc | 63
Taking into consideration the novel Rand Paul intervention, the likely way forward is this, and I'm sure it is what Putin (the master negotiator) has in mind: Trump blundered badly by throwing out the JCPOA, but he needs a way out that allows him to save face and even turn it into a partial "win". On the world stage (ie. for the public) it needs to look like Trump accedes to reinstate the JCPOA IN EXCHANGE for Iran withdrawing from Syria! This will not only save the nuclear deal, thereby reducing tensions, but it will force Israel to back down and shut up. Israel can't complain and Trump can sell it as an achievement of his, "without having to go to war". The US, of course will have to give Iran, Syria and Russia something in exchange: Iran and Russia ultimately bolstered their forces in Syria in order to save Assad. All things considered, Assad has won the war, so the reason for the bolstered Iranian and Russian presence no longer applies. What the US must agree to is to suspend its efforts to overthrow Assad (which Trump has been trying to do via the withdrawal of US troops in northern Syria), thereby returning the country to the status quo ante. The wild card in all of this, however, is Turkey's presence in Syria. Perhaps China can lend a helping hand on that issue?
Yeah, Right , Jul 17 2019 22:14 utc | 64
@35 "when it didn't. they resort back to the usual MO, look busy."

I agree with that comment, though I will add that for this Administration "looking busy" has a Keystone Cops look about it.

I mean, let's be real here: Norman Schwarzkopf did not make a single move against Iraq until he had well over 500,000 GI's at his command, and Tommy Franks was not willing to restart the Crash Boom Bang until he had built up his army to just shy of 500,000 soldiers.

And Iraq then was nowhere near as formidable as Iran is now.

Where are the troop buildups? Where is the CENTCOM army?
Nowhere. And no sign of it happening.

There is a real possibility that Bolton might get his way and start his dinky little war, only to find that the USA loses a great big war before he even manages to get out of bed.

CENTCOM is not ready for war, nowhere close to it, and for that reason alone Iran is correct to tell the USA that if Trump launches a "limited strike" then their response will be "it's on, baby".

Beibdnn. , Jul 17 2019 22:51 utc | 67
@ William Herschel 61. If the U.S. or anyone else uses any type of Nuclear weapons against Iran, a declared ally of Russia, it will result in an immediate and full scale Nuclear retaliation. This is a recent statement made by Vladimir Putin. Pompeo, Bolton et all are well aware of this. The U.S. might talk of using tactical nukes but despite their Hubris, even the most pro war in the Pentagon know what the results of that type of planned anihilation will have on the U.S. mainland. People like Lindsey Graham are merely empty vessels making a lot of noise.
karlof1 , Jul 17 2019 23:14 utc | 69
Why would Iran allow any Western nation to save face through negotiations or otherwise? Khamenei yesterday tweeted several statements that were later posted to his website:

"At this meeting, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran stressed that Western governments' arrogant behavior is the main obstacle in establishing ties and maintained: Western governments' major vice is their arrogance. If they face a weak government, their arrogance will be effective. But if that country knows the truth about them and resists, the Western governments will be defeated.

"Referring to problems rising between Iran and the European partners of the JCPOA, Ayatollah Khamenei said: Now, in the matters between us and the Europeans, the problems persist, because of their arrogance.

"The Leader of the Islamic Revolution highlighted Iran's commitment to the JCPOA -- also known as the Iran Deal -- and criticized European dignitaries of the deal for breaching it, saying: As stated by our Foreign Minister, who works hard, Europe has had eleven commitments, none of which it has met. The Foreign Minister, despite his diplomatic considerations, is clearly stating that. But what did we do? We acted based on our commitments, and even beyond that.

"Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that Iran continued to stay within the JCPOA despite the fact that the EU partners of the JCPOA as well as the British government violated the international plan of action and yet demanded Iran to stay with its promises: Now that we have started to reduce our commitments, they step forward. They are very insolent, and they have not abided by their eleven commitments. We have just started to reduce some of our commitments, and this process will surely continue."

The hypothetical suggestion Zarif made in his interview with NBC News was just that--hypothetical--as it had to spell out again for the apparently illiterate, deaf or both SoS Pompeo and BigLie Media presstitutes.

In his arrogance, Trump climbed up the tree he's now stuck within; and as I've pointed out again and again, Iran isn't going to help him in his climb down--they'll be no face saving for the arrogant Western nations. I mean, how clear can the Iranians make that?! They quite well understand the very real interests at stake I put forth in my comment @32. And the Turks on their own have upped the stakes with Erdogan assuring :

"that his country is prepared to leave NATO during a meeting with Russian Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

"'I met twice with Turkish President Recep Erdogan and he told me personally that Turkey was willing to withdraw from NATO,' Zhirinovsky wrote."

Trump seems desperate for a way to climb down from his tree. Controversial Kentucky Senator Rand Paul apparently volunteered his services as an emissary to Iran , which Trump okayed but Paul's office is being mum about. As noted, Iran isn't going to talk unless tangible, visible concessions are made prior to any talks occurring--concessions Zarif and Rouhani have already stated as the minimum required: Ending all illegal sanctions and return to JCPOA.

Uncle Jon , Jul 17 2019 23:38 utc | 72
@karlof1 69

Iran just announced that they would be open to talk about ballistic missiles when US stops selling arms in the Middle East.

You have to hand it to the Iranians. In the one-up-manship game, they are a formidable opponent. Obviously, there is less than zero chance that would ever happen, but they are super smart in driving the message of US arrogance home. I am happy to see they don't take any shit from the Empire.

Master negotiators at work.

[Jul 18, 2019] Brennan used using Dmitri Alperovitch of 'Crowdstrike' as a tool to corrupt the processes of investigation of DNC leaks.

Notable quotes:
"... Moreover, if, as the memorandum asserted, 'British officials' were also aware that the 'most reliable intelligence' exonerated the Syrian government, rather fundamental questions arose as to how the JIC had felt able to claim precisely the reverse in support of David Cameron's unsuccessful attempt on 29 August to win Commons' support for British participation in air strikes. ..."
"... At the time, the Director General, Defence and Intelligence at the FCO was one Robert Hannigan, who in April 2014 would be appointed as Director of GCHQ. The National Security Adviser was a certain Sir Kim Darroch, whose appointment as Ambassador to the U.S. would be announced in August 2015. Both have been in the news, in relation to 'Russiagate.' ..."
"... Obviously, the same question arises about both of them as about Brennan: are they 'Gleiwitz types', who were actively complicit in preparing a murderous 'false flag', or were they simply part of a rather stupid Anglo-American 'dog', whom the 'tail', in the shape of the jihadists and their Turkish, Saudi and Qatari backers, could 'wag', as they chose? ..."
"... From the articles which Seymour Hersh published in the 'London Review of Books', and other materials, it became evident that the Defense Intelligence Agency, then headed by General Flynn, had been aware of the likelihood of fresh 'false flags' -- after the small scale incidents in spring 2013. ..."
"... An argument that 'Sundance' has repeatedly made is that a lot of what was happening in mid-2016, including the dossier attributed to Steele, had to do with the need to find justifications for these questionable surveillance operations. ..."
"... While I think there is something in this, I have long thought that the discovery that a mass of material exfiltrated from the DNC, and was going to be published by 'WikiLeaks', and the subsequent murder of Seth Rich, are likely to have been critically important triggers. ..."
"... panic-stricken improvisation found alike in the dossier, and the claims about the 'digital forensics' made by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike', and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait. ..."
"... A week later, Butowsky filed a new action, in which the suggestion of a very-wide ranging conspiracy to suppress the truth about both the DNC leaks and Rich's murder was turned into a catalogue of defamation claims against a long list of people, including, as well as a variety of lawyers involved, CNN, the'Nw York Times', Vox, and the DNC. ..."
"... 'That Seth Rich was wacked because he stole the DNC emails and transferred them to Wikileaks is a conspiracy theory. It is possible and even plausible, but there is no evidence to confirm it. Many people seem to believe it because it makes more sense than the competing conspiracy theory, that Russia hacked the DNC and handed the emails to Wikileaks. Isikoff's claim, that Russia planted the Rich conspiracy theory, has no sound base. That theory existed before anything "Russian" mentioned it.' ..."
"... Reading the full text of Ms. Craven's report, I can see quite how well justified was Larry's suggestion in his post that Folkenflik and NPR were on a very sticky wicket indeed (as we say in England.) ..."
"... However, 'fools rush in', as the saying goes, so Isikoff decided to conspire with Deborah Sines, apparently the former U.S. assistant attorney in charge of investigating Seth Rich's murder, to suggest that suggestions that the victim had been the source of the material from the DNC published by 'WikiLeaks' originated as just another Russian plot. ..."
"... It appears that prior to the publication of his 'report', Isikoff talked to Butowsky, who in his efforts to dissuade him explained that his involvement in the whole affair began when Ellen Ratner, a news analyst with Fox, and sister of the late Michael Ratner, who had been an attorney for Assange, contacted him in Fall 2016 about a meeting she had with her that figure. ..."
"... And then, not particularly surprisingly, Butowsky and Clevenger abandoned their inhibitions about identifying Ellen Ratner as a source, and filled in a lot of 'blanks' in their 'narrative' about how Seth Rich lived and died. ..."
"... Among the many problems for Brennan and his co-conspirators -- among whom, on the British side, Hannigan and Darroch, and also Sedwill, are very important -- one relates to the way that the capabilities of 'scientific forensics', in all kinds of areas, have increased by leaps and bounds in recent years. ..."
"... This has meant that they have had little option but to corrupt the processes of investigation. The ludicrous claims by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'Crowdstrike' and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait, which nobody but a fool -- congenital 'useful idiot' one might say -- or a knave would dare to defend in public, are only one of many cases in point. ..."
Jul 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk , 16 July 2019 at 01:14 PM

Larry,

One does not like to admit to having been one of John Brennan's 'useful idiots' -- I had thought I could see through any of the 'active measures' which he and his co-conspirators, on both sides of the Atlantic, could dream up. But I had swallowed whole the notion that Michael Flynn had been stupid enough knowingly to get involved in Erdoğan's feud with Gülen.

In fairness, however, I do think that when dealing with spiders like the former head of the CIA, a prudent fly needs to be sure he, or she, gets competent legal advice at the outset.

It may perhaps be interesting to put your account together with a post by 'Sundance' on the 'Conservative Treehouse' site on 14 July, headlined 'Devin Nunes Discusses Upcoming Mueller Testimony '

This takes up the issue, on which its author has commented extensively, of illegitimate access by contractors to the databases of NSA intercepts -- an issue which is clearly bound up with that of the use of such material to create the 'web' in which Flynn found himself hopelessly entangled.

The post by 'Sundance' suggests, just as you do, that the driving force behind what has happened was actually John Brennan. The April 2017 ruling by FISA Court Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer does not definitely establish that the illegitimate access of contractors started in 2012, but it definitely strongly suggests that it did.

Reading the 6 September 'Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity' memorandum to Obama, entitled 'Is Syria a Trap?', whose signatories included both you and Colonel Lang, it seemed overwhelmingly likely to some of us who were familiar with both your writings that Brennan had to have been involved in a conspiracy with the Turks, Saudis, and Qataris.

(To my surprise, this can no longer be accessed at the 'Consortium News' site. However, it is still available at http://www.shoah.org.uk/2013/09/10/page/2/ .)

One relevant question related to whether the role of the Americans involved in this conspiracy was simply 'ex post facto' exploitation of the patent 'false flag' sarin atrocity at Ghouta the previous 21 August to attempt to inveigle the United States into toppling Assad, or whether there was 'ex ante' complicity.

Moreover, if, as the memorandum asserted, 'British officials' were also aware that the 'most reliable intelligence' exonerated the Syrian government, rather fundamental questions arose as to how the JIC had felt able to claim precisely the reverse in support of David Cameron's unsuccessful attempt on 29 August to win Commons' support for British participation in air strikes.

At the time, the Director General, Defence and Intelligence at the FCO was one Robert Hannigan, who in April 2014 would be appointed as Director of GCHQ. The National Security Adviser was a certain Sir Kim Darroch, whose appointment as Ambassador to the U.S. would be announced in August 2015. Both have been in the news, in relation to 'Russiagate.'

Obviously, the same question arises about both of them as about Brennan: are they 'Gleiwitz types', who were actively complicit in preparing a murderous 'false flag', or were they simply part of a rather stupid Anglo-American 'dog', whom the 'tail', in the shape of the jihadists and their Turkish, Saudi and Qatari backers, could 'wag', as they chose?

From the articles which Seymour Hersh published in the 'London Review of Books', and other materials, it became evident that the Defense Intelligence Agency, then headed by General Flynn, had been aware of the likelihood of fresh 'false flags' -- after the small scale incidents in spring 2013.

And it was clear enough, if one bothered to study the 'open source' material at all carefully, that the DIA had been a key locus of opposition to the strategies being pursued by Brennan, together with his British co-conspirators.

Accordingly, the fact that an 'interagency memorandum of understanding', which according to Collyer's judgement looks as though it may well date from 2012 -- the year Brennan was appointed to head the CIA -- appears to have led, in that year, to the granting of access to the material, through the FBI, to outside contractors, looks somewhat interesting. (This is well covered by 'Sundance'.)

So, I find myself asking whether in fact this gross abuse of the role of the NSA was not linked at the outset to the divisions within the American intelligence apparatus and military about policy towards the Middle East, and also whether this may not be relevant to assessing the role of Robert Mueller, who was FBI Director through until September 2013.

An argument that 'Sundance' has repeatedly made is that a lot of what was happening in mid-2016, including the dossier attributed to Steele, had to do with the need to find justifications for these questionable surveillance operations.

While I think there is something in this, I have long thought that the discovery that a mass of material exfiltrated from the DNC, and was going to be published by 'WikiLeaks', and the subsequent murder of Seth Rich, are likely to have been critically important triggers.

Among other things, I do not think that the version given by 'Sundance' can explain the air of panic-stricken improvisation found alike in the dossier, and the claims about the 'digital forensics' made by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike', and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait.

I see that there has now been a dramatic escalation in the legal battles which began when Ed Butowsky bought his initial action against David Folkenflik and his 'NPR' colleagues in June 2018. The discovery process in that action was followed by an 'Amended Complaint' on 5 March this year.

A week later, Butowsky filed a new action, in which the suggestion of a very-wide ranging conspiracy to suppress the truth about both the DNC leaks and Rich's murder was turned into a catalogue of defamation claims against a long list of people, including, as well as a variety of lawyers involved, CNN, the'Nw York Times', Vox, and the DNC.

On 9 July, Michael Isikoff published a story alleging that the claims about Rich and his murder were the result of a Russian 'active measures' operation -- to use a favourite phrase of TTG's.

A useful account, with links, is provided by our colleague 'b', at 'Moon of Alabama', at https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/07/isikoff-who-first-peddled-the-fake-steele-dossier-invents-new-russian-influence-story.html .

Concluding his piece, 'b' wrote:

'That Seth Rich was wacked because he stole the DNC emails and transferred them to Wikileaks is a conspiracy theory. It is possible and even plausible, but there is no evidence to confirm it. Many people seem to believe it because it makes more sense than the competing conspiracy theory, that Russia hacked the DNC and handed the emails to Wikileaks. Isikoff's claim, that Russia planted the Rich conspiracy theory, has no sound base. That theory existed before anything "Russian" mentioned it.'

As it happens, Butowsky and his lawyer, Ty Clevenger, obviously decided it was time to, as it were, 'unmask their batteries', and provide some of the evidence they have been accumulating.

There is another useful post by 'Sundance', which in turn links to a very interesting post on the Gateway Pundit' site. From there, you can access both Clevenger's blog post, and the text of the 'Amended Complaint.'

(See https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/07/15/lawsuit-claims-julian-assange-confirmed-dnc-emails-received-from-seth-rich-not-a-russian-hack/ .)

It seems likely that Butowsky and Clevenger were pushed into acting a bit sooner than they had intended. The fact that the name of Ellen Ratner, clearly a pivotal participant, was misspellled 'Rattner' in the 'Amended Complaint', is likely to be an indication of this.

However, I also think that Clevenger, who seems to me a first-class 'ferret', could do with the services of an old-style secretary, who checked his productions before they went out.

turcopolier , 16 July 2019 at 02:34 PM
As I have previously mentioned, I testified several times in Collyer's Washington district court on non-FISA matters. My impression was that she is a very ambitious woman who wishes always to do DoJ's bidding.

David Habakkuk -> turcopolier ... , 18 July 2019 at 01:28 PM

Pat,

Your recollections of Collyer had, unfortunately, slipped my mind when I posted my comment above. So, unfortunately, had Larry's post on Judge Caroline M. Craven's denial in her report dated 17 April 2019 of the Motion to Dismiss filed by David Folkenflik and his NPR colleagues in the defamation case brought against them by Ed Butowsky.

At the time of his post, the full text of the judgement was only available on PACER, which requires a subscription. However, looking at the 'Court Listener' site, I now see that both it and some other key documents in the case are freely available.

(See https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7244731/butowsky-v-folkenflik/ .)

Reading the full text of Ms. Craven's report, I can see quite how well justified was Larry's suggestion in his post that Folkenflik and NPR were on a very sticky wicket indeed (as we say in England.)

And I can also see more clearly why, following the judgement, Butowsky and Ty Clevenger felt they were in a position to launch an action both against some of the major legal players in the cover-up of the fact that the materials published by the DNC were leaked by Seth Rich, not hacked by the Russians, and also key disseminators of the cover-up, CNN, the NYT, and Vox.

The most important documents in that case are also now free available on 'Court Listener', at https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14681570/butowsky-v-gottlieb/ .

What looks to have happened subsequently is a natural enough process of escalation.

Among those who rather actively promoted the hogwash attributed to Christopher Steele was Michael Isikoff, who is, apparently, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. In April, he was reported in 'Vanity Fair' conceding that 'I think it's fair to say that all of us should have approached this, in retrospect, with more skepticism'.

(See https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/04/the-steele-dossiers-moment-of-truth-arrives-journalists-argue-its-impact .)

Any 'investigative reporter' worth his or her salt would have done elementary checks on the dossier immediately, and not touched it with a bargepole -- again, as we used to say in England. Also, even among the incompetent and corrupt, common prudence might have suggested caution.

However, 'fools rush in', as the saying goes, so Isikoff decided to conspire with Deborah Sines, apparently the former U.S. assistant attorney in charge of investigating Seth Rich's murder, to suggest that suggestions that the victim had been the source of the material from the DNC published by 'WikiLeaks' originated as just another Russian plot.

(See https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-the-true-origins-of-the-seth-rich-conspiracy-a-yahoo-news-investigation-100000831.html .)

It appears that prior to the publication of his 'report', Isikoff talked to Butowsky, who in his efforts to dissuade him explained that his involvement in the whole affair began when Ellen Ratner, a news analyst with Fox, and sister of the late Michael Ratner, who had been an attorney for Assange, contacted him in Fall 2016 about a meeting she had with her that figure.

Although Butowsky intended the conversation to be 'off the record', and the idea was emphatically not that Isikoff would contact Ellen Ratner, he did. It seems that -- not particularly surprisingly, in the current climate -- she lied to him, and he was stupid enough to think that this meant he could get away with publishing his story.

(See https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/07/breaking-lawsuit-outs-reporter-ellen-ratner-as-source-for-seth-rich-information/ .)

And then, not particularly surprisingly, Butowsky and Clevenger abandoned their inhibitions about identifying Ellen Ratner as a source, and filled in a lot of 'blanks' in their 'narrative' about how Seth Rich lived and died.

I am still in the process of digesting the new information. However, a couple of preliminary observations about the implications may be worth making.

Among the many problems for Brennan and his co-conspirators -- among whom, on the British side, Hannigan and Darroch, and also Sedwill, are very important -- one relates to the way that the capabilities of 'scientific forensics', in all kinds of areas, have increased by leaps and bounds in recent years.

This has meant that they have had little option but to corrupt the processes of investigation. The ludicrous claims by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'Crowdstrike' and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait, which nobody but a fool -- congenital 'useful idiot' one might say -- or a knave would dare to defend in public, are only one of many cases in point.

What is really dangerous for the conspirators, however, is when the problems they have in contesting rational arguments about the 'scientific forensics' come together with problems relating to more 'old-fashioned' kinds of evidence: crucially, 'witness testimony'.

This, I think, may now be happening.

It also seems to me quite likely that some of those 'in the know' -- including perhaps Rosemary Collyer -- had seen what was liable to happen a good while ago, and decided that a prudent 'rat' keeps its options open.

[Jul 17, 2019] 13 Russian Indictments -- Letter From Putin to Mueller

Notable quotes:
"... I originally published this as a satirical Facebook Note on February 21, 2018, after the New York Times reported on February 16, 2018 that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had indicted 13 Russians. ..."
Jul 15, 2019 | medium.com

Michael Weddle Follow Jul 15 · 3 min read

I originally published this as a satirical Facebook Note on February 21, 2018, after the New York Times reported on February 16, 2018 that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had indicted 13 Russians.

February 21, 2018

The Honorable Robert Swan Mueller III
Special Investigating Counsel
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530–0001

Dear Mr. Mueller:

I read with great interest your indictments of 13 Russian citizens and three Russian corporations.

Please note that Russia encourages you to continue your investigatory efforts as we are confident you will find that neither myself or any representatives of my office and government have anything to do with what many of your politicians and media members are describing as "Russian collusion" or "Russian meddling" with the US 2016 elections.

Also, as a side note, please know that we in Russia are completely surprised at how you conducted your 2016 election. From the vantage point of anyone living outside of America those elections did not appear fair at all. We in Russia are surprised by this as we thought you were a better nation than what we saw from your 2016 national elections.

Although the United States of America and The Russian Federation hold no formal extradition treaty agreement, please be advised I am willing to use the powers of my office to contact those whom you've indicted and I will do my utmost to encourage them to come to America in order to stand the trial of your indictments. We are confident that your jurisprudence system for legal discovery will produce both remarkable and enlightening evidence for your investigation.

On a mundane matter, would you be willing to pay for the costs of their travel and housing expenses while they stand trial in America, or would you prefer that The Russian Federation to cover this expense?

Finally, please find attached a copy of the Constitution of The Russian Federation. You are welcome to share with your fellow citizens as we are confident they will become very surprised by what they learn from reading the contents of our Constitution.

http://www.constitution.ru/en/10003000-01.htm

Very truly yours,

Vladimir Putin, President The Russian Federation

PS: I strongly recommend that your FBI, NSA and DHS departments thoroughly examine the DNC computers in order to determine if they were actually "hacked." I'm confident you will discover that the documents published by Wikileaks were the product of an inside "leak" onto a thumb drive. Please note that I am shocked that the thoroughness of your investigation has not yet accomplished this simple and obvious task.

[Jul 17, 2019] Merkel Ally Narrowly Elected To Top EU Post, Averting Major Institutional Crisis

Looks like EU sanctions will continue
Jul 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In light of historical events, it would be ironic if that particular twist comes back to bite Poland some day in the not too distant future.


TeethVillage88s , 10 hours ago link

Money, Money, Money,... Old Money, Factories, Russian Mercheant, German Industrialist, American Slave owner... Nord Deutscheland, Bremen, was heavily Communist... Family would understand the power of Communist Equality and Serfdom.

Von der Leyen's great-grandfather was the cotton merchant Carl Albrecht (1875–1952), who married Mary Ladson Robertson (1883–1960), an American who belonged to the Ladson family , a family of the southern aristocracy from Charleston, South Carolina . Her American ancestors had played a significant role in the British colonization of the Americas and the Atlantic slave trade .

admin user , 11 hours ago link

Merkel Ally Narrowly Elected To Top EU Post, Prolonging "Major Institutional Myopia"

FTFY

schroedingersrat , 12 hours ago link

Von der Leyen is a tool for the anglo-zio complex. Well done USA for installing your woman as head of the EU.

Aurelian77 , 13 hours ago link

She has SEVEN children. Very unusual for a European leader...

Davidduke2000 , 13 hours ago link

An old Soviet General said the EU is like the old Soviets , the leaders were not elected, they were appointed by others mostly their friends and the EU process is the same, fat cats appoint other fat cats instead of direct elections.

[Jul 17, 2019] Sic Transit Gloria Mueller by Ray McGovern

Mueller looks more and more like dirty Clinton fixer.
Notable quotes:
"... The Feb. 2018 indictment referred repeatedly to the IRA simply as a "Russian organization." But in Mueller's report 14 months later, the "Russian organization" had somehow morphed into "Russia." The IRA's lawyers argued, in effect, that Mueller's ipse-dixit "Russia did it" does not suffice as proof of Russian government involvement. Federal Judge Friedrich agreed and ordered Mueller to cease promoting his evidence-less charge against the IRA; she added that "any future violations of her order will trigger a range of potential sanctions." ..."
"... In testimony to Congress in October 2017, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch had cautioned earlier that from 2015 to 2017, "Americans using Facebook were exposed to, or 'served,' a total of over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds." Shamefully misleading "analysis" by Times reporters Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti in a 10,000-word article on September 20, 2018 made the case that the IRA's 80,000 posts helped deliver the presidency to Trump. ..."
"... Shane and Mazzetti neglected to report the 33 trillion number for needed context, even though the Times ' own coverage of Stretch's 2017 testimony stated outright: "Facebook cautioned that the Russia-linked posts represented a minuscule amount of content compared with the billions of posts that flow through users' News Feeds everyday." ..."
"... CrowdStrike, the controversial cybersecurity firm that the Democratic National Committee chose over the FBI in 2016 to examine its compromised computer servers, never produced an un-redacted or final forensic report for the government because the FBI never required it to, the Justice Department admitted. ..."
"... With Erin Ratner being named as a conduit between Seth Rich and Wikileaks in a lawsuit yesterday – the second flimsy leg of Mueller's claims – gets cut off at the knees. ..."
Jul 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

... ... ...

Requiem for 'Interference'

Daniel Lazare's July 12 Consortium News piece shatters one of the twin prongs in Mueller's case that "the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion." It was the prong dripping with incessant drivel about the Kremlin using social media to help Trump win in 2016.

Mueller led off his Russiagate report, a redacted version of which was published on April 18, with the dubious claim that his investigation had

" established that Russia interfered in the 2016 election principally through two operations. First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working in the Clinton campaign, and then released stolen documents."

Judge to Mueller: Put Up or Shut Up

Mueller: Needs more time. (Flickr)

Regarding the social-media accusation, Judge Friederich has now told Mueller, in effect, to put up or shut up. What happened was this: On February 16, 2018 a typically credulous grand jury -- the usual kind that cynics say can be persuaded to indict the proverbial ham sandwich -- was convinced by Mueller to return 16 indictments of the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and associates in St. Petersburg, giving his all-deliberate-speed investigation some momentum and a much-needed, if short-lived, "big win" in "proving" interference by Russia in the 2016 election. It apparently never occurred to Mueller and the super-smart lawyers around him that the Russians would outsmart them by hiring their own lawyers to show up in U.S. court and seek discovery. Oops.

The Feb. 2018 indictment referred repeatedly to the IRA simply as a "Russian organization." But in Mueller's report 14 months later, the "Russian organization" had somehow morphed into "Russia." The IRA's lawyers argued, in effect, that Mueller's ipse-dixit "Russia did it" does not suffice as proof of Russian government involvement. Federal Judge Friedrich agreed and ordered Mueller to cease promoting his evidence-less charge against the IRA; she added that "any future violations of her order will trigger a range of potential sanctions."

More specifically, at the conclusion of a hearing held under seal on May 28, Judge Friedrich ordered the government "to refrain from making or authorizing any public statement that links the alleged conspiracy in the indictment to the Russian government or its agencies." The judge ordered further that "any public statement about the allegations in the indictment . . . must make clear that, one, the government is summarizing the allegations in the indictment which remain unproven, and, two, the government does not express an opinion on the defendant's guilt or innocence or the strength of the evidence in this case."

Reporting Thursday on Judge Friedrich's ruling, former CIA and State Department official Larry C. Johnson described it as a "potential game changer," observing that Mueller "has not offered one piece of solid evidence that the defendants were involved in any way with the government of Russia." After including a lot of useful background material, Johnson ends by noting:

"Some readers will insist that Mueller and his team have actual intelligence but cannot put that in an indictment. Well boys and girls, here is a simple truth–if you cannot produce evidence that can be presented in court then you do not have a case. There is that part of the Constitution that allows those accused of a crime to confront their accusers."

IRA Story a 'Stretch'

Last fall, investigative journalist Gareth Porter dissected and debunked The New York Times 's far-fetched claim that 80,000 Facebook posts by the Internet Research Agency helped swing the election to Donald Trump. What the Times story neglected to say is that the relatively paltry 80,000 posts were engulfed in literally trillions of posts on Facebook over the two-year period in question -- before and after the 2016 election.

Stretch and executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google hauled before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism on Oct. 31, 2017.

In testimony to Congress in October 2017, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch had cautioned earlier that from 2015 to 2017, "Americans using Facebook were exposed to, or 'served,' a total of over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds." Shamefully misleading "analysis" by Times reporters Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti in a 10,000-word article on September 20, 2018 made the case that the IRA's 80,000 posts helped deliver the presidency to Trump.

Shane and Mazzetti neglected to report the 33 trillion number for needed context, even though the Times ' own coverage of Stretch's 2017 testimony stated outright: "Facebook cautioned that the Russia-linked posts represented a minuscule amount of content compared with the billions of posts that flow through users' News Feeds everyday."

The chances that Americans saw any of these IRA ads -- let alone were influenced by them -- are infinitismal. Porter and others did the math and found that over the two-year period, the 80,000 Russian-origin Facebook posts represented just 0.0000000024 of total Facebook content in that time. Porter commented that this particular Times contribution to the Russiagate story "should vie in the annals of journalism as one of the most spectacularly misleading uses of statistics of all time."

And now we know, courtesy of Judge Friederich, that Mueller has never produced proof, beyond his say-so, that the Russian government was responsible for the activities of the IRA -- feckless as they were. That they swung the election is clearly a stretch.

The Other Prong: Hacking the DNC

The second of Mueller's two major accusations of Russian interference, as noted above, charged that "a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working in the Clinton campaign, and then released stolen documents." Sadly for Russiagate aficionados, the evidence behind that charge doesn't hold water either.

CrowdStrike, the controversial cybersecurity firm that the Democratic National Committee chose over the FBI in 2016 to examine its compromised computer servers, never produced an un-redacted or final forensic report for the government because the FBI never required it to, the Justice Department admitted.

The revelation came in a court filing by the government in the pre-trial phase of Roger Stone, a long-time Republican operative who had an unofficial role in the campaign of candidate Donald Trump. Stone has been charged with misleading Congress, obstructing justice and intimidating a witness.

The filing was in response to a motion by Stone's lawyers asking for "unredacted reports" from CrowdStrike challenging the government to prove that Russia hacked the DNC server. "The government does not possess the information the defendant seeks," the DOJ filing says.

Small wonder that Mueller had hoped to escape further questioning. If he does testify on July 24, the committee hearings will be well worth watching.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and a presidential briefer. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. His colleagues and he have been following closely the ins and outs of Russiagate.


Carlos , July 17, 2019 at 12:52

With Erin Ratner being named as a conduit between Seth Rich and Wikileaks in a lawsuit yesterday – the second flimsy leg of Mueller's claims – gets cut off at the knees.

cletus , July 17, 2019 at 05:29

just read your article at lewrockwell on 7/17.

you gave all the facts that irrefutably condemn the mueller hoax and reveal what a con man he is. I salute you for this.

unfortutunately, you then come to a conclusion that cannot be supported by an reasonable person.

you think that mueller's con will be called out by the republicans on the committee.

what a joke. They will avoid like the plague revealling that the russia claims by mueller are a hoax.
they'll focus completely on ' you did conclude that trump didn't collude with the russians, right?"

anyone who's been paying attention at all knows this.

Robert G. Hilton , July 17, 2019 at 01:13

There was no expert report showing hacking because the expert had found that the Russians did not hack. Simple as that. The way it works is, that an expert puts nothing in writing until AFTER orally consulting with the attorney who hired him. If the news is bad for said attorney, then the expert is instructed NEVER to put the bad news in writing. I used to hire experts when I litigated patent infringement cases, and that is the way it works. If you pay the expert, then you make the rules. The judge may understand this too. I'm pretty sure that the Crowd Strike expert also gave Muller (Andrew Wiseman?) the same news about no hacking.

michael weddle , July 16, 2019 at 22:41

Why, shortly after Random Juan claimed the presidency, was a Crowdstrike employee trying to stoke the Venezuelan coup?

https://steemit.com/venezuela/@michaelweddle/crowdstrike-employee-tweeting-pro-coup-propaganda-on-venezuela

Bailey , July 16, 2019 at 20:27

I wish that this constant debunking of Russia Gate would be doing some good. Sadly it's not. Most of the members of daily kos believe everything about Russia Gate and even after reading some of the great essays written here that debunks it they instead say that this website has been bought out by Russia.

I once thought that if people really looked at the evidence or lack of it that they would wake up and smell the propaganda. It has always been so obvious to me that there was never any there there and I couldn't understand how people bought into it. But I think it has to do with who people voted for in the last election. Hillary's supporters just can't believe that she could have lost without outside interference. Sad.

ex-PFC Chuck , July 16, 2019 at 18:08

A post yesterday at The Conservative Treehouse expands on a Gateway Pundit post about an amended filing to the court in a Texas libel suit that could blow the whole Russia-gate hoax wide open, taking with it whatever shred of credibility the Mueller Report might still have. Not to mention the rationale for silencing Assange, General Flynn's prosecution, and the murder of Seth Rich.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/07/15/lawsuit-claims-julian-assange-confirmed-dnc-emails-received-from-seth-rich-not-a-russian-hack/

Vera Moldt , July 16, 2019 at 17:13

It looks like this fraudulent fable has finally been debunked by the US judicial system. Now the Hillary bots will have to come up with another excuse for her wealthy donors as to why she lost the election to a much maligned TV host that spent a small fraction of her campaign funding. This also takes some of the fuel out of using the Russiagate fraud for a march to war with Russia that was accompanied by large defense spending increases. Russiagate was the perfect gift to the Clinton campaign apologists and the MIC that needs a causus belli to feed the public war machine. That gift box has now been unraveled to display an empty box. I'm surprised Ray McGovern did not bring up the issue of the alleged hacking of DNC emails to have been contrary to the capability of the internet at that time. The rate of transfer was consistent with downloading to a flash drive but impossible for transfer of packets across an IP network – further debunking the Russia hacking narrative. This whole house of cards has crashed in and it seems that it will be impossible for the Russiagate fraudsters to reconstruct their tawdry myth.

jaycee , July 16, 2019 at 14:08

Perceptive bloggers identified the IRA as a commercial clickbait operation two years ago. Everything about that operation was consistent with that description. Describing the IRA as a Russian government psy-op program, in turn, was inconsistent with the evidence at hand and so required the assumption that its purpose was to "sow chaos", or similar guesswork. It should be remembered that the Facebook / Twitter people were initially reluctant to go along with the latter theory, and only came on board after a great deal of pressure from members of Congress such as Mark Warner. So this whole nonsensical story was magnified at the insistence of powerful Democratic congressional persons, and Mueller was simply bolstering their arguments – which was his job it appears. The result has been not only a false consciousness deliberately seeded through the public, but also a raft of social media and alternative news censorship which has been silencing both alt-right and progressive voices.

Jeff Harrison , July 16, 2019 at 13:45

Thanx, Ray. I've said from the outset that Russiagate was bullshit perpetrated by Three Names who just couldn't stand the fact that this was the latest in a long string of failures that this incompetent, arrogant woman perpetrated on the American people. It was bullshit from jump street because Three Names won the election by 3M votes but in the American presidential election you not only need the votes, you need the distribution. Distribution she didn't have. Russia (or any other actor sufficiently large and determined) can sway votes for one candidate or another but they can't sway distribution. I personally thought the claim that Russia via the Internet Research Agency sought to sway the election by disparaging Three Names and pumping up Thump. Three Names won by 3M votes. Looks like Russia's IRA did a spectacularly poor job of meddling.

There are some take aways from this that the government should be looking into/doing something about.
1. Russiagate never had any legs. The legs that it got came from an effort by the deep state to create them out of thin air. The deep state tried to take on the role of the Praetorian Guard in old Rome. Their role originally was to protect the emperor but it morphed over the years into picking who would be the emperor. The likes of Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Struck (however you spell it) and his femme fatale (at a minimum, there may be more) should all be marched off to jail and locked up for a considerable period of time for their attempts to destroy our democracy (or republic – a distinction without a difference).

2. Seth Rich's murder needs to be actually investigated now that he has been outed as the source of the leak to Wikileaks.

3. The Republican party needs to be banned as a political party. Any clear eyed view of the 2016 election will conclude that the decades old effort by the Republicans at voter suppression and gerrymandering are what resulted in the 2016 results. 80,000 votes in three states that the Republicans have invested great voter suppression efforts – Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania would have changed the election results. This should have been a major neon sign that winner take all for electoral votes is a bad idea. If proportional EC votes were mandated, third parties would have a chance and our presidential elections might become actual contests. Otherwise, we'll continue to have elections that are between two candidates – worse and worser.

John Puma , July 16, 2019 at 12:36

The proportion of IRA "stories" among total Facebook postings
in the period in question, can be expressed in manner a bit more
readily grasped: on average, one IRA posting appeared among
every 412 million total. For perspective the US population is now
about 330 million.

The FBIs bungling with Crowdstrike information is reminiscent
of its reported 9-11 careless incompetence.

Jill , July 16, 2019 at 13:06

This may be why NPR featured that story:

"Businessman Ed Butowsky filed a lawsuit on Monday that outed FOX News reporter Ellen Ratner was his source for the Seth Rich information.

This comes after Michael Isikoff's report last week that labeled Butowsky as a Russian source."

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/07/breaking-lawsuit-outs-reporter-ellen-ratner-as-source-for-seth-rich-information/

Chet Roman , July 16, 2019 at 13:12

Yahoo's reporter Michael Isikoff is a sock puppet for the CIA/FBI that provided the info to NPR and was one of the first to spread the lies told to him by Steele about Russian interference. He must have tried to head off the lawsuit filed today. Ed Butowsky filed a lawsuit against the liberal media claiming defamation and business disparagement. He claims that Assange told Ellen Ratner (Fox News analyst and sister of Assange's lawyer who passed away) that Seth and Aaron Rich provided the emails to Wikileaks.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/07/15/lawsuit-claims-julian-assange-confirmed-dnc-emails-received-from-seth-rich-not-a-russian-hack/

Kieron , July 16, 2019 at 17:22

I don't think anyone with a couple of brain cells would dismiss the idea that an insider with the DNC having access to delicate, perhaps damaging material, being what seems on the surface, to be the victim of a motiveless murder would ask the question, was there any connection between Seth Rich's demise and the crap storm that ensued after the Wikileaks release. Really hello !

LarcoMarco , July 16, 2019 at 17:46

"NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Michael Isikoff" – what a predictable farce! "We talked to Deborah Sines, who was the federal prosecutor in charge of the investigation into Seth Rich's death. She was an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. attorney's office in the District of Columbia, which prosecutes local murders. And she would see these conspiracy theories about her case circulating on the Web. She was – she wanted to find out where they were coming from."

At least we now know that Seth Rich's death is/was a Federal case. No more claiming the DCPD has jurisdiction. But no disclosures of the contents of Seth Rich's cell phone and laptop.

Eric32 , July 16, 2019 at 10:38

The author seems consumed by this carnival of politicized legalized covert intelligence operations, by people and entities trying to retain money and power.

What's important is that the system hasn't been working for decades, and there's going to be increasingly serious problems, maybe fatal ones, rising if a big overhaul doesn't occur.

Al Pinto , July 16, 2019 at 09:43

The DNC and MSM sold, and sold well, the Russiagate to the general public. Does it really matter, if the "Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has now come apart at the seams"? Neither the DNC, nor the MSM will report/mention either of the court case, pretty much a blackout for the general public.

Even, if these court cases are widely reported, do you really believe that the majority of the people would change their mind? After almost three years, there's no way that these people will change their mind. The only change that widely reporting these court cases would result in is, that Trump and HRC supporters would hate each other even more.

This Russiagate will be with us pretty much forever, it'll morph in to accusing people of being Russian agents and/or Russian Bots. We already see this taking place and just wait, until next year. It's not going to be pretty

michael , July 16, 2019 at 12:40

Aaron Mate has done a brilliant job researching and debunking Russiagate. Unfortunately for him, he is now ostracized and has to survive on the margins, with other people with critical thinking skills.

Blessthebeasts , July 16, 2019 at 13:28

You're right. The truth doesn't matter, just the BS narrative that has been shoved down our throats for the last few years. It never made any sense to anyone who really thought about it but the media whores just keep spewing total nonsense and they surely won't change their ways now. The fact that the entire crock is really irrelevant to the majority of our citizens doesn't matter to them a bit.

AnneR , July 16, 2019 at 09:42

Thank you again Mr McGovern for another article on this never ending saga. While I hope that sanity begins to dawn among the so-called progressives, I have serious doubts.

1. Neither the BBC World Service nor NPR have mentioned (at least while I've been listening) Judge Friedrich's ruling vis a vis provide the evidence (discovery) to the IRA 12's lawyers or tear up the indictment (essentially). Indeed, I've not heard, on the MSM, anything about those 12 IRA folks employing a lawyer and challenging Mueller's indictment. Silence works as well as obfuscation, lies.

2. The Demrats simply will not let their Russophobia go. I gather (from RT – tut tut I must be an RU bottle) that Ms Harris AIPAC schmoozer, keen and eager lock 'em up and throw away the key, corporate-capitalist crony Kamala has been accusing the Russians of stirring up the controversy surrounding Kaepernick's bending of the knee. The Russians and their bots did it.

3. And then this morning on NPR – a Steve Inskip interview with Michael Isikoff focusing on the Seth Rich "conspiracy theory" and of course the whole thing (or that segment which I could stomach hearing) presumed as a matter of established, and thus true, fact that everything that went wrong for the DNC's HRC campaign was caused by the Russians – for which read Putin. Isikoff was there as an "investigative" journalist for "Yahoo News" – and his "investigation" had shown that the Russians were – who else – behind the conspiracy theory that Seth Rich was killed by HRC thugs in order to keep him permanently quiet about corruption in the DNC. (Corruption – a rather mealy-mouthed way of avoiding bringing into NPR daylight what the DNC were actually doing: determining who would be the Dem candidate willy nilly of who the voters wanted. But this mealy-mouthedness is fully in keeping with NPR's basic silence on what Wikileaks revealed via that insider download.)

Orwellian. Propaganda at its Bernays, Goebbels best. Despair . This business is *not* going away. The Demrats – both in DC and their bourgeois/progressive supporters have far too much invested in the whole confabulation for them to admit that the former deliberately lied and the latter were willing? hoodwinked.

Ray McGovern , July 16, 2019 at 14:57

Dear AnneR,

Thanks for your comment. I would like it if somehow "despair," could be disallowed.

There are enough of us, after all. And, as Annie Dillard put it, "There never was anybody but us."

I also take some inspiration from the dismal-sounding, yet somehow uplifting words of I. F. Stone:

"The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you're going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins."

THE CHALLENGE IS TO ACCEPT THAT, AND FIND JOY IN TRYING -- AND EVEN IN LOSING.

I believe the losing does not last forever; think we all need to do our part in the "interim."

Best regards,

Ray

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 19:44

That sums things up precisely, Ray.

None of us may live to see a complete turn-around, yet it is the honest effort to encourage and build the foundation for that fundamental systemic change to conscious and principled human awareness which is the measure we must make of ourselves.

Your sense of moral presence, Ray, is very much appreciated.

It serves as inspiration for all, and especially the young, who already understand, and encourages, as example, those who are coming to understand.

DW

AnneR , July 17, 2019 at 08:33

Dear Mr McGovern – thank you for reading and replying to my comment.

And, yes, I do understand the objection to despair – though not, might I add, any thought that its frank expression be expunged!

Were it only the whole Russiagate fabrication, delusions, time and money waste (oh well, only taxpayers' money) and fallout that was so dreadfully wrong, being heinously enacted. Indeed were it all that our taxes were being wasted on.

Perhaps that's it – Russiagate while distracting from the things that the DNC and HRC did, said, *also* makes for good deflection from the war crimes we are committing, the never ending imperialist warmongering we are engaged in, from the fact that many Demrats voted for those nice tax breaks given to the wealthiest tiers in our society, that many of those Demrats voted to hand over to the MIC *even more* loot even as the Pentagon can't account for the billions, or whatever fantastikal amount, it has already received over the years, deflection from the fact that despite such a "good" economy increasing numbers of people are living ever more economically precarious lives, rents rise astronomically, healthcare is a joke (or would be were its lack not so serious for so many). And that's not to mention the realities of climate change or the continuing (and MSM ignored) 70 plus year plight of Palestinians, among so many others.

My late husband used to tell me to write to NPR, the BBC, to let them know that they weren't codding everyone with their disinformation, non-information, lack of objectivity – their propaganda. And I did, often and used to ask for a response. Did I even get those? You must be joking

AnneR , July 17, 2019 at 14:08

In case someone might think that I expected either the BBC or NPR to alter their ways because of my "letters" (interestingly the BBC only allows/ed for around 1000 characters or something equally useless) – no. But when (in the case of the BBC) you can tick the "please reply" box and get total silence, not even a "thank you for your blah blah we shan't pay any attention to your complaints ," in response it is pretty frustrating.

As for NPR – I stopped our contributions. Why would we *pay* for the privilege of being propagandized? I just wish we had stopped them years earlier

Anyway, thank you Mr McGovern for your continuing coverage of this whole affair. I just wish my late partner in life and love had known of this website.

ML , July 16, 2019 at 09:24

Each morning when I arise, I get my coffee and settle down to read Consortium News. I also make a habit of a quick perusal of what the stenographers are jawing about on CNN today, there is a real doozy smearing Assange. The spinners are working overtime to patch over all the holes in their hoax story. I couldn't get through the whole thing because it's another smear piece and a long one including the old saw that Assange smeared feces on the Ecuadorian embassy's walls. I had to stop reading. Gosh, I can't abide those people. Thanks Ray, for telling the truth. We are drowning in $h** out there in la-la land. CN offers a much-needed dose of reality medicine. Thank you kindly, all.

Skip Scott , July 16, 2019 at 10:19

Here's a good essay by Caitlin Johnstone regarding the Assange hit-piece.

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/new-cnn-assange-smear-piece-is-amazingly-dishonest-even-for-cnn-e7c361d98639

Marko , July 16, 2019 at 07:31

Even worse news for the Russiahoaxers is the recent revelation , documented in a lawsuit , that Ellen Ratner , sister of deceased Wikileaks' lawyer Michael Ratner, met with Assange in the fall of 2016 and was told by him that Aaron and Seth Rich provided the DNC leaks to Wikileaks. Ed Butowsky was made aware of this , with instructions by Ms. Ratner for him to relay the information to the Rich family. When he did so , in December 2016 , he was told by Joel Rich , Seth's father , that he was already aware of his sons' involvement.

This is no longer conspiracy talk , folks. Ed Butowsky is not dumb enough to make these claims on court documents without knowing he can back them up. Shit is about to get real for Mueller and the DNC.

"BREAKING: Lawsuit Outs Reporter Ellen Ratner as Source for Seth Rich Information" @ Gateway Pundit

Skip Scott , July 16, 2019 at 08:43

Wow! Thanks Marko. Here's the link.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/07/breaking-lawsuit-outs-reporter-ellen-ratner-as-source-for-seth-rich-information/

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 09:37

Well, Skip Scott, either this revelation will put "paid" to the "Russia-did-it!" charade, or else the Voracious Memory Hole will act like a giant black hole and the event horizon will be swallowed into total nothingness as a new Middle-Eastern Adventure captures the hearts and minds of the happy warriors and consumers of U$ Imperialism.

Whatever happens, it will be wholey interesting times ahead.

DW

jmg , July 16, 2019 at 10:01

There was a related, extensive 2018 interview about Butowsky's private investigation into the Seth Rich case to help the family, what they found, and what happened (the DNC assigned someone to represent the family, etc.; the mentioned lawsuits were later dropped/dismissed). It included, without naming Ratner, the unverified mention: "his friend came back from London with information that he said he wanted to get to the Rich family." Since this alleged private message appears to be not only doubtful, but of course also not confirmed by WikiLeaks, we can't really know if it happened or not.

Ed Butowsky Sits Down With Gateway Pundit for First Interview After Being Sued by Family in Seth Rich Murder Mystery -- March 19, 2018
https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/03/ed-butowsky-sits-first-interview-gateway-pundit-sued-family-seth-rich-murder-mystery/

Eric32 , July 16, 2019 at 11:17

I wonder why Seth's murder hasn't been solved?
I wonder why there's almost no media attention paid?

O Society , July 16, 2019 at 17:32

Marko, polo! Here it is:

Seth Rich, disgruntled DNC worker, blows the whistle on HillBillary Clinton rigging the Democratic presidential primary against Bernie Sanders, so he gives data supporting his discovery of rigging to Wikileaks. Rich got the data on a thumdrive downloaded at DNC HQ itself.

No Russians, no hacking, just a whistleblower on the fraud ironically called US "democracy." We've all seen the data Rich leaked. Emails detailing HillBillary Clinton's graft and fraud and collusion against Sanders.

No wonder no other candidates besides Sanders ran against HillBillary, for they all knew the fix was in from its inception!

I dunno who killed Seth Rich, but I do know the Democratic party stole the election from Bernie, then projected its own crimes onto Russia, same way a kid projects his own crime of breaking a cookie jar on his brother when he tells Momma "He dit it –> He ate the cookies and broke the jar!" Meanwhile, there's chocolate smeared all over the DNC's face.

We have evidence for this, the leaked emails themselves tell the story

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2019 at 18:15

Seth Rich copied and leaked the DNC e-mails and was murdered for it. For this to become irrefutable common knowledge will be quite one godsend of a reality check. Maddow might not be able to get out of bed for weeks.

Repeat after me Rachel there was no Russian hack, there was no Russian hack, there was no Russian hack

jmg , July 16, 2019 at 07:13

From the Brennan–Comey–Rogers assessment/opinion (January 6, 2017):

"We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence. . . .

"- High confidence generally indicates that judgments are based on high-quality information from multiple sources. High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong.

"- Moderate confidence generally means that the information is credibly sourced and plausible but not of sufficient quality or corroborated sufficiently to warrant a higher level of confidence."

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections
https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

-- -- –

"When they say they have 'high confidence', that means they don't have any evidence!"
-- Bill Binney, former NSA Technical Director

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 07:10

Thank you, Ray McGovern for this splendid article laying out the facts which make clear the absurdities of these last several years. One hopes, now that the "Russia-did-it" canard is fully exposed, by US courts, that the truth may finally get through, over or around, the media wall of enforced ignorance and Mueller hero-worship, and reach the ears and eyes of the people.

Should that actually happen, it might even be possible that other truth, long subject to media manipulation and distortion, the cases of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning come readily to mind, could be seen in the honest light of day after an almost eight year protracted nightmare of media driven deceit, psychological torture, and deliberately vicious character assassination is revealed, in Assange's case, as it might well be, by Nils Melzer's report to the UN.

The legacy U$ corporate media have much to answer for, from promulgating lies that led to war, to missile attacks, and to brutal economic sanctions, a form of economic warfare, to efforts to start a new Cold War, and to aggrandize intelligence agencies which have sought to pervert justice and to illegally influence the political process by falsely accusing, on the flimsy words of partisan political operatives, another nation of the very actions those agencies have used, repeatedly and for many decades,to destroy the political processes of other nations, including the very nation singled out to take the blame for Hillary Clinton's abysmal and pathetic failure in the 2016 election.

What a waste of time, resources, trust, and energy it has bee, these last years, yet it was all so very profitable and lucrative for the media, even if it were "not good" for the country.

The media have damned and convicted themselves.

The U$ intelligence agencies have exposed themselves as corrupt, completely dishonest, vindictive, petty, and thoroughly untrustworthy.

It remains to be seen if the people have learned anything, and whether they will do anything with this costly, yet necessary, education.

DW

Allan , July 16, 2019 at 07:04

Will Adam Schiff spend the week with Bob Mueller to get their story straight

UserFriendly , July 16, 2019 at 05:18

?Unfortunately this is partially bunk. The first bit the judge didn't rule that there was no evidence, she ruled that Mueller publicly saying that the IRA = kremlin and they did try to help Trump win was prejudicial in the case against the IRA (quite obviously so). But him not being able to say that during his testimony should go over well with the democrats. Of course if he actually wanted to explain all he would have to do is drop the case against the IRA because it's never going to trial anyways. Almost makes you wonder if he filed those charges expressly so he wouldn't have to connect the imaginary dotts.

Aiya , July 16, 2019 at 11:03

What they called "trying to help Trump" was a miniscule amount of social media posts, 56% of which were made AFTER the election. And Facebook had to look 3 times to come up with ANYTHING–what they finally reported were posts coming from Russia or eastern Europe, posts in Cyrillic language, and posts from people with Russian/European names.

[Jul 17, 2019] Who's Afraid of William Barr by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of ..."
"... Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at ..."
"... War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate ..."
Jul 17, 2019 | www.thenation.com
his Wikipedia biography , he has -- or he had -- "a sterling reputation" both among Republicans and Democrats. That changed when Barr announced his ongoing investigation into the origins of Russiagate, a vital subject I, too, have explored .

As Barr explained , "What we're looking at is: What was the predicate for conducting a counterintelligence investigation on the Trump campaign. How did the bogus narrative begin that Trump was essentially in cahoots with Russia to interfere with the U.S. election?" Still more, Barr, who is empowered to declassify highly sensitive documents, made clear that his primary focus was not the hapless FBI under James Comey but the CIA under John Brennan. Evidently this was too much for leading Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, who assailed Barr for having "just destroyed the scintilla of credibility that he had left." Not known for a sense of irony, Schumer accused Barr of using "the words of conspiracy theorists," as though Russiagate itself is not among the most malign and consequential conspiracy theories in American political history.

More indicative is the reaction of the generally liberal pro-Democratic New York Times and Washington Post , the country's two most important political newspapers, to Barr's investigation. Leaning heavily on the "expert" opinion of former intelligence officials and McCarthy-echoing members of Congress such as Adam Schiff, both papers went into outrage mode. The Times bemoaned Barr's "drastic escalation of [Trump's] yearslong assault on the intelligence community" while rejecting "the president's unfounded claims that his campaign had been spied on," even though some forms of FBI and CIA infiltration and surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign are now well documented. (See, for example, Lee Smith's reporting .)

Unconcerned by the activities of either agency, the papers warned ominously that Barr's probe "effectively strips [the CIA] of its most critical power: choosing which secrets it shares and which remain hidden." It "could be tremendously damaging to the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies." Not surprisingly, given the Times ' three-year role in promulgating Russiagate allegations, it preempted Barr's investigation by declaring that US intelligence agencies' covert actions were part of "a lawful investigation aimed at understanding a foreign power's efforts to manipulate an American election." Considering what is now known, this generalization seems a whitewash both of the Times ' coverage and the agencies' conduct. (In the Post , see coverage by Toluse Olorunnipa and Shane Harris .)

Hillary Clinton, also not surprisingly, agreed. As paraphrased by Matt Stevens in the Times on May 3 , she accused Barr of diverting attention "from what the real story is. The real story is the Russian interference in our election." According to the defeated Democratic candidate, "the Russians were successful in sowing 'discord and divisiveness' in the country, and helping Mr. Trump." But who has actually sowed more "discord and divisiveness" in America -- the Russians or Mrs. Clinton and her supporters, by still refusing to accept the legitimacy of her electoral loss and Trump's victory?

Unfortunately, but predictably, Barr's investigation has become polarizing, with Fox News, for example, bannering each new unsavory Russiagate revelation and the Times and the Post mostly ignoring them altogether. In particular, the Democratic Party, once traditionally skeptical of intelligence agencies, is becoming the party of an intel cult and thus of the new US-Russian Cold War. Only a few of the party's leaders, notably presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, demur from this dangerous folly. (Might Democratic reticence also be due to the circumstance that the intelligence chiefs now under investigation were appointees of former President Obama, who has been remarkably silent about the entire Russiagate saga? What, as I have asked previously, did Obama know, when did he know it, and what did he do?)

Everyone who cares about the quality of American political life, no matter what they think about Trump, should encourage Barr's probe. To resort to a familiar cliché, Russiagate allegations have become a spreading cancer in American politics, with Democratic congressional candidates raising funds by promising, despite the exculpatory findings of Robert Mueller regarding "collusion," to fight evil "Trump-Putin" forces in Washington. Meanwhile, some Republicans, despite ample contrary evidence, preposterously blame Russia itself -- for the infamous Steele Dossier, for example. (By the way, for more irony, Trump is regularly accused in the above-cited news accounts of "siding with" Russian President Vladimir Putin in denying that any "collusion" determined the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, a conclusion also reached by Mueller, thereby putting Trump, Putin, and Mueller on the same "side.")

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Ideally, we would have an investigation of the intelligence agencies entirely independent of the White House and headed by an eminent political figure who is not a presidential appointee, as was the 1975 Senate Church Committee. For now, we have only Trump's attorney general, William Barr. Nonetheless, we should support him, however conditionally. Rogue intelligence agencies subvert democracy, and the next candidate they target -- as they did Trump -- may be yours.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .William Barr, a two-time attorney general who served at the CIA in the 1970s, would seem to be an ultimate Washington insider. According to his Wikipedia biography , he has -- or he had -- "a sterling reputation" both among Republicans and Democrats. That changed when Barr announced his ongoing investigation into the origins of Russiagate, a vital subject I, too, have explored .

As Barr explained , "What we're looking at is: What was the predicate for conducting a counterintelligence investigation on the Trump campaign. How did the bogus narrative begin that Trump was essentially in cahoots with Russia to interfere with the U.S. election?" Still more, Barr, who is empowered to declassify highly sensitive documents, made clear that his primary focus was not the hapless FBI under James Comey but the CIA under John Brennan. Evidently this was too much for leading Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, who assailed Barr for having "just destroyed the scintilla of credibility that he had left." Not known for a sense of irony, Schumer accused Barr of using "the words of conspiracy theorists," as though Russiagate itself is not among the most malign and consequential conspiracy theories in American political history.

More indicative is the reaction of the generally liberal pro-Democratic New York Times and Washington Post , the country's two most important political newspapers, to Barr's investigation. Leaning heavily on the "expert" opinion of former intelligence officials and McCarthy-echoing members of congress such as Adam Schiff, both papers went into outrage mode. The Times bemoaned Barr's "drastic escalation of [Trump's] yearslong assault on the intelligence community" while rejecting "the president's unfounded claims that his campaign had been spied on," even though some forms of FBI and CIA infiltration and surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign are now well documented. (See, for example, Lee Smith's reporting .)

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If you like this article, please give today to help fund The Nation 's work.

Unconcerned by the activities of either agency, the papers warned ominously that Barr's probe "effectively strips [the CIA] of its most critical power: choosing which secrets it shares and which remain hidden." It "could be tremendously damaging to the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies." Not surprisingly, given the Times ' three-year role in promulgating Russiagate allegations, it preempted Barr's investigation by declaring that US intelligence agencies' covert actions were part of "a lawful investigation aimed at understanding a foreign power's efforts to manipulate an American election." Considering what is now known, this generalization seems a whitewash both of the Times ' coverage and the agencies' conduct. (Writing for the Post , see coverage by Toluse Olorunnipa and Shane Harris .)

Hillary Clinton, also not surprisingly, agreed. As paraphrased by Matt Stevens in the Times on May 3 , she accused Barr of diverting attention "from what the real story is. The real story is the Russian interference in our election." According to the defeated Democratic candidate, "the Russians were successful in sowing 'discord and divisiveness' in the country, and helping Mr. Trump." But who has actually sowed more "discord and divisiveness" in America -- the Russians or Mrs. Clinton and her supporters, by still refusing to accept the legitimacy of her electoral loss and Trump's victory?

Unfortunately, but predictably, Barr's investigation has become polarizing, with Fox News, for example, bannering each new unsavory Russiagate revelation and the Times and Post mostly ignoring them altogether. In particular, the Democratic Party, once traditionally skeptical of intelligence agencies, is becoming the party of an intel cult and thus of the new US-Russian Cold War. Only a few of the party's leaders, notably presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, demur from this dangerous folly. (Might Democratic reticence also be due to the circumstance that the intelligence chiefs now under investigation were appointees of former President Obama, who has been remarkably silent about the entire Russiagate saga? What, as I have asked previously, did Obama know, when did he know it, and what did he do?)

Everyone who cares about the quality of American political life, no matter what they think about Trump, should encourage Barr's probe. To resort to a familiar cliché, Russiagate allegations have become a spreading cancer in American politics, with Democratic congressional candidates fund-raising by promising, despite the exculpatory findings of Robert Mueller regarding "collusion," to fight evil "Trump-Putin" forces in Washington. Meanwhile, some Republicans, despite ample contrary evidence, preposterously blame Russia itself -- for the infamous Steele Dossier, for example. (By the way, for more irony, Trump is regularly accused in the above-cited news accounts of "siding with" Russian President Vladimir Putin in denying that any "collusion" determined the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, a conclusion also reached by Mueller, thereby putting Trump, Putin, and Mueller on the same "side.")

Ideally, we would have an investigation of the intelligence agencies entirely independent of the White House headed by an eminent political figure who is not a presidential appointee, as was the 1975 Senate Church Committee. For now, we have only Trump's attorney general, William Barr. Nonetheless, we should support him, however conditionally. Rogue intelligence agencies subvert democracy, and the next candidate they target -- as they did Trump -- may be yours.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com . Ad Policy Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his new book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition.

[Jul 17, 2019] Rachel Maddow's report on Monday night

Jul 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

ranney , July 16, 2019 at 16:56

That's a great article Ray. Thank you!
Now I am wondering if there is any chance you could take apart Rachel Maddow's report on Monday night. I confess I turned her off about half way through it, because I couldn't stand listening to her lies. But she was going on about how Russia gave wikileaks the DNC stuff and how some new evidence proves it.

I wondered at the time why she was doing this again, but now I understand – it was because of the Judge and I think word must have come down to trash Assange (she did have some nasty things to say about him). None of what I heard made sense to me or why it was taking up so much of her hour so I turned back to NPR, but the vehemance of her lies (she was pushing this version pretty hard) stuck with me.

So could you write something about this please? If not on CN maybe you could give us a link to another web site or broadcast that discusses what she is doing and the damage she is causing.

Thanks again for your efforts to keep this story straight.


Joe Tedesky , July 16, 2019 at 15:52

Finally after proving that she was the worst possible presidential candidate the Democrat's could have ever endorsed our anointed one Madam Hillary left her wandering party with the oversold ominous Russia Gate fiasco to waste this country's easily distracted valuable time with. This waste of time should be criminally prosecuted for all the disruption it has caused. Such a parting spectacle of arrogance it is that Hillary Clinton left her struggling party with these multiple claimed allegations without evidence filled nonsensical accusations of Russian collusion that the country is even more divided than ever due too even more unreal false flag issues for it's citizenry to deal with. Where in this Hillary created event is Patriotism to be found? Like where is love of country even considered when releasing upon the world such a mean spirited compromise driven hoax? When it comes to this issue of Russia Gate Investigation the wrong party is being investigated.

Skip Scott , July 17, 2019 at 07:20

Hi Joe-

I think you might be giving Hillary too much credit as being the "creator" of RussiaGate. She was certainly on board, but I think it is most likely John Brennan's baby.

For the evil ones leading our so-called "intelligence" agencies, there is no patriotism, only power. They are servants of an empire that goes beyond our borders. They seek global dominance for the Oligarchy at any cost. Patriotism is for us "little" folk. For them it is a quaint notion to be used to manipulate the proles.

Al Pinto , July 16, 2019 at 09:43

The DNC and MSM sold, and sold well, the Russiagate to the general public. Does it really matter, if the "Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has now come apart at the seams"? Neither the DNC, nor the MSM will report/mention either of the court case, pretty much a blackout for the general public.

Even, if these court cases are widely reported, do you really believe that the majority of the people would change their mind? After almost three years, there's no way that these people will change their mind. The only change that widely reporting these court cases would result in is, that Trump and HRC supporters would hate each other even more.

This Russiagate will be with us pretty much forever, it'll morph in to accusing people of being Russian agents and/or Russian Bots. We already see this taking place and just wait, until next year. It's not going to be pretty

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 12:17

I do not know where you got the CNN story, ML, though it appears you got it straight from gift-donkey's mouth.

From RT (today, at 11AM Eastern time)

"CNN has released a new 'exclusive' report, accusing Julian Assange of conspiracy with Russia (including RT) to meddle in the 2016 US election.

Citing a report compiled by a private Spanish security company – but not providing any of it – the network basically rehashed the entirety of the Russiagate conspiracy on Monday "

The whole article is well worth a gander, as the Dem-media attempt goose up the drivel for what they hope will be a slam dunk (most fowl).

Apparently, the Dem-leaning MSM has no intention of letting go the lucrative idiocy of 'Russia-did-it! with the angry assistance of Awful Assange.

The MSM is not bound, of course, by the legal constraints now judicially imposed upon Mueller and other government agents, so they can claim and conflate whatever they wish.

Thus, Skip Scott's very legitimate concerns, about the amnesia memory hole, may well be assuaged by a media hell-bent on slathering lipstick on this particular pig as they attempt, once again, to launch it into perpetual orbit,
at least until after Assange is locked away for the rest of his life.

Perhaps getting Assange and continuing to demonize Russia is far more important to certain "interests", than is the other service of Russiagate, the saving of private-public Hillary's reputation of being the permanent victim of vast conspiracies as official history. She may now be relegated to the hoary realm of legend and myth. (Which may be the best that wannabees may hope for, short of making the ultimate "great" career move.)

The two-fer-one deal may be unraveling, at least in part.

Getting Assange must be the real deep state/media deal.

DW

ML , July 16, 2019 at 16:07

Hey DW, yes, it was on CNN yesterday. It was ridiculous. Full of lies and spin. Today, I didn't see it still there, but it might have been hiding in the shadows on that sorry site. Can't stand to spend more than about 5 minutes there, just to see what they're lying and obfuscating about any given day

Skip Scott , July 17, 2019 at 07:42

I hope you are right and that we are witnessing the death throes of empire. I also hope for some kind of retribution for the masters and their evil servants.

I can't watch the world news at all, but even local news goes to the "national" desk to torture those of us just interested in what's going on locally. I walk out of the room or push the mute button. I don't have any TV at home, but I have been caregiving an elderly uncle for the past 2-1/2 yrs at his place. I don't know who is more demented, my uncle or CNN.

Susan J Leslie , July 16, 2019 at 08:57

Liberals had better wake up now to realize that Russiagate was all a hoax perpetrated by Clinton and cronies because she lost the 2016 election. I'm ashamed to say I voted for Hillary – wow what a huge mistake on my part. Fortunately she did lose the election or who knows where we'd be now. Don't get me wrong, Trump is an absolute nightmare but at the very least you know where he is coming from. On the other hand Clinton , Obama and other mainstream politicians are underhanded, secretive and subversive all while smiling and selling us lie after lie We came, we saw, he died? What the hell kind of sick, deluded person would say such a thing?

O Society , July 16, 2019 at 14:13

What Robert Mueller hasn't done is provide any public evidence of Russian collusion, which was his mandate.

Show me the money. Where's the evidence? That's correct, show me the evidence. You know, the evidence Mueller (or anyone else has) Donald Trump committed treason as John Brennan says, and is guilty of collusion with Putin, as Hillary Clinton says.

I mean, you can't can't show me where the evidence is because there isn't any. No pee tapes, no smoking guns, no nothing. And that's a problem. A big problem, because it means the entire Mueller spaghetti Western unraveled into something not even my cat is interested in playing with. The yarn got no evidence.

Prove me wrong. Please. We know how this story ends and have from the beginning. There's no evidence. It's bullshit. Yes, every word that comes out of Donald Trump's mouth is bullshit. Problem is Trump's lies don't exonerate Clinton and Obama's lies. All the stuff coming out of Comey, Clapper, and Brennan's mouths is bullshit too.

https://osociety.org/2018/07/20/ten-things-which-would-convince-me-its-not-a-witchunt/

Marko , July 16, 2019 at 07:31

Even worse news for the Russiahoaxers is the recent revelation , documented in a lawsuit , that Ellen Ratner , sister of deceased Wikileaks' lawyer Michael Ratner, met with Assange in the fall of 2016 and was told by him that Aaron and Seth Rich provided the DNC leaks to Wikileaks. Ed Butowsky was made aware of this , with instructions by Ms. Ratner for him to relay the information to the Rich family. When he did so , in December 2016 , he was told by Joel Rich , Seth's father , that he was already aware of his sons' involvement.

This is no longer conspiracy talk , folks. Ed Butowsky is not dumb enough to make these claims on court documents without knowing he can back them up. Shit is about to get real for Mueller and the DNC.

"BREAKING: Lawsuit Outs Reporter Ellen Ratner as Source for Seth Rich Information" @ Gateway Pundit

[Jul 17, 2019] The key role of MSM is to keep the populace focused as best it can on relatively trivial matters and diverted from the most urgent topics of our time by PAUL STREET

Jul 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Alongside and consistent with other privilege- and power-serving missions, so-called mainstream corporate media's role is to keep the populace focused as best it can on relatively trivial matters and diverted from the most urgent topics of our time.

Kamala Harris Wants to Kill Your Health Insurance

Two Sundays ago, in a fit of masochistic media research, I watched some cable news talking heads do their weekly news roundups. CNN had a panel of know-it-all neoliberals who reflected on the Democratic Party's first two presidential debates. Everyone agreed that Kamala Harris had been the big winner but had erred badly by embracing "the abolition of private health insurance."

That's how CNN's "expert commentators" describe Medicare for All – not as high quality and low-cost health care as a human right with great direct and collateral benefits resulting from the eviction of corporate profit from coverage. Not as a great potential social and human rights victory, but as destruction : the "abolition" of (unmentionably parasitic, classist, exclusionary, inferior, and expensive, for-profit) health insurance.

Not that Senator Harris would seriously fight for Single Payer. She wouldn't. She's a corporate Democrat .

But I digress.

The chattering CNN craniums shifted to the United States Women's World Cup soccer team that was triumphing in Paris. The panelists applauded the team's star, Megan Rapione, a lesbian who refuses to visit the Donald Trump White House. (Good for her, but why not visit and spit in the Malignant One's eye?).

Joy Reid Blames Russia for Anti-Kamala Birtherism

Over on the openly partisan-Democratic cable network MSNBC (hereafter "MSDNC"), morning host Joy Reid was going off about the Huxwellian idiocy of Donald Trump's DMZ handshake with Kim Jong-Un and the strange kind of love Trump has for the North Korean dictator and other authoritarian heads-of-state. As usual with MSDNC, it was hard to detect the line separating the network's proper criticism of Trump from its deep investment in U.S. imperialism .

Consistent with the investment, Reid turned to the noxious racist vulgarity of online rightists who claim that Kamala Harris isn't a "real African-American." Reid showed viewers a copy of the Mueller Report and claimed without a hint of proof that the neo-Birther Internet campaign against Harris was directed by the Russians? Her evidence? The Mueller Report, completed prior to the Harris smear.

... ... ...

[Jul 17, 2019] Reasons to Suspect that Seth Rich Participated in the Leaking of the DNC Emails to Wikileaks

Notable quotes:
"... Sy Hersh stated that he has a trusted source inside the FBI who told him that he had seen a secret FBI report regarding an analysis of Seth's laptop, on which they found evidence that Seth had offered samples of DNC emails to WIkileaks and offered a much larger batch in return for payment; and that Seth subsequently had provided the DNC emails to Wikileaks via a drop box. ..."
"... Seth Rich was murdered, for no clear reason – no valuable belongings taken - several weeks after the DNC emails were exfiltrated from the DNC. The creator of the Guccifer 2.0 hoax would have had strong motivation to eliminate (or otherwise silence) the actual leaker, to prevent his hoax from being unmasked. Unmasking the hoax could have had a devastating impact on Hillary's campaign. ..."
"... Murray states that he had a meeting in Washington DC in September 2016 with someone involved in this leak - hence he may have privileged insight on this issue. ..."
"... Mueller's tale of how he allegedly transferred the emails to Wikileaks is overtly absurd ..."
Jul 07, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Reasons to Suspect that Seth Rich Participated in the Leaking of the DNC Emails to Wikileaks


veganmark on Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:38pm

The evidence that Russian intelligence hacked the DNC to provide the DNC emails which Wikileaks published is wholly unconvincing. In particular, the Guccifer 2.0 persona identified by the ICA and the Mueller report as the hacker, is clearly no Russian, and Mueller's tale of how he allegedly transferred the emails to Wikileaks is overtly absurd.

Julian Assange has strongly hinted that Seth Rich could be the leaker, and offered a reward for info leading to the apprehension of his killer. He further asserts, quite definitively, that Russian government hackers were not the source.

Wikileaks has repeatedly retweeted essays implying that Seth was the leaker.

Craig Murray, Julian's close associate, assures us that the Wikileaks DNC and Podesta releases were the result of leaks by individuals with legal access to the material, not hacks.

Sy Hersh stated that he has a trusted source inside the FBI who told him that he had seen a secret FBI report regarding an analysis of Seth's laptop, on which they found evidence that Seth had offered samples of DNC emails to WIkileaks and offered a much larger batch in return for payment; and that Seth subsequently had provided the DNC emails to Wikileaks via a drop box.

Larry Johnson, former CIA agent, claims that he has two inside sources that confirm this.

Kim Dotcom claims that Seth was the leaker, and that he assisted him in this effort.

Ed Bukowsky claims that a source close to Julian told him confidentially that Seth and Aaron Rich were the sources of the released DNC emails, and asked him to contact Seth's parents about this. Bukowsky claims that, when he informed Seth's father about this, he said "I already know that". It was only after the DNC "helpfully" provided the Rich family with "crisis consultant" Brad Bauman that the Rich family publicly denounced any suspicion that Seth had been the leaker. Reportedly, the Riches have become persuaded that the Wikileaks releases were responsible for the election of Trump, and they don't want to admit that Seth could have had anything to do with that.

Seth Rich was murdered, for no clear reason – no valuable belongings taken - several weeks after the DNC emails were exfiltrated from the DNC. The creator of the Guccifer 2.0 hoax would have had strong motivation to eliminate (or otherwise silence) the actual leaker, to prevent his hoax from being unmasked. Unmasking the hoax could have had a devastating impact on Hillary's campaign.

As to the source of the Podesta emails published by Wikileaks, Craig Murray assures us that the well known spearphishing of Podesta's computer is a red herring. Rather, he states that Podesta was being monitored by the NSA owing to his business ties to Ukraine.

Someone in the NSA who had access to these emails - presumably someone upset with Hillary's campaign - leaked them to Wikileaks. Murray states that he had a meeting in Washington DC in September 2016 with someone involved in this leak - hence he may have privileged insight on this issue.

This...

Mueller's tale of how he allegedly transferred the emails to Wikileaks is overtly absurd

was explained in the report by saying that someone from Trump's campaign gave Julian the information when they went to London. Did Robert get that information from the guardian article written by Luke Harding? If so, lol! Wikileaks debunked this article the minute it came out and no one from the Ecuadorian embassy or from London's many CCTV cameras showed any video evidence of it happening.

There are so many holes in this whole Russia Gate saga that I'm surprised anyone is believing it. Guess you cross posted this on ToP right?

Anja Geitz on Sat, 07/06/2019 - 11:41am
If that is indeed the reason Seth Rich's parents

Have denied Seth's involvement with WikiLeaks, its a shame they lack the courage and moral conviction their son had.

TheOtherMaven on Sat, 07/06/2019 - 11:44am
Lost one son, don't want to lose the other?

@Anja Geitz

A reminder from an old-time Illuminati game player: "Government" and "Criminal" are not opposites. They are sometimes co-attributes.

[Jul 15, 2019] "Where is the evidence [for Russigate]? There is none."

Notable quotes:
"... The whole story of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is "crazy," he says. Hillary Clinton had done everything wrong as a candidate, had led the Democratic Party into misfortune. There was no need for anything Russian. "Where is the evidence? There is none." ..."
"... Two years ago Hersh published a piece on Syria in Welt. He needs to go to Deutschland to get published, being banned from the MSM. ..."
"... Just like Col. Lang, Juan Cole and so many others. Our press is strictly controlled to focus on The Narrative. ..."
"... "Please watch this clip. It captures Russiagate perfectly: blaming Russian bots, neoliberals like Kamala Harris show ignorance about domestic injustices & contempt for those fighting it; while at the same time, sounding like deranged conspiracy theorists in the process." ..."
"... Lots of garbage trying to pollute our minds. Truth is the only antidote, but at times it's hard to find. Search for it and fight complacency. ..."
Jul 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Other issues:

Form a portrait of Seymour Hersh in the German weekly Die Zeit (my translation):

The whole story of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is "crazy," he says. Hillary Clinton had done everything wrong as a candidate, had led the Democratic Party into misfortune. There was no need for anything Russian. "Where is the evidence? There is none."

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on July 14, 2019 at 13:16 UTC | Permalink


bjd , Jul 14 2019 13:30 utc | 1

I wonder if Hersch's analysis is a first in a major German newspaper. If so, that is major breakthrough into Western MSM.
asdf , Jul 14 2019 13:44 utc | 3

When if ever is Hersch going to publicly voice his thoughts on Seth Rich, as shared in the following phone recording? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=giuZdBAXVh0

Bart Hansen , Jul 14 2019 14:56 utc | 12

One - bjt

Two years ago Hersh published a piece on Syria in Welt. He needs to go to Deutschland to get published, being banned from the MSM.

Just like Col. Lang, Juan Cole and so many others. Our press is strictly controlled to focus on The Narrative.

karlof1 , Jul 15 2019 4:57 utc | 64

Aaron Mate says :

"Please watch this clip. It captures Russiagate perfectly: blaming Russian bots, neoliberals like Kamala Harris show ignorance about domestic injustices & contempt for those fighting it; while at the same time, sounding like deranged conspiracy theorists in the process."

Intro to most recent In The Now:

"This is really good -- from calling out U.S. foreign policy that causes ppl to migrate to the history of the term 'concentration camps' to the larger tradition of racist, state sanctioned violence against ppl from the Southern border region."

Lots of garbage trying to pollute our minds. Truth is the only antidote, but at times it's hard to find. Search for it and fight complacency.

[Jul 14, 2019] Putin as an old fashioned liberal who opposes neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net ..."
Jul 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

If you have ever traveled in Russia outside of Moscow, you certainly have some horrible stories to tell about its atrocious roads, food and lodging or rather lack thereof. Things have changed greatly, and they keep changing. Now there are modern highways, plenty of cafés and restaurants, a lot of small hotels; plumbing has risen to Western standards; the old pearls of architecture have been lavishly restored; people live better than they ever did. They still complain a lot, but that is human nature. Young and middle-aged Russians own or charter motor boats and sail their plentiful rivers; they own country houses ("dachas") more than anywhere else. They travel abroad for their vacations, pay enormous sums of money for concerts of visiting celebrities, ride bikes in the cities – in short, Russia has become as prosperous as any European country.

This hard-earned prosperity and political longevity allows President Putin to hold his own in the international affairs. He is one of a few experienced leaders on the planet with twenty years at the top job. He has met with three Popes of Rome, four US Presidents, and many other rulers. This is important: 93-years old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who ruled his Malaysia for 40 years and has been elected again said the first ten years of a ruler are usually wasted in learning the ropes, and only after first twenty does he becomes proficient in the art of government. The first enemy a ruler must fight is his own establishment: media, army, intelligence and judges. While Trump is still losing in this conflict, Putin is doing fine – by his Judoka evasive action.

Recently a small tempest has risen in the Russian media, when a young journalist was detained by police, and a small quantity of drugs was allegedly discovered on his body. The police made many mistakes in handling the case. Perhaps they planted the evidence to frame the young man; perhaps they had made the obvious mistakes to frame the government. The response has been tremendous, as if the whole case had been prepared well in advance by the opposition hell-bent to annoy and wake up the people's ire against the police and administration. Instead of supporting the police, as Putin usually does, in this case he had the journalist released and senior police officers arrested. This prompt evasive action undid the opposition's build-up by one masterly stroke.

Recently he openly declared his distaste for liberalism in the interview for the FT . This is a major heresy, like Luther's Ninety-five Theses. "The liberals cannot dictate Their diktat can be seen everywhere: both in the media and in real life. It is deemed unbecoming even to mention some topics The liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population." Putin condemned liberals' drive for more immigration. He called Angela Merkel's decision to admit millions of immigrants a "cardinal mistake"; he "understood" Trump's attempt to stop the flow of migrants and drugs from Mexico.

Putin is not an enemy of liberalism. He is rather an old-fashionable liberal of the 19 th century style. Not a current 'liberal', but a true liberal, rejecting totalitarian dogma of gender, immigration, multiculturalism and R2P wars. "The liberal idea cannot be destroyed; it has the right to exist and it should even be supported in some things. But it has no right to be the absolute dominating factor."

In Putin's Russia liberalism is non-exclusive, but presents just one possible line of development. Homosexuals are not discriminated against nor promoted. There are no gay parades, no persecution of gays, either. Russian children aren't being brainwashed to hate their fathers, taken away from their families and given to same-sex maniacs, as it happened in the recent Italian case . Kids aren't being introduced to joys of sex in primary schools. People are not requested to swear love to transgenders and immigrants. You can do whatever you wish, just do not force others to follow you – this is Putin's first rule, and this is true liberalism in my book.

There is very little immigration into Russia despite millions of requests: foreigners can come in as guest workers, but this does not lead to permanent residency or citizenship. The Police frequently check foreign-looking people and rapidly deport them if found in breach of visa rules. Russian nationalists would want even more action, but Putin is a true liberal.

... ... ...

Why does Putin care about the US? Why can't he just stop taking dollars? This means he is an American stooge! – an eager-for-action hothead zealot would exclaim. The answer is, the US has gained a lot of power; much more than it had in 1988, when Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev. The years of being the sole superpower weren't wasted. American might is not to be trifled with.

New York Times insinuated.

True, Russia is big enough to survive even that treatment, but Russians have got used to a good life, and they won't cherish being returned to the year 1956. They took action to prevent these worst-case scenarios; for instance, they sold much of their US debt and moved out of Microsoft , but these things are time-consuming and expensive. Putin hopes that eventually the US will abandon its quest for dominance and assume a live-and-let-live attitude as demanded by the international law. Until it happens, he is forced to play by Washington rules and try to limit antagonism.

An experienced broker came in, promising to deliver the deal. It is the Jewish state, claiming to have the means to navigate the US in the desired direction. This is a traditional Jewish claim, used in the days of the WWI to convince the UK to enter the deal: you give us Palestine; we shall bring the US into the European war on your side. Then it worked: the Brits and their Aussie allies stormed Gaza, eventually took over the Holy Land, issued the Balfour declaration promising to pass Palestine to the Jews, and in return, fresh American troops poured into the European theatre of war, causing German surrender.

This time, the Jewish state proposed that Putin should give up his ties with Iran; in return, they promised to assist in general warming of Russo-American relations. Putin had a bigger counter-proposal: Let the US lift its Iran sanctions and withdraw its armed forces from Syria, and Russia will try to usher Iranian armed forces out of Syria, too. The ensuing negotiations around Iran-Syria deal would lead to recognition of the US and Israel interests in Syria, and further on it could lead to negotiations in other spheres.

This was a clear win-win proposal. Iran would emerge free of sanctions; Israel and the US would have their interests recognised in Syria; the much-needed dialogue between Russia and the US will get a jump-start. But Israel does not like win-win proposals. The Jewish state wants clear victories, preferably with their enemy defeated, humiliated, hanged. Israel rejected the proposal, for it wanted Iran to suffer under sanctions.

... ... ...

Russia certainly wants to live in peace with the US, but not at the price Mr Netanyahu suggested. Mr Patrushev condemned the US sanctions against Iran. He said that Iran shot down the giant American drone RQ-4A Global Hawk worth more than a hundred million dollars over Iranian territory, not in the international airspace as the Pentagon claimed. He stated that American "evidence" that Iran had sabotaged tankers in the Persian Gulf was inconclusive. Russia demanded that the United States stop its economic war against Iran, recognize the legitimate authorities of Syria, led by President Bashar Assad, and withdraw its troops from Syria. Russia expressed its support for the legitimate government in Venezuela. Thus, Russia showed itself at this difficult moment as a reliable ally and partner, and at the same time assured the staggering Israeli leadership of its friendship.

The problem is that the drive for war with Iran is not gone. A few days ago, the Brits seized an Iranian super-tanker in the Straits of Gibraltar. The tanker was on its way to deliver oil to Syria. Before that, the United States had almost launched a missile attack on Iran. At the last moment, when the planes were already in the air, Trump stopped the operation. It is particularly disturbing that he himself unambiguously hinted that the operation was launched without his knowledge . That is, the chain of commands in the US is now torn, and it is not clear who can start a war. This has to be taken into account both in Moscow and in Tehran.

... ... ...

Russia wants to help Iran, not out of sheer love to the Islamic Republic, but as a part of its struggle for multi-polar world, where independent states carry on the way they like. Iran, North Korea, Venezuela – their fight for survival is a part and parcel of Russia's struggle. If these states will be taken over, Russia can become the next victim, Putin feels.

... ... ...

In this situation, Putin tries to build bridges to the new forces in Europe and the US, to work with nationalist right. It is not the most obvious partner for this old-fashioned liberal, but they fit into his idea of multi-polarity, of supremacy of national sovereignty and of resistance to the world hegemony of Atlantic powers. His recent visit to Italy, a country with strong nationalist political forces, had been successful; so was his meeting with the Pope.

In the aftermath of the audience with the Pope, Putin strongly defended the Catholic Church, saying that "There are problems, but they cannot be over-exaggerated and used for destroying the Roman Catholic Church itself. I get the feeling that these liberal circles are beginning to use certain problems of the Catholic Church as a tool for destroying the Church itself. This is what I consider to be incorrect and dangerous. After all, we live in a world based on Biblical values and traditional values are more stable and more important for millions of people than this liberal idea, which, in my opinion, is really ceasing to exist". For years, the Europeans haven't heard this message. Perhaps this is the right time to listen.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net


anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: July 6, 2019 at 1:16 pm GMT

"President Trump seems to have some positive ideas, but his hands are tied up."

Pitifully naive.

Al Moanee , says: July 6, 2019 at 8:27 pm GMT
@Per/Norway

The author is referring to WWI and the Balfour Declaration of Nov 1917 which indeed was drafted on behalf of Jewish Zionist interests who in return did their level best in bringing Wilson, who was long backed by NYC banking interests (hence the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 enacted on his watch), into the war which materially changed its dynamics and outcome.

A123 , says: July 6, 2019 at 10:32 pm GMT

The Ukraine in all this? I would think it a far bigger concern for Russia in any trilateral meeting.

Do not expect anything on the Ukraine in the near future. Trump wants the DNC to nominate guaranteed loser Biden. Then he can beat him senseless using 'Ukrainian tampering with U.S. elections' via Biden's family business interests (1).
_____

Now that the Mueller exoneration is complete, the door is open to improved U.S. – Russia relations. The important thing is looking at Putin's and Trump's actions , more so than their words.

Trump's words sound 'officially concerned' about Crimea. However, this is primarily for EU consumption. What actions has the Trump administration taken about Crimea? Little or nothing depending on how you score the matter. So tacit acknowledgement pending a quid pro quo .

Putin administration words (but not Putin himself) have said strong sounding things about Iran. However, there are no actions that support a deep relationship.
-- Russia sells munitions to Iran on a 'cash & carry' basis along with many other nations including Turkey. Russia and Israel have much stronger ties on the military equipment basis. Look at their recent joint sale of AWACS to India (2).
-- Russia continues to let the Israeli air force freely strike Iranian al'Hezbollah and al'Quds targets in Syria.

It looks like the quid pro quo arrangement will be Crimea for an Iranian exit from Syria. It's a deal that would help peace throughout the region.

PEACE
______

(1) https://www.thenation.com/article/joe-biden-ukraine-burisma-holdings/

(2) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-to-buy-2-more-awacs-worth-rs-5-7k-crore-from-israel/articleshow/67765253.cms

Priss Factor , says: July 6, 2019 at 10:33 pm GMT

Was Pat Robertson right about World War I?

https://israelpalestinenews.org/rothschild-reveals-crucial-role-ancestors-played-balfour-declaration-creation-israel/

A123 , says: July 6, 2019 at 11:08 pm GMT

But he is hampered by his "deep state", by Pompeo and Bolton; about the latter, Trump himself said that he wants to fight with the whole world. Presidents can't always remove the ministers from whom they want to get rid of – even the absolute monarchs of the past did not always succeed.

Actually, Trump is using Bolton against the deep state.

First and foremost, it is and advanced and skillful form of ' Good Cop – Bad Cop '. When Bolton says something and Trump openly disagrees, it places the Fake Steam Media complex in an untenable position. If they treat the story fairly, they embrace the anathema of saying positive things about Trump. But they do not have any options to twist the facts into their desired anti-American propaganda.

Secondarily, it also cleverly drives a wedge between two DNC factions:

-1- The true Clintonista believer, stricken by Trump Derangement Syndrome [TDS], will not accept anything less than Impeachment. Preferably followed by turning him over to the Fascist Stormtroopers of Antifa.
-2- Those with a less deranged view realise that a successful Impeachment process would generate President Pence. And, he would be much more likely to accept Bolton's advice. Perhaps Pence would pick Bolton to be Vice President.

Look at the circular firing squad that is forming up in the DNC nomination process to see how Trump's deliberate agitation of various factions is working in his favor. The TDS faction is winning and as a result the eventual DNC candidate will be unelectable.

PEACE

Rabbitnexus , says: July 7, 2019 at 2:49 am GMT
@AghaHussain sts plans have failed to materialise in Syria. The author here does a very good job of explaining Russia's position and between his and Saker's analyses your argument is kaput and only fools would buy it.

The Zionists went away empty handed with their visits to Russia and President Putin and if anything Russia's resistance to the Zionists has hardened lately.

People who have two dimensional thinking and a limited box of clues seem to think it is as simple as just saying no and digging their heels in but that way makes wars. Russia does not have the sort of power nor an insane leadership that it would take for that.

A123 , says: July 7, 2019 at 2:39 pm GMT
@animalogic to be rebuilt.

The best hope for an internal Iranian solution is IRGC enlightened self interest. A fairly bloodless replacement of Khameni with a general from the IRGC. It worked in Egypt and the world welcomed that military solution. One can be 99% certain that replacing Khameni would be just as welcome.

The new 'General Ayatollah in Chief' would have a free hand to disengage from Khameni's extremism. The economic recovery from ending sanctions would guarantee internal popularity. Think of it as MIGA, Make Iran Great Again , though they are unlikely to use that exact phrase.

PEACE

iendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website July 13, 2019 at 1:48 pm GMT

It's ludicrous to imagine that Russians are so wedded to the good life that they do not dare antagonise Amerikastan. What "good life" is this? Ask the pensioners struggling on a few thousand rubles a month how the hell they are supposed to manage. The luxuries enjoyed by the yuppies in Moscow (most of whom, fluently English speaking and firmly pro-Amerikastani, are a fifth column of Quislings) are not the life that the factory worker in Volgograd or the farmer outside St Petersburg will recognise.

Che Guava , says: July 13, 2019 at 3:42 pm GMT

Pres. Putin seems to be a pretty good person.

I want to sidetrack the thread to the matter of Edward Snowden.

Putin made a comment early on 'a strange young man'.

I understand exactly what he was saying. I am the same. No leaks. ht is a matter of honour.

OTOH, confronted by wall-to-wal evil bullshit as he was, I think he was not in the wrong (but have a little internal conflict on that, since the secrets 4 have to keep now are ooly technical and at times commercial, such a dilemna never arises.

In no situation would such be ethical.

he was sorry for Sowden's girlfriend, he dumped her. but, not long after, she was with him. Very romantic. Doubtless, Russian secret services had some role.

I like the happy ending there, it is very romantic.

Would make a great movie, but not possible from Hollywood, perhaps Russia could revive its moribund film industry?

Republic , says: July 13, 2019 at 3:44 pm GMT
@Malacaay

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/10-ways-russia-better-than-usa/

Anatoly Karlin published this two years ago:

10 ways Russia is better than the US

Agent76 , says: July 13, 2019 at 4:29 pm GMT

Oct 20, 2018 Putin: Russia Getting Rid Of US Dollar Matter Of National Security

Russian president Vladimir Putin: "That's what our American friends are doing. They're undermining trust in the dollar as a universal payment instrument and the main reserve currency."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4fECrSQ9ifM?feature=oembed

Jun 8, 2018 Putin hints at end of dollar system – Direct Line 2018

Vladimir Putin has held his 16th Direct Line Q&A on June 7th.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/z01S7lOq-qI?feature=oembed

AnonFromTN , says: July 13, 2019 at 6:28 pm GMT
@AmRusDebate t in 2014, and had gone so deep that there is no light at the end of the tunnel now. It is still used by the Empire as an annoying sore right next to Russia, but that's all it can be. It did not and could not deliver what the Empire was hoping for. The imperial planners never take into account the critical condition for their "color revolutions" to bring US-friendly compradores to power anywhere: the country in question must be rotten through and through. Thus, instead of useful sharp tools they get worthless pieces of shit. They are still trying to use an inevitable stink for their purposes, but that's the only use shit is good for.
AnonFromTN , says: July 13, 2019 at 6:56 pm GMT
@Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

It's not just Moscow yuppies. Visit any provincial city in Russia today and you'd see that it looks way better than it ever did in the USSR. There are cafes everywhere and lots of people in them spending serious money, because they can afford that. Drive on any road, in or between the cities, and you can see that the roads are in a better shape than they ever were, and there are lots of gas stations, cafes, and hotels along them, all doing brisk business. Russians have ten times more cars now than they had in the USSR, and they drive a lot.

RadicalCenter , says: July 13, 2019 at 7:04 pm GMT
@A123 be deployed right on Russia's border on yet another side. Russia would be readily bottled up and be denied the freedom to navigate through the surrounding waters. And it would be more vulnerable to land invasion from more points.

Russia should continue disentangling itself from US and US-Controller financial systems and institutions. Keep becoming more able to sustain its people without so many imports of foodstuffs and manufactured goods alike.

Far from giving up Crimea, Russia should bide its time and wait to retake the Donbass region or more when Ukraine collapses, breaks up, and/or is outright occupied by the US.

Ace , says: July 13, 2019 at 7:19 pm GMT
@A123

I rather doubt you're in any position to judge whether Khameni is a sociopath.

And your fixation on regime change is noted. The ultimate expression of Western arrogance: You, you benighted, retrograde, sociopathic worm, are not a fit chief executive of your nation so we have decided you must go. If we have to kill hundreds of thousands of your people that's just an unavoidable cost of our being the excellent people we are.

RadicalCenter , says: July 13, 2019 at 7:25 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain

Trump should put the warmongering establishment on the back foot by firing Bolton and hiring Tulsi Gabbard.

Watch the media contort itself deciding how to slander and attack a partly nonwhite "progressive" "pro-choice" woman who is also a veteran, LOL.

What if trump did this a month BEFORE the election?

Beefcake the Mighty , says: July 13, 2019 at 9:55 pm GMT
@Harbinger

Liberalism in the West today is similar to communism in the SU in the late 80's: a decrepit ideology that offers nothing to ordinary people and whose adherents are incapable of anything but mouthing the same rubbish over and over. It will similarly die a well-deserved death.

[Jul 13, 2019] The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift.

Notable quotes:
"... You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Rob , July 12, 2019 at 12:27

You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate.

However, with the election season heating up, it might seem wise for them to start singing a different tune altogether, such as Sanders and Warren are too radical to have any chance of defeating Trump.

The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift.

[Jul 13, 2019] The return of Weimar Berlin - Lawlessness, Inequality, Extremism, Divisiveness and Crime

Notable quotes:
"... You hypocrites! You build monuments for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors , we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of His messengers ..."
"... this entire Russian collusion meme seems as though it is an hysterical reaction to the spin put out by the Clinton political faction and their neoliberal enablers after their shocking loss in the 2016 Presidential election. ..."
"... the financial corruption and private pilfering using public power, money laundering and the kind of soft corruption that is rampant amongst our new elite is all there ..."
"... We are reassured and misled by the same kinds of voices that have always served the status quo and the monied interests, the think tanks, the so-called 'institutes,' and the web sites and former con men who offer a constant stream of thinly disguised propaganda and misstatements of principle and history. We are comforted by their lies. ..."
"... We wish to strike a deal with the Lord, and a deal with the Devil -- to serve both God and Mammon as it suits us. It really is that cliché. And it is so finely woven into the fabric of our day that we cannot see it; we cannot see that it is happening to us and around us. ..."
"... It has always been so, especially in times of such vanity and greed as are these. Then is now. There is nothing new under the sun. And certainly nothing exceptional about the likes of us in our indulgent self-destruction. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"He drew near and saw the city, and he wept for it saying, 'If you had only recognized the things that make for peace. But now you are blinded to them. Truly, the days will come when your enemies will set up barriers to surround you, and hem you in on every side. Then they will crush you into the earth, you and your children. And they will not leave one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the way to your salvation.'"

Luke 19:41-44

"You hypocrites! You build monuments for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of His messengers.'"

Matthew 23:29-30

...the results of the Senate GOP finding no evidence of 'collusion' with Russia by the Trump Administration to influence the results of the presidential election..

This last item is not surprising, because this entire Russian collusion meme seems as though it is an hysterical reaction to the spin put out by the Clinton political faction and their neoliberal enablers after their shocking loss in the 2016 Presidential election.

Too bad though, because the financial corruption and private pilfering using public power, money laundering and the kind of soft corruption that is rampant amongst our new elite is all there. And by there we mean on both sides of the fence -- which is why it had to take a back seat to a manufactured boogeyman.

... ... ...

There is a long road ahead before we see anything like a resolution to this troubling period in American political history.

We look back at other troubled periods and places, and either see them as discrete and fictional, a very different world apart, or through some rosy lenses of good old times which were largely benign and peaceful. We fail to see the continuity, the similarity, and the commonality of a dangerous path with ourselves. As they did with their own times gone by. Madness blinds its acolytes, because they wish it so. They embrace it to hide their shame.

We are reassured and misled by the same kinds of voices that have always served the status quo and the monied interests, the think tanks, the so-called 'institutes,' and the web sites and former con men who offer a constant stream of thinly disguised propaganda and misstatements of principle and history. We are comforted by their lies.

People want to hear these reassuring words of comfort and embrace it like a 'religion,' because they do not wish to draw the conclusions that the genuine principles of faith suggest (dare we say command in this day and age) in their daily lives. They blind themselves by adopting a kind of a schizoid approach to life, where 'religion' occupies a discrete, rarefied space, and 'political or economic philosophy' dictates another set of everyday 'practical' observances and behaviors which are more pliable, and pleasing to our hardened and prideful hearts.

We wish to strike a deal with the Lord, and a deal with the Devil -- to serve both God and Mammon as it suits us. It really is that cliché. And it is so finely woven into the fabric of our day that we cannot see it; we cannot see that it is happening to us and around us.

And so we trot on into the abyss, one exception and excuse and rationalization for ourselves at a time. And we blind ourselves with false prophets and their profane theories and philosophies.

As for truth, the truth that brings life, we would interrupt the sermon on the mount itself, saying that this sentiment was all very well and good, but what stocks should we buy for our portfolio, and what horse is going to win the fifth at Belmont? Tell us something useful, practical! Oh, and can you please fix this twinge in my left shoulder? It is ruining my golf game.

"Those among the rich who are not, in the rigorous sense, damned, can understand poverty, because they are poor themselves, after a fashion; they cannot understand destitution. Capable of giving alms, perhaps, but incapable of stripping themselves bare, they will be moved, to the sound of beautiful music, at Jesus's sufferings, but His Cross, the reality of His Cross, will horrify them. They want it all out of gold, bathed in light, costly and of little weight; pleasant to see, hanging from a woman's beautiful throat."

Léon Bloy

No surprise in this. It has always been so, especially in times of such vanity and greed as are these. Then is now. There is nothing new under the sun. And certainly nothing exceptional about the likes of us in our indulgent self-destruction.

Are you not entertained?

[Jul 13, 2019] Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like Mueller and his team were extremely sloppy and just milked the US government and try to feed rumors to the media.
Mueller emerged as a stooge of Clinton mafia.
Notable quotes:
"... In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge. ..."
"... The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report. ..."
"... On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them. ..."
"... Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7. ..."
"... the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions. ..."
"... But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment: ..."
"... By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government. ..."
"... But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. ..."
"... Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence. ..."
"... I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out. ..."
"... The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner. ..."
"... a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .) ..."
"... Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ ) ..."
"... 'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.' ..."
"... Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.' ..."
"... It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017. ..."
"... Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding). ..."
"... Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team. ..."
"... The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko. ..."
"... A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

In the criminal case against alleged Russian operatives--Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting LLC--a Federal judge has declared that Robert Mueller has not offered one piece of solid evidence that these defendants were involved in any way with the Government of Russia. I think this is a potential game changer.

The world of law as opposed to the world of intelligence is as different as Mercury and Mars. The intelligence community aka IC can traffic in rumor and speculation. IC "solid" intelligence may be nothing more than the strident assertion of a source who lacks actual first hand knowledge of an event. The legal world does not enjoy that kind of sloppiness. If a prosecutor makes a claim, i.e., Jack shot Jill, then said prosecutor must show that Jack owned a firearm that matches the bullets recovered from Jill's body. Then the prosecutor needs to show that Jack was with Jill when the shooting took place and that forensic evidence recovered from Jack showed he had fired a firearm. Keep this distinction in mind as you consider what has transpired in the case against the Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting.

To understand why Judge Friedrich ruled as she did you must understand Local Rule 57.7. That rule: restricts public dissemination of information by attorneys involved in criminal cases where

"there is a reasonable likelihood that such dissemination will interfere with a fair trial or otherwise prejudice the administration of justice." It also authorizes the court "[i]n a widely publicized or sensational criminal case" to issue a special order governing extrajudicial statements and other matters designed to limit publicity that might interfere with the conduct of a fair trial. . . .

The rule prohibits lawyers associated with the prosecution or defense from publishing, between the time of the indictment and the commencement of trial, "[a]ny opinion as to the accused's guilt or innocence or as to the merits of the case or the evidence in the case."

In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge.

The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report.

On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them.

Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7.

Judge Friedrich gave Concord a partial victory:

Although the Court agrees that the government violated Rule 57.7 , it disagrees that contempt proceedings are an appropriate response to that violation. Instead, the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions.

But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment:

The Special Counsel Report describes efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. . . . But the indictment . . . does not link the defendants to the Russian government. Save for a single allegation that Concord and Concord Catering had several "government contracts" (with no further elaboration), id. ¶ 11, the indictment alleges only private conduct by private actors.

. . . the concluding paragraph of the section of the [Mueller] Report related to Concord states that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA). By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government.

Similarly, the Attorney General drew a link between the Russian government and this case during a press conference in which he stated that "[t]he Special Counsel's report outlines two main efforts by the Russian government to influence the 2016 election." . . . The "[f]irst" involved "efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations." Id. The "[s]econd" involved "efforts by Russian military officials associated with the GRU," a Russian intelligence agency, to hack and leak private documents and emails from the Democratic Party and the Clinton Campaign.

The Report explains that it used the term "established" whenever "substantial, credible evidence enabled the Office to reach a conclusion with confidence." . . . It then states in its conclusion that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by the IRA." In context, this statement characterizes the evidence against the defendants as "substantial" and "credible," and it provides the Special Counsel's Office's "conclusion" about what actually occurred.

But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. Although Mueller claims that it was "established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), he provided no such evidence.

According to Mate :

After two years and $35 million, Mueller apparently failed to uncover any direct evidence linking the Prigozhin-controlled IRA's activities to the Kremlin. His best evidence is that "[n]umerous media sources have reported on Prigozhin's ties to Putin, and the two have appeared together in public photographs."

Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence.

Some readers will insist that Mueller and his team have actual intelligence but cannot put that in an indictment. Well boys and girls, here is a simple truth--if you cannot produce evidence that can be presented in court then you do not have a case. There is that part of the Constitution that allows those accused of a crime to confront their accusers.

Posted at 11:09 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Sonal Chawhan , 12 July 2019 at 05:38 AM

Impressive!Thanks for the post
SAS Base and Advance

Peter VE , 12 July 2019 at 09:14 AM

Minor quibble: Judge Friedrich is a woman. I expect that this will get no play from the MSM, since Judge Friedrich was appointed by Trump, and "everyone" knows she's just covering up for him.

Larry Johnson -> Peter VE... , 12 July 2019 at 11:37 AM

Thanks. Never heard of a chick named, "Dabney." I was thinking Dabney Coleman. Dating myself.

Peter VE -> Larry Johnson ... , 12 July 2019 at 02:17 PM

Maybe her name is misspelled reference to Dagney Taggart...

Flavius , 12 July 2019 at 10:33 AM

Under the conditions and in the environment that it was returned, this indictment was Mueller and his partisan team throwing raw meat fo the media so as to prolong their mission, nothing more. Once filed, no one involved ever expected to appear in a courtroom to prosecute anyone, or defend any part of it. It was an abuse of process, pure and simple.

Consider it as a count against Mueller, his competence or his integrity, maybe both. He let himself become a tool.

pretzelattack -> Flavius... , 12 July 2019 at 07:27 PM

Johnson refers to "heartfelt beliefs" but i doubt Mueller believes his own bs. in this i guess he distinguishes himself from earlier witch-hunters, who apparently sincerely believed their targets were minions of satan.

blue peacock , 12 July 2019 at 11:33 AM

I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out.

It seems on the current trajectory both the Trump colluded with Russia and our law enforcement & IC attempted a soft-coup will die on the vine. The latter because Trump is unwilling to declassify. It seems for him it was all just another reality TV show and him tweeting "witch hunt" constantly was what the script called for.

The next time the IC & law enforcement who now must believe that they are the real power behind the throne decide to exercise that power it will be a doozie.

The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner.

https://theintercept.com/2019/07/11/china-surveillance-google-ibm-semptian/

David Habakkuk , 12 July 2019 at 12:39 PM

Larry,

A fine piece.

I think a large question is raised as to how far the kind of sloppiness in the handling of evidence which Judge Friedrich identified in the Mueller report may have characterised a great deal of the treatment of matters to do with the post-Soviet space by the FBI and others – including almost all MSM journalists – for a very long time.

Unfortunately, one also finds this among some of the most useful critics of 'Russiagate'. So, for example, in a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .)

He then however goes on to write: 'In other words, not only was the firm that hired Steele, Fusion GPS, hired by the Russians, but Steele himself was hired directly by the Russians.'

And Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ )

Commenting on the fact that, in her scribbled notes, beside the names of Vladislav Surkov and Vyacheslav Trubnikov, who are indeed a top Putin adviser and a former SVR chief respectively, Kavalec writes 'source', McCarthy simply concludes that she meant that he had said that these were his – indirect – sources, and that this was accurate. And he goes on to write:

'Deripaska, Surkov, and Trubnikov were not informing on the Kremlin. These are Putin's guys. They were peddling what the Kremlin wanted the world to believe, and what the Kremlin shrewdly calculated would sow division in the American body politic. So, the question is: Did they find the perfect patsy in Christopher Steele?'

If you look at Kavalec's typing up of the notes, among a good deal of what looks to me like pure 'horse manure' – including the claim that 'Manafort has been the go-between with the campaign' – the single reference to Surkov and Trubnikov is that they are said to be 'also involved.'

As it happens, Surkov is a very complex figure indeed. His talents as a 'political technologist' were first identified by Khodorkovsky, before he subsequently played that role for Putin. It would obviously be possible that he and Steele still had common contacts.

The suggestion in Kavalec's notes that Sergei Millian 'may be involved in some way,' and also that, 'Per Steele, Millian is connected Simon Kukes (who took over management of Yukos when Khodorkovsky was arrested)' is interesting, but would seem to suggest that he would not have been cited to Kavalec as an intermediary.

All this is obviously worth putting together with claims made in the 'New York Times' follow-up on 9 July to the Reuters report on the same day breaking the story of the interviews carried out with Steele by the Inspector General's team in early June.

(See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/09/us/politics/ig-russia-investigation-steele.html?module=inline .)

According to this:

'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.'

Some observations prompted by all this.

Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.'

In trying to put together the accumulating evidence, it is necessary to realise, as so many people seem to find it difficult to do, that in matters like these people commonly play double games – often for very good reasons.

To say as Carlson does that Fusion and Steele were hired by 'the Russians' implies that these are some kind of collective entity – and then, one is one step away from the assumption that Veselnitskaya and Deripaska, as well as 'Putin's Cook', are simply puppets controlled by the master manipulator in the Kremlin. (The fact that Friedrich applies serious standards for assessing evidence to Mueller's version of this is one of the reasons why her judgement is so important.)

As regards what McCarthy says, to lump Surkov and Deripaska together as 'Putin's guys' is unhelpful. Actually, it seems to me very unlikely, although perhaps not absolutely impossible, that, had he been implicated in any conspiracy to intervene in an American election, Surkov would have been talking candidly about his role to anyone liable to relay the information to Steele.

Likewise, however, the notion of a Machiachiavellian Surkov, feeding disinformation about a non-existent plot through an intermediary to Steele, who swallows it hook, line and sinker, does not seem particularly plausible.

A rather more obvious possibility is that the intermediaries who were supposed to have conveyed a whole lot of 'smoking gun' evidence to Steele were either 1. fabrications, 2. people whom without their knowledge he cast in this role, or 3. co-conspirators. It would, obviously, be possible that Millian, although one can say no more than that at this stage, was involved in either or both of roles 2. and 3.

It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017.

(See https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/House_Intelligence_Committee_Interview_of_Glenn_Simpson )

Providing his version of what was going on following his move from the Washington office of the 'Wall Street Journal' to its European headquarters in January 2005, Simpson told the Committee:

'And the oligarchs, during this period of consolidation of power by Vladimir Putin, when I was living in Brussels and doing all this work, was about him essentially taking control over both the oligarchs and the mafia groups. And so basically everyone in Russia works for Putin now. And that's true of the diaspora as well. So the Russian mafia in the United States is believed bylaw enforcement criminologists to have – to be under the influence of the Russian security services. And this is convenient for the security services because it gives them a level of deniability.'

A bit less than two years after Simpson's move to Brussels, a similar account featured in what appears to have been the first attempt by Christopher Steele and his confederates to provide a 'narrative' in terms of which could situate the supposed assassination by polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.

This came in a BBC Radio 4 programme, entitled 'The Litvinenko Mystery', in which a veteran presenter with the Corporation, Tom Mangold, produced an account by the former KGB Major Yuri Shvets, supported by the former FBI Agent Robert Levinson, and an 'Unidentified Informer', who is told by Mangold that he cannot be identified 'reasons of your own personal security'.

(A full transcript is on the 'Evidence' archived website of the Litvinenko Inquiry – one needs to search for the reference HMG000513 – at https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

This figure, whose credentials we have no means of assessing, explains:

'Well it's not well known to Western leaders or Western people but it is pretty well known in Russia. Because essentially it is common knowledge in Russia that by the end of Nineties the so called Russian organised crime had been destroyed by the Government and then the Russian security agencies, primarily the law enforcement and primarily the FSB, essentially assumes the functions and methods of Russian organised crime. And they became one of the most dangerous organised crime group because they are protected by law. They're protected by all power of the State. They have essentially the free hand in the country and this shadow establishment essentially includes the entire structure of the FSB from the very top people in Moscow going down to the low offices.'

The story Mangold told was a pathetic tale of how Litvinenko and Shvets, trying to turn an honest penny from 'due diligence' work, identified damning evidence about the links of a figure close to Putin to organised crime, who in return sent Andrei Lugovoi to poison the former with polonium.

A few problems with this version have, however, subsequently, emerged. Among them is the fact that, at the time, Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding).

Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the disappearance of Levinson, on the Iranian island of Kish, the following March, was not as was claimed for years related to his private sector work. His entrapment and imprisonment – from which we now know Deripaska was later involved in attempting to rescue him – related to an undercover mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko.

A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way.

And, among other things, that raises a whole range of questions about Mueller.

Dan -> David Habakkuk ... , 12 July 2019 at 04:36 PM

Great info, thanks. I admittedly don't watch the skeptics' comments closely enough, and can be susceptible to twisted observations from guys like Carlson and Solomon.

[Jul 13, 2019] Concord Management and the End of Russiagate by Daniel Lazare

Notable quotes:
"... Thus, the IRA played a major role in the vast Kremlin conspiracy to alter the outcome of the 2016 election and install Donald Trump in office. But now Judge Dabney Friedrich has ordered Mueller to stop pushing such stories because they're unfair to Concord Management and Consulting, another Prigozhin company, which astonished the legal world in May 2018 by hiring an expensive Washington law firm and demanding its day in court ..."
"... Without the IRA, the only argument left in Mueller's brief is that Russia stole some 28,000 emails and other electronic documents from Democratic National Committee computers and then passed them along to WikiLeaks , which published them to great fanfare in July 2016. ..."
"... But as Consortium News pointed out the day the Mueller report came out, that's dubious as well. [See " The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report ," April 18.] The reason: it rests on a timeline that doesn't make sense: ..."
"... why would Assange announce the leaked emails on June 12 before hearing from the source on June 22? ..."
"... How could that be enough time to review the contents and ensure they were genuine? "If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered," blogger Mark F. McCarty points out , "WikiLeaks's reputation would have been in tatters." Quite right. So if Mueller's chronology doesn't hold up, then Assange's original statement that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" still stands – which it plainly does. ..."
"... Bottom line: Russiagate is going up in smoke. The claim that Russian military intelligence fed thousands of emails to WikiLeaks doesn't stand up to scrutiny while Mueller is not only unable to a prove a connection between the Internet Research Agency and the Kremlin but is barred from even discussing it, according to Friedrich's ruling, without risking a charge of contempt. After 22 months of investigating the ins and outs of Russian interference, Mueller seems to have finally come up dry. ..."
"... "Revenge of the oligarchs" might be a good headline for this story. The IRA indictment initially seemed to be a no-lose proposition for Mueller. He got to look good in the press, the media got to indulge in yet another round of Russia-bashing, while, best of all, no one had to prove a thing. "Mueller's allegations will never be tested in court," noted Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor turned pundit for the rightwing National Review . "That makes his indictment more a political statement than a charging instrument." ..."
"... Then came the unexpected. Concord Management hired Reed Smith, a top-flight law firm with offices around the world, and demanded to be heard. ..."
"... then the firm demanded to exercise its right of discovery, meaning that it wanted access to Mueller's immense investigative file. Blindsided, Mueller's requested a delay "on the astonishing ground," according to McCarthy , "that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned." ..."
"... Prigozhin was forcing the special prosecutor to show what he's got, McCarthy went on, at zero risk to himself since he was not on U.S. soil. What was once a no-lose proposition for Mueller was suddenly a no-lose proposition for Putin's unexpectedly clever cook. ..."
"... Now Mueller is in an even worse pickle because he's barred from mentioning a major chunk of his report. What will he discuss if Democrats succeed in getting him to testify before the House intelligence and judiciary committees next week – the weather? ..."
"... If his team goes forward with the Concord prosecution, he'll risk having to turn over sensitive information while involving himself in a legal tangle that could go on for years, all without any conceivable payoff. If he drops it, the upshot will be a public-relatio