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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

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.

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 Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Nation under attack meme Steele dossier Putin-did-it fiasco
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 Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Media as a weapon of mass deception MSM as fake news industry US and British media are servants of security apparatus 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

Introduction

  It is impossible to overstate the stakes involved in the latest controversy over Russia. They involve trillions of dollars in warfare largess to the tens of thousands of bureaucratic warfare-state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

Jacob G. Hornberger, December 15, 2016

We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness, the cause of humanity and a crusade for peace.

Walter Lippmann

"Trump is somewhat less thrilled with tilting with Russia for the American empire which is as moral as Nero's Rome." And that annoys neocons, including a part of CIA, Pentagon, and a large part of State Department. Dumping Kristol's PNAC crowd will definitely strengthen the republic. But it is not an easy teas as all those national security parasites are well entrenched in Washington, DC. The classic question is "Who, whom ?" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who,_whom%3F

Economist's View   comment

"... The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large. ..."

Gilbert Doctorow

 

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. It might well be a symptom of the USA society getting  a dangerous political auto-immune disease.

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia symbolizes 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 running scared and pretending that the level of dissent is the work of "foreign enemies", well, this is a sign of decadence of elite and profound weakness of neoliberal ideology.  As Professor Cohen noted this is a real threat to the USA national security:

This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise.

More to the point, advisers to U.S. policy-makers and even media commentators on Russia must have many and various contacts with Russia if they are to understand anything about the dynamics of Kremlin policy-making. I myself, to take an individual example, was an adviser to two (unsuccessful) presidential campaigns, which considered my wide-ranging and longstanding "contacts" with Russia to be an important credential, as did the one sitting president whom I advised.

To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post , in an editorial . This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary , argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security.

This is  the sign the  US elite is losing the battle of ideas can't find solutions to the US problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status (as well as 18 intelligence agencies), and that's really not enough anymore. So fueling paranoia is a defensive  move, that allow to shift the focus to "external enemy" and rally the nation under the flag.

Samuel Johnson saying  "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. " can be modified to "McCarthyism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

That why the Russian threat argument is not only popular, but became one of the main "themes" within the MSM and the American political establishment. This witch  hunt is encouraged by foreign governments who, for reasons of self-interest, want to see Washington embroiled in the confrontation (Israel as well as Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian nationalists comes to mind). The result is the construction of the new peril, a process similar to re-construction (actually more realistic, as technology of propaganda improved since 50th) of Red Menace.

This process which  we will call neo-McCarthyism has its own logic and rules.  Red scare was actually greatly beneficial to the USA in 50th as along with crushing of dissent it helped to kept cannibalistic instinct of the US elite in check.  The fear of the USSR prevented looting of middle class  till 1980th. In other word the mere existence of the USSR on the world scene suppressed cannibalistic instinct of the US elite for more than a half the century. That why the post-war period as a the real gold-age period for the US middle class an population in general.  Cannibalistic instincts of the US elite returned only after the collapse of the USSR.  Fueled by ascendance of neoliberalism.

The analogy of "Russiagate" with McCarthy witch hunt in very strong indeed but is incomplete. Here in addition to the attempt to crush the opposition to neoliberal globalization painting tit as Russian stooges and suppress disappointment with neoliberalism by rallying that nation around the flag, there is a distinct smell of color revolution against President Trump.  There are several facts which suggest that employees of CIA, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the neoliberal/globalist wing of Democrat Party (Clinton wing), used the power of their offices and (with the assistance of foreign nationals) tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump, to collect "insurance" -- compromising materials on him in case he win, and  after his surprise win, to provide a basis for his impeachment and removal from the Office by forcing on his  administration the Special Prosecutor.

Like in any color revolution the hysteria in MSM plays very important role in demonizing Russian and by extension the current administration. Similar to "Red Menace" witch hunt  opposing to neoliberalism ideas are perceived as a cancer spreading around the globe, undermining the legitimacy of Western values and political systems.  That's why we see frantic attempt to raise anti-Russian sentiments in the USA to this level of nation-wide paranoia ("Russians under  every bed" level) too. To fake it as the "battle of ideas (BTW Russia is just another neoliberal state; it just wants to be less dependent for Washington, not a pitiful vassal like Western Europeans countries) and make it "strategic" confrontation. Russian policies are distorted to the level which make them a caricature completely detached  from the reality. And the assumption the the US President can unilaterally change the USA foreign policy actually is an insult to intelligence.

Under the cover of this hysteria Washington is trying to adopt a long term diplomatic and military strategy of containing Russia; to forge new alliances which might slow down or prevent ascendance of the economic block of Russia and China (with Iran, turkey and India as possible members). And like in  in Orwell 1984 novel to prepare the American people for a never ending struggle of "good and evil".

Neo-McCarthyism undermines the USA security

The problem with the USA neoliberal elite  and neoliberal MSM is that the last thing US neoliberals are interested in  is how the world outside the bubble of "full spectrum dominance" they inhabit after 1980 operates, and their absolutely contempt for 'deplorables', be they Russian, British, Arab or American. This can lead to political misjudgements like invasion of Libya,  and support of jihadists to partition Syria. 

The whole situation with Russia, including but not limited her economy, history, military, culture etc., is not known to those people. And this represent a strong empirical evidence of a complete professional inadequacy of most people populating this neoliberal/neocon  "full spectrum dominance" bubble. Which makes them a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards selling the security of the USA and  balancing on the edge of nuclear war for 20 silver coins for themselves and their  families. Many of the them look like (and most probably are) little men, drunkards, henpecked husbands, or civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives or present to be a stong men in the yeys of thier  mistresses.  Do you think they sit like monks balancing right against wrong in such tricky subject as relations with Russia ? No. Thier approach is simplistick and wrong "Russia is an aurotirarisnce state" so  "Carnage should be destroyed." And they are playing this game for their petty and selfish motive.  Steele dossier attests that in the USA there is a fully formed and influences caste of "national security parasites." The caste that is deeply interested in keeping the heat in Russiagate as it brings them money, influence as well as personal security in their lucrative positions in State Department,  US papers or TV channels at the expense of security of the USA as a country.

The US and British neoliberal MSM now have fallen below any journalistic standard. It is prudent to view them as evil propaganda tools used by rogue elements in the US and British intelligence agencies. They do not have their own opinions. Puppets. All of them.  And as somebody aptly said those overzealous "journalists" like Rachel Madcow  or "analysts" like Max Boot "should be demoted to painting houses, instead of painting Russia black".

That might be just my old age problem, that  that's how I see it ;-)

And as far as I cal tell most of those people are badly educated  by  European standards (I am not talking about worthless formal degrees they hold), they are deeply provincial, and often clueless Mayberry Machiavellians. They actually enjoy their "confirmation bias"  toward Russia (which to me is a modern form of anti-Semitism, displacement of hatred to Jews if you wish, which is so common among Irish Catholics ;-). In a simple human terms I would call them ignorant snobs. That is why this neoliberal academic-political-media "environment" prefers openly anti-Russian "sources" because those "sources" reiterate to them what they want to hear to start with. Thus is classic "Chalabi Moment" reproduced with a quite different, nuclear armed  country and as such much more dangerous.

In case of Iraq it was and  still is a tragedy (that cost life of million or more of Iraqis), but at least the world is relatively safe. With Russia, as I stated many times for years -- they simply have no idea what they are dealing with.  Those guy know how to fight. But they are  briefed by "sources" such as Russian fugitives in London (who buy this way their non-extradition to Russia for their crimes) and are happy to get the confirmation of their biases.  Also they have information form fringe urban Russian fifth column, especially feminists and lesbians (Masha Gessen is a good example here; although even she has now reservations about Russiagate) 

Again, the level of "Russian Studies" in the Anglophone world in general and in the USA in particular is appalling. And this dismal level represents a  "clear and present danger"  since removes or misinterprets crucial information about the only nation in the world which can completely annihilate the USA. And dramatically increases the  danger of a disastrous military confrontation which can easily slide into full scale nuclear war. they are constantly baiting and humiliating Russia, which so far (to be fare to Putin) did not bite the bait. But a more stupid and more nationalistic person can come to power after Putin, kind of Russian Trump.   And then what ?

I would say that US military brass on average is much better aware of Russia and not only in purely military terms.  Current trends in the USA foreign policy (and they are not new) are so  worrisome that, paradoxically, the US military are my only hope.

Some notes on history of the present Neo-McCarthysim compaign

The key reason for this propaganda campaign is that Putin stance on international relations (multi-polar world) is in conflict that neoliberals/neocons idea of the USA full spectrum domination. Also the alliance of China  and Russia represents  geo-political thereat to the neoliberal empire led by USA. And Russia is a weaker link is this fledging alliance with stronger and more numerous fifth column (which in China is much weaker outside Hong Cong). Also Russia is less nationalistic then China and has traditionally strong pro-Europeian faction of the elite which can be used as the fifth column. So logically this is a country which can be attached first. 

Subduing, of better, dismembering of Russia, also cuts an important source of hydrocarbons to China and fully encircles China. And  the idea to appropriate Russian hydrocarbons was the idea fix of the Us neoliberal elite since Clinton. And during "Drunken Yeltsin" presidency they almost succeeded (Khodorkovsky was on the wedge of selling his holdings to the USA when he was arrested), but them this success was partially reversed with the ascendance of Putin. So this McCarthyism campaign and Putin demonization has a stamp on it "Nothing personal, only business."

The problem with such a policy which is consistent for all administration starting with Bush II (probably the first in a long string of former CIA operatives who became the USA presidents) is that Russia is a nuclear armed state and such tactics literally means balancing on the edge of nuclear war. 

The campaign started in late 2013 and early 2014 around the time of Sochi Olympics. After Maydan color revolution in Ukraine Russia was hit with sanctions for not obeying Washington dictat and geo-political interests. But that was only a start. At this time full scale campaign for demonization of President Putin and  successfully associating him with the word "thug" started . In three year this campaign brought pretty amazing result:  over 80% of population is now completely brainwashed and view Putin as evil kleptocrat, who should be deposed by all means possible. While in reality he is just a very moderate Russian nationalist and  pretty talented and reserved politician  who avoids open confrontation with the USA despite constant and un-relenting bating.  This demonization of Putin is one of the most visible successes of neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA and GB (to lesser extent in France and Germany, as well) 

The next wave stated in 2016. First with the accusation that Kremlin  hacked Hillary Clinton bathroom  server and then it  reached full speed with the attempt to blame DNC hacks on Russians (which now looks like false flag operation by Crowdstrike to to present internal leak as a Russian hack)

The third wave which reached really hysterical pitch started with the election of Trump as "insurance policy" to prevent his cabinet from implementing any measure that can hurt neoliberal globalization and neocon foreign policy.

They are constantly developing new containment policies, new doctrines. The side effect of all this frantic activities is feeding of MIC as well as a group of people, who we call "national security parasites".  This new cadre of Russophobes are recruited mostly from neocons ( "dirty scoundrels of Washington" ) and neoliberal (Clinton) wing of Democratic  Party. There is also a large strata of politicians, who more than willing to exploit this opportunity to feed military industrial complex, such as Senator McCain.  In any case they now constitute the dominant faction of the US elite and dominate the USA foreign policy. So this is another iteration of "Carnage needs to be destroyed" hysteria with a specific for Washington set of cheerleaders and "experts."

Since around  late November 2017 there is some oppostion to this neo-McCarthyism wave. Opposition is much weaker and compaign still proceed at full speed, but certain  elements of Republican Party now oppose this witch hunt, if for purely partisan reasons. And that was clearly demonstrated by recent hearings of the Capitol Hill, especially Rosenstein testimony  before  House Judiciary Committee called over concern about possible bias of Mueller investigation (surprise, surprise).

Who was behind ne "Red Perl" hysteria

The central role in the creation of the new "Red  peril" is played by US intelligence agencies. They word using time tested patterns of war propaganda. Demonization of the enemy is the task number one in this  game. The fueling of this hysteria  usually starts with mysterious "sources" and unnamed "intelligence officials" who leak information, float trial balloons, and warn about the coming threat. Their information is then augmented by colorful intelligence reports that finger exotic cybersecurity threats and retired CIA brass like Michael Morell, John O. Brennan, supported by several other figures from the US intelligence community like old Cold War warrior James Clapper and  neocons in Pentagon such as Ashton Carter (neocons were extremely well represented in Obama administration, starting with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State):

3 Dec 2014 18:41
Ashton Carter was one of the most extreme of the neocon hawks in the upper levels of the Bush Admin. His specific assignment was to ensure there could never be a "peer competitor" by throwing money at the bleeding cutting edge of weapons technology.

Along the way, he was one of only two senior people openly advocated for a pre-emptive attack on N. Korea. Even Bush thought that was too much, and even Cheney did not support it, but Carter pushed it. One can wonder how a neocon, wife of a leading neocon, came to be in charge in Ukraine, to declaim "f-the-EU" and boast of spending billions to promote this second color revolution, giving cookies to open Nazis along the way.

However, now with Carter we see that the neocons have captured the policy part of the Obama Admin -- it wasn't an accident, it was design that we did that, and now will go back into Iraq, attack Syria, and attack Iran.

Anti-Russia stories are instantly get the front coverage in NYT, WaPo and other prominent neoliberal publications as well as neoliberal channels sympathetic to Democrats (CNN, MSNBC, CBS). Journalists then search for the people named by those leaks. This part of media (which remains under control of 5 corporation and CIA) forms an informal coalition with the sources within the US intelligence agances and plays important role in fueling color revolution against President Trump.

This process actually was very similar to creation of Green Peril  after the collapse of the USSR, which proved to be self-fulfilling prophecy and culminated in 9/11 (see, for example, https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/green-peril-creating-islamic-fundamentalist-threat The "Green Peril": Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat By Leon T. Hadar August 27, 1992)

In addition, think tanks launch another "frontal propaganda attack" producing all kind of position papers, op-ed pieces, interviews, and such which adds momentum to the official spin. Their publication is followed by congressional hearings, policy conferences, and public press briefings. A governmental policy debate ensues, producing studies, working papers, and eventually doctrines and policies that become part of the media's spin. The new villain is now ready to be integrated into the popular culture to help to mobilize public support for a new crusade. In the case of the Russian threat this process has been under way for more then a year. The current anti-Russian witch hunt in the media was started by Hillary campaign in early 2016 as a smoke screen to shadow weakness of their candidate.

The Democratic Party nomenklatura is embarked on a massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign. No to "break up the banks", no to "free public college", no to "Medicare for all", no campaign funding reform. Now it reached the intensity of a new "Red Scare" hysteria of McCarthyism years. What is interesting is the propaganda behaves exactly like brainwashing in high demand cult -- they do not care if it is true of not -- they just force feed you with it until you internalize it (which is the definition of being brainwashed). 

MSM role in the witch hunt

Official narrative dominates MSM and is endlessly repeated (http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/why-ridiculous-official-propaganda-still-works/):

The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an “official narrative” that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between “the truth” as defined by the ruling classes and any other “truth” that contradicts their narrative.

The current “Russian hacking” hysteria is a perfect example of how this works. No one aside from total morons actually believes this official narrative (the substance of which is beyond ridiculous), not even the stooges selling it to us. This, however, is not a problem, because it isn’t intended to be believed … it is intended to be accepted and repeated, more or less like religious dogma.

If Russian hackers did not exist, it would be necessary for the CIA to invent them via some kind of false operation.  As long as the neoliberal empire's geopolitical agenda of putting Russia in its place is thereby advanced, the truth of the allegations is irrelevant. And they skillfully played the fact that nobody wants any foreign power influencing a US election. But along with Russia there were definitely other players with strong interest in particular outcome and wast capabilities in this area. For example, Israel, GB, KSA, Iran, China, Pakistan, and India. To name just a few. They probably should be investigated with the same vigor (How the Israel Lobby Works - The Unz Review):

norman ravitch June 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm GMT
The unholy alliance of Evangelicals and Zionists dominates our foreign policy in the Middle East. The first group has fantastic notions from the Books of Revelations and Daniel about the coming war between good and evil. The second group, whose ideology is based on integral nationalism which easily metasthesizes into Fascism, cares nothing about US interests.

It is not the first time that groups in American favor anti-American policies in favor of another country; think only of pro-IRA politicians in the Northeast, beginning with Congressman Peter King. But it is time to reject the irrationality of Evangelicals and Zionists and strive for an American foreign policy. Israel should be no more no less important to us than, say, Finland.

laurais says: June 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm GMT

We hear constantly of the power of the so-called Jewish Lobby, but no one ever explains how and why the Lobby has dome to have such power.

If this Lobby weren’t useful to interests that transcend and ultimately have little to do with Jewish/Israeli interests, few politicians would pay the Lobby any mind. Geopolitically, Israel is a useful tool of global elites. If the Israeli government were to make serious peace overtures to the Palestinian factions and if these factions were to respond favorably, any peace effort would be nipped in the bud by those who have a strong interest in keeping these entities from cooperating with one another. Many Israelis know this. In fact, their alternative media shout it from the rooftops.

How the Israel Lobby Works | Council for the National Interest says: June 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm GMT 

[…] The major organizations that comprise the Israel Lobby are well known: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and Christians United For Israel (CUFI). All are well known, benefiting from large budgets and staffs. They are extremely effective, having excellent access to politicians and the media to promote their points of view, and are, as a group, regular visitors to the White House. AIPAC is without doubt the most powerful lobby in the United States that is focused on a foreign policy issue. […] 

Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order

Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order (the US led global neoliberal empire, which is way resembles the dream of Trotsky about "World Revolution" which would create "World Communist State"). And it is not the first time they use intelligence agencies as their propaganda machine. The fake news chant is just an addition to the anti-Russian BS. The goal like with original McCarthyism is to delegitimize any voice other than neocon war mongers (original McCarthyism also probably served as a smoke screen to hide large influx of specialists from Nazi Germany in the US. switch the public attention to "communists infiltrators"; communism as an ideology was dead after 1945, when soviet solders saw the standard of living of common folks in "capitalist" Central and Western Europe; it took another 45 years for it to collapse this quasi-religious society aka theocrathy called the USSR ). 

Yellowcake was probably the most well know recent case of fake news propagated by US government, the company of mass disinformation of American people for nefarious ends.  If involved  a prominent US neocon Michael Ledeen (the author of Ledeen doctrine "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business"):

Yellowcake forgery allegations[edit]

Main article: Niger uranium forgeries

According to a September 2004 article by Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris in Washington Monthly:[10]

"The first meeting occurred in Rome in December, 2001. It included Franklin, Rhode, and another American, the neoconservative writer and operative Michael Ledeen, who organized the meeting. (According to UPI, Ledeen was then working for Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith as a consultant.) Also in attendance was Ghorbanifar and a number of other Iranians."
... ... ...
Regarding the "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq, in 2002 Ledeen criticized the views of former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, writing:[12]
He fears that if we attack Iraq "I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a cauldron and destroy the War on Terror."
One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists.
That's our mission in the war against terror.

This whole "Russian hacking" storyline looks so infantile that it is demeaning to the dignity of the United States.  If would be especially funny if this Russiagate operation was hatched in CIA, or Israel or some other state, as a false flag. another question here is: "Is the United States the victim of an unprovoked cyber and media attack by Russia, or are the chickens coming home to roost after Washington’s own promotion of such activity worldwide?" What was the role of the USA in Russia presidential elections of 2011-2012 after which Ambassador McFaul left the country and NED was expelled?

Field Marshall Montgomery said that the first rule of war is "Don't march on Moscow". But those who rule America ignore the wise. Russia is a peaceful and friendly nation, but its elite does although converted to neoliberalism does not want vassal status (and Russia briefly was the vassal of the USA  under Yeltsin.)

We had the Russian hacking accusations for for over a year ( stemming mainly from Hillary campaign operatives),  but in 2017 they reached fervent pitch.  The globalists and Democratic Party nomenklatura launched massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues to save Clinton clan skin after election fiasco. This campaign is designed to distract the population and specifically democratic electorate away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign and prevent shedding Clinton nomenklarura to the dustbin of history. Clinton clan want to preserver their power over Democratic Party at all costs, even war with Russia is a the right price for them. 

During Hillary campaign those accusations served as a shrewd deflection maneuver which helped to swipe her "private email server" and "DNC corruption scandal" under the carpet. "Look, its Russians, who brought you those news. They are evil. Dismiss them" was the message.

Now this is amplified by the reaction of neocon lobby and other "national security parasites" (the  fastest growing part of the US military industrial complex with annual budget over 66 billions) to the new, less comfortable for them, political reality. In which some of their current lucrative positions in national security establishment and as MIC lobbyists might no longer be available.  thee are jointed the gorwing part of the US elite which directly depends on the existence of global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  The fear (proved to be unfounded, like it was the case with Obama ;-) initially was that this "change we can believe in", if implemented by Trump, also signifies career end of many prominent neocons such as Victoria Nuland in State Department, or Ashton B. Carter  in Pentagon.

In both cases this is a smoke screen to distract voters from the real problems facing the neoliberalism in USA and the rejection of neoliberal globalization by the US population. The rejection of Hillary is tied to the fact that the American people are finally becoming sick and tired of rampant militarism (aka New American Militarism, as Professor Bacevich called it) with the costs in people lives and treasure.  In this sense for some in Washington, the new Cold War looks like a viable solution of problems that the USA faces now. Nothing personal, just business, Mr. Putin (The Unz Review):

In our recent history, however, the most dangerous moment of all may have been one of next to no fears, only of expectations for the glories of an all-American world. I’m thinking of the years TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, returns to today, the ones after the Berlin Wall was first breeched and the Soviet Union, that “evil empire” of Cold War fame, simply vanished, leaving behind only… well, us.

That was the moment when the political and intellectual elite who had fought the Cold War and the corporate elite, including the warrior corporations of the military-industrial complex who had risen to power and fortune inside it, were suddenly staggered to discover that there seemed to be no one left to oppose them, nothing to stop them from doing their damnedest.

They no longer support the neocon attempt to create global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  They want to solve domestic problems first and especially the problem of unemployment, which became rampant under neoliberalism. While "Obama recovery created some jobs", it produced mostly McJobs in the service sector as well as "perma-temp" --  contractor jobs without benefits and health insurance within the USA, while continuing shipping previous highly paid permanent jobs to other countries. this is how IT was outsourced (with disastrous results, which are swiped under the carpet as the top brass does not care about negative consequences,  as long as annual bonuses increase or at least stay the same). 

The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population

The real problem that the country faces is that neoliberalism (aka Trotskyism for the rich) after around 40 years of world dominance, like Bolshevism previously,  had run its course. Ideology was discredited by events of 2008 but neoliberal state is still strong (but without viable ideology it is like a zombie, equally bloodthirsty and dangerous).

The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population.  the election of Trump signifies among other thing, that people reject status quo.  May we need be to restore major parts of New Deal (neo New Deal).   After 2008, neoliberal rationality is suspect and there is a strong blowback against continuation of neoliberal globalization which demonstrated itself in Brexitelection of Trump, and Renzi defeat in Italian referendum, which is huge win for EuroSkeptics.  This disillusionment with the neoliberalism is very deep for at least lower 80% of the US population.

There is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact, unless NSA did it when the hack occurred due to multiple levels of indirection via zombie computers in various countries. There are botnets, which are definitely assessable to many hackers with thousands, if not millions of computers in them.

All those insinuations that are published are really low level rumors reflecting the agenda of interested parties, as well as attempts to deceive gullible public. They do not look convincing and many security professionals provided devastating critique of their content and implied methodology (mainly IP space based).

Unless you understand that there is a larger agenda behind all this propaganda campaign, this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians looks strange,  as if other pretty capable players (including some agencies in the USA and Israel, the supposed countries of origin for Flame and Stuxnet).

Moreover Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people, including probably some people within NSA. 

Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak and was refute by research by Intelligence  professionals for sanity.  The death of one of DNC staffer also was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case. There was no open investigation whether the death was connected with the leaks of DNC emails to Wikileaks, but Seth Rich was definitely was in position to be a source the leak.

The fact the DNC computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to create a secure (even by weak standards of NIST guidelines)  infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a regular non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If someone is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.

And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to shade unpleasant facts revealed, Among them the fact that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.

And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO (National Endowment for Democracy - NED ) was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this activity.

McCarthyism as political auto-immune disease

Each state has the right to defend itself from attempt to destabilize it, especially by external forces, which can guide internal fifth column (in case of neoliberal it is neoliberal fifth column and the type of government destabilization used is known as color revolutions). In a typical color revolution scenario their are set of efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the government.  The USA was one of the first recognizing this threat at time fascism was such a danger, with enacting Sedition act and Foreign Agents Registration Act.

But like with human body sometime immune system starts to dysfunction. That's why we have allergies and auto-immune diseases. In those case the immune system attacks and kills healthy cells.  I view McCarthyism as modern political auto-immune disease.  In no way a skeptical view of the US neoliberal society and critique of neoliberalism, even a sharp one,  is equivalent to pro-Russian propaganda. 

Also Russia as a target is suspect, unless we subscribe to neocon agenda.  Russia is just another Westernized neoliberal society.  They watch the same Hollywood junk and US citizens ;-).  Major western propaganda channels like BCC are freely available in Russia for anybody to view. They are not jammed, like in days of the USSR (which actually only increased their popularity).  Unlike KSA they do not behead over 100 people a year and prohibit woman to drive. And KSA is considered to be an ally. 

All it does is weakly resist attempts to convert it into Washington vassal. In no way it challenges neoliberalism as a social system. Putin brought Russia in WTO and Medvedev government is hell-bent of privatization of state assets. The fact that they do not want to feed NYC financial sharks is of secondary importance.

Rumors as improvised news and a symptom of loss of trust in establishment and official communication channels

Fake news is modern day rumors spread via Internet. The rise of rumors (aka "improvised news") signify a dramatic fall in the trust to the establishment and official channel of distribution of information. This phenomenon is well known for anybody who studying Brezhnev's rule in the USSR.   Tamotsu Shibutani pioneered the study of this sociological phenomenon in his book Improvised News A Sociological Study of Rumor - Tamotsu Shibutani (1966).  Here is the TOC:

1. ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTIONS OF RUMOR I

2. THE FAILURE OF FORMAL NEWS CHANNELS 31

3. PROBLEM-SOLVING THROUGH DELIBERATION 63

4. SUGGESTIBILITY AND BEHAVIORAL CONTAGION 95

5. THE FORMATION OF POPULAR BELIEFS

6. A SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY OF RUMOR

7. THE POLITICAL MANIPULATION OF RUMOR

Later this pioneering study was continued in a (much weaker) book The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter by By Gary Alan Fine, Bill Ellis (2010)

Far from mere idle tales, rumors are a valuable window into our anxieties and fears. Rumors let us talk as a community about some very inflammatory issues--issues that may be embarrassing or disturbing to discuss-allowing us to act as if we are talking about real events, not personal beliefs. We can air our hidden fears and desires without claiming these attitudes as our own.

Contemporary rumors can provide us with important information about the fears and pressures of globalization that the US population now experiences. According to Fine&Ellix there are several connected with neoliberal globalization themes that emerge over and over again:

I would add to it persistent rumors about sexual perversion of the elite, including pedophilia (for example, "pizzagate").  Rumors, which in view of existing conviction in "Lolita express" case, are not completely without substance.

Various rumors tell us how Americans react to perceived global threats, how much they trust their own government (9/11 and especially the sub-story of  "Collapse of Building 7" are pretty telling examples here), how they interpret covert CIA actions that became known (Operation Mockingbird, JFK assasination) and deception that cost the US so dearly (Iraq WMD scare). And most importantly how they interpret decimation of the "New Deal" and the new, much less charitable to lower 90% of population neoliberal society in which they are now forced to live. As "New Deal" society is almost completely dismantled with Medicare and Social Security being two major leftovers, which are under attack from neoliberals and constant attempts to privatize them.

In their book authors argue that rumors also reflect our anxieties and fears about contact with foreign cultures -- whether we believe foreign competition to be poisoning the domestic economy or that foreign immigration to be eroding American values. That's why immigration theme was so hot in the recent Presidential elections.

The dramatic collapse of Hillary Clinton campaign that had led to the election of Trump led to attempt to erect a post-election smokescreen of this historic defeat of neoliberal establishment candidate supported by the leadership both parties in Congress and all major MSM.  And instead of analyzing the problems facing the US society, the problems which led to the election of Trump, Democrats and Obama administration decided to play  "Russians are coming" smoke screen.  

With the concentration of DNC leak and Podesta email hack (the latter is due to the blunder, committed by Podesta  himself, who make a blunder and essentially provided his password to attackers on the plate. In reality, the real issue with DNC leaks is the fact that Sanders campaign was sabotaged by crooks in DNC. 

Those who wipe up anti-Russian hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics. They might also and ask themselves a simple question:  "Do they have any moral right to to be sp indignant about supposed (not proved, but supposed)  foreign interference in the US elections, if such an interference is the cornerstone of the US foreign policy?"

Those who wipe up Russian hacking hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics, including, but not limited to JFK assassination  

While Russia represents an obstacle on the path of establishing global neoliberal empire led by the USA, it is not a threat. Unlike the USSR it just another neoliberal society and Putin can be  viewed as "soft globalist", not as isolationalist. He does want to work with Western nation, but on more equal terms then the USA and EU prefer.  He does not want Russia to became EU protectorate, or the USA vassal (as it was under drunkard Yeltsin). The latter is unacceptable for the US neoliberal elite which is hell-bent on world domination.  Many positions in the Russian government  are occupied by staunch, even by the USA standard, neoliberals, determined to conduct the privatizing of government property and government companies, cutting social services to the bones, and generally adhering to the postulates of Washington consensus as much as Chicago boys in the past.

Relations with Russia deteriorated after the USA launched in best Trotskyites style of (World Communist Revolution) the "Great World Neoliberal Revolution", a series of  "color revolutions" (starting with attack on Serbia) initiating "regime change" for  "not neoliberal enough" governments of countries with natural resources, or of some geopolitical value. All this under the smoke screen promoting the democracy, as it it exist in the USA (which became a typical oligarchic republic (a democracy but only for the top 1% or 10%, who are the only one able to select the candidate from two major parties), with two party system undistinguishable in its major aspects from Soviet one party system; see  Two Party System as Polyarchy )   Also it is not clear why Russia would prefer Trump to Hillary. They definitely have a lot of dirt of Hillary, and, especially, Clinton Foundation,  probably much more then on Trump. Here is one post that addresses this issues (Economist's View What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism Maybe the Economy, Oct 14, 2016):

likbez -> pgl... , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 07:43 PM
Paradoxically Pravda in old times did have real insights into the US political system and for this reason was widely read by specialists. Especially materials published by the Institute of the USA and Canada -- a powerful Russian think tank somewhat similar to the Council on Foreign Relations.

As for your remark I think for many people in the USA Russophobia is just displaced Anti-Semitism.

JohnH remark is actually very apt and you should not "misunderestimate" the level of understanding of the US political system by Russians. They did learn a lot about machinations of the neoliberal foreign policy, especially about so called "color revolutions."

Hillary&Obama has had a bloody nose when they tried to stage a "color revolution" in 2011-2012 in Russia (so called "white revolution). A typical US citizen probably never heard about it or heard only about "Pussy riot", Navalny and couple of other minor figures. At the end poor ambassador Michael McFaul was recalled. NED was expelled. Of course Russia is just a pale shadow of the USSR power-wise, so Obama later put her on sanctions using MH17 incident as a pretext with no chances of retaliation. They also successfully implemented regime change in Ukraine -- blooding Putin nose in return.

But I actually disagree with JohnH. First of all Putin does not need to interfere in a way like the USA did [in Russian Presidential elections] in 2011-2012. It would be a waist of resources as both candidates are probably equally bad for Russia (and it is the "deep state" which actually dictate the US foreign policy, not POTUS.)

The US political system is already the can of worms and the deterioration of neoliberal society this time created almost revolutionary situation in Marxists terms, when Repug elite was not able to control the nomination. Democratic establishment still did OK and managed to squash the rebellion, but here the level of degeneration demonstrated itself in the selection of the candidate.

Taking into account the level of dysfunction of the US political system, I am not so sure the Trump is preferable to Hillary for Russians. I would say he is more unpredictable and more dangerous. The main danger of Hillary is Syria war escalation, but the same is true for Trump who can turn into the second John McCain on a dime.

Also the difference between two should not be exaggerated. Both are puppets of the forces the brought them to the current level and in their POTUS role will need to be subservient to the "deep state". Or at least to take into account its existence and power. And that makes them more of prisoners of the position they want so much.

Trump probably to lesser extent then Hillary, but he also can't ignore the deep state. Both require the support of Republican Congress for major legislative initiatives. And it would be very hostile to Hillary. Which is a major advantage for Russians, as this excludes the possibility of some very stupid moves.

Again, IMHO in no way any of them will control the US foreign policy. In this area the deep state is in charge since Allen Dulles and those who try to deviate too much might end as badly as JFK. I think Obama understood this very well and did not try to rock the boat. And there are people who will promptly explain this to Trump in a way that he understands.

In other words, neither of them will escape the limit on their power that "deep state" enforces. And that virtually guarantee the continuity of the foreign policy, with just slight tactical variations.

So why Russians should prefer one to another? You can elect a dog as POTUS and the foreign policy of the USA will be virtually the same as with Hillary or Trump.

In internal policy Trump looks more dangerous and more willing to experiment, while Hillary is definitely a "status quo" candidate. The last thing Russians needs is the US stock market crush. So from the point of internal economic policy Hillary is also preferable.

A lot of pundits stress the danger of war with Russia, and that might be true as women in high political position try to outdo men in hawkishness. But here Hillary jingoism probably will be tightly controlled by the "deep state". Hillary definitely tried to be "More Catholic then the Pope" in this area while being the Secretary of State. That did not end well for her and she might learn the lesson.

But if you think about the amount of "compromat" (Russian term ;-) on Hillary and Bill that Russians may well already collected, in "normal circumstances" she might be a preferable counterpart for Russians. As in "devil that we know". Both Lavrov and Putin met Hillary. Medvedev was burned by Hillary. Taking into account the level of greed Hillary displayed during her career, I would be worried what Russians have on her , as well as on Bill "transgressions" and RICO-style actions of Clinton Foundation.

And taking into account the level of disgust amount the government officials with Hillary (and this is not limited to Secret Service) , new leaks are quite possible, which might further complicate her position as POTUS.

In worst case, the first year (or two) leaks will continue. Especially if damaging DNC leaks were the work of some disgruntled person within the USA intelligence and not of some foreign hacker group. That might be a plus for Russians as such a constant distraction might limit her possibility to make some stupid move in Syria. Or not.

As you know personal emails boxes for all major Web mail providers are just one click away for NSA analysts. So "Snowden II" hypothesis might have the right to exist.

Also it is quite probably that impeachment process for Hillary will start soon after her election. In the House Republicans have enough votes to try it. That also might be a plus for s for both Russia and China. Trump is extremely jingoistic as for Iran, and that might be another area were Hillary is preferable to Russians and Chinese over Trump.

Also do not discount her health problems. She does have some serious neurological disease, which eventually might kill her. How fast she will deteriorate is not known but in a year or two the current symptoms might become more pronounced. If Bill have STD (and sometime he looks like a person with HIV; http://joeforamerica.com/2016/07/bill-clinton-aids/) that further complicates that picture (this is just a rumor, but he really looks bad).

I think that all those factors make her an equal, or even preferable candidate for such states as Russia and China.

This is the situation of "king is naked" -- the state that teaches other countries about democracy has a completely corrupted election process within each party, like a typical banana republic. That what  Wikileak revelations proved. In his post Is Russia our enemy?  Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) aptly stated:

The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States.  What is the basis for that assumption?

The Obama Administration is apparently committed to a pre-emptive assertion that Russia is a world class committed enemy of the United States. The Borgist media fully support that.

We should all sober up.

The anti-Russian theme has  been such an most important in Hillary presidential campaign that the subsequent full-scale anti-Russian hysteria after her defeat is not surprising. 
Hillary always preferred to join ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016) and neocon are afraid of losing some power and lucrative, well paid positions. Look how easily Robert Kagan defected to Democratic Party. Several important US Departments such as Department of State, Department of Defense, and CIA are staffed mainly with neocons:. They will fight the idea of normalization of relations with Russia until better end:

Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Trump called on Russia to hand over the 30,000 emails "missing" from the Hillary Clinton's email server in the US. Their absence is a clear sign that Clinton destroyed evidence proving that she used her personal e-mail server to send sensitive information. Democrats immediately accused Trump of pandering to Russian hackers, although in reality the multi-billionaire rhetorically hinted that the data that Clinton hid from the American investigation is in the hands of foreign intelligence services. So, Clinton is a possible target for blackmail.

Trump's statement that he is ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the removal of anti-Russian sanctions caused even more noise. This view is not accepted either in the Democrat or in the Republican mainstream. Trump also said that Vladimir Putin does not respect Clinton and Obama, while Trump himself hopes to find a common language with him. Trump appreciates Putin's leadership and believes that the US must work together with Russia to deal with common threats, particularly against Islamic extremism.
Hide The establishment's tantrum

Both Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at Trump. The vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, made threats to Russia. The head of the Republican majority in Congress, Paul Ryan, became somewhat hysterical. He said that Putin is "a thug and should stay out of these elections."

It is Putin personally, and the Russian security services, who are accused of leaking correspondences of top employees of the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This unverified story united part of the Republicans and all of the Democrats, including the Clinton and Barack Obama themselves. Trump supporters note that the Russian threat is used to divert attention from the content of these letters. And these show the fraud carried out during the primaries which favored Hillary Clinton.
Hide The pro-American candidate

The "Russian scandal" demonstrates that on the one hand the thesis of the normalization of relations with Russia, despite the propaganda, is becoming popular in US society. It is unlikely that Donald Trump has made campaign statements that are not designed to gain the support of the public in this election. On the other hand - Trump - a hard realist, like Putin, is not pro-Russian, but a pro-American politician, and therefore the improvement of relations with Russia in his eyes corresponds to the US's national interests. Trump has never to date done anything that would not be to his advantage. Sometimes he even said he would order US fighter jets to engage with Russian ones, and declared he would have a hard stance in relations with Russia.

Another thing is that his understanding of US national interests is fundamentally different from the dominant American globalist elite consensus. For Trump, the US should not be the source of a global liberal remaking of the world, but a national power, which optimizes its position just as efficiently as any commercial project. And in terms of optimizing the position of the United States, he says there should be a normal American interaction with Putin and Russia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing the sliding of the two countries into a global war. He claims this is to be the priority instead of issues relating to the promotion of democracy and the so-called fight against "authoritarian regimes".
 

While Congress now is trying to create "ministry of Truth", the fearmonring that the US MSM are now propagating is a variation of the well known McCarthyism theme  "The Russians are Coming".  And can be legitimately called Neo-McCartyism.  Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics.  These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word.  What do you mean by that?

Putin:   You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent.   It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear.   It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC.  That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC hack or DNC leak ?

As for DNC hack (or was it a leak ?) there is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact. All those insinuations that are published are really low level crap, attempts to deceive gullible public. I do not understand this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians, as if other pretty capable players (including some in the USA) do not exist and do not have any motivation to look closely into DNC files. Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people.

Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak. The death of one of DNC staffer was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case.

likbez said in reply to im1dc... , December 18, 2016 at 07:15 PM

Can you please explain to me why you are thinking that this was a hack, not a leak by an insider?

One DNC staffer, 27-year-old Seth Rich, the DNC’s director of voter expansion, was killed around this time in pretty strange circumstances. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/12/democratic-national-committee-staffer-shot-and-killed-in-washington.html

Former British Ambassador and current Wikileaks operative Craig Murray recently said he has met the person who leaked DNC and Clinton campaign emails, and they aren’t Russian.

http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/bombshell-wikileaks-figure-says-insider-russia-hack/

Or it can come from a dissident within the US agency that did have access to all emails.

Do you remember such a person as Edward Snowden ? It might be very educational for you to read his opinion about this case:

While he is highly critical of Wikileaks, he suggests that without NSA coming forward with hard data obtained via special program that uncover multiple levels of indirection, those charges are just propaganda and insinuations. And BTW after the fact it is usually impossible to discover who obtained the information, as they use multiple levels of indirection and Russia might be just one of those indirection levels. Use of Russian IP-space or Russian IPS might be just an attempt to create a false trail and to implicate a wrong party.

As in any complex case you should not jump to conclusions so easily.

The fact the DNS computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to created a viable (according to NIST guidelines) secure infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending  over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If somebody is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.

And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to hide under this smokescreen very unpleasant facts revealed -- that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.

And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this.

DNC and Clinton pushed the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  See DNC emails leak

Technical analysis of this "hack" (which can well be, and probably is a "leak") provided by MSM is by-and-large idiotic, entry level nonsense. The fact that hacking case are complex and fuzzy makes them perfect smokescreen -- powerful tools for deflecting attention from a read content of messages revealed as well as the most plausible source to Russians. Such scapegoating achieve two goals: unite the population swiping important differences under the carpet and an accepting inferior candidate in the name of "unity" in the face of powerful and ruthless enemy, and deflecting unpleased questions revealed by email as enemy propaganda.

BTW stories about Russian codepage used, ec are very suspect. In such cases the originator might deside to use to provide a direct the investigation in the wrong direction. also many countries on the globe such as Germany, Israel, GB and USA has a large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in IT industry (and by extension in corresponding part of three letter agencies).

When the USA (or Israel) opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a powerful blowback. Now it start coming: those days it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary.  Not very difficult, but impossible.

To say nothing about stock systems that DNC and Hillary used (as if they have not money to harden them to the level recommended by at least NIST guidelines). They also did not have adequate intrusion alarm system and restricted IP space for clients (client of such systems should exist only on VPN).

Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and probably their foreign "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history of malware.  And  technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They means that  methods of this level of complexity became a part of their workbook.  And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as stock Microsoft software installation with semi-competent IT staff using Microsoft Exchange based email system on public network: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ ). As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign also tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? "As life exceeds satire, one can Wikileaks later produced large parts of Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

 atopic 

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.

 
Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post: 

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

Corrupt to the core MSM ignore the event and try to distract readers with scapegoating nonsense

ABC and CNN during this Presidential compaisn were essentially the DNC propaganda wing. They and most other MSM were trying to reshape this mess to reduce the amount of damage.  Stephanopolis worked for Bill Clinton. And donated $75,000 to Hillary's campaign. And now he is trying to paint Trump as having ties to the Putin regime.

They try do not touch Hillary connections with Saudi, revive email scandal, touch Clinton cash scandal,  etc. They really behave like they are part of Clinton campaign. And readers noticed that as is evident from comments (The 4 Most Damaging Emails From the DNC WikiLeaks Dump - ABC News):

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

You are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that. A Saudi Prince has admitted to funding a large portion of Hillary's campaign. That is a tie. All the money she took from those countries while benefiting them as Secretary of State is a tie.

Know Mei > deanbob
"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Oh, believe me, Debbie, the American people know what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party does. Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate. However, business as usual did not work well for the Republican Party elitists this primary season. Donald Trump beat the Republican Party elitists at their game. Bernie Sanders attempted to do the same to the Democratic Party.
Alti  -> ADLives 2 days ago

I think they are being short-sighted. Trump will in all likelihood win now and I don't see him sticking to the script. The media has completely betrayed the American public on this story. From Facebook and Twitter blocking and deleting stories re: same initially - to now with the non-articles we are getting from the big news agencies. Finding decent, honest news coverage shouldn't be so hard. see more

William Carr > Know Mei •

“Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate”

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

In reality Wikileaks exposed the blatant corruption of the primary process for voters. The elephant was in the room, but the real situation with Democratic Party primary process is now  suppressed.

What the USA really needs is international observers on the next Presidential elections. Instead the US Congress adopted  S. 3274 “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”  which essentially create the US variant of the USSR "Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation". As if NED, USAID, State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Center for Independent Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity ("Solidarity Center") are not enough (Soft Power Democracy-Promotion and U.S. NGOs - Council on Foreign Relations)

That suggests that the US lawmakers at last realized that promoted by them color revolution techniques practiced by the USA on xUSSR and other countries may come home  to roost but reacted to this threat the way that bureaucracy typically react to such things -- creating a new organization (in this case the USSR style Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation)  that should address this issue:

114th CONGRESS
2d Session S. 3274

To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES July 14, 2016 Mr. Portman (for himself and Mr. Murphy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations A BILL To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,  

SECTION 1. Short title. 

This Act may be cited as the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”.

SEC. 2. Center for information analysis and response.

(a) Establishment.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response (in this section referred to as the “Center”). The purposes of the Center are— (1) to coordinate the sharing among government agencies of information on foreign government information warfare efforts, including information provided by recipients of information access fund grants awarded using funds made available under subsection (e) and from other sources, subject to the appropriate classification guidelines;

(2) to establish a process for integrating information on foreign propaganda and disinformation efforts into national strategy; and

(3) to develop, plan, and synchronize interagency activities to expose and counter foreign information operations directed against United States national security interests and advance narratives that support United States allies and interests.

(b) Functions.—The Center shall carry out the following functions:

(1) Integrating interagency efforts to track and evaluate counterfactual narratives abroad that threaten the national security interests of the United States and United States allies, subject to appropriate regulations governing the dissemination of classified information and programs.

(2) Analyzing relevant information from United States Government agencies, allied nations, think-tanks, academic institutions, civil society groups, and other nongovernmental organizations.

(3) Developing and disseminating thematic narratives and analysis to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at United States allies and partners in order to safeguard United States allies and interests.

(4) Identifying current and emerging trends in foreign propaganda and disinformation, including the use of print, broadcast, online and social media, support for third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations, in order to coordinate and shape the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation and proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.

(5) Facilitating the use of a wide range of information-related technologies and techniques to counter foreign disinformation by sharing expertise among agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.

(6) Identifying gaps in United States capabilities in areas relevant to the Center’s mission and recommending necessary enhancements or changes.

(7) Identifying the countries and populations most susceptible to foreign government propaganda and disinformation.

(8) Administering and expending funds made available pursuant to subsection (e).

(9) Coordinating with allied and partner nations, particularly those frequently targeted by foreign disinformation operations, and international organizations and entities such as the NATO Center of Excellence on Strategic Communications, the European Endowment for Democracy, and the European External Action Service Task Force on Strategic Communications, in order to amplify the Center’s efforts and avoid duplication.

(c) Interagency manager.— (1) IN GENERAL.—The President is authorized to designate an official of the United States Government to lead an interagency team and to manage the Center. The President shall delegate to the manager of the Center responsibility for and presumptive authority to direct and coordinate the activities and operations of all departments, agencies, and elements of the United States Government in so far as their support is required to ensure the successful implementation of a strategy approved by the President for accomplishing the mission. The official so designated shall be serving in a position in the executive branch by appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(2) INTERAGENCY STEERING COMMITTEE.—

(A) COMPOSITION.—The Interagency Manager shall establish a Steering Committee composed of senior representatives of agencies relevant to the Center’s mission to provide advice to the Manager on the operations and strategic orientation of the Center and to ensure adequate support for the Center. The Steering Committee shall include one senior representative designated by each of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors .

(B) MEETINGS.—The Interagency Steering Committee shall meet not less than every 3 months.

(C) PARTICIPATION AND INDEPENDENCE.—The Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall not compromise the journalistic freedom or integrity of relevant media organizations. Other Federal agencies may be invited to participate in the Center and Steering Committee at the discretion of the Interagency Manager.

(3) SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY.—

(A) LIMITATION ON SCOPE.—The delegated responsibility and authority provided pursuant to paragraph (1) may not extend beyond the requirements for successful implementation of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph.

(B) APPEAL OF EXECUTION OF ACTIVITIES.—The head of any department, agency, or other element of the United States Government may appeal to the President a requirement or direction by the official designated pursuant to paragraph (1) for activities otherwise in support of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph if such head determines that there is a compelling case that executing such activities would do undue harm to other missions of national importance to the United States.

(4) TARGETED FOREIGN AUDIENCES.— (A) IN GENERAL.—The activities under this subsection of the Center described in paragraph (1) shall be done only with the intent to influence foreign audiences. No funds for the activities of the team under this section may be used with the intent to influence public opinion in the United States.

(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prohibit the team described in paragraph (1) from engaging in any form of communication or medium, either directly or indirectly, or coordinating with any other department or agency of the United States Government, a State government, or any other public or private organization or institution because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to activities or communications of the team under this subsection, or based on a presumption of such exposure.

(d) Staff.— (1) COMPENSATION.—The President may fix the compensation of the manager of the Center and other personnel without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(2) DETAIL OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.—Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Center without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

(3) PROCUREMENT OF TEMPORARY AND INTERMITTENT SERVICES.—The President may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(e) Funds.—Of amounts authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Defense and identified as undistributed fuel cost savings, up to $250,000,000 may be available for purposes of carrying out this section and the grant program established under section 3. Once obligated, such funds shall remain available for such purposes until expended.

SEC. 3. Information access funds.

(a) Grants and contracts of financial support.—The Center may provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions for the following purposes: (1) To support local independent media who are best placed to refute foreign disinformation and manipulation in their own communities.

(2) To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media of disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.

(3) To analyze tactics, techniques, and procedures of foreign government information warfare with respect to disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda.

(4) To support efforts by the Center to counter efforts by foreign governments to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States and United States allies and partners.

(b) Funding availability and limitations.—All organizations that apply to receive funds under this section must undergo a vetting process in accordance with the relevant existing regulations to ensure their bona fides, capability, and experience, and their compatibility with United States interests and objectives.

SEC. 4. Inclusion in Department of State education and cultural exchange programs of foreign students and community leaders from countries and populations susceptible to foreign manipulation. The President shall ensure that when the Secretary of State is selecting participants for United States educational and cultural exchange programs, the Secretary of State gives special consideration to students and community leaders from populations and countries the Secretary deems vulnerable to foreign propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

SEC. 5. Reports.

(a) In general.—Not later than one year after the establishment of the Center, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report evaluating the success of the Center in fulfilling the purposes for which it was authorized and outlining steps to improve any areas of deficiency.

(b) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means— (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 6. Termination of center and steering committee. The Center for Information Analysis and Response and the interagency team established under section 2(c) shall terminate 15 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. Rule of construction regarding relationship to intelligence authorities and activities. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding or modifying any existing authorities governing the collection, sharing, and implementation of intelligence programs and activities or existing regulations governing the sharing of classified information and programs.


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[May 18, 2018] The UK s obsession with the Russian bogeyman doesn t stack up by Mary Dejevsky

Notable quotes:
"... Now, it is hard to know what to make of all this, other than to point out that he was speaking to fellow security chiefs. Maybe, among themselves, they find it more morale-boosting to demonise an old enemy than to take on adversaries that have emerged more recently, are more complicated and against which they have so far perhaps had less success. ..."
"... the conclusion has to be that Russia is considered a "safe", useful, and almost eternal enemy by the UK's powers-that-be. Some of us may hope for something better, but it seems a long way away. ..."
May 14, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The UK's obsession with the Russian bogeyman doesn't stack up Mary Dejevsky The head of MI5 has joined the security establishment's anti-Putin onslaught. But his organization agrees that Moscow is not the greatest threat

Today's speech by the head of MI5 , Andrew Parker, has been presented as a first – the first time the head of the UK's domestic intelligence service has delivered a speech abroad, specifically at a conference of security heads in Berlin. But this is the only respect in which it is a first. It might as accurately be described as the latest in a series of public utterances by UK intelligence chiefs and top brass, which began last autumn and continued with the head of GCHQ addressing a cybersecurity conference in Manchester last month.

"MI5 chief: Kremlin is 'chief protagonist' in campaign to undermine west" Read more

In part, this reflects a deliberate decision by the intelligence services and the government that they should be more open about what they do, with a view to gaining greater public understanding – and expanding recruitment at a time when they face competition for tech-savvy graduates from richer and less restrictive employers. But this season of intelligence and military speeches has also facilitated the communication of an apparently co-ordinated message. As a country, the UK now sees Russia as its prime adversary.

The poisoning of Sergei Skripal , the former Russian spy, and his daughter in Salisbury took the UK's official anti-Russia stance to new heights. And its diplomatic success in persuading so many other countries to expel Russian diplomats in protest – the biggest ever "collective expulsion of security agents", we were told – seems to have emboldened London to view itself as the potential leader of an international anti-Russia front, as the Guardian recently reported .

The invective produced by Parker today – and heavily sold to the media – was, in its way, extraordinary. In tone, it was quite different from the cold war register, which was formal and, well, cold. This attack was populist, direct, and far outside the diplomatic register. Here is just a sample.

The Kremlin was engaging in "deliberate, targeted, malign activity intended to undermine our free, open and democratic societies". The west had to "shine a light through the fog of lies, half-truths and obfuscation that pours out of their propaganda machine". Russia, he said caustically, had as one of its "central and entirely admirable aims to build Russian greatness on the world stage". But it had repeatedly chosen "to pursue that aim through aggressive and pernicious actions by its military and intelligence services". In so doing, it risked becoming "a more isolated pariah".

So long as the UK refuses consular access to Yulia Skripal, Russia can – with some justification – ask just who has a monopoly on a fog of lies.'

Now, it is hard to know what to make of all this, other than to point out that he was speaking to fellow security chiefs. Maybe, among themselves, they find it more morale-boosting to demonise an old enemy than to take on adversaries that have emerged more recently, are more complicated and against which they have so far perhaps had less success. There is a sense too, for the UK at least, that relations with Russia have been so bad for so long that magnifying the supposed Russia threat is a cost-free enterprise in diplomatic terms.

It might also be worth considering whether there are budgetary and Brexit angles. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US and the UK, in particular, scaled back their government-backed research on Russia and lost a great deal of expertise, which they are now trying to rebuild. That means they have to make a case for more taxpayers' money, and scare tactics are one way to do that. For the UK, there may also be the fear that it will find the European Union less inclined to keep London in the intelligence loop, and – at a time when the US is looking a far less reliable ally – it might make sense to play up the Russian bogeyman, not least as Vladimir Putin begins his fourth term in office. Nothing like starting as you intend to go on.

Yet it is still difficult to see the sense in this. Russia has become inured to UK scolding of this kind, and treats it with contempt – as its social media response to Parker's speech shows. What is more, so long as the UK maintains its silence on the Skripals' fate and refuses consular access to Yulia Skripal, Russia can – with some justification, I would argue – ask just who has a monopoly on a "fog of lies".

Nor will the tone necessarily chime well with official views of Russia in Germany and France, which are not necessarily less tough in practice, but certainly more nuanced, and better informed. The UK seems intent – despite recent legislation about dubious money in London – in keeping its diplomatic and business relations with Russia in separate boxes. Germany, for one, does not have that luxury.

The conclusion has to be that Russia is considered a 'safe', useful, and almost eternal enemy by the UK's powers-that-be

The UK's rhetorical onslaught on Russia is even more puzzling when you examine the security services' own priorities. "Is terrorism the biggest threat facing the UK?" visitors to the MI5 website are asked in a pop-up called "fact or fiction". Click no, and this is the response: "The biggest threat we currently face comes from international terrorist groups and individuals inspired by them. Terrorist organisations in Northern Ireland also continue to pose a serious threat."

Now it is true that the threat from terrorism and Islamic State was also broached by Parker in his speech, but this was not the section spun in advance to the media; it was not the aspect MI5 wanted above all to be noticed. So the conclusion has to be that Russia is considered a "safe", useful, and almost eternal enemy by the UK's powers-that-be. Some of us may hope for something better, but it seems a long way away.

• Mary Dejevsky is a former foreign correspondent in Moscow

[May 18, 2018] Guardian fake news. UK media tries to keep Skripal poisoning hoax alive (Video)

May 18, 2018 | theduran.com

Alex Christoforou with Alexander Mercouris discuss a recent Guardian post that claims 100 police have received psychological help after Salisbury attack.

Fake news, trying to create false connections between police psychological issues and a rather dubious UK poisoning false flag. Via The Guardian

Almost 100 Wiltshire police officers and staff have sought psychological support after the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, the Guardian can reveal.

Among those who have asked for help were officers who initially responded to the collapse of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, and those who were at or close to the various investigation sites in subsequent days and weeks.

Some reported feeling disorientated and anxious while others were concerned about the possible long-term health effects on the public.

While the Skripal poisoning story has faded from much of the mainstream media news cycle, as it was increasingly exposed as a complete hoax and embarrassment for the May government, the Guardian appears to be trying to resurrect "the Russians did" Novichok narrative.


Rick Oliver 3 hours ago ,

It is about time your stupid leader and her clown were put on the stage to explain to all the world why they chose to defame the integrity of Russia in such an unbelievable set of circumstances that only children under the age of ten would not understand !! How can any Nation since this demonic happening , ever trust this self - centred Bozo from ever making a sensible judgement for the future of mankind !

louis robert 13 hours ago ,

What a shameful staging! At the very least, try and respect children!... Keep them away from all that nonsense, Ms May!

André De Koning an hour ago ,

UK has lost it completely and the Guardian has fallen prey to the CIA Mockingbird Operation (infiltration and manipulation of media). Used to be a good paper under Alan Rushbridger and protection of Snowden, Assange etc. Now it has lost it altogether with useless editorial board. The woman in charge must have something in common with Nikki Haley: incapable of nuance and irrationally convinced of her being right (without research lots of claims about Assad, Putin etc.).

Wesa F. André De Koning 35 minutes ago ,

When ever I read such nonsense it always brings a smile as I think of what Clint Eastwood said in his summing up of Politicians and not in General.

[May 18, 2018] Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan s Denial of Reliance on Dossier

Notable quotes:
"... In my opinion the key points are: - Obama spied on Trump and many other Senator's Congressmen, Judges, and the press without warrants they only did Trump warrants well after they started spying. ..."
"... This was to cover their a$$ because they had no warrants when the spying started. ..."
"... Obama spied using our allies (GCHQ) 5 eyes etc. and DOJ, IRS, FBI, CIA, Treasury and all the Alphabet Obamagate will be 10,000 x worse than Watergate, ..."
"... They're covering up an attempted coup. ..."
"... essions (via his absurd recusal) and Rosenstein allowed the Statute of Limitations to run out against Clapper without filing a perjury charge. ..."
"... It's a bit ironic that Comey has been the focus of so much ire from the Trump people. Brennan and Clapper, not Comey, were the Obama political hacks who were pushing the Russian collusion angle. ..."
"... They forced the FBI to open a Trump/Russia investigation, even though Strzok and Comey were skeptical that any real evidence existed. ..."
"... It's hard to believe that Clapper and Brennan (and Lynch, Yates, and Ohr from DoJ) cooked-up the scheme without the approval/direction of Obama. In fact, the sheer political evil genius of the Trump/Russia collusion plot, including how it "explained" the DNC hack, reeks of the only person capable of inventing it: that 'ol silver fox himself, Bill Clinton. ..."
"... I think it is Comey's sanctimonious self-righteousness that brings that reaction. It always does. No matter who the parties are or what event it is. Even though their crimes are greater, it is easier to tolerate the obviously slimy swamp critters like Clapper and Brennan than it is the pious hypocrite like Comey. ..."
"... The DNC was caught in the act of rigging the Primaries. Fact. ..."
"... And someone inside hacked their computers for all those emails, too. That's why they didn't turn over their computers to the F.B.I. because it would bear that out. ..."
"... Brennan and Clapper may have been the puppetmasters, with Comey, McCabe, Stzrok, Page, Ohr and Yates dancing to their tune, but Rogers didn't play nice and they didn't even invite the Defense Intelligence Agency to play. ..."
"... Rogers is a white hat in a sea of black hats who tried to fire him for being a patriot. Rogers is a true American hero, without whom the extent of this coup and treasonous plot may never have been fully uncovered. The big ugly awaits the traitors and hopefully, the great awakening begins. ..."
"... I believe the name you're looking for is "Seth Rich." ..."
"... Aside from the obvious crimes of espionage and certainly extortion and fraud, why was Imran Awan trying to flee the country just after Seth Rich's assassination? Was Rich spilling the beans about Debbie Schultz's Pakistani mole and not just the Hillary scam? ..."
"... Brennan and Clapper are dirty as can be. They are both corrupt deep state agents, and should go to prison for their lies and corruption. Adm. Rogers looks like the only straight-shooter in the bunch. ..."
"... There are 2 sets of Laws in America. One for the elite, power political people and one for the Joe Sixpacks ..."
"... Former FBI Director James Comey has a long history of involvement in Department of Justice actions that arguably ended up favorable to the Clintons. ..."
"... FBI has had its ups and downs, certainly, but usually it found those low times due to some mishap or bad policy decisions based on matters of process by its upper management. But despite some of the worst 1970s conspiracy theories, rarely has the FBI been considered a bald-faced political actor until Director James Comey tarnished the shield by becoming a member of the Hillary Clinton's election campaign. ..."
"... If these yokels better knew history, they would better understand the dangers of fomenting revolution. ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.realclearinvestigations.com

Former CIA Director John Brennan's insistence that the salacious and unverified Steele dossier was not part of the official Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election is being contradicted by two top former officials.

Recently retired National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers stated in a classified letter to Congress that the Clinton campaign-funded memos did factor into the ICA . And James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, conceded in a recent CNN interview that the assessment was based on "some of the substantive content of the dossier." Without elaborating, he maintained that "we were able to corroborate" certain allegations.

These accounts are at odds with Brennan's May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that the Steele dossier was "not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community's assessment" that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Donald Trump. Brennan has repeated this claim numerous times, including in February on "Meet the Press."

In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier -- described as "the Christopher Steele information" -- was "added" as an "appendix to the ICA draft," and that consideration of that appendix was "part of the overall ICA review/approval process."

His skepticism of the dossier may explain why the NSA parted company with other intelligence agencies and cast doubt on one of its crucial conclusions: that Vladimir Putin personally ordered a cyberattack on Hillary Clinton's campaign to help Donald Trump win the White House.

Rogers has testified that while he was sure the Russians wanted to hurt Clinton, he wasn't as confident as CIA and FBI officials that their actions were designed to help Trump, explaining that such as assessment "didn't have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources."

Here and in photo at top, from left, the National Security Agency Director, Adm. Michael Rogers; FBI Director James Comey; Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; CIA Director John Brennan; and the Defense Intelligence Agency Director, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, testifying before the

The dossier, which is made up of 16 opposition research-style memos on Trump underwritten by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton's own campaign, is based mostly on uncorroborated third-hand sources. Still, the ICA has been viewed by much of the Washington establishment as the unimpeachable consensus of the U.S. intelligence community. Its conclusions that "Vladimir Putin ordered" the hacking and leaking of Clinton campaign emails "to help Trump's chances of victory" have driven the "Russia collusion" narrative and subsequent investigations besieging the Trump presidency.

Except that the ICA did not reflect the consensus of the intelligence community. Clapper broke with tradition and decided not to put the assessment out to all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies for review. Instead, he limited input to a couple dozen chosen analysts from just three agencies -- the CIA, NSA and FBI. Agencies with relevant expertise on Russia, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department's intelligence bureau, were excluded from the process.

While faulting Clapper for not following intelligence community tradecraft standards that Clapper himself ordered in 2015, the House Intelligence Committee's 250-page report also found that the ICA did not properly describe the "quality and credibility of underlying sources" and was not "independent of political considerations."

In another departure from custom, the report is missing any dissenting views or an annex with evaluations of the conclusions from outside reviewers. "Traditionally, controversial intelligence community assessments like this include dissenting views and the views of an outside review group," said Fred Fleitz, who worked as a CIA analyst for 19 years and helped draft national intelligence estimates at Langley. "It also should have been thoroughly vetted with all relevant IC agencies," he added. "Why were DHS and DIA excluded?"

Fleitz suggests that the Obama administration limited the number of players involved in the analysis to skew the results. He believes the process was "manipulated" to reach a "predetermined political conclusion" that the incoming Republican president was compromised by the Russians.

"I've never viewed the ICA as credible," the CIA veteran added.

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

"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source.

Last year, Strzok was reassigned to another department and removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation after anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages he wrote to another investigator during the 2016 campaign were discovered by the Justice Department's inspector general. Strzok remains under IG investigation, along with other senior FBI officials, for possible misconduct.

Strzok led the FBI's investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia during 2016, including obtaining electronic surveillance warrants on Carter Page and other campaign advisers. The Page warrant relied heavily on unverified allegations contained in the Democratic Party-funded dossier.

Brennan has sworn the dossier was not "in any way" used as a basis for the ICA. He explains he heard snippets of the dossier from the press in the summer of 2016, but insists he did not see it or read it for himself until late 2016. "Brennan's claims are impossible to believe," Fleitz asserted.

"Brennan was pushing the Trump collusion line in mid-2016 and claimed to start the FBI collusion investigation in August 2016," he said. "It's impossible to believe Brennan was pushing for this investigation without having read the dossier."

He also pointed out that the key findings of the ICA match the central allegations in the dossier. The House Intelligence Committee concluded that Brennan, who previously worked in the White House as Obama's deputy national security adviser, created a "fusion cell" on Russian election interference made up of analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA, who produced a series of related papers for the White House during the 2016 campaign.

Less than a month after Trump won the election, Obama directed Brennan to conduct a review of all intelligence relating to Russian involvement in the 2016 election and produce a single, comprehensive assessment. Obama was briefed on the findings, along with President-elect Trump, in early January.

"Brennan put some of the dossier material into the PDB [presidential daily briefing] for Obama and described it as coming from a 'credible source,' which is how they viewed Steele," said the source familiar with the House investigation. "But they never corroborated his sources."

Attempts to reach Brennan for comment were unsuccessful. Several prominent Washington news outlets had access to the dossier during the 2016 campaign -- or at least portions of it -- but also could not confirm Steele's allegations. So they shied away from covering them. All that changed in early January 2017, after CNN and The Washington Post learned through Obama administration leaks that the CIA had briefed the president and president-elect about them. Then the allegations became a media feeding frenzy. On Jan. 11, 2017, within days of the dossier briefings and release of the declassified ICA report, BuzzFeed published virtually all of the dossier memos on its website.

The House committee found "significant leaks" of classified information around the time of the ICA -- and "many of these leaks were likely from senior officials within the IC." Its recently released report points to Clapper as the main source of leaks about the presidential briefings involving the dossier. It also suggests that during his July 17, 2017, testimony behind closed doors in executive session, he misled House investigators.

When first asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, Clapper flatly denied "discuss[ing] the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists." But he subsequently acknowledged discussing the "dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper," and admitted he might have spoken with other journalists about the same issue.

On Jan. 10, 2017, CNN published an article by Tapper and others about the dossier briefings sourced to "multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings." Tapper shared a byline with lead writer Evan Perez, a close friend of the founders of Fusion GPS, which hired Steele as a subcontractor on the dossier project.

The next day, Clapper expressed his "profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press," while stressing that "I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC." A month after his misleading testimony to House investigators, Clapper joined CNN as a "national security analyst."

Attempts to reach Clapper for comment were unsuccessful.


Tom JonesLeader 3d

My, My, My.....what a tangled web they weave. Interesting that both Rogers and Clapper indicated the dossier was part of the assessment and Brennan does not. All while Obama was assuring the public that in no way could Russia impact our elections. With the recent allegations of a plant in the Trump campaign organization and the continued reluctance of the DOJ to release documents, it's becoming more evident by the day of significant irregularities that took place. Certainly, one would hope that only under the most severe probabilities would a President allow his intelligence agencies to spy on an opponents campaign....but it's looking more and more like it was an intended political operation rather than a national security issue. And if so, it's a direct threat to our democracy and should be addressed with the full power and legal impact of our judicial system. If it was political, EVERYONE involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law and they should spend significant time behind bars.
magic_worker 1d
In my opinion the key points are: - Obama spied on Trump and many other Senator's Congressmen, Judges, and the press without warrants they only did Trump warrants well after they started spying.

This was to cover their a$$ because they had no warrants when the spying started. Did it start the second a billionaire stepped on the escalator or before? - Obama spied using our allies (GCHQ) 5 eyes etc. and DOJ, IRS, FBI, CIA, Treasury and all the Alphabet Obamagate will be 10,000 x worse than Watergate, Don't fall for the golly gee Obama knew nothing Schultz defense. - Awan's were hired by Obama to run the DNC server, you really don't think Debbie hired them do you? ... See more

Rosa1984 Leader 3d
They're covering up an attempted coup. What we've witnessed the past 15 months is HORRIFIC, Deeply Disturbing, and a Threat to the U.S. We CANNOT allow Democrats and Deep State to get away with this.
NoBS NoSpam Influencer 3d Edited
Did you know the President was in Nevada and Las Vegas during the Mandalay Assassination? Err, I mean the mass shooting by an FBI informant, of course. We assume Trump is free to govern. Why? If the Deep State owns the FBI, CIA, NSA and the most powerful weapon on Earth, the IRS. Martial Law of all Security clearance holders who are still alive "off" the books or not. Operative word is "Ex" spooks and their active psychopath cousins in the Military Industrial Complex.
Peps Leader 3d
All of which means precisely nothing, because Sessions (via his absurd recusal) and Rosenstein allowed the Statute of Limitations to run out against Clapper without filing a perjury charge. So, once again, if you are a high-ranking DC insider, you can commit a felony for which any average citizen would be arrested, prosecuted and jailed, and do so with absolute, arrogant impunity, regardless of which party is technically in charge of the Department of Justice.
KathyMcP 3d
What is the limitation period for a perjury charge???
carolinaswampfox Leader 3d
What is the limitations period for sedition, treason, conspiring to interfere with a presidential election, conspiring to overturn the results of an American presidential election, obstruction of justice, illegal abuse of the FISA process, perjury in sworn testimony and in the FISA process, etc.
Sam Hyde Leader 3d Edited
Mr. Clapper, did you leak any information on the briefings that took place with the President and President-elect? Clapper: Not wittingly. How many times has this guy committed perjury and gotten away with it? lol
Carolinatarheel Leader 3d
Obama lowered the bar substantially for ethical standards and telling the truth! Our FBI is corrupt and dangerous! Mueller and Comey are dirty cops! ...
chris_zzz Leader 3d
It's a bit ironic that Comey has been the focus of so much ire from the Trump people. Brennan and Clapper, not Comey, were the Obama political hacks who were pushing the Russian collusion angle.

They forced the FBI to open a Trump/Russia investigation, even though Strzok and Comey were skeptical that any real evidence existed. Congressional investigators as well as the relevant IGs need to look at whether Obama himself, as well as the White House staff, engineered the Trump/Russia collusion hocus-pocus. It's hard to believe that Clapper and Brennan (and Lynch, Yates, and Ohr from DoJ) cooked-up the scheme without the approval/direction of Obama. In fact, the sheer political evil genius of the Trump/Russia collusion plot, including how it "explained" the DNC hack, reeks of the only person capable of inventing it: that 'ol silver fox himself, Bill Clinton.

Greg Bed 2d
I think it is Comey's sanctimonious self-righteousness that brings that reaction. It always does. No matter who the parties are or what event it is. Even though their crimes are greater, it is easier to tolerate the obviously slimy swamp critters like Clapper and Brennan than it is the pious hypocrite like Comey.
GameTime68 Leader 3d
How much more of this are we going to have to read about before someone with authority begins investigating this entire sordid mess? Until someone is indicated and charged with something, there is no incentive for the truth - just more media stories about conflicting congressional testimony, colleague disagreements on the veracity of statements, and so forth. Those of us who sat through Watergate were not naive enough to think it was a one-off. What is Sessions doing? Where is the special investigator for Dossiergate?
NoBS NoSpam Influencer 3d
The DNC was caught in the act of rigging the Primaries. Fact. Do we really think they stopped at only the level of the DNC Primaries? I wish to be that naive so my love for America was still alive and not dead like Seth Rich. The low lives could not even cheat well, but not from lack of trying.
GameTime68 Leader span 3d
And someone inside hacked their computers for all those emails, too. That's why they didn't turn over their computers to the F.B.I. because it would bear that out.
Old Paratrooper Contributor 3d
Brennan and Clapper may have been the puppetmasters, with Comey, McCabe, Stzrok, Page, Ohr and Yates dancing to their tune, but Rogers didn't play nice and they didn't even invite the Defense Intelligence Agency to play. But I suspect the conspiracy went to the White House. Didn't Page say that the President "wanted to know everything we do"? And I suspect that Susan Rice, Valarie Jarrett and Ben Rhodes left fingerprints all over this crime.
chris_zzz Leader span oper 3d
The NSA director at the time, Adm. Rogers, reportedly visited Trump (without Clapper's authorization) during the transition to inform Trump about the FBI's surveillance of his operation. The next day Trump tweeted that Obama was wiretapping Trump Tower.
carolinaswampfox Leader 3d
Rogers is a white hat in a sea of black hats who tried to fire him for being a patriot. Rogers is a true American hero, without whom the extent of this coup and treasonous plot may never have been fully uncovered. The big ugly awaits the traitors and hopefully, the great awakening begins.
carolinaswampfox Leader span oper 3d
--and BHO communicated with Hillary at her private email address. The computers were smashed and bleach bit and Comey and company obstructed justice in whitewashing the Clinton investigation because all roads lead to BHO.
Right-Here; Right Now ! Influencer 3d
The cogent fact is that none of that matters since the entire premise is that the Russians hacked the emails.....the ENTIRE Russia collusion theory collapses without the hacking of emails. And of course the Russians did not hack the DNC emails (time stamps on the meta data PROVE that they were copied at speeds too fast for any internet hack) ....they were downloaded on site on to a portable storage devise. We Know that the DNC denied law enforcement access to its server, (why would any "victim," of a crime refuse to cooperate with investigators?) Even more remarkable, experts determined that the files released by Guccifer 2.0 have been "run, via ordinary cut and paste, through a template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints." Brennan Clapper and Comey ALL testified to congress that the CIA...and many others.. had this capability to leave "fingerprints" of whomever they wished to implicate. Moreover, for what it is worth, Julian Assange has repeatedly denied that Russia "or any state actor" was the source of the stolen DNC data published by WikiLeaks...but rather a staffer who passed a portable drive on the Mall in DC I think its safe to assume that the downloading was done by Imran Awan who we KNOW had access and we KNOW downloaded material and we KNOW used unauthorized methods to access unauthorized areas of Congressional servers and TOTAL ... See more
James Fitzpatrick Influencer span Right Now ! 3d Edited
I believe the name you're looking for is "Seth Rich." This is a case that requires a bull dog, not Droopy Dog. It's got murder, blackmail, extortion, Deep State conspiracy, high treason, low-level corruption, perverted sex cults... c'mon! Why are we still hearing about how a Senator met a Russian Ambassador at a meet-and-greet?! This is real drama!
NoBS NoSpam Influencer span atrick 3d
They are mocking Seth Rich as the Russian Hacker. They keep dragging this kids hard work through the mud!
JayTeigh Leader span Right Now ! 3d
I think you're right about Awan being the hacker. I now wonder if the somehow sold the emails to someone who sent them to Assange.
James Fitzpatrick Influencer 3d
Here are some things that need investigation:
  1. Aside from the obvious crimes of espionage and certainly extortion and fraud, why was Imran Awan trying to flee the country just after Seth Rich's assassination? Was Rich spilling the beans about Debbie Schultz's Pakistani mole and not just the Hillary scam?
  2. Russia expert Nellie Ohr was hired by FusionGPS during the launch of the Steele scam. But she was CIA. Was Fusion itself a rogue CIA shell org? And nobody seems to get the connection to the CIA OpenSource hackers' toolbox that was leaked into the wild, just as the "resist" people were expressing concern that THEY would lose access to these spying malware products and could no longer spy on Trump. And who worked for the OpenSource project? Why, Nellie Ohr, of course. Funny.
pmidas span atrick 3d
Didn't Nellie state in some format that "i am going to be purchasing short-wave radios for our communications going forward"....?
James Fitzpatrick Influencer 3d
Yes. One of many attempts to dodge a trail for investigators, oversight and FOIA.
BorisBadinov Leader 3d
Brennan and Clapper are dirty as can be. They are both corrupt deep state agents, and should go to prison for their lies and corruption. Adm. Rogers looks like the only straight-shooter in the bunch.
NoBS NoSpam Influencer span v 3d
General Flynn was the main crusader for our children's dignity. The son of a b*censured*ich is still fighting for them!
Grandmother of 7 Contributor 3d
May Brennan and all his cohorts, including Obama, rot from the inside out because I doubt anything we could punish them with would be enough. They did more damage to the Republic than Osama bin Laden and his ilk ever could.
Mcgovern72 Leader 3d
The Clap-Man and Jimmy the B continue to be the best sources of intrigue on the whole collusion confusion, huh? Their legacy tarnished by all the lies, they now get to spew it on 'fake news', further tarnishing the credibility of 'faux news'. Brilliant!!
Sam Hyde Leader span 3d Edited
DNI Clapper doing what DNI Clapper does best. I can see him rubbing his greasy egg head right now for not having his story straight.
dadling 3d
There are 2 sets of Laws in America. One for the elite, power political people and one for the Joe Sixpacks.....there is NO Law in America...the people are still asleep and have yet to be roused. However, when they do wake up, pitchforks, tar & feathers will be the order of the day for these criminals.
dawg1234 3d
Ouch! Quite a scathing article from Real Clear! Impressive! Brennan? Brennan? Calling Mister, John, Brennan! LOL, this is getting fun!
cjones1 Leader 3d
The plot thickens!
leestauf4 Leader 2d
The democrats accuse Trump of colluding with the Russians to get elected, have ZERO proof of it after two years of trying to invent it, and yet it is a proven fact that Hillary and the DNC, through the middlemen Fusion GPS and Steele, COLLUDED with and paid high level Russian officials millions of dollars to produce the "salacious and completely unverified dossier" (Comey's words), in an attempt to throw our election like they did in their own primary, and to then try to impeach a constitutionally elected president with the same Russian supplied lies when that failed! So where was the actual collusion with the enemy? And why is Mueller completely ignoring those facts?
jrc_mrc 2d
Former FBI Director James Comey has a long history of involvement in Department of Justice actions that arguably ended up favorable to the Clintons. In 2001, following the original 9/11 mass murder by the Muslim jihadists, President Bush asked the FBI to track the movements of likely Muslim jihadists; Comey and Mueller refused that request on the basis that such tracking would be "un-American". The jihadist mass murders of Americans in Boston, Chattanooga, Orlando, Fort Hood, and San Bernardino are therefore the direct result of that irresponsible refusal. In 2004 Comey, then serving as a deputy attorney general in the Justice Department, apparently limited the scope of the criminal investigation of Sandy Berger, which left out former Clinton administration officials who may have coordinated with Berger in his removal and destruction of classified records from the National Archives. The documents were relevant to the accusations that the Clinton administration was negligent in the build-up to the 9/11 terrorist attack. Back a year or two ago, FBI director Comey announced that despite the evidence of "extreme negligence" by Hillary Clinton and her top aides regarding the handling of classified information through her unprotected private email server, the FBI would not refer criminal charges to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department since it was just a case of innocent negligence.
jrc_mrc 2d
FBI has had its ups and downs, certainly, but usually it found those low times due to some mishap or bad policy decisions based on matters of process by its upper management. But despite some of the worst 1970s conspiracy theories, rarely has the FBI been considered a bald-faced political actor until Director James Comey tarnished the shield by becoming a member of the Hillary Clinton's election campaign.

The FBI is no longer a legitimate or competent law enforcement agency. The FBI has become nothing more than a bunch of goons for the DNC and the Democrat Party. The FBI should now be considered a domestic corrupt terrorist organization. Due to the FBI's corruption and political affiliation with the Democrat Party, they should no longer have jurisdiction over a single American citizen. Comey is now guilty of treason by default and association. He has violated his sworn oath and must be removed. "Yes – Hillary Clinton is guilty but we will not recommend prosecution" – he declared to the congressional inquiry with a straight face. In other words, and for all practical purposes our FBI had become the American KGB.

KenPittman 2d
Clapper, Brennan and Comey have al likely retained legal counsel as Nunes has brilliantly followed the trail methodically backwards to the source. The Ohr couple, the intercepts of Strzok and the common denominators linking Stefan Halper are going to rock the Deep State to its foundation. Thankfully there are enough patriots in Washington to continue to outflank the framing of the POTUS.
johnmike 2d
The butts of Brennan, Clapper, and Comey should be hauled before a Grand Jury by John Huber, the US Attorney, as stated by Joe DiGenova. I believe all three are enemies of the US and the biggest threats to our constitutional republic. Brennan once voted for a communist. All three are pathological liars...it's scary that these three scumbags held the highest and most critical intelligence and law enforcement positions in the nation.
Ralph Lynch Contributor 1d
If these yokels better knew history, they would better understand the dangers of fomenting revolution.

[May 18, 2018] The Steele Dossier the Intelligence Community Assessment by Jeff Carlson, CFA

May 15, 2018 | www.themarketswork.com

An article, Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan's Denial of Reliance on Dossier , caught the attention of a bunch of folks:

In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier -- described as "the Christopher Steele information" -- was "added" as an "appendix to the ICA draft," and that consideration of that appendix was "part of the overall ICA review/approval process."

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

"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source.

As a result of the article, I'm re-upping relevant portions from a February 23, 2108 post, Did Brennan & Clapper Use the Steele Dossier in the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We've long suspected that Clapper and Brennan were already ensnared in the Inspector General's Investigation – see John Brennan & James Clapper – Complicity, Lies & Bill Priestap .

Clapper was the architect of the report – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections . I've previously discussed the report here and here .

Clapper's Assessment Report was the third in series of reports – each building on the other.

The first report, an assessment of Russian Intervention, was made in an October 7, 2016, Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence noting the Intelligence Community was confident of Russian involvement in our election.

Later testimony by our various Intelligence Directors confirmed that Russia is always involved in Presidential elections.

The October report was followed up by a December 29, 2016, Joint Analysis by Homeland Security and the FBI titled GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity .

This report was meant to directly tie Russian hacking to the election.

What the report actually did was use technical language to describe a generalized hacking process – and the means by which hacking and phishing can be generally prevented.

I strongly encourage you to read the report. Its lack of actual detail is eye-opening.

FBI Russian Hacking Report by The Conservative Treehouse on Scribd

[May 18, 2018] In fact the Intelligence Community Assessment was the work product of two of Brennan's analysts

Notable quotes:
"... The paper was represented to be an IC wide opinion (like an NIE). ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The President is not CinC of the US, by W. Patrick Lang - The Unz Review

3. John Brennan, James Clapper and Admiral Rogers stage-managed a paper in January, 2017 that asserted that the Intelligence Community believed various things about Russian government tinkering with the US election (much as the US does in other countries' elections). The paper was represented to be an IC wide opinion (like an NIE).

Clapper gave it his imprimatur as Director of National Intelligence but Admiral Rogers at the National Security Agency could not get his people to express more than limited confidence in the document. DIA, State Department INR, the Army, Navy, Air Force and other agencies were either not consulted or did not deign to "sign on." Donald J Trump thinks this is a "rum deal," a phony politically motivated procedure run by a group of "hacks". Why would he not think that? The reaction of the Left is to excoriate him for his lack of "respect", for the people who "cooked up" this document. We should remember that the people who "cooked" the document have no legal or constitutional existence outside the framework of the Executive Branch. Any president, in any circumstance could dismiss them all at will. No president is under any obligation at all to accept their opinion or that of anyone in the Executive Branch on anything. They are his advisers and subordinates, tools in his kit box, and that is all they are.

[May 16, 2018] 'No focus on Russian activities' - Donald Jr. on Trump Tower meeting in interview transcripts -- RT US News

Notable quotes:
"... "hear them out." ..."
"... "no focus on Russian activities" ..."
"... "the most embarrassing thing you've ever asked me to do" ..."
"... "complete loss of time" ..."
"... "answered every question asked" ..."
"... "I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry," ..."
"... "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the Committee." ..."
May 16, 2018 | www.rt.com

The 2016 Trump Tower meeting set up to reveal dirt on Hillary Clinton "infuriated" Jared Kushner, was a "waste of time" and had nothing to do with Clinton, according to transcripts of interviews with the meeting's participants. The US Senate Judiciary Committee has released more than 1,800 pages of transcripts, which provide new insight into the controversial meeting during which Donald Trump Jr, along with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and then campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was expecting to receive "dirt" on Hillary Clinton from Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Overall, the newly-released documents seem to indicate that a short 20-minute meeting resulted in hours of interviews and thousands of pages of documents for little reason.

In the transcripts, Trump Jr. said that he was skeptical that Rob Goldstone, the publicist who had been the first to contact him about a meeting, had colleagues who possessed incriminating information about Clinton, but said felt he should at least "hear them out." Read more © RT 'Wasting taxpayers' money': Lawyer Veselnitskaya talks Trump's dossier & Fusion GPS

He also said that it was important to note that when he accepted the invitation to go to the meeting there was "no focus on Russian activities" surrounding the campaign and claimed that Goldstone had not even confirmed the names of the attendees who would join them at the meeting.

Goldstone had set up the meeting on behalf of Russian musical artist Emin Agaralov, the son of a wealthy Russian businessman, but revealed in his interview that he later told Agaralov that the meeting was "the most embarrassing thing you've ever asked me to do" given that it ended up having nothing to do with Clinton. Goldstone also revealed that Veselnitskaya's apparently Clinton-free presentation in the meeting had "infuriated" Kushner.

In another indication that the meeting was not supposed to be a top-secret attempt for the Trump campaign to collude with Russia, Goldstone also revealed that he "checked in" to Trump Tower on Facebook when he arrived.

In a supplemental interview, Goldstone also told investigators that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not able to meet Trump during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, but invited him through a phone call with his spokesman Dmitry Peskov, organized by Agaralov, to attend the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi instead. According to Goldstone, Peskov said Putin would be happy to meet him there -- but that meeting did not end up happening.

Anatoli Samochornov, a Russian translator who attended the meeting, said that no one present had said the Russian government either supported Trump or opposed Clinton for president. He also said there were no offers from the Russian side to release hacked emails, hack voting totals or anything else.

The other translator present, Ike Kaveladze, said he spoke to Agaralov about two hours after the meeting and told him it was a "complete loss of time" and a "useless" meeting.

The committee released the thousands of pages of transcripts along with hundreds of additional pages of related material, including the interviews with Goldstone, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and translators Samochornov and Kaveladze.

Read more A woman passes by the Al Jazeera America broadcast center in New York City, January 13, 2016 © Brendan McDermid 'Weapon of mass suppression': Russiagate now used to target any dissent in US – Max Blumenthal

The meeting has been the subject of controversy, particularly the question of whether then-candidate Trump knew about it. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has looked closely at the meeting as part of his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which has not yet turned up any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.

Following the publication of the documents, Trump Jr. said they showed that he "answered every question asked" by the committee.

"I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry," he said in a statement. "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the Committee."

Those who were present at the meeting said Veselnitskaya did not provide any 'dirt' on Clinton and instead focused on discussing the overturning of US sanctions placed on Russia under the Magnitsky Act. Those sanctions, which impose US entry bans and asset freezes on Russians alleged to have been involved in human rights abuses, are still in place and have since been expanded , most recently in December 2017 when five more Russian nationals were added to the Magnitsky List. 'No focus on Russian activities' - Donald Jr. on Trump Tower meeting in interview transcripts Democrats & Russians 'laughing' at 'witch hunt' collusion probe – Trump 'No focus on Russian activities' - Donald Jr. on Trump Tower meeting in interview transcripts 'Story of my meeting with Trump Jr. has been manipulated' - Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya

[May 16, 2018] Documents Show Promise, and Letdown, Around Trump Tower Meeting

Note how NYT try to hide the fact that the meeting was most probably yet another a false flag operation (along with Steele dossier) to implicate Russia staged with the help of a person connected to British intelligence service, Mr. Goldstone, a British music promoter. That in an interesting fact in additional to CIA mode within Trump campaign.
Notable quotes:
"... The intermediary, Rob Goldstone, told the committee that he proposed a second meeting between the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and members of Mr. Trump's team in November 2016. He said he contacted Mr. Trump's longtime executive assistant at the behest of Aras Agalarov, a Russia-based billionaire who knows Mr. Putin. ..."
May 16, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Most of the participants in the meeting have already publicly described their version of events. Nonetheless, the records reveal some new details about the players involved and what happened after the meeting was reported by The New York Times last summer.

Among them: Six months after the Trump Tower meeting , an intermediary contacted Donald J. Trump's office asking for a follow-up, the newly released documents showed.

The intermediary, Rob Goldstone, told the committee that he proposed a second meeting between the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and members of Mr. Trump's team in November 2016. He said he contacted Mr. Trump's longtime executive assistant at the behest of Aras Agalarov, a Russia-based billionaire who knows Mr. Putin.

The second session never took place. But the invitation shows the determination of Russians with close Kremlin connections to convince the Trump team that the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions on a host of Russian officials for human rights abuses, was a mistake. The 2012 law, which froze the bank accounts of some Russian officials and barred them from entering the United States, infuriated Mr. Putin.

In a late November 2016 email to Mr. Trump's assistant, Mr. Goldstone, a British music promoter, attached a three-page document marked "confidential" that called for "the launch of a congressional investigation into the circumstances of passing the Magnitsky Act." He wrote that Mr. Agalarov hoped the document would be delivered to "the appropriate team." Ms. Veselnitskaya also attacked the law in the June meeting.

The transcripts also highlight how lawyers for the Trump Organization tried to manage the fallout by coordinating the statements of Mr. Goldstone and others.

In testimony, Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged that his father may have helped draft the statement that he put out to the press after the meeting became public, but he said that they had not discussed the meeting when it happened.

[May 15, 2018] Why isn't putin helping syria defend herself from israeli attacks some answers from the commentariat at MoA by wendy davis

caucus99percent.com

This diary may be on the absurd side, but I know that this issue's bothered any number of us (including many tankies on Twitter), but this comment thread posits some opinions and offers many links to buttress arguments. Of course there were disagreements I haven't included, but not wanting to risk a wider war with Israel at this point, with so many dangers on Russia's borders makes sense to me. Can't say I've checked out more than a couple links

It really was disgusting it was to see Bibi with Putin at the V-day celebration in Moscow while the IDF was striking 'Iranian' (not so much) installations in Syria. Some say having Bibi there was by way of an object lesson: 'See what we've got?' I'm agnostic on that point, but I've grabbed these comments for your consideration and have just pasted them in raw with no quotations marks. Happy digging; dunno what a comment might on this PSA might include, but let's just see how it goes. They're out of time order, as I'd forgotten to Save the ones I'd grabbed early on, and have had to go back to copy more.

From Moon of Alabama's ' open thread' (2 pages of comments) on May 11:

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Also not a good sign that President Putin re-nominated Medvedev (not the URL) as Prime Minister. The Saker lays out the rationale for this view.

Posted by: Trisha Driscoll | May 11, 2018

With regard to Medvedev. Let's just end this now.

Vesti news has a 10-minute clip showing the Duma in session to approve or disapprove Medvedev as Prime Minister. It's a great glimpse into the parliamentary side of things that we rarely see. Putin states that the social reforms he has called for and intends to carry out have been planned and examined with a fine tooth comb for a year and a half – by a team led by Medvedev. It makes sense to him, he says, that this same team would now carry these plans forward.

Can we not get beyond our own particular preferences of policy flavor and understand that Medvedev long ago ago gave up the Atlanticist affiliation – when, indeed, that option politically receded from his country's shores – and is simply a team player now, subservient to Russia and to Putin? And what he thinks in his own mind is nobody's business but his? He has no power outside of being a Prime Minister who effectuates Putin's vision.

And personally, I suspect he takes some satisfaction from doing this well. I don't care what transforms or redeems a man. I just care what fits the need of the moment. The hour produces the man, be he ever so tainted from former allegiances.

Medvedev's Tumultuous Confirmation Hearings (and of course, Zhirinovsky Calls for Reinstatement of Russian Monarchy)

pa..Vesti is cranking out so much Russian news and news shows now, in short clips with English subtitles – often half a dozen per day – that I've added it to my daily news scan. I reccomend the YouTube channel: Vesti News

Posted by: Grieved | May 11, 2018 8:50:47 PM | 71

Putin has done more to stop, blunt or block US military aggression than any other country.

He picked Syria to put Russian military up against US military. If he had not not done so, the Syrians that are still dying due to the terrorists and their sponsors would, along with hundreds of thousands of others have been dead in the jihadist takeover in 2015.

the Palestinians? What is the rest of the world doing about this? How many other countries deal with Israel. What is you country doing for the Palestinians.

There have been many proposed resolutions against Syria in the UN but US has vetoed them all. Israel can be brought into line only when US power is destroyed.

Many of the worlds conflicts that exist today can never be resolved until US power is destroyed as it is the US that keeps those conflicts as open wounds.

For Russia putting all their efforts into say Palestine or Yemen and the many other conflicts is like running around putting out spot fires rather than catching the arsonist.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 11, 2018 9:02:14 PM |

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Korybko interprets Russian signals as message to Assad to "compromise," which I don't agree with at all as such a "demand" backwalks numerous previous statements about Syria by Russia, which isn't normal Kremlin behavior. In essence, Korybko's arguing that the relationship between Zionists and Russia is more important than Russia's relations with Syria, Iraq, and Iran–a huge misread on his part, IMO.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 11, 2018

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Strategic Culture's published a very powerful editorial. Teaser:

"The reckless, reprehensible behavior of the US towards international law, multilateralism and diplomacy – all of which it falsely projects onto Russia, China and others – is, or should be, a watershed moment for all of the world to recognize that such rogue conduct is intolerable and unacceptable.

"Either there is multilateral accord or there is not. Either there is a multipolar world as envisaged by a democracy of nations, or there is brutish hegemony of unipolar ambitions. The latter is not law-abiding. It is predicated on the brutish principle of "might is right". The world cannot afford such a hegemon for the sake of peace and survival."

It certainly echoes much of what's written by b and us Barflies.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 11, 2018

Russia's catching a lot of blogger-flak regarding its failure to go to war with Israel. That's not smart.

Here's the probable scenario as I see it, keeping in mind that the #1 priority for Russia is its own political interests and its own security, which is true of every country.

There are three allies concerned with Syria led by Russia, and including Turkey and Iran. Three unlkely allies, actually. But they are trying to get along, with Russia's objective a return of Syria to full sovereignty of all its territory, and a cessation of hostilities, with a Russian military presence. It's not been easy but there has been progress and it looks like Russia and its allies will be successful.

Iran has that objective too, but also has a strong interest in aiding Hezbollah as a powerful anti-Israel force. That includes provisioning Hezbollah in Syria with ballistic missiles.

Russia (in my probable scenario) said to Iran don't do that. It endangers our chief interest in Syria which is to win the war against US/Israel and end the warfare. Don't do anything that endangers that. But Iran did it anyhow, and has paid a price which Syria shares. And as a part of that, Russia has taken no action against Israel because it expected this might happen, that's why Iran was cautioned. Iran thought it could do whatever it wanted in Syria and it got burned.

So I say to anti-Russia bloggers, wake up and smell the coffee.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11, 2018

..

Here's what Putin said to Nuttyahoo according to Kremlin :

"Naturally, we will use your visit today to discuss bilateral relations and problems in the region. Unfortunately, the situation is very acute. I would like to express hope that you and I will not only manage to discuss, but also find solutions which will lead to a shift in the situation, and which will also allow us to find ways to resolve heated conflicts."

Putin's clearly aiming at de-escalation, while Nutty's all about escalating.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 11, 2018

I used to admire Korybko enormously, and I thought him a brilliant talent. I don't know what's happened in the last few months. Every one of his articles seems to be a mis-read. He's chosen a view of reality that I think is wrong, and everything he extrapolates from that is off-kilter.

We all choose at what level down the rabbit hole we want to go, but whatever it is, our predictions should accord with subsequent events, or we can know it's an inaccurate ledge to perch on. Korybko keeps saying there's a hidden agenda and a secret union between Israel and Russia that makes all the rest of the Syria campaign a sham. He's become as unreliable as Paul Craig Roberts at reading the true balances, and as unreliable, it pains me to say, as the Saker appears at times lately. They all call for the sky to fall tomorrow, or else say that it already has and the fix is in, and resistance is futile.

Miracles abound. But everyone is so damn gloomy. Is it a new CIA manic-depression drug? Radio waves? Crazy.

Posted by: Grieved | May 11, 2018

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Too many cast Putin as Tsar; he is not. National security issues are discussed and solved by a council of same name through consensus. Same with Foreign Relations. One aspect of Russia that differs greatly from almost every Western nation is the Russian government acts in the best interest of all Russians , not just a select nomenclatura as in Outlaw US Empire and UK.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 11, 2018

During the course of the Ukraine war I, and I imagine many others, went through some of the feelings about Vladimir Putin that many people are expressing now. We grew impatient. We wanted Russia to go in and kick Porky's ass into the high heavens. We wanted the Chocolate King toasted. But Putin carried on with his minimalist strategy, his control over emotion and ego, his resource stinginess, providing just enough to the Donbas warriors, just enough. It was nail-biting and frustrating at times, but If Russia had gone into Ukraine, guns blazing (as Russia's enemies wanted) it would probably be bankrupt by now.

Scene change to Syria and we have the same minimum aircraft, troops, special forces Minimum but enough. Israel feels very strongly about the S-300. Putin and his generals have probably verified for themselves what they long suspected – that many products built by the US military industrials since the 1990s are pretty crap. Just look at the F-35 and the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner", which pilots and cabin crew refer to as the "binliner" due to its continuous faults. After a PHD on more-or-less this subject my humble self came to the same conclusion.

So do the Syrians really need the S-300 when they seem to be doing fine with what they have got? They could be beefed up with some Pantsirs and Buks. Why antagonize Israel needlessly? Why risk WWIII? Why risk Russia's World Cup – when sabotage and stealth are what the Israelis are best at? Why not just keep slipping Assad stuff that will keep the Israeli's guessing?

Posted by: Lochearn | May 11, 2018

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@ Grieved who wrote: "Miracles abound. But everyone is so damn gloomy. Is it a new CIA manic-depression drug? Radio waves? Crazy."

The more the elite can rile the public with fear and anger against others the better their chances of manipulating events to their ends at least that is their plan and I am not seeing white flags yet.

Yes, we are in the middle of a watershed event for humanity where the real issue of whether a small elite continue to control the tools of finance is being fought as a battle between Israel et al and the rest of the world through Syria/Iran/??? That the issues are so intertwined and so misunderstood by the public is a human travesty that I attribute to brainwashing by the Western media.

The good thing about this situation is that we are in it because the old way is breaking down all around us and energy abounds for supporting structural change. For someone who has been watching and waiting for 40+ years, I am DAMN happy to see such an opportunity for human growth present itself in my lifetime.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 11, 2018

@ 27

Peskov corrects :

May 11. /TASS/. The refusal to supply the S-300 air defense missile systems to Syria is not linked in any way with the recent visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Moscow, acting Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Peskov commented on a statement, which acting Russian Presidential Aide for Military and Technical Cooperation Vladimir Kozhin gave in an interview with the newspaper Izvestia.

"Technologically, it is absolutely incorrect to link this [Kozhin's words] with Netanyahu's visit because the interview was given before Netanyahu's visit," the acting Kremlin spokesman pointed out.

Russia has never announced such deliveries and only specified that it reserves the right in the wake of US-led airstrikes against Syria to do everything possible in this situation.

In an interview published on Friday, Kozhin said that Russia was not delivering the S-300 air defense missile systems to Syria and no talks had been underway on their delivery thus far.

As the acting Kremlin spokesman added, the Syrian army "has everything it needs."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on April 16 that Russia was ready to consider all necessary steps to reinforce Syria's defense capabilities, including the delivery of the S-300 systems.

Unlike the West, RF does not pre-announce. Just do it!

Do you think Putin is pleased about this?

Israeli Weapons Among Arms Handed Over to Syrian Army By Terrorists in Damascus

Oh, not just medical aid!

Posted by: Likklemore | May 11, 2018

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Explanation of Russia's approach by Andrei Korybko. Russia is taking a balance-of-power approach, not a bloc approach, to Syria. Hence its ambiguous stances towards Turkey, Iran, and Israel. Beyond what is required to defeat the Takfiris and assure the stability of the Syrian government, the rest is negotiable. Putin does not want the situation between Iran and Israel to escalate, and to that end is seeking greater influence in Syria vis-a-vis Iran.

http://www.eurasiafuture.com/2018/05/09/why-cry-its-great-news-that-trump-pulled-out-of-the-iran-deal/

..

Such a massive organized aggression has been inflicted on Syria, so much effort has been put into sujugating and destroying Syria, the Syrians have suffered so horribly. Years of economic warfare – sanctions, tens of thousands of mercenary madmen from dozens of countries deployed against Syria, entire cities destroyed, massive amounts of arms and financing provided to the madmen, global mass media disinformation deployed, oil stolen, thousands of US bombs dropped, continual Israeli attacks and subterfuge, NATO special forces deployed, massive mercenary underground construction project at Douma, false flags, Turkish aggression, Saudi complicity, and more.

And how do things stand, after seven years of this? Syrians are inspirational for their resistance, Syria is battered but winning, Russia's standing has risen as she has saved Syria, the mercenaries are largely eliminated or herded into specific areas; Israelis and Americans have lost yet more international standing, are more obviously outlaw regimes, and have lost self confidence; their military intimidation is more and more lacking in real authority. NATO is licking its wounds and is less cohesive, occupied Germany is showing signs of awakening, Turkey and the US are at odds, the British are a malicious joke, the Saudis are weaker, Iran and Lebanon are stronger, Iraqis despise the Americans, China is stronger.

Meanwhile, Russia too has been under US led economic warfare attack, and near global disinformation attack, and demonization. And yet she too is stronger in many ways than she was just a few years ago.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | May 11, 2018

..

karlof1 @20

There's nothing in that statement that approves of Israel's attack. And informing Putin of a changed stance due to a perception that 'red lines' were crossed (red lines that would've been discussed weeks or months prior) would be positioned by Netanyahu as a courtesy ( when it is really just a sneaky attempt at battlefield advantage).

Here's a thought (not fully baked):the Russians have their eye on the ball. Those who are focused on Zionists as a problem for a West easily miss the fact that USA is a bigger problem for Russia than Israel. USA is the "power behind the throne". Zionists and neocons may manipulate that power but it is better for Russia to make an effort to separate Israel from the West. You catch more flies with honey.

If SCO becomes strong enough to offer meaningful security guarantees and Israel also has an opportunity to participate in lucrative economic opportunities in Eurasia then Israel might be enticed to end it's belligerent manipulation of US. It may require a new generation of leadership in Israel before that happens. Russia-China are playing long games.

Posted by: Jackrabbit

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OJS:

So you run around spouting your hatred for Putin because he does not proclaim himself world policeman and and does not crap on about R2P. As he has said, he is not anybodies friend. He is the president of the Russian federation.

In this video I linked earlier, he plainly states his position on Israel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJnIsbo5uMs

Like it or not Putin recognizes and operates within International law and Russian law, and respects UN recognized borders. Putin, all the time he has been President has operated on the principle of evolution not revolution. He is not about to change now.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 11, 2018

The more the elite can rile the public with fear and anger against others the better their chances of manipulating events to their ends at least that is their plan and I am not seeing white flags yet.

Yes, we are in the middle of a watershed event for humanity where the real issue of whether a small elite continue to control the tools of finance is being fought as a battle between Israel et al and the rest of the world through Syria/Iran/??? That the issues are so intertwined and so misunderstood by the public is a human travesty that I attribute to brainwashing by the Western media.

The good thing about this situation is that we are in it because the old way is breaking down all around us and energy abounds for supporting structural change. For someone who has been watching and waiting for 40+ years, I am DAMN happy to see such an opportunity for human growth present itself in my lifetime.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 11, 2018

*****************************************************

I'll add a few other things that may or may not be of interest:

'Who we are, why we're digging: Team probing Syrian war & Skripal poisoning case reveal all', the UK working group on Syria, propaganda, and media, via RT (with this video, 9:26)

[May 13, 2018] Trump's Penis Is It Presidential by Douglas Valentine

Notable quotes:
"... According to Giuliani, setting up shell companies is a trick people of wealth learned from either the Israeli Mafia or the CIA. Though it could be the other way around. ..."
"... Rhetorical question: What could somebody do with $250,000? Answer: pay off two prostitutes! ..."
May 11, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
Donald Trump's sex life is nobody's business but his own. And maybe Melania's, if her Pre-Nuptial Agreement (PNA) stipulates that she can sue his fat ass for divorce and receive a huge percentage of his rumored wealth if he cheats on her, too often.

Like the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) Trump's fixer, Michael Cohen, signed with porn star Stormy Daniels (who had a quickie with Trump in 2006), prenups and private goon squads are standard fare for people of wealth.

But is Trump wealthy? And if so, where did he get his cash?

Some people say he laundered about $400 million in drug money for the Israeli Mafia's Russian franchise back in the early 1990's, in exchange for everything he ever wanted. I don't know if that's a fact. That's what I hear. People say it. Maybe somebody like Robert Mueller should investigate?

Fox News says the president isn't mobbed up, that everyone in New York City has to work with the Mafia if they want a hotel constructed on time. And that could be true.

But what is Truth? It's impossible to tell anymore.

The Truth could be that either the Deep State or the Israeli Mafia is forcing Trump to do many terrible things he doesn't really want to do. Like deep-sixing the Iran deal. Somebody's fingerprints are all over that baby's behind. Maybe Michael Cohen knows? Somebody should ask him.

Trump is obviously a victim of either the Deep State or the Israeli Mafia and its American franchise. You choose. But consider this: On the same day Trump scrapped the Iran deal, someone said that Russian billionaire Victor Vekselberg (who just happens to be Putin's BFF) wired $500,000 into a bank account that hatchet man Cohen (who doubles as Trump's real estate broker) set up for the purpose of issuing the $130,000 hush payment to Stormy Daniels.

I don't know if that's true. Sean Hannity says it isn't true. Rudy Giuliani says it might be true, and that it doesn't matter even if it is True, because people of wealth often set up shell companies to hide their business dealings from the Public Eye, which is their right as people of wealth.

According to Giuliani, setting up shell companies is a trick people of wealth learned from either the Israeli Mafia or the CIA. Though it could be the other way around.

Another one of Trump's prerogatives as a person of wealth is the right to charge people money to play with him. Trump's business consultant, Michael Cohen (who may work for the Israeli Mafia, I don't know), funnels such "pay to play" money into the same bank accounts he, Cohen, uses to pay off the women Trump has casual and unsatisfactory (for them ) sex with.

BTW, I forgot to mention it, but Vekselberg's cousin, American citizen Andrew Intrater, donated $250,000 to Trump's inauguration fund.

Rhetorical question: What could somebody do with $250,000? Answer: pay off two prostitutes!

Somebody in the Deep State (which, according to Hannity, is the code name for the Justice Department) knows about this, but let's it happen, because Trump is, after all, a person of wealth with certain rights to privacy.

... ... ...

Stormy, who whipped Trump's fat ass with a copy of Trump Magazine back in 2006, is an eyewitness to The Thing. When asked by Penthouse to compare his penis size to "his fingers," Daniels said, "I don't want to shame anybody."

... ... ...

[May 13, 2018] Confusion over Netanyahu visit to Moscow and Putin passivity over recurrent Israeli strikes of Syria territory

Notable quotes:
"... Suppose there were no Russia in Syria, what would have happened? Libya would have been the fate. Most likely US would have recognized Golan Ht as Israel's. Oil harvesting companies would become more visible. Lebanon would have been in flames. Nothing else in ME. Some more terror attacks in EU may be. ..."
"... The real purpose of the Donald's missile-rattling is nothing more than helping Bibi Netanyahu keep his coalition of right wing religious and settler parties (Likud, United Torah Judaism, Shas, Kulanu and the Jewish Home) together, thereby maintaining his slim 61-vote majority in the 120-seat Knesset. ..."
"... Netanyahu's malefic political glue is the utterly false claim that Iran is an "existential threat" to Israel because it is hell-bent on getting the bomb. ..."
"... As a matter of record, of course, Netanyahu has been saying this since the early 1990s and he has always been wrong because there were never any facts or logic to support his blatant fear-mongering. ..."
May 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The Skripals will most likely never be allowed to talk, by The Saker - The Unz Review

There have been major developments this week, all of them bad, including Putin re-nominating Medvedev as his Prime Minister, and Bibi Netanyahu invited to Moscow to the Victory Day Parade in spite of him bombing Syria, a Russian ally, just on the eve of his visit. Once in Moscow, Netanyahu compared Iran to, what else, Nazi Germany . How original and profound indeed! Then he proceeded to order the bombing of Syria for a second time , while still in Moscow. But then, what can we expect from a self-worshiping narcissist who finds it appropriate to serve food to the Japanese Prime Minister in a specially made shoe ? The man is clearly batshit crazy (which in no way makes him less evil or dangerous). But it is the Russian reaction which is so totally disgusting: nothing, absolutely nothing. Unlike others, I have clearly said that it is not the Russian responsibility to "protect" Syria (or Iran) from the Israelis. But there is no doubt in my mind that Netanyahu has just publicly thumbed his nose at Putin and that Putin took it. For all my respect for Putin, this time he allowed Netanyahu to treat him just like Trump treated Macron. Except that in the case of Putin, he was so treated in his own capital. That makes it even worse.

[Interestingly, while whining about "Nazi Iran" Netanyahu did say something truly profound and true. He said " an important history lesson: when a murderous ideology emerges, one has to push back against it before it is too late". That is indeed exactly what most people across the world feel about Israel and its Zionist ideology but, alas, their voice is completely ignored by those who rule over them. So yes, it sure looks to me like it is becoming "too late" and that the consequences for our collective cowardice -- most of us are absolutely terrified from speaking the plain truth about our Zionist overlords - will cost us all a terrible price.]

Then, of course, there is Donald Trump pulling out of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in spite of Iran's full compliance and in spite of the fact that the US does not have the authority to unilaterally withdraw from this multilateral agreement. But being the megalomaniac that he is, and not to mention the spineless lackey of the Israel Lobby, Trump ignored all that and thereby created further tensions between the US and the rest of the world whom the US will now blackmail and bully to try to force it to support the US in its rabid subservience to Israel. As for the Israelis, their "sophisticated" "strategy" is primitive to the extreme: first get Trump to create maximal tensions with Iran, then attack the Iranians in Syria as visibly and arrogantly as possible, bait the Iranians into a retaliation, then bellow "OI VEY!!!" with your loudest voice, mention the Holocaust once or twice, toss in a "6 million people" figure, and get the US to attack Syria.

How anybody can respect, nevermind admire, the Israelis is simply beyond comprehension. I sure can't think of a more contemptible, nasty, psychopathic gang of megalomanical thugs (and cowards) than the Israelis. Can you?

Nonetheless, it appears undeniable that the Zionists have enough power to simultaneously force not one, but two (supposed) superpowers to cave into their demands. Not only that, they have the power to do that while also putting these two superpowers on a collision course against each other. At the very least, this shows two things: the United States has completely lost its sovereignty and is now an Israeli protectorate. As for Russia, well, she is doing comparatively better, but the full re-sovereignization the Russian people have voted for when they gave their overwhelming support to Putin will not happen. A comment I read on a Russian chat put it: "Путин кинул народ -- мы не за Медведева голосовали" or " Putin betrayed the people -- we did not vote for Medvedev ". I am not sure that "betrayed the people" is fair, but the fact that he has disappointed a lot of people is, I think, simply undeniable.

It is still way too early to reach any conclusions at this point, and there are still way too many unknown variables, but I will admit that I am very worried and that for the first time in 4 years I am having major doubts about a fundamental policy decision by Putin. I sure hope that I am wrong. We will find out relatively soon. I just hope that this will not be in the form of a major war.

animalogic , May 11, 2018 at 8:14 am GMT

Paul Craig Roberts has repeatedly, for some years now, questioned Putin's apparent willingness to bend over backwards to placate his "partners" in the West.

PCR has maintained consistently that the West can not be trusted, that Russia's attempts at accommodation are taken as signs of weakness, acting only to embolden the West in its continuing vicious assaults.

Of course, Russia is playing for time: hoping that over time the strategic tables will increasing tip in its own & China's etc favour.
However, I suspect Saker & PCR are right: further submission will only lead to ever more vicious attacks. This is made all the worse by China's unwillingness to assert itself internationally as the 2nd largest economic power. (As if it can't see the US strategy, via tariffs etc to retard, if not destroy its future economic development)

One might have a tiny mite of hope that the West might ultimately act sanely. However, with the Zionists now pulling all the strings sanity is over & out.

Momus , May 11, 2018 at 8:20 am GMT
Netanyahu is regarded in Washington, and perhaps also Moscow, as almost Churchillian for his efforts to protect Israel and by extension the region and the US.

Who among us wants horizontal nuclear proliferation and a nuked up Iran armed with ICBM's?

Intelligent Dasein , Website May 11, 2018 at 9:45 am GMT
I've been
Intelligent Dasein , Website May 11, 2018 at 9:45 am GMT
I've been waiting to hear your take, Saker, since things are very bad indeed. I did not like what I saw happen on May 9th. Here is my very abbreviated take on it.

Bibi knows that he's pulled Trump fully into the Israeli orbit. He as much as told Putin he would attack Syria and dared him to do anything about it. If Putin responded with force, that would provide Israel and America with all the provocation they need to go all-in against Syria, Iran, and Russia, which is what the Ziocons were hoping to accomplish anyway. Putin, seeing all this and being the better man, can only sit back and take it. For now.

Bibi pissed in Putin's face and nobody could do a thing about it. But the whole world saw what happened and nobody with half a brain is on the side of the Israelis. I'm no longer upset that Putin didn't respond. He has admirable restraint and patience. The very hand of God Himself will move against the Israelis for all their crimes and treachery, and Putin will still be one of His chief instruments.

Robert Magill , May 11, 2018 at 10:01 am GMT

How anybody can respect, nevermind admire, the Israelis is simply beyond comprehension. I sure can't think of a more contemptible, nasty, psychopathic gang of megalomanical thugs (and cowards) than the Israelis. Can you?

Yes I can, Saker, you live among them.

Then, of course, there is Donald Trump pulling out of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in spite of Iran's full compliance and in spite of the fact that the US does not have the authority to unilaterally withdraw from this multilateral agreement

.

See Club Orlov http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/ 5/10 regarding the 120+ billion of Iranian money we hold in dollars the dead broke US gets to keep by pulling out of the deal.

https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/and-then-we-were-capitalists-or/

Rafael Martorell , May 11, 2018 at 10:23 am GMT
Good call. That is why we follow you Saker. It is the responsability of the american men to rebel and fix this goverment.

Im from cuba and the worst part here is that we have been delivered to be control and saked by people that we took the lunch from them when we where kids,in the school yard.

The Scalpel , Website May 11, 2018 at 11:32 am GMT
@utu

Agree. Putin seems to have rolled over and is crying uncle. Sad. Perhaps he is waiting until his new weapons are fully stockpiled before he makes any serious attempts to defend -- ultimately -- himself and his nation.

Without Russia putting some brakes on the Empire's unopposed oppressions, there is little hope for truth, justice, etc. in the world. There is no attempt to print the truth in national publications (that has been going on for a long time), and increasingly, little attempt to hide the fact that they are not printing the truth. The masses, instead of rebelling against obvious lies, seem to have internalized doublethink and do not have any significant impulse to rise up and defend their own interests. The propaganda is too thick, too strong, and too unopposed. Things look grim.

utu , May 11, 2018 at 11:45 am GMT
@Momus

Who among us wants horizontal nuclear proliferation and a nuked up Iran armed with ICBM's?

I think that would be a good check of Israel's power that could stabilize the ME and return to the path of development that existed there still till early 1980s when the process of destabilization began which was a part of the Yinon plan. If Israel remains the absolutely dominant power people in ME countries will be allowed to live in Hobbesian chaotic world only where they will be encouraged to engage in ethnic and sectarian fighting forever.

Anatoly Karlin , Website May 11, 2018 at 11:54 am GMT

How anybody can respect, nevermind admire, the Israelis is simply beyond comprehension.

Why not? Israel has been successfully expanding its territory, and getting two superpowers to cave into its demands (Saker's own words). That is pretty admirable in my book. This is certainly worth of both respect and admiration, even if one otherwise wishes to see Israel burn in a sea of atomic fire.

Anyhow, there's no reason for Russia to care. Increased American tensions with Iran will raise the price of oil. Also a reminder that the Kremlin couldn't care less about American murders of Russian mercenaries. So in what world will they concern themselves with Iranian ones.

A comment I read on a Russian chat put it: "Путин кинул народ -- мы не за Медведева голосовали" or "Putin betrayed the people -- we did not vote for Medvedev".

Ah yes, the сирийские братушки ("Syrian brothers"). Perhaps Western Russophiles consider them such, but few Russians do.

So The Saker is correct, Putin did not betray "his" people. (Well, he did, but that happened in 2014, not now).

utu , May 11, 2018 at 11:59 am GMT
@Intelligent Dasein

I'm no longer upset that Putin didn't respond. He has admirable restraint and patience. The very hand of God Himself will move against the Israelis for all their crimes and treachery, and Putin will still be one of His chief instruments.

This is your wishful thinking talking. You are still upset with Putin and you should be. May 9 parade with Netanyahu and bombing in Syria really looked very bad. To me it signified Putin's capitulation. At least it is the end game and Russia realized she was outplayed as she is apparently not ready to go all the way with the nuclear blackmail. Putin will stay put waiting for the stupid World Cup while Netanyahu will be escalating or some face saving measure will be found for Russia to withdraw from Syria or Russia will be invited to be a part of occupational government there.

Chinese looking from afar probably are disappointed but they never trusted Russian corrupt elite staying the course.

Passer by , May 11, 2018 at 6:20 pm GMT
Ex-Finance Minister Kudrin to head Accounts Chamber: http://tass.com/economy/1003887
anon [228] Disclaimer , May 11, 2018 at 10:28 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

Suppose there were no Russia in Syria, what would have happened? Libya would have been the fate. Most likely US would have recognized Golan Ht as Israel's. Oil harvesting companies would become more visible. Lebanon would have been in flames. Nothing else in ME. Some more terror attacks in EU may be.

But would these have changed the internal dynamics within US ? No It would not. US would still be going down the path it has been and that path would still be what it is today at home and abroad.

Social anarchy, takeover of Democrats by non-whites , takeover of GOP by religious militant and bipartisan tax cutting for pro big business will continue unhindered . Is it good? No. But good for the destruction of the country. That is good . ME without USA would then look like no different until Russia also faces the same fate that has happened to Wiemar Germany and Egyptian/ Persian in the historical past.

ME Shoa will have to wait for few more decades

M7 , May 12, 2018 at 1:14 am GMT
How about Putin showing Bibi what is in store for who harms Russia ? I can see Putin talking in symbols.
jim76 , May 12, 2018 at 1:38 am GMT
on another note after seeing shabas putin next to netanyahu holding picture of a commie terrorist commissar let me say Saker the "ukronazis" have the stalinist russians pegged right thank God they left Russia some hope for a jew free state
https://news.antiwar.com/2018/05/11/putin-backs-off-giving-syria-s-300-systems-after-netanyahu-meeting/

De-escalation!

Realist , May 12, 2018 at 8:19 am GMT
@animalogic

Paul Craig Roberts has repeatedly, for some years now, questioned Putin's apparent willingness to bend over backwards to placate his "partners" in the West.

The problem isn't bending over backward .it's bending over forward.

Realist , May 12, 2018 at 8:22 am GMT
@Momus

Netanyahu is regarded in Washington, and perhaps also Moscow, as almost Churchillian for his efforts to protect Israel and by extension the region and the US.

Protecting Israel does nothing for the US.

El Dato , May 12, 2018 at 11:45 am GMT
https://theintercept.com/2018/05/11/american-saudi-arabia-weapons-deal-yemen-uae/

I wonder what Saudi Arabia and the UAE could want with 60'000 precision-guided munitions?

El Dato , May 12, 2018 at 12:21 pm GMT
Rather OT, but still. Probably worthy of Unz-topping:

The remarkable disappearing act of Israel's car-bombing campaign in Lebanon or: What we (do not) talk about when we talk about 'terrorism'

"With Sharon's backing, terrible things were done. I am no vegetarian, and I supported and even participated in some of the assassination operations Israel carried out. But we are speaking here about mass killing for killing's sake, to sow chaos and alarm, among civilians, too. Since when do we send donkeys carrying bombs to blow up in marketplaces?"

-- Mossad officer, quoted in Ronen Bergman's Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations

Anomie.

AP , May 12, 2018 at 5:11 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Ukrainian president and prime-minister are both Jews

Poroshenko being (half-) Jewish is fake news. Allegedly his father was Jewish and changed his surname. Actually this is his father:

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Порошенко,_Алексей_Иванович

The family originate from a Russian garrison-town on the Romanian border which had been populated by Ukrainians, Russian, Bulgarans, and no Jews.

There is even fake news that Parubiy is Jewish!

Both Poroshenko's parents are ethnic Ukrainians and he is an Orthodox Christian.

All the Ukrainian olygarchs, with the sole exception of Ahmetov, are Jews

Richest people in Ukraine:

Poroshenko -- Ukrainian
Akhmetov -- Tatar
Boholiubov -- Jewish
Tyhypko -- Ukrainian
Korban -- Jewish
Kosiuk -- Ukrainian
Zhevago -Russian
Novinsky -- Russian, major supporter of Russian Orthodox Church
Kolomoysky -- Jewish
Pinchuk -- Jewish
Tymoshenko- 1/2 Ukrainian, 1/4 Latvian, 1/4 Jewish (1/4 Jewish isn't Jewish)

So 4/11 are Jewish.

What is Russia's ratio?

Svigor , May 13, 2018 at 3:03 am GMT

[Interestingly, while whining about "Nazi Iran" Netanyahu did say something truly profound and true. He said "an important history lesson: when a murderous ideology emerges, one has to push back against it before it is too late". That is indeed exactly what most people across the world feel about Israel and its Zionist ideology but, alas, their voice is completely ignored by those who rule over them. So yes, it sure looks to me like it is becoming "too late" and that the consequences for our collective cowardice -- most of us are absolutely terrified from speaking the plain truth about our Zionist overlords - will cost us all a terrible price.]

Add to that the Jews' other genocidal favorites; diversity, multiculturalism, open borders, and anti-nationalism-fur-de-goyim.

Of course, Saker and his fellow cucked "Russian nationalists" don't add them, which is part of the reason that I'm indifferent to Russian nationalists anymore.

Then, of course, there is Donald Trump pulling out of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in spite of Iran's full compliance and in spite of the fact that the US does not have the authority to unilaterally withdraw from this multilateral agreement.

Let's just say I'm not taking flatheads' word on this one.

In the meantime, I want to refocus on the Skripal case.

Only took you like a thousand words to get around to the point; congratulations.

Svigor , May 13, 2018 at 3:08 am GMT
@animalogic

This is made all the worse by China's unwillingness to assert itself internationally as the 2nd largest economic power. (As if it can't see the US strategy, via tariffs etc to retard, if not destroy its future economic development)

In reality the US strategy is now to be a bit less than a total globalist-run whorehouse. Which will probably be changed back with the next new president. China's main concern will be internal stability and security for the foreseeable future.

Svigor , May 13, 2018 at 3:13 am GMT
@Momus

Who among us wants horizontal nuclear proliferation and a nuked up Iran armed with ICBM's?

Who among us wants to admit that the ship has kinda sailed, given Israeli and Pakistani nukes?

Biff , May 13, 2018 at 4:58 am GMT
@Momus

Who among us wants horizontal nuclear proliferation and a nuked up Iran armed with ICBM's?

I would rather see Iran with nukes than Israel. The world would be a better place.

jilles dykstra , May 13, 2018 at 6:11 am GMT
One indeed can admire how a few thousand jews wield such power. I consider the rest of jewry as their victims.
But then, why not admire Hitler, he was on his own.
In both cases, disaster struck.

Jews still do not see that the present situation in the USA resembles the Weimar Republic. Henry Ford knew this quite well 'in the end most Jewish enterprises fail through overconfidence'. Possibly the first time was when they were, as is asserted, implicated in the murder of the Roman emperor. Rome twice sent big armies to Palestine. If Rome also invented Christianity to undermine them, it remains an interesting theory.

Daisy , May 13, 2018 at 6:11 am GMT
@Intelligent Dasein

I am inclined to agree with you Putin is smarter and would not/cannot fall for the bait. I believe history will confirm that he will save the human race from total annihilation that we possibly face in months/years to come. I was hoping that Trump would also be a force for good but my view is changing as each day passes. I do not understand the subservient position that the US takes with Israel. Yes there is an aggressive Zionist faction who control America and yes nobody dares speak out against them but there must come a time when enough is enough. Unfortunately if Trump meant it when he said he would drain the swamp he has been prevented from doing so.

Sam J. , May 13, 2018 at 6:55 am GMT
I wouldn't be too hard on Putin. I have a whacked theory that the Jews see the control of the USA slipping. 9-11 was a huge screw up and more and more people know. They had talked of moving to India or China but I don't think that will work. Neither will allow the same stunts they have pulled around Whites. I think the psychopathic Jews are breed to be a parasite on the White Man and it will never work elsewhere. So they're fucked. What can they do? Well if you're a psychopath then the best thing to do would be to start a China/Russia vs. USA nuke war and while this goes on nuke the Europeans, Arabs and maybe a little germ warfare thrown in for good measure. You sit in the middle and hunker down then start over.

Now this may be completely crazy but psychopaths are crazy by most peoples definition and the above is perfectly logical. Maybe Putin doesn't think of it in directly these terms like I laid out but he can't help but notice that these animals are off, a lot. The Jews position gets worse every single day. They will have no luck at all disarming the Americans and the internet, despite their censorship, can;t be completely closed down. Their media platform is failing. No one believes what they say.

We should get rid of the Jews. Peacefully if we can but by any means necessary. Jewish populations upon moving into another territory are in no way distinguishable from a tribe of psychopaths over the long term. No one wants to live with psychopaths.

El Dato , May 13, 2018 at 7:10 am GMT
@Svigor

Let's just say I'm not taking flatheads' word on this one.

Reminder that this is the task of the IAEA.

Which sadly doesn't have the permission to check Israel's nuclear 'nads.

Monty Ahwazi , May 13, 2018 at 7:33 am GMT
Mr Saker,
I agree with your first part of the article and if I may add, Putin is a corrupt capitalist much like his brother in the US, Trump! They do love wealth and power so much that they both are prime targets for corruption by the wealthy Z's. Now that they both have become pawns and subservient to a third party, the Z's are dancing in street for taking control of the 2 superpowers! The one point that I'd disagree with is about your concerns of the 2 super powers having to come closer to a potential military conflict! Since a third party has taken control of the two superpowers the 2 countries are NOT allowed to challenge each other militarily because there's zero or even less than zero benefits for the real people who are in charge!
chris , May 13, 2018 at 9:09 am GMT
@yurivku

It was a real stab in the back for our allies and that's really hard to see.

I definitely see yours and the Saker's arguments in making this point, however, personally, it all looks to me like act 1 of a bigger play. Like Trump, Putin seems to make his concessions up front, but there must, by necessity be a payback concession somewhere down the road; if their allowed survival itself isn't the original concession already.

The nature of the understanding between Russia and Israel, which has not been covered anywhere in the news, must ultimately not be so difficult to determine for journalists investigating it, if such journalists actually existed.

None of them has any interest in covering this, however, because: the west can't deviate from the onslaught of Russian vilification; Russia, doesn't want to show its vulnerabilities and Israel doesn't want to show its power.

But I suspect some of this will come to light as the next phase of operations against Iran.

El Dato , May 13, 2018 at 9:40 am GMT
David Stockman got it:

https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2018/05/11/the-deep-state-first-madness-on-both-ends-of-the-acela-corridor/

The mere threat of a military attack from the White House is madness because it arises from blatant lies that have absolutely nothing to do with US national security. Nor, for that matter, the security of any other country in the region, including Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The real purpose of the Donald's missile-rattling is nothing more than helping Bibi Netanyahu keep his coalition of right wing religious and settler parties (Likud, United Torah Judaism, Shas, Kulanu and the Jewish Home) together, thereby maintaining his slim 61-vote majority in the 120-seat Knesset.

Netanyahu's malefic political glue is the utterly false claim that Iran is an "existential threat" to Israel because it is hell-bent on getting the bomb.

But that's where the whopper comes in. It amounts to the ridiculous postulate that Iran is so fiendishly evil that if it is involved in the nuclear fuel cycle in any way, shape or form -- presumably even just operating a uranium mine -- it is only a matter of months before it will have a bomb.

As a matter of record, of course, Netanyahu has been saying this since the early 1990s and he has always been wrong because there were never any facts or logic to support his blatant fear-mongering.

But maybe this will blow the top on the economic fiction that's been going on since at leads Greenspan:

And that gets us to the madness at the other end of the Acela Corridor. On a day in which there was no good news whatsoever -- except that defense spending will go ever higher making the impending yield shock even worse -- the stock market rose by another 1%.

There is no mystery as to why, however. Honest price discovery and the discounting of real world information was totally destroyed by the Fed's monetary central planners years ago.

The only thing the casino discounts today is the trading points on the hourly, daily and weekly stock charts, and the presumption that both the fiscal and central banking branches of the state stand ready to "stimulate" whenever a serious breach occurs on the charts.

Nothing could be more mistaken -- and for reasons we will amplify upon in Part 2.

But the spoiler alert is this: The private sector is now swamped under record and unsustainable debt in both the household and business sectors. By succumbing to the most incendiary Deep State meme of all -- the Iranian Nuke lie -- the Donald has now made a public debt catastrophe an absolute certainty.

Pat Pappano , May 13, 2018 at 9:42 am GMT
It looks like a smackdown following the announcement of the superweapons. My thought on Putin's gloating show was why not keep these weaponse developments secret. Once the toothpaste is out of the tube you can't push it back in. One explanation may be that Putin thought he was in charge up to that point, but may have found out differently. I don't know if Russia has a Rothschild central bank. But agreed, it certainly looks bad. Plus Israel has hit Syria again. It all looks very bad.
Rabbitnexus , May 13, 2018 at 10:21 am GMT
@Momus

Don't be ridiculous,. Most of us would trust Iran with nukes even if they wanted them, which they do not, before the Zionist terrorist state. As the Saker said. "How anybody can respect, never mind admire, the Israelis is simply beyond comprehension. I sure can't think of a more contemptible, nasty, psychopathic gang of megalomaniacal thugs (and cowards) than the Israelis. "

ussia's objectives in Syria are not identical to their own? Are they not students of history?

I can only imagine the negotiations that went on in Russia among Netanyahu and company and the Russian government. I'm certain that Russia made assurances that it would not provide S-300 systems. What did Netanyahu have to pay for that? Perhaps assurances that he would stop pushing the Americans to bomb Syrian positions? I don't know. You have an imagination. Think of what Putin wants that Netanyahu could provide.

animalogic , May 13, 2018 at 11:42 am GMT
@Wally

I congratulate Mr Roberts for his courage.
"We must take it on faith alone."
I also agree with all his references to Israel. I loathe people who demand acts of faith (or self induced stupidity)

Iris , May 13, 2018 at 11:45 am GMT
@Pat Pappano

Yours is a very relevant point.

Russia has a national, sovereign, bank , led by a very competent economist, Elvira Nabiulina.

However, Russia's economy is not a match to its military status. Russia's entire GDP is lower than South Korea's, and is only slightly over twice the Pentagon's budget.

I think this is one of the reasons why President Putin must tread carefully: Russia's economy and internal stability are very vulnerable to external economic and financial pressure.

[May 13, 2018] Russia goals in Syria vs Iran and Hezbollah goals

May 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

Frankie P , May 13, 2018 at 11:00 am GMT

@utu

I am a supporter of the Resistance. I support resistance to American hegmony, the idea of a unipolar world with the rest of the nations following American dictates. I support resistance by American citizens against the ideas of American exceptionalism, ongoing foreign belligerence that benefits only the Military Industrial Complex and a certain "shitty little country in the Levant". I support resistance to the Zionist State, the ongoing crimes perpetrated by the Zionists against both the indigenous Palestinians in their own nation and against their neighboring Arab countries. I support American resistance to the stranglehold that supporters of Israel enjoy on the political system in the US.

Therefore, I support actors such as China and Russia in that they are cooperating to balance the unbridled hubris and exceptionalism of my country, providing a balance, a multi-polar future. Iran has become a lynchpin in this geopolitical competition, being positioned smack in the middle of a horizontal (OBOR/BRI initiative) and vertical (Russia's energy cooperation ideas) axis of the future.

I support Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon (Hizbollah) in their desire to remain independent, complete nations while supporting the Palestinians and fighting against the Zionists.

I am not so naive, however, to imagine that all the components of the resistance have similar goals in specific areas, in this case the Syrian situation. It is more than curious to see people saying that Putin "sold out" Syria and Iran. Do you not consider that Putin is acting for the benefit of the Russian nation and Russian interests, and not for the benefit of the rest of the resistance and their program? Do you not realize that without the Russian action in support of the Assad administration, he would certainly have lost his nation, a nation that would currently be a destabilized basket case, a series of fragments falling under control of various Sunnite head choppers, Kurdish militias, and government remnants?

It is important to consider the objectives of the resistance players in Syria, both short- and long-term. Russia's objectives in Syria have been to keep the nation united and integrated, under the control of the current legitimate government until democratic elections can be held at some future date. Russia wants to prevent a radical Sunni movement from threatening its southern flank, sending activists to radicalize the Sunni populations in its Caucasus region. Another more recent objective of Russia in this long-term goal is to keep the Americans out of Syria as much as possible, hoping that the cessation of military action and the return of Syrian government control will lead to removal of all US troops.

The Russian goals do NOT include the destruction of the Zionist State, the return of the Golan Heights to Syria, or the emancipation of the Palestinian people. It is very important to keep this in mind.

The goals of the providers of the boots on the ground that saved the Syrian government, namely Hizbollah, Iran, and the Iraqi Shiite militias, extend beyond the scope of the Russian goals, at least as far as long-term targets are concerned. These players certainly share the Russian goals of shoring up the Assad regime, destroying the Daesh forces, both mercenary and local, and returning Syria to the stable ally that it was. There are more goals for these forces, though, and these goals are clear for all to see.

Hizbollah wants the return of all Lebanese territory to Lebanon. Hizbollah, Iran, and Syria want the return of the Golan Heights to Syrian control. They rightfully see the stabilization of the situation in Syria, the massing of their forces, hardened, battle tested forces, as an excellent opportunity to engage Israel and take back territory.

They realize that the Syrian air defenses are much improved, and although Israel is still able to attack Syrian targets with impunity, there is more risk.

They have made plans and accumulated missiles, accurate, precision missiles that will be able to attack Israeli military positions in the Golan Heights, for example, the IDF electronic surveillance / EW positions on Mt. Hermon. These provide the Israelis with direct line-of-sight to most of the Damascus Plain. What would happen if Syria/Iran/Hizbollah used a precision missile strike to take out the Israeli's eyes, as well as the AD jammers and other equipment? All of these players also want a fair and just solution for the Palestinian people, the recovery of their ability to determine their own future on terms that are acceptable to them. I support these goals. I am not Putin.

Remember, an escalation in military action between the Israelis and the Syrian/Iranian/Hizbollah forces in southern Syria will be viewed by Russia as a greater risk for its own troops, and a greater chance that the US will interfere more forcefully in the country. The Russians want to avoid this. Do I like this? Of course not. Keep in mind my own views, and the forces of the resistance that I said that I support. Do I feel that the Russians sold out thier allies? No way. Do you really think that the generals of the IRGC and Hassan Nasrallah are unaware of the fact that R

[May 13, 2018] The Skripal Affair A Lie Too Far

"They are liars. And they know that they are liars," the late Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz once wrote: "And we know that they are liars. Even so, they keep lying...."
Notable quotes:
"... of a type developed by Russia ..."
"... The western modus operandi is the same in the Skripal case. The Tories rushed to conclusions and issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Russian government to prove its innocence, or rather to admit its guilt. How was the so-called novichok delivered to London, did President Vladimir Putin authorise the attack, did Russia lose control of its stockpile? The prime minister and her foreign secretary had in effect declared Russia guilty as charged. No objective police investigation, no due process, no presumption of innocence, no evidence was necessary: it was "sentence first, verdict later", as the Red Queen declared in Alice in Wonderland . ..."
"... The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated for the record that "as soon as the rumors, fed by the British leadership, about the poisoning of Skripal appeared, we immediately requested access to this [toxic] substance so that our experts could analyze it in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons." After the British ambassador visited the Russian foreign ministry on 13 March to receive the formal Russian reply to the British ultimatum, the foreign ministry in Moscow issued a communiqué: " The [Salisbury] incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia. Any threat to take 'punitive' measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that." The Russian government in fact proposed that the alleged poisoning of the Skripals should be examined by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, according to procedures to which Britain itself had agreed when the OPCW was established in 1997. ..."
"... In the meantime, President Putin weighed in. "I guess any reasonable person [has] realised," he said, "that this is complete absurd[ity] and nonsense. [How could] anybody in Russia allow themselves such actions on the eve of the [Russian] presidential election and the football World Cup? This is unthinkable." In any police inquiry, investigators look for means, motive and opportunity. On these grounds did the trail of guilt lead to Moscow? ..."
"... The British PowerPoint presentation did not stop with its two main canards. It goes on to refer to "Russian malign activity" including, inter alia ..."
"... bourrage de crâne ..."
"... On 14 April, Minister Lavrov at a meeting in Moscow provided the answer. The substance used to attack the Skripals was laced with a substance know as BZ which incapacitates rather than kills and takes longer to work than an instant acting nerve agent which kills immediately. The United States, Britain and other NATO countries have developed this toxin and put it into service; the Soviet Union never did so. ..."
"... how did the perpetrators obtain the BZ toxin and bring it to Salisbury, did MI5 or MI6 authorise a false flag attack against the Skripals, or was it authorised by the British cabinet or by the prime minister alone? Or did British authorities lose control of their stockpiles? The trail of evidence does not lead to Moscow; it leads to London. ..."
"... A prima facie case can be made that the British government is lying about the Skripal affaire . Suspicion always falls upon those who act deviously, who hide behind clever turns of phrase and procedural and rhetorical smokescreens. British authorities are now saying that they have other top secret evidence, which explains everything, but unfortunately it can't be publicised. Nevertheless, the British government appears to have leaked it to the press. The Times published a story about a covert Russian lab producing nerve agents and it spread like wild fire across the Mainstream Media. The Daily Mirror put out a story about a Russian secret assassins' training manual. These stories are laughable. Is the Tory government that desperate? Is the British "everyman" that gullible? ..."
"... The secret assassin's manual reminds me of the 1924 "Zinoviev Letter", a counterfeit document produced by White Russians in Germany, purporting to demonstrate Soviet interference in British elections and planning for a socialist revolution. It was early days of "fake news". Parliamentary elections were underway in October 1924 and the Tories used the letter to attack the credibility of the Labour party. It was whipping up the red scare, and it worked like a charm. The Tories won a majority government. Soviet authorities claimed that the letter was bogus and they demanded a third party, independent investigation to ascertain the truth, just as the Russian government has done now. In 1924, the Tories refused, and understandably so, since they had a lot to hide. It took seventy-five years to determine that "the letter" was in fact counterfeit. ..."
"... déjà vu. ..."
"... "They are liars. And they know that they are liars," the late Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz once wrote: "And we know that they are liars. Even so, they keep lying...." ..."
"... The Tories are trying doggedly to maintain control of the narrative. Stakes are high for if it eventuates that the Tories have lied deliberately for political gain, at the risk of destabilising European, indeed world peace and security, the Tory government should be forced to resign and new elections, called. Then, the British electorate can decide whether it wants to be governed by reckless, mendacious Tory politicians who risk to provoke war against the Russian Federation. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

On 4 March 2018 it was a foggy day in southern England, and the MI6 Russian spy Sergei Viktorovich Skripal and his daughter Yulia stepped out for a stroll, stopped at the local pub in Salisbury, went to lunch at a nearby restaurant, and then took a walk in the park where they collapsed on a park bench. What had happened to them? Did they suffer from food poisoning? Or was Sergei Skripal involved in some dark affaire and the object of a hit by persons unknown, his daughter being an accidental victim?

The police received a call that day at 4:15pm reporting two people in distress. Emergency services were despatched immediately. The Skripals were rushed to hospital, while the local police launched an investigation. It began to look like attempted murder, but the police urged patience, saying it could take months before they might know what had happened and who, if anyone, was responsible.

The Conservative government decided that it did not need to wait for a police investigation. "The Russians" had tried to assassinate a former intelligence officer turned informant for MI6. Skripal went to jail for that, but was released four years later in an exchange of agents with the United States. Now, "the Russians," so the Tory hypothesis goes, wanted to settle old scores. Less than 24 hours after the incident in Salisbury, the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, suggested that the Russian government was the prime suspect in what looked like an attempt gone wrong to assassinate Sergei Skripal.

On 12 March the foreign secretary summoned the Russian ambassador to inform him that a nerve agent, A-234, had been used against the Skripals. How did you do it, Johnson wanted to know, or did the Russian government lose control of its stocks of chemical weapons? He gave the Russian ambassador 24 hours to respond. In point of fact, the Russian government does not possess any stockpiles of chemical weapons or nerve agents, having destroyed them all as of September 2017.

Later that day, the British prime minister, Theresa May, declared in the House of Commons that the Skripals, then said to be in a coma, were poisoned with "a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia " (italics added) called a 'novichok', a Russian word having various possible translations into English (beginner, novice, newcomer, etc.). May claimed that since the Soviet Union was known to have produced this chemical weapon, or nerve agent (also known as A-234), that it was " highly likely " that the Russian government was guilty of the attack on the Skripals.

Here is what the prime minister said in the House of Commons: "Either this was a direct act by the Russian State against our country. Or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others." The hurried British accusations were redolent of those in 2014 alleging Russian government complicity or direct involvement in the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH 17 over the Ukraine. Within hours of the destruction of MH 17, the United States and its vassals, including Britain, accused Russia of being responsible.

The western modus operandi is the same in the Skripal case. The Tories rushed to conclusions and issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Russian government to prove its innocence, or rather to admit its guilt. How was the so-called novichok delivered to London, did President Vladimir Putin authorise the attack, did Russia lose control of its stockpile? The prime minister and her foreign secretary had in effect declared Russia guilty as charged. No objective police investigation, no due process, no presumption of innocence, no evidence was necessary: it was "sentence first, verdict later", as the Red Queen declared in Alice in Wonderland .

On 13 March the Russian embassy informed the Foreign Office that the Russian Federation was not involved in any way with the Salisbury incident. We will not respond to an ultimatum, came the reply from Moscow. The eloquent Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, Mariia Zakharova, characterised the British démarche as a "circus show". Actually, Foreign Office clerks must have told Boris Johnson that Russia would not respond to such an ultimatum so that it was a deliberate British attempt to provoke a negative Russian reply.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated for the record that "as soon as the rumors, fed by the British leadership, about the poisoning of Skripal appeared, we immediately requested access to this [toxic] substance so that our experts could analyze it in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons." After the British ambassador visited the Russian foreign ministry on 13 March to receive the formal Russian reply to the British ultimatum, the foreign ministry in Moscow issued a communiqué: " The [Salisbury] incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia. Any threat to take 'punitive' measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that." The Russian government in fact proposed that the alleged poisoning of the Skripals should be examined by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, according to procedures to which Britain itself had agreed when the OPCW was established in 1997.

On 14 March the British government expelled 23 Russian diplomats, and a few days later the Russian side expelled 23 British diplomats and shuttered the offices of the British Council in Russia. At the same time, the British appealed to their allies and to the European Union to show solidarity by expelling Russian diplomats. Twenty-eight countries did so, though for most it was one or two expulsions, tokenism to appease the British. Other countries -- for example, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal -- refused to join the stampede. Going over the top, the United States expelled sixty diplomats and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. The Russians responded in kind with sixty expulsions and the closure of the US consulate in St. Petersburg. Momentum seemed to be building toward a major confrontation. The British prime minister even alluded to the possibility of military action .

In the meantime, President Putin weighed in. "I guess any reasonable person [has] realised," he said, "that this is complete absurd[ity] and nonsense. [How could] anybody in Russia allow themselves such actions on the eve of the [Russian] presidential election and the football World Cup? This is unthinkable." In any police inquiry, investigators look for means, motive and opportunity. On these grounds did the trail of guilt lead to Moscow?

Momentum is sometimes like a balloon, it blows up and then it suddenly bursts. The British case against Russia began to fall apart almost from the time it was made. In late March the Russian newspaper Kommersant leaked a British PowerPoint presentation sent to eighty embassies in Moscow. It asserted, inter alia , that the British chemical weapons facility at Porton Down had positively identified the substance, which allegedly poisoned the Skripals, as a Novichok, "developed only by Russia". Both these statements are false. On 3 April Porton Down stated publicly that it could not determine the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals. It also came out that the formula for making a so-called novichok was published in a book by a Russian dissident and chemist, Vil Mirzayanov, who now lives in the United States. You can buy his book (published in 2008), which includes the formula, on Amazon.com . In fact, any number of governments or smart chemists or even bright undergraduate chemistry students with the proper facilities could make this nerve agent. Amongst those governments having access to the original formula are Britain and the United States. The Russian embassy in London noted in a published report that "neither Russia nor the Soviet Union has ever developed an agent named 'Novichok'." The report further stated that "While Soviet scientists did work on new types of chemical poisons, the word 'Novichok' was introduced in the West in mid-1990s to designate a series of new chemical agents developed there on the basis of information made available by Russian expat researchers. The British insistence to use the Russian word 'Novichok' is an attempt to artificially link the substance to Russia."

The British PowerPoint presentation did not stop with its two main canards. It goes on to refer to "Russian malign activity" including, inter alia , the "invasion" of Georgia in 2008, the "destabilisation" of the Ukraine and the shooting down of MH17 in 2014, and interference in the US elections in 2016. All of these claims are audacious lies , easily deconstructed and unpacked. The referenced events are also unrelated to the Salisbury incident and were raised in an attempt to smear the Russian Federation. In fact, the British PowerPoint slides represent vulgar propaganda, bourrage de crâne , as preposterous as any seen during the Cold War.

As Minister Lavrov pointed out, the Skripal case should have gone for resolution to the OPCW in The Hague. Russia would then be directly involved in the investigation and would have access to the alleged toxin, and other evidence to try to determine what had happened and who were the perpetrators. The British government at first refused to go to the OPCW, and then when it did, refused to authorise the Russian government to have access to the alleged substance, which had sickened the Skripals. That idea is "perverse", said British authorities. Actually, not at all, it is the procedure laid out in OPCW statutes, to which Britain itself agreed but has refused to respect. When the Russian representative at the OPCW proposed a resolution to the executive council, that it should respect its own statutes, he could not obtain the required vote of approval. The British were attempting to hijack the OPCW as a potential tool against the Russian Federation. Thus far, that stratagem has not worked. On 12 April the OPCW released a report stating that it had "confirm[ed] the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury ." The report said nothing about the origin of the so-called "toxic chemical". The British accusation against Russia thus remained unsubstantiated.

What I could not understand when I read the OPCW communiqué, is why the Skripals were still alive. The OPCW says that the toxic chemical used against the Skripals was "of high purity". Was it a nerve agent? Oddly, the OPCW published report avoids a straight answer. If it was a nerve agent, being of "high purity," it should have been instant acting and killed the Skripals almost immediately. Yet both have survived at the time of this writing. Something does not make sense. Of course, there could be a simple explanation for this puzzling mystery.

On 14 April, Minister Lavrov at a meeting in Moscow provided the answer. The substance used to attack the Skripals was laced with a substance know as BZ which incapacitates rather than kills and takes longer to work than an instant acting nerve agent which kills immediately. The United States, Britain and other NATO countries have developed this toxin and put it into service; the Soviet Union never did so. Traces of A-234 were also identified, but according to experts, such a concentration of the A-234 agent would cause death to anyone affected by it. "Moreover," according to the Russian embassy in London , "considering its high volatility, the detection of this substance in its initial state (pure form and high concentration) is extremely suspicious as the samples have been taken several weeks since the poisoning," Could Britsh authorities have tampered with the samples? The public OPCW report gives no details, and refers only to a "toxic chemical". Nor did the report say that the OPCW had submitted specimens of the substance to a well-known Swiss lab , which promptly reported back its surprising results. The OPCW authorities thus lied when they said that the tests "confirmed" the British identify of the "toxic chemical". Unless Porton Down knew that the substance used against the Skripals was a BZ type toxin, and so informed the OPCW, or, unless the Tory government lied in claiming publicly that it was a novichok nerve agent. The British attempted hijacking of the OPCW has compromised its independence, for the public report issued on 12 April is misleading. Moreover, since the BZ toxin is made by the US, Britain and other NATO countries, it begs the same questions, which the Tories put to Moscow: how did the perpetrators obtain the BZ toxin and bring it to Salisbury, did MI5 or MI6 authorise a false flag attack against the Skripals, or was it authorised by the British cabinet or by the prime minister alone? Or did British authorities lose control of their stockpiles? The trail of evidence does not lead to Moscow; it leads to London.

A prima facie case can be made that the British government is lying about the Skripal affaire . Suspicion always falls upon those who act deviously, who hide behind clever turns of phrase and procedural and rhetorical smokescreens. British authorities are now saying that they have other top secret evidence, which explains everything, but unfortunately it can't be publicised. Nevertheless, the British government appears to have leaked it to the press. The Times published a story about a covert Russian lab producing nerve agents and it spread like wild fire across the Mainstream Media. The Daily Mirror put out a story about a Russian secret assassins' training manual. These stories are laughable. Is the Tory government that desperate? Is the British "everyman" that gullible?

The secret assassin's manual reminds me of the 1924 "Zinoviev Letter", a counterfeit document produced by White Russians in Germany, purporting to demonstrate Soviet interference in British elections and planning for a socialist revolution. It was early days of "fake news". Parliamentary elections were underway in October 1924 and the Tories used the letter to attack the credibility of the Labour party. It was whipping up the red scare, and it worked like a charm. The Tories won a majority government. Soviet authorities claimed that the letter was bogus and they demanded a third party, independent investigation to ascertain the truth, just as the Russian government has done now. In 1924, the Tories refused, and understandably so, since they had a lot to hide. It took seventy-five years to determine that "the letter" was in fact counterfeit.

The Tories are again acting as if they have something to hide. It is déjà vu. Will it take seventy-five years to get at the truth? Are there any honest British cops, judges, civil servants ready to reveal the truth?

There is other evidence to suggest that the British narrative on the Salisbury incident is bogus. The London Metropolitan Police have sought to prevent any outside contact with the Skripals. They have taken away a recovered Yulia Skripal to an unknown location. They have until now denied Russian consular authorities access to a Russian citizen in violation of British approved consular agreements. Is there any chapter of international law, which the British government now respects? British authorities have denied access to Yulia Skripal's family in Russia; they have denied a visa to Yulia's cousin, Viktoria, to visit with her. Are British spooks grooming Yulia, briefing her to stay on the Tory narrative? Is she being manipulated like some kind of Manchurian Candidate? Have they induced her to betray her country in exchange for emoluments, a new identity in the United States, a house, a BMW and money? Are they playing upon her loyalty to her father? Based on a statement attributed to Yulia by the London Metropolitan Police, it begins to look that way . Or, is the message, sounding very British and official, quite simply a fake? The Russian embassy in London suspects that it is. What is certain is that British authorities are acting as though they have something to hide. Even German politicians, amongst others, have criticised the British rush to indict Russia. Damage control is underway. Given all the evidence, can any person with reasonable abilities to think critically believe anything the Tories are saying about the Salisbury affair?

"They are liars. And they know that they are liars," the late Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz once wrote: "And we know that they are liars. Even so, they keep lying...." Mahfouz was not writing about the British, but all the same, he could have been. Are not his well-known lines apposite to the present government in London?

The Tories are trying doggedly to maintain control of the narrative. Stakes are high for if it eventuates that the Tories have lied deliberately for political gain, at the risk of destabilising European, indeed world peace and security, the Tory government should be forced to resign and new elections, called. Then, the British electorate can decide whether it wants to be governed by reckless, mendacious Tory politicians who risk to provoke war against the Russian Federation.

Tags: OPCW UK May

[May 13, 2018] The Skripals will most likely never be allowed to talk by The Saker

Where are the Scripals? How are they feeling these days? (68 days and counting), Are they alive ?
Notable quotes:
"... To clarify: Sergei Skripal has been suspected of playing a role in concocting the fake "Steele dossier" that helped launch the Russiagate NARRATIVE. ..."
"... The "dossier" was also used by Comey's FBI to obtain FISA warrants to monitor Trump campaign communications. (The NSA had intercepts all along but Comey's FBI needed a "provenance.") ..."
"... Like the Hound of the Baskervilles, the absence of questions in the British media speaks volumes. "The truth is the first casualty in a war." ..."
May 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

In the meantime, I want to refocus on the Skripal case. There is one outright bizarre thing which I initially dismissed, but which really is becoming disturbing: the fact that the Brits are apparently holding Sergei and Iulia Skripal incommunicado. In other words, they have been kidnapped.

There was this one single telephone call between Iulia Skripal and her sister, Victoria, in which Iulia said that she was okay (she was clearly trying to reassure Victoria) but it was clear that she could not speak freely. Furthermore, when Victoria mentioned that she would want to visit Iulia, the latter reply 'nobody will give you a visa'. After that – full silence. The Russian consulate has been making countless requests to have a visit, but all that the Brits have done since is have Scotland Yard post a letter which was evidently not written by Iulia and which said " I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can. At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services, but, if I change my mind I know how to contact them ". What friends?! What family?! Nonsense!

Her sister tried to contact her many times through various channels, including official ones, and then in total despair, she posted the following message on Facebook:

" My darling sister, Yulia! You are not communicating with us, and we don't know anything about you and Sergey Victorivich. I know that I have no right to interfere in your affairs without asking your permission, but I worry too much. I worry about you and your dad. I also worry about Nuar. [Nuar is Yulia Skrial's dog, whom she left to stay at a kennel center, while she was traveling to the UK.] He is now at the dog hotel, and they want to get paid. We have to decide something what to do with him. I am ready to take him and to take care of him until you come back home. Besides Nuar, I am concerned about your apartment and your car. Nothing has been decided about their safety and maintenance. We can help with all that, but I need your power of attorney in my or my sister Lena's name. If you think that all of these is important, draw up a power of attorney form in a Russian consulate in any country. If you won't do that, we will understand and won't interfere in your affairs.

Vika "

No reply ever came.

I just entered the following query into Google: " Skripal ". April 10 th has an entry saying that she was released from the hospital. That is the most recent one I have found. I looked on Wikipedia , the same thing, there is nothing at all.

I have to admit that when I first heard the Russian complaints I figured that this was no big deal. I thought " the Brits told the Skripals that Putin tried to poison them, they are probably afraid, and possibly still sick from whatever it is which made them sick, but the Brits would never outright kidnap two foreign citizens, and most definitely not in such a public way ".

I am not so sure anymore.

First, let's get the obvious one out of the way: the fear for the security of the Skripals. That is utter nonsense. The Brits can organize a meeting between а Russian diplomat in the UK at a highly protected UK facility, with tanks, SAS Teams on the standby, helicopters in the air, bombers, etc. That Russian diplomat could speak to them through bullet-proof glass and a phone. And, since the Russians are all so dangerous, he can be searched for weapons. All which the Skripals need to do is to tell him/her "thank you, your services are not needed". Conversation over. But the Brits refuse even that.

But let's say that the Skripals are so totally terrified of the evil Russians, that they categorically refuse. Even by video-conference. It would be traumatic for them, right? Okay.

What about a press conference then?

Even more disturbing is that, at least to my knowledge, nobody in the western corporate media is asking for an interview with them. Snowden can safely speak from Russia and address even large conferences, but the Skripals can't speak to anybody at all?

But here is the worst part of this: it has been two months already since the Skripals are held in total secrecy by the UK authorities. Two months, that is 60 days. Ask any specialist on interrogation or any psychologist what kind of effect 60 days of "specialized treatment" can do to a person.

I am not dismissing the Russian statements about "kidnapping" anymore. What I see is this: on substance, the Skripal false flag has crashed and burned, just like MH17 or the Douma chemical attack, but unlike MH17 or Douma, the Skripals are two witnesses whose testimony has the potential to result in a gigantic scandal, not just for the May government, but for all those spineless Europeans who showed "solidarity" with Britain. In other words, the Skripals will probably never be allowed to speak freely: they must either be killed or totally brainwashed or disappeared. Any other option would result in a scandal of planetary magnitude.

I can't pretend like my heart goes out to Sergei Skripal: the man was an officer who gave an oath and who then betrayed his country to the British (he was a British agent, not a Russian one as the press writes). Those holding him today are his former bosses. But Iulia? She is completely innocent and as of April 5 th (when she called her sister Victoria), she was clearly in good health and with a clear mind. Now she has been disappeared and I don't know which is worse, the fact that she might never reappear or that she might one day reappear following months of British "counseling". As for her father, he paid for his betrayal and he too deserves a better fate than being poisoned, used and then disappeared.

In the big scheme of things (the Zionists war against our entire planet), two individuals like Sergei and Iulia Skripal might not matter. But I think that the least we can do is to remember them and their plight.

This also begs the question of what kind of society we live in. I am not shocked by the fact that the British state would resort to such methods (they have always used them). I am shocked that in a so-called western "democracy" with freedom, pluralism and "European values" (whatever that means) the Brits could get away with this.

How about some "solidarity" with the Skripals – you, Europeans?!


Bigly , May 11, 2018 at 4:29 am GMT

Victoria is not Yulia's sister.

Other than that, I share your sentiments regarding Putin.

Eagle Eye , May 11, 2018 at 8:18 am GMT
As noted on this site some three weeks ago, former British ambassador Craig Murray suggested some time ago that Sergei and Yulia Skripal were most likely murdered by Western secret services in order to keep the "Russiagate" fiction (somewhat) alive.

Sergei cannot win – even if he was NOT involved in Russiagate, murdering him creates flexibility to hang the story on him without contradiction. Yulia is icing on the cake – "Surely Her Majesty's Government wouldn't murder a pretty girl like Yulia!"

Rather bizarrely, it appears appears that all premises connected with the Skripals are to be demolished, purely to protect the public, you understand.

Eagle Eye , May 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm GMT
@Eagle Eye

To clarify: Sergei Skripal has been suspected of playing a role in concocting the fake "Steele dossier" that helped launch the Russiagate NARRATIVE.

The "dossier" was also used by Comey's FBI to obtain FISA warrants to monitor Trump campaign communications. (The NSA had intercepts all along but Comey's FBI needed a "provenance.")

Whether Skripal was actually involved in inventing the dossier or not, his absence will be used to milk the narrative afloat a little longer.

Like the Hound of the Baskervilles, the absence of questions in the British media speaks volumes. "The truth is the first casualty in a war."

aleksandar , May 11, 2018 at 5:11 pm GMT
Not a good idea to mix Putin/Satanahyu and the Skripals case. The Skripal deserve one article. Even if they are probably dead.
"Western values "
Antiwar7 , May 11, 2018 at 9:41 pm GMT
@Bigly

You're right. but to explain the error in English: She's her first cousin, and in Russian, cousins are referred to as brother and sister.

El Dato , May 11, 2018 at 9:42 pm GMT
This is going Reservoir Dogs faster than expected.

My popcorn is ready!

Apparently Americans are the usual thre-colored dumbfucks and have no clue what's going on.Grunt noises is all they still understand.

Democrats' lead melting ahead of midterms as Trump turns hawkish

John Brunner was a genius.

JR , May 12, 2018 at 11:28 am GMT
Russia should request a third party for instance a well known British public figure as an intermediary to contact Skripals on behalf of Russia. The UK wil not be able to claim that such figure will put undue pressure on the Skripals and would be forced to either facilitate contact or be exposed as actually kidnapping the Skripals.

Potential intermediaries Corbyn, Galloway, UN representative, Tulsi Gabbard. There are numerous candidates.

Sean , May 12, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT

In other words, the Skripals will probably never be allowed to speak freely: they must either be killed or totally brainwashed or disappeared. Any other option would result in a scandal of planetary magnitude.

That certainly explains why Britain did not kill them with Novichok.

Cyrano , May 12, 2018 at 6:59 pm GMT
The British are working hard on new super-secret identities for the Scripals. They are so secret that even the Scripals would not be allowed to know them. Technically, the British could tell the Scripals their new identities, but then they would have to kill them, in order to keep them secret.
Eagle Eye , May 13, 2018 at 7:42 am GMT
@Svigor

Not sure what exactly you mean by "pending."

Do you really believe the Skripal's are still alive? Can we expect to see them in public?

The traditional rule is that a person may be declared dead after one year if he hasn't been heard of from people he would normally communicate with.

Saffer , May 13, 2018 at 10:57 am GMT
It is clear that every person including The Saker who write about the Skripals and Russian affairs do not have the in-depth knowledge of John Helmer the longest serving independent western journalist in Moscow. In this post by John Helmer dated 23/03/2018

http://johnhelmer.net/the-skripal-case-goes-to-court-for-the-first-time-new-uncertainties-for-the-british-and-russian-governments/#more-18920

he writes about the British Court of Protection's findings.

Below are two excerpts (in parenthesis his comments) but I implore you to read the whole article as well as other postings on the potential appointments in Putins new government.

"British High Court Justice David Williams has issued the first court adjudication of evidence presented by the British Government of what happened to Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal when they succumbed to poisoning in Salisbury on March 4. Following three days of closed-door hearings this week in London, the judge issued a ruling for publication yesterday."

"Representing the Skripals, Vikram Sachdeva QC told the judge "that in this case at present it did not appear practicable or appropriate to seek the views of others who might be interested in the welfare of Mr Skripal (his mother perhaps) or Ms Skripal (perhaps a fiancé).

Iris , May 13, 2018 at 11:26 am GMT
" the Skripals are two witnesses whose testimony has the potential to result in a gigantic scandal, not just for the May government, but for all those spineless Europeans who showed "solidarity" with Britain . "

Based on recent history, one can safely bet that there will be no scandal.

The bombing of the Lockerbie plane was an evil crime that took 270 innocent lives, and was attributed by the official UK/US intelligence centres to the former Libyan government under late President Gaddafi.

When this government came under NATO attack in 2011, its foreign minister Moussa Koussa defected and sought refuge in London. He had previously been head of Libyan secret services for 15 years (!!!), and as such, would have organised and supervised the Lockerbie "terror" attack.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/mar/31/moussa-koussa-foreign-minister-trial

What did the UK/US governments do with him? Send him to trial at the Hague? Of course not. He was sent to a safe heaven somewhere in the NATO proxy EAU.

Nobody cares about the victims of false flag attacks, quite the contrary: the less investigations, the more efficient the false flag.

[May 04, 2018] Memo to Trump Defy Robert Mueller by Patrick J. Buchanan

The shadow of 9/11 hangs over Mueller. The Deep State keeps him by the balls and wants results. And that means impeachment.
CIA-democrats which now is the ruling wing of Democratic Party wants to get to power but they have no that many viable candidates for midterm elections. If they overplay their hand then the attempt to cover betrayal of ordinary Americans with former military CIA candidates might backfire.
Notable quotes:
"... By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump's impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence. Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation. ..."
"... For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge: that Trump's team colluded with Vladimir Putin's Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC. ..."
"... Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation. How did Trump obstruct justice? ..."
"... Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, ..."
"... . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com. ..."
May 04, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower.

If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for Trump to comply and testify before a grand jury, Trump should defy the Court.

The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress. If charges against Trump are to be brought, this is the arena, this is the forum, where the battle should be fought and the fate and future of the Trump presidency decided.

The goal of Mueller's prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap. If they can get him behind closed doors and make him respond in detail to questions -- to which they already know the answers -- any misstep by Trump could be converted into a perjury charge.

Trump has to score 100 on a test to which Mueller's team has all the answers in advance while he must rely upon memory.

Why take this risk?

By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump's impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence. Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation.

For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge: that Trump's team colluded with Vladimir Putin's Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation. How did Trump obstruct justice?

Did he suggest that fired national security advisor General Mike Flynn might get a pardon? What was his motive in sacking FBI director James Comey? Did Trump edit the Air Force One explanation of the meeting in June 2016 between his campaign officials and Russians? Did he pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mueller?

Mueller's problem: These questions and more have all been aired and argued endlessly in the public square. Yet no national consensus has formed that Trump committed an offense to justify his removal. Even Democrats are backing away from talk of impeachment.

Trump's lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: impeach me and be damned.

Would a new Congress really impeach and convict an elected president?

An impeachment battle would be a titanic struggle between a capital that detests Trump and a vast slice of Middle America that voted to repudiate that capital's elite, trusts Trump, and will stand by him to the end.

And in any impeachment debate before Congress and the cameras of the world, not one but two narratives will be heard.

The first is that Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and then sought to obstruct an investigation of his collusion.

The second is the story of how an FBI cabal went into the tank on an investigation of Clinton to save her campaign. Then it used the product of a Clinton-DNC dirt-diving operation, created by a British spy with Russian contacts, to attempt to destroy the Trump candidacy. Now, failing that, it's looking to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

In short, the second narrative is that the "deep state" and its media auxiliaries are colluding to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Unlike Watergate, with Russiagate, the investigators will be on trial as well.

Trump needs to shift the struggle out of the legal arena, where Mueller and his men have superior weapons, and into the political arena, where he can bring his populous forces to bear on the decision as to his fate.

This is the terrain on which Trump can win: an us-vs-them fight, before Congress and country, where not only the alleged crimes of Trump are aired but also the actual crimes committed to destroy him and to overturn his victory.

Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.


Sid Finster May 4, 2018 at 11:30 am

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/05/gaius-publius-setting-perjury-trap-trump.html
swb , says: May 4, 2018 at 1:15 pm
Pat is correct, Trump should try to avoid answering any questions as he is incapable of keeping his lies straight. He can't even keep then straight in two consecutive sentences. A couple of hours of answering questions will result in a incoherent transcript that will take many teams of layers years to decipher.
Kurt Gayle , says: May 4, 2018 at 1:23 pm
Pat, I'm with you 100%!

Somebody should have said this a long time ago:

"Trump's lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: impeach me and be damned."

The Deep State, the mainstream media, Establishment Democrats, and (yes) Establishment Republicans have been conspiring to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election since the early hours of Nov. 9, 2016.

But we're not going to let that happen!

You're right, Pat, that "Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time."

Yes! If we have to go into the streets to protect our duly-elected President and our country, then we will take the fight into the streets.

If we don't stand and fight now, we'll lose our country! It's that simple!

Sign me up! I'm ready!

Kurt Gayle , says: May 4, 2018 at 2:17 pm
Pat is right: "The goal of Mueller's prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap."

A good example of this came this morning at the Paul Manafort trial in federal court in Virginia, where Judge T.S. Ellis III scolded Mueller's prosecuters:

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud. You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment I don't see what relationship this indictment [against Manafort] has with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate."

Ken Zaretzke , says: May 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm
Because Mueller's entire team consists of Democrats, who are presumptively partisan, his investigation lacks even *prima facie* credibility.

It would be nice if Trump's team makes this point. Rudy G. could explain to dimwitted journos, "That means 'on its face.' The point being, what kind of charade is this investigation, and what kind of person doesn't think it's inevitably a charade?"

Dan Green , says: May 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm
The longer the left pursues this impeachment strategy the bigger hole they are digging for themselves. They never come forth with our Obama replacement or a plan.

[May 04, 2018] FBI monitored phone calls of Trump s personal lawyer by Barry Grey

FBI monitored phone calls of Trump's personal lawyer
Notable quotes:
"... US prosecutors, according to news reports, have also been covertly reading Cohen's emails. ..."
"... Spying on a lawyer's phone calls and Internet communications is considered highly unusual, given the principle of lawyer-client privilege. However, the Daily Beast ..."
"... Indeed, Trump's enemies within the ruling elite and the state apparatus know with whom they are dealing. The billionaire president is a representative of the criminal American financial oligarchy, a product of the New York real estate, casino gambling and reality TV milieu. His election expressed the degradation of American bourgeois politics and the entire political system. ..."
"... That being said, the methods being employed by Trump's factional opponents within the ruling elite are profoundly anti-democratic. The Mueller investigation itself is based on concocted and unsubstantiated allegations of Russian "meddling" in the elections and collusion by the Trump campaign in Moscow's supposed efforts to swing the election in his favor. ..."
"... This narrative, which has dominated US politics for nearly two years, has been used by the Democratic Party and most of the corporate media to attempt to whip up a war hysteria against Russia and force Trump to more rapidly escalate Washington's wars in the Middle East. It is also the pretext for the expanding campaign to censor the Internet and criminalize political dissent in the name of combating foreign-inspired "fake news." ..."
"... The context for the latest revelations is a sharpening of the conflict between the Trump White House and Mueller. Over the past several weeks, Trump has reshuffled the legal team handling his dealings with the special counsel to pursue a more aggressive legal response to the investigation. Last month, Trump named former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to head the team, following the resignation of John Dowd in March. ..."
"... This week, the White House announced the resignation of Ty Cobb, who had counseled Trump to adopt a cooperative posture toward Mueller, advising that such a course would lead to a more rapid conclusion to the investigation. Not only has that not occurred, but Mueller has increased pressure on Trump to agree to an interview with his investigators. ..."
"... Flood has been described in the press as a "wartime consigliere." His appointment is seen as increasing the possibility of a legal fight to block an interview with Mueller that could ultimately go to the US Supreme Court. ..."
"... In a Wednesday night television interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Giuliani excoriated former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last May after Comey announced that the FBI was investigating possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Giuliani called him "a disgraceful liar" and said he should be indicted for leaking "confidential FBI information." He called the Mueller probe "a completely tainted investigation" and denounced the FBI raid on Cohen as a "storm trooper" operation. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
May 04, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Multiple media reports on Thursday revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation monitored and logged the phone calls of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and confidante, Michael Cohen, in the period leading up to the FBI raid on Cohen's office and residences in April.

According to NBC News, at least one of the calls that were tracked was between Cohen and Trump.

The extraordinary fact that the federal government's chief police agency, an integral part of the country's intelligence network, is monitoring telephone communications between the president and his self-described "fixer" points to the explosive level of conflict within the American ruling class and its state.

The revelation comes a month after the FBI, based on a referral from Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign, raided Cohen's office and residences as part of a criminal probe into his business dealings. FBI agents seized Cohen's financial records, computer hard drive, cell phones and taped recordings of conversations. Ostensibly, the main concern of federal prosecutors is Cohen's involvement in hush-money payoffs to two women, a porn star and a former Playboy playmate, who claim to have had sexual relations with Trump.

US prosecutors, according to news reports, have also been covertly reading Cohen's emails.

Spying on a lawyer's phone calls and Internet communications is considered highly unusual, given the principle of lawyer-client privilege. However, the Daily Beast quoted Ken White, a former federal prosecutor, as saying, "That sort of thing happens all the time if you're dealing with mob wiretaps."

Indeed, Trump's enemies within the ruling elite and the state apparatus know with whom they are dealing. The billionaire president is a representative of the criminal American financial oligarchy, a product of the New York real estate, casino gambling and reality TV milieu. His election expressed the degradation of American bourgeois politics and the entire political system.

There is little doubt that the FBI and Mueller have seized more than enough evidence of wrong-doing in Trump's business dealings to bring down an indictment, either to attempt a criminal prosecution -- never before carried out against a sitting president -- or force Trump to resign. Alternately, an indictment could become part of an impeachment effort should the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in the November midterm elections.

No one is more aware of the threat posed by these developments than Trump himself.

That being said, the methods being employed by Trump's factional opponents within the ruling elite are profoundly anti-democratic. The Mueller investigation itself is based on concocted and unsubstantiated allegations of Russian "meddling" in the elections and collusion by the Trump campaign in Moscow's supposed efforts to swing the election in his favor.

This narrative, which has dominated US politics for nearly two years, has been used by the Democratic Party and most of the corporate media to attempt to whip up a war hysteria against Russia and force Trump to more rapidly escalate Washington's wars in the Middle East. It is also the pretext for the expanding campaign to censor the Internet and criminalize political dissent in the name of combating foreign-inspired "fake news."

These are the methods of palace coup, without the slightest democratic or progressive content. Should Trump be removed as a result of such a campaign, the result would be to shift the political system even further to the right.

The context for the latest revelations is a sharpening of the conflict between the Trump White House and Mueller. Over the past several weeks, Trump has reshuffled the legal team handling his dealings with the special counsel to pursue a more aggressive legal response to the investigation. Last month, Trump named former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to head the team, following the resignation of John Dowd in March.

This week, the White House announced the resignation of Ty Cobb, who had counseled Trump to adopt a cooperative posture toward Mueller, advising that such a course would lead to a more rapid conclusion to the investigation. Not only has that not occurred, but Mueller has increased pressure on Trump to agree to an interview with his investigators.

This week, it was reported that in discussions with Trump's lawyers in March, Mueller threatened to subpoena Trump to appear before a grand jury if he did not voluntarily agree to an interview. On Wednesday, it was announced that Emmet Flood, a Republican who served as one of Bill Clinton's lawyers during the House of Representatives impeachment process in 1998, would replace Cobb.

Flood has been described in the press as a "wartime consigliere." His appointment is seen as increasing the possibility of a legal fight to block an interview with Mueller that could ultimately go to the US Supreme Court.

In a Wednesday night television interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Giuliani excoriated former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last May after Comey announced that the FBI was investigating possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Giuliani called him "a disgraceful liar" and said he should be indicted for leaking "confidential FBI information." He called the Mueller probe "a completely tainted investigation" and denounced the FBI raid on Cohen as a "storm trooper" operation.

He cited a list of 49 questions for Trump prepared by Trump's lawyers on the basis of an oral presentation by Mueller's investigators and called the wide-ranging queries concerning links to Russians and potential obstruction of justice, including the firing of Comey, a "perjury trap." The questions were leaked and published earlier this week by the New York Times . The Times , along with the Washington Post , have been in the forefront of the media witch hunt against Russia.

On the question of Trump agreeing to be interviewed by Mueller, Giuliani said, "Right now, the odds are against it."

Most of the media commentary on the interview has focused on Giuliani's statement that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 in hush money he paid to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election. Cohen has said he paid the money from his own funds and without Trump's knowledge, and last month Trump told reporters that he had no knowledge of the payoff.

It is striking that despite the media obsession with Trump and Russia, and the single-minded focus of the Democratic Party on this reactionary campaign, the public remains skeptical, if not hostile, to the entire matter. The Democrats have said virtually nothing about Trump's war on immigrants, including the barbaric treatment of the Central American caravan of refugees forced to camp out at the US border and the denial of their right to asylum. The Democratic Party has dropped its phony opposition to Trump's tax cut for corporations and the rich and barely noted the mounting assault on social programs, from Medicaid to food stamps to housing subsidies for the poor.

This is reflected in recent polls, which show Trump's approval rating actually increasing and the Democrats' edge in the coming midterm elections cut in half since the beginning of the year.

There is mass opposition in the working class and among young people to Trump and his chauvinist, militarist and pro-corporate policies. It is reflected in the upsurge of teachers' strikes and protests in defiance of the corporatist unions, which the unions and the Democrats are doing everything they can to isolate and suppress.

This emerging movement of the working class in the US and internationally is intensifying the warfare within the American ruling class and state. The crisis is being fueled not only by sharp differences over foreign policy -- including tactical differences over Trump's threat to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and his trade war measures -- but also by a general loss of confidence in Trump's ability to manage either the global affairs of US imperialism or the tense internal social and political situation.

The independent social and political struggle of the working class is the only basis for a progressive solution to the crisis of American capitalism. The opposition of workers to Trump can find no progressive outlet within the framework of the capitalist two-party system. Both factions in the current political wars, notwithstanding their bitter differences, agree on a strategy of expanding war abroad and austerity and repression at home.

[May 04, 2018] Sic Semper Tyrannis The Skripals survived, but their cat and rodents ... not so much.

Notable quotes:
"... I am reading Taleb's recent book "Skin in the game" which has interesting material about the disconnection between risky behaviors and their consequences in modern USA. He also has a chapter about the mechanics involved in why minority viewpoints in our culture become dominant. It's an interesting read. ..."
"... Finally, the Police partially acknowledged their mistake and accused the Russians of not having been completely fair play. Indeed, these thuriferous bastards of Vlad the Impaler had put poison on the OUTDOOR handle of the front door of the house. It's infinitely subtle of these savages. The Brit Police did not suspect what strong part it had to make, the unexpected thwarting its learned calculations. Presumption, again and again. Nevertheless, the detectives are formal: the Russians did the trick well. The evidence is obvious. In this dramatic case, we are not going to make a comparison between insular and continental logic. The hour is too serious for these trifles. Lots of laughter. ..."
"... It's very difficult in any case to believe that such a notice could have been issued. Can't see why it would be needed. The scripting of the official story on such matters as this seems to be a joint enterprise between the media and the press officers. That's a time-honoured consensus so why would the media need bullying to stay in line? ..."
"... My personal view on all this is that the No. 10 press officers aren't that good at this new-fangled information stuff. They don't seem to have their hearts in it somehow. Time for them to go back to counting paperclips and for information campaigns to be handled by the experts. The BBC have a proven track record in this field and it's time that was officially recognised. ..."
May 03, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Sir Mark, bless him, has told an MP during a committee meeting, that the armed forces, MI-5, MI-6 and GCHQ do not know who or indeed what sickened the Skripals, pere et fille , in Salisbury. He doesn't seem to have mentioned the police. So, basically, pilgrims, Teresa May, the queen's first minister has insistently and incessantly accused the Russians of a crime of which our British cousins know precious little. In a closely related development, it is now revealed that the Britishers sealed up Skripal's house after the poisoning event leaving the black Persian shown above and two guinea pigs to die of thirst and hunger within. It would seem likely that they knew they were doing this since they would have searched the house first. No? Perhaps they thought that the cat might be a threat as a being of possible Iranian descent. This is impressive stuff. pl https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-05-01/uk-has-not-yet-identified-skripal-poisoning-suspects


Eric Newhill , 11 hours ago

These false flag ops are all so shabby in their execution. The lack of thoroughness and imagination on the part of the governments running them is really disappointing. For example, if I was running an investigation into the Skripal incident, I would have captured the cat and rodents and run pathology tests on them to see what bio/chem agents might be in their systems. Also, because they might escape and become a vector of further infection. That seems like it would be SOP. So I'd do it even if I knew the story was BS to create the appearance of reality. Then, I could always state that the pets should signs of Russian engineered bio/chem agents. Could even create a video of the pets dying some horrible death due to the agents. That's more better BS.
Threadzilla , 11 hours ago
And yet, this appears to be a lie as well. An earlier piece in the British news claims the pets were taken to Porton Down for examination and testing soon after the incident. Seems more likely they eliminated evidence and then came up with the cover story about how the animals were "forgotten about" and locked in the house for a month, implying totally unimportant for the investigation. http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/...
JohnA , 12 hours ago
I am truly dis-May-ed!

I hope she and Johnson pay the price for this folly. May it be steep! Very. very steep.

How these two suckered so many nations foolishly into sending diplomats home reflected respect for UK policy toward Russia. These nations will need to think long and hard about following any such UK lead in future.

This week, the US took down the Russian flag flying over Russian real estate in Seattle. Shameful!

Sid Finster -> JohnA , 9 hours ago
Sociopaths care nothing for law and everything for enforcement.
Jack , 4 hours ago
I don't know much about the dynamics of British politics but as a light observer of British news I wonder why Theresa May remains prime minister? She became prime minister after the historic Brexit vote. Promptly takes the country to an election and botches it for the Tories. Then bungles the Brexit negotiations. Runs a floundering government. Now comes up with accusations against the Russians in the Skripal affair with no evidence presented but looking more foolish as her story comes under scrutiny.
DH , 11 hours ago
Thirst, yes, hunger, not so much.
Tony , 11 hours ago
I am reading Taleb's recent book "Skin in the game" which has interesting material about the disconnection between risky behaviors and their consequences in modern USA. He also has a chapter about the mechanics involved in why minority viewpoints in our culture become dominant. It's an interesting read.
Sid Finster , 10 hours ago
http://www.theblogmire.com/...
France74 , 10 hours ago
A french view and laughter.

2 cats and 2 guinea pigs were locked up for 9 days in Skipal's house, in the hope of proving that the Russians are guilty.
When the police reopened the house, they found four bodies. the veterinary faculty is positive, both cats died of starvation. Guinea pigs, some say, began to be worked by hungry cats, accelerating their deaths. Unspeakable bloodshed. In this whole case, it's THE revolting detail, among many others. Poor beasts.

Finally, the Police partially acknowledged their mistake and accused the Russians of not having been completely fair play. Indeed, these thuriferous bastards of Vlad the Impaler had put poison on the OUTDOOR handle of the front door of the house. It's infinitely subtle of these savages. The Brit Police did not suspect what strong part it had to make, the unexpected thwarting its learned calculations. Presumption, again and again. Nevertheless, the detectives are formal: the Russians did the trick well. The evidence is obvious. In this dramatic case, we are not going to make a comparison between insular and continental logic. The hour is too serious for these trifles.
Lots of laughter.

kao_hsien_chih , 11 hours ago
Great. There was once a war for Jenkins' ear. I guess we should now have a nuclear war for Skripals' cat.
English Outsider -> kao_hsien_chih , 9 hours ago
Colonel,

There's talk of a D-Notice covering the Skripal affair. Seems unlikely. All concerned were being sat on quite satisfactorily anyway.

I Looked up D-notices on WIKI -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

Presumably there are bigger guns in the background if information that would really threaten national security or the lives of serving officers is in danger of being released. The D-Notice system itself seems to be a more or less voluntary affair -

https://www.theguardian.com...

It's very difficult in any case to believe that such a notice could have been issued. Can't see why it would be needed. The scripting of the official story on such matters as this seems to be a joint enterprise between the media and the press officers. That's a time-honoured consensus so why would the media need bullying to stay in line?

My personal view on all this is that the No. 10 press officers aren't that good at this new-fangled information stuff. They don't seem to have their hearts in it somehow. Time for them to go back to counting paperclips and for information campaigns to be handled by the experts. The BBC have a proven track record in this field and it's time that was officially recognised.

[May 04, 2018] Attention Hookers: Special Counsel urgently needs your stories. We pay top dollar.

May 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

XXX -> IntercoursetheEU Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:43 Permalink

Attention Hookers : Special Counsel urgently needs your stories. We pay top dollar. Big tits, role-play, and lying required. Television experience preferred. No drug screening. No background check. Transportation included.

Call 1-800-George-Soros or contact the Law Offices of Wray, Mueller, and Rosenstein, LLC.

[May 04, 2018] Mueller's team questioned Russian billionaire who attended Trump inauguration report TheHill

Any witch hunt has its own dynamics.
May 04, 2018 | thehill.com
Robert Mueller s team of investigators interviewed a Russian billionaire earlier this year, according to a New York Times report .

Investigators stopped the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg at a New York-area airport after he stepped off a private plane, according to the Times. They proceeded to search his electronic devices and question him.

There is no indication that Vekselberg is suspected of wrongdoing. But the search and interview suggests that Mueller's team is homing in on the Trump campaign and inauguration committee's potential ties with Russians.

[May 04, 2018] Theresa May's Lies Must Stop by Matthew JAMISON

May 04, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

It would seem that the so-called British prime minister Theresa May, leader of the Conservative Party [who heads up a minority Tory Government only kept in power through a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party] has forgotten that there is such a matter as reality backed up by solid strong evidence and grounded in rational fact . It has been a consistent theme of my writings over the last near two years now that Theresa May is not only a light weight with little leadership talents, but also unhinged and dangerous. Indeed, Mrs. May has become something of a loose cannon on deck deluding herself to the truth of the matter that she badly messed up the General Election of 2017 and just about everything else she inherited as prime Minister and her time is long overdue to Leave 10 Downing Street.

One of the more alarming aspects of the near two-year-old nightmarish May Ministry has been the near total casual evisceration of consistent truth telling and consistency of position regarding fundamental political and philosophical questions of judgement and values which goes to the heart of Leadership. It has not just been the near complete collapse of the UK Government's negotiating position vis-à-vis Brussels and Michel Barnier. It has not been the incompetent and disastrous fashion Mrs. May has governed losing one Cabinet minister after another in rapid succession. It has not just been the lies that Theresa May has poured forth internally.

It has been the growth under Theresa May and her Home Office of almost Nazi style black op false flag operations and exercises - conducted by Mrs. May's personal Gestapo MI5 - as an instrument of government policy in order to control and manipulate the uneducated masses of the UK and turn the mass of the UK population into an even more disgusting Peter Bazgallete Endemol style Big Brother feeding frenzy dump. The distortion of mass public opinion in the UK and the dumbing down across all sections of society has been deeply disturbing and frustrating to watch, but not the least bit surprising. In Theresa May's extreme and increasingly desperate quest to hold on to the title and position of prime Minister, May has become even far more dangerous than I ever could have imagined. Theresa May is such a shallow empty third rate politician she will say anything and do anything to hold on to power just for the sake of it to spite her internal Tory Party enemies such as George Osborne. After less than two years in the job Theresa May has managed to achieve the unthinkable. She has made Gordon Brown's Premiership look like a model for stable Government.

May, after botching badly her gift of an early General Election from the powers that be in Washington DC, has basically conducted the most embarrassing and weak negotiation in modern political history with the European Union 27. Unable to deliver the massive majority that elements in DC and Berlin/Brussels were banking on, May has had to resort to increasingly wild, desperate and highly dangerous tactics to remain in Downing Street, attempting desperately to shore up and re-invigorate her obviously dying leadership and crumbling administration. Which brings us to the subject of Russia, a country and people I have tremendous respect and admiration for and has been treated terribly by the West where I grew up. I am appalled at how the Russian people have been treated and spoken of and harassed and targeted by the right wing English Tory Government of Theresa May. Where to begin with? Hillary Clinton's pathetic whinging and moaning blaming her loss on the Russians? Theresa May's bigoted, xenophobic, dangerous anti-Russian rhetoric? The EU's expansion and NATO encroachments right up to the borders of Russia itself in violation of understandings and promises made at the end of the last Cold War? The 'shock' doctrine capitalism of the West injected without proper thought and planning post-Gorbachev? Theresa May, let us be blunt, is in the pocket of certain deeply anti-Russian forces in Washington DC and Brussels. This group of 'foreign policy' and 'national security' experts and their allies who [seem to be everywhere] hate Russia. For what reason I think I know and it has all the hallmarks of Nazism.... all over it. It stinks to hell of Nazism.

Let us be very clear, Russia is not a threat to the UK and has not interfered or attacked UK vital national interests. Russia is not interested in attacking the UK or UK interests. Russia is not an enemy of all civilised freedom loving peoples. It is in fact a great guardian of them. And it has been treated terribly by the West, misunderstood and disrespected beyond belief. The so-called poisoning of Sergei Skripal was just that, so-called. It never happened. Sergei Skripal was not poisoned with Novichok. The nerve agent, if one was even used which I highly doubt, did not come from Russia. The chemical nerve agent is not Russian and did not come from Russian Labs. The Russian State and Russian Government had nothing to do with it. No Russian agents, assets, personnel were involved in this most disgusting, appalling, freak show pathetic English MI5/6 spectacle of Salisbury. One wonders since the English always boast non-stop about how great their country is and how their intelligence and security services are the best in the world. In fact they are rubbish. How could Britain's so-called domestic security service, the all seeing [supposedly], all hearing [supposedly], all knowing [supposedly] all mighty [supposedly] MI5 allow a chemical nerve agent like Novichok into the UK and then allow it to be transported to Salisbury and then administered first in Yulia Skripal's car, then it became the Mill Pub, then it became Zissi Reastaurant, then MI5/6 finally, finally settled on....the door handle. If this had really occurred like the English State and Establishment want us to believe and would have us believe then all of Salisbury would be dead by now if it had really been Novichok. It never happened. The whole Skripal affair was made up by the wildly anti-Russian CIA/BND controlled Theresa May and her English Nazi style lackeys whether they be in the English Government, media, local authorities, police or population at large - and their pay masters in DC and Brussels.

The whole Salisbury/Skripal affair was made up, plotted, stage managed and produced by British, American and German intelligence services. Everything the UK Government under Theresa May said about the Salisbury affair was pure lies, scripted and made up as talking points sent from Washington DC and Brussels. Everything May said, and Boris Johnson, and Amber Rudd and Philip Hammond with regards to Russia and the Salisbury affair was pure lies. The entire story the English put forward regarding the Salisbury affair kept changing and there were terrible inconsistencies. The whole episode from start to finish was a classic English Monty Python circus act. The Salisbury-Skripal affair was pure English Tory lies. Besides Theresa May who ran the Home Office when all these terrible things [apparently] were going on, knew all about it, did not lift a finger to stop it, did not put up a fight or even resign and lead a rebellion from the backbenches. Theresa May authorised everything she now claims is a terrible threat to UK National Security. The woman must go. .

The world was told by the British prime Minister the nerve agent used was a military grade Novichok chemical only from Russia. The creator of Novichok said if exposed to it you either die a painful slow death or if you do miraculously survive you will be a vegetable the rest of your life. So how come Yulia Skripal is up and singing and dancing and checking herself out of the hospital? And what about Sergei Skripal? I've lost track? Is he still in intensive care in the hospital? Or has he been able to miraculously recover and check himself out? And the police officer also made a very speedy recovery. The police have still not been able to find any suspects even though there is a huge and expensive massive police operation under way. The majority of the English police like MI5 are utterly useless. The Chief Executive of Porton Down stated that Porton Down was unable to verify that the Novichok chemical agent came from Russia. The OPCW review was completely flawed and biased against the Russian Government.

Yet Mrs. May seemed to be rather enjoying her pseudo-role as the new found Amazonian suffragette Wonder Woman FemiNazi, the instrument of the Americans and Germans to take down the 'Evil Empire' of the brilliant and visionary President Vladimir Putin who unlike Theresa May has got his country back strongly and proudly on its strong feet. I suppose Mrs. May was desperate for a 'Falklands' style moment to rescue her dying leadership, and for a brief time it seemed to be working. Mrs. May had successfully wiped off the media agenda any mention of the crucial and critical final stages of the UK-EU divorce negotiations. There had been a flurry of right wing press briefing against Jeremy Corbyn in the lead up to the Salisbury affair just like before the Manchester bombing during the General Election of 2017 which May called. May and her backers had calculated - that in order to bolster her position, take the fight to the Russians [which Mrs. Clinton was supposed to have done], weaken Jeremy Corbyn [which she failed to do fatally last year], change the UK narrative on Brexit and impress May's supporters - a black op false flag trashing Russia and the Russian people and the great Russian President on the eve of President Putin's historic fourth election victory and the glorious World Cup in Moscow - would do the trick nicely for Mrs. May's position. As I have been writing consistently, if Mrs. May is so desperate and crazy and power mad to hold on to her position that she is willing to start a war with a vastly superior and vastly stronger country like Russia, she has completely lost the plot and must go.

After May's appalling power grab at the EU27 Council Summit in March she could not believe her luck. The EU27 were all lined up behind her as the anti-Russian warrior princess egging her on to do their bidding in their unofficial war against Russia. This would be the new security role for Britain in Europe once out of the EU, the anti-Russian Trojan horse leading a robust and united anti-Russian global coalition in Europe and beyond to effect regime in the Kremlin on behalf of the EU and their American allies. Unfortunately for Mrs. May the wheels started to come off this unbelievable, wacky, crazy, ridiculous and extremely dangerous Anti-Russian foreign policy with another false flag black op in Syria this time. From Salisbury and all the lies the English told there we jumped to the sands of the Middle East and all the lies that the Americans have told there along with the British. I could not believe what was going on before my very eyes.

For a split second it looked like the world was on the brink of an all out war between American and Russia in the Middle East. Do Mrs. May and her supporters really want to start a Third World War in the Middle East just so she can pretend to be prime minister for a year or two more? Douma was carried out by German secret service intelligence, the BND, in conjunction with the CIA and MI6. Again, this was not the fault of the Russians or Assad Syrian forces, but rather US backed rebels. However, the consequences of Douma are even more profound geopolitically than what happens in some provincial English town. Theresa May has succeeded in driving a wedge between Trump and President Putin and has successfully destroyed any hope of a rapprochement and detente between Washington DC and Moscow. That is bad for the peace and security of the international order. Thanks Theresa! The world came very close to a possible nuclear confrontation between America and Russia, completely unthinkable during the last Cold War, in the sands of the Middle East only a couple of weeks ago. In this New Cold War, which is merely a preparation and build up phase to a much bigger confrontation, all the rules of the old Cold War have changed. I have never felt more ashamed and more embarrassed about being a British citizen in my life.

The anti-Russian bigotry and racism and xenophobia displayed by the English and their Government against the Russian people and Russian interests is not something I will ever forget and has been deeply disturbing, troubling and deeply concerning. I wonder where all this anti-Russian war mongering is leading? Meanwhile back on the domestic home front after the near clash between the USA and Russia was avoided, May's Government has been crumbling. May lost a senior Remain supporter, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, and has boxed herself into a corner with her 'good friends' in the DUP who now realise May was just using them for her own ends and was prepared to drop them quickly once she had achieved what she was ordered to achieve by DC and Brussels. It will be fascinating to observe who survives this Theresa May Tory English MI5 car crash of Her Majesty's Government. But what I have seen of heard and experienced in England of the anti-Russian bigotry is something that will remain with me for a lifetime.

Tags: MI6 May

[May 04, 2018] Mueller emerges as villain in Republican campaigns

Notable quotes:
"... Rep. Todd Rokita who is in a heated three-way primary in Indiana, appears to be the first Republican Senate candidate to include Mueller in a TV spot, telling GOP voters he will "fight the Mueller witch hunt" if he wins. ..."
"... they are using "fake news to try to destroy our president." ..."
May 04, 2018 | thehill.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller 's investigation is emerging as a new litmus test in key Republican Senate primaries.

GOP hopefuls locked in nasty primary fights are increasingly denouncing the Russia probe as they try to position themselves as the candidate aligned closest with President Trump

The volleys against the special counsel -- who has been investigating potential collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign for nearly a year -- come at a time when elections in several battleground states have entered a crucial stretch.

Rep. Todd Rokita who is in a heated three-way primary in Indiana, appears to be the first Republican Senate candidate to include Mueller in a TV spot, telling GOP voters he will "fight the Mueller witch hunt" if he wins.

The ad unfavorably compares the former FBI director, who is widely respected in the Beltway, to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly , saying they are using "fake news to try to destroy our president."

[May 04, 2018] Judge Mulls Dismissal Of Manafort Charges, Sharply Questioned Mueller Overreach Zero Hedge

May 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Judge Mulls Dismissal Of Manafort Charges, "Sharply Questioned" Mueller Overreach

by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:39 4.1K SHARES

Like most motions to dismiss, Paul Manafort's was initially viewed as a long-shot bid to win the political operative his freedom and get out from under the thumb of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

But after today's hearing on a motion to dismiss filed by Manafort's lawyers, it's looking increasingly likely that Manafort could escape his charges - and be free of his ankle bracelets - because in a surprising rebuke of Mueller's "overreach", Eastern District of Virginia Judge T.S. Ellis, a Reagan appointee, said Mueller shouldn't have "unfettered power" to prosecute over charges that have nothing to do with collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Ellis said he's concerned Mueller is only pursuing charges against Manafort (and presumably other individuals) to pressure them into turning on Trump. The Judge added that the charges brought against Manafort didn't appear to stem from Mueller's collusion probe. Instead, they appeared to be the work of an older investigation into Manafort that was eventually dropped.

"I don't see how this indictment has anything to do with anything the special prosecutor is authorized to investigate," Ellis said at a hearing in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, concerning a motion by Manafort to dismiss the case.

It got better: Ellis also slammed prosecutors saying it appeared they were using the indictment of Manafort to pressure him to cooperate against Trump. Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty and disputes Mueller's assertion that he violated U.S. laws when he worked for a decade as a political consultant for pro-Russian groups in Ukraine.

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," Ellis said. "You really care about what information he might give you about Mr. Trump and what might lead to his impeachment or prosecution. "

According to Bloomberg, Ellis is overseeing one of two indictments against Manafort. Manafort is also charged in Washington with money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent of Ukraine.

* * *

Manafort's lawyers had asked the judge in the Virginia case to dismiss an indictment filed against him in what was their third effort to beat back criminal charges by attacking Mueller's authority. The judge also questioned why Manafort's case there could not be handled by the U.S. attorney's office in Virginia, rather than the special counsel's office, as it is not Russia-related . A question many others have asked, as well.

Ellis has given prosecutors two weeks to show what evidence they have that Manafort was complicit in colluding with the Russians. If they can't come up with any, he may, presumably, dismiss the case. Ellis also asked the special counsel's office to share privately with him a copy of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein's August 2017 memo elaborating on the scope of Mueller's Russia probe. He said the current version he has been heavily redacted.

At that point, should nothing change materially, Manafort may be a free man; needless to say, a dismissal would set precedent and be nothing short of groundbreaking by potentially making it much harder for Mueller to turn other witnesses against the president.

[May 04, 2018] Rosenstein defiant as impeachment talk rises TheHill

Notable quotes:
"... Republicans have repeatedly accused Rosenstein of being unnecessarily slow in providing the documents they say are necessary for carrying out several parallel congressional investigations into FBI decision-making. Some of them have suggested the Justice Department is biased against Trump and now seeking to hide the evidence. ..."
"... The seventh and eighth articles of impeachment in the draft document charge Rosenstein of "knowingly and intentionally prevented the production of all documents and information" related to potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the federal government's initial investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. ..."
"... It was Rosenstein who authored the memo criticizing former FBI Director James Comey , which the White House ultimately used to justify his firing. Trump later indicated that he removed Comey in part because of the Russia investigation, which helped open him up to charges of obstruction of justice. ..."
"... After Comey's firing, it was Rosenstein who decided to appoint Mueller, a former FBI director who is widely respected for his prosecutorial skill and independence, as special counsel to handle the Russia probe. ..."
"... Since then, Rosenstein has given Mueller a broad mandat e to investigate any criminal activity uncovered by his work, angering the president and his allies. ..."
"... In addition, Rosenstein reportedly signed off on the FBI's raid of Michael Cohen, Trump's long-time personal attorney, fueling widespread speculation that the president might fire him. Rosenstein has privately told allies that he is prepared for the possibility of being dismissed, according to NBC News , but his appearance Tuesday made clear he has no intention of caving to outside pressure. ..."
"... He described a process in which a career federal law enforcement officer swears on an affidavit that the information they presented in a FISA application is both "true and correct" to the best of his or her knowledge and belief. While mistakes do happen and there are consequences for those who erred, he said, the agency employs "people who are accountable." ..."
"... "If the focus is Rod Rosenstein and whether he has done something or failed to do something that could remotely warrant impeachment, I think it's just groundless," said Jack Sharman, a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigations. ..."
May 04, 2018 | thehill.com

Rosenstein defiant as impeachment talk rises By Olivia Beavers and Morgan Chalfant - 05/03/18 06:00 AM EDT 2,577 63 Ex-doctor says Trump dictated letter claiming he would be 'healthiest' president ever Trump- South Korean president gives us all the credit Rosenstein knocks Republicans who want to impeach him: 'They can't even resist leaking their own drafts' White House dodges on Mueller questions Sanders: White House tries to 'never be concerned' with Adam Schiff White House talking to Waffle House hero about Trump meeting White House says Trump is 'very happy' with chief of staff White House: Jackson no longer serving as Trump's lead physician Chaplain controversy shifts spotlight to rising GOP star Pruitt's head of security resigns Trump’s ex-doctor says Trump associates 'raided' his office Romney praises Trump's first year in office: It's similar to things 'I'd have done' WHCD host: Sarah Sanders lies Netanyahu: iran deal flawed, based on lies WHCD host: Trump is not rich Conservative House lawmakers draft articles of impeachment against Rosenstein List reveals questions Mueller wants to ask Trump: report NBC: White House chief of staff told aides women 'more emotional' than men McCain torches Trump in new book: He prioritizes appearance of toughness over American values White House chief of staff denies report he called Trump an idiot Trump: Threats to pull out of Iran deal 'sends the right message' Trump: We don't want to be the policemen of the world Trump campaign covered some of Cohen's legal costs: report Democrats losing support of millennials: poll Cruz again questioning McConnell’s strategies Ex-Bush ethics official to run for Franken's former Senate seat as Dem: report Parkland survivor calls out NRA for banning guns at convention Michelle Wolf pushes back on criticism of Sarah Sanders jokes 7 targets Michelle Wolf took aim at during the White House correspondents’ dinner Trump: If Dems win in 2018 midterms, they'll impeach me WHCD host calls Trump ‘cowardly’ for skipping event again Trump threatens to 'close down the country' over funding for border wall GOP chairman 'doesn't have a problem' with Tester's handling of Jackson allegations Election forecaster: Nunes seat no longer ‘safe’ Republican Washington’s heavy-drinking ways in spotlight Stars of 'Veep,' 'West Wing' to lobby lawmakers ahead of White House correspondents' dinner Republican worries 'assassination risk' prompting lawmaker resignations Gillibrand unveils bill to offer banking services at post offices Meehan resigns with promise to pay back alleged sexual harassment claim Rosenstein knocks Republicans who want to impeach him: 'They can't even resist leaking their own drafts'

On Tuesday, the deputy attorney general rebuked the nascent conservative effort to impeach him, likely exacerbating tensions with conservatives in the House. House Republicans are demanding access to classified documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, including a heavily redacted memo that spells out the scope of the investigation.

"There is really nothing to comment on there, but just give me the documents. The bottom line is, he needs to be give me the documents," Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said during an interview with The Hill on Wednesday when asked about his response to Rosenstein.

"I have one goal in mind, and that is not somebody's job or the termination of somebody's job, it is getting the documents and making sure we can do proper oversight," he said, adding that there are "no current plans to introduce an impeachment resolution."

Republican lawmakers led by Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus one of President Trump's top allies in Congress, have drafted eight articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. The articles make a series of charges against Rosenstein and question his credibility, reputation and fitness to serve.

Conservatives have called the impeachment articles a last resort. Rosenstein dismissed the impeachment threat and went a step further by suggesting the Justice Department's independence is being threatened. "There have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted," Rosenstein said during an appearance at the Newseum. "I just don't have anything to say about documents like that that nobody has the courage to put their name on and they leak in that way," he continued, after quipping earlier that the lawmakers "can't even resist leaking their own drafts."

Rosenstein, a career Justice Department official, is widely respected in legal circles. He has been praised for his work leading the U.S. attorney's office in Maryland, a position to which he was appointed by President George W. Bush and served in for 12 years, spanning Republican and Democratic administrations. Rosenstein's years of service at the department came through in his public remarks, lawyers say.

"With a guy like Rosenstein, you can't underestimate the deep connection that many career -- not all -- but many career Justice Department officials have to the department," said Steven Cash, a lawyer at Day Pitney. "It defines their self image as participating in ensuring the rule of law in a way you often don't see in other departments -- they are very, very proud of their association with the department, its traditions, history and independence."

But Rosenstein has plenty of critics on Capitol Hill, where some Republicans accuse him of hindering legitimate oversight.

Republicans have repeatedly accused Rosenstein of being unnecessarily slow in providing the documents they say are necessary for carrying out several parallel congressional investigations into FBI decision-making. Some of them have suggested the Justice Department is biased against Trump and now seeking to hide the evidence.

The seventh and eighth articles of impeachment in the draft document charge Rosenstein of "knowingly and intentionally prevented the production of all documents and information" related to potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the federal government's initial investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The charges appear to have caught the attention of the president, who threatened to get involved on Wednesday morning.

"A Rigged System -- They don't want to turn over Documents to Congress. What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal 'justice?' At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved," Trump tweeted.

Since Trump appointed Rosenstein to serve as deputy attorney general, he has become a key player in the drama surrounding the Mueller investigation.

It was Rosenstein who authored the memo criticizing former FBI Director James Comey, which the White House ultimately used to justify his firing. Trump later indicated that he removed Comey in part because of the Russia investigation, which helped open him up to charges of obstruction of justice.

Rosenstein has defended the memo on Comey, pointing to criticism from both parties about Comey's handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 's use of a private email server before the 2016 presidential election.

After Comey's firing, it was Rosenstein who decided to appoint Mueller, a former FBI director who is widely respected for his prosecutorial skill and independence, as special counsel to handle the Russia probe.

Since then, Rosenstein has given Mueller a broad mandat e to investigate any criminal activity uncovered by his work, angering the president and his allies.

In addition, Rosenstein reportedly signed off on the FBI's raid of Michael Cohen, Trump's long-time personal attorney, fueling widespread speculation that the president might fire him. Rosenstein has privately told allies that he is prepared for the possibility of being dismissed, according to NBC News , but his appearance Tuesday made clear he has no intention of caving to outside pressure.

Rosenstein took issue with allegations detailed in the impeachment draft, including the charge that he failed to properly supervise surveillance applications.

He described a process in which a career federal law enforcement officer swears on an affidavit that the information they presented in a FISA application is both "true and correct" to the best of his or her knowledge and belief. While mistakes do happen and there are consequences for those who erred, he said, the agency employs "people who are accountable."

It's unclear yet whether an impeachment push will gain traction among rank-and-file Republicans; GOP leaders have remained silent on the matter. AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), indicated Wednesday that he sees no reason to fire Rosenstein, as he said earlier this year. Some GOP lawmakers in recent weeks have also said they've seen improvement from the Justice Department in responding to documents requests.

"If the focus is Rod Rosenstein and whether he has done something or failed to do something that could remotely warrant impeachment, I think it's just groundless," said Jack Sharman, a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigations.

Still, Rosenstein's remarks are sure to ramp up tensions between two sides. Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, said Rosenstein came off as "cagey" in his defense and raised questions about what he may be trying to hide. "Everyone knows that this is heating up and both sides are gearing up for a fight," O'Connell told The Hill.

[May 04, 2018] Media Use Disinformation To Accuse Russia Of Spreading Such by b

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A McClatchy journalist investigated further and came to the same conclusion as I did. The 'leak' to the New York Times was disinformation. ..."
"... Russia has not pinned the Novichok to Sweden or the Czech Republic. It said, correctly, that several countries produced Novichok. Russia did not blame the UK for the 'nerve gas attack' in Syria. Russia says that there was no gas attack in Douma. ..."
"... The claims of Russian disinformation these authors make to not hold up to scrutiny. Meanwhile there pieces themselves are full of lies, distortions and, yes, disinformation. ..."
"... Wait for an outbreak of hostilities on the Ukraine-Donbass front shortly before the beginning of the World Cup competition which is as internationally important as the Olympic Games -- as they did in 2014 with Maidan and 2016 with the Sochi Winter Olympics drug uproar, the CIA will create chaos that will take the emphasis off any Russian success, since as to them, anything negative regarding Russia is a positive for them. ..."
"... No traces of chemical weapons have been found in Douma. This means that not only the US/UK/French airstrikes were illegal under international law but even their political justification was inherently flawed. Similarly, in the Salisbury affair, no evidence of Russian involvement has been presented, while the two myths on which the British case was built (the Russian origin of the chemical substance used and the existence of proof of Russian responsibility) have been shattered. ..."
"... Given the lack of facts, the Tory leadership seems to be adopting a truly Orwellian logic: that the main proof of Russian responsibility are the Russian denials! It is hard to see how they will be able to sell this to their international partners. Self-respecting countries of G20 would not be willing to risk their reputation. ..."
"... The detail of b's analysis that stands out to me as especially significant and brilliant is his demolition of the Guardian's reuse of the Merkel "quote." ..."
"... Related to the above, consider the nature of the recently christened thought-crime, "whataboutism." The crime may be defined as follows: "Whataboutism" is the attempt to understand a truth asserted by propaganda by way of relation to other truths it has asserted contemporaneous with or prior to this one. It is to ask, "What about this *other* truth? Does this *other* truth affect our understanding of *this* truth? And if so, how does it?" ..."
"... Whataboutism seems to deny that each asserted truth stands on its own, and has no essential relation to any other past, present, or future asserted truth. ..."
"... 1984, anyone? ..."
"... The absurd story that the OPCW says there was a 100gm/100mg who knows which on the door and other sites is just so stupid its painful. ..."
"... Presumably the Skripals touch the cutlery, plates and wine glasses in the restaurant, so why weren't the staff there infected as they must have had to pick up the plates etc after the meal. Even the door to the entrance of the restaurant should be affected as they would have to push it open, thus leaving the chemical for other people to touch. Nope, nothing in this stupid story adds up and the OPCW can't even get the amounts of the chemical right. ..."
"... Biggest problem with the world today is lazy insouciant citizens. ..."
"... One very important point Lavrov made was the anti-Russian group consists of a very small number of nations representing a small fraction of humanity; ..."
"... while they have some economic and military clout, it's possible for the rest of the world's nations to sideline them and get on with the important business of forming a genuine Multipolar World Order, which is what the UN and its Charter envisioned. ..."
"... Anything that may not confirm to the 'truth' as prescribed from above must be overwhelmed with an onslaught of more lies or, if that does not work, be discredited as 'enemy' disinformation. ..."
"... Yes, exactly. The Western hegemony, i.e. the true "Axis of Evil" led by the US, and including the EU and non-Western allies, have invented the Perpetual Big Lie™. ..."
"... Witnesses? They're either confederates, dupes, or terrified by coercion. Evidence and/or technical analysis? All faked! A nominally reliable party, e.g. the president of the Czech Republic, makes statements that undermine the Big Lie Nexus? Again-- he's either been bought off or frightened into making such inconvenient claims. Or he's just a mischievous liar. ..."
"... And, as I seemingly never get tired of pointing out, the Perpetual Big Lie™ strategy arose, and succeeds, because the "natural enemies" of authoritarian government overreach have been coerced or co-opted to a fare-thee-well. So mass-media venues, and even supposedly independent technical and scientific organizations, are part of the Perpetual Big Lie™ apparatus. ..."
"... Putting Kudrin -- an opponent of de-dollarization and an upholder of the Washington Consensus -- in charge of Russia's international outreach would be equal to putting Bill Clinton in charge of a girls' school. ..."
"... In the Guardian I only read the comments, never the article. Here, I read both. That is the difference between propaganda and good reporting. ..."
May 04, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Grauniad is slipping deeper into the disinformation business: Revealed: UK's push to strengthen anti-Russia alliance is the headline of a page one piece which reveals exactly nothing. There is no secret lifted and no one was discomforted by a questioning journalist.

Like other such pieces it uses disinformation to accuse Russia of spreading such.

The main 'revelation' is stenographed from a British government official. Some quotes from the usual anti-Russian propagandists were added. Dubious or false 'western' government claims are held up as truth. That Russia does not endorse them is proof for Russian mischievousness and its 'disinformation'.

The opener:

The UK will use a series of international summits this year to call for a comprehensive strategy to combat Russian disinformation and urge a rethink over traditional diplomatic dialogue with Moscow, following the Kremlin's aggressive campaign of denials over the use of chemical weapons in the UK and Syria.
...
"The foreign secretary regards Russia's response to Douma and Salisbury as a turning point and thinks there is international support to do more," a Whitehall official said. "The areas the UK are most likely to pursue are countering Russian disinformation and finding a mechanism to enforce accountability for the use of chemical weapons."

There is a mechanism to enforce accountability for the use of chemical weapons. It is the Chemical Weapon Convention and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It was the British government which at first rejected the use of these instruments during the Skripal incident:

Early involvement of the OPCW, as demanded by Russia, was resisted by the British government. Only on March 14, ten days after the incident happened and two days after Prime Minister Theresa may had made accusations against Russia, did the British government invite the OPCW. Only on March 19, 15 days after the incident happen did the OPCW technical team arrive and took blood samples.

Now back to the Guardian disinformation:

In making its case to foreign ministries, the UK is arguing that Russian denials over Salisbury and Douma reveal a state uninterested in cooperating to reach a common understanding of the truth , but instead using both episodes to try systematically to divide western electorates and sow doubt.

A 'common understanding of the truth' is an interesting term. What is the truth? Whatever the British government claims? It accused Russia of the Skripal incident a mere eight days after it happened. Now, two month later, it admits that it does not know who poisoned the Skripals:

Police and intelligence agencies have failed so far to identify the individual or individuals who carried out the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, the UK's national security adviser has disclosed.

Do the Brits know where the alleged Novichok poison came from? Unless they produced it themselves they likely have no idea. The Czech Republic just admitted that it made small doses of a Novichok nerve agent for testing purposes. Others did too.

Back to the Guardian :

British politicians are not alone in claiming Russia's record of mendacity is not a personal trait of Putin's, but a government-wide strategy that makes traditional diplomacy ineffective.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, famously came off one lengthy phone call with Putin – she had more than 40 in a year – to say he lived in a different world.

No, Merkel never said that. An Obama administration flunky planted that in the New York Times :

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. "In another world," she said.

When that claim was made in March 2014 we were immediately suspicious of it:

This does not sound like typically Merkel but rather strange for her. I doubt that she said that the way the "people briefed on the call" told it to the Times stenographer. It is rather an attempt to discredit Merkel and to make it more difficult for her to find a solution with Russia outside of U.S. control.

A day later the German government denied (ger) that Merkel ever said such (my translation):

The chancellery is unhappy about the report in the New York Times. Merkel by no means meant to express that Putin behaved irrational. In fact she told Obama that Putin has a different perspective about the Crimea [than Obama has].

A McClatchy journalist investigated further and came to the same conclusion as I did. The 'leak' to the New York Times was disinformation.

That disinformation, spread by the Obama administration but immediately exposed as false, is now held up as proof by Patrick Wintour, the Diplomatic editor of the Guardian , that Russia uses disinformation and that Putin is a naughty man.

The British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson wants journalists to enter the UK reserve forces to help with the creation of propaganda:

He said army recruitment should be about "looking to different people who maybe think, as a journalist: 'What are my skills in terms of how are they relevant to the armed forces?'

Patrick Wintour seems to be a qualified candidate.

Or maybe he should join the NATO for Information Warfare the Atlantic Council wants to create to further disinform about those damned Russkies:

What we need now is a cross-border defense alliance against disinformation -- call it Communications NATO. Such an alliance is, in fact, nearly as important as its military counterpart.

Like the Guardian piece above writer of the NATO propaganda lobby Atlantic Council makes claims of Russian disinformation that do not hold up to the slightest test:

By pinning the Novichok nerve agent on Sweden or the Czech Republic, or blaming the UK for the nerve gas attack in Syria, the Kremlin sows confusion among our populations and makes us lose trust in our institutions.

Russia has not pinned the Novichok to Sweden or the Czech Republic. It said, correctly, that several countries produced Novichok. Russia did not blame the UK for the 'nerve gas attack' in Syria. Russia says that there was no gas attack in Douma.

The claims of Russian disinformation these authors make to not hold up to scrutiny. Meanwhile there pieces themselves are full of lies, distortions and, yes, disinformation.

The bigger aim behind all these activities, demanding a myriad of new organizations to propagandize against Russia, is to introduce a strict control over information within 'western' societies.

Anything that may not confirm to the 'truth' as prescribed from above must be overwhelmed with an onslaught of more lies or, if that does not work, be discredited as 'enemy' disinformation.

That scheme will be used against anyone who deviates from the ordered norm. You dislike that pipeline in your backyard? You must be falling for Russian trolls or maybe you yourself are an agent of a foreign power. Social Security? The Russians like that. It is a disinformation thing. You better forget about it.


c1ue , May 4, 2018 2:27:27 PM | 1

Excellent article, in an ongoing run of great journalism.
I am curious - have you read this? https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/
It purports to be a book by an American military man intimately familiar with the covert ops portion of the US government. The internal Kafka-esque dynamics described certainly feel true.
Mike Maloney , May 4, 2018 2:44:12 PM | 3
One of the reasons newspapers are getting worse is the economics. They aren't really viable anymore. Their future is as some form of government sanctioned oligopoly. Two national papers -- a "left" and a "right" -- and then a handful of regional papers. All spouting the same neoliberal, neoconservative chicanery.
CD Waller , May 4, 2018 2:57:20 PM | 4
Genuine journalist Matt Taibbi warned of this sort of branding of disparate views as enemy a month ago. He was also correct. Evil and insidious. The enemy of a free society.
chet380 , May 4, 2018 2:58:22 PM | 5
Wait for an outbreak of hostilities on the Ukraine-Donbass front shortly before the beginning of the World Cup competition which is as internationally important as the Olympic Games -- as they did in 2014 with Maidan and 2016 with the Sochi Winter Olympics drug uproar, the CIA will create chaos that will take the emphasis off any Russian success, since as to them, anything negative regarding Russia is a positive for them.
WJ , May 4, 2018 3:02:57 PM | 6
The later history of the 20th century will one day be read as the triumph and normalization of the Nazi state through liberal democratic capitalism.
Laguerre , May 4, 2018 3:07:19 PM | 7
I agree that it's difficult to see how the drive to renew the Cold War is going to be stopped. I presume that, with the exception of certain NeoCon circles, there isn't a desire for Hot War. Certainly not in the British sources you quote. Britain wouldn't want Hot War with Russia. It's all a question of going to the limit for internal consumption. Do a 1984, in order to keep the population in-line.
james , May 4, 2018 3:11:05 PM | 8
thanks b... i can't understand how any intelligent thinking person would read the guardian, let alone something like the huff post, and etc. etc... why? the propaganda money that pays for the white helmets, certainly goes to these outlets as well..

the uk have gone completely nuts! i guess it comes with reading the guardian, although, in fairness, all british media seems very skewed - sky news, bbc, and etc. etc.

it does appear as though Patrick Wintour is on Gavin Williamson's propaganda bandwagon/payroll already... in reading the comments and articles at craig murrays site, i have become more familiar with just how crazy things are in the uk.. his latest article freedom no more sums it up well... throw the uk msm in the trash can... it is for all intensive purposes, done..

mk , May 4, 2018 3:31:41 PM | 9
Meanwhile, OPCW chief Uzumcu seems to have been pranked again, this time by his own staff (this is how I interpret it):

He claimed that the amount of Novichok found was about 100 g and therefore more than research laboratories would produce, i.e. this was weaponized Novichok.

http://www.startribune.com/large-dose-of-nerve-agent-was-used-in-spy-s-poisoning-watchdog-says/481687061/

However, the story is being retracted right now because OPCW staff says it was only 100 mg .

Uzumcu looks like a fool.

b , May 4, 2018 3:49:03 PM | 10
The Russian embassy in the UK must be reading MoA. It just now tweeted this press release: Embassy press officer comments on the Guardian article concerning a new British anti-Russian strategy
Q: What is our reaction to the Guardian article on a "comprehensive strategy" to "deepen the alliance against Russia" to be pursued by the UK Government at international forums?

A: Judging by the publication, the main current challenge for Whitehall is to preserve the anti-Russian coalition that the Conservatives tried to build after the Salisbury incident. This task is challenging indeed. The "fusion doctrine" promoted by the national security apparatus has led to the Western bloc taking hasty decisions that, as life has shown, were not based on any facts.

No traces of chemical weapons have been found in Douma. This means that not only the US/UK/French airstrikes were illegal under international law but even their political justification was inherently flawed. Similarly, in the Salisbury affair, no evidence of Russian involvement has been presented, while the two myths on which the British case was built (the Russian origin of the chemical substance used and the existence of proof of Russian responsibility) have been shattered.

Given the lack of facts, the Tory leadership seems to be adopting a truly Orwellian logic: that the main proof of Russian responsibility are the Russian denials! It is hard to see how they will be able to sell this to their international partners. Self-respecting countries of G20 would not be willing to risk their reputation.

karlof1 , May 4, 2018 3:52:31 PM | 11
Hmmm... My reply to c1ue went sideways it seems. Yes, The late Mr. Prouty's book's the real deal and the website hosting his very rare book is a rare gem itself. Click the JFK at page top left to be transported to that sites archive of writings about his murder. The very important essay by Prouty's there too.
WJ , May 4, 2018 3:53:30 PM | 12
The detail of b's analysis that stands out to me as especially significant and brilliant is his demolition of the Guardian's reuse of the Merkel "quote."

This one detail tells us so much about how propaganda works, and about how it can be defeated. Successful propaganda both depends upon and seeks to accelerate the erasure of historical memory. This is because its truths are always changing to suit the immediate needs of the state. None of its truths can be understood historically. b makes the connection between the documented but forgotten past "truth" of Merkel's quote and its present reincarnation in the Guardian, and this is really all he *needs* to do. What b points out is something quite simple; yet the ability to do this very simple thing is becoming increasingly rare and its exercise increasingly difficult to achieve. It is for me the virtue that makes b's analysis uniquely indispensable.

Related to the above, consider the nature of the recently christened thought-crime, "whataboutism." The crime may be defined as follows: "Whataboutism" is the attempt to understand a truth asserted by propaganda by way of relation to other truths it has asserted contemporaneous with or prior to this one. It is to ask, "What about this *other* truth? Does this *other* truth affect our understanding of *this* truth? And if so, how does it?"

Whataboutism seems to deny that each asserted truth stands on its own, and has no essential relation to any other past, present, or future asserted truth.

Jose Garcia , May 4, 2018 3:56:03 PM | 13
1984, anyone?
john wilson , May 4, 2018 4:03:04 PM | 14
The absurd story that the OPCW says there was a 100gm/100mg who knows which on the door and other sites is just so stupid its painful. This implies that the Skripals both closed the door together and then went off on their day spreading the stuff everywhere, yet no one else was contaminated (apart from the fantasy policeman).

Presumably the Skripals touch the cutlery, plates and wine glasses in the restaurant, so why weren't the staff there infected as they must have had to pick up the plates etc after the meal. Even the door to the entrance of the restaurant should be affected as they would have to push it open, thus leaving the chemical for other people to touch. Nope, nothing in this stupid story adds up and the OPCW can't even get the amounts of the chemical right.

ken , May 4, 2018 4:03:13 PM | 15
The problem is,,, most know it's all BS but find it 'easier' to believe or at most ignore, as then there is no responsibility to 'do something'. Biggest problem with the world today is lazy insouciant citizens. (Yes,,, I'm a PCR reader) :))
karlof1 , May 4, 2018 4:05:15 PM | 16
b @10--

Did you catch the Lavrov interview I linked to on previous Yemen thread? As you might imagine, the verbiage used is quite similar. One very important point Lavrov made was the anti-Russian group consists of a very small number of nations representing a small fraction of humanity; and that while they have some economic and military clout, it's possible for the rest of the world's nations to sideline them and get on with the important business of forming a genuine Multipolar World Order, which is what the UN and its Charter envisioned.

I won't omit linking to Craig Murray's conclusion :

"I cannot sufficiently express my outrage that Leeds City Council feels it is right to ban a meeting with very distinguished speakers, because it is questioning the government and establishment line on Syria. Freedom of speech really is dead."

Ort , May 4, 2018 4:22:35 PM | 17
Anything that may not confirm to the 'truth' as prescribed from above must be overwhelmed with an onslaught of more lies or, if that does not work, be discredited as 'enemy' disinformation.
_______________________________________

Yes, exactly. The Western hegemony, i.e. the true "Axis of Evil" led by the US, and including the EU and non-Western allies, have invented the Perpetual Big Lie™.

This isn't a new insight, but it's worth repeating. It struck me anew while I was listening to a couple of UK "journalists" hectoring OPCW Representative Shulgin, and directing scurrilous and provocative innuendo disguised as "questions" to Mr. Shulgin and the Syrian witnesses testifying during his presentation.

It flashed upon me that there is no longer a reasonable expectation that the Perpetual Big Liars must eventually abandon, much less confess, their heinous mendacity. Just as B points out, there are no countervailing facts, evidence, rebuttals, theories, or explanations that can't be countered with further iterations of Big Lies, however offensively incredible and absurd.

Witnesses? They're either confederates, dupes, or terrified by coercion. Evidence and/or technical analysis? All faked! A nominally reliable party, e.g. the president of the Czech Republic, makes statements that undermine the Big Lie Nexus? Again-- he's either been bought off or frightened into making such inconvenient claims. Or he's just a mischievous liar.

And, as I seemingly never get tired of pointing out, the Perpetual Big Lie™ strategy arose, and succeeds, because the "natural enemies" of authoritarian government overreach have been coerced or co-opted to a fare-thee-well. So mass-media venues, and even supposedly independent technical and scientific organizations, are part of the Perpetual Big Lie™ apparatus.

Even as the Big Liars reach a point of diminishing returns, they respond with more of the same. I wish I were more confident that this reprehensible practice will eventually fail due to the excess of malignant hubris; I'm not holding my breath.

Passer by , May 4, 2018 4:24:44 PM | 18

Is Putin capitulating? Pro US Alexei Kudrin could join new government to negotiate "end of sanctions" with the West.

Former finance minister Alexei Kudrin will be brought back to "mend fences with the West" in order to revive Russia's economy. Kudrin has repeatedly said that unless Russia makes her political system more democratic and ends its confrontation with Europe and the United States, she will not be able to achieve economic growth. Russia's fifth-columnists were exalted: "If Kudrin joined the administration or government, it would indicate that they have agreed on a certain agenda of change, including in foreign policy, because without change in foreign policy, reforms are simply impossible in Russia," said Yevgeny Gontmakher . . . who works with a civil society organization set up by Mr. Kudrin. "It would be a powerful message, because Kudrin is the only one in the top echelons with whom they will talk in the west and towards whom there is a certain trust."

Putting Kudrin -- an opponent of de-dollarization and an upholder of the Washington Consensus -- in charge of Russia's international outreach would be equal to putting Bill Clinton in charge of a girls' school.

It would mark Putin's de facto collapse as a leader. We shall know very soon. Either way, if anyone wondered what the approach to Russia would be from Bolton and Pompeo, we now know: they will play very hard ball with Putin, regardless of what he does (or doesn't do), and with carefree readiness to risk an eventual snap.

https://archive.is/1Ynms#selection-1641.0-1641.66

Formerly T-Bear , May 4, 2018 4:57:25 PM | 21
@ 20 Laguerre

Certainly looks like @ 18 is a fine example of what b is presenting.

A good way to extract one's self from the propaganda is to refuse using whatever meme the disinformation uses, e.g. that Sergei Skripal was a double agent -- that is not a known, only a convenient suggestion.

Military intelligence is far better described as military information needed for some project or mission. Not surreptitious cloak and dagger spying. This is not to say Sergei Scripal was a British spy for which he was convicted, stripped of rank and career and exiled through a spy swap. To continue using Sergei Scripal was a double agent only repeats and verifies the disinformation meme and all the framing that goes with it. Find some alternative to what MSM produces that does not embed truthiness to their efforts.

Peter Schmidt , May 4, 2018 5:08:52 PM | 23
In the Guardian I only read the comments, never the article. Here, I read both. That is the difference between propaganda and good reporting.
Emily Dickinson , May 4, 2018 5:09:00 PM | 24
@Michael Weddington 19

I realize it's from one of the biggest propaganda organs in the world... take this New York Times report of the OPCW's retraction with a 100 grams -- 100mg? -- of salt:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/world/europe/opcw-skripal-attack.html

karlof1 , May 4, 2018 5:12:57 PM | 25
Passer by @18--

This same narrative was put forth in 2016 and is just as false now as then. As I posted on Yemen thread earlier, Putin on 5 May is likely to announce the formation of a Stavka.

Kudrin is a neoliberal and as such is an enemy of humanity and will never again be allowed to hold a position of power within Russia's government. Let him emigrate to the West like his fellow parasites and teach junk economics at some likeminded university.

jalp , May 4, 2018 5:30:35 PM | 26
Anyone seen this reported elsewhere? https://www.rt.com/news/425810-white-helmets-us-funding-freeze/

[May 03, 2018] Tapper-Clapper Leak Proves Media, Intelligence 'Collaborated' to Make Russiagate

Notable quotes:
"... The leak, and the cover up, shows the "collaboration between the media and the intelligence community in building up Russiagate," ..."
"... The report also states that Clapper "subsequently acknowledged discussing the dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic." ..."
May 03, 2018 | sputniknews.com

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, who landed a job at CNN in August 2017 after leaving the government, leaked information to CNN's Jake Tapper regarding the infamous Steele dossier and its salacious allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump - then denied his actions to Congress under oath.

The leak, and the cover up, shows the "collaboration between the media and the intelligence community in building up Russiagate," Max Blumenthal, a journalist and bestselling author, told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear.

... ... ...

The report also states that Clapper "subsequently acknowledged discussing the dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic."

Blumenthal explained that the dossier was the catalyst for the Russiagate scandal.

"I think this should be a bigger scandal than it is," he told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou.

See Also:

[May 03, 2018] Mueller's questions to Trump more those of a prosecuting attorney than of an impartial investigator by Alexander Mercouris

Highly recommended!
Mueller's proposed questions to Trump show that Trump remains Mueller's ultimate target
Notable quotes:
"... (1) Robert Mueller is in possession of no facts which have not previously been made public. ..."
"... (2) Donald Trump continues to be Robert Mueller's target ..."
"... Frankly they do not look like the sort of questions an investigator asks if he searching for the truth. Rather they look like cross examination by prosecuting Counsel. ..."
"... (3) Obstruction of Justice has replaced collusion with Russia as the focus of the Mueller probe ..."
"... the Russiagate investigation did become a criminal inquiry and not just a counterespionage inquiry. ..."
"... When he finished, I said that I agreed very much that it was terrible that his calls with foreign leaders leaked. I said they were classified and he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence ..."
"... The memo shows Trump putting pressure on Comey to investigate the leaks and Comey resisting doing so. Whilst Comey purported to agree with Trump that the leaks were terrible and that the leakers should be punished, he resisted Trump's suggestion that the most effective way to go after the leakers was to go after the reporters they were leaking to. ..."
"... The reason Trump brought up the subject of Flynn was because his case was a particularly egregious example of a career that had been destroyed by unauthorised and illegal leaking. ..."
"... In addition Mueller wants to ask Trump questions about his thoughts about Comey and his reasons for dismissing Comey, all of which suggest an attempt to catch Trump in some sort of obstruction of justice charge in relation to the circumstances of Comey's dismissal, about which however see above. ..."
"... (4) The collusion narrative has collapsed ..."
"... The lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, duped Don Jr. into setting up the meeting by claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. In fact, the meeting was a bait and switch. It turned out the lawyer had no meaningful information to offer on Mrs. Clinton. Rather, she wanted to interest the Trump team in a Moscow initiative to allow American families to adopt Russian children. ..."
"... In contrast, Hillary Clinton's campaign actually helped pay for a dossier of almost entirely false accusations about Mr. Trump , some of which a British former intelligence official obtained from Russian contacts. ..."
"... Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to Mueller's investigation as a witch-hunt, and he is right. The questions Mueller is seeking to ask Trump confirm as much. ..."
May 03, 2018 | theduran.com

...Here is my take on these questions:

(1) Robert Mueller is in possession of no facts which have not previously been made public.

Every single one of the questions is obviously drawn on information which has already been made public and which has been widely discussed.

... ... ...

(2) Donald Trump continues to be Robert Mueller's target

Recently there have been media reports that Robert Mueller's investigators have informed Donald Trump that he is not a target of the Mueller investigation.

The highly aggressive questions Mueller wants to ask Trump however tell a very different story. The consistent theme behind them is of a Donald Trump who is very much at the centre of all sorts of nefarious activities. Frankly they do not look like the sort of questions an investigator asks if he searching for the truth. Rather they look like cross examination by prosecuting Counsel.

In light of this Trump's hesitation in submitting himself to an interview by Mueller in which these sort of questions are asked is fully understandable.

I suspect his lawyers are advising him against it.

(3) Obstruction of Justice has replaced collusion with Russia as the focus of the Mueller probe

When around the time of former FBI Director James Comey's admittedly botched dismissal the issue of obstruction of justice first arose, it seemed to me so farfetched that I could not bring myself to believe that Mueller or anyone else would seriously entertain it.

As I pointed out at the time the Russiagate investigation was at that point in time still a counterespionage inquiry rather than a crime inquiry, as had recently been confirmed by no less a person than James Comey himself in his March 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.

As it happens it is a moot point when exactly the Russiagate investigation did become a criminal inquiry and not just a counterespionage inquiry.

My guess is that no such formal decision was ever taken, but that Mueller himself simply decided as soon as he was appointed Special Counsel that he was conducting a criminal inquiry as well as a counterespionage inquiry. The point is apparently being pursued by Paul Manafort's lawyers in the case Mueller has brought against him. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. Irrespective of this, the fact that the Russiagate investigation was apparently still a counterespionage inquiry as opposed to a criminal inquiry when Comey was sacked made it impossible for me to see how Comey's sacking could amount to an obstruction of justice.

What I was of course at that time completely unaware of was of the discussions which had previously passed between Trump and Comey about General Flynn.

A memo Comey wrote up after one of these discussions has been seized on by Trump's critics as evidence that he attempted to block the FBI's investigation into whether or not General Flynn had committed an offence under the Logan Act by talking whilst a member of the Trump transition team to Russian ambassador Kislyak, and that this amounts to an obstruction of justice.

When early accounts of the contents of this memo appeared I expressed my strong doubt that its contents as they were being reported showed that there had been any obstruction of justice by Donald Trump of the investigation of General Flynn

..since Comey's note shows Trump neither instructing Comey nor requesting Comey to drop the investigation against Flynn, nor of Trump putting pressure on Comey to do so, but merely shows Trump expressing the "hope" Comey would do so, in any sane world no charge of obstructing justice or of perverting the course of justice brought upon it could possibly stick.

The redacted text of this and of Comey's other memos has now been published, and the relevant sections of the memo read as follows

He [Donald Trump – AM] began by saying he "wanted to talk about Mike Flynn". He then said that although Flynn "hadn't done anything wrong" in his call with the Russians (a point he made at least two more times in the conversation), he had to let him go because he misled the Vice-President and, in any event, he had concerns about Flynn, and had a great guy coming in, so he had to let Flynn go ..

..He then referred at length to the leaks relating to Mike Flynn's call with the Russians, which he stressed was not wrong in any way ("he made lots of calls"), but that the leaks were terrible.

I tried to interject several times to agree with him about the leaks being terrible, but was unsuccessful. When he finished, I said that I agreed very much that it was terrible that his calls with foreign leaders leaked. I said they were classified and he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence ..

He then returned to the subject of Mike Flynn, saying that Flynn is a good guy, and has been through a lot. He misled the Vice-President but he didn't do anything wrong in the call. He said, "I hope you can see your way to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." I replied by saying, "I agree he is a good guy", but said no more.

(bold italics added)

The entirety of the memo in fact shows that the main subject of the conversation and Donald Trump's major concern as of the time when the conversation took place was not General Flynn or the case against him but the systematic campaign of leaks which were undermining his administration.

The memo shows Trump putting pressure on Comey to investigate the leaks and Comey resisting doing so. Whilst Comey purported to agree with Trump that the leaks were terrible and that the leakers should be punished, he resisted Trump's suggestion that the most effective way to go after the leakers was to go after the reporters they were leaking to.

The reason Trump brought up the subject of Flynn was because his case was a particularly egregious example of a career that had been destroyed by unauthorised and illegal leaking.

In this Trump was undoubtedly right.

Over the course of this discussion – and obviously so as to emphasise the point -Trump made the further point – which is no longer disputed by anyone – that Flynn had done nothing wrong in his conversations with Kislyak, and had done nothing to deserve having his career and reputation destroyed by illegal leaking.

The memo shows that it was in the context of these observations about the way Flynn was brought down by illegal leaking that Trump made his comments about the investigation of Flynn.

Trump's point was that the investigation of Flynn for committing an offence under the Logan Act (initiated by former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates). coming on top of the illegal leaks which had destroyed his career, was tough on Flynn given that he had done nothing wrong.

Accordingly Trump said to Comey that he hoped Comey would be able to find a way to "letting [the case against Flynn] go".

It was a minor aside and it is unlikely Trump gave much thought to it. Certainly it was not intended as any sort of instruction to Comey to drop the inquiry, and the entirety of the text of the memo shows that Comey never thought it was.

In fact the memo shows that Comey agreed with Trump.

The words in the memo which I have highlighted ("I agreed very much that it was terrible that his calls with foreign leaders leaked. I said they were classified and he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence") have attracted remarkably little attention. However they show clearly that Comey also thought that Flynn's conversation with Kislyak was lawful.

No other explanation for his words as he himself has reported them in his memo – "he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence" – is possible.

In other words the memo shows that not only did Trump not instruct or request Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn or put pressure on Comey to do so, but on the contrary he and Comey had what was essentially a consensual conversation in which they both agreed with each other that (1) leaks are terrible; (2) Flynn had been appallingly treated by having his career and reputation destroyed by leaks; and (3) in his conversation with Kislyak Flynn had done nothing wrong.

Given that this is so it is simply impossible to see how an obstruction of justice charge can be put together from this material.

Nonetheless the drift of Mueller's questions to Trump suggests that this is still what Mueller is trying to do.

A disproportionate number of Mueller's questions concern Trump's various interactions with Comey. These include but are not limited to Trump's interactions with Comey which concerned Flynn.

In addition Mueller wants to ask Trump questions about his thoughts about Comey and his reasons for dismissing Comey, all of which suggest an attempt to catch Trump in some sort of obstruction of justice charge in relation to the circumstances of Comey's dismissal, about which however see above.

There is also a number of questions concerning Trump's sometimes fraught relationship with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the clear implication of which is that Trump's widely known and publicly expressed anger about Sessions's decision to recuse himself from the Russiagate inquiry stems from anger that Sessions would no longer be able to protect Trump from it.

Even if that is so – which it probably is – I cannot see how it amounts to obstruction of justice. Anger that Sessions had recused himself from the Russiagate inquiry and would no longer be able to protect the President is surely no more than a thought crime even if it were true, which it probably is.

Last I heard thought crimes are not actionable in America. However,judging from his questions, Mueller still seems intent on pursuing this one.

(4) The collusion narrative has collapsed

By comparison with the disproportionate number of questions devoted to the obstruction of justice allegations, the questions about the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – the investigation of which was supposed to be the object of the Mueller inquiry – look threadbare.

All of them cover old ground, in which all the facts are known.

The first two questions concern the now notorious meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016 between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The lack of substance to this meeting, and the extent to which it is truly a non-story, has been brilliantly explained by Ronald Kessler in The Washington Times

When it comes to President Trump and the question of collusion with Russia , there is indeed a smoking gun. But it's not the June 2016 meeting that Donald Trump Jr. , along with campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, held in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer.

The lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, duped Don Jr. into setting up the meeting by claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. In fact, the meeting was a bait and switch. It turned out the lawyer had no meaningful information to offer on Mrs. Clinton. Rather, she wanted to interest the Trump team in a Moscow initiative to allow American families to adopt Russian children.

The meeting, which lasted 20 minutes, was the sort any political campaign or media outlet would have agreed to. Like investigative reporters, political operatives want to obtain tips, even if most of the time the proffered information turns out to be of no value. In this case, nothing came of the meeting. In contrast, Hillary Clinton's campaign actually helped pay for a dossier of almost entirely false accusations about Mr. Trump , some of which a British former intelligence official obtained from Russian contacts.

According to journalistic standards that existed decades ago, the fact that such a meeting took place would not have even been a story. The pretext for the meeting was a hoax, and nothing resulted from it. To suggest by running a story that there was something nefarious about it was unfair. But in today's politically charged media world, the meeting became an immediate sensation as part of a narrative -- pushed by the media and Democrats -- suggesting that the Trump campaign illegally colluded with Russia .

I have nothing to add to this masterful analysis save to say that the fact that Mueller is continuing to ask questions about a meeting at which exactly nothing happened is testimony to the hollowness of the whole collusion narrative the investigation of which Mueller's inquiry is supposed to be about.

Summary

When Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel I welcomed his appointment. What I had heard about Mueller suggested that he would be a safe pair of hands who would put the whole preposterous Russiagate conspiracy theory to bed. It is with frank embarrassment that I repeat what I wrote about him at the time of his appointment

.it is essential that with Comey gone the Russiagate investigation is put in the charge of a safe pair of hands, and of someone who will not be seen as the President's defender, and whose eventual findings are accepted, and Mueller seems by most accounts to be the sort of person to do that ..

Mueller appears to be a good choice for the job. He was a well regarded FBI director, staying in post from 2001 – when he was appointed by George W. Bush – until his retirement in 2013, when Comey replaced him. During that period he resisted the George W. Bush administration's attempts to introduce interrogation methods since characterised as torture as part of the so-called 'war on terror'. As someone well known to the staff of the FBI, he looks like the obvious person to do the job, and to steady the ship, and – hopefully – to bring some sanity to this investigation.

Mueller's job will now be to bring order to the mess Comey has created, and to bring the various investigations into Russiagate that Obama's Justice Department initiated to a proper close. If he does his job properly – and if he is left alone to do it – it should all be over by the summer.

It has long since become clear that far from Mueller being the safe pair of hands I took him for, he is someone who sees his task as protecting the Justice Department and the FBI (which he largely built up) from someone who he obviously considers to be an angry and potentially vengeful President. His proposed questions show that he still has the President in his sights, and that Mueller is pulling out all the stops to bring him down.

Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to Mueller's investigation as a witch-hunt, and he is right. The questions Mueller is seeking to ask Trump confirm as much.

[May 03, 2018] Skripal case British confirm they have no suspect; Yulia Skripal vanishes, no word of Sergey Skripal by Alexander Mercouris

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Testimony by Sir Mark Sedwill, British Prime Minister Theresa May's National Security Adviser, to the House of Commons Defence Committee on 1st May 2018 has now revealed that all the claims about a breakthrough in the Skripal case – not to mention the claims about "Gordon" aka "Mihails Savickis" – were (as I suspected) nonsense. ..."
"... In other words the investigation is going nowhere and has drawn a complete blank. ..."
"... All this comes hot on the heels of suggestions – which are very likely true – that the wall of silence which has recently descended on the British media's reporting of the Skripal case is the product of a British government D-Notice , ie. of a formal request by the British government to the media to limit their coverage of the Skripal story on grounds of national security. ..."
"... It has also been suggested that despite formal denials the most likely reason for the D-Notice is the desire of the British authorities to conceal a possible connection between Sergey Skripal, his former MI6 controller Pablo Miller, and Christopher Steele, the compiler of the Trump Dossier. ..."
May 02, 2018 | theduran.com

Amidst speculation that British government has imposed reporting restrictions, British authorities admit they have no suspect in Skripal case

A week ago the British media were full of reports from the usual anonymous sources of a breakthrough in the Skripal case.

Allegedly the British authorities by comparing CCTV pictures from Salisbury and details of travellers to and from Britain had been to identify the persons who were supposedly responsible for the attack on Sergey and Yulia Skripal. These stories came with further stories of a Russian James Bond style assassin – "Gordon" aka "Mihails Savickis" – who together with his team had supposedly carried out the attack. The stories about "Gordon" aka "Mihails Savickis" came with a bizarre identikit picture supposedly of him, which was too ridiculous to take seriously.

In an article I wrote for The Duran on 24th April 2018 I expressed skepticism about these claims

.it looks to me as if despite all the claims to the contrary the police investigation of the Skripal case has made little actual progress. The British seem to have little more knowledge of who carried out the attack on Sergey and Yulia Skripal and why than they did when the investigation began. Could it possibly be because they are looking in the wrong place?

Testimony by Sir Mark Sedwill, British Prime Minister Theresa May's National Security Adviser, to the House of Commons Defence Committee on 1st May 2018 has now revealed that all the claims about a breakthrough in the Skripal case – not to mention the claims about "Gordon" aka "Mihails Savickis" – were (as I suspected) nonsense.

Here is how Sir Mark Sedwill's testimony is reported by The Guardian

Police and intelligence agencies have failed so far to identify the individual or individuals who carried out the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, the UK's national security adviser has disclosed.

The comments by Sir Mark Sedwill punctured hopes that the police and other security agencies had pinpointed suspects but were withholding the name or names from the public.

Asked by an MP at a Commons defence committee hearing if he knew the individuals responsible, he replied curtly: "Not yet."

Sedwill, who coordinates the work of the MI6, MI5, the surveillance agency GCHQ and others, did not elaborate but among problems that have hampered the agencies is a lack of CCTV coverage in Salisbury compared with London. Known Russian spies based in Britain have also been investigated and ruled out.

In other words the investigation is going nowhere and has drawn a complete blank.

All this comes hot on the heels of suggestions – which are very likely true – that the wall of silence which has recently descended on the British media's reporting of the Skripal case is the product of a British government D-Notice , ie. of a formal request by the British government to the media to limit their coverage of the Skripal story on grounds of national security.

It has also been suggested that despite formal denials the most likely reason for the D-Notice is the desire of the British authorities to conceal a possible connection between Sergey Skripal, his former MI6 controller Pablo Miller, and Christopher Steele, the compiler of the Trump Dossier.

There are even suggestions that Sergey Skripal may have had a hand in producing the Trump Dossier, and that this was the reason for the attack on him.

Whilst all this may be true, I have to say that Sergey Skripal – identified as a British spy by the Russians in 2004 and isolated from Russia in the leafy British town of Salisbury since 2010 – seems an unlikely source for the Trump Dossier, largely fictitious though that strange concoction is.

[May 03, 2018] Despite all the propaganda, all the hysterical headlines, all the blatantly biased coverage, the British haven't bought it

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Inside the Tent gatekeepers have relentlessly attacked those brave individuals who have questioned the official narratives, but its these individuals- smeared as 'crackpots' and 'conspiracy theorists' who the public are turning to for their analysis. ..."
"... After the lies told about Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya people no longer tamely accept what the NeoCon Establishment tells us. ..."
"... We're at an 'Emperor's New Clothes' moment in British politics where more and more people have found the courage to say out loud 'The Emperor has no clothes!'. ..."
"... The elite have been lying to us and they know that we know they've been lying. The question is: what are we going to do about it?" ..."
May 03, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 | May 2, 2018 4:52:58 PM | 174

Neil Clark's become quite the critic of the Neoconism rife within May's UK. His conclusion provides grounds for optimism:

"Despite all the propaganda, all the hysterical headlines, all the blatantly biased coverage, the British haven't bought it. Literally or metaphorically. Inside the Tent gatekeepers have relentlessly attacked those brave individuals who have questioned the official narratives, but its these individuals- smeared as 'crackpots' and 'conspiracy theorists' who the public are turning to for their analysis.

Compare the number of retweets the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray gets when he publishes on the Skripal case, with those who try and denigrate him. My own Twitter following has increased by several thousands since early March.

Citizen Halo got a big boost in followers after she was smeared by The Times. After the lies told about Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya people no longer tamely accept what the NeoCon Establishment tells us.

We're at an 'Emperor's New Clothes' moment in British politics where more and more people have found the courage to say out loud 'The Emperor has no clothes!'.

The elite have been lying to us and they know that we know they've been lying. The question is: what are we going to do about it?"

[May 01, 2018] I'm astonished that anyone would think that Putin doesn't understand the US or what is going on in the Syria theater.

Notable quotes:
"... Israel is annoying everyone in the Syrian theater. Note well that the scale of impact is in the "annoying" range. Kind of like the "bluster" of the US but even more constrained by forces on the ground all around it. ..."
"... No one in the region believes that Russia or Iran have failed at anything. Observers simply hope they have the good fortune to see the revenge, knowing that they may never know how Iran counters - if in fact it ever does. ..."
"... Russia is working to move the final resolution of Syria into political methods rather than military - this is very important to keep in mind with all appraisals of the situation. It's time to repeat that Russia is working for peace, not to win battles. The two efforts are very different, and create different tactics. ..."
"... I echo that feeling. The explosions in Hama and Aleppo, for which there still remains no official report, have kicked up rampant speculation and many strange comments on this site. ..."
"... The idea that Russia is all bluster, has no clue what's going on, has abandoned Syria, or that the whole Russian exercise is due to Putin "begging to be admitted in the Western Club," flies in the face of facts on the ground. ..."
"... Putin is where he says he is. He was already part of the club (G8) and he left because the club was filled with jackasses. Putin is forming his own club, with Xi. ..."
May 01, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved | Apr 30, 2018 9:24:11 PM | 107

Thanks to posters for links to Garrie on a possible "white hat" false flag and to Magnier for a plum-rich storytelling of how Israel is on the losing end of a shift in the balance of power, something that as yet it cannot admit to itself.

Israel is annoying everyone in the Syrian theater. Note well that the scale of impact is in the "annoying" range. Kind of like the "bluster" of the US but even more constrained by forces on the ground all around it.

I'm astonished that anyone would think that Putin doesn't understand the US or what is going on in the Syria theater. Russian commanders are in constant contact with all forces that bear on the situation, including those of the US, and Israel. And Putin has spelled out on numerous occasions - in interviews, from the Valdai Club, from his remarks directly to journalists and his people - what the empire is doing.

No one has lost face in this latest event, except Israel with Netanyahu's inane presentation, currently being called out as empty by Europeans.

No one in the region believes that Russia or Iran have failed at anything. Observers simply hope they have the good fortune to see the revenge, knowing that they may never know how Iran counters - if in fact it ever does.

Russia is working to move the final resolution of Syria into political methods rather than military - this is very important to keep in mind with all appraisals of the situation. It's time to repeat that Russia is working for peace, not to win battles. The two efforts are very different, and create different tactics.

With each situation that Russia confronts, from military attacks to diplomatic property seizures, Russia looks for the peace dividend. Armchair punters are watching one horse race, while Russia is looking decades down the road and asking what it takes to create stability that endures, out of each situation.

Don Bacon , Apr 30, 2018 10:13:44 PM | 113
@Grieved 107

Yes, some don't appreciate the giant step that Putin took moving into Syria to oppose The Leader Of The Free World™ with its president Obama threatening that Russians would soon be going home in body-bags.

But Russia survived and endured, and made a major point that right can win over might.

The strategy was brave and the tactics were revolutionary, including the busing of combatants away from combat. Credit where credit is due, Putin is a winner at home and abroad, as in Syria (and Crimea, BTW).

Activist Potato | May 1, 2018 1:04:41 AM | 123

"I'm astonished that anyone would think that Putin doesn't understand the US or what is going on in the Syria theater." Posted by: Grieved | Apr 30, 2018 9:24:11 PM | 107

I echo that feeling. The explosions in Hama and Aleppo, for which there still remains no official report, have kicked up rampant speculation and many strange comments on this site.

The idea that Russia is all bluster, has no clue what's going on, has abandoned Syria, or that the whole Russian exercise is due to Putin "begging to be admitted in the Western Club," flies in the face of facts on the ground.

Putin is where he says he is. He was already part of the club (G8) and he left because the club was filled with jackasses. Putin is forming his own club, with Xi.

Castellio | May 1, 2018 1:14:02 AM | 125

Putin sees the west much more clearly than the west sees him.

[May 01, 2018] Smut Night at the Press Dinner by Pat Buchanan

May 01, 2018 | www.unz.com

Saturday's White House Correspondents' Association dinner, billed as a celebration of the First Amendment and a tribute to journalists who "speak truth to power," has to be the worst advertisement in memory for our national press corps.

Comedian Michelle Wolf, the guest speaker, recited one filthy joke after another at the expense of President Trump and his people, using words that would have gotten her kicked out of school not so long ago.

Media critic Howard Kurtz said he had "never seen a performance like that," adding that Wolf "was not only nasty but dropping F-bombs on live television." Some of her stuff was grungier than that.

The anti-Trump media at the black-tie dinner laughed and whooped it up, and occasionally "oohed" as Wolf went too far even for them, lending confirmation to Trump's depiction of who and what they are.

While the journalistic elite at the black-tie dinner was reveling in the raw sewage served up by Wolf, Trump had just wrapped up a rally in Michigan.

The contrast between the two assemblies could not have been more stark. We are truly two Americas now.

"Why would I want to be stuck in a room with a bunch of fake-news liberals who hate me?" said Trump in an email to supporters, adding that he would much rather "spend the evening with my favorite deplorables who love our movement and love America."

[May 01, 2018] What Robert Mueller Reportedly Wants To Ask Donald Trump HuffPost

The Deep State is still going after Trump, after all his concession to neocons. amazing staff. This is a clear attempt of entrapment, similar to one that worked in Flynn case
Notable quotes:
"... Read the full list here . ..."
"... This article has been updated with more details on the questions and Trump's changing legal team. ..."
May 01, 2018 | www.huffingtonpost.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller hopes to ask President Donald Trump dozens of open-ended questions as part of his inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Many of those questions , which were published by The New York Times on Monday, focus on determining if Trump obstructed justice through his firings of FBI Director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn, or his attempts to fire Mueller himself, among other events. "What efforts were made to reach out to Mr. Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?" reads one of the queries supplied to the Times by an unnamed official separate from the president's legal team. "What consideration and discussions did you have regarding terminating the special counsel in June of 2017?" another asks. Read the full list here . The questions shed light on what's been a tight-lipped investigation and show Mueller is homing in on the president's behavior in office. Some of the inquiries hope to shed light on Trump's interactions, if there are any, with Russian officials or those connected to the Kremlin during the campaign. Trump himself has publicly said he'd be willing to talk with Mueller and has vehemently denied there was any collusion with the Russians during the campaign. He said in January he was " looking forward " to speaking with the special counsel. But the president's lawyers have cautioned against the interview and have sought to strictly limit the terms of any sit-down, worried that Trump could go off-script and end up making false statements. The Times noted that four people in the president's orbit have already pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators. The questions obtained by the Times are said to be the result of months of negotiations between the special counsel and Trump's squadron of lawyers. The Times noted that the back and forth led to Mueller providing his ideal list to Trump's former lead lawyer in the Russia inquiry, John Dowd, in March. Dowd, who had urged Trump to reject any request for an interview in the investigation, was reportedly even more wary about a meeting after seeing the list. But the lawyer resigned later in March amid reports that his relationship with the president had frayed and that Trump planned to ignore his advice. Dowd was replaced last week by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani . Trump has ramped up his criticism of the special counsel's office in recent weeks following FBI raids at the home and offices of his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen. "It's a total witch-hunt . I've been saying it for a long time," Trump said at the time. The president, however, has since moved to distance himself from Cohen, saying on "Fox & Friends" last week that the lawyer handled only a " tiny, tiny little fraction " of his overall legal work. Mueller's list of questions also includes some involving Cohen's business deals in Moscow, according to the Times. This article has been updated with more details on the questions and Trump's changing legal team.

[Apr 30, 2018] They got Putin by the balls with russia histing the Would Cup or something more complex is playing out in Syria and Iran

Apr 30, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Apr 30, 2018 3:53:05 PM | 45

Putin blocking the delivery of S-300 in Syria against the demands of the Russian Military

This was discussed by Putin with General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on April 20. The Russian military, they told the President, want the go-ahead to deploy S-300 missile batteries to cover Syrian and Iranian forces against US and Israeli attack from the air. They believe Israeli threats to attack the S-300 batteries as soon as they are operational are a bluff which Russia must call if Russia's positions in Syria, and Iran itself, are not to come under subsequent attack from the American-Israeli combination. Testing the threat in Syria, they argue, is the less threatening, less costly option than encouraging the Americans and Israelis to prepare their
offensive against Iran. Putin won't agree.

To respond to Putin's reluctance, the General Staff and the Defence Ministry have devised a step short of the S-300, but with potentially enough defensive power to intercept or deter American and Israeli air attacks. This is the deployment of more Russian electronic warfare systems with the capacity to jam the surveillance, targeting, fire control and command signals on which the attackers rely. It is the Samson Haircut option – deprive the giant of control of his firepower, blind him.

Silently, Putin has decided to protect Deripaska; not to call the US attack on Rusal an act of war; and to test the Americans with an offer of armistice. International bankers close to Russian business believe it is a Russian illusion that an armistice with the US can be anything but temporary; pursuing it is a miscalculation of US intentions, the sources add. They warn that new attacks will come.

http://johnhelmer.net/the-samson-haircut-option-one-step-before-russia-opens-fire-on-american-israeli-forces/#more-19116

Putin Reportedly "Ready For Deep Concessions", Seeks Deal With Trump

He understands Russia can't compete with the West economically and he doesn't plan to go to war with the West.

Kremlin has ordered officials to curb their anti-U.S. rhetoric.

Putin's decision explains why lawmakers Monday suddenly pulled a draft law that would've imposed sweeping counter-sanctions on U.S. companies, two of the people said.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-18/putin-reportedly-ready-deep-concessions-seeks-deal-trump

Russian Senators to soften counter sanctions against US

RBC: Russian senators to water down Moscow's response to US sanctions. Two Federation Council members told the newspaper that the final version of the amendments to the 'anti-sanctions' bill initiated by State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and leaders of all parliamentary factions, will be "quite mild."

http://tass.com/pressreview/1001647

Russia not to take action against US diplomatic property - diplomat

More:
http://tass.com/politics/1002504

frances , Apr 30, 2018 4:02:55 PM | 48
Passer by | Apr 30, 2018 3:53:05 PM | 45
I believe Putin is playing for time. The March 1 weaponry display didn't include production numbers but I think it is a safe bet they don't exist in sufficient numbers..yet.

So US&Co have a small window left to create hell on earth for as many as possible and they IMO will hit Iran before the football playoffs that Putin so wants to go smoothly.

I would assume Iran is/was responsible for Iranian defense of these sites so I am surprised they didn't respond, maybe there was no time?? Couldn't Russia have warned them?? And does anyone know what weaponry the Russians brought into Syria recently under cover of smoke?

imoverit , Apr 30, 2018 4:20:46 PM | 55
@ frances

I think the World Cup is playing a big role in the decision making as you have said. There is a lot at stake: investments already made and international exposure also. I can't wait for it to be finished so we can get back to war !! (sarc)

karlof1 , Apr 30, 2018 4:45:37 PM | 61
Et al--

Russia began its Syria intervention with an S-400 deployed in Latakia and has introduced several more since, one being in Sept 2017 . Syria also has the BUK-M2E AA system and the Pantsir to go with its older and upgraded S-200 systems along with who knows what else. Just what was off loaded from Russian supply vessels under the cover of smoke last week (don't know if such veiling's continuing)? My guess is more AA systems of the type causing Zionists on both sides of Atlantic to freakout.

As for the Zionists attacking Iranian military bases, those Iran uses in Syria are joint-use with Syria regardless of what's said by Zionists; so, any such attack will need to be aimed at Iran proper. The consequences for the region would be horrible--particularly for Zionists and Saudis: Dimona would be leveled as would Saudi oil infrastructure. The fallout and other pollution would be appalling. If the Zionists want to keep their skin, they'll arrest Nutty before he gets his get-out-of-jail war started.

Zionists know they've lost and are contained and constrained, so they're moving into desperation mode. Too bad they lack the courage to put a pistol to their head and pull the trigger.

Jayhawk2018 , Apr 30, 2018 6:03:45 PM | 78
Russia could easily give Syria the s300 system. But Putin clearly does not want to hurt his buddy Netanyahu's feelings. They are always so chummy you can see there is a mutual respect between them whenever they meet. Russia is only in Syria to fight terrorism. They will obviously not confront Israel and go to war, and that is of course, understandable. But whats even worse is that they seem to refuse to give Syria/Iran the means to defend themselves from Israeli attacks.

If its true Putin is blocking the delivery himself against the request of the Russian Army, that is even more shameful. I guess in terms of preventing a World War, it is good that Putin is chummy with Netanyahu. However a regional war is looking very likely at this point. Unfortunately the only way Israel will learn is by being smashed in the teeth. I'm sure in time Syria, Iran or Hezbollah will have to teach them another lesson.

Pft , Apr 30, 2018 6:50:46 PM | 81
A lot of Russian oligarchs are dual Israeli or American -Russian citizens. Even in the Soviet era while they provided just enough support to prevent the Arab countries from being totally defeated they stopped short of giving them enough to threaten Israel or defeat them. Putin has made peace with a number of the oligarchs that remain in Russia but he has to take care not to get the pro Israeli -US faction riled or threaten their overseas financial interests which Trump has threatened to do with sanctions targeted at the oligarchs

So Russia will prevent Syria from being totally overwhelmed but concede the US the northeast oil rich fields and Israel gets the gas fields in Golan. They will allow isolated missile attacks and bombing by US and Israel that both resort to for show to appease their hawks. In the meantime if Assad has an accident or gets overthrown due to economic reasons then israel and US may get their puppet state and Russia/Iran may exit. Then on to Lebanon and Iran.

Wars are not fought to be won anymore. They are fought to be long lasting. Perpetual War Abroad is Peace at Home

[Apr 30, 2018] Stormy Daniels Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Trump Zero Hedge

Apr 30, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Stormy Daniels' legal team - led by lawyer Michael Avenatti - must be getting bored since a federal judge in Los Angeles ordered a 90-day delay of her lawsuit against President Trump and his former personal attorney Mike Cohen (who has promised to plead the fifth during the proceedings). Because Stormy has filed another defamation lawsuit, this time exclusively against President Trump, as Reuters reports.

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in New York on Monday, seeks damages from Trump for a tweet he sent earlier this month where he criticized a composite sketch that, Daniels said, depicted a man who had threatened her in 2011. He reportedly demanded that she stay quiet about her sexual encounter with Trump. That would've been around the time she gave an interview about her affair with Trump to In Touch magazine which wasn't published until recently.

Her previous lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, sought to have her released from an NDA she signed shortly before the 2016 vote where she also accepted a $130,000 "hush money" payment from Cohen.

"A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!," Trump said.

me title=

According to the filing, cited by the Associate Press and Reuters, the tweet was "false and defamatory" arguing that Trump knew what he was saying out Daniels' claim was false and also disparaging.

The lawsuit also claims Daniels has been exposed to death threats and other threats of "physical violence."

Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.

"We intend on teaching Mr. Trump that you cannot simply make things up about someone and disseminate them without serious consequences," Avenatti said.

As the Associated Press points out, Daniels, aided by Avenatti, has sought to keep her case in the public eye. She revealed the sketch that Trump mocked during an appearance on the View earlier this month. Trump is facing another defamation lawsuit in New York, this one filed by Summer Zervos, a former "The Apprentice" contestant who says Trump made unwanted sexual contact with her in 2007. She sued him after Trump dismissed her claims. 0


Slippery Slope -> JimmyJones Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:23 Permalink

When does her 15 minutes end?

bobbbny -> Bitchface-KILLAH Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:24 Permalink

Just like herpes she won't go away.

beepbop -> bobbbny Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:25 Permalink

The LAWSUITS will keep on coming

until Trump agrees to Satanyahoo's ULTIMATUM

of destroying SYRIA and IRAN.

TheWholeYearInn -> beepbop Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:29 Permalink

" Now, that your tastes at this time should incline towards the juvenile is understandable; but for you to marry that boy would be a disaster. Because there's two kinds of women. There are two kinds of women and you, as we well know, are not the first kind. You, my dear, are a slut. "

~Komarovsky

Ghost of Porky -> TheWholeYearInn Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:33 Permalink

Stormy's parents are Trump supporters and Stormy hates them.

This is all a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Shitonya Serfs -> Ghost of Porky Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:34 Permalink

"you cannot simply make things up about someone and disseminate them without serious consequences"

#MeToo

Bitchface-KILLAH -> Stan522 Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:27 Permalink

Monica Lewinsky... good family, intern... major credibility problems according to MSM.

Stormy Daniels... washed up porno actress... MSM "sure we'll roll with that"

tmosley Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:22 Permalink

She literally sketched her old boyfriend.

That will happen when you are describing what someone who doesn't exist looks like. You picture someone you know and make them look like that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy9Z-Tg6ufU

ZH FNG Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

On an earlier Stormy story, someone posted these words of wisdom about intimacy:

A gentleman never talks,

And a whore never shuts up.

jmack Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

"We intend on teaching Mr. Trump that you cannot simply make things up about someone and disseminate them without serious consequences," Avenatti said.

oh the irony.

sister tika Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

This cow makes me nauseous. She's a pathetic, has-been punch whose only motivation is (more) money.

Mzhen Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

Communication purportedly from Stormy to a friend, where she again denied the sex ever happened.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbtS8LdTUfI&t=336s

Fox-Scully Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:28 Permalink