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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 dιtente 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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[May 24, 2019] We need to bring clarity to Russiagate false flag operation

May 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Scipio Africanuz , 42 minutes ago link

Fair enough. Because AG Barr, and Special Counsel Mueller are both servants of Law, whose side we really align with, we'll attempt to bring much needed clarity to the Russiagate brouhaha..

Some folks sought dirt (both sides), some folks colluded (both sides), some folks tampered (one side), some folks obstructed (one side), but one side alone, is stonewalling..

Let's decompress..

The Democrats sought dirt on Trump, their IC (Intelligence - really? - Community) allies, arranged to procure dirt, liasing with other IC (Not necessarily state employed) allies in other countries (Brits might be state though). They got the sexed up dossier, compiled for pay, possibly by some Ukrainian folks, who know some Georgian folks, who have as contacts, some Russian folks, who might have had some as friends, some shady Russian folks, who knew some folks, who used to work in the Russian IC..

The Russian government, state, or president were NOT involved and how to be sure, because if you know anything about Russians, or Putin in particular, it is this..They find it extremely difficult, and highly uncomfortable to be hypocritical, it's a cultural ethos and how so?

Because to vehemently complain about actions against the Russian state (American interference), while yet engaging in same, would undermine their credibility, moreover, Russia knows that if it did, the American IC would know, have the evidence, and throw it at them thus, discrediting any Russian grievances about American interference in internal Russian affairs..

Basically, the DNC was trolled via the IC, but NOT by the Russian government, and Mueller found evidence of that..it's hard to swindle a honest person.

Now, the Trump side also sought to obtain dirt on Clinton and made the egregious mistake of publicly calling upon Russia to provide emails that was in fact, available to any competent IA (Intelligence Agency), thus undermining his stated desire to rebuild relationship with Russia.

Fortunately for Trump, and unfortunately for Russia, a DNC staff had downloaded much revelatory data about DNC shenanigans, provided it to Wikileaks, who released it, and made Clinton's run doomed to failure. Russia was NOT involved, it was Trump's uncouth carelessness that created the impression of Russian involvement..

So far so good, along the way, investigations were undertaken by Comey's FBI, who discovered breaches and shenanigans, but was "stood aside" by Loretta "call it a matter" 'Lynch', in the hopes that a Clinton victory would truly bury the violations as a matter..

Comey, believing Clinton would win, and thus immunize him, decided however, to procure insurance just in case, by dropping the bombshell of "careless handling of communication", though still believing Clinton would win despite..

Well, it didn't work out that way and thus, stage 2 was embarked upon..

But we're getting ahead of ourselves..

The Trump campaign colluded with some middle eastern folks to interfere in legitimate US policies while yet a president had to finish his term, thus undermining American policy. Kushner was the middle man, pecuniary benefits were the motivation..

Now, let's unpack stage 2..

Having lost the election, and looking for a scapegoat, and intending to cover up DNC rigging shenanigans, amongst other violations, Clinton seized upon Trump's careless demand to Russia, that were it not for Russia, she would have won - the gambit is called denial of reality. Thus was innocent Russia embroiled in a situation it had nothing to do with..

The Russophobes, MIC, shell shocked Democrats, all sorts of political jobbers, media whores, and sundry folks on the make, egged on privately, saw an opportunity to cash in, and jumped on the Russiagate bubble, which then hired Mueller, who was thoroughly professional in ensuring decorum of golden silence while doing his task..

The media whores and jobbers however, pumped up the Russiagate bubble, wrote books, got shows, made out like bandits, along with the MIC who got a big boost to the "offense budget", and even European counterparts got in on the swindle and made big bucks..

And Russia? Poor Russia got hammered with sanctions, and when Crimea went home, even more severe sanctions. What the Europeans didn't expect however, was the Russian countersanctions which hit European economy like the "hammer of Thor", and you've heard of that hammer, right? Right!

So the Europeans started thinking that maybe sanctions were not a good idea after all but then, entered perfidious Albion, marketing the Skripal hoax, similar to the Steele dossier and foolish Europeans, they ramped up the sanctions, their economies suffered, Russia's acquired resilience and grew, ha!..

Then entered karma..

Brexit stalled, ripped Britain in two, destroyed the party of the "highly lijely" allegers, defenestrated the British economy, sent Gavin "toy soldier" Williamson packing, sent Theresa "let's try again" May packing, and handed the keys to the kingdom to Nigel Farage, sworn enemy of the Tories, ha!..

Meanwhile in Europe, the sanctioners are facing the revolt of the commons, with folks demanding, and seizing their sovereignty back and why? The economy goddamn it! The laws of unintended consequences strike again..

Back across the Atlantic, while the crescendo of Mueller time ramped up, the investigatee, began making series of mistakes to make the investigator go away, including obstructing the course of investigation, bombing folks, attempting to overthrow folks, bribing folks with the properties of others, which actions then unleashed a fresh round of karma, ha!..

Then just like that, the AG unleashed a round of terror, the Democrats parried, unleashed theirs, the AG ducked, unleashed some more missiles, the Democrats barraged the AG. And out of right field, a Republican rep answered his conscience, and tossed a Molotov cocktail in the mix, destabilising the equilibrium of strikes and counterstrikes..

As if that were not enough, a former Republican congressman fired an artillery shell of impeachment into the melee. Previous to that, the rattled investigatee had begun stonewalling, thus giving ammunition to his opponents to impeach him, who now accuse him of "covering up" and thus ramping up the pressure, and suggesting perhaps a "leave of absence" might help, and even praying for the mental wellbeing of the investigatee, ha!..

Then, out of central field enters Mueller, who offered to testify in private, further rattling the investigatee, which chance was utilized by the investigators to rattle him further, with the gambit of "infrastructure talks", which unbalanced the investigatee to declare "investigation or infrastructure, choose one!", thus revealing his rattledbess, which his antagonists utilized to declare chewing gum and walking, is easy peasy, thus negating the ultimatum..

Meanwhile, the investigatee just lobbed a tomahawk at his nemesis in the IC, thus escalating the feud as is absolutely necessary..

So, there you have the Russiagate mess, that doesn't involve Russia, but a lot of unscrupulous Americans, some Britons, and middle easterners, but no Russia, interesting, right? Right!

Now what happens next? Stay tuned, as ramps are upped. The problem for the investigatee, is that the legislative investigators will probably sacrifice some IC legates to win the feud, investigatee on the other hand, can't afford to sacrifice anyone because of proximity to person.

The investigators hold some aces, the other side? Well..

Concisely, there was no Russian (government) collusion, but there were lots of other crimes and misdemeanors on both sides, against the Law, cheers...

[May 24, 2019] Trump Orders FBI, CIA To Fully Cooperate With Barr; Grants Full And Complete Authority To Declassify

Some comments slightly edited for clarity...
Notable quotes:
"... where is the investigation into the Clinton Foundation and other "initiatives"? Where is the Wasserman Schultz/Awans mafia investigation? Where is the investigation into the DNC server? the Seth Rich murder? ..."
"... It will be a lot less costly than the Mueller circus and a lot more devastating to the true "bad guys" here, the ones who used public resources to spy on political enemies and tried (are still trying) to pull off a coup. ..."
"... I don't like Trump, but I can see this ******** for what it is, and we need to nip these banana republic-like tactics in the bud and excise these bad actors from our intelligence services. ..."
"... Everything will be released and the public will finally see how the Obingo regime, being confident of the Pantsuit Pig's coronation, attempted to destroy Trump and anyone connected to him. ..."
"... I'm sure many registered Ds are fine people. Their party is, however, currently controlled by neoliberal parasites... ..."
"... Not sold that Barr is the real deal yet. Sessions was supposed to be that (and he was the opposite). Wray at FBI was supposed to be and appears he's not. ..."
"... The Republicans are part of the coup. At best, they stand by and watch the deep state crimes take place in broad daylight like cows watching a passing train while one or two Republicans strut and fret, signifying nothing ..."
"... And they [the Congress] don't seem to grasp that voters have been very aware of that and are watching them more closely. 2020's election may be a Waterloo for establishment pols who have revealed themselves as partisan and stupid, as well as utterly corrupt. ..."
"... What better example of twisted neoliberal logic is it that the left cries that Trump releasing documents is the next phase of the "cover up" Yet, that is exactly what Schiff is crying about today" ..."
"... "While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice, Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies," Schiff wrote. "The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase. This is un-American." ..."
"... Trump fully cooperated with Mueller. Now it's time to uncover the real corruption. ..."
"... Faced with an obama admin that illegally spied on private citizens, campaigns, etc...unmasked, etc.....and after 2 years of a special prosecutor who knew - on Day1 - there was no collusion (afterall, they'd had spies in the campaign for a year already)....the democrats claim TRUMP is a threat to democracy BC he pushes back on their OBVIOUS illegal activity. ..."
"... It's probably too much to ask that Schiff be revealed as one of the scum that pushed this along. Water and Cummings too, while we're at it. As far as Nadler is concerned, I think Trump loves to squeeze him and make him squeal. I kind of like that too, but he'll need to get clobbered by all this to even things out a little. ..."
May 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

whatafmess , 2 minutes ago link

where is the investigation into the Clinton Foundation and other "initiatives"? Where is the Wasserman Schultz/Awans mafia investigation? Where is the investigation into the DNC server? the Seth Rich murder?

good if any of those FBI, CIA, NSA traitors go under but really we want the top dogs, not the underlings only...

learnofjesuits , 11 minutes ago link

dirty tricks of intelligence agencies:

always remember - all intelligence agencies are controlled by luciferian Vatican, NWO is agenda of luciferian Vatican to continue domination, Trump is protestant and conflict is on this plane (if there is real one)

wake up muricans, or you on drugs ?

ludwigvmises , 16 minutes ago link

So how many millions of my tax payer money are they going waste on this useless sh**? And where's my wall to keep my daughters safe?

onewayticket2 , 13 minutes ago link

useless?? if they're not investigated, i 100% guarantee you spying will be the norm 5 seconds after it's clear there's no real investigation into the crimes they committed.

so these criminals should just walk free? how can you take that position while simultaneously arguing that a wall should be put up to stop criminals from walking free - and into the USA.?

fackbankz , 10 minutes ago link

It will be a lot less costly than the Mueller circus and a lot more devastating to the true "bad guys" here, the ones who used public resources to spy on political enemies and tried (are still trying) to pull off a coup.

I don't like Trump, but I can see this ******** for what it is, and we need to nip these banana republic-like tactics in the bud and excise these bad actors from our intelligence services.

CAPT DRAKE , 27 minutes ago link

Since when have these assholes cooperated with anyone?

vofreason , 28 minutes ago link

Yeah so we will learn what we already know that all of the investigating was justified based on evidence and then Trump will hypocritically block anything else looking into what actually happened. He's a con man and a stupid one.

onewayticket2 , 22 minutes ago link

If that were the case, explain why Mueller and Weismann didn't throw the book at trump....you KNOW they wanted to......they had a court justified fishing expedition with no budget and no scope....40 FBI agents, 17 top democrat supporting DOJ lawyers....and nothing.

If, as you say, the "investigation" was justified, why didn't Mueller and Weismann put that on Page One... vs not mentioning it at all....? (and no....Trump stating "Hey Russia! if you have those emails, why don't you hand them over to the press....they'll reward you!" is not justification for spying on him)

valerie24 , 13 minutes ago link

Yes, it is imperative because you can bet the MSM AKA Globalist propaganda arm will never tell the people the truth, which means that roughly 10% of the population might actually know what happened.

Vince Clortho , 36 minutes ago link

The political landscape just got interesting-er. Go long on finger-pointing, screeching, and general cacaphony.

spaniel , 39 minutes ago link

Yeah , everybody is guilty of something. Case closed ?

Scipio Africanuz , 32 minutes ago link

How do you know who's guilty without investigation or trial? American jurisprudence says "Innocent until found guilty", no? To trial, you must investigatee, and gather facts, right? Right!

Rule of Law - it's not just a phrase, it's the foundation of a stable society, cheers...

chubbar , 23 minutes ago link

Obama was running a covert operation called "The Hammer" against americans and politicians for the purposes of blackmail. This isn't some sort of tit for tat political game, it's ******* Treason and it could have been the last time we saw any part of our constitution enforced forever.

I want those fuckers hung, not humiliated. This isn't a "feud" or any of the other labels used to diminish what happened here. It's TREASON, words matter, let's start using the correct terms.

valerie24 , 32 minutes ago link

Yeah whatever happened to Weinstein? Did they make it all go away and buy him his own Pedo island somewhere? Never did hear the outcome.

yerfej , 1 hour ago link

Everything will be released and the public will finally see how the Obingo regime, being confident of the Pantsuit Pig's coronation, attempted to destroy Trump and anyone connected to him. BUT what is going to be interesting is watching the left lie to themselves about the former (and current) Democratic leadership. Nothing in society will change until the left can be honest with themselves AND the public.

The US needs a strong Democratic party but all it is getting is delusional sixties type hippy liars.

Moving and Grooving , 55 minutes ago link

I'm sure many registered Ds are fine people. Their party is, however, currently controlled by neoliberal parasites... I wish I thought they were 60's hippies, but they look more like a fifth column bent on destroying America to me. Farage is dealing with a similar mess in Britain.

valerie24 , 28 minutes ago link

"Pantsuit Pig" - classic +1000 Haven't heard that before.

onewayticket2 , 1 hour ago link

Not sold that Barr is the real deal yet. Sessions was supposed to be that (and he was the opposite). Wray at FBI was supposed to be and appears he's not.

I hope the admin is not just trying to get along as DC has done for decades (aka....two sets of laws). The democrats are at war with the republicans and the republicans are still operating under the Rodney King philosophy of "why cant we just get along??"

larrythelogger , 54 minutes ago link

Almost a Yahtzee. The Republicans are part of the coup. At best, they stand by and watch the deep state crimes take place in broad daylight like cows watching a passing train while one or two Republicans strut and fret, signifying nothing.

At worse, they fall down, roll over and **** themselves whenever a neocon whispers boo in their ears. This action should bring prison time for the coup criminals but alas, my guess is that it will continue to sell sheets and pillows and strawberries and home security systems via talk radio for the next two years and that is all that will happen.

onewayticket2 , 25 minutes ago link

I forgot.

....Huber was supposed to be and he's still not interviewed key witnesses after a year on the job. So, he was just for show.

chubbar , 19 minutes ago link

Yeah, but what has Durham been doing? It's been rumored he has been on the job for a year or so, not just a few weeks. Lots of moving parts. The next month or so will reveal the truth of the matter, one way or the other.

valerie24 , 7 minutes ago link

Huber is a Utah guy which to me means he's likely Mormon, which also means he probably was appointed to get Romney off Trumps back as some sort of favor. Color me skeptical.

ducksinarow , 1 hour ago link

I have a visual impression of the media standing around with their mouths open to receive the manna from reporter heaven. The neoliberal side spitting it out as soon as it drops and the conservatives chewing on the information. Much like birds in the wild trying to feed its nest of birdling babies. Some will get the point and it will go over other's heads.

Then there will be another investigation deciding if Trump declassified only the information that makes him look good. At this rate, Congress is entirely useless as a legislative body attending to the needs of the country such as better health care rates, protection from murderous invaders, and cleaning up all of the unmitigated rules and legislation that keeps business with its hands tied behind their backs if they are legitimately trying to sell product.

Moving and Grooving , 49 minutes ago link

'Congress is entirely useless as a legislative body'

And they [the Congress] don't seem to grasp that voters have been very aware of that and are watching them more closely. 2020's election may be a Waterloo for establishment pols who have revealed themselves as partisan and stupid, as well as utterly corrupt.

My take? Primary as many incumbents as possible, then beat as many of the rest as we can in the General. There's nothing like watching those around you getting fired (and perhaps arrested) to refocus you on your job and your bosses opinion of how well you're doing it, right?

ducksinarow , 1 hour ago link

I would take that bet if it was not about to be Summer and all the nasty little buggers will be on vacation out of the reach of the physical hands of the law enforcement.

I would expect a lot of vacation time will be spent in Countries that have tough expedition laws, probably paid for in advance by those who figured they might get caught at some time in the future but were having too much fun playing risky games with the lives of the voters.

HuskerGirl , 1 hour ago link

What better example of twisted neoliberal logic is it that the left cries that Trump releasing documents is the next phase of the "cover up" Yet, that is exactly what Schiff is crying about today"

"While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice, Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies," Schiff wrote. "The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase. This is un-American."

Trump fully cooperated with Mueller. Now it's time to uncover the real corruption.

Bounder , 1 hour ago link

Only to twisted mind of a democrat could releasing information be considered a cover up!

onewayticket2 , 1 hour ago link

There is so much insanity coming out of the left.....it's all they have.

Faced with an obama admin that illegally spied on private citizens, campaigns, etc...unmasked, etc.....and after 2 years of a special prosecutor who knew - on Day1 - there was no collusion (afterall, they'd had spies in the campaign for a year already)....the democrats claim TRUMP is a threat to democracy BC he pushes back on their OBVIOUS illegal activity.

The T admin better go SCORCHED EARTH on the left or they're toast in 2020.

Moving and Grooving , 1 hour ago link

It's probably too much to ask that Schiff be revealed as one of the scum that pushed this along. Water and Cummings too, while we're at it. As far as Nadler is concerned, I think Trump loves to squeeze him and make him squeal. I kind of like that too, but he'll need to get clobbered by all this to even things out a little.

HuskerGirl , 1 hour ago link

It should go all the way back to Obama and Hillary. And if it shows they've accepted anything from Soros he needs to go down too.

SickDollar , 1 hour ago link

I hope this really goes somewhere. The corruption is so deep

TheAnswerIs42 , 1 hour ago link

Anyone think they will go the Grand Jury route or instead proceed directly to court? The whole process shouldn't take that long as all the groundwork has been done over the last 2 years and $35M worth of investigation. Will they start at the bottom and work their way up or go right for the jugular?

valerie24 , 46 minutes ago link

Jugular I hope. Coney, Brennan, Clapper first - not last. Absolutely have to get them before the 2020 elections or you won't get them at all.

LEEPERMAX , 1 hour ago link

Mueller time is over. The Barr tab is due.

freedommusic , 1 hour ago link

> Speaking of Barack, where has big mouth Obuttface been lately?

I was thinking the SAME EXACT THING this morning. Where the hell is band-aid Barry ?

LEEPERMAX , 1 hour ago link

Look no further than Barack Obama's 8,200-square-foot, $5.3-million Kaloroma mansion just two miles away from the White House and into the nerve center of the mounting insurgency against his successor, President Donald J. Trump.

[May 24, 2019] Paul R. Grenier On Natasha Bertrand's McCarthyite Hit Piece

Despicable neocons like Natasha Bertrand are cowards and attack people only because then feel the power on MIC and intelligence agencies behind their backs
In normal circumstances and normal society she would be the history the next day. But politico is a slimy rag, so what to expect of them
Notable quotes:
"... Politico's "Mueller report reveals Kushner's contacts with a 'pro-Kremlin' campaign adviser" (Politico, April 29, 2019), is dishonest, destructive, and should never have appeared in print. ..."
"... The author of the piece, Natasha Bertrand, initially refers to Dimitri Simes, CEO of the Center for the National Interest, not as an American citizen, although of course he is and has been for many years, nor as a leading representative of realist foreign policy thinking in the United States, which would have also been true. ..."
"... Instead, she initially frames him (in every sense of the word 'frame') as "a Russian willing to assist" the Trump campaign. This word choice rings, and is intended to ring, the Pavlovian bells of the Russia-gate narrative. Aside from being dishonest, her word choice smacks of racism -- a habit, to be sure, which is now widespread, as long as the object of that racism is Russia. ..."
"... 'Maybe Simes is a traitor -- although there are those who think he may not be.' If you accuse some Mr. X of being a rapist, and then add another opinion saying, 'Gosh, I don't think he is a rapist,' what is the impact on the reader? ..."
May 22, 2019 | eastwestaccord.com

Politico's "Mueller report reveals Kushner's contacts with a 'pro-Kremlin' campaign adviser" (Politico, April 29, 2019), is dishonest, destructive, and should never have appeared in print.

The author of the piece, Natasha Bertrand, initially refers to Dimitri Simes, CEO of the Center for the National Interest, not as an American citizen, although of course he is and has been for many years, nor as a leading representative of realist foreign policy thinking in the United States, which would have also been true.

Instead, she initially frames him (in every sense of the word 'frame') as "a Russian willing to assist" the Trump campaign. This word choice rings, and is intended to ring, the Pavlovian bells of the Russia-gate narrative. Aside from being dishonest, her word choice smacks of racism -- a habit, to be sure, which is now widespread, as long as the object of that racism is Russia.

If Ms. Bertrand has regularly watched the program The Great Game (Bol'shaia igra), and understands it, and if she is familiar with Simes' writings and conferences and the publications that appear in The National Interest, then she has no excuse for writing this piece in the first place. The genre to which this piece belongs is clear.

It is called a hit piece.

Bertrand deploys, of course, a few fig leaves of pretend objectivity, which may have helped assuage her conscience, but that is all that these fig leaves can do. What we have here is a list of scurrilous attacks ("he [Simes] is completely pro-Kremlin and always has been"). These attacks are then countered by opinions to the contrary, but without any suggestion as to where the preponderance of evidence lies. There is insufficient detail.

And that is the whole point, isn't it? 'Maybe Simes is a traitor -- although there are those who think he may not be.' If you accuse some Mr. X of being a rapist, and then add another opinion saying, 'Gosh, I don't think he is a rapist,' what is the impact on the reader? In the present context, the impact is this: if you take into consideration a Russian perspective in any way, shape, or form, even for the purposes of avoiding war -- and this is precisely what Simes is constantly doing, and with considerable intelligence and courage -- then you are going to get a nasty hit piece written about you by the likes of Politico and Ms. Bertrand.

I regularly watch The Great Game, which Mr. Simes co-hosts on Channel 1 with Vyacheslav Nikonov, and I have seen how he not just once, but in virtually every single program defends US interests, and disagrees when Russian colleagues try to make a one-sided case against the U.S. Simes regularly invites Atlantic Council spokespersons, or their policy equivalent, to the program, and there they have the freedom to make their case in great detail and without interruption, and inevitably they make statements that are sharply critical of the Russian government and its policies. It is Mr. Simes who sees to it that these voices from the Atlantic Council are heard by the Russian side.

As a result, Simes is carrying out vitally important work of diplomacy that allows for a two-way communication between policy elites on both sides, and he very adeptly is doing so in a way that allows both sides to actually listen and hear what is being said. If he simply screamed politically correct slogans, it would either shut this channel of communications down or turn it into another pointless circus where no one really listens.

I find it baffling that Politico wants to undermine this virtually unique remaining channel of diplomacy. For the sake of what? Would Politico prefer that there be no conversation whatsoever between the US and Russia? Why? Isn't it obviously preferable that we make an effort to understand a potential adversary's perspective, particularly when that potential adversary is the other nuclear superpower? It is astonishing -- and foolish -- that no program anything like The Great Game can be found anywhere in US media. In the US, we hear only variations on our own perspective on our big news programs. Where do we allow voices from the other side to make their case?

Simes should be thanked for his work. Instead what he gets is this hit piece. It is not only disgusting and disheartening, it is frightening.

Paul R. Grenier is a co-founder of the Simone Weil Center for Political Philosophy. He worked for many years as a simultaneous interpreter for the U.S. Defense and State Departments, interpreting for Gen. Tommy Franks and serving as lead interpreter for US Central Command's peacekeeping exercises with post-Soviet states.

[May 24, 2019] Theresa May Cries As She Announces June 7 Resignation

Scripals's poisoning connected Prime Minister soon will be gone for good.
Novichok has lasting effects on British PM ;-) Now it will be much easier to investigate her role in spying on Trump, British government role in creation of Steele dossier, and in launching neo-McCarthyism campaign against Russia (aka Russiagate).
Notable quotes:
"... During her tumultuous tenure as PM, May survived two no-confidence votes. ..."
"... Crying May. What a Loser. Plus, she may have well co-conspired against Trump. ..."
May 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

May, the second - but certainly not the last - female prime minister in the UK, will abandon her supremely unpopular withdrawal agreement instead of trying to force it through the Commons for the fourth time. May's decision to call for a fourth vote on the withdrawal agreement, this time packaging it in a bill that could have opened to door to a second confirmatory referendum, was more than her fellow conservatives could tolerate. One of her top cabinet ministers resigned and Graham Brady, the leader of the Tory backbenchers, effectively forced May out by rounding up the votes for a rule change that would have allowed MPs to oust her.

During her tumultuous tenure as PM, May survived two no-confidence votes.

Though May will stay on as caretaker until a new leader can be chosen, the race to succeed May begins now...odds are that a 'Brexiteer' will fill the role. Whatever happens, the contest should take a few weeks, and afterwards May will be on her way back to Maidenhead.

"It is and will always remain a deep regret for me that I was not able to deliver Brexit...I was not able to reach a consensus...that job will now fall to my successor," May said.

Between now and May's resignation, May still has work to do: President Trump will travel to the UK for a state visit, while Europe will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

It's fitting that May touted the virtues of her moderate approach to governance during her resignation speech, considering that her attempts to chart a middle path through Brexit ended up alienating hard-core Brexiteers and remainers alike. Her fate was effectively sealed nearly two years ago, after she called for a general election that cost the Tories their majority in Parliament and emboldened Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The pound's reaction was relatively muted, as May's decision to step down had been telegraphed well in advance.


CheapBastard , 18 minutes ago link

Crying May. What a Loser. Plus, she may have well co-conspired against Trump.

They should lock her up in the Tower.

keep the bastards honest , 39 minutes ago link

She didn't cry for syrians when she declared bombing Syria and using the firm her husband is involved in,. They made billion, and she didn't cry over her makeover afterwards new hair clothes and big jewels and cuddles with her husband in the media.

bluecollartrader , 45 minutes ago link

She and John Boehner should start a therapy group.

There's no crying in politics.

HRClinton , 27 minutes ago link

The plan was Merkel, May and Hillary.

That's a hell of a bullet we just dodged.

Riiiight. Instead, 10,000 Pentagram "Monitors" will be dodging bullets and bombs in the ME.

"(Bibi,) you'll be so tired of winning" - Candidate Trump

Why, you didn't think that he was talking about America's Main Street, did you? Sucker !

HRClinton , 16 minutes ago link

Many women in esteemed positions are just affirmative action or window dressing to placate the masses with supposed maternal love but they end up being wicked as heck.

Perhaps, but it's worse than that:

They are part of the Divide & Conquer strategy, while (((Global-lusts))) are plundering the Wealth Of Nations and taking over the real reigns of power.

Americants are easily distracted or fooled.

ps. "...wicked as heck." Wicked? Heck? What's up with the careful avoidance of "cuss words"? It's ok, you're safe... No "ladies or preachers" (bitches or scammers) nearby. And the Tylers or NSA won't rat you out.

[May 23, 2019] Why Trump s Huawei Ban Is Unlikely To Persist

Notable quotes:
"... However, nothing in the actual piece talks about security concerns. (I point this out because I perceive a trend towards such misleading summaries and headlines which contradict what the actual reporting says.) ..."
"... These companies do not have security concerns over Huawei. But the casual reader, who does not dive down into the actual piece, is left with a false impression that such concerns are valid and shared. ..."
"... South China Morning Post ..."
"... This move by Google-USG is mostly a propaganda warfare move. Huawei doesn't depend on smartphone sales to survive. It's American market was already small, while China's domestic market is huge. China is not Japan. ..."
"... Trump's heavy handed move against Huawei will backfire. The optic is unsettling; the US looks to be destroying a foreign competitor because it is winning. ..."
"... Until the reserve currency issue favoring the "exceptional" nation changes, the economic terrorism will continue.. ..."
"... What is funny in all these stories, is that there is little to no Huawei equipment (not the end-user smart phone, home router and stuff, but backbone routers, access equipment,..) anywhere in the US -- they are forbidden to compete. Most telcos are quite happy to sell in the US, as the absence of these Chinese competitors allows for healthy margins, which is no longer true in other markets. ..."
"... The US is trying desperately to quash tech success / innovation introduced by others who are not controlled by (or in partnership with) the US, via economic war, for now just politely called a trade war - China no 1 adversary. ..."
"... Attacking / dissing / scotching trade between one Co. (e.g. Huawei) and the world is disruptive of the usual, conventional, accepted, exchange functioning, and throws a pesky spanner in the works of the system. Revanchard motives, petty targetting, random pot-shots, lead to what? ..."
"... The war against Huawei is only one small aspect within the overall Trade War, which is based on the false premise of US economic strength. Most of the world wants to purchase material things, not financial services which is the Outlaw US Empire's forte and most of the world can easily forego. Trump's Trade War isn't going as planned which will cause him to double-down in a move that will destroy his 2020 hopes. ..."
May 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

However, nothing in the actual piece talks about security concerns. (I point this out because I perceive a trend towards such misleading summaries and headlines which contradict what the actual reporting says.)

The British processor company ARM, which licenses its design to Huawei, cites U.S. export controls as the reason to stop cooperation with Huawei:

The conflict is putting companies and governments around the world in a tough spot, forcing them to choose between alienating the United States or China .

Arm Holdings issued its statement after the BBC reported the firm had told staff to suspend dealings with Huawei.

An Arm spokesman said some of the company's intellectual property is designed in the United States and is therefore " subject to U.S. export controls ."

Additionally two British telecom providers quote U.S. restrictions as reason for no longer buying Huawei smartphones:

BT Group's EE division, which is preparing to launch 5G service in six British cities later this month, said Wednesday it would no longer offer a new Huawei smartphone as part of that service. Vodafone also said it would drop a Huawei smartphone from its lineup. Both companies appeared to tie that decision to Google's move to withhold licenses for its Android operating software from future Huawei phones.

These companies do not have security concerns over Huawei. But the casual reader, who does not dive down into the actual piece, is left with a false impression that such concerns are valid and shared.

That the Trump administration says it has security reasons for its Huawei ban does not mean that the claim is true. Huawei equipment is as good or bad as any other telecommunication equipment, be it from Cisco or Apple. The National Security Agency and other secret services will try to infiltrate all types of such equipment.

After the sudden ban on U.S. entities to export to Huawei, chipmakers like Qualcomm temporarily stopped their relations with Huawei. Google said that it would no longer allow access to the Google Play store for new Huawei smartphones. That will diminish their utility for many users.

The public reaction in China to this move was quite negative. There were many calls for counter boycotts of Apple's i-phones on social media and a general anti-American sentiment.

The founder and CEO of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, tried to counter that. He gave a two hour interview (vid, 3 min excerpt with subtitles) directed at the Chinese public. Ren sounds very conciliatory and relaxed. The Global Times and the South China Morning Post only have short excerpts of what he said. They empathize that Huawei is well prepared and can master the challenge:


Andreas , May 23, 2019 10:00:52 AM | 1

It's really huge, that Huawei may no longer use ARM processors.

Huawei is thus forced to develop it's own processor design and push it into the market.

p , May 23, 2019 10:04:34 AM | 2

@1

I do not believe this is precisely what will happen. Huawei already has its licenses purchased. In addition they could decide to disrespect the IP if this was the case.

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:05:39 AM | 3
Huaweis's suppliers in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan (ROC), and Britain are examining if they can continue to make business with Huawei, while some have already declared a suspension in cooperation.

The issue is that these non-American companies nonetheless use some American components of technology, and if they proceed they will be sanctioned by the US themselves.

It is the same reason why Russia's Sukhoi did not in the end sell its SSJ-100 airliners to Iran -- East Asian tech companies can hardly be expected to be more gung-ho on defying the US than Russia's leading defense plant......

http://www.checkpointasia.net/big-blow-for-huawei-as-japanese-korean-british-firms-reconsider-or-suspend-cooperation-as-well/

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:10:32 AM | 4
> the Trump administration has created discord where unity is urgently needed

IOW Trump keeps sabotaging USA global integration and keeps steering it into isolation as he long said it should be

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:14:28 AM | 5
@p #2 - Huawei surely has their processors *as of now*.

That - if USA would not ban Huawei (HiSilicon) processors, because of using that ARM technology. Thing is, Huawei would be isolated from next-generation ARM processors. They are locked now in their current generation.

Even Qualcomm today, for what I know, bases their processors on ARM's "default" schemes, instead of doing their development "from scratch", in a totally independent way. It would push for slow but steady decline as "top" smartphone vendor into "el cheapo" niche.

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:16:54 AM | 6
At the same time Qualcomm would probably be forced to slash prices down for their non-Huawei customers. https://www.zdnet.com/article/qualcomms-licensing-practices-violated-us-antitrust-laws-judge-rules/
Red Ryder , May 23, 2019 10:17:21 AM | 7
Boeing is the counter-part in the contest to destroy Huawei. China has great leverage over Boeing's future. It is the nation with the biggest market now and downstream for 10-20 years. China need planes, thousands of them.

As for Huawei's chief doubting the prowess of the Chinese students, he only needs to look at the rapidity of the conversion of his nations' economy to a 98% digital economy. All that conversion was done by local, entrepreneurial innovators in the software and hardware tech sector. It happened only in China and completely by Chinese young people who had phones and saw the future and made it happen.

It has been Chinese minds building Chinese AI on Chinese Big Data.

Yes, they need Russian technologists and scientists. Those Russian minds in Russia, in Israel, in South Korea are proven difference makers.

The need China now has will meet the solution rapidly. For five years, the Double Helix of Russia-China has been coming closer in education and R&D institutes in both nations. China investors and Chinese sci-tech personnel are in the sci-tech parks of Russia, and Russians are in similar facilities in China. More will happen now that the Economic War against China threatens.

Huawei will have solutions to replace all US components by the end of the year. It will lose some markets. but it will gain hugely in the BRI markets yet to be developed.

In the long run, the US makers will rue the day Trump and his gang of Sinophobes and hegemonists took aim at Huawei and China's tech sector.

oglalla , May 23, 2019 10:40:03 AM | 8
Let's all boycott Most Violent, Biggest Brother tech. Don't buy shit.
vk , May 23, 2019 10:46:37 AM | 9
This move by Google-USG is mostly a propaganda warfare move. Huawei doesn't depend on smartphone sales to survive. It's American market was already small, while China's domestic market is huge. China is not Japan.

Besides, it's not like Europe is prospering either. Those post-war days are long gone.

And there's no contradiction between what the CEO said and the Government line: both are approaching the same problem from different points of view, attacking it from different fronts at the same time. "Patriotism" is needed insofar as the Chinese people must be prepared to suffer some hardships without giving up long term prosperity. "Nationalism" ("politics") is toxic insofar as, as a teleological tool, it is a dead end (see Bannon's insane antics): the Chinese, after all, are communists, and communists, by nature, are internationalists and think beyond the artificial division of humanity in Nation-States.

Ptb , May 23, 2019 11:09:35 AM | 0

Ren Zhengfei's attitude is remarkable, considering his daughter ia currently held hostage.
ken , May 23, 2019 11:15:25 AM | 1
Talking Digital and security in the same sentence is laughable.... NOTHING Digital is 'secure',,, never has,,, never will.

Digital destroys everything it touches. At present, excepting for now the low wage States, it is destroying economies ever so slowly one sector at a time. This has nothing to do with security and everything to do with the dying West, especially the USA which is trying desperately to save what's left of its production whether it be 5G, Steel plants or Nord Stream. The West created China when it happily allowed and assisted Western corporations to move the production there in order to hide the inflation that was being created for wars and welfare and now has to deal with the fallout which eventually will be their undoing.

Jackrabbit , May 23, 2019 11:22:20 AM | 2
A full-blown trade war was probably inevitable, driven by geopolitical concerns as much or more than economics.

One wonders what each of China and US has been doing to prepare. It seems like the answer is "very little" but since it's USA that is driving this bus, I would think that USA would've done more to prepare (than China has).

PS It's not just Boeing. China also supplies the vast majority of rare earth minerals.

Red Ryder , May 23, 2019 11:24:39 AM | 3
@10,

Her captivity and probable imprisonment in the US explain his attitude. She is a high profile pawn. The US must convict her in order to justify what they have done to her so far. She may not serve time, in the US prisons, but she will be branded a guilty person, guilty of violating the Empire's rules (laws).

Imagine Ivanka in the same situation. Her daughter singing in Mandarin would be little help. The Trump Family will be a number one target for equal treatment long after "45" leaves office.

The US Empire is wild with Power. All of that Power is destructive. And all the globe is the battlefield, except USA. But History teaches that this in-equilibrium will not last long.

Jackrabbit , May 23, 2019 11:26:33 AM | 4
We've seen how Europe caved to US pressure to stop trading with Iran. Now Japan and others are caving to pressure to stop trading with China. There is already pressure and negotiation to stop Nordstream. And all of the above leads to questions about Erdogan's resolve.
alaric , May 23, 2019 11:38:11 AM | 5
Trump's heavy handed move against Huawei will backfire. The optic is unsettling; the US looks to be destroying a foreign competitor because it is winning.

The ramifications of trade war with China (where the supply and manufacturing chain of most consumer electronics is these days) is disruptive. Trump has created uncertainty for many manufacturers since there is Chinese part content is just about everything these days. Some manufacturers might relocate production to the US but most will try to simply decouple from the US entirely.

Exposure to the US is really the problem not exposure to China.

Jackrabbit , May 23, 2019 11:53:44 AM | 8
b: Why Trump's Huawei Ban Is Unlikely To Persist

The trade war with Iran was also unlikely to persist. But it has persisted, and deepened as European poodles pretended to resist and then pretended not to notice that they didn't.

A new Bloomberg opinion piece agrees with that view

No, it doesn't b. You say USA trade war will fail because it lacks international support. Bloomberg says USA should get international support to make it more effective. The difference is that it is highly likely that USA will get international support. It already has support from Japan.

USA has proven that it can effectively manipulate it's poodle allies. Another example is Venezuela where more than two dozen countries recognized Guido only because USA wanted them to.

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

It's not Trump but the US Deep State that causes US allies to fall in line. Any analysis that relies on Trump as President is bound to fail as his public persona is manipulated to keep Deep State adversaries (including the US public) off-balance.

Like President's before him, Trump will take the blame (and the credit) until another team member is chosen to replace him in what we call "free and fair elections".

ben , May 23, 2019 11:54:24 AM | 9
Until the reserve currency issue favoring the "exceptional" nation changes, the economic terrorism will continue..
Jeff , May 23, 2019 12:00:34 PM | 0
What is funny in all these stories, is that there is little to no Huawei equipment (not the end-user smart phone, home router and stuff, but backbone routers, access equipment,..) anywhere in the US -- they are forbidden to compete. Most telcos are quite happy to sell in the US, as the absence of these Chinese competitors allows for healthy margins, which is no longer true in other markets.

So the Huawei ban hits first and foremost the US' partners.

bjd , May 23, 2019 12:00:38 PM | 1
@ben (19)

China can only undo the US-exceptionalsim if and when it can visibly project military power. The only way to achieve that is tt has to make great haste in building a few fleets of aircraft carriers, fregats and destroyers, etc. It must build a grand, visibly magnificent Chinese Navy.

ben , May 23, 2019 12:02:59 PM | 2
big time OT alert;

Modi wins in India, another victory for the world oligarchs. Exactly mimicking conditions in the U$A. Media and governmental capture by the uber wealthy...

Noirette , May 23, 2019 12:04:16 PM | 3
(Ignorant of tech aspects.)

The US is trying desperately to quash tech success / innovation introduced by others who are not controlled by (or in partnership with) the US, via economic war, for now just politely called a trade war - China no 1 adversary.

Afaik, the entire smart-phone industry is 'integrated' and 'regulated' by FTAs, the WTO, the patent circuit, the Corps. and Gvmts. who collaborate amongst themselves.

Corps. can't afford to compete viciously because infrastructure, aka more encompassing systems or networks (sic) are a pre-requisite for biz, thus, Gvmts. cooperate with the Corps, and sign various 'partnerships,' etc.

sidebar. Not to mention the essential metals / components provenance, other topic. see

https://bit.ly/2K1pj3d - PDF about minerals in smarphones

Attacking / dissing / scotching trade between one Co. (e.g. Huawei) and the world is disruptive of the usual, conventional, accepted, exchange functioning, and throws a pesky spanner in the works of the system. Revanchard motives, petty targetting, random pot-shots, lead to what?

karlof1 , May 23, 2019 12:05:01 PM | 4
As I wrote in the Venezuela thread, major US corps are already belt tightening by permanently laying off managers, not already cut-to-the-bone production staff, and another major clothing retailer is closing its 650+ stores. And the full impact of Trump's Trade War has yet to be felt by consumers. As Wolff, Hudson and other like-minded economists note, there never was a genuine recovery from 2008, while statistical manipulation hides the real state of the US economy. One thing that cannot be hidden is the waning of revenues collected via taxes which drives the budget deficit--and the shortfall isn't just due to the GOP Congress's tax cuts.

The war against Huawei is only one small aspect within the overall Trade War, which is based on the false premise of US economic strength. Most of the world wants to purchase material things, not financial services which is the Outlaw US Empire's forte and most of the world can easily forego. Trump's Trade War isn't going as planned which will cause him to double-down in a move that will destroy his 2020 hopes.

Arioch , May 23, 2019 12:05:34 PM | 5
@vk #9

> Huawei's phones American market was already small, while China's domestic market is huge

Here is that data, for 2017, outside the paywall: https://imgur.com/a/8bvvX9B

Data for 2019 is probably slightly different, but the trends should keep on. That data also does not separate Android-based phones from non-Android phones. So, segmenting Android into Google and China infrastructures would mean

1) Huawei retains a $152B market - China
2) Huawei retains an unknown share in $87B market - APAC
3) Huawei loses a $163,9B market - all non-China world.

At best Huawei looses 40,7% of world market. That if all APAC population would voluntarily and uniformly drop out of Google services into Huawei/China services (which they would not). At worst Huawei retains 37,7% of the marker (if APAC population would uniformly follow Google, which they would not either).

[May 22, 2019] Israel hacking the world

May 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Republic , says: Next New Comment May 22, 2019 at 3:40 pm GMT

@Sean McBride

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5VGpWl56ZF0?feature=oembed

Israel hacking the world

[May 22, 2019] No Wonder Obama Intel Chiefs Panicking - Trump To Declassify Bucket 5 Russiagate Docs

I doubt it, because in this case Brennan, Clapper, Rosenstein and Comey might find themselves in hot water. The Deep State protects its functionaries in a sense that they are above the law, so Trump probably will be tamed.
But still the opposing faction of the elite might have some trump cards in the pocket too :-). We just do not know ...
The idea that Steele dossier was the cover-up operation for snooping of Trump via Carter Page FISA application look plausible to me, because it was never published before elections. And Steele started working on the dossier exactly in June 2016. So probably it was first created just for FISA court and only later was used as a weapon for the creating pre-conditions for the appointment of the Special Prosecutor *Rosenstein gambit with firing Comey and appointing Mueller) .
May 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Via the Conservative Treehouse :

No-one really knows the extent of the current documents and/or information that may be subject to a Trump declassification request. However, this is the original list as outlined in September 2018, and the agencies who would be involved in the declassification process:

  1. All versions of the Carter Page FISA applications (DOJ) (DoS) (FBI) (ODNI).
  2. All of the Bruce Ohr 302's filled out by the FBI. (FBI) (ODNI)
  3. All of Bruce Ohr's emails (FBI) (DOJ) (CIA) (ODNI), and supportive documents and material provided by Bruce Ohr to the FBI. (FBI)
  4. All relevant documents pertaining to the supportive material within the FISA application. (FBI) (DOJ-NSD ) (DoS) (CIA) (DNI) (NSA) (ODNI);
  5. All intelligence documents that were presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016 that pertain to the FISA application used against U.S. person Carter Page; including all exculpatory intelligence documents that may not have been presented to the FISA Court. (CIA) (FBI) (DOJ) (ODNI) (DoS) (NSA)
  6. All unredacted text messages and email content between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok on all devices. (FBI) (DOJ) (DOJ-NSD) (ODNI)
  7. The originating CIA "EC" or two-page electronic communication from former CIA Director John Brennan to FBI Director James Comey that started Operation Crossfire Hurricane in July 2016. (CIA) (FBI) (ODNI)

♦ President Trump can prove the July 31st, 2016, Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence operation originated from a scheme within the intelligence apparatus by exposing the preceding CIA operation that created the originating "Electronic Communication" memo. Declassify that two-page "EC" document that Brennan gave to Comey. [The trail is found within the Weissmann report and the use of Alexander Downer -- SEE HERE ]

♦ Release and declassify all of the Comey memos that document the investigative steps taken by the FBI as an outcome of the operation coordinated by CIA Director John Brennan in early 2016. [The trail was memorialized by James Comey -- SEE HERE ]

♦ Reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse by declassifying the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Show the FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries. [Crowdstrike? Fusion-GPS? Nellie Ohr? Daniel Richman?] This was a weaponized surveillance and domestic political spying operation. [The trail was laid down in specific detail by Judge Collyer -- SEE HERE ]

♦ Subpoena former DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) head John Carlin , or haul him in front of a grand jury, and get his testimony about why he hid the abuse from the FISA court in October 2016; why the DOJ-NSD rushed the Carter Page application to beat NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to the FISA court ; and why Carlin quit immediately thereafter.

♦ Prove the Carter Page FISA application (October 2016) was fraudulent and based on deceptions to the FISA Court. Declassify the entire document, and release the transcripts of those who signed the application(s); and/or depose those who have not yet testified. The creation of the Steele Dossier was the cover-up operation. [ SEE HERE ]

♦ Release all of the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages without redactions . Let sunlight pour in on the actual conversation(s) that were taking place when Crossfire Hurricane (July '16) and the FISA Application (Oct '16) were taking place. The current redactions were made by the people who weaponized the intelligence system for political surveillance and spy operation. This is why Page and Strzok texts are redacted!

♦ Release all of Bruce Ohr 302's, FBI notes from interviews and debriefing sessions, and other relevant documents associated with the interviews of Bruce Ohr and his internal communications . Including exculpatory evidence that Bruce Ohr may have shared with FBI Agent Joseph Pientka. [And get a deposition from this Pientka fella] Bruce Ohr is the courier, carrying information from those outside to those on the inside.

♦ Release the August 2nd, 2017, two-page scope memo provided by DAG Rod Rosenstein to special counsel Robert Mueller to advance the fraudulent Trump investigation, and initiate the more purposeful obstruction of justice investigation . Also Release the October 20th, 2017, second scope memo recently discovered. The Scope Memos are keys to unlocking the underlying spy/surveillance cover-up. [ SEE HERE and SEE HERE ]


He–Mene Mox Mox , 22 minutes ago link

If Obama's Intel Chiefs are Panicking over the Declassification of the "Bucket 5" Russiagate Docs by Trump, I am really surprised that they haven't ordered a hit squad to take out Trump. Isn't that normally how the CIA operates?

Think back! Didn't the CIA do that with Kennedy, when he threatened to shut them down? The enormity of the CIA's Bay of Pigs disaster came home to Kennedy to do something, and said to one of the highest officials of his Administration that he “wanted to splinter the C.I.A. in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.” So, likewise, what is keeping them from terminating Trump to protect their turf?

Of course, Bernie Sanders would be facing the same problem too, since Bernie, during his 1974 campaign for the Senate on Vermont’s Liberty Union Party ticket, called the Central Intelligence Agency “a dangerous institution that has got to go.” Sanders complained that the CIA was only accountable to “right-wing lunatics who use it to prop up fascist dictatorships.”

Jeremy Bash, a former CIA chief of staff who was an adviser to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, told reporter Michael Crowley that Sanders’ comment “reinforces the conclusion that he’s not qualified to be commander in chief.”

Haboob , 34 minutes ago link

Trump is a *** not worth defending anymore.

monty42 , 30 minutes ago link

He's certainly a compliant slave of them at least. Anyone with his ego and self-importance, with such value on his legacy and his name, makes the perfect puppet over a barrel. Just like his predecessor who didn't care as long as he got to smile in the spotlight. It's enough to make a person sick, recycled over and over and over, and people keep chasing that tail.

monty42 , 38 minutes ago link

But still refused to release JFK classified docs. I guess the cabal he works for is waiting until anyone who remembers him is dead, and all that's left are the new wave of retards they're pumping out of their indoctrination camps.

[May 22, 2019] NATO has pushed eastward right up to its borders and threatened to incorporate regions that have been part of Russia's sphere of influence -- and its defense perimeter -- for centuries

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Economist and Stephens are correct. The trade dispute is merely a small part of a much larger and even more intense geopolitical rivalry that could ignite what Stephens describes as "an altogether hotter war." ..."
"... From the mid-1940s onward, the primacy of the United States was assumed as a given. History had rendered a verdict: we -- not the Brits and certainly not the Germans, French, or Russians -- were number one, and, more importantly, were meant to be. That history's verdict might be subject to revision was literally unimaginable, especially to anyone making a living in or near Washington, D.C. ..."
"... Choose your own favorite post-Cold War paean to American power and privilege. Mine remains Madeleine Albright's justification for some now-forgotten episode of armed intervention, uttered 20 years ago when American wars were merely occasional (and therefore required some nominal justification) rather then perpetual (and therefore requiring no justification whatsoever). ..."
"... Like some idiot savant, Donald Trump understood this. He grasped that the establishment's formula for militarized global leadership applied to actually existing post-Cold War circumstances was spurring American decline. Certainly other observers, including contributors to this publication, had for years been making the same argument, but in the halls of power their dissent counted for nothing. ..."
"... Yet in 2016, Trump's critique of U.S. policy resonated with many ordinary Americans and formed the basis of his successful run for the presidency. Unfortunately, once Trump assumed office, that critique did not translate into anything even remotely approximating a coherent strategy. President Trump's half-baked formula for Making America Great Again -- building "the wall," provoking trade wars, and elevating Iran to the status of existential threat -- is, to put it mildly, flawed, if not altogether irrelevant. His own manifest incompetence and limited attention span don't help ..."
"... There is no countervailing force within the USA that is able to tame MIC appetites, which are constantly growing. In a sense the nation is taken hostage with no root for escape via internal political mechanisms (for all practical purposes I would consider neocons that dominate the USA foreign policy to be highly paid lobbyists of MIC.) ..."
"... In this sense the alliance of China, Iran, Russia and Turkey might serve as an external countervailing force which allows some level of return to sanity, like was the case when the USSR existed. ..."
"... I agree with Bacevich that the dissolution of the USSR corrupted the US elite to the extent that it became reckless and somewhat suicidal in seeking "Full Spectrum Dominance" (which is an illusive goal in any case taking into account existing arsenals in China and Russia and the growing distance between EU and the USA) ..."
May 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Great Power Game is On and China is Winning If America wants to maintain any influence in Asia, it needs to wake up. By Robert W. Merry • May 22, 2019

President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, November 9, 2017, in Beijing, People's Republic of China. ( Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead) From across the pond come two geopolitical analyses in two top-quality British publications that lay out in stark terms the looming struggle between the United States and China. It isn't just a trade war, says The Economist in a major cover package. "Trade is not the half of it," declares the magazine. "The United States and China are contesting every domain, from semiconductors to submarines and from blockbuster films to lunar exploration." The days when the two superpowers sought a win-win world are gone.

For its own cover, The Financial Times ' Philip Stephens produced a piece entitled, "Trade is just an opening shot in a wider US-China conflict." The subhead: "The current standoff is part of a struggle for global pre-eminence." Writes Stephens: "The trade narrative is now being subsumed into a much more alarming one. Economics has merged with geopolitics. China, you can hear on almost every corner in sight of the White House and Congress, is not just a dangerous economic competitor but a looming existential threat."

Stephens quotes from the so-called National Defense Strategy, entitled "Sharpening the American Military's Competitive Edge," released last year by President Donald Trump's Pentagon. In the South China Sea, for example, says the strategic paper, "China has mounted a rapid military modernization campaign designed to limit U.S. access to the region and provide China a freer hand there." The broader Chinese goal, warns the Pentagon, is "Indo-Pacific regional hegemony in the near-term and displacement of the United States to achieve global pre-eminence in the future."

The Economist and Stephens are correct. The trade dispute is merely a small part of a much larger and even more intense geopolitical rivalry that could ignite what Stephens describes as "an altogether hotter war."

... ... ..

Russia: Of all the developments percolating in the world today, none is more ominous than the growing prospect of an anti-American alliance involving Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran. Yet such an alliance is in the works, largely as a result of America's inability to forge a foreign policy that recognizes the legitimate geopolitical interests of other nations. If the United States is to maintain its position in Asia, this trend must be reversed.

The key is Russia, largely by dint of its geopolitical position in the Eurasian heartland. If China's global rise is to be thwarted, it must be prevented from gaining dominance over Eurasia. Only Russia can do that. But Russia has no incentive to act because it feels threatened by the West. NATO has pushed eastward right up to its borders and threatened to incorporate regions that have been part of Russia's sphere of influence -- and its defense perimeter -- for centuries.

Given the trends that are plainly discernible in the Far East, the West must normalize relations with Russia. That means providing assurances that NATO expansion is over for good. It means the West recognizing that Georgia, Belarus, and, yes, Ukraine are within Russia's natural zone of influence. They will never be invited into NATO, and any solution to the Ukraine conundrum will have to accommodate Russian interests. Further, the West must get over Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula. It is a fait accompli -- and one that any other nation, including America, would have executed in similar circumstances.

Would Russian President Vladimir Putin spurn these overtures and maintain a posture of bellicosity toward the West? We can't be sure, but that certainly wouldn't be in his interest. And how will we ever know when it's never been tried? We now understand that allegations of Trump's campaign colluding with Russia were meritless, so it's time to determine the true nature and extent of Putin's strategic aims. That's impossible so long as America maintains its sanctions and general bellicosity.

NATO: Trump was right during the 2016 presidential campaign when he said that NATO was obsolete. He later dialed back on that, but any neutral observer can see that the circumstances that spawned NATO as an imperative of Western survival no longer exist. The Soviet Union is gone, and the 1.3 million Russian and client state troops it placed on Western Europe's doorstep are gone as well.

So what kind of threat could Russia pose to Europe and the West? The European Union's GDP is more than 12 times that of Russia's, while Russia's per capita GDP is only a fourth of Europe's. The Russian population is 144.5 million to Europe's 512 million. Does anyone seriously think that Russia poses a serious threat to Europe or that Europe needs the American big brother for survival, as in the immediate postwar years? Of course not. This is just a ruse for the maintenance of the status quo -- Europe as subservient to America, the Russian bear as menacing grizzly, America as protective slayer in the event of an attack.

This is all ridiculous. NATO shouldn't be abolished. It should be reconfigured for the realities of today. It should be European-led, not American-led. It should pay for its own defense entirely, whatever that might be (and Europe's calculation of that will inform us as to its true assessment of the Russian threat). America should be its primary ally, but not committed to intervene whenever a tiny European nation feels threatened. NATO's Article 5, committing all alliance nations to the defense of any other when attacked, should be scrapped in favor of language that calls for U.S. intervention only in the event of a true threat to Western Civilization itself.

And while a European-led NATO would find it difficult to pull back from its forward eastern positions after adding so many nations in the post-Cold War era, it should extend assurances to Russia that it has no intention of acting provocatively -- absent, of course, any Russian provocations.

... ... ...

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century .

likbez, May 22, 2019

Great article. Thank you very much!

Pragmatic isolationalism is a better deal then the current neocon foreign policy. Which Trump is pursuing with the zeal similar to Obama (who continued all Bush II wars and started two new in Libya and Syria.) Probably this partially can be explained by his dependence of Adelson and pro-Israeli lobby.

But the problem is deeper then Trump: it is the power of MIC and American exeptionalism ( which can be viewed as a form of far right nationalism ) about which Andrew Bacevich have written a lot:

From the mid-1940s onward, the primacy of the United States was assumed as a given. History had rendered a verdict: we -- not the Brits and certainly not the Germans, French, or Russians -- were number one, and, more importantly, were meant to be. That history's verdict might be subject to revision was literally unimaginable, especially to anyone making a living in or near Washington, D.C.

If doubts remained on that score, the end of the Cold War removed them. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism, politicians, journalists, and policy intellectuals threw themselves headlong into a competition over who could explain best just how unprecedented, how complete, and how wondrous was the global preeminence of the United States.

Choose your own favorite post-Cold War paean to American power and privilege. Mine remains Madeleine Albright's justification for some now-forgotten episode of armed intervention, uttered 20 years ago when American wars were merely occasional (and therefore required some nominal justification) rather then perpetual (and therefore requiring no justification whatsoever).

"If we have to use force," Secretary of State Albright announced on morning television in February 1998, "it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future."

Back then, it was Albright's claim to American indispensability that stuck in my craw. Yet as a testimony to ruling class hubris, the assertion of indispensability pales in comparison to Albright's insistence that "we see further into the future."

In fact, from February 1998 down to the present, events have time and again caught Albright's "we" napping. The 9/11 terrorist attacks and the several unsuccessful wars of choice that followed offer prime examples. But so too did Washington's belated and inadequate recognition of the developments that actually endanger the wellbeing of 21st-century Americans, namely climate change, cyber threats, and the ongoing reallocation of global power prompted by the rise of China. Rather than seeing far into the future, American elites have struggled to discern what might happen next week. More often than not, they get even that wrong.

Like some idiot savant, Donald Trump understood this. He grasped that the establishment's formula for militarized global leadership applied to actually existing post-Cold War circumstances was spurring American decline. Certainly other observers, including contributors to this publication, had for years been making the same argument, but in the halls of power their dissent counted for nothing.

Yet in 2016, Trump's critique of U.S. policy resonated with many ordinary Americans and formed the basis of his successful run for the presidency. Unfortunately, once Trump assumed office, that critique did not translate into anything even remotely approximating a coherent strategy. President Trump's half-baked formula for Making America Great Again -- building "the wall," provoking trade wars, and elevating Iran to the status of existential threat -- is, to put it mildly, flawed, if not altogether irrelevant. His own manifest incompetence and limited attention span don't help.

There is no countervailing force within the USA that is able to tame MIC appetites, which are constantly growing. In a sense the nation is taken hostage with no root for escape via internal political mechanisms (for all practical purposes I would consider neocons that dominate the USA foreign policy to be highly paid lobbyists of MIC.)

In this sense the alliance of China, Iran, Russia and Turkey might serve as an external countervailing force which allows some level of return to sanity, like was the case when the USSR existed.

I agree with Bacevich that the dissolution of the USSR corrupted the US elite to the extent that it became reckless and somewhat suicidal in seeking "Full Spectrum Dominance" (which is an illusive goal in any case taking into account existing arsenals in China and Russia and the growing distance between EU and the USA)

[May 22, 2019] Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Before and during the nuclear negotiations that led to the JCPOA, American opponents of the talks kept insisting that Iran couldn't be trusted to keep their word and they would cheat on any agreement they made. ..."
"... It is fitting that they have been the ones to urge the U.S. to break its word and betray our negotiating partners, and in so doing guarantee that the U.S. is seen as the unreliable deal-breakers that Iran's government was supposed to be. In the future, other governments may want to have some "snap-back" mechanisms of their own to ensure that the U.S. will be penalized if it breaches its obligations. ..."
"... Iran isn't interested in photo-op summits ..."
"... A real negotiation would involve making a compromise and offering concessions to Iran. Iran would have to believe that it has something to gain from the exchange, and right now it has no reason to believe anything of the kind. Trump has no desire to make concessions, only to receive them, and he won't compromise because he can't conceive of a mutually beneficial agreement. Because he sees everything as a zero-sum contest, Trump perceives anything less than the other side's capitulation as a "loss" for the U.S. In the absence of a real "win," Trump is willing to settle for the made-up kind that he claims after every unsuccessful summit. ..."
"... The next administration will have their work cut out for them. A future president won't only have to repair the damage to America's reputation, but will have to rebuild tattered relationships with allies and other major economic powers that have been frayed by years of senseless economic warfare. Over the longer term, the U.S. will face the growing problem that our commitments will be called into question every time there is a change in party control. The seesaw between increasingly hard-line unilateralists that want to tear up one agreement after another regardless of the merits and the rest of us will make it so that no one will be able to trust the U.S. to commit to anything for more than four or eight years. That will give presidents strong incentives not to burn political capital on securing agreements that they know their successors will just throw away, and it will eventually mean that U.S. diplomacy continues to atrophy from lack of use. ..."
May 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

• May 22, 2019, 1:16 PM

J.Bicking/Shutterstock One of the obvious consequences of violating the JCPOA is that the U.S. can't be trusted to negotiate anything else with Iran:

Zarif told CNN this week Iran had "acted in good faith" in negotiating the deal that Washington abandoned. "We are not willing to talk to people who have broken their promises.".

Before and during the nuclear negotiations that led to the JCPOA, American opponents of the talks kept insisting that Iran couldn't be trusted to keep their word and they would cheat on any agreement they made.

It is fitting that they have been the ones to urge the U.S. to break its word and betray our negotiating partners, and in so doing guarantee that the U.S. is seen as the unreliable deal-breakers that Iran's government was supposed to be. In the future, other governments may want to have some "snap-back" mechanisms of their own to ensure that the U.S. will be penalized if it breaches its obligations.

Iran hawks are always complaining about the "fatally flawed" nuclear deal, but they are the ones that exploited what was perhaps its only true flaw, namely the built-in assumption that our government would observe the terms of the agreement in good faith as long as Iran did what it promised to do. Other major powers and Iran now know they shouldn't expect the U.S. to be a reliable partner in future talks, and they will reasonably conclude that offers to "talk" from the administration that seeks to destroy the JCPOA are just so much hot air.

As I was saying yesterday, Iran isn't interested in photo-op summits:

Trump has said Washington is not trying to set up talks but expects Tehran to call when it is ready. A U.S. official said last week Americans "were sitting by the phone", but had received no call from Iran yet

Foad Izadi, a political science professor at Tehran University, told Reuters that phone call is not coming.

"Iranian officials have come to this conclusion that Trump does not seek negotiations. He would like a phone call with Rouhani, even a meeting and a photo session, but that's not a real negotiation," Izadi said.

A real negotiation would involve making a compromise and offering concessions to Iran. Iran would have to believe that it has something to gain from the exchange, and right now it has no reason to believe anything of the kind. Trump has no desire to make concessions, only to receive them, and he won't compromise because he can't conceive of a mutually beneficial agreement. Because he sees everything as a zero-sum contest, Trump perceives anything less than the other side's capitulation as a "loss" for the U.S. In the absence of a real "win," Trump is willing to settle for the made-up kind that he claims after every unsuccessful summit.

The next administration will have their work cut out for them. A future president won't only have to repair the damage to America's reputation, but will have to rebuild tattered relationships with allies and other major economic powers that have been frayed by years of senseless economic warfare. Over the longer term, the U.S. will face the growing problem that our commitments will be called into question every time there is a change in party control. The seesaw between increasingly hard-line unilateralists that want to tear up one agreement after another regardless of the merits and the rest of us will make it so that no one will be able to trust the U.S. to commit to anything for more than four or eight years. That will give presidents strong incentives not to burn political capital on securing agreements that they know their successors will just throw away, and it will eventually mean that U.S. diplomacy continues to atrophy from lack of use.

MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

SteveM May 22, 2019 at 2:47 pm

Related to "America the Untrustworthy" is the economic total war that the U.S. has declared on the rest of the planet. Very complex business relationships and supply chains are being destroyed. The Trump administration's objectives are to economically strangle China and Russia and do economic beat-downs on any country that gets in the way. No company or country wants to do business with that kind of political volatility. And what can't go on forever – won't.

What the idiots in Washington don't realize is that the Chinese and the Russians have suffered 100x mores deprivation than Americans. They will suck it up now and then do whatever it takes to decouple themselves economically from the United States. (See what happens in the U.S. when the Chinese tell Apple to pound sand.)

And to think that the Chinese don't have the organic capability to technically compete with the U.S. now is nuts. China has the resources and intellectual horsepower to compete with the U.S. regardless of what the arrogant "City on a Hill" exceptionalists in Washington think. And given that China has 5X the number of STEM grads, it's easy to do the math.

America the Untrustworthy on the economic front is telling the rest of the planet to find other partners because doing business with an erratic Gorilla is more trouble than its worth.

Scott , says: May 22, 2019 at 3:44 pm
At some point, Americans are going to be outraged when they realize that most of the world doesn't view us as someone to admire but rather a rogue nation.

We have lost so much standing under Trump

BD , says: May 22, 2019 at 3:53 pm
I wonder if it ever occurred to Trump–or any of his advisers–that pulling out of a deal for no other reason than "we didn't like the terms that everyone agreed to" (rather than noncompliance by Iran) only makes it impossible for anyone to trust a new deal he wants to make later. But I guess this is why it's unwise to govern based on what Fox and Friends tells you each morning.
Barry , says: May 22, 2019 at 5:20 pm
"A future president won't only have to repair the damage to America's reputation, but will have to rebuild tattered relationships with allies and other major economic powers that have been frayed by years of senseless economic warfare. "

I don't think that any future president will be able to do this. Dubya was a shock to the rest of the world, in that they realized that there was indeed 'no there there'. Congress isn't helping.

Obama was a relief, but then along came Trump. At this point, all other countries know that (a) any competent Democratic President will be followed by a destructive and reckless GOP president, and (b) that the GOP Congress will aid and abet this.

A reputation for reliability has to be maintained.

Christian J Chuba , says: May 22, 2019 at 6:37 pm
And there is a 90 / 10 chance that we will break the agreement. This is not a Trump'ism, we never keep our word regardless of the Administration.
  1. Libya/Gaddafi GWB made the promise, Obama killed him.
  2. Saddam Hussein – Bush Sr. made the promise, get rid of WMD and live, GWB killed him.
  3. JCPOA – Obama made the agreement, Trump broke it.
  4. Russia – Bush Sr. promised not to expand NATO, Clinton expanded NATO like mad.

When have we ever kept an agreement?

[May 20, 2019] f you believe the US media if they just removed Putin, Russia would go back to being a good little puppet state just like under Yeltins.

May 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kadath , May 19, 2019 4:21:27 PM | 0

That was an interesting article on psychological vs sociological storytelling and it makes a good companion piece when thinking about how the US media personalizes US geo-political conflicts with the heads of rival state (Putin, Xi, Castro, Kim Jong-un, Khomeini, Gaddafi). If you believe the US media if they just removed Putin, Russia would go back to being a good little puppet state just like under Yeltins.

Which is a shockingly naïve way to look at international relations. States have permanent interests and any competent head of State will always represent those interests to the best of their ability. True, you could overthrow the government and replace every senior government figure with a compliant puppet (which the US always tries to do), but the permanent interests that arise from the inhabitants of the State will always rise up and (re)assert themselves. When the State leadership is bribed or threatened into ignoring or acting against these needs it ultimately creates a failed State.

Even the US media seems to subconsciously understand this, when they talk of "overly ambitious US goals of remaking societies", however, they never make the logical next step of investigating why these States do not wish to be remade as per the US imagined ideal, what the interests of these actually are and how diplomacy can resolve conflicts. According to the US media everything boils down to the US = good, anyone who disagrees with our policies = bad and diplomacy is just a measure of how vulgar our threats are during talks. I'm specifically thinking of the US Ambassador to Russia, John Huntsman's boast of a US aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean as being 100,000 tons of diplomacy to Russia - of all the ridiculous and stupid things to says to Russia when supposedly trying to "ease" tensions (I still can't believe Huntsmen, former Ambassador to China under Obama, is regarded a "serious" professional ambassador within the State departments when compared to all the celebrity ambassadorships the US President for fundraiser).

[May 20, 2019] What Putin and Pompeo Did Not Talk About -- Strategic Culture

May 20, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Strategic Culture

Search Editor's Сhoice What Putin and Pompeo Did Not Talk About Editor's Choice May 16, 2019 © Photo: kremlin.ru Russia is uneasy over the destabilization of Tehran, and on other hotspots the powers' positions are clear

Pepe ESCOBAR Even veiled by thick layers of diplomatic fog, the overlapping meetings in Sochi between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov still offer tantalizing geopolitical nuggets.

Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov did his best to smooth the utterly intractable, admitting there was "no breakthrough yet" during the talks but at least the US "demonstrated a constructive approach."

Putin told Pompeo that after his 90-minute phone call with Trump, initiated by the White House, and described by Ushakov as "very good," the Russian president "got the impression that the [US] president was inclined to re-establish Russian-American relations and contacts to resolve together the issues that are of mutual interest to us."

That would imply a Russiagate closure. Putin told Pompeo, in no uncertain terms, that Moscow never interfered in the US elections, and that the Mueller report proved that there was no connection between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

This adds to the fact Russiagate has been consistently debunked by the best independent American investigators such as the VIPS group.

'Interesting' talk on Iran

Let's briefly review what became public of the discussions on multiple (hot and cold) conflict fronts – Venezuela, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran.

Venezuela – Ushakov reiterated the Kremlin's position: "Any steps that may provoke a civil war in the country are inadmissible." The future of President Maduro was apparently not part of the discussion.

That brings to mind the recent Arctic Council summit. Both Lavrov and Pompeo were there. Here's a significant exchange:

Lavrov: I believe you don't represent the South American region, do you?

Pompeo: We represent the entire hemisphere.

Lavrov: Oh, the hemisphere. Then what's the US doing in the Eastern Hemisphere, in Ukraine, for instance?

There was no response from Pompeo.

North Korea – Even acknowledging that the Trump administration is "generally ready to continue working [with Pyongyang] despite the stalemate at the last meeting, Ushakov again reiterated the Kremlin's position: Pyongyang will not give in to "any type of pressure," and North Korea wants "a respectful approach" and international security guarantees.

Afghanistan – Ushakov noted Moscow is very much aware that the Taliban are getting stronger. So the only way out is to find a "balance of power." There was a crucial trilateral in Moscow on April 25 featuring Russia, China and the US, where they all called on the Taliban to start talking with Kabul as soon as possible.

Iran – Ushakov said the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, was "briefly discussed.".He would only say the discussion was "interesting."

Talk about a larger than life euphemism. Moscow is extremely uneasy over the possibility of a destabilization of Iran that allows a free transit of jihadis from the Caspian to the Caucasus.

Which brings us to the heart of the matter. Diplomatic sources – from Russia and Iran – confirm, off the record, there have been secret talks among the three pillars of Eurasian integration – Russia, China and Iran – about Chinese and Russian guarantees in the event the Trump administration's drive to strangle Tehran to death takes an ominous turn.

This is being discussed at the highest levels in Moscow and Beijing. The bottom line: Russia-China won't allow Iran to be destroyed.

But it's quite understandable that Ushakov wouldn't let that information slip through a mere press briefing.

Wang Yi and other deals

On multiple fronts, what was not disclosed by Ushakov is way more fascinating than what's now on the record. There's absolutely no way Russian hypersonic weapons were not also discussed, as well as China's intermediate-range missiles capable of reaching any US military base encircling or containing China.

The real deal was, in fact, not Putin-Pompeo or Pompeo-Lavrov in Sochi. It was actually Lavrov-Wang Yi (the Chinese Foreign Minister), the day before in Moscow.

A US investment banker doing business in Russia told me: " Note how Pompeo ran like mad to Sochi. We are frightened and overstretched."

Diplomats later remarked: "Pompeo looked solemn afterwards. Lavrov sounded very diplomatic and calm." It's no secret in Moscow's top diplomatic circles that the Chinese Politburo overruled President Xi Jinping's effort to find an accommodation to Trump's tariff offensive. The tension was visible in Pompeo's demeanor.

In terms of substance, it's remarkable how Lavrov and Wang Yi talked about, literally, everything: Syria, Iran, Venezuela, the Caspian, the Caucasus, New Silk Roads (BRI), Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), missiles, nuclear proliferation.

Or as Lavrov diplomatically put it: "In general, Russia-China cooperation is one of the key factors in maintaining the international security and stability, establishing a multipolar world order. . . . Our states cooperate closely in various multilateral organizations, including the UN, G20, SCO, BRICS and RIC [Russia, India, China trilateral forum], we are working on aligning the integration potential of the EAEU and the Belt and Road Initiative, with potentially establishing [a] larger Eurasian partnership."

The strategic partnership is in sync on Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan – they want a solution brokered by the SCO. And on North Korea, the message could not have been more forceful.

After talking to Wang Yi, Lavrov stressed that contacts between Washington and North Korea "proceeded in conformity with the road map that we had drafted together with China, from confidence restoration measures to further direct contacts."

This is a frank admission that Pyongyang gets top advice from the Russia-China strategic partnership. And there's more: "We hope that at a certain point a comprehensive agreement will be achieved on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and on the creation of a system of peace and security in general in Northeast Asia, including concrete firm guarantees of North Korea's security."

Translation: Russia and China won't back down on guaranteeing North Korea's security. Lavrov said: "Such guarantees will be not easy to provide, but this is an absolutely mandatory part of a future agreement. Russia and China are prepared to work on such guarantees."

Reset, maybe?

The indomitable Maria Zakharova, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, may have summed it all up . A US-Russia reset may even, eventually, happen. Certainly, it won't be of the Hillary Clinton kind, especially when current CIA director Gina Haspel is shifting most of the agency's resources towards Iran and Russia.

Top Russian military analyst Andrei Martyanov was way more scathing . Russia won't break with China, because the US " doesn't have any more a geopolitical currency to 'buy' Russia – she is out of [the] price range for the US."

That left Ushakov with his brave face, confirming there may be a Trump-Putin meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka next month.

"We can organize a meeting 'on the go' with President Trump. Alternatively, we can sit down for a more comprehensive discussion."

Under the current geopolitical incandescence, that's the best rational minds can hope for.

asiatimes.com The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Lavrov Pompeo Putin Russia US Print this article Editor's Choice May 16, 2019 | Editor's Сhoice What Putin and Pompeo Did Not Talk About Russia is uneasy over the destabilization of Tehran, and on other hotspots the powers' positions are clear

Pepe ESCOBAR Even veiled by thick layers of diplomatic fog, the overlapping meetings in Sochi between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov still offer tantalizing geopolitical nuggets.

Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov did his best to smooth the utterly intractable, admitting there was "no breakthrough yet" during the talks but at least the US "demonstrated a constructive approach."

Putin told Pompeo that after his 90-minute phone call with Trump, initiated by the White House, and described by Ushakov as "very good," the Russian president "got the impression that the [US] president was inclined to re-establish Russian-American relations and contacts to resolve together the issues that are of mutual interest to us."

That would imply a Russiagate closure. Putin told Pompeo, in no uncertain terms, that Moscow never interfered in the US elections, and that the Mueller report proved that there was no connection between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

This adds to the fact Russiagate has been consistently debunked by the best independent American investigators such as the VIPS group.

'Interesting' talk on Iran

Let's briefly review what became public of the discussions on multiple (hot and cold) conflict fronts – Venezuela, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran.

Venezuela – Ushakov reiterated the Kremlin's position: "Any steps that may provoke a civil war in the country are inadmissible." The future of President Maduro was apparently not part of the discussion.

That brings to mind the recent Arctic Council summit. Both Lavrov and Pompeo were there. Here's a significant exchange:

Lavrov: I believe you don't represent the South American region, do you?

Pompeo: We represent the entire hemisphere.

Lavrov: Oh, the hemisphere. Then what's the US doing in the Eastern Hemisphere, in Ukraine, for instance?

There was no response from Pompeo.

North Korea – Even acknowledging that the Trump administration is "generally ready to continue working [with Pyongyang] despite the stalemate at the last meeting, Ushakov again reiterated the Kremlin's position: Pyongyang will not give in to "any type of pressure," and North Korea wants "a respectful approach" and international security guarantees.

Afghanistan – Ushakov noted Moscow is very much aware that the Taliban are getting stronger. So the only way out is to find a "balance of power." There was a crucial trilateral in Moscow on April 25 featuring Russia, China and the US, where they all called on the Taliban to start talking with Kabul as soon as possible.

Iran – Ushakov said the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, was "briefly discussed.".He would only say the discussion was "interesting."

Talk about a larger than life euphemism. Moscow is extremely uneasy over the possibility of a destabilization of Iran that allows a free transit of jihadis from the Caspian to the Caucasus.

Which brings us to the heart of the matter. Diplomatic sources – from Russia and Iran – confirm, off the record, there have been secret talks among the three pillars of Eurasian integration – Russia, China and Iran – about Chinese and Russian guarantees in the event the Trump administration's drive to strangle Tehran to death takes an ominous turn.

This is being discussed at the highest levels in Moscow and Beijing. The bottom line: Russia-China won't allow Iran to be destroyed.

But it's quite understandable that Ushakov wouldn't let that information slip through a mere press briefing.

Wang Yi and other deals

On multiple fronts, what was not disclosed by Ushakov is way more fascinating than what's now on the record. There's absolutely no way Russian hypersonic weapons were not also discussed, as well as China's intermediate-range missiles capable of reaching any US military base encircling or containing China.

The real deal was, in fact, not Putin-Pompeo or Pompeo-Lavrov in Sochi. It was actually Lavrov-Wang Yi (the Chinese Foreign Minister), the day before in Moscow.

A US investment banker doing business in Russia told me: " Note how Pompeo ran like mad to Sochi. We are frightened and overstretched."

Diplomats later remarked: "Pompeo looked solemn afterwards. Lavrov sounded very diplomatic and calm." It's no secret in Moscow's top diplomatic circles that the Chinese Politburo overruled President Xi Jinping's effort to find an accommodation to Trump's tariff offensive. The tension was visible in Pompeo's demeanor.

In terms of substance, it's remarkable how Lavrov and Wang Yi talked about, literally, everything: Syria, Iran, Venezuela, the Caspian, the Caucasus, New Silk Roads (BRI), Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), missiles, nuclear proliferation.

Or as Lavrov diplomatically put it: "In general, Russia-China cooperation is one of the key factors in maintaining the international security and stability, establishing a multipolar world order. . . . Our states cooperate closely in various multilateral organizations, including the UN, G20, SCO, BRICS and RIC [Russia, India, China trilateral forum], we are working on aligning the integration potential of the EAEU and the Belt and Road Initiative, with potentially establishing [a] larger Eurasian partnership."

The strategic partnership is in sync on Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan – they want a solution brokered by the SCO. And on North Korea, the message could not have been more forceful.

After talking to Wang Yi, Lavrov stressed that contacts between Washington and North Korea "proceeded in conformity with the road map that we had drafted together with China, from confidence restoration measures to further direct contacts."

This is a frank admission that Pyongyang gets top advice from the Russia-China strategic partnership. And there's more: "We hope that at a certain point a comprehensive agreement will be achieved on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and on the creation of a system of peace and security in general in Northeast Asia, including concrete firm guarantees of North Korea's security."

Translation: Russia and China won't back down on guaranteeing North Korea's security. Lavrov said: "Such guarantees will be not easy to provide, but this is an absolutely mandatory part of a future agreement. Russia and China are prepared to work on such guarantees."

Reset, maybe?

The indomitable Maria Zakharova, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, may have summed it all up . A US-Russia reset may even, eventually, happen. Certainly, it won't be of the Hillary Clinton kind, especially when current CIA director Gina Haspel is shifting most of the agency's resources towards Iran and Russia.

Top Russian military analyst Andrei Martyanov was way more scathing . Russia won't break with China, because the US " doesn't have any more a geopolitical currency to 'buy' Russia – she is out of [the] price range for the US."

That left Ushakov with his brave face, confirming there may be a Trump-Putin meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka next month.

"We can organize a meeting 'on the go' with President Trump. Alternatively, we can sit down for a more comprehensive discussion."

Under the current geopolitical incandescence, that's the best rational minds can hope for.

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[May 20, 2019] The Democrats just led the country on a three year-long wild goose chase. Will they apologize by Mike Whitney

This was a color revolution run by consortium of intelligence agencies and the leadership of the Democratic Party, not "wild goose chase". The key participants perfectly undersood that this is "regime change" operation.
And Russiagate was not about Trump but about profits of military industrial complex and control over US foreign policy. BTW Trump folded just in three months after inauguration.
This is a very weak article, but some comments are excellent.
Notable quotes:
"... The damage the Democrats (and their allies in the FBI and media) have done to the country is incalculable, but even worse, is the damage they've done to their own party. ..."
"... the Democrats have betrayed the trust of the people who supported their respective campaigns with the implicit understanding that they would work for the progressive reforms that improve the lives of ordinary working people and not behave like hectoring, obstructionist crybabies who refuse to respect the outcome of elections if the winner is not to their liking ..."
"... What we've seen in the last few years is not only unacceptable, it's also degraded our politics and divided the country into rival camps ..."
"... Russiagate has shed light on the cozy relationship between the Democratic party, the Intelligence Agencies, the FBI and the media. ..."
"... Their relentless, but coordinated attacks on the president strongly suggest that there may be an alliance between the various groups of which the American people are completely unaware. This suspicion seems at least partially substantiated by an article that appeared in the World Socialist Web Site titled "The CIA Democrats". ..."
"... CIA ran this whole show. Not Brennan, CIA the institution. Gina Haspel was in London marshaling the foreign intelligence cutouts, and now she's DCI. ..."
"... In this day and age nobody swallows the CIA propaganda "CIA works for the president." Don Gregg stuck that into the Pike Report after he threatened the committees with martial law. So let's stop pretending that CIA rule is man bites dog. Your government is CIA. ..."
"... Far from mourning its failure to depose Trump, the Deep State is celebrating its own prowess in leading him by the nose. The Deep State has learned to stop worrying and love the bombastic orange clown. ..."
"... Lets not pretend Russia-phobia isn't bipartisan. Even Trump went along with it by placing sanctions on Russia for imaginary "meddling". Making RT register as foreign agent. ..."
"... Lets not forget that Trump admin also expelled Russian diplomats and closed their consulate in Seattle over the bogus Skripal attack in Britain. ..."
"... Trump also launched missiles on Syria over the false flag chemical attack staged by the White Helmets (ISIS), that Trump admin. is still funding. Further poking at Russia. ..."
"... The Trump-Russia collusion scandal was the Deep State's attempt at a coup. The Mueller investigation failed to deliver so they now move on to their next coup attempt. ..."
"... In the 2018 mid-terms some 70 percent of Democratic voters, along with a high number of Independents and even Republicans believed that Trump had colluded with Russia. Yet with so many voters basing their voting decisions on fake news and misinformation, once again, the Left doesn't seemed concerned at all. ..."
"... The "Democrats" – one half of the corrupt set of American bootlicking politicians – spent three years screaming and howling and wearing Trump down until now he is governing just like Hillary Clinton would have. Endless pointless winless wars that serve only to spread chaos and enrich defense contractors, continuing subsidies of Wall Street, tax cuts for big time-plutocrats and coming soon nice juicey regressive taxes for you and me! – and of course, more legal immigration and a government-enabled invasion of our southern border by central America because the rich like cheap labor. ..."
"... That Müeller found nothing to corroborate collusion is likely the result of NSA intercepts that would disprove anything his team and the other agencies might fabricate as proof of the charge. There are a couple serious dividing lines in the national security state that have made it difficult for the coup conspirators to succeed; what will be interesting is if they do in fact get away with trying. ..."
"... Bill Clinton's telecommunication act of 1996 did a lot of damage. Clinton was a CFR agent for the parasite. ..."
"... The fourth estate centralized and came under corporate control after 1996. Those who are remotely aware know that the press organs are owned by our favorite in-group which has messianic goals. This in-group, while small in number, has goals amplified by money power. ..."
"... The neoCONs won and have Trump under control and he's hiring Bush-men as fast as he can ..."
"... it looks like Trump will run in 2020 as a WAR President, in Venezuela and/or Iran. The Bush/Trump Crime Family has been born from the ashes of the Bush/Clinton Crime Family. ..."
"... A crime of obstruction would be something like the destruction subpoenaed evidence; such as taking Bleachbit to your e-mails, or smashing your smartphones with hammers ..."
"... They just go from one lie they're more than happy to believe to another – this time its "obstruction" and the media will push that lie too ..."
"... You can legally hire or fire your maid but if your motivation -- intention in either of those acts is to bribe her or threaten her because she knows something about you that could get you in legal trouble. Then it is obstruction. ..."
May 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

For the last two and a half years, the Democrats have led the country on a wild goose chase that has been a complete waste of time and achieved absolutely nothing. The absurd conspiracy theory that the President of the United States was an agent of the Kremlin has been thoroughly debunked by the Mueller Report which states that there was neither "coordination" nor "conspiracy with the Trump campaign and Russia." Even so, congressional Democrats– still determined to destroy Trump by whatever means possible– have switched from the "collusion" allegations to vicious attacks on Attorney General William Barr and demands for Trump's tax returns.

The ease with which the Dems have shifted from their ridiculous claims that Trump was "Putin's stooge" to this new round of vitriolic accusations and mud-slinging, shows that party leaders have not only lost touch with reality, but also, that they have no interest in governing the country. The Democratic party in its current form, is less a political organization than it is a permanent inquisition led by duplicitous vipers (Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Jerry Nadler) who feel entitled to use the Justice System to pursue their own petty political vendetta against a Beltway outsider who had the audacity to win the 2016 presidential election and whose views on foreign policy do not jibe with those of their elite paymasters.

The damage the Democrats (and their allies in the FBI and media) have done to the country is incalculable, but even worse, is the damage they've done to their own party. By focusing exclusively on Donald Trump and the fictitious Russian boogieman, the Democrats have betrayed the trust of the people who supported their respective campaigns with the implicit understanding that they would work for the progressive reforms that improve the lives of ordinary working people and not behave like hectoring, obstructionist crybabies who refuse to respect the outcome of elections if the winner is not to their liking.

These are the people who have been hurt most by the Russiagate fiasco, the people who thought their Democratic candidates actually wanted to run the country, but soon discovered that those same representatives would rather spend all of their time chasing Russian ghosts down a rabbit hole.

Here's an excerpt from an article by Andrew McCarthy that helps to explain what the Russia probe was really all about:

"Russiagate has always been a political narrative masquerading as a federal investigation. Its objective, plain and simple, has been twofold: first, to hamstring Donald Trump's capacity to press the agenda on which he ran .and ultimately, to render him unelectable come autumn 2020 .

The Russia counterintelligence probe, based on the fraudulent projection of a Trump-Putin conspiracy, was always a pretext to conduct a criminal investigation despite the absence of a predicate crime. The criminal investigation, in turn, was always a pretext for congressional impeachment chatter. And the congressional impeachment chatter is a pretext for the real agenda: Making Trump an ineffective president now, and an un-reelectable president 18 months from now.

They try to make it look like law. It has always been politics." ( "Russiagate: Law in the Service of Partisan Politics" , Andrew McCarthy, National Review)

Indeed, Russiagate "has always been politics", but the quality of our politics has deteriorated significantly in the last few years, a point that's worth mulling over for a minute or two. For nearly three years we've seen one party rip up the rulebook and engage in a full-blown, scorched earth, no-holds-barred blitzkrieg on the president of the United States. At no time has there been any effort to discuss issues, ideals, policies, or competing visions of the future. Instead, every ounce of energy has been devoted to inflicting maximum damage on the man who, many Democrats think, is deserving of whatever horrendous reprisal they direct at him.

The Democrats have made no secret of their hatred for Trump or their desire to drive him from office. They have openly supported the dirty tricks, the hyper-ventilating headlines, and the relentless smear campaigns that have been aimed at him from Day 1. Through Russiagate, the Dems have tried to frame Trump as a backstabbing traitor who sold out his country to a foreign power, but now that Mueller has proved that Trump was falsely accused, the Dems have deftly switched to another line of attack altogether. This isn't how sincere liberals fight to implement a plan for progressive change. This is how unprincipled mercenaries pursue the politics of personal destruction. There's a big difference.

This isn't about Trump. Trump could be the worst president in history, and it still wouldn't excuse the contemptible way he's been treated. Is it ever acceptable to spy on a presidential campaign, to insert confidential informants who try to entrap campaign assistants to gather information that can be used to intimidate, blackmail or impeach the president? Is it ever acceptable to leak classified information to the media as part of a malignant scheme to destroy a candidate's reputation? Is it ever acceptable to enlist senior-level officials at the FBI, CIA and NSA to prevent a candidate from being elected or to engage in a stealth campaign of slanders, smears and innuendo that cast a shadow over the legitimacy of the government?

No, it's not acceptable. Never.

What we've seen in the last few years is not only unacceptable, it's also degraded our politics and divided the country into rival camps. We've come to expect that every morning will bring some new crisis centered on Trump's latest tweet followed by hours of incendiary coverage on the cable news channels, all aimed at throwing more gas on the raging fire that's engulfed the country. And, of course, no one scandal has consumed more time or been more inflammatory than the Russia probe. Here's how The Nation's Stephen Cohen sums it up in a recent article:

"Now in its third year, Russiagate is the worst, most corrosive, and most fraudulent political scandal in modern American history. these Russiagate allegations continue to inflict grave damage on fundamental institutions of American democracy. They impugn the integrity of the presidency and now the office of the attorney general. They degrade the many Democratic members of Congress who persist in clinging to the allegations and thus the Democratic Party and Congress. And they have enticed mainstream media into one of the worst episodes of journalistic malpractice in modern times.

Russiagate's unproven allegations are an aggressive malignancy spreading through America's politics to the most vital areas of national security policy." ( "Russiagate Zealotry Continues To Endanger Western National Security" , Stephen Cohen, The Nation)

Cohen's piece cuts to the heart of the matter. Russiagate has not only undermined our "fundamental institutions", it has also impacted our "national security." But I would argue that the damage caused by the Trump-Russia investigation is even greater than Cohen describes, mainly because Russiagate has shed light on the cozy relationship between the Democratic party, the Intelligence Agencies, the FBI and the media. These are the institutions that have waged war on Trump from the very beginning. Their relentless, but coordinated attacks on the president strongly suggest that there may be an alliance between the various groups of which the American people are completely unaware. This suspicion seems at least partially substantiated by an article that appeared in the World Socialist Web Site titled "The CIA Democrats". Here's an excerpt:

"An extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. The potential influx of military-intelligence personnel into the legislature has no precedent in US political history.

If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress. They will hold the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress." ( "The CIA Democrats" , Patrick Martin, World Socialist Web Site)

Would anyone be surprised to find out that the CIA was taking a more activist role in domestic politics; that it's actually grooming its own candidates for elections, that it's strengthening its influence in the media and its ties with one of the main political parties, all in an effort to better control electoral outcomes and tighten its grip on power?

No, no one would be surprised at all. And although we don't yet know all the details, there are signs that the Intel agencies, the FBI, the media and high-ranking Democrats may have been working secretively for the same objectives, to either sabotage the 2016 presidential election or gather incriminating information on Trump that could be used at some later date. All of this coordinated activity hints at the emergence of a one-party political system that is guided by agents and elites who the American people don't know and never voted for.

In any event, we're going to find out alot more about these illicit connections as the Justice Department's three separate probes gain pace and reveal how "the FBI used one party's 'opposition research' as the basis to get a warrant from a secret court to spy on the other party's campaign." That is the crux of the matter. That's the question that will throw open the curtains and shed light on the suspicious ties between the DNC, the CIA, the FBI and the media, all of who may have been directly involved in the dodgy plan to depose the president of the United States.


Rational , says: May 15, 2019 at 7:15 pm GMT

THE DEMOGANGSTERS ARE THE REAL CRIMINALS; MUELLER WAS AN AGENT OF THE DEEP STATE, BUT STILL FOUND NO EVIDENCE.

Thanks, Sir. You are so right -- Russiagate is a manufactured scam to get an elected President out of office, to carry out a coup by using our criminal justice system as a criminal enterprise. And to cover up the real crimes of the real criminals, the Demogangsters like Hillary, etc.

Mueller was a member of the Deep State. If there was ANY collusion (whatever statute there is that outlaws talking to somebody in a foreign country), Mueller would have found it or invented it.

The fact that he could not shows that the the Demogangsters had no grounds whatsoever to manufacture this fake "Russiagate" scandal.

In reality, this scandal should be called Demogangstergate.

The DOJ should now investigate the real criminals, the Demogansters. Hillary and Soros are America's biggest criminals and they belongs in prison for life.

dearieme , says: May 15, 2019 at 7:28 pm GMT
Two minutes – that would let you easily quantify how tired someone is, how badly they are suffering from the flu, whether they are showing unusual intellectual decline with age,

If I were an employer I might like to learn how my staff's performance declined with longer working days, with a view to telling them not to work excessive hours. Or with a view to finding how best to intersperse the working day with breaks – for food, chat, exercise, or whatever.

I've long wondered why corporations pay large sums to, for instance, management consultants or lawyers, when much of the work will be done by novices, sobbing from exhaustion at their desks.

Digital Samizdat , says: May 15, 2019 at 11:41 pm GMT

Is it ever acceptable to spy on a presidential campaign ? Is it ever acceptable to leak classified information to the media as part of a malignant scheme to destroy a candidate's reputation? Is it ever acceptable to enlist senior-level officials at the FBI, CIA and NSA to prevent a candidate from being elected ?

No, it's not acceptable. Never.

Sure it is! If you're Anastacio Somoza, and you're running a banana republic which is, sadly, what we now are.

Reg Cæsar , says: May 16, 2019 at 1:30 am GMT

their ridiculous claims that Trump was "Putin's stooge"

If they want to pivot to portraying Netanyahu as his seeing-eye dog, there's already a Portuguese cartoon for that.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: May 16, 2019 at 8:04 am GMT
@dearieme I believe that you meant to post this under Mr. Thompson's article.
ABC 123 , says: May 16, 2019 at 2:14 pm GMT
There's an odd relapse into statist indoctrination in this generally sound argument. The idea that a rigidly-controlled centralized state party can "enlist senior-level officials at the FBI, CIA and NSA" is bassackwards. CIA ran this whole show. Not Brennan, CIA the institution. Gina Haspel was in London marshaling the foreign intelligence cutouts, and now she's DCI. As for the litany of political interference in the paragraphs, CIA's been doing that for seven decades now. In this day and age nobody swallows the CIA propaganda "CIA works for the president." Don Gregg stuck that into the Pike Report after he threatened the committees with martial law. So let's stop pretending that CIA rule is man bites dog. Your government is CIA.

And outrage over casting a shadow over the 'legitimacy' of government? Pul-leeease. Legitimacy is a squishy term. Let's stick to the term of art, sovereignty. Sovereignty is responsibility. One agency, CIA, is chartered with impunity. They do anything they they want and get away with it. CIA's freedom from responsibility means the USA is not a sovereign state but a criminal enterprise. Perhaps you want to defend the legitimacy of the criminal enterprise that's got its hooks in you. Knock yourself out.

This is not to impugn your good faith. We all have to fight our way out of decades of CIA brainwashing. It's simple. CIA has multiple redundant get-out-of-jail-free cards and secret books for untrammeled power of the purse. That's the definition of arbitrary rule. The crux of the matter is CIA runs your country.

fenestol , says: May 16, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT
Far from mourning its failure to depose Trump, the Deep State is celebrating its own prowess in leading him by the nose. The Deep State has learned to stop worrying and love the bombastic orange clown.

A worthy article.

Endgame Napoleon , says: May 16, 2019 at 9:58 pm GMT
If they apologize, it will remove their Russian Trolls decoy, the one placed carefully in the water to keep the corporate-owned media focused on just this one cluster of minor global shenanigans, not all of the others, like the Biden's involvement in Ukraine or most of the US Congress getting rich off of something It's not by building businesses than employ underemployed US citizens. In addition to their multi six-figure salaries, they're all getting rich off of placing bets on the rigged stock casino and the global-offshoring / outsourcing / welfare-rigged-mass-immigration economy.
redmudhooch , says: May 17, 2019 at 1:51 am GMT
Lets not pretend Russia-phobia isn't bipartisan. Even Trump went along with it by placing sanctions on Russia for imaginary "meddling". Making RT register as foreign agent. Its all a distraction. Might have to actually do some real work if we weren't having this replay of the red scare. People might start talking about Trumps, as well as most of DC's real owners if they stop screaming about Putin.

Not everyone went along with it, Tulsi didn't, she even introduced legislation to require paper ballots in future elections to prevent imaginary "meddling" or hacking, no one in DC is interested, which either means there is no election meddling, or they don't actually care, they just wanted to poke at Russia.

Lets not forget that Trump admin also expelled Russian diplomats and closed their consulate in Seattle over the bogus Skripal attack in Britain.

Trump expels Russians, closes consulate in response to poison attack in Great Britain
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/03/26/trump-expels-russians-closes-consulate-response-poison-attack/457930002/

Donald Trump's team says it is ready to block Russian election meddling this year
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/08/02/election-security-donald-trumps-team-warns-against-midterms-meddling/889539002/

The Trump administration announced sweeping new sanctions on Russians in its biggest response yet to election meddling
https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-new-russia-sanctions-election-meddling-cyber-attacks-2018-3/

Trump also launched missiles on Syria over the false flag chemical attack staged by the White Helmets (ISIS), that Trump admin. is still funding. Further poking at Russia.

Mike from Jersey , says: May 17, 2019 at 11:30 pm GMT
Whitney's comment:

But I would argue that the damage caused by the Trump-Russia investigation is even greater than Cohen describes, mainly because Russiagate has shed light on the cozy relationship between the Democratic party, the Intelligence Agencies, the FBI and the media.

nails it. You cannot call this a democracy when a political party, the federal police, the intelligence agencies and the media all collude to invalidate an election. You can call it a lot of things, but you can't call it democracy.

animalogic , says: May 19, 2019 at 12:52 pm GMT
"You can call it a lot of things, but you can't call it democracy."

Correct. I'll call it a snowballing blob of degeneracy -- from A to Z. We, the world, are in so much trouble.

tanabear , says: May 20, 2019 at 4:27 am GMT
The Trump-Russia collusion scandal was the Deep State's attempt at a coup. The Mueller investigation failed to deliver so they now move on to their next coup attempt.

We know that the Left and the Democrats are insincere when they say they are outraged by Trump colluding with Russia. They aren't. If it is treason to get "dirt" on your political opponent from Russia then why isn't the Left and Democrats outraged by the DNC, the Clinton campaign, and Fusion GPS. The Steele dossier which was used to get a FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page and the Trump campaign came in part from Russian sources. So paid for political opposition, with Russian sub-sources, was used to go after Trump and interfere in an election. Yet they aren't the slightest bit bothered by any of this. In the 2018 mid-terms some 70 percent of Democratic voters, along with a high number of Independents and even Republicans believed that Trump had colluded with Russia. Yet with so many voters basing their voting decisions on fake news and misinformation, once again, the Left doesn't seemed concerned at all.

The Trump-Russia collusion narrative was just a pretext to start an investigation to hamstring the Trump Presidency. It is the same story all over again. Why did we invade Iraq in 2003? Was it because of Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD) and links to Al-Qaeda? No, that was just the pretext to start the war. The real reasons for the Iraq war and the Russian Collusion conspiracy can never be stated publically.

renfro , says: May 20, 2019 at 5:04 am GMT
Oh barf good repubs, bad dems ! Grow up little Mikey ..they are both sheep herders and you are their sheep
TG , says: May 20, 2019 at 5:23 am GMT
Completely missing the point.

The "Democrats" – one half of the corrupt set of American bootlicking politicians – spent three years screaming and howling and wearing Trump down until now he is governing just like Hillary Clinton would have. Endless pointless winless wars that serve only to spread chaos and enrich defense contractors, continuing subsidies of Wall Street, tax cuts for big time-plutocrats and coming soon nice juicey regressive taxes for you and me! – and of course, more legal immigration and a government-enabled invasion of our southern border by central America because the rich like cheap labor.

The "Democrats" do not exist as a coherent ideology, they are a collection of whores who will do whatever they are paid to do. They have served their purpose in whipping up mindless hysteria – really, wanting to save trillions by not fighting pointless foreign wars and spending that on ourselves, that's racism and fascism and Literally Hitler? Really?

So I would say that, operationally, mission accomplished.

Anonymous [151] Disclaimer , says: May 20, 2019 at 5:25 am GMT
CIA ran this whole show. maybe, but I think it was all of the intelligence agencies.. British M-16, Israeli Mossad, and the Saudi Arabian groups..French, and even the Egyptian.. .. Turkey too.. they operate the functional parts of government everywhere.

... ... ...

The Alarmist , says: May 20, 2019 at 8:38 am GMT
That Müeller found nothing to corroborate collusion is likely the result of NSA intercepts that would disprove anything his team and the other agencies might fabricate as proof of the charge. There are a couple serious dividing lines in the national security state that have made it difficult for the coup conspirators to succeed; what will be interesting is if they do in fact get away with trying.
SafeNow , says: May 20, 2019 at 9:01 am GMT
The essay's ending – we will: "find out a lot more" "reveal" "throw open the curtain" "shed light". That's it??? Maybe this a deliberately subtle way of saying: there will be no real consequences; and so all is lost; banana Republic, soft dictatorship. In fact, if it's merely an opened-up curtain, the result in the MSM will be plaudits for the actors' patriotism.
Squarebeard , says: May 20, 2019 at 9:17 am GMT
@TG

The "Democrats" do not exist as a coherent ideology, they are a collection of whores who will do whatever they are paid to do. They have served their purpose in whipping up mindless hysteria – really, wanting to save trillions by not fighting pointless foreign wars and spending that on ourselves, that's racism and fascism and Literally Hitler? Really?

They think as a group and take their "lifestyle" cues from the likes of Rachel MadCow, HRC, the Obamas and "their" opinion on foreign policy comes from 3 letter agency people who "warn" them about treasonous Trump and foreign super villains. They wring their hands and clutch their pearls over the laws of the land being enforced at the southern border and the "Muslim ban" but nothing brings out the preemptive smelling salts quicker than Trump's refusal to adhere to liberal speech codes and middle class fake politeness.

When Trump and his neocon attack dogs threaten war on multiple fronts, drone Muslim wedding parties and goat herders, aid and abet the KSA and UAE war against Yemen, use sanctions as a weapon of war against countries that present no threat to America and prioritize Israel's interests over our own, the liberals breathe a secret sigh of relief and commend "literally Hitler" for finally acting presidential. All the righteous "concern" about POC, transfags and other "traditionally" oppressed groups is fake and a way for them to soothe the cognitive dissonance between their own self-image as "caring" and fair minded people and the reality that they don't care how many foreigners get killed by DC's foreign policy or how many of their own countrymen are left to suffer in despair from the fallout of their livelihoods being offshored.

What they do care about is their own material comfort and the illusion/delusion that they are good, morally upright people who deserve all the good things life has to offer because they work hard and are on the "right side of history." They have discovered that letting Democrat propagandists and liberal celebrities do their thinking for them is a good way for them to maintain their delusional world view and avoid thinking about the mind-boggling hypocrisies and double-standards they unquestioningly accept.

Don't get me wrong, there are lots of people on the political right who are just as crazy (e.g. the dedicated race warriors who take the 'war' part literally) but everyone knows this and few people take them seriously. It is old news that mainstream Republicans and Democrats are pretty much in lockstep when it comes to terrible foreign policy the ideological space between neocons like Bolton and Pompeo and neoliberal Democrats like Clinton and Biden is slim and right now there is more pushback against them coming from the conservatives side.

The disconcerting thing about deluded libtards is their unmatched ability to believe their own bullshit and the global reach this bullshit has via the mainstream media. It is ironic that the same people who made their "self-identities" as morally pure humanitarians and protectors of the weak and downtrodden a status marker have turned out to be some of the most arrogant, vapid and destructive hypocrites around, but it shouldn't be that surprising. In my experience people who go out of their way to highlight their own do-goodery and moral superiority sooner or later out themselves as virtue signalling bullshitters and hypocrites who are just following a trend. If these people had no real influence they would be a minor annoyance unfortunately they have quite a bit of influence. Not as much as they used to, hence their panic, but still enough to cause all kinds of trouble.

DESERT FOX , says: May 20, 2019 at 12:29 pm GMT
This Russia collusion scam proved that ... the CIA and the FBI and the Justice dept. are all corrupt as hell and all of these and more are under zionist control and there is no justice in America, justice is gone with the wind!

... ... ...

RVBlake , says: May 20, 2019 at 12:34 pm GMT
Regarding Cohen's assertion that the MSM was "enticed" into one of the worst journalistic malpractices of modern times, I am heartily skeptical of the portrayal of the MSM as being seduced into acting like the whores they are.
C3H8NO5P , says: May 20, 2019 at 1:22 pm GMT
You have to love the imaginations of these hoax writers. The CIA doesn't have time on their various networks and news websites to post any truth. They have so many lies scripted for so many years in advance the producers would lose it if someone tried to slip in a couple of minutes of truth.
DESERT FOX , says: May 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT
@C3H8NO5P Agree, see the book The Secret Team, the CIA and its allies in control of America and the world, by Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, this is the most accurate book ever written about the chain dogs who guard the world for their zionist masters!
Johnny Walker Read , says: May 20, 2019 at 1:36 pm GMT
Funny how neither wing of the same bird will dare name the real controllers of America.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ad7EYjIWK0U?feature=oembed

MEFOBILLS , says: May 20, 2019 at 1:43 pm GMT
Bill Clinton's telecommunication act of 1996 did a lot of damage. Clinton was a CFR agent for the parasite.

The fourth estate centralized and came under corporate control after 1996. Those who are remotely aware know that the press organs are owned by our favorite in-group which has messianic goals. This in-group, while small in number, has goals amplified by money power.

The parasite operates on multiple fronts. 1) Own the power to create bank credit as money 2) Collect interest on credit issued 3) Use debt slavery (expanding claims of debts) to make populations servile 4) Buy out and own the press (see #2) 5) Push a narrative good for your in-group. (see#4) 6) Messianic religion, where the people become their own god. An Oligarchy is then sanctioned because after all – we are our own gods.

Meanwhile, false narrative and twisted scripture has created Zionist Christians, who do the bidding of their masters.

The parasite is an evolutionary construct, with methods honed through the ages. His weakness is the falsity of his claims, which require a tower of lies to maintain. The other weakness is money power, which also relies on deception. The founders gave Congress the money power, hence it was to be under control of the law (and the people), but through deception the money power transferred to a private money trust in 1913.

A parasite needs fuel from the host, and this fuel is derived as usury from money power. Funding then allows issuance of narrative and hypnosis (including towering lies) to control the host.

The construct of secret services being part of control matrix goes back to Bank of England in 1694 becoming first debt spreading bank, which soon put its population into debts, and gained control over parliament. British East Indies company had its own mercenary soldiers and was fore-runner to MI6. In other words, MI6 was patterned on East Indies Company, and MI6 was grandfather to CIA.

It should be no surprise at all that Zionist World Government emanates from London, Wall Street, and Tel Aviv.

Returning the money power to law, is a simple law change. But, since Congress and Parliaments are owned, it is an uphill battle.

http://www.sovereignmoney.eu

Patrikios Stetsonis , says: May 20, 2019 at 2:08 pm GMT
@Rational I agree 'Rational', but one question.

Say, the Russians and Putin DID mess with our elections. So, what is the big deal?

We get involved messing with other Nations interior affairs, since the 18th century, if not earlier. So, why these "ethical" bastards (dems and some republicans) are crying about?

Plus, WHO holds the license to determine WHO is our friend and WHO is our enemy? CNN? CNBC? ABC? FOX?

I guess, I 'll come back to the phrase: It's ALL about Benjamins, baby.

P.S.
And NO: Hillary and Soros, ARE criminals but The REAL CRIMINALS and TRAITORS of the USA, are Israel and it supporters.

Sunshine , says: May 20, 2019 at 2:09 pm GMT
@Squarebeard Yeah there's totally no race war going on, at all. Only crazy people would think such a thing. It's not like the entire ruling class is in lockstep regarding laws and policies that cripple and destroy whites.

They don't allow non whites to attack whites, with little to no accountability, they don't bring them in by the millions, to swamp whites and "breed us out". They don't churn out endless anti white propaganda, showing whites as weak, submissive, old, and needing strong and vibrant non whites to "save" them from their own evil racism. They certainly don't shout it from their official positions and gloat about how whites are soon to be minorities in their own lands. They don't push endless race mixing propaganda, that somehow only shows "white + non white", and rarely ever something like "black + Asian". They don't mock and belittle whites every chance they get. They don't use "white" as a slur and a synonym for "uncool, hopeless, nerdy, weak". They don't refuse to allow whites to have racially based groups and institutions, while actively encouraging non whites to do just that. They don't give preferential treatment in every walk of life, to non whites at the expense of the better qualified and more intelligent whites.

They don't institute draconian and repressive "hate crime" laws designed to harshly punish whites for any "wrong thought" or imagined transgression against a holy and sainted oppressed non white. They certainly don't let non whites get away with racially targeted attacks (Rotherham, etc), and force the police to ignore it and prosecute the victims and their families when they seek justice.

If you don't think there's a race war happening, I can see that. Because really, only one side is fighting. The other side is too busy pretending it isn't happening, or enthusiastically groveling at the feet of the non whites, hoping to expiate their evil sin of whiteness.

Ignoring reality isn't going to spare you from the consequences of ignoring reality. All you have to do is look around whatever white country you're living in. It's not a secret.

TellTheTruth-2 , says: May 20, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT
Major Mueller Report Omissions Suggest Incompetence Or A Coverup (right click) https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-06/major-mueller-report-omissions-suggest-hes-incompetent-or-covering-major-crimes

.. and .. Robert Mueller Is in Serious Legal Trouble – Here's Why (right click) https://russia-insider.com/en/robert-mueller-serious-legal-trouble-heres-why/ri27002

.. and .. The Real Muellergate Scandal (right click) https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/05/the-real-muellergate-scandal/

.. and .. Major Report Omission Shows Mueller Was Either Incompetent Or A Political Hack .. (right click) https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/06/major-report-omission-shows-mueller-either-incompetent-political-hack/

Will Julian Assange 'Team up' With Trump to Bury Russiagate – and Just Maybe the Deep State – Once and for All? (right click) https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/04/24/will-julian-assange-team-up-with-trump-to-bury-russiagate-and-just-maybe-the-deep-state-once-and-for-all/

mike k , says: May 20, 2019 at 3:02 pm GMT
@ABC 123 You got that dead right ABC 123. The evil group in the shadows that really runs the government is called "the intelligence community." Some community! More like a giant Mafia.
Anon [405] Disclaimer , says: May 20, 2019 at 3:08 pm GMT
Mike Whitney,

The CIA needs reform and oversight. It should be divided into pieces that cannot communicate with each other, but only through oversight that is legally forbidden to ever become part of or get paid by CIA. I would suggest a section for each continent, or maybe even each country. Is have these sections in different buildings in different cities in America.

They should be allowed zero media infiltration in the United States.

If that reform failed, Id build a rival CIA and slowly give it the CIAs current workload, forcing the current brass into retirement. The new intel agency could be restricted from hiring any current CIA management, only hiring active spooks.

TellTheTruth-2 , says: May 20, 2019 at 3:36 pm GMT
@mike k The neoCONs won and have Trump under control and he's hiring Bush-men as fast as he can. NOTE: Both the new Attorney General and the newly announced Assistant Attorney General are both Bush-men, and even worse, they're Bush Sr. Bush-men. So it looks like Trump will run in 2020 as a WAR President, in Venezuela and/or Iran. The Bush/Trump Crime Family has been born from the ashes of the Bush/Clinton Crime Family.
Robert Dolan , says: May 20, 2019 at 4:18 pm GMT
@TellTheTruth-2 The President's name is Jeb Kushner.
DESERT FOX , says: May 20, 2019 at 4:42 pm GMT
@TellTheTruth-2 The zio/cons have always won since the zionists had JFK shot!
One Tribe , says: May 20, 2019 at 5:07 pm GMT
Thank you for bringing these facts, and the artful assembly of them, to public scrutiny.

The damage the Democrats (and their allies in the FBI and media) have done to the country is incalculable, but even worse, is the damage they've done to their own party.

We're still discussing these things, and others, on the overall degradation of social infrastructures, almost as if they are unrelated, but, these breakdowns have startling similarities, and even superficial inspection suggests a pattern and affiliation between the key controlling interests.

Is it " The FBI ", or an elite controlling faction, having hijacked the FBI?
Is it " The Democratic Party ", or an elite controlling faction, having hijacked the Democratic Party?

Regardless, it will be the reputation/credibility of the entire FBI and Democratic Party, which takes the hit, not the specific agent-provokateurs , in fact, " The Media ", will never get around to figuring it out, and airing them out, let alone, drawing similarities between these agent-provokateurs and those agent-provokateurs

Oh and BTW, just who, precisely, is " The Media "?

And while the discussion about the " The Democrats " is liberal, the discussion about " The Republicans Party ", is a bit on the conservative side.

But ultimately, what's the difference? Both these parties are dedicated to the 0.1% socio-economic elite , and their traditional hanger-ons/henchmen.

In fact, much of the artificial delineations of people, are controlled by the same people! They are effectively different " brandings " of bullshit-artistry , to baffle the minds of the 99%, and the first grift is that there is actually choice between two meaningfully different options.

... ... ...

Royce Orville , says: May 20, 2019 at 5:23 pm GMT
Trumps biggest achievements in the past 30 days:

Moron Whitney seems to think political parties matter. Why do the lower classes think any difference exists between the scum that rules over them? Only the slow minded see a difference between the republicans and the democrats. Trump supporters openly want a police state with a giant military and more and more cops, so the Russian thing was a great diversion. Obama supporters pretended they don't want the same, but voted for it anyway also promoting fear, obedience and the Russian thing.

Simon Tugmutton , says: May 20, 2019 at 5:43 pm GMT
This is a classic case of Betteridge's Law of Headlines: "an adage that states: 'Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.'"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge%27s_law_of_headlines

Alden , says: May 20, 2019 at 7:22 pm GMT
@Peter Akuleyev It's obvious you haven't read the report Peter. Exactly what crimes did Trump commit.? And don't repeat what every ignorant liberal moron has been chanting for the last 3 years, "obstruction of justice"

Please note, a crime must be committed before any suspect, victim, witness anyone obstructs justice also known as obstruction of the investigation of the alleged crime that may or may not have been committed. The FBI investigated and investigated and investigated Trump and found nothing to investigate.

Since he was plotting away in New York and the District of Columbia, you might want to read the pertinent laws regarding obstruction of justice. No crime, no obstruction.

mcohen , says: May 20, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
The demo's need to chill like you know man.not going to make 2020 because the carpet is ready for a woman.madam president erect ek se.soft power.in like a banana out like a pineapple.
Anon [332] Disclaimer , says: May 20, 2019 at 10:29 pm GMT
They don't need to apologize.

They need to go to prison for attempting to undemocratically overturn an election using an invented narrative.

The press as well as the individuals associated with the special interest groups and government who were involved in this effort must face severe consequences. We'll be waiting until that happens, and we will not forget.

That's what they've created with this. A simmering nation awaiting justice.

Curmudgeon , says: May 20, 2019 at 10:40 pm GMT
@renfro So what's your point? The prosecutor "ultimately concludes one isn't guilty of crime X" actually proves Alden's point: a prosecutor would have to identify "crime X". Since "crime X" was fabricated, there was nothing to be guilty of, and since Trump knew that, there could be no obstruction.

As for Mueller's report, it was a political document. All of the hearsay about what Trump was thinking about means jackshit. Thinking about doing something isn't a crime – yet. All of the bogus "conspiracy to commit " trials, when no illegal action was taken, are Stalinist show trials – just like the Democrats and never Trumpers were hoping Mueller could produce for them.

tanabear , says: May 20, 2019 at 10:48 pm GMT
@renfro

You can obstruct justice even if a prosecutor ultimately finds you were not guilty of committing the crime that was the focus of the underlying investigation

Yes, but you still must commit a crime of obstruction. A crime of obstruction would be something like the destruction subpoenaed evidence; such as taking Bleachbit to your e-mails, or smashing your smartphones with hammers. However, the firing James Comey is completely legal and allowed by the Executive. A prosecutor cannot event a crime of obstruction when the action was perfectly legal. This is in effect what the Democrats and the Left are arguing for, the invention of new crimes to impeach Trump.

Carolyn Yeager , says: Website May 20, 2019 at 11:31 pm GMT
Excellent article. I'm glad I read it. Secret intelligence gathering agencies with huge budgets "to keep us safe" are a problem. Always have been, always will be. Trump should be given credit for causing all this to be brought to light.
anon [273] Disclaimer , says: May 21, 2019 at 2:34 am GMT

The Democrats Just Led the Country on a Three Year-Long Wild Goose Chase. Will They Apologize?

Of course not. They just go from one lie they're more than happy to believe to another – this time its "obstruction" and the media will push that lie too

renfro , says: May 21, 2019 at 2:51 am GMT
@tanabear

However, the firing James Comey is completely legal and allowed by the Executive. A prosecutor cannot event a crime of obstruction when the action was perfectly legal

Wrong again ..its obvious none of you know how to find the legal cites on the elements of obstruction. Whether Trump can 'legally' fire someone or not is immaterial .the court (and the law) looks at the INTENT behind the act. Period.

You can legally hire or fire your maid but if your motivation -- intention in either of those acts is to bribe her or threaten her because she knows something about you that could get you in legal trouble. Then it is obstruction.

[May 20, 2019] "Us" Versus "Them"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There are differences between the parties, but they are mainly centered around social issues and disputes with little or no consequence to the long-term path of the country. The real ruling oligarchs essentially allow controlled opposition within each party to make it appear you have a legitimate choice at the ballot box. Nothing could be further from the truth. ..."
"... There has been an unwritten agreement between the parties for decades where the Democrats pretend to be against war and the Republicans pretend to be against welfare. Meanwhile, spending on war and welfare relentlessly grows into the trillions, with no effort whatsoever from either party to even slow the rate of growth, let alone cut spending. The proliferation of the military industrial complex like a poisonous weed has been inexorable, as the corporate arms dealers place their facilities of death in the congressional districts of Democrats and Republicans. In addition, these corporate manufacturers of murder dole out "legal" payoffs to corrupt politicians of both parties in the form of political contributions. The Deep State knows bribes and well-paying jobs ensure no spineless congressman will ever vote against a defense spending increase. ..."
"... Of course, the warfare/welfare state couldn't grow to its immense size without financing from the Wall Street cabal and their feckless academic puppets at the Federal Reserve. The Too Big to Trust Wall Street banks, whose willful control fraud nearly wrecked the global economy in 2008, were rewarded by their Deep State patrons by getting bigger and more powerful as people on Main Street and senior citizen savers were thrown under the bus. ..."
"... When these criminal bankers have their reckless bets blow up in their faces they are bailed out by the American taxpayers, but when the Fed rigs the system so they are guaranteed billions in risk free profits, they reward themselves with massive bonuses and lobby for a huge tax cut used to buy back their stock. With bank branches in every congressional district in every state, and bankers spreading protection money to greedy politicians across the land, no legislation damaging to the banking cartel is ever passed. ..."
"... I voted for Trump because he wasn't Hillary. ..."
"... If the Chinese refuse to yield for fear of losing face, and the tariff war accelerates, a global recession is a certainty. ..."
"... These sociopaths are not liberal or conservative. They are not Democrats or Republicans. They are not beholden to a country or community. They care not for their fellow man. They don't care about future generations. They care about their own power, wealth and control over others. They have no conscience. They have no empathy. Right and wrong are meaningless in their unquenchable thirst for more. They will lie, steal and kill to achieve their goal of controlling everything and everyone in this world. This precisely describes virtually every politician in Washington DC, Wall Street banker, mega-corporation CEO, government agency head, MSM talking head, church leader, billionaire activist, and blood sucking advisor to the president. ..."
"... The problem is we have gone too far. The "American Dream" has become a grotesque nightmare because people by the millions sit around and dream about being a Kardashian. Makes me want to puke. ..."
May 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

"I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking." "Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!"" – Bill Hicks

Anyone who frequents Twitter, Facebook, political blogs, economic blogs, or fake-news mainstream media channels knows our world is driven by the "Us versus Them" narrative. It's almost as if "they" are forcing us to choose sides and believe the other side is evil. Bill Hicks died in 1994, but his above quote is truer today then it was then. As the American Empire continues its long-term decline, the proles are manipulated through Bernaysian propaganda techniques, honed over the course of decades by the ruling oligarchs, to root for their assigned puppets.

Most people can't discern they are being manipulated and duped by the Deep State controllers. The most terrifying outcome for these Deep State controllers would be for the masses to realize it is us versus them. But they don't believe there is a chance in hell of this happening. Their arrogance is palatable.

Their hubris has reached astronomical levels as they blew up the world economy in 2008 and successfully managed to have the innocent victims bail them out to the tune of $700 billion, pillaged the wealth of the nation through their capture of the Federal Reserve (QE, ZIRP), rigged the financial markets in their favor through collusion, used the hundreds of billions in corporate tax cuts to buy back their stock and further pump the stock market, all while their corporate media mouthpieces mislead and misinform the proles.

There are differences between the parties, but they are mainly centered around social issues and disputes with little or no consequence to the long-term path of the country. The real ruling oligarchs essentially allow controlled opposition within each party to make it appear you have a legitimate choice at the ballot box. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There has been an unwritten agreement between the parties for decades where the Democrats pretend to be against war and the Republicans pretend to be against welfare. Meanwhile, spending on war and welfare relentlessly grows into the trillions, with no effort whatsoever from either party to even slow the rate of growth, let alone cut spending. The proliferation of the military industrial complex like a poisonous weed has been inexorable, as the corporate arms dealers place their facilities of death in the congressional districts of Democrats and Republicans. In addition, these corporate manufacturers of murder dole out "legal" payoffs to corrupt politicians of both parties in the form of political contributions. The Deep State knows bribes and well-paying jobs ensure no spineless congressman will ever vote against a defense spending increase.

Of course, the warfare/welfare state couldn't grow to its immense size without financing from the Wall Street cabal and their feckless academic puppets at the Federal Reserve. The Too Big to Trust Wall Street banks, whose willful control fraud nearly wrecked the global economy in 2008, were rewarded by their Deep State patrons by getting bigger and more powerful as people on Main Street and senior citizen savers were thrown under the bus.

When these criminal bankers have their reckless bets blow up in their faces they are bailed out by the American taxpayers, but when the Fed rigs the system so they are guaranteed billions in risk free profits, they reward themselves with massive bonuses and lobby for a huge tax cut used to buy back their stock. With bank branches in every congressional district in every state, and bankers spreading protection money to greedy politicians across the land, no legislation damaging to the banking cartel is ever passed.

I've never been big on joining a group. I tend to believe Groucho Marx and his cynical line, "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member". The "Us vs. Them" narrative doesn't connect with my view of the world. As a realistic libertarian I know libertarian ideals will never proliferate in a society of government dependency, willful ignorance of the masses, thousands of laws, and a weak-kneed populace afraid of freedom and liberty. The only true libertarian politician, Ron Paul, was only able to connect with about 5% of the voting public. There is no chance a candidate with a libertarian platform will ever win a national election. This country cannot be fixed through the ballot box. Bill Hicks somewhat foreshadowed the last election by referencing another famous cynic.

"I ascribe to Mark Twain's theory that the last person who should be President is the one who wants it the most. The one who should be picked is the one who should be dragged kicking and screaming into the White House." ― Bill Hicks

Hillary Clinton wanted to be president so badly, she colluded with Barack Obama, Jim Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, Loretta Lynch and numerous other Deep State sycophants to ensure her victory, by attempting to entrap Donald Trump in a concocted Russian collusion plot and subsequent post-election coup to cover for their traitorous plot. I wouldn't say Donald Trump was dragged kicking and screaming into the White House, but when he ascended on the escalator at Trump Tower in June of 2015, I'm not convinced he believed he could win the presidency.

As the greatest self-promoter of our time, I think he believed a presidential run would be good for his brand, more revenue for his properties and more interest in his reality TV ventures. He was despised by the establishment within the Republican and Democrat parties. The vested interests controlling the media and levers of power in society scorned and ridiculed this brash uncouth outsider. In an upset for the ages, Trump tapped into a vein of rage and disgruntlement in flyover country and pockets within swing states, to win the presidency over Crooked Hillary and her Deep State backers.

I voted for Trump because he wasn't Hillary. I hadn't voted for a Republican since 2000, casting protest votes for Libertarian and Constitutional Party candidates along the way. I despise the establishment, so their hatred of Trump made me vote for him. His campaign stances against foreign wars and Federal Reserve reckless bubble blowing appealed to me. I don't worship at the altar of the cult of personality. I judge men by their actions and not their words.

Trump's first two years have been endlessly entertaining as he waged war against fake news CNN, establishment Republicans, the Deep State coup attempt, and Obama loving globalists. The Twitter in Chief has bypassed the fake news media and tweets relentlessly to his followers. He provokes outrage in his enemies and enthralls his worshipers. With millions in each camp it is difficult to find an unbiased assessment of narrative versus real accomplishments.

I'm happy he has been able to stop the relentless leftward progression of our Federal judiciary. Cutting regulations and rolling back environmental mandates has been a positive. Exiting the Paris Climate Agreement and TPP, forcing NATO members to pay their fair share, and renegotiating NAFTA were all needed. Ending the war on coal and approving pipelines will keep energy costs lower. His attempts to vet Muslims entering the country have been the right thing to do. Building a wall on our southern border is the right thing to do, but he should have gotten it done when he controlled both houses.

The use of tariffs to force China to renegotiate one sided trade deals as a negotiating tactic is a high-risk, high reward gamble. If his game of chicken is successful and he gets better terms from the Chicoms, while reversing the tariffs, it would be a huge win. If the Chinese refuse to yield for fear of losing face, and the tariff war accelerates, a global recession is a certainty. Who has the upper hand? Xi is essentially a dictator for life and doesn't have to worry about elections or popularity polls. Dissent is crushed. A global recession and stock market crash would make Trump's re-election in 2020 problematic.

I'm a big supporter of lower taxes. The Trump tax cuts were sold as beneficial to the middle class. That is a false narrative. The vast majority of the tax cut benefits went to mega-corporations and rich people. Middle class home owning families with children received little or no tax relief, as exemptions were eliminated and tax deductions capped. In many cases, taxes rose for working class Americans.

With corporate profits at all time highs, massive tax cuts put billions more into their coffers. They didn't repatriate their overseas profits to a great extent. They didn't go on a massive hiring spree. They didn't invest in new facilities. They did buy back their own stock to help drive the stock market to stratospheric heights. So corporate executives gave themselves billions in bonuses, which were taxed at a much lower rate. This is considered winning in present day America.

The "Us vs. Them" issue rears its ugly head whenever Trump is held accountable for promises unkept, blatant failures, and his own version of fake news. Holding Trump to the same standards as Obama is considered traitorous by those who only root for their home team. Their standard response is that you are a Hillary sycophant or a turncoat to the home team. If you agree with a particular viewpoint or position of a liberal then you are a bad person and accused of being a lefty by Trump fanboys. Facts don't matter to cheerleaders. Competing narratives rule the day. Truthfulness not required.

The refusal to distinguish between positive actions and negative actions when assessing the performance of what passes for our political leadership by the masses is why cynicism has become my standard response to everything I see, hear or he read. The incessant level of lies permeating our society and its acceptance as the norm has led to moral decay and rampant criminality from the White House, to the halls of Congress, to corporate boardrooms, to corporate newsrooms, to government run classrooms, to the Vatican, and to households across the land. It's interesting that one of our founding fathers reflected upon this detestable human trait over two hundred years ago.

"It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime." – Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine's description of how moral mischief can ruin a society was written when less than 3 million people inhabited America. Consider his accurate assessment of humanity when over 300 million occupy these lands. The staggering number of corrupt prostituted sociopaths occupying positions of power within the government, corporations, media, military, churches, and academia has created a morally bankrupt empire of debt.

These sociopaths are not liberal or conservative. They are not Democrats or Republicans. They are not beholden to a country or community. They care not for their fellow man. They don't care about future generations. They care about their own power, wealth and control over others. They have no conscience. They have no empathy. Right and wrong are meaningless in their unquenchable thirst for more. They will lie, steal and kill to achieve their goal of controlling everything and everyone in this world. This precisely describes virtually every politician in Washington DC, Wall Street banker, mega-corporation CEO, government agency head, MSM talking head, church leader, billionaire activist, and blood sucking advisor to the president.

The question pondered every day on blogs, social media, news channels, and in households around the country is whether Trump is one of Us or one of Them. The answer to that question will strongly impact the direction and intensity of the climactic years of this Fourth Turning. What I've noticed is the shunning of those who don't take an all or nothing position regarding Trump. If you disagree with a decision, policy, or hiring decision by the man, you are accused by the pro-Trump team of being one of them (aka liberals, lefties, Hillary lovers).

If you don't agree with everything Trump does or says, you are dead to the Trumpeteers. I don't want to be Us or Them. I just want to be me. I will judge everyone by their actions and their results. I can agree with Trump on many issues, while also agreeing with Tulsi Gabbard, Rand Paul, Glenn Greenwald or Matt Taibbi on other issues. I don't prescribe to the cult of personality school of thought. I didn't believe the false narratives during the Bush or Obama years, and I won't worship at the altar of the Trump narrative now.

In Part II of this article I'll assess Trump's progress thus far and try to determine whether he can defeat the Deep State.


TerryThomas , 32 minutes ago link

"The scientific and industrial revolution of modern times represents the next giant step in the mastery over nature; and here, too, an enormous increase in man's power over nature is followed by an apocalyptic drive to subjugate man and reduce human nature to the status of nature. Even where enslavement is employed in a mighty effort to tame nature, one has the feeling that the effort is but a tactic to legitimize total subjugation. Thus, despite its spectacular achievements in science and technology, the twentieth century will probably be seen in retrospect as a century mainly preoccupied with the mastery and manipulation of men. Nationalism, socialism, communism, fascism, and militarism, cartelization and unionization, propaganda and advertising are all aspects of a general relentless drive to manipulate men and neutralize the unpredictability of human nature. Here, too, the atmosphere is heavy-laden with coercion and magic." --Eric Hoffer

666D Chess , 11 minutes ago link

Divide and conquer, not a very novel idea... but very effective.

Kafir Goyim , 32 minutes ago link

If you don't agree with everything Trump does or says, you are dead to the Trumpeteers

That's not true. When Trump kisses Israeli ***, most "Trumpeteers" are outraged. That does not mean they're going to vote for Joe "I'm a Zionist" Biden, or Honest Hillary because of it, but they're still pissed.

Rich Monk , 33 minutes ago link

These predators (((them))) need to fear the Victims, us! That is what the 2ND Amendment is for. It's coming, slowly for now, but eventually it speeds up.

yellowsub , 42 minutes ago link

Ya'll a dumb fool if you think gov't as your best interests first.

legalize , 46 minutes ago link

Citation needed.

Any piece like this better be littered with footnotes and cited sources before I'm swallowing it.

I'll say it again: this is the internet, people. There's no "shortage of column space" to include links back to primary sources for your assertions. Otherwise, how am I supposed to distinguish you from another "psy op" or "paid opposition hit piece"?

bshirley1968 , 51 minutes ago link

"The question pondered every day on blogs, social media, news channels, and in households around the country is whether Trump is one of Us or one of Them."

If you still ponder this question, then you are pretty frickin' thick. It is obvious at this point, that he betrayed everything he campaigned on. You don't do that and call yourself one of "us".......damn sure aren't one of "me".

If I couldn't keep my word and wouldn't do what it takes to do what is right.....then I would resign. But I would not go on playing politics in a world that needs some real leadership and not another political hack.

The real battle is between Truth and Lie. No matter the name of your "team" or the "side" you support. Truth is truth and lies are lies. We don't stand for political parties, we stand for truth. We don't stand for national pride, we take pride in a nation that is truthful and trustworthy. The minute a "side" or "team" starts lying.....and justifying it.....that is the minute they become them and not one of us.

Any thinking person in this country today knows we are being lied to by the entire complex. Until someone starts telling the truth.....we are on our own. But I be damned before I am going to support any of these lying sons of bitches......and that includes Trump.

Fish Gone Bad , 37 minutes ago link

Dark comedy. All the elections have been **** choices until the last one. Take a look at Arkancide.com and start counting the bodies.

Anyone remember the news telling us how North Korea promised to turn the US into a sea of fire?? Trump absolutely went to bat for every single American to de-escalate that situation.

bshirley1968 , 31 minutes ago link

Don't tell me about Arkancide or the Clintons. I grew up in Arkansas with that sack of **** as my governor for 12 years.

NK was never a real threat to anyone. Trump didn't do ****. NK is back to building and shooting off missiles and will be teaming up with the Russians and Chinese. You are a duped bafoon.

Kafir Goyim , 28 minutes ago link

I don't think anybody thought NK was an existential threat to the US. It has still been nice making progress on bringing them back into the world and making them less of a threat to Japan and S. Korea. Trump did that.

Giant Meteor , 9 minutes ago link

Dennis Rodman did that, or that is to say, Trump an extension thereof ..

Great theater..

Look, i thought it was great that Trump went Kim Unning. I mean after all, i had talked with a few elderly folks that get their news directly from the mainstream of mainstream, vanilla news reportage. Propaganda central casting. I remember them being extremely concerned, outright petrified about that evil menace, kim gonna launch nukes any minute now. If the news would have been announced a major troop mobilization, bombing campaigns, to begin immediately they would have been completely onboard, waving the flag.

Frankly, it is only a matter of time, and folks can speculate on the country of interest, but it is coming soon to a theater near you. So many being in the crosshairs. Iran i suspect .. that's the big prize, that makes these sociopaths cream in their panties.

Probably. In the second term .. and so far, if ones honestly evaluates the "brain trust" / current crop of dimwit opposition, and in light of their past 2 plus years of moronic posturing with their hair on fire, trump will get his second term ..

666D Chess , 15 minutes ago link

Until the last one? You are retarded, the last election was a masterpiece of Rothschilds Productions. The Illuminati was watching you at their private cinema when you were voting for Trump and they were laughing their asses off.

HoodRatKing , 55 minutes ago link

The author does not realize that everyone in America, except Native American Indians, were immigrants drawn towards the false promise of hope that is the American Dream, turned nightmare..

Owning your own home, car, & raising a family in this country is so damn expensive & risky, that you'd have be on drugs or an idiot to even fall for the lies.

I don't see an us vs them, I see the #FakeMoney printers monetized every facet of life, own everything, & it truly is RENT-A-LIFE USSA, complete with bills galore, taxes galore, laws galore, jails & prisons galore, & the worst fkn country anyone would want to live in poverty & homelessness in.

At least in many 3rd world nations there is land to live off of & joblessness does not = a financial death sentence.

bshirley1968 , 39 minutes ago link

Sure. Lets all go back to living in huts.....off the land....no cars.....no electricity.....no running water......no roads....

There is a price to pay for things and it is not always in the form of money. We have given up some of our freedom for the ease and conveniences we want.

The problem is we have gone too far. The "American Dream" has become a grotesque nightmare because people by the millions sit around and dream about being a Kardashian. Makes me want to puke.

There is a balance. Don't take the other extreme or we never find balance.

911bodysnatchers322 , 56 minutes ago link

This article is moronic. One can easily prove that Trump is not like all the others in the poster. Has this author been living under a rock for the last 2.5 yrs? The past 5 presidents represent a group that has been literally trying to assassinate Trump, ruin his family, his reputation, his buisness and his future, for the audacity to be an ousider to the power network and steal (win) the presidency from under their noses. He's kept us OUT of war. He's dissolved the treachery that was keeping us in the middle east through gaslighitng and a proxy fake war that is ISIS, the globalists' / nato / fiveys / uk's fake mercenary army

Giant Meteor , 25 minutes ago link

And yet, I'll never forget all the smiling faces at the gala wedding affair.

Happier times ..

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/30/us/politics/ex-ally-donald-trump-now-heaps-scorn-on-bill-clinton.html

And yes, thanks in advance for noting the link is from New York slime, but i believe the picture in this case anyway, was not photo shopped.

She is, (hillary) after all, good people, a real fighter ..

**** .. mission accomplished ..

ExPat2018 , 1 hour ago link

The greatest threat to the USA is its own dumbed down drugged up citizens who cannot compete with anyone. America is a big military powerhouse but that doens't make successful countries

You must have intelligent people

America doesn't have that anymore.

JuliaS , 1 hour ago link

Notice how modern narrative is getting manipulated. What is being reported and referenced is completely different from how things are. And knowing that we can assume that the entire history is a fabricated lie, written by the ruling class to support its status in the minds of obedient citizens.

911bodysnatchers322 , 54 minutes ago link

This article is garbage propaganda that proves that they think we aren't keeping score or paying attention. The gaslighting won't work when it relies on so much counterthink, willful ignorance, counterfacts and weaponized omissions

istt , 1 hour ago link

The reality is the de-escalation of wars, the stability of our currency and our economy, and the moral re-grounding of our culture does not occur until we do what over 100 countries have done over the centuries, beginning in Carthage in 250AD.

fersur , 1 hour ago link

There's an old saying; "Congress does 2 things well Nothing and Protest" said by Pence Live-Streamed 4 hours ago at USMCA America First speech !

Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good is President Trump works extreme daily hours trying his best !

The Bad is Haters miss every bit of whatever their President Trump does that is good !

The Ugly is Hater Reporters ignoring World events, scared of possibly shining President Trump fairly !

SHsparx , 1 hour ago link

You really are making it a bit too obvious, bro.

911bodysnatchers322 , 52 minutes ago link

The congress are statusquotarians. If they solved the problems they say they would,they'd be out of a job. and that job is sitting there acting like a naddler or toxic post turtle leprechaun with a charisma and skill level of zero. Their staff do all the work, half of them barely read, though they probably can

SHsparx , 1 hour ago link

I still think 1st and 2nd ammedment is predicated on which party rules the house. If a Dem gets into the WH, we're fucked. Kiss those Iast two dying amendments goodbye for good.

Zeusky Babarusky , 1 hour ago link

If we rely on any party to preserve the 1st or 2nd Amendments, we are already fucked. What should preserve the 1st and 2nd Amendments is the absolute fear of anyone in government even mentioning suppressing or removing them. When the very thought of doing anything to lessen the rights advocated in these two amendments, causes a politician to piss in their pants, liberty will be preserved. As it is now citizens fear the government, and as a result tyranny continues to grow and fester as a cancer.

Zoomorph , 1 hour ago link

In other words, those amendments are already lost... we're just waiting for the final dictate to come down.

Zeusky Babarusky , 1 hour ago link

You may very well be right. I still hold out hope, but upon seeing what our society is quickly morphing into, that hope seems to fade more each and every day.

SHsparx , 49 minutes ago link

@ Zeusky Babarusky

I couldn't agree with you more.

Unfortunately, it is what it is, which is why I used the word "dying."

Those two amendments are on their deathbed, and if a Dem gets in the house, that'll be the nail in the coffin.

bshirley1968 , 1 hour ago link

If you think the 1st and 2nd amendments are reliant on who is in office, then you are already done. Why don't you try growing a pair and being an American for once in your life.

I will always have a 1st and 2nd "amendment" for as long as I live. Life is meaningless without them.....as far as I am concerned. Good thing the founders didn't wait for king George to give them what they "felt" was theirs.....by the laws of Nature and Nature's God.

I hope the democrats get the power......and I hope they come for the guns......maybe then pussies like you will finally have to **** or get off the pot......for once in your life. There are worse things than dying.

Nephilim , 1 hour ago link

THEHAZELFLOCKOFCRANES

BRINDLED FOOT,

AUSTRALIAN.

caveofgoldcaveofold

Zoomorph , 1 hour ago link

"Why do we have wars?"

"Because life is war: fighting for survival, resources, and what is best in the world."

"Why do people say war is bad?"

"Because they are useful idiots who have been tricked by religion and/or weak degenerates who are too weary to participate."

delta0ne , 1 hour ago link

This country cannot be fixed through the ballot box. Unless we get rid of *** influencing from abroad and domestically. Getting rid of English King few hundred years ago was a joke! this would be a challenge because dual-citizens masquerading as locals.

blind_understanding , 1 hour ago link

Last revolution (1776) we targeted the WRONG ENEMY.

We targeted King George III instead of the private bankers who owned of the Bank of England and the issued of the British-pound currency.

George III was himself up to his ears in debt to them by 1776, when the bankers installed George Washington to replace George III as their middleman in the American colonies, by way of the phony revolution.

Phony because ownership of the central bank and currency (Federal-Reserve Banks, Federal-Reserve notes) we use, remains in the same banking families' hands to this day. The same parasite remains within our government.

djrichard , 1 hour ago link

https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2013/05/16/the-gervais-principle-vi-children-of-an-absent-god/

It is this strangely incomplete calculus that creates the shifting Loser world of rifts and alliances. By operating with a more complete calculus, Sociopaths are able to manipulate this world through the divide-and-conquer mechanisms. The result is that the Losers end up blaming each other for their losses, seek collective emotional resolution, and fail to adequately address the balance sheet of material rewards and losses.

To succeed, this strategy requires that Losers not look too closely at the non-emotional books. This is why, as we saw last time, divide-and-conquer is the most effective means for dealing with them, since it naturally creates emotional drama that keeps them busy while they are being manipulated.

[May 19, 2019] Obama s Top FBI Lawyer Distances Himself From Steele Dossier As DOJ Investigation Looms

Notable quotes:
"... James Baker, meanwhile, told Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes last week that he's 'nervous' about the DOJ Inspector General's ongoing investigation into FBI/DOJ conduct surrounding the 2016 election. ..."
"... The Steele Dossier is the most amateurish piece of garbage they could think of. It was born out of some comments made by Trump during the debates when both he and his opponents started talking about hand size. ..."
"... When and if Barr and Horowitz get the information compiled, this is going to look worse than a school election of a class president for the 9th grade. Mostly testosterone and no where to put it. ..."
"... Ultimate CYA swamp creature. What ever happened to the "Comey Memo"? Has anybody actually seen it? Was it written on Windows? Can we see the metadata to prove when it was written? or was it penned on a bar napkin, and can be edited at any time. ..."
"... This guy is a lawyer. He owed a duty to inform the judge that his bosses were lying about the warrant. He owed a duty to counsel his bosses to make them stop what they were doing and consider if it was a violation. ..."
"... Unless he did those two things, he should go to jail and also be disbarred and also be subject to civil suits for those who had to pay attorney fees during the investigation. ..."
"... Why are they bending over backwards to protect the British, who were the real interferers in the American election. Clinton mob-CIA-MI6-Steele-Pablo Miller-Skripal-Steele-Clinton mob. ..."
"... Recall the Podesta email, re: DNC "hack": We're gonna make an example of this guy. So, they seem to know who it is that stole the emails, and they are going to "make an example" of him. And do recall the statement of Donna Brazile, who expressed fear for her own safety in the wake of the Seth Rich murder: "you don't know what these people are capable of". ..."
"... When listening to an account of an event on TV or written in a blurb on the internet, always ask, why do they want us to know this stuff? The answer is usually so they can hide what they are really doing. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Obama's Top FBI Lawyer Distances Himself From Steele Dossier As DOJ Investigation Looms

by Tyler Durden Sun, 05/19/2019 - 13:11 759 SHARES

James Baker - the Obama FBI's top attorney (general counsel) said on Friday that he was skeptical about the Steele dossier, and "concerned" about its veracity when the agency received it prior to the 2016 US election, according to the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross.

" It was more information that we viewed, that I viewed, skeptically from the outset , and I was concerned about it and had a jaundiced eye, or looked at it with a jaundiced eye right from the outset," Baker told MSNBC 's Chuck Todd, adding "Steele was and had been a source that we thought was reliable. He's reporting all this information. It looks alarming. We took it seriously, but we tried to vet it. "

The dossier - a collection of memos compiled by an ex-British spy funded by Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and the DNC - was used by the FBI to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Steele alleged that Page provided the Trump campaign a Kremlin backchannel during the election.

Baker also told Todd that he thinks the FISA warrants against Page would have been granted without the dossier, and took a pregnant pause when asked if the dossier was used to obtain FISA warrants on other people - saying "I don't think I should comment on that, I'm not sure what else the government has confirmed," and adding " I don't want to confirm or deny anything about other potential FISA applications. "

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ckBuIN5kz1w

Meanwhile, Obama's former intel chiefs are at odds over who exactly pushed the dossier .

According to Fox News , an email chain exists which indicates that Comey told bureau subordinates that Brennan insisted on the dossier's inclusion in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference . Also interesting is that the dossier was referred to as "crown material" in the emails - a possible reference to the fact that Steele is a former British spy.

In a statement to Fox, however, a former CIA official "put the blame squarely on Comey ."

Comey, meanwhile, has attacked Attorney General William Barr for investigating him, tweeting on Friday "The AG should stop sliming his own Department. If there are bad facts, show us, or search for them professionally and then tell us what you found."

Barr, has launched a wide-ranging investigation into FBI conduct during the 2016 election, making him public enemy #1 to the left . In a Friday interview with Fox News , Barr said that the use of the Steele Dossier in the FISA warrant was a "very unusual situation," especially one "that on its face had a number of clear mistakes and a somewhat jejue analysis. And to use that to conduct counterintelligence against the American political campaign would be a strange development."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sZBb8uMoqdI?start=268

James Baker, meanwhile, told Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes last week that he's 'nervous' about the DOJ Inspector General's ongoing investigation into FBI/DOJ conduct surrounding the 2016 election.

Baker made clear that he wanted to speak "as openly as I possibly can" about the origin of the FBI's investigation into Donald Trump - " to reassure the American people that it was done for lawful, legitimate reasons, and was apolitical, " according to the Washington Examiner 's Jerry Dunleavy.

Things are getting hot in DC and it's only May...


youshallnotkill , 56 minutes ago link

Things you will never read here, but hey, this is from the "failing" NYT so clearly fake news ...

Anti-money laundering investigators at Deutsche Bank flagged to bank executives multiple suspicious transactions on President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner's accounts in 2016 and 2017.

Five current and former Deutsche Bank employees told the New York Times that after computer alerts flagged suspicious activity, the specialists would put together recommendations urging bank executives to report the activity to the Treasury Department.

However, executives refused to act on the recommendations and kept the reports from the Department.

Tammy McFadden, an ex-Deutsche Bank employee who reviewed such alerts, said she found that money had been moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals.

Amanita Virosa , 1 hour ago link

Was it Trump who joked that Gitmo will renamed Comey Island? Like Coney Island with the fun house replaced with the big house.

John_Coltrane , 3 hours ago link

Breaking: We now know positively that there was Russian collusion. But it was via Obama, the Demonrats and their lapdog propaganda apparatus the MSM, Trump was completely innocent. (Saul Alinsky-Always accuse your opponents of that for which you are guilty. Your students, Obuttboy and Killiary studied you well, sensei)

They used a CIA spy asset, Stephen Halper, to feed Russian disinformation via the commie traitor Brennan head of Obuttboy's CIA into their Demonrat Senate traitors who asked for an FBI investigation and that lying sack-0-**** Comey, head of the FBI, complied using the so-called Steele "dossier" to obtain an illegal FISA warrant(s) to spy on members of the Trump team such as Carter Page. Comey knew the dossier and the parallel constructed Brennan pack of lies were fiction yet put his signature on the FISA application anyway blinded by his hatred of Trump and his girly-man nature. They used parallel construction to give an air of credibility to the fictional script written by Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, employer of "hit by an ugly" stick Nellie Ohr and paid to Hilliary and the DNC to smear Trump. The script was written in 2007.

Want more details? Please listen to Dan Bongino's Friday show and laugh your ******* head off at these spygate idiots now caught naked as the tide recedes.

As Dan puts it so pithily, it's not James Bond, it's Bond, James. Its Gitmo for you morons and a Pulitzer to Dan Bongino. And yet the MSM seems not to be aware of this? How can that be? Perhaps, as the commies like to say the MSM needs to be deconstructed, literally!

Josef Stalin , 3 hours ago link

never trust ANYTHING amerikans say ... I am the default example after we saved the World from Nazism - something the amerikan rats are now funding and supporting - they betrayed me in 1945 and that traitor Gorby in 1986 with the NATO scam... and these parameters will ALWAYS into the future determine our level of trust with America ..... it will be ZERO

cryptohalo , 3 hours ago link

It's not Barr's FBI that would be slimed...it's Comey's FBI. But nice try, James.

RKae , 3 hours ago link

This is like watching a movie director, producers and actors blame each other for a flop. They all thought it was a great idea during pre-production, but after the critics take it apart and the public ignores it, they all turn on each other and say, "I knew this was a piece of **** from the start!"

oldanalyst , 3 hours ago link

Baker is lying. He should go to Leavenworth with the rest of the seditious conspirators.

AKKadian , 3 hours ago link

What gutless POS in DC! They don't mind leaking BS lies to the MSMutt's and taking bribes. DC is the biggest enemy the U.S. has in the entire world. Scam Lie Cheat Steal and are total nerd pussies.

ZD1 , 3 hours ago link

Arrest Obama, Hillary and all Democrat socialist traitors for their attempted coup.

TheCentralScrutinizer , 3 hours ago link

Yep.. Carter Page was such a "bad guy" that the FBI permitted him (and continues to do so) to walk around American and NEVER be arrested.. Yep.. that was a pretty strong amount of evidence you guys had there for that FISA warrant.. And you never told Trump either about this "Russian Mole" in his campaign as you're required to do (and as you did for the Chinese mole in Feinstein's office)..

Scrutinizer

OCnStiggs , 4 hours ago link

Bongino has the goods on them, in minute detail. https://bongino.com/ep-979-they-cant-keep-track-of-their-own-lies/

Glenn Simpson wrote the dossier with input from a Putin operative. They ran it through Steele simply to give it "credibility." Wheel out the guillotine and get it lubed up. This is gonna be a busy summer. NOTHING can stop what is coming. Nothing.

MrBoompi , 4 hours ago link

Dear Mr. Comey, there are numerous "bad facts" already out in public, many of them involving you, and many seem worthy of prison.

ducksinarow , 4 hours ago link

I have read many articles from many sources including reading the Mueller Report as it was released to the public and tedious it was.

I have come to the conclusions at this point that:

A. Many amateur actors not familiar with how to do counter intelligence were brought in by the Clinton campaign largely because no expert would have touched what she was trying to do.

B: No one can explain from the very beginning what happened, who knew what when, nor how they were going to answer for it when they got caught, if they got caught.

C. The Steele Dossier is the most amateurish piece of garbage they could think of. It was born out of some comments made by Trump during the debates when both he and his opponents started talking about hand size.

D. When and if Barr and Horowitz get the information compiled, this is going to look worse than a school election of a class president for the 9th grade. Mostly testosterone and no where to put it.

Mimir , 4 hours ago link

And yet FBI has said, that they took the Steele Report seriously because it confirmed a series of information, that FBi already had, but check every line of the report. What was the result of that FBI examination we don't know.

Amy G. Dala , 5 hours ago link

Yeah, right. Comey will email SUBORDINATES to go on record that it's not HIS idea . . .but we'll go with the dossier anyway. If you got a problem with Brennan, why not memorialize that in an email to Brennan?

Ultimate CYA swamp creature. What ever happened to the "Comey Memo"? Has anybody actually seen it? Was it written on Windows? Can we see the metadata to prove when it was written? or was it penned on a bar napkin, and can be edited at any time.

In an alternate universe, we would have Comey, Clapper and Brennan in adjacent rooms, two chairs a table and harsh lighting.

Ace006 , 5 hours ago link

Pretty rich for Comey to call for searching for facts professionally, like the clown car investigation under him was professional. Unh huh. Surrrre.

This Baker *** hat and Obongo and crew looovved the "dossier" and thought it was just the ticket to be used against Trump and his people. Just the most natural thing there was and oh so useful for their purposes. So WHAAAAT if the "dossier" stank like dead cow. Surrre. What Democrat DOESN'T want to pursue a decapitation strategy? And surrre the basis for one was right there in that socialist scumbag's "dossier." And, surrre, i believe Steele is no long were MI-6. Fisking Theresa May.

Surrre this *** hat was just brimming with effing skepticism and I'm surrre there are emails and memos expressing just that, his skepticism.

St. TwinkleToes , 5 hours ago link

I see parallels from the twenties with what's happening today. For example, Prohibition was meant to outlaw drinking. Instead, it made drinkers into outlaws. Breaking the law became commonplace. New York closed 15,000 legal saloons when prohibition began. Some 32,000 illegal speakeasy's replaced them. Upstanding citizens and mobsters became partners in crime, allied against federal agents in the battle for booze.

Today, that battle is against feds for truth and justice.

truthalwayswinsout , 5 hours ago link

This guy is a lawyer. He owed a duty to inform the judge that his bosses were lying about the warrant. He owed a duty to counsel his bosses to make them stop what they were doing and consider if it was a violation.

Unless he did those two things, he should go to jail and also be disbarred and also be subject to civil suits for those who had to pay attorney fees during the investigation.

jmNZ , 5 hours ago link

Why are they bending over backwards to protect the British, who were the real interferers in the American election. Clinton mob-CIA-MI6-Steele-Pablo Miller-Skripal-Steele-Clinton mob.

Had to be "buried" when Trump won, so MI6 took out Skripal and CIA took out Seth Rich.

Amy G. Dala , 5 hours ago link

Seth Rich and CIA? Don't think so. DNC has an army of lawyers, the kind that aren't in the phone book. They know lots of people who are willing to do things for a price.

Recall the Podesta email, re: DNC "hack": We're gonna make an example of this guy. So, they seem to know who it is that stole the emails, and they are going to "make an example" of him. And do recall the statement of Donna Brazile, who expressed fear for her own safety in the wake of the Seth Rich murder: "you don't know what these people are capable of".

CIA would involve too many people.

ducksinarow , 4 hours ago link

If this had not been an amateur job, we would still not know anything. There would be no investigation because the players would never have been identified like 95% of all counter intelligence work. Seth Rich was killed in plain sight as a message to some one else. He was probably the only innocent person involved at such a deep level.

When listening to an account of an event on TV or written in a blurb on the internet, always ask, why do they want us to know this stuff? The answer is usually so they can hide what they are really doing.

[May 19, 2019] Why The Takedown Of Heinz-Christian Strache Will Strengthen The Right

Notable quotes:
"... In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts. ..."
"... Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones. ..."
"... The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy. ..."
"... Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now. ..."
"... The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions. ..."
"... The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor of the country. On Friday morning two German papers, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published (German) reports (English) about an old video that was made to take Strache down.

The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe. It's pro-Russian position has led to verbal attacks on and defamation of the party from NATO supporting and neoliberal circles.

In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts.

Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones.


A scene from the video. Source: Der Falter (vid, German)

During the six hour long party several schemes get proposed by the "Russian" and are discussed. Strache rejects most of them. He insists several times that everything they plan or do must be legal and conform to the law. He says that a large donation could probably be funneled through an endowment that would then support his party. It is a gray area under Austrian party financing laws. They also discuss if the "Russian" could buy the Kronen Zeitung , Austria's powerful tabloid, and use it to prop up his party.

The evening goes on with several bottles of vodka on the table. Starche gets a bit drunk and boosts in front of the "oligarch daughter" about all his connections to rich and powerful people. He does not actually have these.

Strache says that, in exchange for help for his party, the "Russian" could get public contracts for highway building and repair. Currently most of such contracts in Austria go to the large Austrian company, STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

At one point Strache seems to understand that the whole thing is a setup. But his right hand man calms him down and vouches for the "Russian". The sting ends with Strache and his companion leaving the place. The never again see the "Russian" and her co-plotter. Nothing they talked about will ever come to fruition.

Three month later Strache and his party win more than 20% in the Austrian election and form a coalition government with the conservative party OeVP led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Even while the FPOe controls several ministries, it does not achieve much politically. It lacks a real program and the government's policies are mostly run by the conservatives.

Nearly two years after the evening on Ibiza, ten days before the European parliament election in which Strache's party is predicted to achieve good results, a video of the evening on Ibiza is handed to two German papers which are known to be have strong transatlanticist leanings and have previously been used for other shady 'leaks'. The papers do not hesitate to take part in the plot and publish extensive reports about the video.

After the reports appeared Strache immediately stepped down and the conservatives ended the coalition with his party. Austria will now have new elections.

On Bloomberg Leonid Bershidsky opines on the case:

Strache's discussion with the Russian oligarch's fake niece shows a propensity for dirty dealing that has nothing to do with idealistic nationalism. Nationalist populists often agitate against entrenched, corrupt elites and pledge to drain various swamps. In the videos, however, Strache and Gudenus behave like true swamp creatures, savoring rumors of drug and sex scandals in Austrian politics and discussing how to create an authoritarian media machine like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's.

I do not believe that the people who voted for the FPOe (and similar parties in other countries) will subscribe to that view. The politics of the main stream parties in Austria have for decades been notoriously corrupt. Compared to them Strache and his party are astonishingly clean. In the video he insists several times that everything must stay within the legal realm. Whenever the "Russian" puts forward a likely illegal scheme, Starche emphatically rejects it.

Bershidsky continues:

Strache, as one of the few nationalist populists in government in the European Union's wealthier member states, was an important member of the movement Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been trying to cobble together ahead of the European Parliament election that will take place next week. On Saturday, he was supposed to attend a Salvini-led rally in Milan with other like-minded politicians from across Europe. Instead, he was in Vienna apologizing to his wife and to Kurz and protesting pitifully that he'd been the victim of a "political assassination" -- a poisonous rain on the Italian right-winger's parade.
...
This leaves the European far right in disarray and plays into the hands of centrist and leftist forces ahead of next week's election. Salvini's unifying effort has been thoroughly undermined, ...

This is also a misreading of the case. The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy.

Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now.

But that Strache stepped down after the sudden media assault only makes him more convincing. The right-wing all over Europe will see him as a martyr who was politically assassinated because he worked for their cause. The issue will increase the right-wingers hate against the 'liberal' establishment. It will further motivate them: "They attack us because we are right and winning." The new far-right block Natteo Salvini will setup in the European Parliament will likely receive a record share of votes.

Establishment writers notoriously misinterpret the new right wing parties and their followers. This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false. The working class understands very well what the establishment parties have done to it and continue to do. The increasing vote share of the far-right is a direct consequence of the behavior of the neoliberal center and of the lack of real left alternatives.

Last week, before the Strache video appeared, Craig Murray put his finger on the wound:

The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.

...

The rejection of the political class manifests itself in different ways and has been diverted down a number of entirely blind alleys giving unfulfilled promise of a fresh start – Brexit, Trump, Macron. As the vote share of the established political parties – and public engagement with established political institutions – falls everywhere, the chattering classes deride the political symptoms of status quo rejection by the people as "populism". It is not populism to make sophisticated arguments that undermine the received political wisdom and take on the entire weight of established media opinion.

If one wants to take down the far right one has to do so with arguments and good politics for the working class. Most people, especially working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money.

While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties. When one talks to these people issues of injustice and inequality always come up. The new 'populist' parties at least claim to fight against the injustice done to the common men. Unlike most of the establishment parties they seem to be still mostly clean and not yet corrupted.

In the early 1990s Strache actually flirted with violent fascists but he rejected their way. While he has far-right opinions, he and his like are no danger to our societies. If we can not accept that Strache and his followers have some legitimate causes, we will soon find us confronted with way more extreme people. The neoliberal establishment seems to do its best to achieve that.

Posted by b on May 19, 2019 at 01:10 PM | Permalink

[May 19, 2019] How Russiagate replaced Analysis of the 2016 Election by Rick Sterling

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What he said is, 'I Donald Trump am going to be a champion of the working class I know you are working longer hours for lower wages, seeing your jobs going to China, can't afford childcare, can't afford to send your kids to college. I Donald Trump alone can solve these problems.' What you have is a guy who utilized the media, manipulated the media very well. He is an entertainer, he is a professional at that. But I will tell you that I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from." ..."
"... when the Clinton team first learned that Wikileaks was going to release damaging Democratic National Party emails in June 2016, they "brought in outside consultants to plot a PR strategy for handling the news of the hack the story would advance a narrative that benefited the Clinton campaign and the Democrats: The Russians were interfering in the US election, presumably to assist Trump." ..."
"... After losing the election, Team Clinton doubled down on this PR strategy. As described in the book Shattered (p. 395) the day after the election campaign managers assembled the communication team "to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up and up . they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument." ..."
"... A progressive team produced a very different analysis titled Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis . They did this because "the (Democratic) party's national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster." The report analyzes why the party turnout was less than expected and why traditional Democratic Party supporters are declining. ..."
"... Since the 2016 election there has been little public discussion of the process whereby Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee. It's apparent she was pre-ordained by the Democratic Party elite. As exposed in the DNC emails, there was bias and violations of the party obligations at the highest levels. On top of that, it should now be clear that the pundits, pollsters and election experts were out of touch, made poor predictions and decisions. ..."
"... The 2016 election is highly relevant today. Already we see the same pattern of establishment bias and "horse race" journalism which focuses on fund-raising, polls and elite-biased "electability" instead of dealing with real issues, who has solutions, who has appeal to which groups. ..."
"... The establishment bias for Biden is matched by the bias against Democratic Party candidates who directly challenge Wall Street and US foreign policy. On Wall Street, that would be Bernie Sanders. On foreign policy, that is Tulsi Gabbard. With a military background Tulsi Gabbard has broad appeal, an inclusive message and a uniquely sharp critique of US "regime change" foreign policy. ..."
"... Blaming an outside power is a good way to prevent self analysis and positive change. It's gone on far too long. ..."
May 19, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org
An honest and accurate analysis of the 2016 election is not just an academic exercise. It is very relevant to the current election campaign. Yet over the past two years, Russiagate has dominated media and political debate and largely replaced a serious analysis of the factors leading to Trump's victory. The public has been flooded with the various elements of the story that Russia intervened and Trump colluded with them. The latter accusation was negated by the Mueller Report but elements of the Democratic Party and media refuse to move on. Now it's the lofty but vague accusations of "obstruction of justice" along with renewed dirt digging. To some it is a "constitutional crisis", but to many it looks like more partisan fighting.

Russiagate has distracted from pressing issues

Russiagate has distracted attention and energy away from crucial and pressing issues such as income inequality, the housing and homeless crisis, inadequate healthcare, militarized police, over-priced college education, impossible student loans and deteriorating infrastructure. The tax structure was changed to benefit wealthy individuals and corporations with little opposition. The Trump administration has undermined environmental laws, civil rights, national parks and women's equality while directing ever more money to military contractors. Working class Americans are struggling with rising living costs, low wages, student debt, and racism. They constitute the bulk of the military which is spread all over the world, sustaining continuing occupations in war zones including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and parts of Africa. While all this has been going on, the Democratic establishment and much of the media have been focused on Russiagate, the Mueller Report, and related issues.

Immediately after the 2016 Election

In the immediate wake of the 2016 election there was some forthright analysis. Bernie Sanders said , "What Trump did very effectively is tap the angst and the anger and the hurt and pain that millions of working class people are feeling. What he said is, 'I Donald Trump am going to be a champion of the working class I know you are working longer hours for lower wages, seeing your jobs going to China, can't afford childcare, can't afford to send your kids to college. I Donald Trump alone can solve these problems.' What you have is a guy who utilized the media, manipulated the media very well. He is an entertainer, he is a professional at that. But I will tell you that I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from."

Days after the election, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled " Hillary Clinton Lost. Bernie Sanders could have won. We chose the wrong candidate ." The author analyzed the results saying , "Donald Trump's stunning victory is less surprising when we remember a simple fact: Hillary Clinton is a deeply unpopular politician." The writer analyzed why Sanders would have prevailed against Trump and predicted "there will be years of recriminations."

Russiagate replaced Recrimination

But instead of analysis, the media and Democrats have emphasized foreign interference. There is an element of self-interest in this narrative. As reported in "Russian Roulette" (p127), when the Clinton team first learned that Wikileaks was going to release damaging Democratic National Party emails in June 2016, they "brought in outside consultants to plot a PR strategy for handling the news of the hack the story would advance a narrative that benefited the Clinton campaign and the Democrats: The Russians were interfering in the US election, presumably to assist Trump."

After losing the election, Team Clinton doubled down on this PR strategy. As described in the book Shattered (p. 395) the day after the election campaign managers assembled the communication team "to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up and up . they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

This narrative has been remarkably effective in supplanting critical review of the election.

One Year After the Election

The Center for American Progress (CAP) was founded by John Podesta and is closely aligned with the Democratic Party. In November 2017 they produced an analysis titled " Voter Trends in 2016: A Final Examination ". Interestingly, there is not a single reference to Russia. Key conclusions are that "it is critical for Democrats to attract more support from the white non-college-educated voting bloc" and "Democrats must go beyond the 'identity politics' versus 'economic populism' debate to create a genuine cross-racial, cross-class coalition " It suggests that Wall Street has the same interests as Main Street and the working class.

A progressive team produced a very different analysis titled Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis . They did this because "the (Democratic) party's national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster." The report analyzes why the party turnout was less than expected and why traditional Democratic Party supporters are declining. It includes recommendations to end the party's undemocratic practices, expand voting rights and counter voter suppression. The report contains details and specific recommendations lacking in the CAP report. It includes an overall analysis which says "The Democratic Party should disentangle itself – ideologically and financially – from Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and other corporate interests that put profits ahead of public needs."

Two Years After the Election

In October 2018, the progressive team produced a follow-up report titled " Autopsy: One Year Later ". It says, "The Democratic Party has implemented modest reforms, but corporate power continues to dominate the party."

In a recent phone interview, the editor of that report, Norman Solomon, said it appears some in the Democratic Party establishment would rather lose the next election to Republicans than give up control of the party.

What really happened in 2016?

Beyond the initial critiques and "Autopsy" research, there has been little discussion, debate or lessons learned about the 2016 election. Politics has been dominated by Russiagate.

Why did so many working class voters switch from Obama to Trump? A major reason is because Hillary Clinton is associated with Wall Street and the economic policies of her husband President Bill Clinton. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), promoted by Bill Clinton, resulted in huge decline in manufacturing jobs in swing states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Of course, this would influence their thinking and votes. Hillary Clinton's support for the Trans Pacific Partnership was another indication of her policies.

What about the low turnout from the African American community? Again, the lack of enthusiasm is rooted in objective reality. Hillary Clinton is associated with "welfare reform" promoted by her husband. According to this study from the University of Michigan, "As of the beginning of 2011, about 1.46 million U.S. households with about 2.8 million children were surviving on $2 or less in income per person per day in a given month The prevalence of extreme poverty rose sharply between 1996 and 2011. This growth has been concentrated among those groups that were most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. "

Over the past several decades there has been a huge increase in prison incarceration due to increasingly strict punishments and mandatory prison sentences. Since the poor and working class have been the primary victims of welfare and criminal justice "reforms" initiated or sustained through the Clinton presidency, it's understandable why they were not keen on Hillary Clinton. The notion that low turnout was due to African Americans being unduly influenced by Russian Facebook posts is seen as "bigoted paternalism" by blogger Teodrose Fikremanian who says, "The corporate recorders at the NY Times would have us believe that the reason African-Americans did not uniformly vote for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats is because they were too dimwitted to think for themselves and were subsequently manipulated by foreign agents. This yellow press drivel is nothing more than propaganda that could have been written by George Wallace."

How Clinton became the Nominee

Since the 2016 election there has been little public discussion of the process whereby Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee. It's apparent she was pre-ordained by the Democratic Party elite. As exposed in the DNC emails, there was bias and violations of the party obligations at the highest levels. On top of that, it should now be clear that the pundits, pollsters and election experts were out of touch, made poor predictions and decisions.

Bernie Sanders would have been a much stronger candidate. He would have won the same party loyalists who voted for Clinton. His message attacking Wall Street would have resonated with significant sections of the working class and poor who were unenthusiastic (to say the least) about Clinton. An indication is that in critical swing states such as Wisconsin and Michigan Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary race.

Clinton had no response for Trump's attacks on multinational trade agreements and his false promises of serving the working class. Sanders would have had vastly more appeal to working class and minorities. His primary campaign showed his huge appeal to youth and third party voters. In short, it's likely that Sanders would have trounced Trump. Where is the accountability for how Clinton ended up as the Democratic Party candidate?

The Relevance of 2016 to 2020

The 2016 election is highly relevant today. Already we see the same pattern of establishment bias and "horse race" journalism which focuses on fund-raising, polls and elite-biased "electability" instead of dealing with real issues, who has solutions, who has appeal to which groups.

Mainstream media and pundits are already promoting Joe Biden. Syndicated columnist EJ Dionne, a Democratic establishment favorite, is indicative. In his article " Can Biden be the helmsman who gets us past the storm? " Dionne speaks of the "strength he (Biden) brings" and the "comfort he creates". In the same vein, Andrew Sullivan pushes Biden in his article " Why Joe Biden Might be the Best to Beat Trump ". Sullivan thinks that Biden has appeal in the working class because he joked about claims he is too 'hands on'. But while Biden may be tight with AFL-CIO leadership, he is closely associated with highly unpopular neoliberal trade deals which have resulted in manufacturing decline.

The establishment bias for Biden is matched by the bias against Democratic Party candidates who directly challenge Wall Street and US foreign policy. On Wall Street, that would be Bernie Sanders. On foreign policy, that is Tulsi Gabbard. With a military background Tulsi Gabbard has broad appeal, an inclusive message and a uniquely sharp critique of US "regime change" foreign policy. She calls out media pundits like Fareed Zakaria for goading Trump to invade Venezuela. In contrast with Rachel Maddow taunting John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to be MORE aggressive, Tulsi Gabbard has been denouncing Trump's collusion with Saudi Arabia and Israel's Netanyahu, saying it's not in US interests. Gabbard's anti-interventionist anti-occupation perspective has significant support from US troops. A recent poll indicates that military families want complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria. It seems conservatives have become more anti-war than liberals.

This points to another important yet under-discussed lesson from 2016: a factor in Trump's victory was that he campaigned as an anti-war candidate against the hawkish Hillary Clinton. As pointed out here , "Donald Trump won more votes from communities with high military casualties than from similar communities which suffered fewer casualties."

Instead of pointing out that Trump has betrayed his anti-war campaign promises, corporate media (and some Democratic Party outlets) seem to be undermining the candidate with the strongest anti-war message. An article at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) says, " Corporate media target Gabbard for her Anti-Interventionism, a word they can barely pronounce ."

Russiagate has distracted most Democrats from analyzing how they lost in 2016. It has given them the dubious belief that it was because of foreign interference. They have failed to analyze or take stock of the consequences of DNC bias, the preference for Wall Street over working class concerns, and the failure to challenge the military industrial complex and foreign policy based on 'regime change' interventions.

There needs to be more analysis and lessons learned from the 2016 election to avoid a repeat of that disaster. As indicated in the Autopsy , there needs to be a transparent and fair campaign for nominee based on more than establishment and Wall Street favoritism. There also needs to be consideration of which candidates reach beyond the partisan divide and can energize and advance the interests of the majority of Americans rather than the elite. The most crucial issues and especially US military and foreign policy need to be seriously debated.

Blaming an outside power is a good way to prevent self analysis and positive change. It's gone on far too long.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who grew up in Canada but currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. He can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com . Read other articles by Rick .

[May 19, 2019] Intel agencies of the UK and US are guilty of fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing fake analysis and operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers. ..."
"... the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Couple of factors not mentioned. one is Israel and the other is more sinister still and tied to the conclusions to be drawn from the Mueller report.

it may be true that Skripal helped Steele with some elements of the dossier compiled by Steele, via SKripals handler Pablo Miller. It may be true that Skripal went "stir crazy" and an attempt was made to silence him and his daughter - permanently, because they simply cold not be trusted. a similar motivation could be drawn up against Russia - with the two Russians visiting Salisbury used as diversionary "stool pigeons". It may be true that the "poisoning" was self inflicted and was in fact a murder/suicide attempt as a result of depression along the ines "what's the point of it all".

what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers.

what ought to be apparent is

- the same tactics used by the special prosecutor to investigate the "Russia collusion" smoke screen erected by the howler monkeys in the US intel agencies (aided and abetter by howler monkeys in UK intel agencies) to stymie the US executive branch (Trump) are likely to be used by the the UK government and some more as well - in true Le Carre fashion, but with much dumber and less principled actors than Smiley's people.

these tactics prevented (and continue to prevent) investigation and prosecution of heinous corruption within the obama administration of the previous 8 years - these howler monkey intelligence agency tactics include(d) entrapment, honeypots, racketeering, blackmail, de facto kidnapping (in the case of Skripals), bribery, wire fraud, unauthorized wire-tapping, breach of authorized intel agency activities (like the FBI operating overseas and the CIA operating domestically in the US, false and unverified claims in FISA warrants, NSA providing unauthorized information to the CIA and FBI etc)

- given the howler monkey activities of the alphabet soup, it is not beyond the imagination to draw parallels with the CIA's reporting and analysis of situations on the ground wherever they operate to provide intel ahead of military activity. the DOD has already proved complicit by hiring Halper (for hundreds of thousands of dollars) to assist with the entrapment of Trump operative Papadopoulos. Mifsud is likely a CIA, not a Russian, asset.

- given that we have ample evidence of the howler monkeys in the alphabet soup seeking to facilitate a coup against a sitting US president, it is certainly plausible that - as with the US goverment sponsoring the mujaheedin, isis and al qaeda in afghanistan to fight the russians in late 80's early 90's, Iraq yellow cake and WMD - that the howler monkeys paid the white helmets to ovethrow assad and foment civil war in Syria - thus causing the migration of some 5 million syrians into europe, iraq, turkey, jordan, turkey and lebanon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Helmets_(Syrian_Civil_War)

so , the case is that howler monkey activity in intel agencies of the UK and US (add (F)rance to get FUKUS) are guilty of the manufacture of human conflict by fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing shitty analysis (howler monkeys are only good at swinging in trees and flinging ****) and generally operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity.

this can only be brought into sharp relief if howler monkey activities were instead shown to be powers for good rather than the geo-political risks that persist in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya and so on and so forth.

Never mind how much past conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and so on relied on evidence and analysis thrown at us by the howler monkeys in the tree tops, how much of what we we are doing now is a fabrication causing needless suffering by civilian (not politicians or military engaged in conflict) populations?

the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people.

there are equivalents of strzok, page, ohr right throughout the US and UK government "machines" operating overseas. think about that. crimes exposed by Barr et al in the US - against a sitting president - are replicated wherever howler monkeys operate overseas as well.

[May 19, 2019] Teresa May has been the common denominator in many of the sick things happening in the UK

Notable quotes:
"... Things have indeed moved on since the Skripal affair, not at least in terms of the prime minister Teresa May. It must now be clear to even the most dimwitted that she is a lunatic of note. This is obviously not something that has only come as a response to Brexit. However Brexit has shown her up as an utter idiot. ..."
"... Only a person of this caliper might be able to make any sense of the Skripal affair, and even if it makes perfect sense in her diseased mind, ..."
"... Teresa May has been the common denominator in many of the sick things happening in the UK, ..."
"... "And, according to Bustani, Bolton didn't mince words. "Cheney wants you out," Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. "We can't accept your management style." ..."
"... Bolton continued, according to Bustani's recollections: "You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don't comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you." ..."
"... There was a pause. "We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York."" ..."
"... The Brits have gone nuts. Maybe it is Karma for all the centuries of bad actions towards the rest of the world. Now that their DS manipulation is being exposed, what else are they going to do? Try to influence Putin? ..."
"... I don't think they've gone nuts. I think the UK is the center of the globalist cabal, and the cabal is on the back foot and getting desperate. 6 hours ago And the more desperate they are the more dangerous they become. And the Satanic head of this globalist cabal are the Rothschilds, who belong to the powerful Chabad Lubavitch cult, and who "made the modern banking system and the Fed that made Zionism, the world wars, the European Union, and so on." ..."
"... Between 2003 and 2013 "the Jared Khushner family foundation donated a total of $342,500 to various institutions and projects associated with the movement... in addition the Donald J Trump Foundation has donated $11,550 to three Chabad institutions." -- Kushners Belong to Jewish Supremacist Doomsday Group (that prophesies WWIII after which the Jews will rule). ..."
"... what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers. ..."
"... the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

[May 19, 2019] The OPCW, Douma, The Skripals

Notable quotes:
"... The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East. ..."
"... Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense. ..."
"... A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time. ..."
"... The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation. ..."
"... The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know. ..."
"... The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect. ..."
"... Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later). ..."
"... The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all. ..."
"... She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day. ..."
"... If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East. ..."
"... So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility? ..."
"... This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first. ..."
"... If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this. ..."
"... But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval. ..."
"... The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end. ..."
"... Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever. ..."
"... In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran. ..."
"... The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Off-Guardian.org,

In view of the latest revelations from the leaked report, which seem to prove that at least some elements of the Douma "chemical attack" were entirely staged, we want to take look back at the chaotic events of Spring 2018.

The following is an extract from an article by Catte originally published April 14th last year, which takes on a greater weight in light of certain evidence – not only that the Douma attack was faked, but that the OPCW is compromised.

You can read the whole article here .

* * *

PRIMARILY UK INITIATIVE?

The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East.

Since at least 2001 and the launch of the "War on Terror" the US has led the way in finding or creating facile excuses to fight oil wars and hegemonic wars and proxy wars in the region. But this time the dynamics look a little different.

This time it really looks as if the UK has been setting the pace of the "response".

The fact (as stated above) that Mattis was apparently telegraphing his own private doubts a)about the verifiability of the attacks, and b)about the dangers of a military response suggests he was a far from enthusiastic partaker in this adventure.

Trump's attitude is harder to gauge. His tweets veered wildly between unhinged threats and apparent efforts at conciliation. But he must have known he would lose (and seemingly has lost) a great part of his natural voter base (who elected him on a no-more-war mandate) by an act of open aggression that threatened confrontation with Russia on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense.

A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time.

You can see why Mattis and others in the administration might be reluctant to take part in the false flag/punitive air strike narrative if they saw nothing currently to be gained to repay the risk. They may have preferred to wait for developments and plan for a more productive way of playing the R2P card in the future.

The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation.

The UK govt and media on the other hand has been much more homogeneous in advocating for action. No doubts of the type expressed by Mattis have been heard from the lips of an UK government minister. Even May, a cowardly PM, has been (under how much pressure?) voicing sterling certitude in public that action HAD to be taken.

Couple this with the – as yet unverified – claims by Russia of direct UK involvement in arranging the Douma "attack", and the claims by Syria that the perps are in their custody, and a tentative storyline emerges. It's possible this time there were other considerations in the mix beside the usual need to "be seen to do something" and Trump's perpetual requirement to appease the liberal Russiagaters and lunatic warmongers at home. Maybe this time it was also about helping the UK out of a sticky problem.

THE SKRIPAL CONSIDERATION

Probably the only thing we can all broadly agree on about the Skripal narrative is that it manifestly did not go according to plan. However it was intended to play out, it wasn't this way. Since some time in mid to late March it's been clear the entire thing has become little more than an exercise in damage-limitation, leak-plugging and general containment.

The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know.

The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect.

  1. It lied again and again about the information Porton Down had given it
  2. Its lawyers all but lied to Mr Justice Robinson about whether or not the Skripals had relatives in Russia in an unscrupulous attempt to maintain total control of them, or at least of the narrative.
  3. It is not publishing the OPCW report on the chemical analyses, and the summary of that report reads like an exercise in allusion and weasel-wording. Even the name of the "toxic substance" found in the Skripals' blood is omitted, and the only thing tying it to the UK government's public claims of "novichok" is association by inference and proximity.

Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later).

None of the alleged victims of this alleged attack has been seen in public even in passing since the event. There is no film or photographs of DS Bailey leaving the hospital, no film or photographs of his wife or family members doing the same. No interviews with Bailey, no interviews with his wife, family, distant relatives, work colleagues.

The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all.

She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day.

Very little of this bizarre, self-defeating, embarrassing, hysterical story makes any sense other than as a random narrative, snaking wildly in response to events the narrative-makers can't completely control.

Why? What went wrong? Why has the UK government got itself into this mess? And how much did the Douma "gas attack" and subsequent drive for a concerted western "response" have to do with trying to fix that?

IS THIS WHAT HAPPENED?

If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East.

So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility?

Could it be this planned event was unexpectedly canceled by the leading players in the drama (the US) when the Russians called them out and the rapid and unexpected fall of Ghouta meant any such intervention became pointless at least for the moment?

Did this cancelation leave the UK swinging in the wind, with a fantastical story that was never intended to withstand close scrutiny, and no second act for distraction?

So, did they push on with the now virtually useless "chemical attack", botch it (again), leaving a clear evidence trail leading back to them? Did they then further insist on an allied "response" to their botched false flag in order to provide yet more distraction and hopefully destroy some of that evidence?

This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first.

It would explain why the US has been less than enthused by the idea of reprisals. Because while killing Syrians to further geo-strategic interests is not a problem, killing Syrians (and risking escalation with Russia) in order to rescue an embarrassed UK government is less appealing.

And it would explain why the "reprisals" when they came were so half-hearted.

If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this.

This is very bad.

But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval.

This is a major issue. She and her government should resign. But it's unlikely that will happen.

So what next? There is a sense this is a watershed for many of the parties involved and for the citizens of the countries drawn into this.

Will the usual suspects try to avoid paying for their crimes and misadventures by more rhetoric, more false flags, more "reprisals"? Or will this signal some other change in direction?

We'll all know soon enough.

* * *

Back to today...

...and while things have moved on, we're still puzzling over all the same issues.

All these questions stand, and are important, but more important than all of that is the lesson: They tried it before, and just because it didn't work doesn't mean they won't try it again.

Last spring, the Western powers showed they will deploy a false flag if they need too, for domestic or international motives. And they have the motives right now.

The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end.

Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever.

Britain had the most to gain, of all NATO countries, and that is still true. We don't know what they might do.

This time they might even receive greater support from France this time around – since Macron is facing a revolution at home and would kill (possibly literally) for a nice international distraction.

In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran.

That's not to say Syria is safe, far from it. They are always just one carefully place false-flag away from all-out war. Last year, Mattis (or whoever) decided war with Syria was not an option – that it was too risky or complicated. That might not happen next time.

Clearly, the US hasn't totally seen sense in terms of stoking conflict with Russia – as seen by the decision to pull out of the INF Treaty late last year. And further demonstrated by their attempts to overthrow Russia's ally Nicolas Maduro. Another ripe candidate for a false flag.

The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media.

But because recognising what they were trying to do last time , is the best defense when they try it again next time .

[May 18, 2019] Is Trump a double dealer. Why Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

May 16, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

tom , May 16, 2019 at 15:23

Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

Lavrov responded first to the question. He said that there is no evidence that shows any Russian interference in the U.S. elections. He continued:

Speaking about the most recent US presidential campaign in particular, we have had in place an information exchange channel about potential unintended risks arising in cyberspace since 2013. From October 2016 (when the US Democratic Administration first raised this issue) until January 2017 (before Donald Trump's inauguration), this channel was used to handle requests and responses. Not so long ago, when the attacks on Russia in connection with the alleged interference in the elections reached their high point, we proposed publishing this exchange of messages between these two entities, which engage in staving off cyberspace incidents. I reminded Mr Pompeo about this today. The administration, now led by President Trump, refused to do so. I'm not sure who was behind this decision, but the idea to publish this data was blocked by the United States. However, we believe that publishing it would remove many currently circulating fabrications. Of course, we will not unilaterally make these exchanges public, but I would still like to make this fact known.

The communication channel about cyber issues did indeed exist. In June 2013 the Presidents of the United States and Russia issued a Joint Statement about "Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)". The parties agreed to establishing communication channels between each other computer emergency response teams, to use the direct communication link of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers for cyber issue exchanges, and to have direct communication links between high-level officials in the White House and Kremlin for such matter. A Fact Sheet published by the Obama White House detailed the implementation of these three channels.

One inference from Lavrov's statement is that the "fundamental understanding on this matter" between the two presidents that has "not been fully implemented" is the release of the communications about cyberspace incidents. The Russians clearly think that a release of the communications with the Obama administration would exculpate them. That would also exculpate Trump from any further collusion allegations. Why then does the Trump administration reject the release? Who is blocking it?

Cont. reading: Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

https://www.moonofalabama.org/

[May 18, 2019] Daniel Lazare's recent work on Assange indicated via chronological sequencing it's much more likely Guccifer 2.0 was the phony he was suspected to be at the time

May 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

hetro , May 15, 2019 at 15:08

I found the first of these statements as "chilling" as the second:

"Schumer thus greeted Assange's April 11 arrest by tweeting his "hope [that] he will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government," while, in a truly chilling statement, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia declared that "[i]t will be really good to get him back on United States soil [so] we can get the facts and the truth from him."

Daniel Lazare's recent work on Assange indicated via chronological sequencing it's much more likely Guccifer 2.0 was the phony he was suspected to be at the time, let alone Assange's denial it was not the Russians, nor any State operation, plus as we have discussed pointing toward Seth Rich (an insider-as-leak interpretation subsequently buttressed by William Binney et al.)

In short, there is and has been ample information to suspend leaping to the hysterical tar and feather him approach mouthed by Schumer, spittle presumably flying out of his mouth at the time.

It is disgusting to see supposed leaders in the government advocating guilty until proved innocent in this lynch-mob manner in a country with supposedly an advanced system of justice. It reminds me of the Rosenberg case and the McCarthy era and the Salem witch trials before that.

"Monstrous offspring" indeed.

[May 17, 2019] Bob Goldstone letter

Looks like a clear attempt to entrup Trump Jr
May 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Rob Goldstone wrote:

Good morning

Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin.

What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?

I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.

Best

Rob Goldstone

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:53, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?

Best,

Don

[May 17, 2019] Andrew Weissmann, Top Mueller Prosecutor Who Built Paul Manafort Case, to Step Down

Mar 16, 2019 | www.thedailybeast.com

Andrew Weissmann -- who built the case against Paul Manafort and one of the most prominent members of Robert Mueller's team -- is reportedly stepping down from the special counsel investigation. It's the latest indication that Mueller's work is nearly complete. NPR reports that Weissmann will also leave the Justice Department and now plans to study and teach at New York University while working on preventing wrongful convictions. Manafort was sentenced to about 7 1/2 years in federal prison following two cases that stemmed from Mueller's investigation.

However, neither case involved alleged collusion with Russia.

One source told NPR that Weissmann's departure is a clear sign that Mueller's work is finally winding up -- it follows the departure of the most senior FBI agent working on the Mueller probe, Special Agent in Charge David Archey, who has started a new job as head of the FBI's office in Richmond, Virginia.

[May 17, 2019] What Putin And Pompeo Did Not Talk About

May 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 44 minutes ago link

US foreign policy under President Trump is remarkably similar to what it would have been under Hillary...

except even she wouldnt have put a Chabad Orthodox *** in charge of a mideast 'peace' plan, let alone a 'solution' for the illegal immigration crisis which Trump did nothing about when the GOP controlled both House and Senate

haruspicio , 1 hour ago link

I do not think Putin is an idiot...he has consistently made good decisions and judgements and outsmarted both Obama and Trump on every occasion. For some reason I am worried that he is palling up to the wrong guy. Trump and the US cannot be trusted to observe any agreement or treaty and have displayed this over and over again.

Putin should be aligning with China who can be trusted to honour deals made. A military alliance between Russia and China with mutual aid of attacked by a third party would make the best strategic sense. If Putin doesn't;t do this he will get weakened economically and then when he is weak, the US will invade.

admin user , 1 hour ago link

there have been secret talks among the three pillars of Eurasian integration – Russia, China and Iran – about Chinese and Russian guarantees

" We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia ." - Nineteen Eighty-Four

not dead yet , 2 hours ago link

As quoted by the Moon Of Alabama Lavrov claimed there were back channels between the US and Russia from 2013 to Trumps taking office. Lavov claims these communications would shed lots of light on the Russians not interfering in the election and other stuff the Russians have been falsely accused of. Russia wants to release these communications and will only do so if the US agrees which they have not. Pompeo was silent.

chunga , 2 hours ago link

Quite a contrast to what their DC counterparts would do; that's smear it all over fake news in a dishonest, sensational effort to malign.

[May 17, 2019] Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

Notable quotes:
"... That is an interesting transcript to read. Much of what it says dovetails with the conversation Peter AU 1 and Karlof1 were having in the comments forum attached to B's previous post (comments 85 - 87) and my addition @ 96 with regard to psychological projection and the phenomenon of shared psychosis, the latter which is now well known in Australia due to a case involving five members of a family in Victoria in 2016. ..."
"... Maybe there is also a class warfare aspect to Russiagate as well, just as there was to the mass hysteria directed at Communism: both phenomena focus on particular scapegoats made to represent the manifestation of the fears of a ruling class that knows it does not deserve its position in society. ..."
"... Because it would constitute a great moral error for Russia and a blow to its rapidly rising credibility and trustworthiness. Here are several maxims: First and foremost--The Golden Rule; Second--you don't stoop to the level of your opponent; rather, expose the difference as much as possible. Third, and almost as important as #1--Honor & Dignity. ..."
"... the information is simply deemed too damaging to the USA soft power, to the point even Trump doesn't want to release it to the public; and/or the deep state is essentially blocking it from going public for the same reason. ..."
"... this Russophobe situation is not all that bad to the political faction in Russia who wants it to remain sovereign relative to the USA (i.e. the Eurasianists). Trade between the two countries was already almost null before the sanctions (less than 5% of each country's total trade), so they aren't really affecting their economies. Besides, Russia gains the rationale to stifle its neoliberals at home (Yeltsin and the liberals) and maintain United Russia in power. It also gives Putin a legitimate excuse to dump US Treasury bonds, build its own internet servers, increase its relations with China and drive a wedge between Europe and the US. ..."
"... What happened with the "US is rapidly collapsing" , "The breathtaking weakness of the Empire", "No one takes the US seriously" "World to US - you are fired" and so on alt media retardations? ..."
May 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims karlof1 , May 16, 2019 3:44:02 PM | link

On Tuesday Russia's President Putin again rejected U.S. claims that his country interfered in the 2016 elections in the United States. Additional statements by Foreign Minister Lavrov provide that there is more information available about alleged Russian cyber issue during the election. He pointed to exchanges between the Russian and U.S. governments that Russia wants published but which the U.S. is withholding.

On Tuesday May 14 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Sochi to meet with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov and with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. It was Pompeo's first official visit to Russia. Pompeo's meeting with Lavrov was followed by a joined news conference . The statements from both sides touched on the election issue.

The State Department published a full transcript and video of the press conference in English language. The Russian Foreign Ministry provided an official English translation of only Lavrov's part. Both translations differ only slightly.

Here are the relevant excerpts from the opening statements with regard to cyber issues.

Lavrov:

We agreed on the importance of restoring communications channels that have been suspended lately, which was due in no small part to the groundless accusations against Russia of trying to meddle in the US election. These allegations went as far as to suggest that we colluded in some way with high-ranking officials from the current US administration. It is clear that allegations of this kind are completely false. [...] I think that there is a fundamental understanding on this matter as discussed by our presidents during their meeting last year in Helsinki, as well as during a number of telephone conversations. So far these understandings have not been fully implemented .

Pompeo:

[W]e spoke, too, about the question of interference in our domestic affairs. I conveyed that there are things that Russia can do to demonstrate that these types of activities are a thing of the past and I hope that Russia will take advantage of those opportunities.

During the Q & A Shaun Tanron of AFP asked Pompeo about the election issue:

[I]f I could follow up on your statement about the election, you said that there are things that Russia could do to show that election interference is a thing of the past. What are those things? What do – what would you like Russia to do? Thank you very much.

Lavrov responded first to the question. He said that there is no evidence that shows any Russian interference in the U.S. elections. He continued:

Speaking about the most recent US presidential campaign in particular, we have had in place an information exchange channel about potential unintended risks arising in cyberspace since 2013. From October 2016 (when the US Democratic Administration first raised this issue) until January 2017 (before Donald Trump's inauguration), this channel was used to handle requests and responses. Not so long ago, when the attacks on Russia in connection with the alleged interference in the elections reached their high point, we proposed publishing this exchange of messages between these two entities, which engage in staving off cyberspace incidents. I reminded Mr Pompeo about this today. The administration, now led by President Trump, refused to do so. I'm not sure who was behind this decision, but the idea to publish this data was blocked by the United States. However, we believe that publishing it would remove many currently circulating fabrications. Of course, we will not unilaterally make these exchanges public, but I would still like to make this fact known.

The communication channel about cyber issues did indeed exist. In June 2013 the Presidents of the United States and Russia issued a Joint Statement about "Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)". The parties agreed to establishing communication channels between each other computer emergency response teams, to use the direct communication link of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers for cyber issue exchanges, and to have direct communication links between high-level officials in the White House and Kremlin for such matter. A Fact Sheet published by the Obama White House detailed the implementation of these three channels.

One inference from Lavrov's statement is that the "fundamental understanding on this matter" between the two presidents that has "not been fully implemented" is the release of the communications about cyberspace incidents. The Russians clearly think that a release of the communications with the Obama administration would exculpate them. That would also exculpate Trump from any further collusion allegations. Why then does the Trump administration reject the release? Who is blocking it?

Pompeo did not respond to Lavrov's points. His next meeting that day was with President Putin.

Putin let him wait for three hours. Both sides issued short opening statements. The English translations of what Putin said differ. In the version provided by Russia Putin explicitely denies the alleged election interference:

For our part, we have said many times that we would also like to restore relations on a full scale. I hope that the necessary conditions for this are being created now since, despite the exotic character of Mr Mueller's work, he should be given credit for conducting what is generally an objective inquiry. He reaffirmed the lack of any trace or collusion between Russia and the current administration , which we described as sheer nonsense from the very start. There was no, nor could there be any interference on our part in the US election at the government level. Nevertheless, regrettably, these allegations have served as a reason for the deterioration of our interstate ties.

The State Department version does not include the Russian denial of election interference but doubles the rejection of the collusion claim:

On our behalf, we have said it multiple times that we also would like to rebuild fully fledged relations, and I hope that right now a conducive environment is being built for that, because, though, however exotic the work of Special Counsel Mueller was, I have to say that on the whole he had a very objective investigation and he confirmed that there are no traces whatsoever of collusion between Russia and the incumbent administration , which we've said was absolutely fake. As we've said before, there was no collusion from our government officials and it could not be there. Still, that was – that was one of the reasons certainly breaking our (inaudible) ties.

An English language live translation of that paragraph (vid) by the Russian sponsored Ruptly does not include the word 'election' in the highlighted sentence, nor does a live translation (vid) by PBS.

It seem that the Kremlin later inserted the explicit denial of election interference into Putin's statement. It is quite possible that Putin, who did not read from a prepared paper, mangled the talking point that Lavrov had already made.

After the meeting Putin, Pompeo held a short press availability with the U.S. journalists accompanying him. There is no mentioning of Lavrov's point.

There were secret communications between the Obama administration and the Russian government about the alleged election interference and 'hacks' of the DNC and of Clinton's campaign manager Podesta. They are not mentioned in the Mueller report nor in any other open source. As Russia wants these communications released it might be possible to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to press for their publication. The Trump administration response to such a FOIA request could at least reveal the reasons why it is withholding them.

The allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections are partly based on the fact that a commercial Russian enterprise used fake characters on Facebook to sell advertisement . A review of the themes and ideological positions those fake characters provided demonstrates that they were not designed to influence the U.S. elections.

In contrast to those Russian fakes other fake characters on Facebook, provided by an Israeli company and revealed today, were clearly designed to influence elections :

Facebook said Thursday it banned an Israeli company that ran an influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has canceled dozens of accounts engaged in spreading disinformation.
...
Many were linked to the Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying firm that boasts of its social media skills and ability to "change reality."
...
On its website, Archimedes presents itself as a consulting firm involved in campaigns for presidential elections.

Little information is available beyond its slogan, which is "winning campaigns worldwide," and a vague blurb about the group's "mass social media management" software, which it said enabled the operation of an "unlimited" number of online accounts.

Don't expect any protest from Washington DC about such obvious election interference in other countries.

---
Hat tip to Aaron Maté for pointing out Lavrov's statement

"... a release of the communications with the Obama administration would " be the logical, necessary first step in removing all the anti-Russian sanctions, theft of diplomatic property, and so forth--except--that isn't what the actual policy is toward Russia: Russia's the declared "existential threat" #1 of 2 to Outlaw US Empire National Security; so, any actual accommodation--"normalization of relations/communications--with Russia remains off the table.

Why?

The Controlling Oligarchy still believes it can overcome what's becoming an Eurasian Alliance to its Zero-sum plan for the planet. Such a conclusion clearly isn't determined by facts or logic but by the long entrenched metaphysical dogma in the Controlling Oligarchy's exceptionalism and that its God of Mammon is on its side. Fantastical delusion, certainly, that only operates within the alternative reality the Controlling Oligarchy's constructed for itself and its slaves/disciples. That construct has its roots in the ongoing denial of historical reality over the past 2,000+ years, whose true reality was recovered by Michael Hudson's Peabody Museum Team.


Symen Danziger , May 16, 2019 3:47:51 PM | link

The Trump administration probably wants to stretch this nothingburger well into 2020 to give Democrats a little taste of their own medicine.

The toxic cocktail of Ukrainian oligarchs/operatives and the Obama/Clinton/Kerry/Biden mafia is best served around election time.

Taffyboy , May 16, 2019 4:28:34 PM | link
Again, this is WWE kayfabe by Trump. He is such a bull shitter. If you can stand to watch without upchucking...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkghtyxZ6rc

... There you have it, one glorious president, same guy different year. But Lavrov, again shows grace under fire. This guy is amazing. He is more than a match for Trump, or any low brow now representing the USA.

Jackrabbit , May 16, 2019 4:45:14 PM | link
Taffyboy @15: kayfabe by Trump

Trump does engage in a lot of kayfabe - like his "fake news" conflict with our controlled press.

But the new McCarthyism is much more. This is a serious Deep State-approved policy to weaken Russia, kettle Europe, and stifle dissent.

lysias , May 16, 2019 4:46:00 PM | link Really? , May 16, 2019 4:46:10 PM | link
"And i know all the points made that Russia could not have hacked them, but all the opposing evidence is much stronger IMHO, "

This statement is quite worrisome.
It is akin to the Mueller investigation itself: evidence-free, or evidence bending and distorting.
IMO any hypothesis/theory of the crime has to account for all available physical evidence and forensics. If it doesn't either there is something wrong with the hypothesis, or with the evidence. Unless you can provide counter-evidence to Binney's assessment and evidence that there was a leak, not a hack, then I don't think your conclusion has much value--becomes a garbage in, garbage out situation.

WJ , May 16, 2019 4:57:38 PM | link
The problem with Jackrabbit's @3 account is that it takes seriously the notion that Trump is a "nationalist," which he's not. His rhetoric is nationalist, as is arguably his "trade war" with China, but every major foreign policy action he's undertaken could have been undertaken by any of the last four Presidents and most would have been undertaken by Clinton. I agree with Jackrabbit that the correct inference to draw from the Trump administration's failure to publish the exonerating correspondence is that the new McCarthyism is policy, on some level. The only difference between Trump and Clinton is that she knew this was the new policy going into the election and even had a hand in creating its pretext, while Trump was informed only later.

Why is this policy? Not because Henry Kissinger says so. It is because the last years of the Obama presidency leading into the 2016 election witnessed a noticeable rise of social and political disaffection among Americans due to rapidly increasing inequality post the 2008-09 bailout and this was perceived as threatening the viability (ie propagandistic utility) of the two major parties and corporate media narratives, these being the two institutions most captured by and useful for the oligarchic elites. The Russia-meddling narrative would have been put forward even if Clinton had won, though probably under a different guise. Its main function was to recapture domestic politics and party stability by creating a foreign enemy that could be presented to the masses as the cause of American social unrest. The masses, being stupid and gullible, would soon fall into line, and yearn for a "return" to the "normalcy"--ie the status quo iniquities--of the political order. This, in fact, is the very premise of Biden's--the favored restorationist's-- presidential campaign.

If there is a "reason" that Trump was allowed to be elected, it is probably that the collapse of the Democratic Party poses a bigger threat to the elite than the collapse of the Republican Party does, because the Democratic Party is meant to absorb and neuter social democratic movements coming from the Left. Hence there needed to be a mechanism whereby Democratic Party allegiance was strengthened. Russia-meddling narrative did exactly this. It successfully present social democratic critiques of Party leadership as suspicious and illegitimate and presented the Party itself as the victim of nefarious influence, thereby reinspiring the allegiance of its
members.

The whole theater surrounding the 2020 election is to prevent the populist upsurge of the 2016 election from taking hold. It is largely working. I suspect Biden will be nominated as Democratic nominee during the second ballot of the election, and he will narrowly beat it narrowly lose to Trump. Of course there are multiple parties that benefit from the Russia-meddling narrative. But I think that reestablishing narrative control over domestic politics was the chief purpose of the narrative, not Kissinger's foreign policy op ed.

I think that events subsequent to 2016 support this narrative.

somebody , May 16, 2019 5:06:44 PM | link
The problem is with the artificial construct of "election interference" which lots of countries do in the US by funding certain politicians. The Clinton Foundation is a big elephant.

Cambridge Analytica which has been closely connected to the British establishment pitched to all countries including Russia . As they deal in psychological warfare everybody must have been asleep - or not.
This is a Scottish take on Cambridge Analytica

Board members include an array of Lords, Tory donors, ex-British army officers and defense contractors. This is scandal that cuts to the heart of the British establishment.' A freedom of information request from August 2016, shows that the MOD has twice bought services from Strategic Communication Laboratories in recent years.

In 2010/11, the MOD paid £40,000 to SCL for the "provision of external training". Meanwhile, in 2014/2015, it paid SCL £150,000 for the "procurement of target audience analysis".

In addition, SCL also carries a secret clearance as a 'list X' contractor for the MOD. A List X site is a commercial site on British soil that is approved to hold UK government information marked as 'confidential' and above. Essentially, SCL got the green light to hold British government secrets on its premises.

Meanwhile, the US State Department has a contract for $500,000 with SLC. According to an official, this was to provide "research and analytical support in connection with our mission to counter terrorist propaganda and disinformation overseas." This was not the only work that SCL has been contracted for with the US government, the source added...

So Britain interfered in the US elections in two ways - as a psychological warfare company laying a trail to Russia and as a "private" secret service company - Orbis - claiming that there was a Russian conspiracy.

wagelaborer , May 16, 2019 5:08:37 PM | link
In order to believe that Russia tried to influence the US election by releasing information to American voters, you would have to believe that
1) Russia preferred one candidate over the others, (although Putin has pointed out that US policy marches on, unencumbered by any particular front man in the White House)
2) That Russia believes that American voters carefully research the candidates and base their votes on facts and reason. Why would Russia believe this? I certainly don't. And the reaction of the Dems to the Mueller Report makes it particularly obvious that facts don't penetrate into the minds of Dems. (It should go without saying that Reps are equally resistant to facts.)
3) That Russia knew that the DNC had emails which showed that the Clinton campaign rigged the primaries against Sanders. Why would Russia know that? And did Russia also shoot down Seth Rich, in order to make it look like Clinton racked up another body? As Jackrabbit points out, above, we are told that Clinton actually got 3 million more votes than Trump, so clearly, the leaks, the information and the dead body meant very little to American voters.

I also agree with Jackrabbit that this hysteria against Russia started before the 2016 election. Does no one remember the coup in Ukraine? The propaganda started then.

And the purposes of this propaganda push are obvious, and are playing out now.

A big part is the attempt of our owners to regain access to the wealth of Russia, as they had under their drunken puppet Yeltsin, in the 90s. The sanctions, the NATO expansion, the military "exercises" on the border...all justified (in their propaganda) by the "Russian threat".

Also to push for censorship and control over social media. Listen to their speeches, watch their actions, and it is very clear that they intend to shut down the horizontal flow of information between humans around the world that social media made possible, for a few, brief years.

And the ramping up of the divisions in the US population, by calling anyone who voted for Trump a "racist", which annoys the hell out of people, leading to anger and increased hostility, which is then blamed on the Russians, in a transparent (to normal people) case of psychological projection. They are pushing for civil war, in order to divide and conquer the people, and they are blaming the obvious increase of tensions on the Russians.

Kevin , May 16, 2019 5:09:57 PM | link
The "Russian interference" theory is useful for diverting attention away from the Israeli interference FACT. Trump is a willing stooge of the Israelis and therefore will do nothing substantial to bury the Russian interference theory.
Peter AU 1 , May 16, 2019 5:17:48 PM |