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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

US and British media are servants of security apparatus,
which in turn serves banks, oil and military industrial complex

“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”  ~ CIA Director William Casey
 

News Color revolutions Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte Demonization of Putin Neoliberal newspeak
NeoMcCartyism UK Government, MI6 and "Integrity Initiative" MSM as fake news industry NYT degeneration into a deep state stooge Wapo, the voice  of CIA The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Edward Lucas as agent provocateur
MSM censorship aka "controlling the narrative" Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality British elite hypocrisy Demonization of Trump and "Trump is insane" meme Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Woodward insinuations Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Wolff revelations Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources The importance of controlling the narrative What's the Matter with Kansas
Neo-fascism Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? False Flag Operations Lewis Powell Memo Diplomacy by deception Groupthink Big Uncle is Watching You
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Manifactured consent Nation under attack meme
Soft propaganda Classic Papers  Nineteen Eighty-Four Propaganda Quotes   Humor Etc

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given, rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content. If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion. Have a pleasant evening.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015

Journalists manipulate us in the interest of the Powerful

Do you also have the feeling, that you are often manipulated by the media and  lied to? Then you're like the majority of Germans. Previously it was considered as a "conspiracy theory". Now it revealed by an Insider, who tells us what is really happening under the hood.

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag

In 2014, German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, former director of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published groundbreaking book “Gekaufte Journalisten”, (Journalists for Hire), in which he documented relentless pressure of the CIA to lie about event, especially event  of geopolitical importance.  Unfortunately he died soon after publishing the book so it  did not get any follow-up from Udo.  Here is one  quote from the book Udo wrotes (Google translation):

Novadays, our" alpha journalists " suffer from complete memory atrophy. For some reason, they cannot or at least do not want to recall today the lofty expressions in which they sang to us the war in Iraq or the military mission in Afghanistan. As they noticed the financial crisis and the collapse of the Euro only when every citizen has long suffered from their consequences. And when a passenger plane crashed over Ukraine in 2014, they were eager to immediately send our soldiers on a military mission against Russia, although it was not yet clear who was responsible for the crash. To prevent bloodshed by demanding more bloodshed is the principle of murderers. In Iraq alone, this is evidenced by the more than 100,000 civilians killed, who lost their lives there because our media – with very few exceptions – were in a state of hallucination caused by a drug overdose, describing with such unbridled glee the need for war in Iraq and thus bringing it closer to its beginning.

So who or what controls our insane mainstream media? Do our leading journalists actually take drugs? Or does this systematic madness have completely different reasons? Maybe there are propaganda specialists behind it? In the old days, such an assumption would probably have been dismissed as another "conspiracy theory." But today we know that journalists of respected media are the main goal of manipulators who seek to impose their interpretation of events taking place in the world through the messages of our media. So work, first of all, the us government and the Israelis. There are even handbooks that describe how to influence the quality MSM.

One thing is clear: those who work in respected media should be extremely cautious about groups lobbying for someone's interests, including American and Israeli. As we will soon see, some journalists do the exact opposite. Obviously, they feel great in the web-especially in the web of American and Israeli groups of influence. Yes, and they boast that they gave to confuse yourself in this web, proudly mentioning his "membership" in a very suspicious way.

But other  authors wrote several interesting follow-up articles. Some of then touched  this topic even before the book was published. One  example is the article US and British media are servants of security apparatus in which Greenwald explains why US and British media are so one sided (RT, Dec 27, 2013):

Dec 27, 2013 | RT News

...When Greenwald and his colleagues began working with Snowden, he said they realized that they’d have to act in a way that wasn’t on par with how the mainstream media has acted up until now.

We resolved that we were going to have to be very disruptive of the status quo — not only the surveillance and political status quo, but also the journalistic status quo,” Greenwald said. “And I think one of the ways that you can see what it is that we were targeting is in the behavior of the media over the past six months since these revelations have emerged almost entirely without them and despite them.”

[W]e knew in particular that one of our most formidable adversaries was not simply going to be the intelligence agencies on which we were reporting and who we were trying to expose, but also their most loyal, devoted servants, which calls itself the United States and British media.”

It really is the case that the United States and British governments are not only willing but able to engage in any conduct no matter how grotesque,” Greenwald said.

Nevertheless, he added, journalists tasked with reporting on those issues have all too often been compliant with the blatant lies made by officials from those governments.

Halfway through his remarks, Greenwald recalled a recent quip he made while being interviewed by BBC about the necessity of a functioning media in an environment where government officials can spew untruths to reporters without being questioned.

[A]t one point I made what I thought was the very unremarkable and uncontroversial observation that the reason why we have a free press is because national security officials routinely lie to the population in order to shield their power and get their agenda advanced,” recalled Greenwald, who said it is both the “the goal and duty of a journalist is to be adversarial to those people in power.”

According to Greenwald, the BBC reporter met his remark with skepticism.

I just cannot believe that you would suggest that senior officials, generals in the US and the British government, are actually making false claims to the public,” he remembered being told on-air.

It really is the central view of certainly American and British media stars, that when — especially people with medals on their chest who are called generals, but also high officials in the government — make claims that those claims are presumptively treated as true without evidence. And that it’s almost immoral to call them into question or to question their voracity,” he said.

Obviously we went through the Iraq War, in which those very two same governments specifically and deliberately lied repeatedly to the government, to their people, over the course of two years to justify an aggressive war that destroyed a country of 26 million people. But we’ve seen it continuously over the last six months as well.”

From there, he went on to cite the example of US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who earlier this year made remarks to Congress that were quickly proved false by documents leaked to Greenwald by Mr. Snowden. The very first National Security Agency document he was shown, Greenwald said,

revealed that the Obama administration had succeeded in convincing court, a secret court, to compel phone companies to turn over to the NSA every single phone record of every single telephone call.”

Clapper “went to the Senate and lied to their faces...which is at least as serious of a crime as anything Edward Snowden is accused of," Greenwald added.

But DNI Clapper aside, Greenwald said that the established media continues to reject the notion that government officials spew lies. Snowden’s NSA documents have exposed those fibs on more than one occasion, he noted, yet reporters around the world continue to take the word of officials as fact rather than dig from the truth.

Their role is not to be adversarial. Their role is to be loyal spokespeople to those powerful factions that they pretend to exercise oversight,” Greenwald said.

But as the US, UK and other governments continue to feed the media lies, Greenwald said their operations are far from being single-pronged. The US

knows that its only hope for continuing to maintain its regiment of secrecy behind which it engages with radical and corrupt acts is to intimidate and deter and threaten people who are would-be whistleblowers and transparency activists from coming forward and doing what it is that they do by showing them that they’ll be subjected to even the most extreme punishments and there’s nothing that they can do about it,” he said. “And it’s an effective tactic.”

Ironically, he added, those nations are “fueling the fire of this activism with their own abusive behavior.”

... ... ...

The NSA’s goal, Greenwald said, is to “ensure that all forms of human communication . . .are collected, monitored, stored and analyzed by that agency and by their allies.”

Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte
A frightening book, but at the right time!

In 2014, German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, former director of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, author of the book “Gekaufte Journalisten”, (Journalists for Hire), denounced European media who write lies under pressure from the CIA. An English translation now is available but is very expensive

Here are Google translations of reviews from German Amazon site:

Christian Döring HALL OF FAME REZENSENT TOP 50 REZENSENT VINE-product tester 18. September 2014

Ulfkotte has in the last few years, several very readable books on social issues. Long ago, I agree with all agree with this now this I agree with him completely!

At the latest since the beginning of the Ukraine-conflict, I am frequently asked, who owns the journalists on the many channels, the me all the absolute truth declare? Sure, each individual with its very subjective truth, and the he also conceded, because, this is human. But journalists against money only say or write, what the donors have to hear or want to read, this is demokratiegefährdend!

Scary is when you read that the author not only describes individual cases, but how a whole System was set up. It's called the horse and rider.

After reading it, I am a little helpless around. What can I such a concentrated Power, purchased journalists, in turn, Lobbyistenfilz hang oppose? Ulfkotte advises you to quota and the requirement to spoil. Is this feasible?

In all cases, you should take the information from this book into his brain inside. At the next newscast must be clear: The recently aufgetischte is just one of the many truths! If you really want to be well informed will have today on the way to messages of different channels to compare, so it will have different truths. In my opinion, it is not only a news source to be trusted.

Udo Ulfkotte has my good faith of the sellers to the Guild of journalists thoroughly destroyed!

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that, he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has worked. Before the author of the secret networks of Power revealed, he exercises consistently self-criticism. It is documented here for the first Time, as he is for his coverage in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung lubricated and the corruption was promoted. And he reveals why opinion leaders tendentious reports and as the extended Arm of the NATO press office wars medial prepared. As a matter of course was also the author of into the networks of American elite level organizations included, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn, in what industry lobby organisations which journalists are represented. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which our media propaganda one-sided influence, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. To be revealed in addition, the intelligence backgrounds of the lobby groups, the Propagandatechniken and the forms, with which, for example, at the US Embassy funding for projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany is able to retrieve.

If the CIA pretends to, what is written

Can you imagine that Geheimdienstmitarbeiter in editorial writing, which would then be in the editorial section under the name of well-known journalists to be published? Do you know which journalists which media for their coverage were smeared? And you have a rough idea of how renowned journalism prizes" to be awarded? Because it goes in the Background as the former honors the "heroes of work" in the former East Germany as propaganda work excellent. From the journalists to the propagandists, it is not far. If you read this book, you are our Newspapers with very different eyes to see the TV more often, simply relax and also know what the Radio is still able to believe: almost nothing. Because Ulfkotte also writes a lot of attention to which transmitter which political party and which journalists like to be influenced. You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Stevie  TOP 500 REVIEWER on may 18. September 2014

As the networks (and the American influence in this), our messages to manipulate, and how journalists "sold"!

Perhaps surprised the a* or other why of the "quality media" in certain topics of the same opinion (at best in light shades)?! "The Euro is good for Germany, Eurorettungspakete are necessary to stabilize the Eurozone, We need a free trade agreement, and Germany will benefit the most (Why write the press hardly content about TTIP and not even as good as over TISA!???), USA is good, Russia is bad, sanctions against Russia are necessary ... etc ... also the reporting on the BNP-espionage affair was more than one-sided. Why is mostly written, that politicians are listening – what is with the Monitoring of the whole population???, ...

Here In the present volume: 1 (of a total of 3 planned volumes) is about, what is the secret networks of our flood control. The topic – such as the "quality media" to influence public opinion or to have a massive influence - is for gutinformierte citizens is certainly not new and was also publicly a couple of times already taken up for example by the ZDF-Satiresendung "The institution" (in shipment from the 29. Apri 2014) or in the ARTE documentary "Used and controlled" (2006), or in the doctoral thesis of Uwe Krueger "Meinungsmacht. The influence of elites on key media and Alpha-journalists - a critical analysis of networks" or in Andreas Elter – The Kriegsverkäufer: history of US Propaganda 1917-2005, etc read more... "

champmerle on 6. October 2014

more transparency in the media is required

When you Open the newspaper, the reader will hardly be inspired, in the press building a significant degree of corruption present. After the sheet comes with one but unobtrusive presentation, therefore, and is apparently as a reputable, long-established newspaper. But when you read the new book by Ulfkotte turns very quickly, the perceived seriousness as a pure Illusion, as the Fata Morgana.

From autobiographical reasons sets Ulfkotte his Kritikschwerpunkt of what is going on in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, but also in other Newspapers such as the Süddeutsche, the time or the world will remain not ungeschont.

What is it about?

The charge ranges from Compose or approve of Gefälligkeitsberichten bestochener correspondents, concrete influence of the secret service BND, linkages of Zeitungsgrößen with elite circles such as the Atlantic bridge or the Bilderbergern and on the other hand, the prevention of the documentation which is tangible scandals reveal. Also from Overreaching by Advertisers is the speech.

Throughout acts the written composition as a clear provocation, and virtually every accusation put forward in the Annex shows. It is remarkable, that in many cases specific name to be called.

It now remains to be seen whether the German "key media" an open discussion of the criticisms Ulfkottes. An analysis was spared, it would be in my eyes an indication of the Declaration of bankruptcy of the above-mentioned Pressehäuser.
Personally, I wish I was basically the survival of the newspaper publishers, these are a part of our culture, it is also a very important factor the maintenance of employment.

This assumes, however, that immediately a total reorientation in the nature of the information gathering and processing are entering. Interessensunabhängigkeit the content and balance of the published articles are essential, honesty, openness and credibility are the standards.

Edgar Hülswitt - All my reviews reputation

This review is from: Bought journalists (Hardcover)

If only the lie can save us, so it is, we are lost." (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Genevan philosopher, educator, writer, and musician 1712 – 1778)

Why is it that now only every 3. German confidence in the so-called "quality media", yet only 15% of us politicians trust, 63% of their Faith in an objective and truthful Ukraine-reporting of German-speaking media have lost and with decreasing tendency, only 37% of the job description of journalists as a trustworthy recognise?

Perhaps the fact that one part of many media − in the sense of Wirtschaftslobbyisten, politicians and other (inter)national sponsors with increasingly zealous umgesetztem Gefälligkeitsjournalismus grossly exaggerated.

UDO ULFKOTTE: Purchased journalists

Perhaps there are many German slowly just suffering, from such quality media ‒ for which you also have to pay expensive must be wrong and/or subjectively informed, lied to and to be influenced? Adults, responsible citizens have a right to factual, unbiased information, and can well and happy on manipulative aufgehübschte interpretations lubricated journalists do without. With disgust and Frighten you can to the disenchantment of our extensively decorated elites to take note of and when you read the reading will be experience blue miracle, if the author step-by-step, page-by-page, line-by-line suggestive power plays and machinations revealed to us before the eyes causes, how shameless us politicians, intelligence agencies, lobbyists and moneyed with the help of Germany's mass media (to Ruin) steer.

The interest in the subject seems obvious unbroken, because since weeks already ranked the non-fiction book by Udo Ulfkotte: Purchased journalists remain on the front seats of the Spiegel bestseller list. Insider Udo Ulfkotte, obviously, has the nerve of the time taken. Never before were so many German citizens, politics and medienverdrossener. If the established media ‒ like the other day, including "THE WORLD" ‒ good advice, also Oil on the fire, pour in the "political" journalists with a platform for lurid provocations offer? Here, z. B. under the title "The German pot is boiling over with pent up anger", across the Board on Fears and Concerns of German citizens, ‒ the top-down as "Putinversteher, Vulgärpazifisten and defender of the Western world" denigrated , made fun of, and to rejoice in the round ridiculed: "The Lunatics in this country are always angry" and the audience smugly recommended that this Crazy easy "wegzulachen". Bad only that many citizens obviously now the last Laugh.

UDO ULFKOTTE: Purchased journalists

While Udo Ulfkotte committed, during his professional journalistic career in serious cover-up of the so-called free press and freedom of expression − from elitist lobbying clients was corrupted to his, wrapping both his partially still in German Medienwesen active former superiors and colleagues, as well as other well-known journalists and publicists, not only in noble Silence. No, you deny even any Motivation with regard to their activities with ignorance. And it gives the media at least at this point Believe, are also our well-established representatives of the people/students continue to conscientiously and diligently and endeavour to unwanted public criticism and Meinungsfindungen to prevent. Use but even their speeches to the turn of the year, especially to moral appeals, all all dissatisfied with care in the future-looking citizens from participating in demonstrations to warn, instead of yourself (self -) critical in itself to go and settle the allegations (even their own party members) after a possible complicity in the displeasure of many people. It does just education on the move - and backgrounds ‒ instead of ignorant paternalism and bürgerferner concealment always conspicuous to days chief problems ‒ Not. Click HERE to read what the author, both to the controversial socio-political issue as such, as well as to the handling of the recent events, has to say.

The interesting, 336 pages strong, demaskierende publication by Udo Ulfkotte: Purchased journalists (ISBN 978-3-86445-143-0) ‒ the chronic non-voters and/or voter apathy-suffering citizens in droves to the ballot should drive, as a hardcover at the Kopp Verlag for the price of € 22,95 appeared. You may also click at the end of the book announced a further two controversial publications on the media industry to be curious about.
lesemehrwert.de

M. Herrmann, 30. April 2015

Every reader must be his own to figure it out, It is here of many cases reported in which journalistic Output is not by the will to Wahrheitswiedergabe is characterized.

Instead, one finds Gefälligkeitstexte for Powerful from economy and politics. And not only in the newspaper with the bold letters, but also in those times that serious.

The Motivation is clear: career, personal benefits, conceit Elitetum.

What Mr. Ulfkotte reported, seems to me to be credible, especially when you Nachrichtenkonsum yourself open to questions.

One gets from the book is no quantitative statements about the shape: In the period from ... to ... were in the newspaper ... so many percent of the article glossed over. Or: We find an increase / decrease in tendenziöser reporting during ... .... This is also difficult to do, especially by an individual.

Therefore, it remains so up to you to assess whether he/she is equal to the entire German press for corrupt or holds only a share, whatever the size of the may be. A is in any case clear-at the latest after the reading of the "Purchased journalists"- caution and the question of "Who benefits?" is always appropriate.


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

Jul 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

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

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

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

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

Jack London, The Iron Heel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comey coordination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of Sperry's report here .


AI Agent , 4 minutes ago link

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

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

MoreFreedom , 8 minutes ago link

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

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

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

SgtShaftoe , 4 minutes ago link

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

dcmbuffy , 10 minutes ago link

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

J. Edgar Hoover

i at least agree with him on this one thought.

peippe , 9 minutes ago link

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

Playtime's Over , 8 minutes ago link

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

radar99 , 13 minutes ago link

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

SgtShaftoe , 8 minutes ago link

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

Indelible Scars , 13 minutes ago link

B-B-But Nadler said...

JaxPavan , 14 minutes ago link

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

JaxPavan , 13 minutes ago link

correction: GCHQ

JaxPavan , 6 minutes ago link

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

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

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

Stainless Steel Rat , 1 hour ago link

Three Things We Know For Sure

1. Trump did not collude with Russia

2. Mueller was sent on a witch hunt

3. Somebody's going under the bus

If not Comey, then who?

StiffLittleFinger , 39 minutes ago link

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

*in the meeting with Obama the day before

Equinox7 , 45 minutes ago link

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

valerie24 , 21 minutes ago link

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

carbonmutant , 1 hour ago link

Are Comey's phones being bugged?

punchasocialist , 43 minutes ago link

Does the DOJ investigate British agents? Serious question.

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

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

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

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

By Johanna Ross
in Edinburgh, Scotland
Special to Consortium News

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

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

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

Controversial BBC graphic seeking to link Corbyn to Russia.

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

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

Catalog of Smears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Integrity Initiative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Michael McNulty , July 18, 2019 at 05:52

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

Maz Palmer , July 17, 2019 at 15:02

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

Hopelb , July 17, 2019 at 21:52

Upvote!

Piotr Berman , July 17, 2019 at 14:55

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

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

James , July 17, 2019 at 14:22

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

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

Piotr Berman , July 17, 2019 at 16:11

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

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

Piotr Berman , July 17, 2019 at 16:45

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

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

Jeff Ewener , July 17, 2019 at 13:26

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

rosemerry , July 17, 2019 at 15:45

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

Hayman Fan , July 18, 2019 at 11:49

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

Richard Kuper , July 17, 2019 at 12:37

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

Eddie , July 17, 2019 at 12:36

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

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

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

Simeon Hope , July 17, 2019 at 13:05

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

Qui? , July 18, 2019 at 03:22

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

Truth first , July 17, 2019 at 11:37

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

Hayman Fan , July 18, 2019 at 07:28

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

dean 1000 , July 17, 2019 at 10:42

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

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

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

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

Ron Striebig , July 17, 2019 at 06:26

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

Que Nelle , July 17, 2019 at 05:52

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

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

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

Hayman Fan , July 17, 2019 at 02:51

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

Truth first , July 17, 2019 at 11:36

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

Simeon Hope , July 17, 2019 at 13:09

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

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

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

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

Piotr Berman , July 18, 2019 at 00:33

"You say communist and you reference China, "

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

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

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

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

Paul Merrell , July 17, 2019 at 23:40

@ "Hayman Fan"

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

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

ToivoS , July 16, 2019 at 22:54

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

David G , July 16, 2019 at 21:21

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

David G , July 16, 2019 at 21:07

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

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

David Miller , July 17, 2019 at 04:17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David G , July 17, 2019 at 15:27

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

Jeff Harrison , July 16, 2019 at 21:05

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

Maz Palmer , July 17, 2019 at 14:59

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

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

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

David Habakkuk , 16 July 2019 at 01:14 PM

Larry,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concluding his piece, 'b' wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pat,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This, I think, may now be happening.

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

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

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

Michael Weddle Follow Jul 15 · 3 min read

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

February 21, 2018

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

Dear Mr. Mueller:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very truly yours,

Vladimir Putin, President The Russian Federation

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

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

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

... ... ...

Requiem for 'Interference'

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

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

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

Judge to Mueller: Put Up or Shut Up

Mueller: Needs more time. (Flickr)

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

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

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

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

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

IRA Story a 'Stretch'

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Other Prong: Hacking the DNC

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

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

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

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

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

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


Carlos , July 17, 2019 at 12:52

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

cletus , July 17, 2019 at 05:29

just read your article at lewrockwell on 7/17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

michael weddle , July 16, 2019 at 22:41

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

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

Bailey , July 16, 2019 at 20:27

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

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

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

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

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

Vera Moldt , July 16, 2019 at 17:13

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

jaycee , July 16, 2019 at 14:08

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

Jeff Harrison , July 16, 2019 at 13:45

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

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

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

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

John Puma , July 16, 2019 at 12:36

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

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

Jill , July 16, 2019 at 13:06

This may be why NPR featured that story:

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

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

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

Chet Roman , July 16, 2019 at 13:12

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

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

Kieron , July 16, 2019 at 17:22

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

LarcoMarco , July 16, 2019 at 17:46

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

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

Eric32 , July 16, 2019 at 10:38

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

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

Al Pinto , July 16, 2019 at 09:43

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

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

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

michael , July 16, 2019 at 12:40

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

Blessthebeasts , July 16, 2019 at 13:28

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

AnneR , July 16, 2019 at 09:42

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

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

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

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

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

Ray McGovern , July 16, 2019 at 14:57

Dear AnneR,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best regards,

Ray

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 19:44

That sums things up precisely, Ray.

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

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

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

DW

AnneR , July 17, 2019 at 08:33

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

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

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

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

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

AnneR , July 17, 2019 at 14:08

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

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

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

ML , July 16, 2019 at 09:24

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

Skip Scott , July 16, 2019 at 10:19

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

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

Marko , July 16, 2019 at 07:31

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

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

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

Skip Scott , July 16, 2019 at 08:43

Wow! Thanks Marko. Here's the link.

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

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 09:37

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

Whatever happens, it will be wholey interesting times ahead.

DW

jmg , July 16, 2019 at 10:01

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

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

Eric32 , July 16, 2019 at 11:17

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

O Society , July 16, 2019 at 17:32

Marko, polo! Here it is:

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

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

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

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

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

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2019 at 18:15

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

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

jmg , July 16, 2019 at 07:13

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

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

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

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

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

-- -- –

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

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 07:10

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

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

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

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

The media have damned and convicted themselves.

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

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

DW

Allan , July 16, 2019 at 07:04

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

UserFriendly , July 16, 2019 at 05:18

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

Aiya , July 16, 2019 at 11:03

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Issue View our current issue Subscribe today and Save up to $129.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

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

Kamala Harris Wants to Kill Your Health Insurance

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

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

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

But I digress.

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

Joy Reid Blames Russia for Anti-Kamala Birtherism

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

Other issues:

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

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

Use as open thread ...

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


bjd , Jul 14 2019 13:30 utc | 1

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

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

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

One - bjt

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

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

karlof1 , Jul 15 2019 4:57 utc | 64

Aaron Mate says :

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

Intro to most recent In The Now:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

New York Times insinuated.

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

... ... ...

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

... ... ...

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

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

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net


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

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

Pitifully naive.

Al Moanee , says: July 6, 2019 at 8:27 pm GMT
@Per/Norway

The author is referring to WWI and the Balfour Declaration of Nov 1917 which indeed was drafted on behalf of Jewish Zionist interests who in return did their level best in bringing Wilson, who was long backed by NYC banking interests (hence the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 enacted on his watch), into the war which materially changed its dynamics and outcome.

A123 , says: July 6, 2019 at 10:32 pm GMT

The Ukraine in all this? I would think it a far bigger concern for Russia in any trilateral meeting.

Do not expect anything on the Ukraine in the near future. Trump wants the DNC to nominate guaranteed loser Biden. Then he can beat him senseless using 'Ukrainian tampering with U.S. elections' via Biden's family business interests (1).
_____

Now that the Mueller exoneration is complete, the door is open to improved U.S. – Russia relations. The important thing is looking at Putin's and Trump's actions , more so than their words.

Trump's words sound 'officially concerned' about Crimea. However, this is primarily for EU consumption. What actions has the Trump administration taken about Crimea? Little or nothing depending on how you score the matter. So tacit acknowledgement pending a quid pro quo .

Putin administration words (but not Putin himself) have said strong sounding things about Iran. However, there are no actions that support a deep relationship.
-- Russia sells munitions to Iran on a 'cash & carry' basis along with many other nations including Turkey. Russia and Israel have much stronger ties on the military equipment basis. Look at their recent joint sale of AWACS to India (2).
-- Russia continues to let the Israeli air force freely strike Iranian al'Hezbollah and al'Quds targets in Syria.

It looks like the quid pro quo arrangement will be Crimea for an Iranian exit from Syria. It's a deal that would help peace throughout the region.

PEACE
______

(1) https://www.thenation.com/article/joe-biden-ukraine-burisma-holdings/

(2) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-to-buy-2-more-awacs-worth-rs-5-7k-crore-from-israel/articleshow/67765253.cms

Priss Factor , says: July 6, 2019 at 10:33 pm GMT

Was Pat Robertson right about World War I?

https://israelpalestinenews.org/rothschild-reveals-crucial-role-ancestors-played-balfour-declaration-creation-israel/

A123 , says: July 6, 2019 at 11:08 pm GMT

But he is hampered by his "deep state", by Pompeo and Bolton; about the latter, Trump himself said that he wants to fight with the whole world. Presidents can't always remove the ministers from whom they want to get rid of – even the absolute monarchs of the past did not always succeed.

Actually, Trump is using Bolton against the deep state.

First and foremost, it is and advanced and skillful form of ' Good Cop – Bad Cop '. When Bolton says something and Trump openly disagrees, it places the Fake Steam Media complex in an untenable position. If they treat the story fairly, they embrace the anathema of saying positive things about Trump. But they do not have any options to twist the facts into their desired anti-American propaganda.

Secondarily, it also cleverly drives a wedge between two DNC factions:

-1- The true Clintonista believer, stricken by Trump Derangement Syndrome [TDS], will not accept anything less than Impeachment. Preferably followed by turning him over to the Fascist Stormtroopers of Antifa.
-2- Those with a less deranged view realise that a successful Impeachment process would generate President Pence. And, he would be much more likely to accept Bolton's advice. Perhaps Pence would pick Bolton to be Vice President.

Look at the circular firing squad that is forming up in the DNC nomination process to see how Trump's deliberate agitation of various factions is working in his favor. The TDS faction is winning and as a result the eventual DNC candidate will be unelectable.

PEACE

Rabbitnexus , says: July 7, 2019 at 2:49 am GMT
@AghaHussain sts plans have failed to materialise in Syria. The author here does a very good job of explaining Russia's position and between his and Saker's analyses your argument is kaput and only fools would buy it.

The Zionists went away empty handed with their visits to Russia and President Putin and if anything Russia's resistance to the Zionists has hardened lately.

People who have two dimensional thinking and a limited box of clues seem to think it is as simple as just saying no and digging their heels in but that way makes wars. Russia does not have the sort of power nor an insane leadership that it would take for that.

A123 , says: July 7, 2019 at 2:39 pm GMT
@animalogic to be rebuilt.

The best hope for an internal Iranian solution is IRGC enlightened self interest. A fairly bloodless replacement of Khameni with a general from the IRGC. It worked in Egypt and the world welcomed that military solution. One can be 99% certain that replacing Khameni would be just as welcome.

The new 'General Ayatollah in Chief' would have a free hand to disengage from Khameni's extremism. The economic recovery from ending sanctions would guarantee internal popularity. Think of it as MIGA, Make Iran Great Again , though they are unlikely to use that exact phrase.

PEACE

iendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website July 13, 2019 at 1:48 pm GMT

It's ludicrous to imagine that Russians are so wedded to the good life that they do not dare antagonise Amerikastan. What "good life" is this? Ask the pensioners struggling on a few thousand rubles a month how the hell they are supposed to manage. The luxuries enjoyed by the yuppies in Moscow (most of whom, fluently English speaking and firmly pro-Amerikastani, are a fifth column of Quislings) are not the life that the factory worker in Volgograd or the farmer outside St Petersburg will recognise.

Che Guava , says: July 13, 2019 at 3:42 pm GMT

Pres. Putin seems to be a pretty good person.

I want to sidetrack the thread to the matter of Edward Snowden.

Putin made a comment early on 'a strange young man'.

I understand exactly what he was saying. I am the same. No leaks. ht is a matter of honour.

OTOH, confronted by wall-to-wal evil bullshit as he was, I think he was not in the wrong (but have a little internal conflict on that, since the secrets 4 have to keep now are ooly technical and at times commercial, such a dilemna never arises.

In no situation would such be ethical.

he was sorry for Sowden's girlfriend, he dumped her. but, not long after, she was with him. Very romantic. Doubtless, Russian secret services had some role.

I like the happy ending there, it is very romantic.

Would make a great movie, but not possible from Hollywood, perhaps Russia could revive its moribund film industry?

Republic , says: July 13, 2019 at 3:44 pm GMT
@Malacaay

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/10-ways-russia-better-than-usa/

Anatoly Karlin published this two years ago:

10 ways Russia is better than the US

Agent76 , says: July 13, 2019 at 4:29 pm GMT

Oct 20, 2018 Putin: Russia Getting Rid Of US Dollar Matter Of National Security

Russian president Vladimir Putin: "That's what our American friends are doing. They're undermining trust in the dollar as a universal payment instrument and the main reserve currency."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4fECrSQ9ifM?feature=oembed

Jun 8, 2018 Putin hints at end of dollar system – Direct Line 2018

Vladimir Putin has held his 16th Direct Line Q&A on June 7th.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/z01S7lOq-qI?feature=oembed

AnonFromTN , says: July 13, 2019 at 6:28 pm GMT
@AmRusDebate t in 2014, and had gone so deep that there is no light at the end of the tunnel now. It is still used by the Empire as an annoying sore right next to Russia, but that's all it can be. It did not and could not deliver what the Empire was hoping for. The imperial planners never take into account the critical condition for their "color revolutions" to bring US-friendly compradores to power anywhere: the country in question must be rotten through and through. Thus, instead of useful sharp tools they get worthless pieces of shit. They are still trying to use an inevitable stink for their purposes, but that's the only use shit is good for.
AnonFromTN , says: July 13, 2019 at 6:56 pm GMT
@Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

It's not just Moscow yuppies. Visit any provincial city in Russia today and you'd see that it looks way better than it ever did in the USSR. There are cafes everywhere and lots of people in them spending serious money, because they can afford that. Drive on any road, in or between the cities, and you can see that the roads are in a better shape than they ever were, and there are lots of gas stations, cafes, and hotels along them, all doing brisk business. Russians have ten times more cars now than they had in the USSR, and they drive a lot.

RadicalCenter , says: July 13, 2019 at 7:04 pm GMT
@A123 be deployed right on Russia's border on yet another side. Russia would be readily bottled up and be denied the freedom to navigate through the surrounding waters. And it would be more vulnerable to land invasion from more points.

Russia should continue disentangling itself from US and US-Controller financial systems and institutions. Keep becoming more able to sustain its people without so many imports of foodstuffs and manufactured goods alike.

Far from giving up Crimea, Russia should bide its time and wait to retake the Donbass region or more when Ukraine collapses, breaks up, and/or is outright occupied by the US.

Ace , says: July 13, 2019 at 7:19 pm GMT
@A123

I rather doubt you're in any position to judge whether Khameni is a sociopath.

And your fixation on regime change is noted. The ultimate expression of Western arrogance: You, you benighted, retrograde, sociopathic worm, are not a fit chief executive of your nation so we have decided you must go. If we have to kill hundreds of thousands of your people that's just an unavoidable cost of our being the excellent people we are.

RadicalCenter , says: July 13, 2019 at 7:25 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain

Trump should put the warmongering establishment on the back foot by firing Bolton and hiring Tulsi Gabbard.

Watch the media contort itself deciding how to slander and attack a partly nonwhite "progressive" "pro-choice" woman who is also a veteran, LOL.

What if trump did this a month BEFORE the election?

Beefcake the Mighty , says: July 13, 2019 at 9:55 pm GMT
@Harbinger

Liberalism in the West today is similar to communism in the SU in the late 80's: a decrepit ideology that offers nothing to ordinary people and whose adherents are incapable of anything but mouthing the same rubbish over and over. It will similarly die a well-deserved death.

[Jul 13, 2019] The return of Weimar Berlin - Lawlessness, Inequality, Extremism, Divisiveness and Crime

Notable quotes:
"... You hypocrites! You build monuments for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors , we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of His messengers ..."
"... this entire Russian collusion meme seems as though it is an hysterical reaction to the spin put out by the Clinton political faction and their neoliberal enablers after their shocking loss in the 2016 Presidential election. ..."
"... the financial corruption and private pilfering using public power, money laundering and the kind of soft corruption that is rampant amongst our new elite is all there ..."
"... We are reassured and misled by the same kinds of voices that have always served the status quo and the monied interests, the think tanks, the so-called 'institutes,' and the web sites and former con men who offer a constant stream of thinly disguised propaganda and misstatements of principle and history. We are comforted by their lies. ..."
"... We wish to strike a deal with the Lord, and a deal with the Devil -- to serve both God and Mammon as it suits us. It really is that cliché. And it is so finely woven into the fabric of our day that we cannot see it; we cannot see that it is happening to us and around us. ..."
"... It has always been so, especially in times of such vanity and greed as are these. Then is now. There is nothing new under the sun. And certainly nothing exceptional about the likes of us in our indulgent self-destruction. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"He drew near and saw the city, and he wept for it saying, 'If you had only recognized the things that make for peace. But now you are blinded to them. Truly, the days will come when your enemies will set up barriers to surround you, and hem you in on every side. Then they will crush you into the earth, you and your children. And they will not leave one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the way to your salvation.'"

Luke 19:41-44

"You hypocrites! You build monuments for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of His messengers.'"

Matthew 23:29-30

...the results of the Senate GOP finding no evidence of 'collusion' with Russia by the Trump Administration to influence the results of the presidential election..

This last item is not surprising, because this entire Russian collusion meme seems as though it is an hysterical reaction to the spin put out by the Clinton political faction and their neoliberal enablers after their shocking loss in the 2016 Presidential election.

Too bad though, because the financial corruption and private pilfering using public power, money laundering and the kind of soft corruption that is rampant amongst our new elite is all there. And by there we mean on both sides of the fence -- which is why it had to take a back seat to a manufactured boogeyman.

... ... ...

There is a long road ahead before we see anything like a resolution to this troubling period in American political history.

We look back at other troubled periods and places, and either see them as discrete and fictional, a very different world apart, or through some rosy lenses of good old times which were largely benign and peaceful. We fail to see the continuity, the similarity, and the commonality of a dangerous path with ourselves. As they did with their own times gone by. Madness blinds its acolytes, because they wish it so. They embrace it to hide their shame.

We are reassured and misled by the same kinds of voices that have always served the status quo and the monied interests, the think tanks, the so-called 'institutes,' and the web sites and former con men who offer a constant stream of thinly disguised propaganda and misstatements of principle and history. We are comforted by their lies.

People want to hear these reassuring words of comfort and embrace it like a 'religion,' because they do not wish to draw the conclusions that the genuine principles of faith suggest (dare we say command in this day and age) in their daily lives. They blind themselves by adopting a kind of a schizoid approach to life, where 'religion' occupies a discrete, rarefied space, and 'political or economic philosophy' dictates another set of everyday 'practical' observances and behaviors which are more pliable, and pleasing to our hardened and prideful hearts.

We wish to strike a deal with the Lord, and a deal with the Devil -- to serve both God and Mammon as it suits us. It really is that cliché. And it is so finely woven into the fabric of our day that we cannot see it; we cannot see that it is happening to us and around us.

And so we trot on into the abyss, one exception and excuse and rationalization for ourselves at a time. And we blind ourselves with false prophets and their profane theories and philosophies.

As for truth, the truth that brings life, we would interrupt the sermon on the mount itself, saying that this sentiment was all very well and good, but what stocks should we buy for our portfolio, and what horse is going to win the fifth at Belmont? Tell us something useful, practical! Oh, and can you please fix this twinge in my left shoulder? It is ruining my golf game.

"Those among the rich who are not, in the rigorous sense, damned, can understand poverty, because they are poor themselves, after a fashion; they cannot understand destitution. Capable of giving alms, perhaps, but incapable of stripping themselves bare, they will be moved, to the sound of beautiful music, at Jesus's sufferings, but His Cross, the reality of His Cross, will horrify them. They want it all out of gold, bathed in light, costly and of little weight; pleasant to see, hanging from a woman's beautiful throat."

Léon Bloy

No surprise in this. It has always been so, especially in times of such vanity and greed as are these. Then is now. There is nothing new under the sun. And certainly nothing exceptional about the likes of us in our indulgent self-destruction.

Are you not entertained?

[Jul 13, 2019] Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like Mueller and his team were extremely sloppy and just milked the US government and try to feed rumors to the media.
Mueller emerged as a stooge of Clinton mafia.
Notable quotes:
"... In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge. ..."
"... The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report. ..."
"... On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them. ..."
"... Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7. ..."
"... the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions. ..."
"... But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment: ..."
"... By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government. ..."
"... But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. ..."
"... Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence. ..."
"... I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out. ..."
"... The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner. ..."
"... a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .) ..."
"... Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ ) ..."
"... 'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.' ..."
"... Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.' ..."
"... It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017. ..."
"... Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding). ..."
"... Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team. ..."
"... The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko. ..."
"... A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

In the criminal case against alleged Russian operatives--Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting LLC--a Federal judge has declared that Robert Mueller has not offered one piece of solid evidence that these defendants were involved in any way with the Government of Russia. I think this is a potential game changer.

The world of law as opposed to the world of intelligence is as different as Mercury and Mars. The intelligence community aka IC can traffic in rumor and speculation. IC "solid" intelligence may be nothing more than the strident assertion of a source who lacks actual first hand knowledge of an event. The legal world does not enjoy that kind of sloppiness. If a prosecutor makes a claim, i.e., Jack shot Jill, then said prosecutor must show that Jack owned a firearm that matches the bullets recovered from Jill's body. Then the prosecutor needs to show that Jack was with Jill when the shooting took place and that forensic evidence recovered from Jack showed he had fired a firearm. Keep this distinction in mind as you consider what has transpired in the case against the Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting.

To understand why Judge Friedrich ruled as she did you must understand Local Rule 57.7. That rule: restricts public dissemination of information by attorneys involved in criminal cases where

"there is a reasonable likelihood that such dissemination will interfere with a fair trial or otherwise prejudice the administration of justice." It also authorizes the court "[i]n a widely publicized or sensational criminal case" to issue a special order governing extrajudicial statements and other matters designed to limit publicity that might interfere with the conduct of a fair trial. . . .

The rule prohibits lawyers associated with the prosecution or defense from publishing, between the time of the indictment and the commencement of trial, "[a]ny opinion as to the accused's guilt or innocence or as to the merits of the case or the evidence in the case."

In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge.

The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report.

On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them.

Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7.

Judge Friedrich gave Concord a partial victory:

Although the Court agrees that the government violated Rule 57.7 , it disagrees that contempt proceedings are an appropriate response to that violation. Instead, the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions.

But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment:

The Special Counsel Report describes efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. . . . But the indictment . . . does not link the defendants to the Russian government. Save for a single allegation that Concord and Concord Catering had several "government contracts" (with no further elaboration), id. ¶ 11, the indictment alleges only private conduct by private actors.

. . . the concluding paragraph of the section of the [Mueller] Report related to Concord states that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA). By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government.

Similarly, the Attorney General drew a link between the Russian government and this case during a press conference in which he stated that "[t]he Special Counsel's report outlines two main efforts by the Russian government to influence the 2016 election." . . . The "[f]irst" involved "efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations." Id. The "[s]econd" involved "efforts by Russian military officials associated with the GRU," a Russian intelligence agency, to hack and leak private documents and emails from the Democratic Party and the Clinton Campaign.

The Report explains that it used the term "established" whenever "substantial, credible evidence enabled the Office to reach a conclusion with confidence." . . . It then states in its conclusion that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by the IRA." In context, this statement characterizes the evidence against the defendants as "substantial" and "credible," and it provides the Special Counsel's Office's "conclusion" about what actually occurred.

But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. Although Mueller claims that it was "established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), he provided no such evidence.

According to Mate :

After two years and $35 million, Mueller apparently failed to uncover any direct evidence linking the Prigozhin-controlled IRA's activities to the Kremlin. His best evidence is that "[n]umerous media sources have reported on Prigozhin's ties to Putin, and the two have appeared together in public photographs."

Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence.

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

Posted at 11:09 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Sonal Chawhan , 12 July 2019 at 05:38 AM

Impressive!Thanks for the post
SAS Base and Advance

Peter VE , 12 July 2019 at 09:14 AM

Minor quibble: Judge Friedrich is a woman. I expect that this will get no play from the MSM, since Judge Friedrich was appointed by Trump, and "everyone" knows she's just covering up for him.

Larry Johnson -> Peter VE... , 12 July 2019 at 11:37 AM

Thanks. Never heard of a chick named, "Dabney." I was thinking Dabney Coleman. Dating myself.

Peter VE -> Larry Johnson ... , 12 July 2019 at 02:17 PM

Maybe her name is misspelled reference to Dagney Taggart...

Flavius , 12 July 2019 at 10:33 AM

Under the conditions and in the environment that it was returned, this indictment was Mueller and his partisan team throwing raw meat fo the media so as to prolong their mission, nothing more. Once filed, no one involved ever expected to appear in a courtroom to prosecute anyone, or defend any part of it. It was an abuse of process, pure and simple.

Consider it as a count against Mueller, his competence or his integrity, maybe both. He let himself become a tool.

pretzelattack -> Flavius... , 12 July 2019 at 07:27 PM

Johnson refers to "heartfelt beliefs" but i doubt Mueller believes his own bs. in this i guess he distinguishes himself from earlier witch-hunters, who apparently sincerely believed their targets were minions of satan.

blue peacock , 12 July 2019 at 11:33 AM

I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out.

It seems on the current trajectory both the Trump colluded with Russia and our law enforcement & IC attempted a soft-coup will die on the vine. The latter because Trump is unwilling to declassify. It seems for him it was all just another reality TV show and him tweeting "witch hunt" constantly was what the script called for.

The next time the IC & law enforcement who now must believe that they are the real power behind the throne decide to exercise that power it will be a doozie.

The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner.

https://theintercept.com/2019/07/11/china-surveillance-google-ibm-semptian/

David Habakkuk , 12 July 2019 at 12:39 PM

Larry,

A fine piece.

I think a large question is raised as to how far the kind of sloppiness in the handling of evidence which Judge Friedrich identified in the Mueller report may have characterised a great deal of the treatment of matters to do with the post-Soviet space by the FBI and others – including almost all MSM journalists – for a very long time.

Unfortunately, one also finds this among some of the most useful critics of 'Russiagate'. So, for example, in a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .)

He then however goes on to write: 'In other words, not only was the firm that hired Steele, Fusion GPS, hired by the Russians, but Steele himself was hired directly by the Russians.'

And Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ )

Commenting on the fact that, in her scribbled notes, beside the names of Vladislav Surkov and Vyacheslav Trubnikov, who are indeed a top Putin adviser and a former SVR chief respectively, Kavalec writes 'source', McCarthy simply concludes that she meant that he had said that these were his – indirect – sources, and that this was accurate. And he goes on to write:

'Deripaska, Surkov, and Trubnikov were not informing on the Kremlin. These are Putin's guys. They were peddling what the Kremlin wanted the world to believe, and what the Kremlin shrewdly calculated would sow division in the American body politic. So, the question is: Did they find the perfect patsy in Christopher Steele?'

If you look at Kavalec's typing up of the notes, among a good deal of what looks to me like pure 'horse manure' – including the claim that 'Manafort has been the go-between with the campaign' – the single reference to Surkov and Trubnikov is that they are said to be 'also involved.'

As it happens, Surkov is a very complex figure indeed. His talents as a 'political technologist' were first identified by Khodorkovsky, before he subsequently played that role for Putin. It would obviously be possible that he and Steele still had common contacts.

The suggestion in Kavalec's notes that Sergei Millian 'may be involved in some way,' and also that, 'Per Steele, Millian is connected Simon Kukes (who took over management of Yukos when Khodorkovsky was arrested)' is interesting, but would seem to suggest that he would not have been cited to Kavalec as an intermediary.

All this is obviously worth putting together with claims made in the 'New York Times' follow-up on 9 July to the Reuters report on the same day breaking the story of the interviews carried out with Steele by the Inspector General's team in early June.

(See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/09/us/politics/ig-russia-investigation-steele.html?module=inline .)

According to this:

'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.'

Some observations prompted by all this.

Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.'

In trying to put together the accumulating evidence, it is necessary to realise, as so many people seem to find it difficult to do, that in matters like these people commonly play double games – often for very good reasons.

To say as Carlson does that Fusion and Steele were hired by 'the Russians' implies that these are some kind of collective entity – and then, one is one step away from the assumption that Veselnitskaya and Deripaska, as well as 'Putin's Cook', are simply puppets controlled by the master manipulator in the Kremlin. (The fact that Friedrich applies serious standards for assessing evidence to Mueller's version of this is one of the reasons why her judgement is so important.)

As regards what McCarthy says, to lump Surkov and Deripaska together as 'Putin's guys' is unhelpful. Actually, it seems to me very unlikely, although perhaps not absolutely impossible, that, had he been implicated in any conspiracy to intervene in an American election, Surkov would have been talking candidly about his role to anyone liable to relay the information to Steele.

Likewise, however, the notion of a Machiachiavellian Surkov, feeding disinformation about a non-existent plot through an intermediary to Steele, who swallows it hook, line and sinker, does not seem particularly plausible.

A rather more obvious possibility is that the intermediaries who were supposed to have conveyed a whole lot of 'smoking gun' evidence to Steele were either 1. fabrications, 2. people whom without their knowledge he cast in this role, or 3. co-conspirators. It would, obviously, be possible that Millian, although one can say no more than that at this stage, was involved in either or both of roles 2. and 3.

It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017.

(See https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/House_Intelligence_Committee_Interview_of_Glenn_Simpson )

Providing his version of what was going on following his move from the Washington office of the 'Wall Street Journal' to its European headquarters in January 2005, Simpson told the Committee:

'And the oligarchs, during this period of consolidation of power by Vladimir Putin, when I was living in Brussels and doing all this work, was about him essentially taking control over both the oligarchs and the mafia groups. And so basically everyone in Russia works for Putin now. And that's true of the diaspora as well. So the Russian mafia in the United States is believed bylaw enforcement criminologists to have – to be under the influence of the Russian security services. And this is convenient for the security services because it gives them a level of deniability.'

A bit less than two years after Simpson's move to Brussels, a similar account featured in what appears to have been the first attempt by Christopher Steele and his confederates to provide a 'narrative' in terms of which could situate the supposed assassination by polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.

This came in a BBC Radio 4 programme, entitled 'The Litvinenko Mystery', in which a veteran presenter with the Corporation, Tom Mangold, produced an account by the former KGB Major Yuri Shvets, supported by the former FBI Agent Robert Levinson, and an 'Unidentified Informer', who is told by Mangold that he cannot be identified 'reasons of your own personal security'.

(A full transcript is on the 'Evidence' archived website of the Litvinenko Inquiry – one needs to search for the reference HMG000513 – at https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

This figure, whose credentials we have no means of assessing, explains:

'Well it's not well known to Western leaders or Western people but it is pretty well known in Russia. Because essentially it is common knowledge in Russia that by the end of Nineties the so called Russian organised crime had been destroyed by the Government and then the Russian security agencies, primarily the law enforcement and primarily the FSB, essentially assumes the functions and methods of Russian organised crime. And they became one of the most dangerous organised crime group because they are protected by law. They're protected by all power of the State. They have essentially the free hand in the country and this shadow establishment essentially includes the entire structure of the FSB from the very top people in Moscow going down to the low offices.'

The story Mangold told was a pathetic tale of how Litvinenko and Shvets, trying to turn an honest penny from 'due diligence' work, identified damning evidence about the links of a figure close to Putin to organised crime, who in return sent Andrei Lugovoi to poison the former with polonium.

A few problems with this version have, however, subsequently, emerged. Among them is the fact that, at the time, Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding).

Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the disappearance of Levinson, on the Iranian island of Kish, the following March, was not as was claimed for years related to his private sector work. His entrapment and imprisonment – from which we now know Deripaska was later involved in attempting to rescue him – related to an undercover mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko.

A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way.

And, among other things, that raises a whole range of questions about Mueller.

Dan -> David Habakkuk ... , 12 July 2019 at 04:36 PM

Great info, thanks. I admittedly don't watch the skeptics' comments closely enough, and can be susceptible to twisted observations from guys like Carlson and Solomon.

[Jul 13, 2019] Concord Management and the End of Russiagate by Daniel Lazare

Notable quotes:
"... Thus, the IRA played a major role in the vast Kremlin conspiracy to alter the outcome of the 2016 election and install Donald Trump in office. But now Judge Dabney Friedrich has ordered Mueller to stop pushing such stories because they're unfair to Concord Management and Consulting, another Prigozhin company, which astonished the legal world in May 2018 by hiring an expensive Washington law firm and demanding its day in court ..."
"... Without the IRA, the only argument left in Mueller's brief is that Russia stole some 28,000 emails and other electronic documents from Democratic National Committee computers and then passed them along to WikiLeaks , which published them to great fanfare in July 2016. ..."
"... But as Consortium News pointed out the day the Mueller report came out, that's dubious as well. [See " The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report ," April 18.] The reason: it rests on a timeline that doesn't make sense: ..."
"... why would Assange announce the leaked emails on June 12 before hearing from the source on June 22? ..."
"... How could that be enough time to review the contents and ensure they were genuine? "If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered," blogger Mark F. McCarty points out , "WikiLeaks's reputation would have been in tatters." Quite right. So if Mueller's chronology doesn't hold up, then Assange's original statement that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" still stands – which it plainly does. ..."
"... Bottom line: Russiagate is going up in smoke. The claim that Russian military intelligence fed thousands of emails to WikiLeaks doesn't stand up to scrutiny while Mueller is not only unable to a prove a connection between the Internet Research Agency and the Kremlin but is barred from even discussing it, according to Friedrich's ruling, without risking a charge of contempt. After 22 months of investigating the ins and outs of Russian interference, Mueller seems to have finally come up dry. ..."
"... "Revenge of the oligarchs" might be a good headline for this story. The IRA indictment initially seemed to be a no-lose proposition for Mueller. He got to look good in the press, the media got to indulge in yet another round of Russia-bashing, while, best of all, no one had to prove a thing. "Mueller's allegations will never be tested in court," noted Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor turned pundit for the rightwing National Review . "That makes his indictment more a political statement than a charging instrument." ..."
"... Then came the unexpected. Concord Management hired Reed Smith, a top-flight law firm with offices around the world, and demanded to be heard. ..."
"... then the firm demanded to exercise its right of discovery, meaning that it wanted access to Mueller's immense investigative file. Blindsided, Mueller's requested a delay "on the astonishing ground," according to McCarthy , "that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned." ..."
"... Prigozhin was forcing the special prosecutor to show what he's got, McCarthy went on, at zero risk to himself since he was not on U.S. soil. What was once a no-lose proposition for Mueller was suddenly a no-lose proposition for Putin's unexpectedly clever cook. ..."
"... Now Mueller is in an even worse pickle because he's barred from mentioning a major chunk of his report. What will he discuss if Democrats succeed in getting him to testify before the House intelligence and judiciary committees next week – the weather? ..."
"... If his team goes forward with the Concord prosecution, he'll risk having to turn over sensitive information while involving himself in a legal tangle that could go on for years, all without any conceivable payoff. If he drops it, the upshot will be a public-relations disaster of the first order ..."
"... As skeptics have pointed out, the IRA's social-media campaign was both more modest and more ineffectual then the Mueller report's over-the-top language about a "sweeping and systematic" conspiracy would suggest. Yet after Facebook Vice President Rob Goldman tweeted that "the majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election," he was forced to beg for forgiveness like a defendant in a Moscow show trial for daring to play down the magnitude of the crime. ..."
"... Hard to believe, but it is possible that the dumb Dem leaders still -- to this day -- believe their story-line. How else to account for the incredible denseness of Pelosi and Nadler, both of whom should be down at the southern border rather than fiddling on a rusty Russia-gate Stradivarius -- fiddling while little kids burn. ..."
"... Trump may be vulgar and unorganized but his efforts to maintain our sovereign borders are welcomed and will secure his second term. 6 or 7 years ago, every senior Democrat (Biden, Hillary, Schumer, Pelosi, etc.) were against open borders and illegal immigrants. Their current stance is crass politics not concern for human welfare. ..."
"... The whole Mueller investigation was always "theatre" and not "law." And not just "theatre" by Mueller, but by the media and the Democratic Party as well. ..."
"... Only a few things were proven: Mueller has no credibility, the "Justice Department" is dysfunctional, the mainstream media is a joke and the the DNC was able to rig the primaries and effectively hide that fact using the fog of the Russiagate farce. ..."
"... What do you do now Mr Mueller, now that your bluff has been called? Another one of many nails in the coffin of this ridiculous, American, Hallucination Hoax called Russiagate! ..."
"... Mueller thought he was simply practicing the real government policy on fooling the public with endless iterations of horse hockey which Dubya tried to obscure with his "fool me once, fool me twice " razz-ma-tazz. ..."
"... You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate. However, with the election season heating up, it might seem wise for them to start singing a different tune altogether, such as Sanders and Warren are too radical to have any chance of defeating Trump. The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift. ..."
"... These indictments (including the 12 GRU) were all press releases to fuel the "I'm doing something" and "Russia's involved" noise. Not a lawyer but those who are commented that these Russian "indictments" were not only without evidence (which would have come out in a court had such been the intent) but they went way beyond a straightforward indictment to something approximating an OP ED for the WoPo or NYT. ..."
"... I watched the excellent movie "The Big Short" last night, it was my second viewing after seeing it at the theater. It was painful to watch because it's about the abject failure and corruption of Wall Street, but beyond that, it's about the failure of Our System and about how the People always are the essential losers. ..."
"... We here at Consortiumnews have basically known these facts since Robert Parry's death, why?, because Robert was an extraordinary reporter who actually looked into the underlying dynamic of the subject he reported on. And, relying on his honesty, we were brought along on the Real story leading up to this. ..."
"... What's needed to convince Americans that "Russia" did not interfere in the election and did not hack the DNC is not a judge but an exorcist. ..."
"... This profound belief based on DNC, HRC confabulated and paid for evidence is in so many ways, if not totally, akin to the belief in UFOs and little green men (why is it always "men"?). Yet the same people who are "Russia and Putin did it" frenetic are those who denounce as insane nutters those who believe in the existence of UFOs and those grass colored men ..."
"... It should be interesting to see how this plays out, if the judiciary has the fortitude to stand up to the Den of Spooks. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

CAMPAIGN 2016 , INTELLIGENCE , RUSSIA , RUSSIAGATE , TRUMP ADMINISTRATION , WIKILEAKS Concord Management and the End of Russiagate? July 12, 2019 • 23 Comments

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A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has just shut down half of Robert Mueller's Russian-interference case, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

Don't look now, but a federal judge in Washington, D.C., has just shut down half of Robert Mueller's Russian-interference case.

In February 2018, the special prosecutor indicted a St. Petersburg troll farm called the Internet Research Agency along with two other companies, their owner, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, and 12 employees. The charge: fraud, traveling to the United States under false pretenses, and using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to "sow discord" and "interfere in US political and electoral processes without detection of their Russian affiliation."

The charge was both legally dubious and heavy-handed, a case of using a sledge hammer to swat a fly. But Mueller went even further in his report , an expurgated version of which was made public in April. No longer just a Russian company, the IRA was now an arm of the Russian government. "[T]he Special Counsel's investigation," it declared on page one, "established that Russia interfered in the 2016 election principally through two operations.

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

"Prigozhin," the report added, referring to the IRA owner, "is widely reported to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin." A few pages later, it said that the IRA's efforts "constituted 'active measures' a term that typically refers to operations conducted by Russian security services aimed at influencing the course of international affairs."

Thus, the IRA played a major role in the vast Kremlin conspiracy to alter the outcome of the 2016 election and install Donald Trump in office. But now Judge Dabney Friedrich has ordered Mueller to stop pushing such stories because they're unfair to Concord Management and Consulting, another Prigozhin company, which astonished the legal world in May 2018 by hiring an expensive Washington law firm and demanding its day in court.

Contrary to internet chatter , Friedrich did not offer an opinion as to whether the IRA-Kremlin connection is true or false. Rather, she told the special prosecutor to keep quiet because such statements go beyond the scope of the original indictment and are therefore prejudicial to the defendant. But it may be a distinction without a difference since the only evidence that Mueller puts forth in the public version of his report is a New York Times article from February 2018 entitled "Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russian Oligarch Indicted by US, Is Known as 'Putin's Cook.'"

It's a case of trial by press clip that should have been laughed out of court – and now, more or less, it is. Without the IRA, the only argument left in Mueller's brief is that Russia stole some 28,000 emails and other electronic documents from Democratic National Committee computers and then passed them along to WikiLeaks , which published them to great fanfare in July 2016.

But as Consortium News pointed out the day the Mueller report came out, that's dubious as well. [See " The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report ," April 18.] The reason: it rests on a timeline that doesn't make sense:

But why would Assange announce the leaked emails on June 12 before hearing from the source on June 22? Was he clairvoyant? Why would he release a massive file just eight days after receiving it and as a little as four days after opening it up?

How could that be enough time to review the contents and ensure they were genuine? "If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered," blogger Mark F. McCarty points out , "WikiLeaks's reputation would have been in tatters." Quite right. So if Mueller's chronology doesn't hold up, then Assange's original statement that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" still stands – which it plainly does.

Going Up in Smoke

Bottom line: Russiagate is going up in smoke. The claim that Russian military intelligence fed thousands of emails to WikiLeaks doesn't stand up to scrutiny while Mueller is not only unable to a prove a connection between the Internet Research Agency and the Kremlin but is barred from even discussing it, according to Friedrich's ruling, without risking a charge of contempt. After 22 months of investigating the ins and outs of Russian interference, Mueller seems to have finally come up dry.

"Revenge of the oligarchs" might be a good headline for this story. The IRA indictment initially seemed to be a no-lose proposition for Mueller. He got to look good in the press, the media got to indulge in yet another round of Russia-bashing, while, best of all, no one had to prove a thing. "Mueller's allegations will never be tested in court," noted Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor turned pundit for the rightwing National Review . "That makes his indictment more a political statement than a charging instrument."

Then came the unexpected. Concord Management hired Reed Smith, a top-flight law firm with offices around the world, and demanded to be heard. The move was "a real head-scratcher," one Washington attorney told Buzzfeed , because Concord was beyond the reach of U.S. law and therefore had nothing to fear from an indictment and nothing to gain, apparently, from going to court. But then the firm demanded to exercise its right of discovery, meaning that it wanted access to Mueller's immense investigative file. Blindsided, Mueller's requested a delay "on the astonishing ground," according to McCarthy , "that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned."

Prigozhin was forcing the special prosecutor to show what he's got, McCarthy went on, at zero risk to himself since he was not on U.S. soil. What was once a no-lose proposition for Mueller was suddenly a no-lose proposition for Putin's unexpectedly clever cook.

Now Mueller is in an even worse pickle because he's barred from mentioning a major chunk of his report. What will he discuss if Democrats succeed in getting him to testify before the House intelligence and judiciary committees next week – the weather?

If his team goes forward with the Concord prosecution, he'll risk having to turn over sensitive information while involving himself in a legal tangle that could go on for years, all without any conceivable payoff. If he drops it, the upshot will be a public-relations disaster of the first order.

As skeptics have pointed out, the IRA's social-media campaign was both more modest and more ineffectual then the Mueller report's over-the-top language about a "sweeping and systematic" conspiracy would suggest. Yet after Facebook Vice President Rob Goldman tweeted that "the majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election," he was forced to beg for forgiveness like a defendant in a Moscow show trial for daring to play down the magnitude of the crime.

But it wasn't Goldman who shaved the truth. Rather, it was Mueller. Thanks to the unexpected appearance of Concord Management, he's now paying the price.

Daniel Lazare is the author of "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy" (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at D aniellazare.com .

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


David H , July 12, 2019 at 18:17

Does "prejudicial to the defendant" mean the same thing as prejudiced against the defendant?

Stan W. , July 12, 2019 at 13:55

The myth regarding Russian influence in the 2016 election that enabled Donald Trump to "steal" the presidency from Hillary Clinton would make a good sequel to a movie from 1966. Its title: "THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!"

Jeff Harrison , July 12, 2019 at 12:33

The one thing I'd like to know is: did Mueller ever provide the requested discovery documents or not?

Ray McGovern , July 12, 2019 at 11:20

BRAVO, Dan. AND, as you aware, the "hacking half" of Mueller's magnum opus also cannot bear close scrutiny.

Remember where you heard this first, "Current and former intelligence officials" tell me that Mueller has asked his mother to write a note to be excused from the field trip to Congress next Thursday, the 17th.

In my view, the only sympathy Mueller should be able to elicit at this point is the cruel reality that he chose to perform one last job for the Deep State after he had reached the age of statutory senility. His handlers will try to prop him up to the extent possible, but the die is now cast. The whipping-up of Russia-gate can now be seen -- at least by consortium news readers -- as a "best-defense-is-a-good-offensive" operation to obfuscate the reality of Deep-State-gate.

Hard to believe, but it is possible that the dumb Dem leaders still -- to this day -- believe their story-line. How else to account for the incredible denseness of Pelosi and Nadler, both of whom should be down at the southern border rather than fiddling on a rusty Russia-gate Stradivarius -- fiddling while little kids burn. They ought to do their Constitutional duty to impeach -- not on the basis of evidence-less Russia-gate charges -- but because the President is treading heavily on KIDS, as well as the Constitution.

Let's hear more from Tulsi Gabbard.

Again, great job, Dan. I can almost see Bob Parry smiling.

Ray

Chet Roman , July 12, 2019 at 18:15

You've been right all along Ray. Appreciate all your accurate investigating and reporting.

However, I must disagree with your suggestion of impeachment on two phony issues: kids and the constitution. You should focus your wrath on the Democrats that will not correct our immigration laws. The only reason there is a surge of children and families is because the democrats and their radical liberals have made it clear to the world that if you bring children you are free to illegally cross the border. You may be stopped but the kids you bring with you (your own or rent-a-kiddie) are essentially a get out of jail card. We now have Africans from the Congo crossing over with luggage, the latest group are Haitians, WTF?

As an immigrant I support our immigrants that come here legally but not those that break the law. Diversity is not our strength but just adds to the division and conflict within our society. Trump may be vulgar and unorganized but his efforts to maintain our sovereign borders are welcomed and will secure his second term. 6 or 7 years ago, every senior Democrat (Biden, Hillary, Schumer, Pelosi, etc.) were against open borders and illegal immigrants. Their current stance is crass politics not concern for human welfare.

Mike from Jersey , July 12, 2019 at 10:20

The whole Mueller investigation was always "theatre" and not "law." And not just "theatre" by Mueller, but by the media and the Democratic Party as well. And the Republicans cannot rejoice in the result since – not only did Mueller baselessly refuse to concede "exoneration" – Mueller's report itself is a joke in the first place. This article points that out.

So what are we left with?

Only a few things were proven: Mueller has no credibility, the "Justice Department" is dysfunctional, the mainstream media is a joke and the the DNC was able to rig the primaries and effectively hide that fact using the fog of the Russiagate farce.

In short, America's political system is completely broken.

O Society , July 12, 2019 at 09:20

We have heard the name of Judge Dabney Freidrich before. She is a bit of a wildcard here, as she does not necessarily do what the powers that be expect of her. Here she pulls the rug out from under Mueller when he and the Scooby Doo gang was no doubt expecting never to actually have to go to court against the Russian meddling kids:

https://osociety.org/2018/10/21/judge-orders-mueller-to-prove-russian-company-meddled-in-election/

and here she has Kavanaugh's back during his Supreme Court nomination process as he screams about his entitlement to do whatever he damned well pleases because he's entitled rich folk who went to Yale part of the Club aristocracy:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4946213-Judge-Dabney-Friedrich-s-Letter-to-the-Senate.html

Piotr Berman , July 12, 2019 at 09:19

About Prigozhin the oligarch, Wikipedia: "The Anti-Corruption Foundation accused Prigozhin of corrupt business practices. They estimated his illegal wealth to be worth more than one billion rubles.[11]" So the opposition outfit (and those exist in "dictatorial" Russia) accuses Prigozhin of amassing 16 million dollars of "illegal wealth". Poor Russia. In USA, a single doctor can get more by overbilling Medicare, Workers' Compensation etc.

KiwiAntz , July 12, 2019 at 09:16

Mueller, Mueller, Mueller- Class, anyone, anyone?? Ferris Mueller's Day Off is turning into a nightmare & his Report is crashing & burning, faster than a US Drone, shot down & blasted out of the Sky, by the IRG in the Sea of Homuz? It's all very well accusing people of crimes & slandering reputations knowing or hoping that under normal circumstances the accused wouldn't show up to defend the charges, but these accused Russians are prepared to challenge Mueller's fictitious findings? What do you do now Mr Mueller, now that your bluff has been called? Another one of many nails in the coffin of this ridiculous, American, Hallucination Hoax called Russiagate!

Realist , July 12, 2019 at 16:08

Mueller thought he was simply practicing the real government policy on fooling the public with endless iterations of horse hockey which Dubya tried to obscure with his "fool me once, fool me twice " razz-ma-tazz.

Mr. Mueller will take the "A" train to Davy Jones' locker trying to hoodwink the public on this fiasco, rather than getting religion and uttering the more appropriate "mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa."

AnneR , July 12, 2019 at 09:07

Nice, Mr Lazare, very, very nice. One can only hope that Mueller and the rest of the conspirators (for what else are they?) get their full comeuppance. However, I doubt that given past history and the ability of all those with and in power to escape full scrutiny and real punishment (a lengthy prison sentence).

Unfortunately and dishearteningly, I also doubt that the true believers, of which there are all too many and among whom all too many are highly and expensively educated, will let any of this alter by one iota their apparently adamantine position on "Russiagate," their anti-Putin Russophobia. Or their equally apparent adoration of HRC.

Rob , July 12, 2019 at 12:27

You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate. However, with the election season heating up, it might seem wise for them to start singing a different tune altogether, such as Sanders and Warren are too radical to have any chance of defeating Trump. The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift.

Antonio Costa , July 12, 2019 at 09:01

These indictments (including the 12 GRU) were all press releases to fuel the "I'm doing something" and "Russia's involved" noise. Not a lawyer but those who are commented that these Russian "indictments" were not only without evidence (which would have come out in a court had such been the intent) but they went way beyond a straightforward indictment to something approximating an OP ED for the WoPo or NYT.

The intel report ordered by Obama (2 of them) had no evidence, and the last one went on and on about RT as if RT has conspired to infiltrate the minds of US voters (huge laugh given their reach and those who watch, or listen generally don't need convincing of US government nefarious doings).

I did read both reports and indictments, and as a lay person it was clear there was no substance. In the case of the intel report even Obama concluded there was nothing.

Yet the 2+ year circus went on and on as a media ($$$) frenzy. No one really cared, nor do they to this day.

This is what the unraveling of an empire looks like. Let's hope there's a truly new and better day ahead after the collapse.

OlyaPola , July 12, 2019 at 08:58

When deflating a balloon care is required to ensure it doesn't shoot off in all directions exposing the skill levels of would-be performers.

Bob Van Noy , July 12, 2019 at 08:05

I watched the excellent movie "The Big Short" last night, it was my second viewing after seeing it at the theater. It was painful to watch because it's about the abject failure and corruption of Wall Street, but beyond that, it's about the failure of Our System and about how the People always are the essential losers.

We here at Consortiumnews have basically known these facts since Robert Parry's death, why?, because Robert was an extraordinary reporter who actually looked into the underlying dynamic of the subject he reported on. And, relying on his honesty, we were brought along on the Real story leading up to this.

Now, much like the movie I mentioned, we know we were right to trust CN, but there is little joy in watching the confirmation of a failed fourth estate and failed democratic experiment. Now we are left with the anxiety of how to repair this mess

Oh well, thanks Consortiumnews.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596363/

Alfred di Genis , July 12, 2019 at 04:18

What's needed to convince Americans that "Russia" did not interfere in the election and did not hack the DNC is not a judge but an exorcist.

AnneR , July 12, 2019 at 09:13

Truly. This profound belief based on DNC, HRC confabulated and paid for evidence is in so many ways, if not totally, akin to the belief in UFOs and little green men (why is it always "men"?). Yet the same people who are "Russia and Putin did it" frenetic are those who denounce as insane nutters those who believe in the existence of UFOs and those grass colored men

Realist , July 12, 2019 at 04:17

Maybe Mueller should ask Putin for asylum before he concedes the truth and implicates Brennan, Clapper, Hillary and Obama as masterminds of Intelgate. I don't think he's getting a pardon from Trump.

That Hillary was so clever in her design to fatally slur both the Donald and the "New Hitler" in Moscow with one big lie, while deftly knifing Bernie in the back as attentions were directed at the bigger fish. Not!

It should be interesting to see how this plays out, if the judiciary has the fortitude to stand up to the Den of Spooks.

Ray McGovern , July 12, 2019 at 11:33

Realist,

You have that right, as usual. "If the judiciary ." A very BIG "If." How many judges like Dabney Friedrich, I wonder, are still on the bench? We may be about to see.

Ray

[Jul 10, 2019] RAY MCGOVERN

Notable quotes:
"... As Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA. ..."
"... "The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country." ..."
"... Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). ..."
"... Mr. McGovern you are right in your analysis. Obama is in this up to his neck, however there will be a limited investigation at best because the Jews and Israel don't want this. They are involved and a real investigation would show what control they have over the FBI and CIA. ..."
"... The world is controlled by the Corporate Fascist Military-Intelligence Police State in which governments are nothing more than Proxies with Intelligence Agencies who work against the average citizen and for the Corporations. Politicians like Trump are nothing more than figureheads who must "Toe the Line" or else. ..."
Jul 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

JULY 8, 2019 1,500 WORDS 2 COMMENTS REPLY

As Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA.

King told a radio audience:

"There is no doubt to me there was severe, serious abuses that were carried out in the FBI and, I believe, top levels of the CIA against the President of the United States or, at that time, presidential candidate Donald Trump," according to The Hill.

King (image on the right), a senior congressman specializing in national security, twice chaired the House Homeland Security Committee and currently heads its Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He also served for several years on the House Intelligence Committee.

He asserted:

"There was no legal basis at all for them to begin this investigation of his campaign – and the way they carried it forward, and the way information was leaked. All of this is going to come out. It's going to show the bias. It's going to show the baselessness of the investigation and I would say the same thing if this were done to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders It's just wrong."

The Long Island Republican added a well aimed swipe at what passes for the media today:

"The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country."

According to King, the Justice Department's review, ordered by Attorney General William Barr , would prove that former officials acted improperly. He was alluding to the investigation led by John Durham , U.S. Attorney in Connecticut. Sounds nice. But waiting for Durham to complete his investigation at a typically lawyerly pace would, I fear, be much like the experience of waiting for Mueller to finish his; that is, like waiting for Godot. What about now?

So Where is the IG Report on FISA?

That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan , former FBI Director James Comey , former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe , former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein , and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!).

The DOJ inspector General's investigation, launched in March 2018, has centered on whether the FBI and DOJ filing of four FISA applications and renewals beginning in October 2016 to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page amounted to abuse of the FISA process. (Fortunately for the IG, Obama's top intelligence and law enforcement officials were so sure that Hillary Clinton would win that they did not do much to hide their tracks.)

The Washington Examiner reported last Tuesday, "The Justice Department inspector general's investigation of potential abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is complete, a Republican congressman said, though a report on its findings might not be released for a month." The report continued:

"House Judiciary Committee member John Ratcliffe (R, Texas) said Monday he'd met with DOJ watchdog Michael Horowitz last week about his FISA abuse report. In a media interview, Ratcliffe said they'd discussed the timing, but not the content of his report and Horowitz 'related that his team's investigative work is complete and they're now in the process of drafting that report. Ratcliffe said he was doubtful that Horowitz's report would be made available to the public or the Congress anytime soon. 'He [Horowitz] did relay that as much as 20% of his report is going to include classified information, so that draft report will have to undergo a classification review at the FBI and at the Department of Justice,' Ratcliffe said. 'So, while I'm hopeful that we members of Congress might see it before the August recess, I'm not too certain about that.'"

Earlier, Horowitz had predicted that his report would be ready in May or June but there may, in fact, be good reason for some delay. Fox News reported Friday that "key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz (image on the left) early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour." According to Fox's sources, at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI has started cooperating -- a breakthrough that came after Durham was assigned to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia case that led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge.

Judging by past precedent, Deep State intelligence and law enforcement officials will do all they can to use the "but-it's-classified" excuse to avoid putting themselves and their former colleagues in legal jeopardy. (Though this would violate Obama's executive order 13526 , prohibiting classification of embarrassing or criminal information).

It is far from clear that DOJ IG Horowitz and Attorney General Barr will prevail in the end, even though President Trump has given Barr nominal authority to declassify as necessary. Why are the the stakes so extraordinarily high?

What Did Obama Know, and When Did He Know It?

Recall that in a Sept. 2, 2016 text message to the FBI's then-deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, his girlfriend and then-top legal adviser to Deputy FBI Director McCabe, Lisa Page , wrote that she was preparing talking points because the president "wants to know everything we're doing." [Emphasis added.] It does not seem likely that the Director of National Intelligence, DOJ, FBI, and CIA all kept President Obama in the dark about their FISA and other machinations -- although it is possible they did so out of a desire to provide him with "plausible denial."

It seems more likely that Obama's closest intelligence confidant, Brennan, told him about the shenanigans with FISA, that Obama gave him approval (perhaps just tacit approval), and that Brennan used that to harness top intelligence and law enforcement officials behind the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him.

Moreover, one should not rule out seeing in the coming months an "Obama-made-us-do-it" defense -- whether grounded in fact or not -- by Brennan and perhaps the rest of the gang. Brennan may even have a piece of paper recording the President's "approval" for this or that -- or could readily have his former subordinates prepare one that appears authentic.

Reining in Devin Nunes

That the Deep State retains formidable power can be seen in the repeated Lucy-holding-then-withdrawing-the-football-for-Charlie Brown treatment experienced by House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member, Devin Nunes (R-CA, image on the right). On April 5, 2019, in the apparent belief he had a green light to go on the offensive, Nunes wrote that committee Republicans "will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in the abuse of intelligence for political purposes. These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future."

On April 7, Nunes was even more specific, telling Fox News that he was preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice "this week," concerning alleged misconduct during the Trump-Russia investigation, including leaks of "highly classified material" and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the FISA court. It seemed to be no-holds-barred for Nunes, who had begun to talk publicly about prison time for those who might be brought to trial.

Except for Fox, the corporate media ignored Nunes's explosive comments. The media seemed smugly convinced that Nunes's talk of "referrals" could be safely ignored -- even though a new sheriff, Barr, had come to town. And sure enough, now, three months later, where are the criminal referrals?

There is ample evidence that President Trump is afraid to run afoul of the Deep State functionaries he inherited. And the Deep State almost always wins. But if Attorney General Barr leans hard on the president to unfetter Nunes, IG Horowitz, Durham and like-minded investigators, all hell may break lose, because the evidence against those who took serious liberties with the law is staring them all in the face.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

niteranger , says: July 9, 2019 at 11:30 pm GMT

Mr. McGovern you are right in your analysis. Obama is in this up to his neck, however there will be a limited investigation at best because the Jews and Israel don't want this. They are involved and a real investigation would show what control they have over the FBI and CIA.

Trump by now realizes these agencies can make anything up and the Jewish owned and controlled media will do their bidding. I have to assume that Trump has come to the conclusion that he wasn't suppose to win and that the NWO wasn't happy with that because he stands in their way especially on World Trade and Immigration.

The world is controlled by the Corporate Fascist Military-Intelligence Police State in which governments are nothing more than Proxies with Intelligence Agencies who work against the average citizen and for the Corporations. Politicians like Trump are nothing more than figureheads who must "Toe the Line" or else.

I believe Trump knows he could be assassinated at any time. Obama the "God King" did his part for NWO and that's why he gets a King's Ransom for his speeches for reading a teleprompter and banging on his chest and saying, "I did that." What he is really saying is I did that for you -- now where's my check!

Fran Macadam , says: July 10, 2019 at 12:24 am GMT

When they frog-marched you out of that Clinton event, Ray, they had no idea what they were unleashing.

[Jul 09, 2019] CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller's Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia Meddling Claims.

Notable quotes:
"... There is strong reason to doubt Mueller's suggestion that an alleged Russian cutout called Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen emails to Assange. ..."
"... Mueller's decision not to interview Assange – a central figure who claims Russia was not behind the hack – suggests an unwillingness to explore avenues of evidence on fundamental questions. ..."
"... the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party's legal counsel to submit redacted records, meaning CrowdStrike and not the government decided what could be revealed or not regarding evidence of hacking. ..."
"... John Brennan, then director of the CIA, played a seminal and overlooked role in all facets of what became Mueller's investigation: the suspicions that triggered the initial collusion probe; the allegations of Russian interference; and the intelligence assessment that purported to validate the interference allegations that Brennan himself helped generate. Yet Brennan has since revealed himself to be, like CrowdStrike and Steele, hardly a neutral party -- in fact a partisan with a deep animus toward Trump. ..."
Jul 09, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Which brings me to the newest piece to drop, CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller's Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia Meddling Claims .

Most of the material in this article will be familiar to regular readers of SST because I wrote about it first. Here are the key conclusions:

I encourage you to read the piece. It is well written and provides an excellent overview of critical events in the flawed investigation.

[Jul 09, 2019] Ex-FBI, CIA Officials Draw Withering Fire on Russiagate by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge. ..."
"... Judging by past precedent, Deep State intelligence and law enforcement officials will do all they can to use the "but-it's-classified" excuse to avoid putting themselves and their former colleagues in legal jeopardy. (Though this would violate Obama's executive order 13526 , prohibiting classification of embarrassing or criminal information). ..."
"... Recall that in a Sept. 2, 2016 text message to the FBI's then-deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, his girlfriend and then-top legal adviser to Deputy FBI Director McCabe, Lisa Page, wrote that she was preparing talking points because the president "wants to know everything we're doing." [Emphasis added.] It does not seem likely that the Director of National Intelligence, DOJ, FBI, and CIA all kept President Obama in the dark about their FISA and other machinations -- although it is possible they did so out of a desire to provide him with "plausible denial." ..."
"... It seems more likely that Obama's closest intelligence confidant, Brennan, told him about the shenanigans with FISA, that Obama gave him approval (perhaps just tacit approval), and that Brennan used that to harness top intelligence and law enforcement officials behind the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him. ..."
"... "That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!)." ..."
"... It will be a very interesting 2020 campaign if the Democratic candidate has to run with the ripe stinking dead albatross of Russiagate around her neck. ..."
"... The only outcome that could be more bizarre than the last go-round would be to see Trump favored by all the smart money and then lose to the latest corporate Democrat to shamelessly sell out the middle class in broad daylight. ..."
"... The Grabber in Chief vs Willie Brown's mistress – wonderful. ..."
"... Forgive my cynicism but the US government is so corrupt, has wielded illegitimate power for so long, and has covered the tracks of countless functionaries who have not upheld the constitution that I doubt this will go anywhere. I have been quoting Ben Franklin for some time "you have a republic, if you can keep it." I don't think we can. A reading of "A History of Venice" by John J. Norris would be appropriate here. The most serene republic lasted for essentially 1,000 years from roughly 800 to not quite 1800, first as a democracy, later as an oligarchy. Much like us, including having the most feared secret service in Europe at the time, Venice kept its power through trade but at least we don't hoist the new president up on a chair so that he can throw golden Ducats to the crowd on Wall Street the way that a new Doge would. ..."
"... I don't suppose anything will happen to anybody important about this. After all, nothing happened to anybody when they were caught mass spying on any and all american citizens, even before they made it legal. ..."
"... Unfortunately Webb and Parry exposed much of these gangster criminal "intel" savages for running guns and drugs to Central American pseudo fascist mercenary sadists throughout much of the late 1970s through the '80s. I say unfortunately b/c nothing much ever came along by way of true justice, by way of the criminal players rotting in maximum security jail cells for years on end, not unlike the crack or heroin addict who steals a $400 television. ..."
"... This has been one long crime against the American people. King should read what he knows into the Congressional Record. I have no sympathy for Trump's fear of the deep state. He has sent people to die knowing full well that his actions were based on lies, lies that would result in the deaths of civilians as well as our own military. If he is going to do that, then he should have the courage to face the deep state. That's partial penance for all the deaths he has caused. ..."
"... I also don't care about Trump's personal issue about being surveilled. He personally supports that against everyone else. That is why I feel this is a crime against our people as a whole. Our constitution has been stripped bare. We don't have the rule of law. Mass surveillance covering the globe is current reality. It is dangerous. It is wrong. It is lawless. It is a disaster. ..."
"... Further, Russiagate was used to keep real opposition away from Trump. His supporters doubled down on "liking" Trump because he appeared to be a victim of these lies. Democrats meanwhile learned to further worship the IC. They ignored Trump's actual unlawful behavior, and, in the case of war crimes, still support Trump on every war/regime change action etc. recommended to them by their IC "resistance" "leaders". ..."
"... This has been one of the most effective propaganda tools I have ever seen against our populace. It has created a divided, unthinking populace who is ripe for the picking by evil men and women. I am truly hoping that once this is exposed people will stop this madness and pull together for a common good. But I'm quite worried that, like most cults, when the leader is shown to be wrong, people cling to them even more. ..."
"... there have always been nefarious agents in one government or another for one gangster interest or another, whether was Milner's roundtable or Dulles's Gladio werewolves, these are nefarious individuals there is no gray area in that, however they may conduct themselves and their personal lives, it is not sloppy journalism, is to call something what it is, a this shadow government working in many instances against the direct interest of the American people ..."
"... It's the propaganda, the United States is one of the most heavily propagandize societies in the world, we make the Soviets look like children. No one wants you to have sympathy for Donald Trump, you do not have to agree or like a person to see that the cartel seeking to damage him is also simultaneously against your interests and they are against your interests whether you're from the left or the right because they do not have an ideology just it will to power. ..."
"... So reminiscent of the darker days of the Cold War. A stark education has just played out to this point. ..."
Jul 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

The Deep State almost always wins. But if Attorney General Barr leans hard on Trump to unfetter investigators, all hell may break lose, says Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

A s Congress arrives back into town and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees prepare to question ex-Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on July 17, partisan lines are being drawn even more sharply, as Russias-gate blossoms into Deep-State-gate. On Sunday, a top Republican legislator, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took the gloves off in an unusually acerbic public attack on former leaders of the FBI and CIA.

King told a radio audience: "There is no doubt to me there was severe, serious abuses that were carried out in the FBI and, I believe, top levels of the CIA against the President of the United States or, at that time, presidential candidate Donald Trump," according to The Hill.

King, a senior congressman specializing in national security, twice chaired the House Homeland Security Committee and currently heads its Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He also served for several years on the House Intelligence Committee.

He asserted:

"There was no legal basis at all for them to begin this investigation of his campaign – and the way they carried it forward, and the way information was leaked. All of this is going to come out. It's going to show the bias. It's going to show the baselessness of the investigation and I would say the same thing if this were done to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders It's just wrong."

The Long Island Republican added a well aimed swipe at what passes for the media today: "The media went along with this – actually, keeping this farcical, ridiculous thought going that the President of the United States was somehow involved in a conspiracy with Russia against his own country."

King: Lashes out.

According to King, the Justice Department's review, ordered by Attorney General William Barr, would prove that former officials acted improperly. He was alluding to the investigation led by John Durham, U.S. Attorney in Connecticut. Sounds nice. But waiting for Durham to complete his investigation at a typically lawyerly pace would, I fear, be much like the experience of waiting for Mueller to finish his; that is, like waiting for Godot. What about now?

So Where is the IG Report on FISA?

That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!).

The DOJ inspector General's investigation, launched in March 2018, has centered on whether the FBI and DOJ filing of four FISA applications and renewals beginning in October 2016 to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page amounted to abuse of the FISA process. (Fortunately for the IG, Obama's top intelligence and law enforcement officials were so sure that Hillary Clinton would win that they did not do much to hide their tracks.)

The Washington Examiner reported last Tuesday, "The Justice Department inspector general's investigation of potential abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is complete, a Republican congressman said, though a report on its findings might not be released for a month." The report continued:

"House Judiciary Committee member John Ratcliffe (R, Texas) said Monday he'd met with DOJ watchdog Michael Horowitz last week about his FISA abuse report. In a media interview, Ratcliffe said they'd discussed the timing, but not the content of his report and Horowitz 'related that his team's investigative work is complete and they're now in the process of drafting that report. Ratcliffe said he was doubtful that Horowitz's report would be made available to the public or the Congress anytime soon. 'He [Horowitz] did relay that as much as 20% of his report is going to include classified information, so that draft report will have to undergo a classification review at the FBI and at the Department of Justice,' Ratcliffe said. 'So, while I'm hopeful that we members of Congress might see it before the August recess, I'm not too certain about that.'"

Horowitz: Still waiting for his report

Earlier, Horowitz had predicted that his report would be ready in May or June but there may, in fact, be good reason for some delay. Fox News reported Friday that "key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour." According to Fox's sources, at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI has started cooperating -- a breakthrough that came after Durham was assigned to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia case that led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge.

Judging by past precedent, Deep State intelligence and law enforcement officials will do all they can to use the "but-it's-classified" excuse to avoid putting themselves and their former colleagues in legal jeopardy. (Though this would violate Obama's executive order 13526 , prohibiting classification of embarrassing or criminal information).

It is far from clear that DOJ IG Horowitz and Attorney General Barr will prevail in the end, even though President Trump has given Barr nominal authority to declassify as necessary. Why are the the stakes so extraordinarily high?

What Did Obama Know, and When Did He Know It?

Recall that in a Sept. 2, 2016 text message to the FBI's then-deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, his girlfriend and then-top legal adviser to Deputy FBI Director McCabe, Lisa Page, wrote that she was preparing talking points because the president "wants to know everything we're doing." [Emphasis added.] It does not seem likely that the Director of National Intelligence, DOJ, FBI, and CIA all kept President Obama in the dark about their FISA and other machinations -- although it is possible they did so out of a desire to provide him with "plausible denial."

It seems more likely that Obama's closest intelligence confidant, Brennan, told him about the shenanigans with FISA, that Obama gave him approval (perhaps just tacit approval), and that Brennan used that to harness top intelligence and law enforcement officials behind the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him.

Moreover, one should not rule out seeing in the coming months an "Obama-made-us-do-it" defense -- whether grounded in fact or not -- by Brennan and perhaps the rest of the gang. Brennan may even have a piece of paper recording the President's "approval" for this or that -- or could readily have his former subordinates prepare one that appears authentic.

Reining in Devin Nunes

That the Deep State retains formidable power can be seen in the repeated Lucy-holding-then-withdrawing-the-football-for-Charlie Brown treatment experienced by House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member, Devin Nunes (R-CA). On April 5, 2019, in the apparent belief he had a green light to go on the offensive, Nunes wrote that committee Republicans "will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in the abuse of intelligence for political purposes. These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future."

On April 7, Nunes was even more specific, telling Fox News that he was preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice "this week," concerning alleged misconduct during the Trump-Russia investigation, including leaks of "highly classified material" and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the FISA court. It seemed to be no-holds-barred for Nunes, who had begun to talk publicly about prison time for those who might be brought to trial.

Except for Fox, the corporate media ignored Nunes's explosive comments. The media seemed smugly convinced that Nunes's talk of "referrals" could be safely ignored -- even though a new sheriff, Barr, had come to town. And sure enough, now, three months later, where are the criminal referrals?

There is ample evidence that President Trump is afraid to run afoul of the Deep State functionaries he inherited. And the Deep State almost always wins. But if Attorney General Barr leans hard on the president to unfetter Nunes, IG Horowitz, Durham and like-minded investigators, all hell may break lose, because the evidence against those who took serious liberties with the law is staring them all in the face.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. No fan of the current President, Ray has been trained to follow and analyze the facts, wherever they may lead. He spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and prepared the President's Daily Brief for three presidents. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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Joe T Wallace , July 8, 2019 at 20:24

I'm a great admirer of Ray McGovern's reporting. He exposes much that is never revealed by the mainstream media. That said, I do have one quibble about this article. In the seventh paragraph, just below the heading "So Where is the IG Report on FISA?" he writes:

"That's the big one. If Horowitz is able to speak freely about what he has learned, his report could lead to indictments of former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorneys General Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, and Dana Boente -- Boente being the only signer of the relevant FISA applications still in office. (No, he has not been demoted to file clerk in the FBI library; at last report, he is FBI General Counsel!)."

My immediate reaction was: Who is Horowitz? It was confusing not to know. Further down in the article, I learned that Ray was referring to Michael Horowitz, a DOJ watchdog who is preparing an IG report about FISA abuse, but readers should have been informed who he was earlier in the article.

John , July 8, 2019 at 17:10

Peter King? Devin Nunes?

At one point the article says little effort was made to cover tracks because of certainty that HRC would win but later that the FBI et al were planting land mines to either defeat Trump or blow up his presidency. Seemed contradictory to me.

Perhaps you have the skinny on these machinations, if indeed there were machinations by one person or group or another for this purpose or that.

But Peter King and Devin Nunes? If either ever was credible, their track record condemns them to be received, if at all, with extreme skepticism.

Realist , July 8, 2019 at 16:59

It will be a very interesting 2020 campaign if the Democratic candidate has to run with the ripe stinking dead albatross of Russiagate around her neck. Or will she be expected to repudiate the Hitlery-run DNC? Where does the money and the ground game originate if the latter?

The only outcome that could be more bizarre than the last go-round would be to see Trump favored by all the smart money and then lose to the latest corporate Democrat to shamelessly sell out the middle class in broad daylight. I won't like it, but I can see Trump Derangement Syndrome pulling out the chestnuts for the Dems, what with all their celebrity spokespeople constantly running and ranting like their hair is on fire underneath those pussy hats. My poor gullible sister from Cali embraces that whole ball of wax as revealed truth holier than the total dry weight of all the Abrahamic scriptures rolled into one big bale for the recycling center. Kamala Harris seems to be emerging as the new messiah anointed to lead this country back to Obamian gridlock and more prestidigitation like mandated insurance to ensure the health of the insurance companies. Again, it will only be the illusion of "free stuff."

The only way such a scenario won't cause four more years of turmoil for this country (rinse and repeat in 2024) is if the victor is Gabbard and she ends all the illegal and unconstitutional wars by edict, telling all the sure-to-be pissing and moaning Deep State functionaries to pick up their severance pay and go pound sand. Then shut the world-wide spider web of military bases and bring home the troops while we can still afford the carfare. That would be "morning in America," and Gabbard would be the most heroic chief exec since Lincoln and FDR made their marks in the history books, though such fantasies never play out in the real world. More likely all the criminal evidence of treason remains classified, most Americans pop the blue pill, the actual rabbit hole continues to grow ever deeper but the masses are contentedly oblivious to it all, satisfied to blame select scapegoats from Russia, China and other "malign" countries for our viewing entertainment.

Deniz , July 8, 2019 at 17:50

The Grabber in Chief vs Willie Brown's mistress – wonderful.

ML , July 8, 2019 at 20:12

You are really something, Realist. I love the way you flourish that pen of yours. Thank you.

Rob Roy , July 8, 2019 at 20:13

Realist, well said, per usual. To add a bit the Dems probably gave Trump the gift of a lifetime the next election. Wasting three years on Russiagate instead of hammering out a decent platform for the party was beyond dumb. That reminds me. the Dems's next dumbest idea choosing Joe Biden as their next candidate. Just like Hillary, he can't beat Trump. The duopoly is dead, they just don't know it.

As for Tulsi, she's got my vote.

John Earls , July 8, 2019 at 16:55

Looks like Barry Eisler's John Rain (expert in "death by natural causes") will have a lot of work in front of him if the investigation builds and a whole lot of "material witnesses" begin to testify.

ricardo2000 , July 8, 2019 at 16:33

I'm supposed to feel sorry for the surveillance of a right-wing creep? OH PLEASE.
No one in government, or the right wing ReThugs, has ever suffered the intrusive, lying, speculative 'investigations' that social justice, environmental, or human rights activists have over the past 70 years.

When these buttheads suffer what MLK and Malcolm X have suffered then I might just wipe away a few tears, after I stop roaring with laughter and get off the floor.

Realist , July 8, 2019 at 17:08

You prefer a race to the bottom of the cesspool?

You never win when you adopt the methods you claim to revile. The opponent who introduced the tactics you condemn wins if you embrace them as your own. You didn't beat him, you joined him.

LibertyBonBon , July 8, 2019 at 18:12

Must be nice to think the justice system should revolve around your particular emotions, rather than equality and objectivity. Safe and easy.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 20:41

ricardo2000, nothing personal, I get the revulsion to Trump and entourage not to mention a large portion of the Maga crowd but this right and left thing is really just an illusion, the people doing the persecuting here regardless of how disgusting Trump is are the same ones doing the persecuting to a large degree of everyone else from Assange to the Iranians, that is this government deep state in combination with all of the various American alphabet soup agencies as well as foreign deep states have cornered the market in State power, hate Trump but don't confuse this with a good thing.

O Society , July 8, 2019 at 16:18

Thank you, Ray McGovern. You are a good man, Charlie Brown!

Thing is, all of this was predictable from the beginning. Many of us saw it coming.

No one really wanted an incompetent baboon running things – the song about Monkey and the Engineer comes to mind – so Obama tried to hamstring Trump with this investigation. I mean, Obama couldn't very well have not completed the transfer of power because it is the most valuable thing about democracy. There is no ten year bloody hellified civil war every time the crown changes hands from one inbred to the next.

So Obama did the next best thing on his way out the Oval Office doors, he put Brennan and the boys on it. Seemed like a good idea at the time, I'm sure. But it backfired because he couldn't call the dogs off once he was no longer president. Not Brennan, not anyone could call them off after the snowball really got rolling because the spooks believed their own story and the media made too much money off selling the mythology:

https://osociety.org/2019/07/06/spooks-spooking-themselves/

Only question left to answer now is whether or not Trump the carnival barker can milk his opportunist Armageddon into a second term of fleecing the rubes.

http://osociety.org/2019/07/08/can-donald-trump-delay-an-economic-crash-until-2020

karlof1 , July 8, 2019 at 15:00

This is a very serious Constitutional Law issue and MUST be pursued–and it makes no difference the political party denomination of those breaking the law! The Current Oligarchy–Deep State–is the adversary of the vast majority of US citizens and humanity. With Epstein's arrest and the developments McGovern relates, some progress appears to be happening.

Lydia , July 8, 2019 at 14:51

You summed it up perfectly, Jill.

Pablo Diablo , July 8, 2019 at 14:42

"the effort to defeat Trump and, later, to emasculate and, if possible, remove him." says it all. Trump is a loose cannon. The so called "Deep State" has been "controlling" our Presidents since at least the Dulles Brothers. Truman even admitted giving them power was a BIG mistake. Still question the Kennedy Assassination.
In the 70's, the FBI mailed me a box of drugs, which I refused to take from a very incompetent fake Mail Man, and three minutes later they showed up with a search warrant for my house that listed all the drugs in the failed mailed box signed by a Federal Judge. So much for FISA. The bullshit continues. I could reveal more if necessary.

robert e williamson jr , July 8, 2019 at 14:32

Sam F. whether you realize it or not you got it pretty much on the nose. Except for this.

The judiciary has been compromised by the congresses refusal to hold CIA et. al. accountable for their actions. Why? Those in congress remember what happened to JFK.

The number one reason is because the deep state ensures that if anyone goes after CIA officials or designees that the persons career and life are ruined. Which is something else that needs to be investigated. Something that if explored may very well put a stop to CIA's B.S. of lying about everything and getting away with it.

Currently no deterrent exists. None.

Anytime some one or entity gets close the Deep State ends up with their guy as AG. See the Bill Barr story.

Barr may get his chance to prove me right and at the same time prove "Lady Justice" has little to do with the DOJ! I think he is a cowardly blowhard. Justice would be Trump and Barr going to jail .

Justice in this country for the true scoundrels in government or billionaires is non- existent at this point in time. Putting Epstein in prison for life is called for and if he is threatened with that maybe his jaw will loosen up.

Until DOJ can become a deterrent to bad actors in government, all government the country will be controlled by the Deep State. The SWETS, super wealthy elitists.

Keep your eyes on George Soro and the Kochs.

Paul Merrell , July 8, 2019 at 17:28

@ "Justice would be Trump and Barr going to jail ."

Are you suggesting that *any* of their living predecessors don't deserve the same? If so, which do not and why?

Jay , July 8, 2019 at 14:18

Bif:

I agree something very suspect occurred.

And it's very likely the Obama White House knew that either the NSA or the FBI was tapping into the communications of some of Trump's campaign team BEFORE Hillary lost in Nov. 2016.

However the xenophobic, lying, terrorist (IRA) supporting, Peter King is not a credible messenger. (Right, Rep Steve King of Iowa is even worse than King of Long Island.)

Peter Dyer , July 8, 2019 at 14:09

Thanks, Ray.

DH Fabian , July 8, 2019 at 13:59

Actually, that deep split among the masses, and certainly within the Dem voting base, was achieved in the 1990s -- middle class vs. poor, workers vs. those left jobless, further split by race. The Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. Russia had nothing to do with the Democrats' 2016 defeat, nor will it be the reason for their 2020 defeat. Democrats maintain their resistance against acknowledging the consequences of dividing and conquering their own voting base.

EuGene Miller , July 9, 2019 at 00:24

DH, that's an interesting assessment. However, I doubt that any House or Senate Democrat sought an advantage by "splitting their base". The elected Dems do not control the narrative. So, who benefits by splitting the masses into rival factions?

Perhaps the narrative of social and political discourse is defined by the owners, boards, and foundations that control the main-stream media and pop-culture.

Robert Reich wrote that an oligarchy divides-and-conquers the rest of us. I suspect that controlling the narrative is not simply a propaganda tool; it is the basis of divide-and-conquer strategy.

https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/57499-there-is-no-right-v-left-it-is-trump-and-the-oligarchs-against-the-rest

robert e williamson jr , July 8, 2019 at 13:56

Is it possible that the DOJ, see the Sec. of Labor's problems developing with the Espstein case, is about to have it's gloriously corrupt underbelly rolled over into the sunlight? (you must roll the snake over to see its belly)

Please Ray tell me this is where we might be heading or instead will we end up with the courts truncating investigation because they say it will be best for the country not to have all this filthy laundry dragged out into the sunlight or someones bull shit sources and methods might be exposed. The DOJ has become a really bad joke!

I'm hoping you know something I don't because Barr's past history pretty much speaks for itself I'd say after be made sure he pardoned all of Bush 41 henchmen!

At this point I certainly do not have much faith in the DOJ doing the right thing. What Acosta did in Florida with Epstein was hardly the right thing to do.

They all need to be locked up.

Eric32 , July 8, 2019 at 13:33

Very little "punishment" will occur, and no deep change cleanup will occur.
The US govt. is controlled by money and blackmail – not "voting" or public outrage.

So many high level people have so much dirt on other high level people that nothing major will be done.
A series of very big events, including the JFK murder and the 9/11 charade went unexposed and undealt with – there is no reason to think that this medium size event will wind up making a big difference.

What will happen is that US "democracy" will continue on its downward course, but maybe with a better facade.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 20:59

I personally believe that the empire will crash when it hits maximum overreach it will also simultaneously go broke at the same time, as the money interests at that point Will probably move east, this will partially be due to both the feds tendency to over inflate in order to cover military acquisitions as well as the decline of swift and the ascendancy of China in the rest. I actually think that this is what some American factions desire, it is potentially good for all of us if we can regain a republic but it will mean the end of American hegemony.

Gary Weglarz , July 8, 2019 at 13:22

This is the same "deep state" that assassinated a sitting president, then proceeded to assassinate the next three most important and influential progressive leaders in the country all over a five year period. Problem solved. And just when you thought Allen Dulles didn't know what to do with all those oh so experienced Nazi war criminals he'd recruited to the CIA.

When Congress investigated the CIA in the mid-1970's (before Congress became completely "owned" by the deep state) right on cue witnesses began to "commit suicide" just before they would be scheduled to testify. Problem solved. Hardly a raised eyebrow from the always complicit MSM through all of this. Expecting anything more than a massive coverup of this latest deep state corruption and abuse is beyond my abilities to even effectively fantasize about.

herbert davis , July 8, 2019 at 14:12

Justice in the USA?

John Drake , July 8, 2019 at 13:20

The corporate Democrats strike out again. They run a corrupt, violent(war monger) candidate, who loses to a buffoon-an election which was hers to lose. Meanwhile trying to hedge their bets they play sleazeball with the investigative arm's authority in order to sabotage said buffoon; which as it is revealed gives ammunition and the advantage to their target. i.e. "They were illegally picking on me"
If Trump is smart-a very long stretch, but some advisor might suggest this- he will expose all this slime closer to the election for maximum effect. What a distressing thought. All the more reason to run a progressive Presidential candidate that can disavow the DNC clowns and their corruption.

geeyp , July 8, 2019 at 12:37

It's past time for the Deep State to come up from the deep state of hell in which they reside. At least to purgatory for some fresh air and a wee ray of light. I couldn't let the Schumer warning keep me from giving the go ahead on this. If my coconut is shattered, someone somewhere (not our current media) would have a clue as to what happened to me. Sic 'em, President Trump and A.G. and Devin Nunes!

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 12:14

The US needs to solve the underlying problem of corruption of secret agencies and judiciary, otherwise the political wrongdoing of one faction will only be matched by that of its opponents, regardless of a few prosecutions. I know from experience the extreme corruption of the Repubs, and little doubt that the Dems do such things at least when desperate.

The solution includes:
1. All secrets meaningfully shared among multiparty committees;
2. All politicians and top officials monitored for corrupt influence;
3. Entire federal judiciary fired, replaced, and monitored like the politicians; and
4. Amendments to protect elections and mass media from control by money power.
Until then all government acts are tribal gangsterism and little more.

Guy , July 8, 2019 at 13:50

You forgot about dual citizenship members of the senate and congress . Elected as a representative for the country of the US should mean just that and not another country . And while we are at it , major reform on monetary contributions to candidates running for re-election . There is something terribly wrong with needing millions if not billions of dollars to run the electoral races.There is much more that needs to be done but this would be a good start .

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 17:32

Yes, the proposed Amendments would restrict funding of mass media and elections to registered individual contributions (some prefer government funding) limited to the average day's pay annually (for example), with full reporting by candidates and all intermediaries. We all can see the destruction of democracy that was caused by economic power controlling elections, mass media, the judiciary, etc.

But of course we cannot get those amendments because those tools of democracy now belong to the rich, etc. History suggests that we are in for generations of severe decline before the people are hurting enough to turn off the tube and do something, and generations more before they can re-establish democracy.

Herman , July 8, 2019 at 15:20

Ray McGovern writes:"Classification," however, has been one of the Deep State's favorite tactics to stymie investigations -- especially when the material in question yields serious embarrassment or reveals crimes. And the stakes this time are huge"

On the matter of government reform classification there is a great need of public discussion and radical reform. Why? Because the government is playing with an essential right, the right to know. All the red herrings needed to be thrown in the trash and the burden placed on the classifiers to justify why the public does not have a right to know.

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 17:24

Yes, the facts and their significance (especially about false flags and scandals) need to be publicly debated, as well as policy goals, and the policies derived from facts and goals. We have far too many government secrets to sustain a democracy.

I suggest limiting secrets to ongoing investigations (with a time limit), defensive military plans and operations (not alleged provocations or aggressive war schemes), and personal IDs of those at risk. Beyond that secrets disguise tyranny.

Ida G Millman , July 8, 2019 at 16:02

Another path towards a solution to government corruption could be term limits for all federal representatives. Limiting the number of terms would curtail the opportunities for forming the uninterrupted years of long coalitions between public servants and government officials that result in the abuses of power that have damaged the interests of ordinary less wealthy citizens, in favor of corporate and military interests.

In the matter of the original intentions of the men who wrote our founding documents, we should consider one of the enormous differences that technology has made between us: that our representatives can travel between DC and their homes with enough ease that they can continue reasonably, or nearly reasonably, satisfactory family lives – something that could not be done in the 18th century. The forefathers did not foresee that being a member of government would become a career for a lifetime. They assumed, I believe, that members of government would always be citizens who would give our country a few years of their lives and then return to private life to share their experience and knowledge with their neighbors.

Such a change would not magically reform government corruption. There will always be those who will find a way – but it could slow things down and it would certainly engage an increasing number of citizens who would participate in governing, as well as the circles of people surrounding each of them whose interest in and understanding of government would increase because everyone would know more of their representatives. Got that, kids? L&B&L

Sam F , July 8, 2019 at 17:37

Term limits are useful and we should enact more. There seems to be a sufficient supply of puppets for the rich/WallSt/Mic/zionists to ensure that all new candidates represent only those interests, unless we go further and control funding of mass media and elections, monitoring of politicians and judges for life, etc.

Rob Roy , July 8, 2019 at 20:28

Ida,
Term limits wouldn't be necessary if money were out of elections and all elections were publicly funded. Next, a law should be passed to prevent retired congress people from lobbying for any private company of any kind. Then people wouldn't have to spend all their time in congress lining up money for the next election, nor would they owe favors to anyone.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 21:19

Sam F, all of those goals seem very nice but it would probably be better if we just dissolved back into 50 states save for an interstate system and a very small navy for common defense, maybe four nuclear submarines total, the American people will be best off without a government completely working it out for themselves, if some of them work it out in completely different ways without hurting each other so be it. Besides even a libertarians would have to acknowledge democracy best works for smaller populations. We may never be able to curb the will to power of evil men but we can diminish their abilities to fleece the public if we are not subject to them.

Jay , July 8, 2019 at 11:42

Peter King?

Really now.

Not a credible source, no matter how invention filled Russia-gate is. And no matter how clear it is that in 2016 the FBI was poking around campaign Trump and likely telling the White House what it found.

Bif Webster , July 8, 2019 at 13:28

I agree that King isn't the best of messengers, but we can also go to others who are not right-wing to see something fishy went on.

Those text messages convinced me something was going on. And that was before all the other stuff came to light.

I think this will be about who has more dirt on the other side you know, leverage?

Jeff Harrison , July 8, 2019 at 11:41

Thank you, Ray. Forgive my cynicism but the US government is so corrupt, has wielded illegitimate power for so long, and has covered the tracks of countless functionaries who have not upheld the constitution that I doubt this will go anywhere. I have been quoting Ben Franklin for some time "you have a republic, if you can keep it." I don't think we can. A reading of "A History of Venice" by John J. Norris would be appropriate here. The most serene republic lasted for essentially 1,000 years from roughly 800 to not quite 1800, first as a democracy, later as an oligarchy. Much like us, including having the most feared secret service in Europe at the time, Venice kept its power through trade but at least we don't hoist the new president up on a chair so that he can throw golden Ducats to the crowd on Wall Street the way that a new Doge would.

I don't see that as necessarily much of a plus.

Steven Berge , July 8, 2019 at 11:40

I don't suppose anything will happen to anybody important about this. After all, nothing happened to anybody when they were caught mass spying on any and all american citizens, even before they made it legal.

Drew Hunkins , July 8, 2019 at 11:32

Unfortunately Webb and Parry exposed much of these gangster criminal "intel" savages for running guns and drugs to Central American pseudo fascist mercenary sadists throughout much of the late 1970s through the '80s. I say unfortunately b/c nothing much ever came along by way of true justice, by way of the criminal players rotting in maximum security jail cells for years on end, not unlike the crack or heroin addict who steals a $400 television.

Jill , July 8, 2019 at 11:15

This has been one long crime against the American people. King should read what he knows into the Congressional Record. I have no sympathy for Trump's fear of the deep state. He has sent people to die knowing full well that his actions were based on lies, lies that would result in the deaths of civilians as well as our own military. If he is going to do that, then he should have the courage to face the deep state. That's partial penance for all the deaths he has caused.

I also don't care about Trump's personal issue about being surveilled. He personally supports that against everyone else. That is why I feel this is a crime against our people as a whole. Our constitution has been stripped bare. We don't have the rule of law. Mass surveillance covering the globe is current reality. It is dangerous. It is wrong. It is lawless. It is a disaster.

Further, Russiagate was used to keep real opposition away from Trump. His supporters doubled down on "liking" Trump because he appeared to be a victim of these lies. Democrats meanwhile learned to further worship the IC. They ignored Trump's actual unlawful behavior, and, in the case of war crimes, still support Trump on every war/regime change action etc. recommended to them by their IC "resistance" "leaders".

People won't speak to one another because of this division, all based on lies. Democrats want Assange put to death because he exposed truthful information about Clinton. Neighbor has turned against neighbor over this. We have stopped talking and stopped thinking about whether claims make sense or have evidence behind them. Political parties have become cults with cult leaders. Meanwhile, many who think it was wrong to use surveillance against Trump, accept mass surveillance against everyone else, including themselves.

This has been one of the most effective propaganda tools I have ever seen against our populace. It has created a divided, unthinking populace who is ripe for the picking by evil men and women. I am truly hoping that once this is exposed people will stop this madness and pull together for a common good. But I'm quite worried that, like most cults, when the leader is shown to be wrong, people cling to them even more.

I cannot believe what Russiagate has done to our own people. I am terrified at the wars it has/may yet cause and the cruelty against others, both foreign and domestic, which it has wrought.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 21:51

What else would you call it, there have always been nefarious agents in one government or another for one gangster interest or another, whether was Milner's roundtable or Dulles's Gladio werewolves, these are nefarious individuals there is no gray area in that, however they may conduct themselves and their personal lives, it is not sloppy journalism, is to call something what it is, a this shadow government working in many instances against the direct interest of the American people, I'm not trying to be you over the head with this but Mr. McGovern was once upon a Time swimming in the same waters and he knows what he is talking about. The deep state maybe several different factions but all of it at least so far is fairly I'm Accountable, this thing must be named.

AnneR , July 8, 2019 at 14:18

First the Disclaimer: I'm not a supporter of either side of the one party two headed monster political machine, not of either HRC or DT, both, and their "parties," making me want to puke.

I am curious about the following: "He [DT] has sent people to die knowing full well that his actions were based on lies, lies that would result in the deaths of civilians as well as our own military. If he is going to do that, then he should have the courage to face the deep state. That's partial penance for all the deaths he has caused."

While I have no doubt that DT has been responsible for civilian deaths (I am far less concerned about military deaths – join the military and you cannot expect not to have to chance it, particularly in a warmongering nation state; if the recruit doesn't recognize this reality, then they need to do some reading), *most* such deaths in those countries we (the US and its vassal states and proxies) have been happily bombing, shelling, destroying one way or another, even since the late 1980s (not therefore including the appalling and illegal warring on Vietnam et al) are down, not to DT, but rather to presidents: BC, GHB, GWB, BO. Pretty evenly divided betwixt the two heads, wouldn't you say?

That's not to excuse DT (and I wouldn't excuse HRC either – think Libya; as bad as MA, if with different forms of warfare; but then they're buddies, like attracting like).

We – the US – need to stop killing other peoples (let's cry for the war-making profiteers), stop destroying other countries (and for our corporate-capitalists who plunder them); need to mind our own "shop" and business. And stop pretending that we're such a wonderful, white-hatted, "good" nation.

Jill , July 8, 2019 at 15:15

AnneR,

We have had war criminal presidents from the legacy parties, period. Barr is a party to war crimes so I share other's doubts that he will do anything about actual justice. He may be in on the current winning side of the IC and they may be purging some enemies at this time. That is the only thing I see Barr being involved in.

Speaking as someone who has done counter-recruitment in schools, I will just give you my experience. Students are tracked from grade school. A file is kept on them with over a thousand data points. These files are taken by recruiters and used to "pitch" the military to young people. I don't know if you were sophisticated at 16. I was a little bit but not much. So here's an example–they told one young woman who had a single mother that if she went in the military she would not be a burden on her mother any longer. They understood the family had few resources and they played on this young woman's "guilt" over being a financial "drain" on her mother. No, recruiters do not tell the truth to those they meet. They lie and they lie very well because they have excellent information to help them tell the correct lies. That girl is dead and I mourn her death.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 22:05

AnneR, you have so much anger, I understand, it is terrible what our nation has done and is continuing to do, it has gone on so long that many of the people currently perpetrating the crimes against foreign populations are themselves of descendents of peoples the US has victimized. It's the propaganda, the United States is one of the most heavily propagandize societies in the world, we make the Soviets look like children. No one wants you to have sympathy for Donald Trump, you do not have to agree or like a person to see that the cartel seeking to damage him is also simultaneously against your interests and they are against your interests whether you're from the left or the right because they do not have an ideology just it will to power.

Dunderhead , July 8, 2019 at 22:09

Jill that was an incredibly cogent description of the mess we are currently in, congratulations on such clarity, peace out.

David Otness , July 9, 2019 at 00:18

With you on all that you state, Jill. It's really exposed the U.S. population for what we unfortunately are, if not what we've become. So reminiscent of the darker days of the Cold War. A stark education has just played out to this point. I wonder how many have learned anything at all from it?

[Jul 07, 2019] Ship of Fools- Liner Notes

Notable quotes:
"... In 1996, Americans crowed about having meddled in the Russian presidential election. Well, you could argue that they can do stuff too. ..."
Jul 07, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

The signs are always there, it will always seem, in retrospect. Russian meddling in American elections. You double-take as you hear President Obama admonish the Russians, shortly after the 2016 presidential election, "We can do stuff to you." I'm old enough to remember that such 'stuff' has been going on for awhile. In 1996, Americans crowed about having meddled in the Russian presidential election. Well, you could argue that they can do stuff too.

Let's recount. Reagan told Gorbachev to "tear down that wall" in Berlin. He did, along with the Iron Curtain. The neoliberals rushed in like RawdyYates in Rawhide with their bling and sto ho ethos. The oligarchs took over in Russia. Clinton installed the dancing circus bear Boris Yeltsin and laughed so hard at the president's buffoonery that it looked for awhile like America would be friends-for-life with the Russkies. Maybe they could do stuff together.

... ... ...

John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelancer based in Australia. He is a former reporter for The New Bedford Standard-Times

[Jul 06, 2019] Mueller Report Gets the Trump Tower Meeting Wrong; Promotes Browder Hoax by Lucy Komisar

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It wasn't to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton, which the Russian lawyer did not have and never produced. That was a ploy by Robert Goldstone, a British music publicist whose job is to get what his clients want, in this case, a meeting. So, recklessly, he invented the idea of Clinton dirt as a bait-and-switch to get Trump's people to come to it. He got the lawyer the meeting for her to lobby a potentially incoming administration against the Magnitsky Act, which is why she was in the United States in the first place. ..."
"... The lawyer lobbying against the act, Natalia Veselnitskaya, told Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort that Browder's story was fake, a smokescreen to block the Russians from going after him for multi-millions in tax evasion. She argued the Magnitsky Act was built on this fraud. Manafort's notes, included in the Mueller Report, trace what she said. ..."
"... The Mueller investigators appear not to have looked into her charges. The report promotes Browder's fabrications, citing "the Magnitsky Act, which imposed financial sanctions and travel restrictions on Russian officials and which was named for a Russian tax specialist who exposed a fraud and later died in a Russian prison." ..."
"... But instead of his "lawyer" Magnitsky exposing Russian fraud, for which he was jailed and killed in prison, Magnitsky was actually Browder's accountant who was detained under investigation for his part in Browder's tax evasion and died of natural causes in prison, as Magnitsky's own mother admits to filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov in the film "The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes." ..."
"... The documents include a deposition where Browder admits that the alleged "lawyer" Magnitsky did not go to law school nor have a law degree. Magnitsky's own testimony file identifies him as an "auditor." ..."
"... I interviewed Veselnitskaya in New York in November 2016. She explained what she later told the Trump group, that Browder's clients the Ziff Brothers had invested in Russian shares in a way that routed the money through loans so that they could evade U.S. taxes. ["Not invest – loans" in Manafort's notes.] ..."
Jul 03, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Volume 25, Number 186 -- Saturday, July 6, 2019 INTELLIGENCE , RUSSIA , RUSSIAGATE , TRUMP ADMINISTRATION , U.S. Mueller Report Gets the Trump Tower Meeting Wrong; Promotes Browder Hoax July 3, 2019 • 43 Comments

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Natalia Veselnitskaya didn't have "dirt" on Hillary Clinton and when the Russian lawyer met with Trump's people her focus was not on the 2016 campaign, writes Lucy Komisar.

By Lucy Komisar
Special to Consortium News

A "key event" described in the Mueller Report is the Trump Tower meeting where a Russian lawyer met with the president's son Donald Trump Jr, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Russiagaters have been obsessed with the meeting saying it was the smoking gun to prove collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to steal the 2016 election. Months after Mueller concluded that there was no collusion at all, the obsession has switched to "obstruction of justice," which is like someone being apprehended for resisting arrest without committing any other crime.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump team members in Trump Tower, and her interpreter, in background. (Lucy Komisar)

The Mueller report thus focuses instead on "efforts to prevent disclosure of information about the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Russians and senior campaign officials."

But the report on this topic is deceptive. Ironically, as it attacks Donald Trump and top campaign officials for lying, the report itself lies about the issue the meeting addressed.

It wasn't to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton, which the Russian lawyer did not have and never produced. That was a ploy by Robert Goldstone, a British music publicist whose job is to get what his clients want, in this case, a meeting. So, recklessly, he invented the idea of Clinton dirt as a bait-and-switch to get Trump's people to come to it. He got the lawyer the meeting for her to lobby a potentially incoming administration against the Magnitsky Act, which is why she was in the United States in the first place.

The Magnitsky Act is a 2012 U.S. law that was promoted by William Browder, an American-born British citizen and hedge fund investor, who claimed his "lawyer" Sergei Magnitsky had been imprisoned and murdered because he uncovered a scheme by Russian officials to steal $230 million from the Russian Treasury. It sanctioned Russians he said were involved or benefitted from Magnitsky's death. It has since been used by the U.S. to put sanctions on other Russians and nationals from other countries.

The lawyer lobbying against the act, Natalia Veselnitskaya, told Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort that Browder's story was fake, a smokescreen to block the Russians from going after him for multi-millions in tax evasion. She argued the Magnitsky Act was built on this fraud. Manafort's notes, included in the Mueller Report, trace what she said.

Nothing Illegal

The Trump people did nothing illegal to meet with her. Their problem was the exaggerating communications Goldstone sent them about Veselnitskaya having "dirt" on Clinton. (While U.S. election laws says it's illegal for a campaign to receive "a thing of value" from a foreign source, it's never been established by a court that opposition research fits that description, the Mueller Report admits. ) Veselnitskaya testified to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in November 2017 that Browder's major American client, the Ziff brothers, had cheated on American and Russian taxes and contributed the "dirty money" to the Democrats.

The Mueller investigators appear not to have looked into her charges. The report promotes Browder's fabrications, citing "the Magnitsky Act, which imposed financial sanctions and travel restrictions on Russian officials and which was named for a Russian tax specialist who exposed a fraud and later died in a Russian prison."

But instead of his "lawyer" Magnitsky exposing Russian fraud, for which he was jailed and killed in prison, Magnitsky was actually Browder's accountant who was detained under investigation for his part in Browder's tax evasion and died of natural causes in prison, as Magnitsky's own mother admits to filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov in the film "The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes."

Mueller's investigators might have started with documents filed in U.S. federal court in the case of Veselnitskaya's client, Prevezon, a Russian holding company that settled a civil-forfeiture claim by the U.S. government that linked it, without proof, to the tax fraud.

The documents include a deposition where Browder admits that the alleged "lawyer" Magnitsky did not go to law school nor have a law degree. Magnitsky's own testimony file identifies him as an "auditor."

Why does that matter? Because it was Browder's red herring. Magnitsky had worked as Browder's accountant since 1997, fiddling on Browder's taxes on profits from sales of shares held by Russian shell companies run by his Hermitage Fund. He was not an attorney hired in 2007 to investigate and then expose a tax fraud against the Russian Treasury.

That fraud was exposed by Rimma Starova, the Russian nominee director of a British Virgin Islands shell company that held Hermitage's reregistered companies and who gave testimony to Russian police on April 9 and July 10, 2008 . It was reported by The New York Times and Vedomosti on July 24, 2008, months before Magnitsky mentioned it in an Oct. 7 interrogation.

Kremlin-connected?

Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. (Jorge Láscar, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Mueller Report says Veselnitskaya promised dirt on Hillary Clinton as "part of Russia and its government support for Trump." Two days before the meeting, Goldstone emailed Trump Jr. and said "the Russian government attorney" was flying in from Moscow. She had not been a government attorney since 2001, 15 years earlier.

I interviewed Veselnitskaya in New York in November 2016. She explained what she later told the Trump group, that Browder's clients the Ziff Brothers had invested in Russian shares in a way that routed the money through loans so that they could evade U.S. taxes. ["Not invest – loans" in Manafort's notes.]

The report says, "Natalia Veselnitskaya had previously worked for the Russian government and maintained a relationship with that government throughout this period of time." Later it says that from 1998 to 2001, she had worked as a prosecutor for the "Central Administrative District" of the Russian Prosecutor's office. "And continued to perform government-related work and maintain ties to the Russian government following her departure." We are meant to presume, with no evidence, as the media does – that means "a Kremlin-connected lawyer."

When Trump Jr asked for evidence, how the payments could be tied to the Clinton campaign, she said she couldn't trace them, according to the Mueller Report.

Then she turned to the Magnitsky Act. The report repeats earlier fakery: "She lobbied and testified about the Magnitsky Act, which imposed financial sanctions and travel restrictions on Russian officials and which was named for a Russian tax specialist who exposed a fraud and later died in a Russian prison." Magnitsky did not expose a fraud. Rimma Starova did.

A footnote in the report said: "Browder hired Magnitsky to investigate tax fraud by Russian officials, and Magnitsky was charged with helping Browder embezzle money." Browder did not hire Magnitsky to investigate the fraud. Magnitsky had been the accountant in charge of Hermitage since 1997, 10 years before the fraud. Embezzlement refers to Browder shifting assets out of Russia without paying taxes.

But the investigation's focus was not on Browder's fakery -- the substance of the Trump Tower meeting -- but on the communications organizing the event. The section on obstruction says Trump became aware of "emails setting up the June 9, 2016 meeting between senior campaign officials and Russians who offered derogatory information on Hillary Clinton as 'part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump.'"

That would have been inflated Goldstone's promises.

The report says "at the meeting the Russian attorney claimed that funds derived from illegal activities in Russia were provided to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats." Trump Jr. told a White House press officer that "they started with some Hillary thing, which was bs and some other nonsense, which we shot down fast."

As Veselnitskaya told me, she knew the Ziffs made contributions to Democrats. She probably started with that. Manafort's notes don't report a "Hillary thing," but are about Browder and the Ziffs.

On the issue of Browder, the Magnitsky story and the essence of the Trump Tower meeting, the Mueller Report is a deception intended to keep the myth of collusion in the air while dismissing that any collusion took place.

Lucy Komisar is an investigative reporter who writes about financial corruption and won a Gerald Loeb award, the most important prize in financial journalism, for breaking the story about how Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford got the Florida Banking Dept to allow him to move money offshore with no regulation. Her stories about William Browder focus on tax evasion. Find out more on The Komisar Scoop and on Twitter, @lucykomisar .

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

Zalamander , July 5, 2019 at 20:00

Joseph Mifsud, Konstanin Kilimnik and now Bill Browder have all been exposed as frauds. The Russiagate dominoes are collapsing one by one.

[Jul 01, 2019] NYT is totally subservant to MIC and intelligence agencies and it shows

Notable quotes:
"... Somehow, I think Kevin's being too generous saying NY Times is moderate when it comes to political views. IMO, reactionary is more appropriate given its editorial stances and what it's championed over its history. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 30, 2019 6:33:24 PM | 54

Interesting observation of NY Times attitude after first D-Party debate noted by Kevin Gosztola:

"'Moderates' seems to be the New York Times media company's euphemism for itself. Liberals at the Democratic presidential debate made the Times company 'anxious.'"

Somehow, I think Kevin's being too generous saying NY Times is moderate when it comes to political views. IMO, reactionary is more appropriate given its editorial stances and what it's championed over its history.

[Jun 30, 2019] New York Times exploits Parkland tragedy to escalate anti-Russian campaign by Andre Damon

Feb 21, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Less than four days after the Parkland school shooting, the New York Times has found a way to turn a national tragedy that claimed the lives of 17 high school students into an opportunity to escalate its unrelenting campaign of anti-Russian propaganda, involving the continuous bombardment of the public with reactionary lies and warmongering.

Against the backdrop of a major escalation of military tensions between the two countries, the Times seized upon the Justice Department indictment of Russian nationals over the weekend to claim that Russia is at "war" with the United States. Now, the Times has widened this claim into an argument that Russia somehow bears responsibility for social divisions over the latest mass shooting in America.

Its lead headline Tuesday morning blared: "SHOTS ARE FIRED, AND BOTS SWARM TO SOCIAL DIVIDES - Florida School Shooting Draws an Army Ready to Spread Discord"

According to the Times , Russian "bots," or automated social media accounts, sought "to widen the divide" on issues of gun control and mental illness, in order to "make compromise even more difficult." Russia sought to exploit "the issue of mental illness in the gun control debate," and "propagated the notion that Nikolas Cruz, the suspected gunman" was "mentally ill."

The absurd claim that Russia is responsible for the existence of social divisions in America is belied by the shooting itself, which is a testament to the fact that American society is riven by antagonisms that express themselves, in the absence of a progressive outlet, in outpourings of mass violence.

The aim of this campaign is to target anyone who would criticize the underlying social causes of the shooting -- the violence of American society, the nonexistence of mental health services, or even the social psychology that gives rise to mass shootings -- as a "Russian agent" seeking to "sow divisions" in American society.

The Times lead is based entirely on a "dashboard" called Hamilton 68 created by the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy, whose lead spokesman is Clint Watts, the former US intelligence agent and censorship advocate who declared in November that social media companies must "silence" sources of "rebellion."

Without naming any of the accounts it follows, Hamilton 68 claims to track content tweeted by "Russian bots and trolls." But most of the trends leading the dashboard are news stories, many posted by Russia Today and Sputnik News , that are identical with the trending topics followed by any other news agency. Thus, Hamilton 68 provides an instant New York Times headline generator: Any major news story can be presented as the result of "Russian bots."

The New York Times is making its claims about "Russian meddling" with what is known in the law as "unclean hands." That is, the Times practices the very actions of which it accuses others.

Here is not the place to deal with the long and bloody history of American destabilization campaigns and their horrific consequences in Latin America and the Middle East, or to review the fact that many American journalists serving abroad had dual functions -- as reporters and as agents.

But it is worth noting that, particularly in recent decades, and under the auspices of Editorial Page editor James Bennet, there has been a remarkable integration of the Times with the major operations of the US intelligence agencies.

This is particularly true with regard to Russia, in regard to which the Times acts as an instrument of US foreign policy misinformation, practicing exactly what it accuse the Kremlin of.

Take, for example, the so-called political "dissident" Aleksei Navalny. This proponent of extreme nationalism and xenophobia, with deep ties to Russia's fascistic right, and extensive connections to US intelligence agencies, has been championed by the Times as the voice of social dissent in Russia. Despite his miniscule support within Russia, Navalny's activities generate front-page headlines in the Times , which has mentioned him in over 400 separate articles.

Another example is the Times ' promotion of the "feminist" rock band Pussy Riot, which makes a habit of getting themselves arrested by taking their clothes off in Russian Orthodox churches, and whose fate the Times holds up as a horrific example of Russian oppression. The very name "Pussy Riot," which in typical usage is not even translated into Russian, expresses the fact that this operation aims to influence American, and not Russian, public opinion.

In 2014, the Times met with members of Pussy Riot at their editorial offices, and have since extensively promoted the group, having mentioned it in over 400 articles. The term "anti-Putin opposition" is mentioned in another 600 articles.

The logic of the Times ' campaign was expressed most clearly by its columnist Thomas Friedman, the personification of the pundit as state intelligence mouthpiece whose career was aptly summed up in a biography titled Imperial Messenger . In a column published on February 18 ("Whatever Trump is Hiding is Hurting All of US Now"), Friedman declares a "code red" threat to the integrity of American democracy.

"At a time when the special prosecutor Robert Mueller -- leveraging several years of intelligence gathering by the F.B.I., C.I.A. and N.S.A. -- has brought indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups -- all linked in some way to the Kremlin -- for interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections," Friedman writes, "America needs a president who will lead our nation's defense against this attack on the integrity of our electoral democracy."

This "defense," according to Friedman, would include "bring[ing] together our intelligence and military experts to mount an effective offense against Putin -- the best defense of all." In other words, war.

The task of all war propaganda is to divert internal social tensions outwards, and the Times ' campaign is no different. Its aim is to take the anger that millions of people feel at a society riven by social inequality, mass alienation, police violence, and endless war, and pin it on some shady foreign adversary.

The New York Times ' claims of Russian "meddling" in the Parkland shooting set the tone for even more hysterical coverage in the broadcast evening news. NBC News cited Jonathan Morgan, another collaborator on the Hamilton 68 project, who declared that Russia is "really interested in sowing discord amongst Americans. That way we're not focused on putting a unified front out to foreign adversaries."

The goal of the ruling class and its media accomplices is to put on "a unified front" through the suppression of social opposition within the United States. Along these Lines, NBC added, "Researchers tell us it's not just Russia deploying these attacks on social media," adding "many small independent groups are trying to divide Americans and create chaos."

Who are these "small independent groups" seeking to "create chaos"? By this, they no doubt mean any news or political organization that dares question the official line that everything is fine in America, and that argues that the horrendous levels of violence that pervade American society are somehow related to social inequality and the wars supported and justified by the entire US political establishment.

It is worth noting that these claims were made on the same day that Fox News ran a story alleging that Michael Moore, the director of Bowling for Columbine , a film that related the 1999 Columbine High School massacre to US wars abroad, had attended an anti-Trump demonstration allegedly set up by Russia.

As the World Socialist Web Site has repeatedly warned, the targets of this campaign are left-wing, antiwar and progressive web sites, political organizations, and news outlets, and, by extension, the freedom of the press and freedom of expression of the entire American public. In the name of providing a "unified front" to "foreign adversaries," the conditions are being created for the criminalization and banning of political dissent.

Andre Damon

[Jun 30, 2019] Barak and CIA

Jun 30, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

You have probably seen the bumper sticker that says: "Shit Happens." Some people are just lucky, I suppose, and odd coincidences mark their lives.

When he was just out of Columbia College and working for a reputed CIA front company, Business International Corporation, Barack Obama had a chance encounter with a young woman, Genevieve Cook, with whom he had a 1-2 year relationship.

Like Obama and at about the same time, Cook just happened to have lived in Indonesia with her father, Michael Cook, who just happened to become Australia's top spook, the director-general of the Office of National Assessments, and also the Ambassador to Washington.

Of course, Obama's mother, as is well-known, just happened to be living in Indonesia with Barack and Obama's step-father, Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian military officer, who had been called back to Indonesia by the CIA supported General Suharto three months before the CIA coup against President Sukarno. Suharto subsequently slaughtered over a million Indonesian Communists and Indonesian-Chinese.

As is also well-known, it just so happened that Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, trained in the Russian language, after teaching English in the US Embassy in Jakarta that housed one of the largest CIA stations in Asia, did her "anthropological" work in Indonesia and Southeast Asia financed by the well-known CIA conduits, USAID and the Ford Foundation.

Then there is Cook's stepfather, Philip C. Jessup, who just happened to be in Indonesia at the same time, doing nickel-mining deals with the genocidal Suharto government.

Anyway, "shit happens." You never know whom you might meet along the way of life.

[Jun 28, 2019] How Russia's President Putin Explains The End Of The '[neo]liberal' Order

You can read the transcript without firewall at: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60836
From Unz comment: "Tangentially related, but check out this great interview with Putin: https://www.ft.com/content/878d2344-98f0-11e9-9573-ee5cbb98ed36 The man's intelligence and seriousness is always impressive. The contrast with the nauseating rubbish that comes out of Western politicians could not be more striking, no wonder they hate the guy."
Notable quotes:
"... "One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future ." ..."
"... Putin has recognized the influence of our "regime change" wars on the immigrant problem in Europe. He addressed it forcefully in his UN General Assembly speech in 2015 where he asks NATO "Do you know what you've done?" with regards to creating the immigration problems in Europe. Watch here https://youtu.be/q13yzl6k6w0. ..."
"... From Putin's 2007 Munich speech to this 2015 UN speech and many interviews along the way, I've learned to pay attention to what Putin says. He seems to have an extremely good handle on world events and where they are leading. ..."
"... The neoliberal economic plan is to suck the wealth out of the working class and funnel it up to the top 10%, especially the 1%. How to keep the working class from noticing the theft? ..."
"... neo-liberalism (aka "crony capitalism") is about compromising the state and the society that it protects in favor of wealthy, powerful interests. Thus, at it's core, it's against the people. ..."
"... Look at the whine ass, crying, warmongering. narcissist psychopathic bullies we get. I am envious of the Russians having a leader they can be proud of. ..."
"... Been about 60 years since I have had a president to be proud of, back when America WAS great,,, and they killed him. ..."
Jun 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

How Russia's President Putin Explains The End Of The '[neo]Liberal' Order

Today the Financial Times published a long and wide ranging interview with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

A full transcript is currently available through this link .

The talk is making some waves:

From the last link:

Putin said in an interview with the Financial Times Friday that the "[neo]liberal idea has become obsolete," and referred to Germany's decision to welcome more than one million refugees -- many fleeing savage urban warfare in Syria -- as a "cardinal mistake."

It is only the last part of the very long interview, where Putin indeed speaks of the 'obsolesce' of the '[neo]liberal idea', that seems to be of interest to the media. Most of the interview is in fact about other issues. The media also do not capture how his 'obsolete' argument is ingrained in the worldview Putin developed, and how it reflects in many of his answers.

Here are excerpts that show that the gist of Putin's 'obsolete' argument is not against the '[neo]liberal idea', but against what may be best called 'international (neo-)[liberalism'.

Putin explains why U.S. President Donald Trump was elected:

Has anyone ever given a thought to who actually benefited and what benefits were gained from globalisation, the development of which we have been observing and participating in over the past 25 years, since the 1990s?

China has made use of globalisation, in particular, to pull millions of Chinese out of poverty.

What happened in the US, and how did it happen? In the US, the leading US companies -- the companies, their managers, shareholders and partners -- made use of these benefits. [..] The middle class in the US has not benefited from globalisation; it was left out when this pie was divided up.

The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly, and they used this in the election campaign. It is where you should look for reasons behind Trump's victory, rather than in any alleged foreign interference.

On Syria:

Primarily, this concerns Syria, we have managed to preserve Syrian statehood, no matter what, and we have prevented Libya-style chaos there. And a worst-case scenario would spell out negative consequences for Russia.
...
I believe that the Syrian people should be free to choose their own future.
...
When we discussed this matter only recently with the previous US administration, we said, suppose Assad steps down today, what will happen tomorrow?

Your colleague did well to laugh, because the answer we got was very amusing. You cannot even imagine how funny it was. They said, "We don't know." But when you do not know what happens tomorrow, why shoot from the hip today? This may sound primitive, but this is how it is.

On 'western' interventionism and 'democracy promotion':

Incidentally, the president of France said recently that the American democratic model differs greatly from the European model. So there are no common democratic standards. And do you, well, not you, but our Western partners, want a region such as Libya to have the same democratic standards as Europe and the US? The region has only monarchies or countries with a system similar to the one that existed in Libya.

But I am sure that, as a historian, you will agree with me at heart. I do not know whether you will publicly agree with this or not, but it is impossible to impose current and viable French or Swiss democratic standards on North African residents who have never lived in conditions of French or Swiss democratic institutions. Impossible, isn't it? And they tried to impose something like that on them. Or they tried to impose something that they had never known or even heard of. All this led to conflict and intertribal discord. In fact, a war continues in Libya.

So why should we do the same in Venezuela? ...

Asked about the turn towards nationalism and more rightwing policies in the U.S. and many European countries, Putin names immigration as the primary problem:

What is happening in the West? What is the reason for the Trump phenomenon, as you said, in the US? What is happening in Europe as well? The ruling elites have broken away from the people. The obvious problem is the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of the people .

Of course, we must always bear this in mind. One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future.

There is also the so-called [neo]liberal idea, which has outlived its purpose. Our Western partners have admitted that some elements of the [neo]liberal idea, such as multiculturalism, are no longer tenable.

When the migration problem came to a head, many people admitted that the policy of multiculturalism is not effective and that the interests of the core population should be considered. Although those who have run into difficulties because of political problems in their home countries need our assistance as well. That is great, but what about the interests of their own population when the number of migrants heading to Western Europe is not just a handful of people but thousands or hundreds of thousands?
...
What am I driving at? Those who are concerned about this, ordinary Americans, they look at this and say, Good for [Trump], at least he is doing something, suggesting ideas and looking for a solution.

As for the [neo]liberal idea, its proponents are not doing anything. They say that all is well, that everything is as it should be. But is it? They are sitting in their cosy offices, while those who are facing the problem every day in Texas or Florida are not happy, they will soon have problems of their own. Does anyone think about them?

The same is happening in Europe. I discussed this with many of my colleagues, but nobody has the answer. The say they cannot pursue a hardline policy for various reasons. Why exactly? Just because. We have the law, they say. Well, then change the law!

We have quite a few problems of our own in this sphere as well.
...
In other words, the situation is not simple in Russia either, but we have started working to improve it. Whereas the [neo]liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. The migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants must be protected. What rights are these? Every crime must have its punishment.

So, the [neo]liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population. Or take the traditional values. I am not trying to insult anyone, because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia as it is. But we have no problems with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish. But some things do appear excessive to us.

They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles. I cannot even say exactly what genders these are, I have no notion. Let everyone be happy, we have no problem with that. But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.

While Putin says that [neo]liberalism is 'obsolete' he does not declare it dead. He sees it as part of a spectrum, but says that it should not have a leading role:

You know, it seems to me that purely [neo]liberal or purely traditional ideas have never existed. Probably, they did once exist in the history of humankind, but everything very quickly ends in a deadlock if there is no diversity. Everything starts to become extreme one way or another.

Various ideas and various opinions should have a chance to exist and manifest themselves, but at the same time interests of the general public, those millions of people and their lives, should never be forgotten. This is something that should not be overlooked.

Then, it seems to me, we would be able to avoid major political upheavals and troubles. This applies to the [neo]liberal idea as well. It does not mean (I think, this is ceasing to be a dominating factor) that it must be immediately destroyed. This point of view, this position should also be treated with respect.

They cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades. Diktat can be seen everywhere: both in the media and in real life. It is deemed unbecoming even to mention some topics. But why?

For this reason, I am not a fan of quickly shutting, tying, closing, disbanding everything, arresting everybody or dispersing everybody. Of course, not. The [neo]liberal idea cannot be destroyed either; it has the right to exist and it should even be supported in some things. But you should not think that it has the right to be the absolute dominating factor. That is the point. Please.

There is much more in the interview - about Russia's relations with China, North Korea, the Skripal incident, the Russian economy, orthodoxy and the [neo]liberal attack on the Catholic church, multilateralism, arms control and the G-20 summit happening today.

But most '[neo]liberal' media will only point to the 'obsolete' part and condemn Putin for his rallying against immigration. They will paint him as being in an alt-right corner. But even the Dalai Lama, held up as an icon by many [neo]liberals, says that "Europe is for Europeans" and that immigrants should go back to their own countries.

Moreover, as Leonid Bershidsky points out , Putin himself is, with regards to the economy and immigration, a staunch [neo]liberal:

Putin's cultural conservatism is consistent and sincere.
...
On immigration, however, Putin is, in practice, more [neo]liberal than most European leaders. He has consistently resisted calls to impose visa requirements on Central Asian countries, an important source of migrant labor. Given Russia's shrinking working-age population and shortage of manual workers, Putin isn't about to stem that flow, even though Central Asians are Muslims – the kind of immigrants Merkel's opponents, including Trump, distrust and fear the most.

What Putin is aiming at, says Bershidsky, is the larger picture:

[W]hat Putin believes has outlived its usefulness isn't the [neo]liberal approach to migration or gender, nor is it [neo]liberal economics – even though Russia has, in recent months, seen something of a shift toward central planning. It is the [neo]liberal world order. Putin wants to keep any talk of values out of international politics and forge pragmatic relationships based on specific interests.
...
Putin's drive to put global politics on a more transactional basis isn't easy to defeat; it's a siren song, and the anti-immigrant, culturally conservative rhetoric is merely part of the music.

There is in my view no 'siren-song' there and nothing that has to be defeated. It is just that Putin is more willing to listen to the people than most of the western wannabe 'elite'.

The people's interest is simply not served well by globalization, [neo]liberal internationalism and interventionism. A transactional approach to international policies, with respect for basic human decency, is in almost every case better for them.

Politicians who want the people's votes should listen to them, and to Vladimir Putin.

Posted by b on June 28, 2019 at 01:50 PM | Permalink


pretzelattack , Jun 28, 2019 2:05:48 PM | 1

he makes a lot of sense on neo]liberalism. i guess this makes me a Russian agent.
ROBERT SYKES , Jun 28, 2019 2:15:18 PM | 2
It is hard to exaggerate Putin's accomplishments. He almost single-handedly saved Russia from the chaos of the Yeltsin era and near collapse. He has reestablished Russia as a major power. In the face of the American world rampage, he has helped stabilize MENA. By merging Russia's Eurasian Union with China's OBOR, he has helped to set Eurasia on a road to peaceful economic development. He has even managed to get China, India, and Pakistan talking to one another and cooperating in a variety of Eurasian projects.

I doubt he has more than 10 years left as a Russian leader, and maybe not even that. When he finally passes, he will be remembered as another Churchill or Bismarck.

Barovsky , Jun 28, 2019 2:16:21 PM | 3
Hmmm... Putin says the problem is 'multi-culturalism', 'migrants'? What kind of bullshit is this?

Putin doesn't mention that the migrant crisis was caused by Western resource wars, in Syria, Libya and elsewhere. That neoliberalism's impact on the poor countries has led to the vast exodus into Europe and N. America.

I have a feeling that Putin is playing the 'RT game', targeting those disaffected people, who have, in turn been the target of racist, islamaphobic propaganda by Western states, states that for obvious reasons (self-incrimination) won't state the real reasons for the exodus.

Alexander P , Jun 28, 2019 2:17:47 PM | 4
The page on [neo]liberalism in the classic sense the way it was envisioned in the late 18th and 19th century has long been passed. [neo]liberalism as in nurturing the human soul and intellect and allowing each individual to draw on their qualities and contribute to society with their fullest potential has been supplanted by material and physical liberties alone (Gender, Sexuality, Free Trade, Free Migration aka Free Movement of Slave Labor etc). What today is called [neo]liberalism, which I like to equate with neo-[neo]liberalism and social 'progressivism', are both parts of post-modernism, a societal model that is falling and failing under its own weight of hubris and inconsistencies.

The 'Do as thou wilt' mindset pushed on the people by the elites is deliberate with the only end goal of creating their 'ideal' world. A world not based on morality, spirituality and absolute truths, but relativism, materialism, loss of basic notions such as gender, family, belonging, in short loss of identity and purpose for mankind to obtain ever greater control over the masses. People are beginning to notice it, however, even if only subconsciously and start to push back against it. Putin knows this, and that is what he is laying out in his interview.

robjira , Jun 28, 2019 2:20:55 PM | 5
It is just that Putin is more willing to listen to the people than most of the western wannabe 'elite'.
Right on target, b; many thanks again. I'll be sure to read the entire transcript.
Joe Nobody , Jun 28, 2019 2:23:07 PM | 6
"They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles. I cannot even say exactly what genders these are, I have no notion. Let everyone be happy, we have no problem with that. But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.'

It has become la la land in the West in regards to gender...if a person wants to be gay, be gay, but let's not force everyone else to pretend reality is not reality..nature choose (dichotomy) for you to be male or female, sucks if that doesn't match your preferences but better luck next life...accept the reality you are in and let's not force everyone one else to pander to your delusions..

See also:

'Sex change' is biologically impossible," said McHugh. "People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder."

https://newspunch.com/john-hopkins-transgenderism-mental-illness/

karlof1 , Jun 28, 2019 2:27:19 PM | 7
I'm reading the Kremlin's transcript I linked to at the Gabbard thread where I posted a very short excerpt. I continue to read it but stopped to post another very short excerpt IMO is very important:

"One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future ." [My Emphasis]

Back to reading!

pretzelattack , Jun 28, 2019 2:27:47 PM | 8
@ 3--remind me who was fighting the west in syria, again?
vk , Jun 28, 2019 2:30:47 PM | 9
Here are excerpts that show that the gist of Putin's 'obsolete' argument is not against the '[neo]liberal idea', but against what may be best called 'international (neo-)liberalism'.

Just a matter of academic rigour: liberalism is extinct; neoliberalism is literally the "new liberalism", it's successor doctrine. Therefore, when we speak of "liberalism" after 1945, we're automatically referring to neoliberalism.

neoliberalism was created at Mont Pelerin in the 1930s, and its founding narrative states that everything that happened between/since the death of liberalism (1914-1918) and their own hegemony (1974-75) was an abortion of History and should've never happened. Hence the name "neoliberalism": the new liberalism (adapted to the system of fiat currency instead of the gold standard); the revival of liberalism; the return of liberalism (the [neo]liberals).

It's also important to highlight that neoliberalism is not an ideology, but a doctrine (which encompass mainly policies, but may also encompass ideals). It is wrong, for example, to compare socialism with neoliberalism (socialism as anti-neoliberalism): socialism is a scientific theory, and, as a social theory, encompasses a new socioeconomic system, a new set of ideologies, a new set of cultures and a new set of political doctrines.

Neoliberalism, therefore, is just one aspect with which the capitalist elites engage against socialism historically (in the doctrinal "front").

Zachary Smith , Jun 28, 2019 2:40:29 PM | 10
Generic question: How many of the 2020 candidates for US President could hold up their end of an interview with such knowledge and style?

Personally I was impressed by Putin's bluntness in stating Merkel had made a "cardinal mistake" when she opened the borders to the hundreds of thousands of illegals. And also this:

And we set ourselves a goal, a task -- which, I am certain, will be achieved -- to adjust pensions by a percentage that is above the inflation rate.

Compare that to the deliberate US policy if doing the exact opposite.

Alan McLemore , Jun 28, 2019 2:44:48 PM | 11
Can you imagine Trump writing like this? Or Obama, for that matter? Or Bush the Dimmer, or Clinton, or Bush the Spook, or Reagan, or Carter...Hell, you'd have to go back to JFK to find this sort of skill with language and deep analysis. And maybe not then. "They" say you get the leaders you deserve. In that case the Russians have been nice and we Americans have been very, very naughty.
dh , Jun 28, 2019 2:45:31 PM | 12
So now we wait for MSM 'analysts' to accuse Putin of disrupting the status quo and fomenting revolution.
lgfocus , Jun 28, 2019 2:47:56 PM | 13
Barovsky @3

Putin has recognized the influence of our "regime change" wars on the immigrant problem in Europe. He addressed it forcefully in his UN General Assembly speech in 2015 where he asks NATO "Do you know what you've done?" with regards to creating the immigration problems in Europe. Watch here https://youtu.be/q13yzl6k6w0.

From Putin's 2007 Munich speech to this 2015 UN speech and many interviews along the way, I've learned to pay attention to what Putin says. He seems to have an extremely good handle on world events and where they are leading.

Sally Snyder , Jun 28, 2019 2:48:51 PM | 14
If we really want to know who is interfering in the world's politics, particularly in Russia, we need look no further than this:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-national-endowment-for-democracy.html

American-style bought-and-paid-for democracy is not what the world needs.

JDL , Jun 28, 2019 2:53:21 PM | 15
In the west our governments call Mr Putin a thug, a gangster. But, I've never seen any of our politicians sit down and frankly and comprehensively lay out there views, goals, thoughts and musings. To be a good leader or politician you have do have vision, but in the west here i just see talking heads and soundbites, no soul.
wagelaborer , Jun 28, 2019 3:00:50 PM | 16
Oh, yeah, the "[neo]liberals" are indignant over his pointing out that mass migration causes social disruption.

He racist!

The neoliberal economic plan is to suck the wealth out of the working class and funnel it up to the top 10%, especially the 1%. How to keep the working class from noticing the theft?

How about divide and conquer? That seems to work. Take the native working class and divide it any way that works in that society. In the US, traditionally, it was race, but they added sex a couple of decades ago, then opened the doors to immigration and threw in national origin, and now, just for kicks and giggles, everybody gets to define their own gender and sexual preferences. Awesome. The US is now divided into 243,000,000 separate categories of specialness. And if you don't accept everything someone else tells you as gospel, you are a bigot of some sort (depending on their self identification. It varies.)

They divided up Yemen and Libya by tribes, Iraq and Yugoslavia by religion, it works the same in every country. When the US blows, it's going to be spectacular.

Norbert Salamon , Jun 28, 2019 3:03:51 PM | 17
You can read the transcript without firewall at: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60836
karlof1 , Jun 28, 2019 3:08:13 PM | 18
I'm always impressed with Putin's grasp and breadth a la Chirac, whom he admires and emulates.

I posted a few excerpts I felt very important to this and the Gabbard threads; and at the latter I now insist this interview be read, not just suggested. That BigLie Media chose to pounce on Putin's critique of the [neo]liberal Idea displays its agenda and its extremely sorry attempt to discredit/smear Putin yet again. IMO, such media smeared itself. The give-and-take was very productive and informative, containing many lessons, a few of which I pointed to.

Putin's now at the G-20 and has already had one bilateral meeting with TrumpCo.

Sputnik offers this recap that includes links to its additional articles published during the day. Much has occurred, and Trump has yet to storm out. Some of the photos are priceless, the May/Putin handshake perhaps being the most telling.

AriusArmenian , Jun 28, 2019 3:10:18 PM | 19
That there is a Putin that today leads a great country like Russia seems like a miracle and he appeared at the very moment that Russia needed him.

Part of the West elite hate of Putin is that compared to them he gives off an aura of honesty and truthfulness that is absent from leaders in the West.

anon , Jun 28, 2019 3:17:57 PM | 20
The "multi-cultural" issue, to the extent that it is an issue, is only an issue as an effect of the actual problem. It is effectively a scapegoat. No one would care about "multiculturalism" if there was a fair economic order in which living standards were increasing.

The problem is that western capitalism wants it both ways, it sees the demographic problem it faces and it wants the labor of migrants but it does not want to improve society, it wants to keep its slice of the pie. Hence things will get economically worse while migrants will be an easy "cause" at which to point for the unthinking person. In that sense it becomes a problem insofar as it contributes to fascism, nothing else changing.

Putin is right about China utilizing globalization to the benefit of society while the west is only interested in globalization insofar as it opens markets and creates profit for those who own social production. But of course Marx predicted this all long ago, so it is not perhaps surprising that the Chinese Communist Party would be more intelligent here. There is nothing more symptomatic or demonstrative here than the fact that, while western countries debate over a few tens of thousands of immigrants being "too many", China is capable of such feats as eradicating poverty and building incredible and modern infrastructure while being a land of over a billion people.

wagelaborer , Jun 28, 2019 3:18:53 PM | 21
Reading over the Gabbard comments, I was reminded of another big divide in the US by party. Americans treat their parties like their tribes and viciously attack heretics of other tribes. The media fans the flames and keeps the "elections" going for years, without a break.

Meanwhile, our ruling overlords pick their next puppet, let us all "vote" on computerized machines, and then the talking heads announce the "winner".
And it all starts over.

Jackrabbit , Jun 28, 2019 3:26:44 PM | 22
neo-liberalism (aka "crony capitalism") is about compromising the state and the society that it protects in favor of wealthy, powerful interests. Thus, at it's core, it's against the people.

To compensate and distract from this corruption, the people are presented with the 'fruits' of a [neo]liberal society: quasi"-freedoms" like gender rights, civil rights, and human rights. I say "quasi-" because these rights are abridged by the powerful elite as they see fit (witness rendition and torture, pervasive surveillance, and Assange).

We fight among ourselves about walls and bathrooms as elites destroy the Commons. In this way, they pick our pockets and kneecap our ability to fight back at the same time.

DM , Jun 28, 2019 3:28:20 PM | 23
Generic question: How many of the 2020 candidates for US President could hold up their end of an interview with such knowledge and style?

You beat me to the punch. And the answer to your rhetorical question is, of course, NONE! Luckily for Americans, Ignorance is Bliss.

ken , Jun 28, 2019 3:31:05 PM | 24
Boy did Russia luck out. Yeltsin was smart picking this man.... Look at the whine ass, crying, warmongering. narcissist psychopathic bullies we get. I am envious of the Russians having a leader they can be proud of.

Been about 60 years since I have had a president to be proud of, back when America WAS great,,, and they killed him.

[Jun 27, 2019] Book review: Dealing with the Russians

Notable quotes:
"... Obviously , Russia is a threat to the US of A -- see the 1992 "Wolfowitz doctrine", where it stated directly. Consequently, Russia is also a threat to the major protectorates of the US, euphemistically described as "Euro-Atlantic community". The rest is propaganda, and demonizing the enemy is a trivial matter. ..."
"... The call to look for the root causes is very laudable, but often more than not is carried out in "7 blind men and an elephant" fashion. "Blind men" are also "biased men", some of whom, using their other senses instead of sight (e.g., olfactory organs) deliberately position themselves at poor elephant's derrière , perform (time and again – to the thunderous applause and approval of the Enlightened Western Public ™) an act of amateur colonoscopy and proclaim: "Behold! That's the essence of the Elephant!". ..."
"... Sometimes, the Elephants becomes annoyed – or enraged and tries to stomp on the irritant. Biased Blind Men promptly call for help from the professionals whose job is to kill all sorts of animals for fun and profit. That's my allegory to the Western Russia analysis. ..."
"... I will not pretend for a second that the Russians are either passive or angelic. However, since as the book you review and others have pointed out a lot of Western concepts are projected onto Russian thinking and actions that don't have much basis in how the Russians actually think, perhaps we also project some of our thinking onto them. In particular with what is happening in Iran and Venezuela, these seem to be actions very much in line with what we accuse the Russians of doing. ..."
"... Finally, I should also note that I think a huge factor in lowering the quality of Russia experts is exemplified by a Soviet joke "What is the difference between western Russia experts and western China experts? The China experts love China!" I myself was motivated to study Russia for what you might loosely call Military Industrial Complex reasons, but I conceived of the Russians less as an enemy to be feared and loathed and rather a country and people to be studied in its own right, and I also was moved by a profound respect for the people and the Army that saved Europe from the night of fascism. ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

June 25, 2019 PaulR 14 Comments 'How do you deal with a problem like the Russians?' It's a question which seems to dominate public discourse nowadays, with the Russian Federation elevated to the status of Enemy Number One in much of the Western world. Oxford University's Andrew Monaghan has an answer – 'not like we've done so far'. In his last book, The New Politics of Russia , he attacked the mainstream Western view of Russia as 'narrow, simplistic, and repetitive'. Now, in a new book Dealing with the Russians , he lambasts the Euro-Atlantic security community for its approach to the 'Russia challenge'. 'The problem Russia poses is being misdiagnosed and the responses, therefore, poorly framed,' he argues. It is time for the 'retirement of the worn-out and out-of-date repetitions, and the tired clichés and template phrases that currently dominate the public policy lexicon.' What we need, says Monaghan, is 'fresh thinking.'

To make his case, Monaghan frames the book's problem in two parts: first, how to interpret its nature (is Russia a threat? and if so, how big, and of what sort?); and second, how to respond to it (dialogue or deterrence?). He then rounds this off with a discussion of what he thinks needs to be done to improve matters. This last section is directed primarily at a British audience, but most of what Monaghan says could apply equally to other major Western states.

As far as the first of these issues is concerned, Monaghan is clear that, 'Russia poses a major challenge to the Euro-Atlantic community.' He claims, however, that the nature of that challenge is misunderstood – 'The challenge is based, though, not on an expansive, aggressive Russian plan, but instead on a series of contemporary (if long running) policy disagreements that are emphasized by different understandings of today's international environment.'

Clearly, the responses required to combat an 'expansive, aggressive Russian plan' are rather different to those required to resolve 'different understandings of the international environment.' Interpreting the problem correctly is thus a matter of some significance. Unfortunately, says Monaghan, most Western analyses of the 'Russia challenge' get it badly wrong. 'Thinking about Russia is stuck in the twentieth century,' he writes. It is founded on outdated analogies of the Cold War and Munich/Hitler, but these are entirely inappropriate for understanding the contemporary international environment. We need to start thinking about the world today, says Monaghan, not the world of yesterday.

Another problem is that 'Russia is conceptualized through 'buzzwords and abstract labels'. As an example, Monaghan discusses the idea of 'Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD)', an idea which, he says, has 'crossed the buzzword threshold'. A2/AD refers to efforts to 'prevent or constrain the deployment of opposing forces into a given theater of operations and reduce their freedom of maneuver once in a theater,' and it is often claimed that the Russian military has been expanding its A2/AD capabilities in the Baltic region so as to prevent NATO from deploying forces there in case of war. This supposedly seriously threatens European security. The problem with this idea, says Monaghan, is that 'Russia has no new concept or doctrine that would correspond to Western understandings of A2/AD A2/AD is a concept that is foreign to them. Thinking in these terms imposes a Western operational thought process onto the Russian one.'

Similarly, Monaghan denounces the entire industry which has developed in the past five years devoted to hyping the threat of Russia 'hybrid war'. 'Hybrid war' is another baseless buzzword, he says ; it 'does not relate to Russian concepts. [It] is not a Russian construction – there is not a " Russian hybrid war" in the way it is conceived'. Talk of hybrid war produces 'an inaccurate view of Russian defence and security thinking', and 'magnifies Russian capabilities, effectively asserting the omniscience and omnipotence of the Russian leadership' (which, I suspect, is precisely the point!).

All in all, therefore, Monaghan concludes that thinking about the Russian threat 'is in the grip of exhausted metaphorical shorthand introducing shibboleths and myths – not to say fantasies – to the debate. . This shorthand has thus introduced rigidity and dogma'. This is pretty stern stuff. One has to agree with Monaghan that we need some new thinking about the nature of the threat.

The same applies to thinking about how the West should respond to the Russian challenge. Too often this is reduced to a choice of two options – dialogue or deterrence. Both have their limitations. Given the depth of the disagreements between Russia and the West, Monaghan believes that it is very unlikely that dialogue will produce meaningful results. That leaves deterrence. But to deter effectively one has to know what it is one is deterring. That means having a proper understanding of the threat – i.e. of Russian intentions and capabilities. Unfortunately, instead of being analysed realistically, the threat is generally 'framed as Russian foreign policy adventurism, an unprovoked strike from a clear blue sky'. Deterring fantasies isn't of much value, but that's what we seem intent on doing.

Monaghan concludes that 'Neither dialogue nor deterrence is an end in itself.' What is needed is a 'broader strategy'. For that, 'there is a need to develop a better understanding of Russian defence and security thinking.' And that brings us to Monaghan's main point of what we have to do to 'deal with the Russians' – we have to understand them better. And that requires us to open our minds to alternative points of view. He argues that the experience of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 showed the dangers of groupthink and the need for 'real diversity of thought rather than shades of mainstream thinking'. Unfortunately at present,

Thinking about Russia fails to understand the social, economic, political and cultural factors on the ground in Russia. Instead, as we have seen, there is a narrow, abstract and clichéd view of Russia. This has driven a narrative about Russia that has been impervious to reasonable challenge. important sections of established Russia expertise are largely ignored.

From this, Monaghan concludes that the West needs 'a coherent, sustained and thorough reinvigoration of Russia expertise The point is that there is too little sophisticated expertise on Russia and that which does exist is overwhelmed by simplistic and misguided jingoism.'

This is all very true. Monaghan's critiques of Western perceptions of Russia are very apt. He deserves a lot of credit for having the courage to say all this, especially as in the current climate anybody who says this kind of thing is liable to find himself denounced as an 'agent of influence', 'Russian proxy', or ' Kremlin Trojan Horse'. But while Monaghan's attacks on current Western thinking and policy are bang on the nail, his recommendations of what needs to be done instead are a little thin – strategy rather than tactics; and more investment in Russia expertise. The first is valid in any situation; the second, in my view, is somewhat problematic. Monaghan made the same recommendation in his last book. In my review , I cast doubt on it, noting that, 'the problems we have in understanding Russia today appear to have more to do with the quality of analysis than the quantity of experts.' I still think that's a valid criticism. Simply churning out more Russia 'experts' won't necessarily improve the quality of analysis, especially if education in things Russian is driven by demand from the military industrial complex. Furthermore, even if better analysis does result, that won't necessarily produce better policy. There are already plenty of people in academia, business, and so on, who know Russia well and have balanced, sensible views about it, whom governments could consult if they wanted to. They don't want to. Take a look at the list of witnesses to the relevant parliamentary select committees, and you'll understand this soon enough. You can have more and better experts, but if they're saying something politically unwelcome, it probably won't make much difference.

In a sense, therefore, this book would be better titled How not to deal with the Russians since it's stronger as a critique of existing policy than as a set of positive recommendations for a new one. I don't want to make that sound too negative. The critique is excellent, and I'm well aware that this blog is guilty of much the same thing – lots of carping about all the nonsense which people are saying, but not much by way of positive proposals. There's a good reason for that – the prevailing narrative is so strong that until something is done to demolish it, alternative policies are never going to get a hearing. At some point, though, we're going to have go one step further.

To be fair to Monaghan, though, he says upfront at the start of his book that it aims 'not so much to make specific policy recommendations about how to "deal with the Russians" but to step back to make a bigger argument for a broader shift in terms of conceiving the nature of the challenge Russia poses.' He achieves his aim, and for that we must thank him. It's a shift which is long overdue.

Mao Cheng Ji says: June 26, 2019 at 3:26 am
It seems to me, everything is much simpler.

Obviously , Russia is a threat to the US of A -- see the 1992 "Wolfowitz doctrine", where it stated directly. Consequently, Russia is also a threat to the major protectorates of the US, euphemistically described as "Euro-Atlantic community". The rest is propaganda, and demonizing the enemy is a trivial matter.

If he wants a different approach, better understanding, peace, love, harmony and bubble gum, then what he needs to question are the underlying assumptions, the root cause. For the US, it's the basic imperial strategies a-la "Wolfowitz doctrine", and for the "Euro-Atlantic community" it's their acceptance of American domination.

Lyttenburgh says: June 26, 2019 at 1:54 pm
In his final paragraphs Professor approaches dangerously close to the heart of the matter, but then, naturally, rushes back from the precipice of the Abyss, which proximity alone began to sap his ideological resolve and sunny Western liberal disposish. Mao Cheng Ji writes all right and obvious things, but commits a mortal unhandshakable sin of mentioning the Wolfowitz doctrine – meaning that he will be ignored by "proper people".

The call to look for the root causes is very laudable, but often more than not is carried out in "7 blind men and an elephant" fashion. "Blind men" are also "biased men", some of whom, using their other senses instead of sight (e.g., olfactory organs) deliberately position themselves at poor elephant's derrière , perform (time and again – to the thunderous applause and approval of the Enlightened Western Public ™) an act of amateur colonoscopy and proclaim: "Behold! That's the essence of the Elephant!".

Sometimes, the Elephants becomes annoyed – or enraged and tries to stomp on the irritant. Biased Blind Men promptly call for help from the professionals whose job is to kill all sorts of animals for fun and profit. That's my allegory to the Western Russia analysis.

No, instead of biased talk about "root causes" or "how to deal with [Outsiders X/Y/Z]", these authors in their books should finally start asking the ur-question – how to deal with ourselves?

Professor Robinson writes:

"Simply churning out more Russia 'experts' won't necessarily improve the quality of analysis, especially if education in things Russian is driven by demand from the military industrial complex . Furthermore, even if better analysis does result, that won't necessarily produce better policy. There are already plenty of people in academia, business, and so on, who know Russia well and have balanced, sensible views about it, whom governments could consult if they wanted to. They don't want to You can have more and better experts, but if they're saying something politically unwelcome, it probably won't make much difference."

He also wrote in the same blogpost:

"At some point, though, we're going to have go one step further."

^This. You said "A", Professor – how about saying "B" and then the rest of the alphabet? Okay, here's a hint. Try to answer the question – "who are you?". Who is Monaghan? Who are these "experts" and "Russia studying academia?". Here's another hint:

"The evidence suggests that foreign policymakers do not seek insight from scholars, but rather support for what they already want to do . As Desch quotes a World War II U.S. Navy anthropologist, " the administrator uses social science the way the drunk uses a lamppost, for support rather than illumination ." Scholars' disinclination to be used in this way helps explain more of the distance.

It also explains the rise of think tanks , which are more pliant than academics but provide similar marketing support. As Benjamin Friedman and I wrote in a 2015 article on the subject, think tanks undertake research with an operational mindset: that is, "the approach of a passenger riding shotgun who studies the map to find the ideal route, adjusts the engine if need be, and always accepts the destination without protest ."

As former senator Olympia Snowe once put it, "you can find a think tank to buttress any view or position, and then you give it the aura of legitimacy and credibility by referring to their report." Or consider the view of Rory Stewart, now a member of parliament in the UK, but once an expert on Afghanistan who was consulted on the Afghan surge but opposed it:

"It's like they're coming in and saying to you, "I'm going to drive my car off a cliff. Should I or should I not wear a seatbelt?" And you say, "I don't think you should drive your car off the cliff." And they say, "No, no, that bit's already been decided -- the question is whether to wear a seatbelt." And you say, "Well, you might as well wear a seatbelt." And then they say, "We've consulted with policy expert Rory Stewart, and he says "

Or look at how policymakers themselves define relevance. Stephen Krasner, an academic who became a policymaker, lamented the uselessness of much academic security studies literature because "[e]ven the most convincing empirical findings may be of no practical use because they do not include factors that policy makers can manipulate."

The explicit claim here is that for scholarship to be of any practical use, it must include factors that policymakers can manipulate. This reflects a strong bias toward action, even in relatively restrained presidencies."
– Justin Logan, " Cult of the Irrelevant: National Security Eggheads and Academics "

I remember when you posted your presentation and the following Q&A session on the topic of the history of Russian conservative thought, professor. The questions being asked amounted to

a) Present day hot-button issues (aka "how Russia is baaaaad")

and

b) To what degree these conservative thinkers influence modern Russia (aka "How Russia has always been baaaaad")

None (NO ONE) of them, precious gentle students in the heartland of the West, ever thought that you just did what any scientist have to do – carried out a research to further humanity's collective body of knowledge about us and the universe. No – they, these precious children, want the real life application from the "Russian studies", i.e. it must help them wage the War. You, in this regard, thoroughly failed them – and other, full grown, and even old and senile children that more often than not call all the shots.

Or, screw it, TL;DR version – Professor, why can't you just admit that you as a member of intelligentsia belong to the strata whose function is to serve the ruling class? That, despite all the illusions of the privilege and self-importance, no, you, white-collar Western intellectual mass, are not "the power" – you are hired workers, hired to deliver a preset result. Maybe after developing a certain conscience about yourself and your real status, you might then proceed to talk about how the policymaking really works or how you (general "you") have so little impact on it despite your shiny Ivory Towers and data stuffed brains.

P.S. Btw, case in study. Did Boris answer your letter? Do you plan to write another one to him soon?

dewittbourchier says: June 26, 2019 at 4:35 pm
Thank you for the review professor.

I remember that Roger McDermott wrote that the idea 'hybrid warfare' is alien to Russian defence thinking.

Another thing I think that maybe is missing – a bit adventuresome and without proof from the words of very high ranking policy makers but with some from lower ranking persons – is that perhaps some of our thinking about Russia is us projecting our aggressive and plotting tendencies onto the Russians.

I will not pretend for a second that the Russians are either passive or angelic. However, since as the book you review and others have pointed out a lot of Western concepts are projected onto Russian thinking and actions that don't have much basis in how the Russians actually think, perhaps we also project some of our thinking onto them. In particular with what is happening in Iran and Venezuela, these seem to be actions very much in line with what we accuse the Russians of doing.

Finally, I should also note that I think a huge factor in lowering the quality of Russia experts is exemplified by a Soviet joke "What is the difference between western Russia experts and western China experts? The China experts love China!" I myself was motivated to study Russia for what you might loosely call Military Industrial Complex reasons, but I conceived of the Russians less as an enemy to be feared and loathed and rather a country and people to be studied in its own right, and I also was moved by a profound respect for the people and the Army that saved Europe from the night of fascism.

And as I read people like Herspring and Glantz while comparing them to others such as Anthony Beevor or any number of German officers writing about the Soviet Army, I realized much of the popular history, even taught history – which is what most politicians will be aware of to the extent they are aware of history – was riddled with Patrick Armstrong wrote in THE FIRE BELOW "a series of memes."

To conclude this overly long comment, one example will do. One the one hand the Russians and Russian defense policymakers have a perverse pride in the number of dead of WWII. To both William Odom and Herspring Russian military interviewees said a variation of "the value of human life is not as high in Russia as it is in the West." One the other hand, post-Stalin Soviet Armed Forces doctrine aimed to use firepower and materiel to cut down on casualties as far as possible, and the Soviet Army invested a lot in its medical infrastructure. In the Afghan War the 40th Army was supplied with improved body armour to reduce fatalities. These are not actions consistent with a set of policymakers utterly indifferent or uncaring to human life.

Lyttenburgh says: June 27, 2019 at 2:31 am
"On the one hand the Russians and Russian defense policymakers have a perverse pride in the number of dead of WWII."

We are not. Stop your gratitious Russophobia masquerading as "respect", dewittbourchier.

"On the other hand, post-Stalin Soviet Armed Forces doctrine aimed to use firepower and materiel to cut down on casualties as far as possible, and the Soviet Army invested a lot in its medical infrastructure."

Fucking bullshit in lieu of "Stalin drowned the [racially superior proper European] enemy in [subhuman Asiatic] corpses" narrative. One has just to analyze Red and then Soviet Army battle doctire, after action reports and results of various engagement during the war.

It's just that other countries facing Hitler on their soil (with some rare exceptions) did not have to fight for their survavial as human species, opting for a comfortable civilized occupation instead. Thus idea to sacrifice – continiously – their own people in order for the rest to stay alive had never faced them. E.g. – Soviet Army's Posnan's offensive operation or, even earlier, near complete annihilation of 40-50 "Panthers" taskforce sent to relieve of Ternopol's siege – all with minimal casualties to own side. Or just one phrase – "Kessel von Halbe".

dewittbourchier says: June 27, 2019 at 3:56 pm
My comment as is stands. One of these reasons Khrushchev dismissed Zhukov was that Khrushchev believed Zhukov was too willing to accept casualties in a future war, and Khrushchev wanted a Marshal who would focus more on developing a doctrine designed to minimise casualties as far as possible without compromising the overall operational and strategic effectiveness of the Soviet Armed Forces.

Also I would highly recommend you consider things such as the Ardeatine Massacre and Oradour Sur Glane before you call German occupations civilized. They were anything but, they were deeply traumatic for the occupied countries and in places like France and Italy resistance grew and grew. In both countries rations the Germans gave out were barely above the levels they gave to Poles. This is hardly 'civilised.' It is barbarous.

It just means that what they did in the Soviet Union was so much worse.

[Jun 27, 2019] Western News Agencies Mistranslate Iran's President Speech - It Is Not The First Time Such 'Error' Happens

Highly recommended!
Jun 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Western News Agencies Mistranslate Iran's President Speech - It Is Not The First Time Such 'Error' Happens JOHN CHUCKMAN , Jun 26, 2019 2:10:12 PM | 23

Yesterday the news agencies Associated Press and Reuters mistranslated a speech by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. They made it sound as if Rouhani insulted U.S. President Donald Trump as 'mentally retarded'. Rouhani never said that.

The agencies previously made a similar 'mistake'.

A 2005 speech by then President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was famously misquoted. Israel should be wiped off map, says Iran's president headlined the Guardian at that time. Others used similar headlines. The New York Times wrote :

Iran's conservative new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Wednesday that Israel must be "wiped off the map" and that attacks by Palestinians would destroy it, the ISNA press agency reported.
...
Referring to comments by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad said, "As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."

The statement was used by the G.W. Bush administration and others to whip up hostility against Iran :

Ever since he spoke at an anti-Zionism conference in Tehran last October, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has been known for one statement above all. As translated by news agencies at the time, it was that Israel "should be wiped off the map." Iran's nuclear program and sponsorship of militant Muslim groups are rarely mentioned without reference to the infamous map remark.

Here, for example, is R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, recently: "Given the radical nature of Iran under Ahmadinejad and its stated wish to wipe Israel off the map of the world, it is entirely unconvincing that we could or should live with a nuclear Iran."

However Ahmedinejad never used those words :

"Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to wipe Israel off the map because no such idiom exists in Persian," remarked Juan Cole, a Middle East specialist at the University of Michigan and critic of American policy who has argued that the Iranian president was misquoted. "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse." Since Iran has not "attacked another country aggressively for over a century," he said in an e-mail exchange, "I smell the whiff of war propaganda."

Jonathan Steele, a columnist for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper in London, recently laid out the case this way: "The Iranian president was quoting an ancient statement by Iran's first Islamist leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, that 'this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time,' just as the Shah's regime in Iran had vanished. He was not making a military threat. He was calling for an end to the occupation of Jerusalem at some point in the future. The 'page of time' phrase suggests he did not expect it to happen soon."

Despite the above and other explanations the false "wipe Israel off the map" translation never died. Years later it still reappeared in Guardian pieces which required it to issue multiple corrections and clarifications.

Now, as the Trump administration is pushing for war on Iran, a similar mistranslation miraculously happened. It were again 'western' news agencies who lightened the fire:

The Associated Press @AP - 7:52 utc - 25 Jun 2019

BREAKING: Iran's President Rouhani mocks President Trump, says the White House is "afflicted by mental retardation."

Farsi speakers pointed out that the Rouhani never used the Farsi word for "retarded":

Sina Toossi @SinaToossi - 13:49 utc - 25 Jun 2019

A lot of Western media is reporting that Iranian President Rouhani called Trump "mentally retarded." This is inaccurate.
Regarding Trump, he just said "no wise person would take such an action [the new sanctions imposed]."

Reza H. Akbari @rezahakbari - 15:58 utc - 25 Jun 2019

Absolutely incorrect. There is a word for "retarded" in Persian & Rouhani didn't use it. Prior to him saying "mental disability" he even prefaced his comment by saying "mental weakness." Those who speak Persian can listen & judge for themselves. Here is a video clip of Rouhani's comment: link

But the damage was already done:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 14:42 utc - 25 Jun 2019

Iran leadership doesn't understand the words "nice" or "compassion," they never have. Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world, with 1.5 Trillion Dollars invested over the last two years alone..

....The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran's use of IED's & EFP's (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more...

.... Iran's very ignorant and insulting statement , put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!

Reuters , which also peddled the mistranslation, gleefully connected the dots :

Cont. reading: Western News Agencies Mistranslate Iran's President Speech - It Is Not The First Time Such 'Error' Happens

Excellent summary of how malevolence works in many subtle ways.

Jonathan Gillispie , Jun 26, 2019 1:11:48 PM | 4

Trump was right more than he realizes that the press is the enemy of the people. They goad nations into unnecessary and bloody war.

Don Wiscacho , Jun 26, 2019 1:32:54 PM | 13
This follows in the footsteps of a rich history of mistranslating and obfuscating which is rarely, if ever, corrected by our Guardians of Truth. I will not hold my breath for AP to pull its tweet out issue any sort of correction. The war machine is revving up, truth be damned.

To add a few obfuscations to the list of mistranslations: the Palestinian intifada. Sounds scary, no? Violence against the benevolent Israelis. Because what does intifada actually mean? Uprising, which by its nature suggests oppression, something which just 'can't' be happening in Palestine, hence the need for intifada.
Or take jihad, 'a pillor' of Islam. Again, very scary, as jihad 'means' suicide bombs and killing infidels. What the Guardians of Truth never mention is that jihad in Islam is a very, very broad term that includes such things as helping the poor or less fortunate, educating oneself, quiet reflection, and prayer. Jihad as meaning 'holy war' was a sense meaning derived much later than the founding of the religion, as a reaction to very real threats to believers of the time, the Crusades and Mongol invasions. That this specific sense meaning was essentially confined to history afterward, only to be revived by Wahhabists and takfiris, and one not believed in by the vast majority of Muslims, is never explained. 'Cause all them crazy Muslims believe in jihad!

In all cases where the boogeyman of the day needs concocting, rest assured the 'mainstream' press, with AP in the lead, will be there to build a gleaming edifice mistruths, omissions, and lies.

Uncle Jon , Jun 26, 2019 1:36:27 PM | 14
Ahmadinejad's true and correct translation reads: "Zionism should be wiped from the pages of history."

Now who can argue with that.

jared , Jun 26, 2019 1:43:18 PM | 17
In approximately 17 months, the american public can make strides to fix this mess.
I guess that is a long time for the iranians, but still maybe best option.
dh , Jun 26, 2019 1:51:03 PM | 18
Just in case there is any doubt in American minds here is the Israeli Ambassador to the UN. He thinks the sanctions are working well. Iran is panicking.

Good job guys. Keep squeezing.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/israeli-ambassador-iran-panicking-increased-us-sanctions

wagelaborer , Jun 26, 2019 2:43:01 PM | 31
They mistranslate Trump all the time, or they spin what he says. It is amazing to watch.

For instance, at the Helsinki meeting, where he met with Putin and they discussed multiple topics, but the press ignored any topic but demanding that Trump denounce Putin and "admit" that Putin helped him steal the election, and that he was therefore not the legitimate president.

Obviously, Trump was not going to say that, so he said that he was the legitimate president, and the mockingbird media spun that into "the president is a traitor to America because he said that 17 national intelligence agencies are lying".

michaelj72 , Jun 26, 2019 4:02:36 PM | 40
.....The ministers lie, the professors lie, the television lies,
the priests lie .
These lies mean that the country wants to die.
Lie after lie starts out into the prairie grass,
like enormous caravans of Conestoga wagons .

And a long desire for death flows out, guiding the
enormous caravans from beneath,
stringing together the vague and foolish words.
It is a desire to eat death,
to gobble it down,
to rush on it like a cobra with mouth open
It's a desire to take death inside,
to feel it burning inside, pushing out velvety hairs,
like a clothes brush in the intestines --
This is the thrill that leads the President on to lie....


Robert Bly, The Teeth Mother Naked at Last, originally published by City Lights books 1970

Virgile , Jun 26, 2019 5:10:59 PM | 48
Maybe the translation is inacurate but the message had the expected reaction from Trump: Tweet furor.
It is good that Trump realizes that he does not have the monopole of insulting leaders.
The USA is a country that since WWII has never won any war. How could it give a lesson to Iran who won a 8 years war against Iraq despite the support that the USA, the Gulf countries and Western countries gave to Iraq.
Loud noise and indecisive actions: The disaster of the USA foreign policy
Abx , Jun 26, 2019 5:20:42 PM | 49
I remember watching CNN translate Khamenei's "Nuclear Power" to "Nuclear Weapons" right on live TV in 2013. This is not new.
/div> Virgile "The USA is a country that since WWII has never won any war". The US won a war against Grenada [population 95,000] I would go so far as to say they whupped ass. True there were only 64 Cuban soldiers there [security guards] All members of the US armed forces were involved and 5,000 medals were given out. Ra Ra USA.

Posted by: Harry Law , Jun 26, 2019 5:29:37 PM | 50

Virgile "The USA is a country that since WWII has never won any war". The US won a war against Grenada [population 95,000] I would go so far as to say they whupped ass. True there were only 64 Cuban soldiers there [security guards] All members of the US armed forces were involved and 5,000 medals were given out. Ra Ra USA.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 26, 2019 5:29:37 PM | 50

Kooshy , Jun 26, 2019 5:45:20 PM | 53
b-
I am a Persian speaker and is true that president Rouhani never said Trump is retarded, we now have way passed the point that insults can matte. Nevertheless it was better if President Rouhani would have called Trump and the rest of the ruling US regime like what the whole world has now come to understand, a true and unique collection of retards on a shining hill.
0use4msm , Jun 26, 2019 6:24:08 PM | 57
Reminds me of when Nikita Khruschev attempted to explain in 1956 his view that that capitalism would destroy itself from within by quoting Marx: "What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers." This was notoriously mistranslated into English as "We will bury you", as if the Soviets were out to kill all westerners themselves. Of course this mistranslated was quoted time and time again in western media, fueling Cold War paranoia for years to come.
juandonjuan , Jun 26, 2019 6:31:20 PM | 59
blue @ 19 The news media are wedded to the state which is wedded to the banking system which are all subsidiaries of global capitalism. They don't need to correct themselves. They may have the occasional family feud, but they're all on the same team. They will admit to "mistakes" being made, but only long after it makes no difference.
We have a FREE PRESS in America-Pravda on the Potomac, Izvestia on the Hudson.
Have a look sometime at the Venn Diagrams that portray the overlapping/interlocking memberships of the regulatory/financial/corporate leadership class.
But more than that, whatever the idea of a free press once meant, with the rise of digital corporate networking "platforms", not subject to any accountability, the barriers to entry of any competing narratives to the mainstream discourse are nearly insurmountable. Except maybe through subversion?
What is missing is a true public 'Marketplace of Ideas'
ADKC , Jun 26, 2019 7:00:39 PM | 63
The deliberate mis-translations of non-english speaking "adversaries" of the US is common in the msm. Putin is frequently and deliberately mis-translated to make him appear dictatorial and aggressive.
pj , Jun 26, 2019 7:11:03 PM | 65
I listened to Rohani's speech. He said that if JCPOA is bad, it is bad for all parties; and if it is good, it is good for all parties. They cannot expect for JCPOA to be bad for them and good for us. They withdrew from the JCPOA and expect us to stay with the agreement. This is what he meant when he said: White house has been affected by mental inability and mental disability.
Peter AU 1 , Jun 26, 2019 7:26:38 PM | 72
ADKC
Iran is at war. US and gang are trying to destroy Iran as a nation. The biggest asset in times of war is deception. Used by both the attacker and the attacked.
karlof1 , Jun 26, 2019 7:39:51 PM | 75
Khamenei has Tweeted a series of tweets, and his scribe has posted what he tweeted along with other words at his website in English so there's no mistranslation. Here's one of the series of 6:

"The graceful Iranian nation has been accused & insulted by world's most vicious regime, the U.S., which is a source of wars, conflicts & plunder. Iranian nation won't give up over such insults. Iranians have been wronged by oppressive sanctions but not weakened & remain powerful."

They were made 14+ hours ago, yet I'm the first to post notice of them here?!

goldhoarder , Jun 26, 2019 8:39:33 PM | 80
The USA government excels at propaganda. It always has. Doesn't matter if it babies and incubators, mistranslated leaders of targeted countries, or supposed mass graves. BTW... what ever happened to all those mass graves in Iraq? HRW was going to dig them all up and document them. Hundreds of thousands. Most Americans I talk to still believe in this. Was it true? Saddam himself had claimed it wasn't true. That it was Kurdish propaganda to gain sympathy. He claimed the Anfal campaign was only to push the Kurds off the border so he could control arms smuggling and that casualties were minimal. Looking into the search. They are graves with a few hundred here and there but where are the rest of the bodies? If you google Iraq mass graves there are more articles about ISIS mass graves than the Anfal campaign. There were people killed in the South during the Shia uprising after the first gulf war than there was for the Anfal campaign. Was that a lie too? Nearly every American believes it still.

PM admits graves claim 'untrue'
Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor

Sat 17 Jul 2004 19.35 EDT First published on Sat 17 Jul 2004 19.35 EDT
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2004/jul/18/iraq.iraq1

Downing Street has admitted to The Observer that repeated claims by Tony Blair that '400,000 bodies had been found in Iraqi mass graves' is untrue, and only about 5,000 corpses have so far been uncovered.
The claims by Blair in November and December of last year, were given widespread credence, quoted by MPs and widely published, including in the introduction to a US government pamphlet on Iraq's mass graves.

In that publication - Iraq's Legacy of Terror: Mass Graves produced by USAID, the US government aid distribution agency, Blair is quoted from 20 November last year: 'We've already discovered, just so far, the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves.'

Arata , Jun 26, 2019 10:40:53 PM | 98
Anyone who can undestand Farsi ( Persian language) can litsen Rouhani's speech. He did not name "Trump", he said " White House".
I have been watching CNN news channel who said that Rouhani made a personal attack on Trump! That was not true.

There was no personal attack on Rouhani's speech.
Importantly, the context of the speech and conclusion is diffent from western media reports and western translations.

I would like give few links of some Iranian news agencies, reporting Rouhani's speech for International use, as reference here:

1) FrasNews Agency

Rouhani said:

"These days, we see the White House in confusion and we are witnessing undue and ridiculous words and adoption of a scandalous policy,"

..."The US sanctions are crime against humanity. The US recent measures indicate their ultimate failure. The new US measures are the result of their frustration and confusion over Iran. The White House has mental disability,"


http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980405000859

2) ISNA English

"They are having mental problems and today, the White House has become mentally paralysed and don't know what to do".
https://en.isna.ir/news/98040402431/Sanctioning-Supreme-leader-of-Iran-ridiculous-President-Rouhani

ISAN French

Le président iranien, affirmant que les États-Unis, malgré de nombreuses tentatives de pression exercées par divers leviers sur l'Iran, ont échoué dans leurs objectifs, a poursuivi : "Une étrange frustration et une grande confusion règnent au sein du Corps dirigeant de la Maison Blanche. Ils se sentent déçus car ils n'ont obtenu aucun résultat, ils s'attendaient à voir l'Iran brisé dans l'espace de quelques mois, mais ils ont fini par constater que les Iraniens agissent de plus en plus fermement, de manière plus créative que jamais ".

https://fr.isna.ir/news/98040402385/Les-actions-américaines-sont-inhumaines-Rohani

3) TasnimNews

The president also decried the new US sanctions against Iran, saying the White House has been thrown into confusion as its officials are making "inappropriate and ridiculous" comments and adopting the policy of disgrace.

https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2019/06/26/2041386/iran-urges-us-europe-to-return-to-jcpoa

Paora , Jun 26, 2019 11:18:41 PM | 101
0use4msm @54

Wow that's amazing! Probably the best known Khrushchev 'quote', presented as evidence of his boorish nature, is an intentional mistranslation. And the Marx quote is not exactly obscure, it's from Chapter 1 of the Communist Manifesto for eff sake! At least it makes a change from the 'lets just make things up' cottage industry of Lenin & Stalin 'quotes'.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 26, 2019 11:23:51 PM | 102
"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."
Mark Twain (or some other student of wisdom)
...
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/books/famous-misquotations.html
Apr 26, 2017 - Mark Twain is one of many who gets credit for famous quotations he never wrote or said. ... credited with saying "a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes" ... Proverbial wisdom, in which a quotation is elevated to the status of a proverb because its source is unknown;.
Circe , Jun 27, 2019 10:19:52 AM | 136 Noirette , Jun 27, 2019 10:50:17 AM | 137
Mistranslations are a classical cheap n easy way to sway opinion.

Interesting that the examples b quotes, and most of those promoted currently by the US-uk-eu, afaik, understand, are intended to project into the voice of Iranians, Russians, Syrians, utterances, declarations, to be labelled insults, slander, threats, impropriety, even rage, coming from these parties, as

there is nothing much else to display!

(Spanish is too comprehensible > does not apply to Mexico, Cuba, S. America.)

Often cultural matters play a role, but are ignored. Ahmadinejad was endlessly vilified and mocked by the W-MSM for saying what was translated as there are no homosexuals in Iran (no idea what the original formulation was) - which 'obviously' can't be 'true.'

Besides homosexuality being unacceptable in conservative rule-books, Iran is, or was (to 2010) above (or with) Thailand the no. 1. practitioner / destination for sex change operations. Iran had super educated docs, great hospitals, etc.

Ahmadinejad was relying on a kind of fundamentalist principle where the 'soul' or the 'essential quality' of a person is what is tantamount, what counts above all. The physical manifestation, here the human body, can be transformed to be in harmony with the deep-felt or 'innately' ascribed orientation or 'spirit.' So, no homosexuals in Iran, or only a few who are in 'transition.' (Not denying real suffering of gays in Iran, other story.)

The W, in first place the US, is doing precisely the same with its 'gender change' promotion, as applied to children and young teens. Here too, 'feelings' and 'identity' override 'nature' : the physical can be overturned, overcome, fixed.

Such cultural issues play a role in mis-translations, deliberate or not. It may appear that I wandered far off topic, I just picked a topical comprehensible ex. Sharia law is more complex..

[Jun 27, 2019] The Myth of Russian Media Influence by Larry C Johnson

The accusation played important role in unleashing neo-McCartyism campaign in the USA. So "The Moor has done his duty. The Moor can go ...."
Notable quotes:
"... Russian information troll farm the Internet Research Agency spent just 0.05 percent as much on Facebook ads as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's campaigns combined in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, yet still reached a massive audience. While there might have been other Russian disinformation groups, the IRA spent $46,000 on pre-election day Facebook ads compared to $81 million spent by Clinton and Trump together, discluding political action committees who could have spent even more than that on the campaigns' behalf. ..."
"... So, the Lilliputian Russians, spending a pittance compared to the Goliaths of the Clinton and Trump campaigns, was the deciding factor in 2016? Bullshit. ..."
"... The pathetic and laughable U.S. intelligence community (aka IC) did not do a state-by-state breakdown of how these various social media campaigns operated in those states that swung the election to Trump. ..."
"... the IC is completely silent on the efforts of other countries, such as China and Israel. ..."
"... I had my own experience with Russian media influence, or the lack of such influence to be more precise. I was interviewed on Russia Today aka RT on March 4, 2017 to comment on Donald Trump's claim that the FBI had wiretapped Trump Towers. During that interview I noted that the Brits, not the FBI, were ones doing electronic surveillance of Trump. And how did the public and the media react to that bomb shell pronouncement by me? Crickets. No reaction. ..."
"... The crazy insistence that Russia grossly interfered in our 2016 election is a canard. Too bad the vast majority of America has bought into this absurd nonsense. Yes, there were groups linked to the Russian government that were pushing stories on social media. ..."
"... I think Iran/Contra was the watershed moment. The CIA became very politicized and the quality of analysis and spy trade craft declined significantly. John Brennan turned the place into a freak show. When you have "Dykes on Bikes" day at CIA Headquarters you know you have lost your way. ..."
"... Not only is the IC community discredited but so should most of the Democratic media operations and campaign advisors. ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Republicans and Democrats, along with almost all of the media, have accepted the lie that the Russians engaged in unprecedented "interference" in the 2016 Presidential election. It is a ridiculous proposition and is based on a presumption rather than actual evidence. The Intel Community said it is true so, by definition, it must be true.

Let's focus on the actual numbers. How much money did the Russians spend? According to Robert Mueller, $1.25 million per month . If you start that money clock in May of 2016, that means those pesky Rookies spent $8.75 million. But let us be generous and add on the previous four months, essentially starting the clock in January 2016 before the first primary votes. That brings the total to $13 million.

Hillary and Donald, by contrast, spent over $81 million on Facebook alone . According to TechCrunch:

Russian information troll farm the Internet Research Agency spent just 0.05 percent as much on Facebook ads as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's campaigns combined in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, yet still reached a massive audience. While there might have been other Russian disinformation groups, the IRA spent $46,000 on pre-election day Facebook ads compared to $81 million spent by Clinton and Trump together, discluding political action committees who could have spent even more than that on the campaigns' behalf.

Trump and Clinton, when you factor in their various political action committees, spent millions more.

A fuller analysis of the spending on the major social media platforms was provided by Medium.com :

Surprisingly, Clinton's campaign was overall more active on Twitter and on Facebook than Trump's , generating 19 percent more messages (11,475 messages by Clinton to 9,390 by Trump). On Facebook, Clinton generated 500 more messages than Trump. While Trump's tweets seemed to garner more news coverage, Clinton's campaign was actually substantially more active on social media, generating 25 messages a day on average to Trump's 20.

Yet, Trump's social media following was larger than Clinton's . In November 2015, Clinton had 1.7 million followers on Facebook. By Election Day that had grown to 8.4 million, a 394 percent increase. Trump had 4.2 million Followers on Facebook in November 2015. By Election Day, that number jumped to 12.35 million, a 194 percent increase. So, while Clinton saw a greater increase, Trump still had nearly 4 million more followers. . . .

All of this suggests that while Clinton's campaign was overall more active on its social media accounts, it did not receive the same amount of attention and support on social media as compared with Donald Trump. . . .

In the last months of the campaign, generally the focus shifted to voter registration and then get-out-the vote efforts. Social media can be a useful starting place for helping give supporters events and activities to do to be part of the campaign and to help with the effort of winning the election. Although both campaigns, indeed, increased their calls-to-action in the last two months of the campaign, Clinton beat Trump in volume of such messages on Facebook and Twitter, producing a third more call-to-action type messages (See Figure 17). If we only look at Facebook, however, Trump's campaign produced as many call-to-action type message as Clinton in October.

When it came to asking people to vote, the Clinton campaign produced more than twice as many messages asking for people to vote on election day on the two platforms (See Figure 18), but most of that was on Twitter. On Facebook, both campaigns urged people to vote at the same rate, but on Twitter, Clinton's campaign produces three times more appeals for votes than does Trump.

So, the Lilliputian Russians, spending a pittance compared to the Goliaths of the Clinton and Trump campaigns, was the deciding factor in 2016? Bullshit.

The pathetic and laughable U.S. intelligence community (aka IC) did not do a state-by-state breakdown of how these various social media campaigns operated in those states that swung the election to Trump. Nor did the IC look back at the Russian and Soviet Union covert propaganda efforts over the previous 90 years. If you are going to do a comparison you need to have a benchmark. This is what we know for certain--Russia and its predecessor, the USSR, ran comprehensive and continuous information operations in the United States, including computer network operations.

No one can say with any degree of certainty that what Russia did in 2016 was qualitatively and quantitatively different. Also, the IC is completely silent on the efforts of other countries, such as China and Israel. Nope, just accept on faith that the Russians committed an attack worse than Pearl Harbor.

I had my own experience with Russian media influence, or the lack of such influence to be more precise. I was interviewed on Russia Today aka RT on March 4, 2017 to comment on Donald Trump's claim that the FBI had wiretapped Trump Towers. During that interview I noted that the Brits, not the FBI, were ones doing electronic surveillance of Trump. And how did the public and the media react to that bomb shell pronouncement by me? Crickets. No reaction.

The crazy insistence that Russia grossly interfered in our 2016 election is a canard. Too bad the vast majority of America has bought into this absurd nonsense. Yes, there were groups linked to the Russian government that were pushing stories on social media. The Chinese did the same thing. So did the Israelis and the Brits. I am sure there are other countries who were pushing their own agenda as well. But that is a truth American is too damn lazy to grasp.

Posted at 08:04 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


joanna , 27 June 2019 at 08:21 AM

The pathetic and laughable U.S. intelligence community (aka IC)

yes, when exactly did they get laughable? After you left with a solid pension, I would assume, or a long time before?

Larry Johnson , 27 June 2019 at 09:57 AM
Well, you're dead ass wrong. Shocker. I did not "leave" with a solid pension. I stayed four years. No pension. But I did maintain clearances and continued to work with CIA, DIA and NSA over the ensuing 25 years. My criticism is grounded in experience. I think Iran/Contra was the watershed moment. The CIA became very politicized and the quality of analysis and spy trade craft declined significantly. John Brennan turned the place into a freak show. When you have "Dykes on Bikes" day at CIA Headquarters you know you have lost your way.
Fred , 27 June 2019 at 09:57 AM
"...did not do a state-by-state breakdown of how these various social media campaigns operated in those states that swung the election to Trump. "
Hilary's campaign staff didn't do this level of work when directing their own media efforts either. At some point she, being the head of the campaign, should have been able to get answers to the questions "what is the return for each advertising effort" and "what does that do to the electoral vote count." Not only is the IC community discredited but so should most of the Democratic media operations and campaign advisors.

[Jun 26, 2019] Guardian Working for UK Intel Services MI6 Tool Publishes Black Propaganda

Notable quotes:
"... Harding's avowed contact with Steele may also have contributed to another high profile blunder in April this year. In the immediate wake of the apparent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, UK, the UK government issued a D(SMA) notice , blocking mention of Pablo Miller -- Skripal's MI6 recruiter -- in the media. ..."
Jun 24, 2018 | sputniknews.com

On September 21, The Guardian ran an absolutely sensational exclusive, based on disclosures made by "multiple" anonymous sources to Luke Harding, one of the paper's leading journalists - in 2017, Russian diplomats allegedly held secret talks in London with associates of Assange, in an attempt to assist in the Wikileaks founder's escape from the UK.

The dastardly conspiracy would've entailed Assange being smuggled out of the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge under cover of Christmas Eve in a diplomatic vehicle and transported to Russia, where he'd be safe from extradition to the US, ending his eight-years of effective arbitrary detention in the process.

In any event, the audacious plot was eventually aborted after being deemed "too risky" -- even for the reckless daredevils of Moscow -- mere days before its planned execution date.

Rommy Vallejo, head of Ecuador's intelligence agency, is said to have travelled to the UK around December 15 to supervise the operation, and left when it was called off.

'Extraordinary, Deliberate Lies'

The Russian Embassy in London was quick to condemn the article on Twitter, calling the claims "another example of disinformation and fake news" in the UK mainstream media, and noting the paper violated national media standards by failing to ask the Russian side for a comment prior to the report's release. "This publication has nothing to do with the reality. The Embassy has never engaged with Ecuadorian colleagues, or with anyone else, in discussions of any kind on Russia's participation in ending Assange's stay within the diplomatic mission of Ecuador.

We're puzzled by the sensational attitude of the authors. As recently as September 18, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright called for increased efforts to combat media and online disinformation. [The] Guardian piece is a brilliant example of the kind of journalism British reader should be protected from," a spokesperson added in an official statement. In a subsequent statement , the Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the article for containing a "whole series of similar anti-Russia innuendos, and once again made clear Russian diplomats did not contact staff of the Ecuadoran Embassy in London or Assange's associates in order to assist in his escape from the UK.

However, a far more damning indictment of the article's extraordinary, evidence-free claims was provided by Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, who denounced the "quite extraordinary set of deliberate lies" in a September 23 blog post. In doing so, he revealed he and Fidel Narvaez -- a close confidant of Assange fingered as the key point of contact between the Ecuadorian embassy and Moscow in the article -- had engaged in discussions with Assange in 2017 regarding a possible departure from the UK capital, and debated possible future destinations for the embattled Wikileaks founder.

As of today -- start of the 73rd UN General Assembly -- 957 days have passed since the UN ruled Julian Assange is unlawfully & arbitrarily detained by the UK authorities and must be released & compensated. https://t.co/zZGUOhNDvH #FreeAssange pic.twitter.com/i08Ji9WF1g -- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 18, 2018
​"It's not only the case Russia didn't figure in those plans, Julian directly ruled out the possibility of going to Russia. I know 100% for certain the entire story is a complete and utter fabrication. I cannot find words enough to express the depth of my contempt for Harding and [Editor] Katherine Viner, who've betrayed completely the values of journalism. The aim of the piece is evidently to add a further layer to the fake news of Wikileaks' non-existent relationship to Russia as part of the "Hillary didn't really lose" narrative. I am, frankly, rather shocked," Murray wrote .

Friends in Spooky Places

The identities of Harding's alleged anonymous sources aren't even hinted at in the article, but Murray made a striking suggestion -- he "strongly suspect[ed]" that "MI6 tool" Harding's informants were the UK security services. If true, this would make the article "entirely black propaganda" produced by British spies. Whether MI6 agents are the source of the story or not, it's certainly true Harding enjoys a very close relationship indeed with British intelligence services -- a bond he has frequently, openly and proudly advertised in articles and books.

For instance, in his highly controversial 2017 book Collusion, Harding argued Donald Trump had a relationship with the Russian 'deep state' dating back to the 1980s, and colluded with the Kremlin to subvert US democracy. To support this conclusion, he frequently cited claims fed to him directly by Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 spy turned 'business intelligence' professional, who authored the utterly discredited 'Trump-Russia' dossier for Fusion GPS.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Ikf1uZli4g

When challenged to provide any evidence whatsoever for his book's assertions by Aaron Mate of The Real News, Harding was left mumbling and stuttering -- he was also unable to defend his claim that an individual's use of an emoji was proof they were working for Russian intelligence, and terminated the interview prematurely.

Harding's avowed contact with Steele may also have contributed to another high profile blunder in April this year. In the immediate wake of the apparent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, UK, the UK government issued a D(SMA) notice , blocking mention of Pablo Miller -- Skripal's MI6 recruiter -- in the media. Individuals who conducted internet searches for Miller afterwards quickly found his LinkedIn profile, which identified him as a 'Senior Analyst' at Orbis Intelligence -- Steele's corporate espionage company.-

It is true, or was. As I say, this 2017 forum thread, which links to Pablo Miller's LinkedIn profile, states Orbis is listed on Miller's CV -- https://t.co/Fx0vu1qorJ . Stop regurgitating anonymous claims by your spook pals and do some research, Luke -- Kit Klarenberg (@KitKlarenberg) March 12, 2018
​Miller's page was quickly deleted though, and Harding took to Twitter to issue firm denials of a connection between Miller and the firm, going so far as to suggest "someone" was using search engine optimization techniques to dishonestly associate Miller and Orbis. However, enterprising Sputnik journalist Kit Klarenberg quickly and easily found an online forum thread dating from 2017 clearly identifying Miller as an Orbis employee -- as of September, Harding is yet to respond, or retract his claims.
Related:
Freudian Slip: Did Guardian Urge Two Tech Giants to 'Promote Hate and Division'?
Russian Embassy on The Guardian Article: 'Great Foreign Policy Planning'
The Guardian's Attempt to Save the White Helmets
UK Broadcasters to Be Urged to Face Up to 'Russian Propaganda' - Reports

[Jun 26, 2019] Opinion - NY Times admits it sends stories to US government for approval before publication

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Risen detailed how his editors had been "quite willing to cooperate with the government." In fact, a top CIA official even told Risen that his rule of thumb for approving a covert operation was, "How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?" ..."
"... Bernstein obtained CIA documents that revealed that more than 400 American journalists in the previous 25 years had "secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency." ..."
"... Virtually all major US media outlets cooperated with the CIA, Bernstein revealed, including ABC, NBC, the AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst newspapers, the Miami Herald, the Saturday Evening Post, and the New York Herald‑Tribune. ..."
"... However, he added, "By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc." ..."
"... These layers of state manipulation, censorship, and even direct crafting of the news media show that, as much as they claim to be independent, The New York Times and other outlets effectively serve as de facto spokespeople for the government -- or at least for the US national security state. ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The New York Times casually acknowledged that it sends major scoops to the US government before publication, to make sure "national security officials" have "no concerns."

By Ben Norton

June 25, 2019 " Information Clearing House " - The New York Times has publicly acknowledged that it sends some of its stories to the US government for approval from "national security officials" before publication.

This confirms what veteran New York Times correspondents like James Risen have said: The American newspaper of record regularly collaborates with the US government, suppressing reporting that top officials don't want made public.

On June 15, the Times reported that the US government is escalating its cyber attacks on Russia's power grid . According to the article, "the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively," as part of a larger "digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow."

In response to the report, Donald Trump attacked the Times on Twitter, calling the article "a virtual act of Treason."

The New York Times PR office replied to Trump from its official Twitter account, defending the story and noting that it had, in fact, been cleared with the US government before being printed.

"Accusing the press of treason is dangerous," the Times communications team said. "We described the article to the government before publication."

"As our story notes, President Trump's own national security officials said there were no concerns," the Times added.

NY Times editors 'quite willing to cooperate with the government'

The symbiotic relationship between the US corporate media and the government has been known for some time. American intelligence agencies play the press like a musical instrument, using it it to selectively leak information at opportune moments to push US soft power and advance Washington's interests.

But rarely is this symbiotic relationship so casually and publicly acknowledged.

In 2018, former New York Times reporter James Risen published a 15,000-word article in The Intercept providing further insight into how this unspoken alliance operates.

Risen detailed how his editors had been "quite willing to cooperate with the government." In fact, a top CIA official even told Risen that his rule of thumb for approving a covert operation was, "How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?"

There is an "informal arrangement" between the state and the press, Risen explained, where US government officials "regularly engaged in quiet negotiations with the press to try to stop the publication of sensitive national security stories."

"At the time, I usually went along with these negotiations," the former New York Times reported said. He recalled an example of a story he was writing on Afghanistan just prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Then-CIA Director George Tenet called Risen personally and asked him to kill the story.

"He told me the disclosure would threaten the safety of the CIA officers in Afghanistan," Risen said. "I agreed."

Risen said he later questioned whether or not this was the right decision. "If I had reported the story before 9/11, the CIA would have been angry, but it might have led to a public debate about whether the United States was doing enough to capture or kill bin Laden," he wrote. "That public debate might have forced the CIA to take the effort to get bin Laden more seriously."

This dilemma led Risen to reconsider responding to US government requests to censor stories. "And that ultimately set me on a collision course with the editors at the New York Times," he said.

"After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration began asking the press to kill stories more frequently," Risen continued. "They did it so often that I became convinced the administration was invoking national security to quash stories that were merely politically embarrassing." In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Risen frequently "clashed" with Times editors because he raised questions about the US government's lies. But his stories "stories raising questions about the intelligence, particularly the administration's claims of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, were being cut, buried, or held out of the paper altogether."

The Times' executive editor Howell Raines "was believed by many at the paper to prefer stories that supported the case for war," Risen said.

In another anecdote, the former Times journalist recalled a scoop he had uncovered on a botched CIA plot. The Bush administration got wind of it and called him to the White House, where then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice ordered the Times to bury the story.

Risen said Rice told him "to forget about the story, destroy my notes, and never make another phone call to discuss the matter with anyone."

"The Bush administration was successfully convincing the press to hold or kill national security stories," Risen wrote. And the Barack Obama administration subsequently accelerated the "war on the press."

CIA media infiltration and manufacturing consent

In their renowned study of US media, " Manufacturing Consent : The Political Economy of the Mass Media," Edward S. Herman and Chomsky articulated a "propaganda model," showing how "the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them," through "the selection of right-thinking personnel and by the editors' and working journalists' internalization of priorities and definitions of newsworthiness that conform to the institution's policy."

But in some cases, the relationship between US intelligence agencies and the corporate media is not just one of mere ideological policing, indirect pressure, or friendship, but rather one of employment.

In the 1950s, the CIA launched a covert operation called Project Mockingbird, in which it surveilled, influenced, and manipulated American journalists and media coverage, explicitly in order to direct public opinion against the Soviet Union, China, and the growing international communist movement.

Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein, a former Washington Post reporter who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, published a major cover story for Rolling Stone in 1977 titled " The CIA and the Media : How America's Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up."

Bernstein obtained CIA documents that revealed that more than 400 American journalists in the previous 25 years had "secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency."

Bernstein wrote:

"Some of these journalists' relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services -- from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America's leading news organizations."

Virtually all major US media outlets cooperated with the CIA, Bernstein revealed, including ABC, NBC, the AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst newspapers, the Miami Herald, the Saturday Evening Post, and the New York Herald‑Tribune.

However, he added, "By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc."

These layers of state manipulation, censorship, and even direct crafting of the news media show that, as much as they claim to be independent, The New York Times and other outlets effectively serve as de facto spokespeople for the government -- or at least for the US national security state.

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com , and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton .

This article was originally published by " Grayzone "

[Jun 25, 2019] What Explains the Ferocity of the Attack Against Donald Trump by Robert W. Merry

Notable quotes:
"... Standards of evidence have gone out the window when it comes to attacking President Trump. ..."
"... Asked if Trump was a Russian asset, as former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe had suggested was possible, Clapper said, "I completely agree with the way Andy characterized it." He added a "caveat" that it could have been "witting or unwitting." ..."
"... Here we get to a fundamental element of McCarthyism, which can be illustrated by an exploration of the real McCarthy and his followers back in the early 1950s. These days we often see, in Hollywood movies and intellectual history, a view of the Wisconsin senator as coming out of the blue, roiling a serene nation with utterly false and brutal accusations of communist activity when there was no such threat at all. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Standards of evidence have gone out the window when it comes to attacking President Trump.

TO WHAT extent does the two-year political investigation into Donald Trump and his top aides and family members, based on suspicions of treacherous "collusion" with the Russian government, represent a kind of McCarthyism? Most people involved in that investigation no doubt would be aghast at the question. After all, they might say, they were only trying to save the country from an obviously bad man who had both motive and opportunity to scheme with the Russians for his own nefarious purposes. Even after Special Counsel Robert Mueller made clear that his two-year investigation could find no evidence of collusion to justify any legal action, many on the anti-Trump Left continued to insist that it had happened and they would continue the assault.

But Mueller's finding of no collusion does raise questions about the propriety of an inquiry based on suspicions and fragments of evidence that never added up to any serious proof of such cravenness. That was a frequent complaint about McCarthyism back in the days of its greatest menacing influence. And, just as Senator Joseph McCarthy sought to leverage his allegations of communist collusion into partisan political advantage, so too did Trump's accusers seek to bring down a president and curtail his range of executive action.

TO EXPLORE the issue further, it's helpful to explore what is meant by McCarthyism. Webster's defines it as "the use of indiscriminate, often unfounded, accusations, sensationalism, inquisitorial investigative methods, etc., ostensibly in suppression of communism."

The motive of suppressing communism no longer applies, of course, as the primary sources of anticommunist anxiety in McCarthy's day -- the expansionist Soviet empire and its Chinese counterpart -- no longer exist. But today's obsession with Russia as a threat, although it represents hardly a fragment of the old postwar capacity for menace, could be considered a stand-in for the anti-Soviet obsession of old.

What about "indiscriminate, often unfounded, accusations"? The Russia collusion episode certainly qualifies on that count. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee (now chairman), said he had "plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy" -- and, he added, this was "more than circumstantial evidence." Given Mueller's ultimate conclusion on the same question, with all of the investigative resources at his command, one has to wonder what evidence Schiff was talking about. Meanwhile, another California Democrat, Eric Swalwell, accused Trump of being an "agent" of Russia. He added, by way of elaboration, "he certainly acts on Russia's behalf."

These accusations also comport with Webster's definitional element of "sensationalism." But it's even more sensational and damaging when coming from former top-level intelligence officials, such as James Clapper and John Brennan. Brennan said that "Watergate pales really, in my view, compared to what we're confronting now." He described Trump's claim of no collusion as "hogwash," which was a roundabout accusation of treason. He dispensed with the circumlocution when he called Trump's performance in Helsinki, Finland, following a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin, "nothing short of treasonous."

Clapper, meanwhile, invoked the constitutional definition of treason when he said Trump was "essentially aiding and abetting the Russians" though he later said he used the term "only in a...colloquial sense," whatever that means. Asked if Trump was a Russian asset, as former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe had suggested was possible, Clapper said, "I completely agree with the way Andy characterized it." He added a "caveat" that it could have been "witting or unwitting."

Here we get to a fundamental element of McCarthyism, which can be illustrated by an exploration of the real McCarthy and his followers back in the early 1950s. These days we often see, in Hollywood movies and intellectual history, a view of the Wisconsin senator as coming out of the blue, roiling a serene nation with utterly false and brutal accusations of communist activity when there was no such threat at all.

Not so. A couple weeks before McCarthy's first anticommunism rant, Alger Hiss, accused of passing secret U.S. documents to a Soviet spy when he was a high-level government official, was convicted of perjury. It was a signal victory for the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the communist-hunting panel of Congress, and a great embarrassment for members of the country's Northeastern elite who had testified on behalf of Hiss' integrity and patriotism. Two weeks later, the government reported that Klaus Fuchs, a British physicist who had worked at the Los Alamos atomic-weapons facility during the war, had been arrested as a Soviet spy. This was powerful stuff when most Americans believed, correctly, that the U.S. nuclear monopoly had been the margin of security in saving Western Europe from being overrun by the Soviets.

[Jun 22, 2019] That's why we are safe :-)

Aug 01, 2014 | discussion.theguardian.com

The1eyedman , 1 Aug 2014 10:11

...The CIA and security services have every right to know who is who on all and every politician and their staff. That's why we are safe. :-)
freeandfair -> Woodby69 , 1 Aug 2014 10:04

...They are so brave, they are pathologically afraid of everyone. And want to be "protected".

[Jun 20, 2019] Trump Says DOJ Investigating Whether Obama Tapped His Phone

Jun 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Why won't Obama live in Chicago?

JD Rock , 2 hours ago link

too much diversity...

[Jun 19, 2019] Investigation Nation Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics by Jim Kavanagh

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You might think the Democratic Party would be horrified at this result, which one conservative analyst calls: "one of the greatest self-defeating acts in history." You might think Democrats would now move quickly and decisively toward a strategy of offering a substantive political alternative, and abandon this awful own-goal Mueller/Russiagate tack that has already helped Trump immensely (and which they are not going to turn their way). That is obviously what would happen if the Democrats' main goal was to defeat Trump. But it isn't. ..."
"... As discussed above, the Democratic establishment's' main goal throughout this was not to "get" Trump, but to channel its own voters' disgust with him into support for some halcyon, liberal, status quo ante-Trump, and away from left demands for a radical change to the social, economic, and political conditions that produced him and his clueless establishment opponent in 2016. The Democrats' goal was, and is, not to defeat Trump, but to stave off the left. ..."
"... The Democrats' main goal in all this is not to impeach, or stop the re-election of, Donald Trump; it's to prevent the nomination and election of Bernie Sanders, or anyone like him. ..."
"... You mean the five million people who voted for Obama in 2012, in the 90% of counties that voted for Obama either in 2008 or 2012, but would not vote for Hillary in 2019, aren’t streaming back into—are indeed still streaming out of—the Democratic Party, despite all the Mueller investigation has done for them? Imagine that. ..."
"... What has Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation wrought? It’s either a shrewd political gambit sure to take down Trump, or it’s ridiculous political theater leading Democrats, and the country, over another cliff. Double-down or leave that table? ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
So the Mueller investigation is over. The official "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election" has been written, and is in the hands of Attorney General William Barr, who has issued a summary of its findings. On the core mandate of the investigation, given to Special Counsel Mueller by Rod Rosenstein as Acting Attorney General in May of 2017 -- to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump" -- the takeaway conclusion stated in the Mueller report, as quoted in the Barr summary, is that "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.1"

In the footnote indicated at the end of that sentence, Barr further clarifies the comprehensive meaning of that conclusion, again quoting the Report's own words: "In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign 'coordinated' with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined 'coordination' as an 'agreement -- tacit or express -- between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference'."

Barr restates the point of the cited conclusion from the Mueller Report a number of times: "The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA [Internet Research Agency, the indicted Russian clickbait operation] in its efforts."

Thus, the Mueller investigation found no "conspiracy," no "coordination," -- i.e., no "collusion" -- "tacit or express" between the Trump campaign or any U.S. person and the Russian government. The Mueller investigation did not make, seal, or recommend any indictment for any U.S. person for any such crime.

This is as clear and forceful a repudiation as one can get of the "collusion" narrative that has been insistently shoved down our throats by the Democratic Party, its McResistance, its allied media, and its allied intelligence and national security agencies and officials. Whatever one wants to say about any other aspect of this investigation -- campaign finance violations, obstruction of justice, etc. -- they were not the main saga for the past two+ years as spun by the Russiagaters. The core narrative was that Donald Trump was some kind of Russian agent or asset, arguably guilty of treason and taking orders from his handler/blackmailer Vladimir Putin, who conspired with him to steal the 2016 election, and, furthermore, that Saint Mueller and his investigation team of patriotic FBI/CIA agents were going to find the goods that would have the Donald taken out of the White House in handcuffs for that.

Keith Olbermann's spectacular rant in January 2017 defined the core narrative and exemplified the Trump Derangement Syndrome that powered it: an emotional, visceral hatred of Donald Trump wrapped in the fantasy -- insisted upon as "elemental, existential fact" -- that he was "put in power by Vladimir Putin." A projection and deflection, I would say, of liberals' self-hatred for creating the conditions -- eight years of war and wealth transfer capped off by a despised and entitled candidate -- that allowed a vapid clown like Trump to be elected. It couldn't be our fault! It must have been Putin who arranged it!

Here's a highlight of Keith's delusional discourse. But, please watch the whole six-minute video below. They may have been a bit calmer, but this is the fundamental lunacy that was exuding from the rhetorical pores of Rachel, Chris, and Co. day after day for two+ years:

The military apparatus of this country is about to be handed over to scum, who are beholden to scum, Russian scum! As things are today January 20th will not be an inauguration but rather the end of the United States as an independent country. Donald John Trump is not a president; he is a puppet, put in power by Vladimir Putin. Those who ignore these elemental, existential facts -- Democrats or Republicans -- are traitors to this country. [Emphases in original. Really, watch it.]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IAFxPXGDH4E

This -- Trump's secret, treasonous collusion with Putin, and not hush money or campaign finance violations or "obstruction of justice" or his obvious overall sleaziness -- was Russiagate.

Russiagate is Dead! Long Live Russiagate!

And it still is. Here's the demonstration in New York last Thursday, convened by the MoveOn/Maddow #Resistance, singing from "the hymnal" about how Trump is a "Russian whore" who is "busy blowing Vladimir":

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9YZ9kiJ88LM

This is delusional lunacy.

Here are the three lines of excuse and denial currently being fired off by diehard Russiagaters in their fighting retreat, and my responses to them.

1. The Mueller Report is irrelevant, anyhow. 'Cause either A) Per Congressional blowhard Adam Schiff: There already "is direct evidence" proving Trump-Russia collusion, dating from before the Mueller Investigation, so who cares what that doesn't find; or B) (My personal favorite) Per former prosecutor and CNN legal expert Renato Mariotti: Of course there is no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, and it's "your fault" for letting Trump fool you into thinking Mueller's job was to find it. (The Mueller "collusion" investigation was a red herring orchestrated/promoted by Trump! I cannot make this up.)

Mueller's report will almost certainly disappoint you, and it's not his fault. It's your fault for buying into Trump's false narrative that it is Mueller's' job to prove "collusion," a nearly impossible bar for any prosecutor to clear.

My piece in @TIME : https://t.co/VQ2WhhC996

-- Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) March 1, 2019

This is, of course, the weakest volley. It's absurd, patent bad faith, for Russiagaters to pretend that they knew, thought, or suggested the Mueller investigation was irrelevant. It is they who have been insisting that the integrity and super-sleuthiness of the "revered" Robert Mueller himself was the thing that would nail Donald Trump for Russian collusion. To now deny that any of that was important only acknowledges how thoroughly they have been fooling the American people and/or themselves for two years. Either Adam Schiff had the goods on Trump's traitorous Russian collusion two years ago, in which case he's got a lot of explaining to do about why he's been stringing us along with Mueller, or Schiff is just bluffing. Place your bets.

Russiagaters in 2017: YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT MUELLER KNOWS
Russiagaters in 2018: YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT MUELLER KNOWS
Russiagaters in 2019: Shut up Mueller, what would you know.

-- Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) March 22, 2019

2. The Mueller Report didn't exonerate Trump entirely. It was agnostic about whether Trump was guilty of "obstruction of justice," and there are probably many nasty things in the report that may not be provably criminal, but nonetheless demonstrate what a slimeball Trump is.

No, Russiagaters will not get away with denying that the core purpose of the Mueller investigation was to prove Trump's traitorous relation to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, which helped him win the 2016 election. They will not get away with denying that, if the Mueller investigation failed to prove that, it failed in its main purpose, as they constantly defined and reinforced it, with table-pounding, hyperventilating, and -- a few days ago! -- disco-dancing to "the hymnal."

They will not get away with trying to appropriate, as if it were their point all along, what the left critics of Russiagate have been saying for two+ years -- that Donald Trump is a slimeball grifter whose culpability for politically substantive and probably legally actionable crimes and misdemeanors should not be hard to establish, without reverting to the absurd accusation that he's a Russian agent.

These are the left critics of Russiagate and Trump, whom Russiagaters deliberately excluded from all their media platforms, in order to make it seem that only right-wing Trump supporters could be skeptical of Russiagate -- the left critics Russiagaters then excoriated as "Trump enablers" and "Putin apologists" for speaking on the only media platforms that would host them. Among them, Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Maté (who just deservedly won the I.F. Stone prize for his Russiagate coverage) were the most prominent, but many others, including me, made this point week after week (Brian Becker, Dave Lindorff, Dan Kovalik, Daniel Lazare, Ted Rall, to name a few). As I put it in an essay last year: "There are a thousand reasons to criticize Donald Trump That Donald Trump is a Russian agent is not one of them. There are a number of very good justifications for seeking his impeachment That he is a Kremlin agent is not one of them."

So, it's a particularly slimy for Russiagaters to slip into the position that we Russiagate skeptics have been enunciating, and they have been excluding, for two years, without acknowledging that we were right and they were wrong and accounting for their effort to edit us out.

3. But we haven't seen the whole Mueller Report! Barr may be fooling us! Mueller's own team says so! You are now doing what you accused us of doing for two years -- abandoning proper skepticism about Republicans like Barr and even Mueller (Yup. He's a suspicious Republican now!), and assuming a final result we have not yet seen.

This is the one the Russiagaters like the most. Gotcha with your own logic!

Well, let's first of all thank those who are saying this for, again, recognizing that we Russiagate critics had the right attitude toward such an investigation: cautious skepticism as opposed to false certainty. And let's linger for a moment or more on how belated that recognition is and what its delay cost.

But let's also recognize that what's being expressed here is the last-minute hope on the part of the Russiagaters that the Mueller report actually does contain dispositive evidence of Trump's treasonous Russian collusion. Because, again, that is the core accusation that hopeful Russiagaters are still singing about, and nobody ever argued that evidence of other hijinks was unlikely.

Well, that hope can only be realized if one or both of the following are true: 1) Barr's quotes from the report exonerating Trump of collusion are complete fabrications, or 2) Mueller both wrote those words even though they contradict the substance of his own report and declined to indict a single U.S. person for such "collusion" even though he could have.

Sure, in the abstract, one or both of those conditions could be true. But there is no evidence, none, that either is. The New York Times (NYT) report that set everyone aflutter about the "concern" from "some members of Mr. Mueller's team" is anonymous, unspecified, and second-hand. Read it carefully: The NYT did not report what any member of Mueller's team said, but what "government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations" said. Those "officials and others interviewed [not members of the Mueller team itself] declined to flesh out" to the NYT what "some of the special counsel's investigators" were unhappy about. To that empty hearsay, the NYT appends the phrase "although the report is believed to examine Mr. Trump's efforts to thwart the investigation" -- suggesting, but not stating, that obstruction of justice issues are the reasons for the investigators' "vexation." The NYT cannot state, because it does not know, anything. It is reporting empty hearsay that is evidence of nothing, but is meant to keep hope alive.

"[T]he report is believed to examine" is a particularly strange locution. Is the NYT suggesting that the Mueller report might not have examined obstruction of justice possibilities? Or is it just getting tangled up in its attempt to suggest this or that? Hey, it could just as well be true that Barr's characterization of what the Mueller Report says about "obstruction of justice" is a misleading fabrication. Maybe Mueller actually exonerated Trump of that. If you mistrust Barr's version of what the Mueller Report says about collusion, why not equally mistrust what it says about obstruction of justice?

There is no evidence that Barr's summary is radically misleading about the core collusion conclusion of the Mueller Report. The walls are closing in, alright, on that story. The I'm just being as cautious now as you were before! line is the opposite of the reasonable skepticism is claims to be; it's Russiagaters clinging to a wish and a belief that something they want to be true is, despite the determinate lack of any evidence.

It's not just the words; it's the melody, and the desperation in the voices. The core Trump-blowing-Vladimir collusion song that #Resisters are still singing is a fantastical fiction and the people still singing it are the pathetic choir on the Russiagate Titanic. And while they're singing as they sink, Trump is escaping in the lifeboat they have provided him. The single most definite and undeniable effect of the Mueller investigation on American politics has been to hand Donald Trump a potent political weapon for his 2020 re-election campaign. A real bombshell.

It would be funny, if it weren't so funny:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qjUvfZj-Fm0

But it's worse than that. The falsity of the Trump-as-a-Russian-agent narrative does not depend on any confidence in Mueller and his report or Barr and his summary. The truth is there was no Russiagate investigation, in the sense of a serious attempt to find out whether Donald Trump was taking orders from, or "coordinating" with, Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

No person in their right mind could believe that. Robert Mueller doesn't believe it. Nancy Pelosi doesn't believe it. Adam Schiff doesn't believe it. John Brennan, James Clapper, and the heads of intelligence agencies do not believe it. Not for a second. No knowledgeable international affairs journalist or academic who thinks about it for two minutes believes it. Sure, some politicians and media pundits did work themselves up into a state where they internalized and projected a belief in the narrative, but few of them really believed it. They were serving the Kool-Aid. Only the most gullible sectors of their target audience drank it.

With some exceptions, to be sure (Donald Trump among them), the people in the highest echelons of the state-media-academic apparatus are just not that stupid. And, most obvious and important, Vladimir Putin is not that stupid, and they know he is not. Vladimir Putin would never rely on Donald Trump to be his operative in a complex operation that required shrewdly playing and evading the US intelligence and media apparatuses. Nobody is that stupid. Thinking about it that way for a second dissipates the entire ridiculous idea. (Not to mention that Trump ended up enacting a number of policies -- many more than Obama! -- contrary to Russian interests.)

The obvious, which many people in the independent media and none in the mainstream media (because it is so obvious, and would have blown their game) have pointed out, is that any real investigation of Russiagate would have sought to talk with the principals who had direct knowledge of who is responsible for leaking the infamous DNC documents: Julian Assange and former British ambassador Craig Murray ("I know who leaked them. I've met the person who leaked them."). They were essentially two undisputed eyewitnesses to the crime Mueller was supposed to be investigating, and he made no effort to talk to either of them. Ipso facto, it was not really an investigation, not a project whole purpose was to find the truth about whatever the thing called "Russiagate" is supposed to be.

The Eternal Witch-hunt

It was a theater of discipline. Its purpose, which it achieved, was to discipline Trump, the Democratic electorate, and the media. Its method was fishing around in the muck of Washington consultants, lobbyists, and influence peddlers to generate indictments and plea bargains for crimes irrelevant to the core mandate. Not hard, in a carceral state where prosecutors can pin three felonies a day on anyone.

The US establishment, especially its national security arm, was genuinely shocked that their anointed candidate, Hillary, who was, as Glen Ford puts it "'all in' with the global military offensive" that Obama had run through Libya, Syria, and the coup in Ukraine, was defeated by a nitwit candidate who was making impermissibly non-aggressive noises about things like Russia and NATO, and who actually wanted to lose. For their part, the Democrats were horrified, and did not want to face the necessary reckoning about the complete failure of their candidate, and the best-of-all-possible-liberaloid-worlds strategy she personified.

So, "within 24 hours of her concession speech" Hillary's campaign team (Robby Mook and John Podesta) created a "script they would pitch to the press and the public" to explain why she lost. "Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument." A few months later, a coalition of congressional Democrats,, establishment Republicans, and intelligence/natsec professionals pressured Trump (who, we can now see clearly, is putty in the hands of the latter) to initiate a Special Counsel investigation. Its ostensible goal was to investigate Russian collusion, but its real goals were:

1) To discipline Trump, preventing any backpedaling on NATO/imperialist war-mongering against Russia or any other target. Frankly, I think this was unnecessary. Trump never had any depth of principle in his remarks about de-escalating with Russia and Syria. He was always a staunch American exceptionalist and Zionist. Nobody has forced him (that's a right-wing fantasy) to attack Syria, appoint John Bolton, recognize Israeli authority over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, or threaten Iran and Venezuela. But the natsec deep state actors did (and do) not trust Trump's impulsiveness. They probably also thought it would be useful to "send a message" to Russia, which, in their arrogance, they think they can, but they cannot, "discipline," as I've discussed in a previous essay.

2) To discipline the media, making "Russian collusion," as Off-Guardian journalist Kit Knightly says, "a concept that keeps everyone in check." Thus, a Russophobia-related McCarthyite hysteria was engendered that defined any strong anti-interventionist or anti-establishment sentiment as Russian-sown "divisiveness" and "Putin apologetics." This discipline was eagerly accepted by the mainstream media, which joined in the related drive to demand new forms of censorship for independent and internet media. The epitome of this is the mainstream media's execrable, tacit and sometimes explicit acceptance of the US government's campaign to prosecute Julian Assange.

3) To discipline and corral the Democratic constituency. Establishment Dems riled up outraged progressives with deceptive implied promises to take Trump down based on the collusion fiction, which excused Hillary and diverted their attention from the real egregious failures and crimes that led their party to political ruin, and culminated in the election of Trump in the first place. This discipline also instituted a #Resistance to Trump that involved the party doing nothing substantively progressive in policy -- indeed, it allowed embracing Trump's most egregious militarism and promoting an alliance with, a positive reverence for, the most deceptive and reactionary institutions of the state.

Finally, incorporating point 2, perhaps the main point of this discipline -- indeed of the whole Mueller enterprise -- was to stigmatize the leftists and socialists in and around the party, who were questioning the collusion fiction and calling critical attention to the party's failures, as crypto-fascist "Trump enablers" or "Putin's useful idiots." It's all about fencing out the left and corralling the base.

Note the point regarding the deceptive implications about taking down Trump. Though they gave the opposite impression to rile up their constituents, Democratic Congressional leaders, for the reasons given above and others I laid out in a previous essay, did not think for a second they were going to impeach Trump. They were never really after impeaching Trump; they were and are after stringing along their dissatisfied progressive-minded voters. They, not Trump, were and are the target of the foolery.

We should recognize that Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation achieved all of these goals, and was therefore a great success. That's the case whatever part of the Mueller Report is summarized and released, and whoever interprets it. The whole report with all of the underlying evidence cannot legally be released to the public, and the Democrats know that. So, even if the House gets it, the public will only ever see portions doled out by various interested parties.

Thus, it will continue to be a great success. There will be endless leaks, and interpretations of leaks, and arguments about the interpretations of leaks based on speculation about what's still hidden. The Mueller Investigation has morphed into the Mueller Report, a hermeneutical exercise that will go on forever.
The Mueller Investigation never happened and will never end.

It wasn't an investigation. It was/is an act of political theater, staged in an ongoing dramatic festival where, increasingly, litigation substitutes for politics. Neither party has anything of real, lasting, positive political substance to offer, and each finds itself in power only because it conned the electorate into thinking it offered something new. That results in every politician being vulnerable, but to a politically vacuous opposition that can only mount its attacks on largely politically irrelevant, often impossible to adjudicate, legalistic or moralistic grounds. Prosecutorial inquiry becomes a substitute for substantive political challenge.

It's the template that was established by the Republicans against Bill Clinton, has been adapted by the Democrats for Trump and Russiagate, and will be ceaselessly repeated. What's coming next, already hinted at in William Barr's congressional testimony, will be an investigation of FISAGate -- an inquiry into whether the FISA warrants for spying on the Trump campaign and administration were obtained legally ("adequately predicated"). And/or UkraineGate, about the evidence "Ukrainian law enforcement officials believe they have of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes," involving Tony Podesta (who worked right alongside Paul Manafort in Ukraine), Hillary Clinton's campaign, Joe Biden and his son, et. al. And/or CampaignGate, the lawsuit claiming that Hillary's national campaign illegally took $84 million of "straw man" contributions made to state Democratic campaigns. And/or CraigGate, involving powerful Democratic fixer and Obama White House Counsel, Gregory Craig, who has already been referred to federal prosecutors by Mueller, and whose law firm has already paid a $4.6 million-dollar fine for making false statement and failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act -- for work he did in Ukraine with -- who else? -- Paul Manafort.

There are Gates galore. If you haven't heard about any of these simmering scandals in the way you've heard incessantly about, you know, Paul Manafort, perhaps that's because they didn't fit into the "get Trump" theme of the Mueller Investigation/Russiagate political theater. Rest assured the Republicans have, and will likely make sure that you do. If you think the Republicans do not have at least as much of a chance to make a serious case with some of these as Mueller did with Trump, you are wrong. If you think the Republicans will pursue any of these investigations because they have the same principled concern as the Democrats about foreign collusion in US elections, or the legality of campaign contributions or surveillance warrants, you are right. They have none. Like the Democrats, they have zero concern for the ostensible issues of principle, and infinite enthusiasm for mounting "gotcha" political theater.

Neither party really wants, or knows how, to engage in a sustained, principled debate on substantive political issues -- things like universal-coverage, single-payer health insurance, a job guarantee, a radical reduction of the military budget, an end to imperialist intervention, increasing taxes on the wealthy and lowering them for working people, a break from the "overwhelming" and destructive influence of Zionism, to name a few of the policies the Democratic congressional leadership could have insisted on "investigating" over the last two years..

Instead, both parties' political campaigns rely on otherizing appeals based on superficial identity politics (white-affirmative on the one hand, POC-affirmative on the other) and, mainly, on bashing the other party for all the problems it ignored or exacerbated, and all the terrible policies it enacted, when it was in power -- and for the version of superficial, otherizing identity politics it supposedly based those policies on (the real determinants of class power remaining invisible). What both parties know how and will continue to do is mount hypocritical legalistic and moralistic "investigations" of illegal campaign contributions, support from foreign governments, teenage make-out sessions, personal-space violations, et. al., that they are just "shocked, shocked" about.

It's Investigation Nation. Fake politics in the simulacrum of a democratic polity. Indeed, someone, of some political perspicuity, might just notice, if only for a flash, that the people who do pretty well politically are often the ones who frankly don't give a crap about all that. Maybe because they're talking to people who don't give a crap about all that. But we wouldn't want to confuse ourselves thinking on that for too long.

Which brings us to the last point about Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation mentioned above. It may not (or may!) have been an intended goal, but it has been its most definite political effect: The Mueller Investigation has been a great political gift to Donald Trump. #Resisters and Russiagaters can wriggle around that all they want. They can insist that, once we get the whole Report, we'll turn the corner, the bombshell will explode, the walls will close in -- for real, this time. Sure.

But even they can't deny that's the case right now. Trump is saying the Mueller investigation was a political counterattack against the result of the election, masquerading as a disinterested judicial investigation; that it was based on a flimsy fiction and designed to dig around in every corner of his closets to find nasty and incriminating things that were entirely irrelevant to the ostensible mandate of the investigation and to any substantive, upfront political critique -- a "witchhunt," a "fishing expedition." And he is right. And too many people in the country know he's right. At this point, even most Russiagaters themselves know it -- though they don't care, and will never admit it.

So now Trump, who could have been attacked for two years politically on substance for betraying most of the promises that got him elected -- more aggressive war, more tax cuts for the wealthy, threatening Medicare and Social Security -- has instead been handed, by the Democrats, the strongest arrow he now has in his political quiver. As Matt Taibbi says: "Trump couldn't have asked for a juicier campaign issue, and an easier way to argue that 'elites' don't respect the democratic choices of flyover voters. It's hard to imagine what could look worse."

You might think the Democratic Party would be horrified at this result, which one conservative analyst calls: "one of the greatest self-defeating acts in history." You might think Democrats would now move quickly and decisively toward a strategy of offering a substantive political alternative, and abandon this awful own-goal Mueller/Russiagate tack that has already helped Trump immensely (and which they are not going to turn their way). That is obviously what would happen if the Democrats' main goal was to defeat Trump. But it isn't.

As discussed above, the Democratic establishment's' main goal throughout this was not to "get" Trump, but to channel its own voters' disgust with him into support for some halcyon, liberal, status quo ante-Trump, and away from left demands for a radical change to the social, economic, and political conditions that produced him and his clueless establishment opponent in 2016. The Democrats' goal was, and is, not to defeat Trump, but to stave off the left.

What they are doing with the Mueller Investigation/Russiagate is what they did in the primaries in 2016: Then, they deliberately promoted Trump as an opponent, while working assiduously to cheat their own leftist candidate; now, they gin up a fictional spy story whose inevitable collapse helps Trump, but on which they will double down, in order to continue branding "divisive" leftists who challenge any return to their version of status-quo normalcy as the Kremlin's "useful idiots."

The Democrats' main goal in all this is not to impeach, or stop the re-election of, Donald Trump; it's to prevent the nomination and election of Bernie Sanders, or anyone like him.

Russiagate Forever

Here's Tim Ryan's presidential campaign kickoff speech in Youngstown, Ohio, a poster city of late American capitalist deindustrialization, explaining to the voters what is causing the destruction of their lives and towns. After complaining that "We have politicians and leaders today that want to divide us. They want to put us in one box or the other. You know, you can't be for business and for labor," he elaborates:

Yup, it’s those Russians, you see, sowing division through certain “politicians and leaders,” who are preventing us from fixing our healthcare, education, economic and government systems. This—doubling down on Russiagate—is the centrist Democrats’ idea of a winning political appeal. I consider it utterly delusional.

I heard last week from a friend in Western Pennsylvania, not too far from Youngstown. She’s a good person who is trying to organize Democrats in the area to beat Trump in 2020, and, pleading for advice, she expressed her exasperation: “They’re leaving the party!”

You mean the five million people who voted for Obama in 2012, in the 90% of counties that voted for Obama either in 2008 or 2012, but would not vote for Hillary in 2019, aren’t streaming back into—are indeed still streaming out of—the Democratic Party, despite all the Mueller investigation has done for them? Imagine that.

What has Russiagate/The Mueller Investigation wrought? It’s either a shrewd political gambit sure to take down Trump, or it’s ridiculous political theater leading Democrats, and the country, over another cliff. Double-down or leave that table?

Place your bets.

[Jun 19, 2019] The Warm War Russiamania at the Boiling Point by Jim Kavanagh

Notable quotes:
"... Theresa May's immediate conclusion that the Russian government bears certain and sole responsibility for the nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals is logically, scientifically, and forensically impossible. ..."
"... Teresa May is lying, everyone who seconds her assertion of false certainty is lying, they all know they are lying, and the Russians know that they know they are lying. ..."
"... "War" is what they seem to want it to be. For the past 18 to 24 months, we've also been inundated with Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner's ominous "We have been attacked. We are at war," video, as well as the bipartisan ( Hillary Clinton , John McCain ) insistence that alleged Russian election meddling should be considered an "act of war" equivalent to Pearl Harbor . Indeed, Trump's new National Security advisor, the warmongering lunatic John Bolton, calls it , explicitly "a casus belli , a true act of war." ..."
"... Even the military is getting in on the act. The nerve-agent accusation has been followed up by General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, accusing Russia of arming the Taliban! It's noteworthy that this senior American military general casually refers to Russia as "the enemy": "We've had stories written by the Taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy." ..."
"... The economic war against Russian is being waged through a series of sanctions that seem impossible to reverse, because their expressed goal is to extract confession, repentance, and restitution for crimes ascribed to Russia that Russia has not committed, or has not been proven to have committed, or are entirely fictional and have not been committed by anyone at all. We will only stop taking your bank accounts and consulates and let you play games with us if you confess and repent every crime we accuse you of. No questions permitted. ..."
Apr 02, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
Is it war yet?

Yes, in too many respects.

It's a relentless economic, diplomatic, and ideological war, spiced with (so far) just a dash of military war, and the strong scent of more to come.

I mean war with Russia, of course, although Russia is the point target for a constellation of emerging adversaries the US is desperate to entame before any one or combination of them becomes too strong to defeat. These include countries like Iran and China, which are developing forces capable of resisting American military aggression against their own territory and on a regional level, and have shown quite too much uppitiness about staying in their previously-assigned geopolitical cages.

But Russia is the only country that has put its military forces in the way of a U.S. program of regime change -- indirectly in Ukraine, where Russia would not get out of the way, and directly in Syria, where Russia actively got in the way. So Russia is the focus of attack, the prime target for an exemplary comeuppance.

Is it, then, a new Cold War, even more dangerous than the old one, as Stephen F. Cohen says ?

That terminology was apt even a few months ago, but the speed, ferocity, and coordination of the West/NATO's reaction to the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals, as well as the formation of a War Cabinet in Washington, indicates to me that we've moved to another level of aggression.

It's beyond Cold. Call it the Warm War. And the temperature's rising.

The Nerve of Them

There are two underlying presumptions that, combined, make present situation more dangerous than a Cold War.

One is the presumption of guilt -- or, more precisely, the presumption that the presumption of Russian guilt can always be made, and made to stick in the Western mind.

The confected furor over the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals demonstrates this dramatically.

Theresa May's immediate conclusion that the Russian government bears certain and sole responsibility for the nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals is logically, scientifically, and forensically impossible.

False certainty is the ultimate fake news. It is just not true that, as she says: "There is no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state is culpable." This falsity of this statement has been demonstrated by a slew of sources -- including the developers of the alleged "Novichok" agent themselves, a thorough analysis by a former UN inspector in Iraq who worked on the destruction of chemical weapons, establishment Western scientific outlets like New Scientist (" Other countries could have made 'Russian' nerve agent "), and the British government's own mealy-mouthed, effective-but-unacknowledged disavowal of that conclusion. In its own words, The British government found: "a nerve agent or related compound," " of a type developed by Russia." So, it's absolutely, positively, certainly, without a doubt, Russian-government-produced "Novichok" .or something else.

Teresa May is lying, everyone who seconds her assertion of false certainty is lying, they all know they are lying, and the Russians know that they know they are lying. It's a

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lErlHLCNM_s?autoplay=0list=WL

It boggles the -- or at least, my -- mind how, in the face of all this, anyone could take seriously her ultimatum, ignoring the procedures of the Chemical Weapons Convention , gave Russia 24 hours to "explain" -- i.e., confess and beg forgiveness for -- this alleged crime.

Indeed, it's noteworthy that France initially, and rather sharply, refused to assume Russian guilt, with a government spokesman saying, "We don't do fantasy politics. Once the elements are proven, then the time will come for decisions to be made." But the whip was cracked -- and surely not by the weak hand of Whitehall -- demanding EU/NATO unity in the condemnation of Russia. So, in an extraordinary show of discipline that could only be ordered and orchestrated by the imperial center, France joined the United States and 20 other countries in the largest mass expulsion of Russian diplomats ever.

Western governments and their compliant media have mandated that Russian government guilt for the " first offensive use of a nerve agent " in Europe since World War II is to be taken as flat fact. Anyone -- like Jeremy Corbyn or Craig Murray -- who dares to interrupt the "Sentence first! Verdict afterwards!" chorus to ask for, uh, evidence, is treated to a storm of obloquy .

At this point, Western accusers don't seem to care how blatantly unfounded, if not ludicrous, an accusation is. The presumption of Russian guilt, along with the shaming of anyone who questions it, has become an unquestionable standard of Western/American political and media discourse.

Old Cold War McCarthyism has become new Warm War fantasy politics.

Helled in Contempt

This declaration of diplomatic war over the Skripal incident is the culmination of an ongoing drumbeat of ideological warfare, demonizing Russia and Putin personally in the most predictable and inflammatory terms.

For the past couple of years, we've been told by Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Marco Rubio, and Boris Johnson that Putin is the new Hitler. That's a particularly galling analogy for the Russians. Soviet Russia, after all, was Hitler's main enemy, that defeated the Nazi army at the cost of 20+ million of its people -- while the British Royal Family was not un-smitten with the charms of Hitlerian fascism , and British footballers had a poignant moment in 1938 Berlin saluting the Fuhre.:

"War" is what they seem to want it to be. For the past 18 to 24 months, we've also been inundated with Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner's ominous "We have been attacked. We are at war," video, as well as the bipartisan ( Hillary Clinton , John McCain ) insistence that alleged Russian election meddling should be considered an "act of war" equivalent to Pearl Harbor . Indeed, Trump's new National Security advisor, the warmongering lunatic John Bolton, calls it , explicitly "a casus belli , a true act of war."

Even the military is getting in on the act. The nerve-agent accusation has been followed up by General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, accusing Russia of arming the Taliban! It's noteworthy that this senior American military general casually refers to Russia as "the enemy": "We've had stories written by the Taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy."

Which is strange, because, since the Taliban emerged from the American-jihadi war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, and the Taliban and Russia have "enduring enmity" towards each other, as Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network puts it . Furthermore, the sixteen-year-long American war against the Taliban has depended on Russia allowing the U.S. to move supplies through its territory, and being "the principal source of fuel for the alliance's needs in Afghanistan."

So the general has to admit that this alleged Russian "destabilising activity" is a new thing: "This activity really picked up in the last 18 to 24 months When you look at the timing it roughly correlates to when things started to heat up in Syria. So it's interesting to note the timing of the whole thing."

Yes, it is.

The economic war against Russian is being waged through a series of sanctions that seem impossible to reverse, because their expressed goal is to extract confession, repentance, and restitution for crimes ascribed to Russia that Russia has not committed, or has not been proven to have committed, or are entirely fictional and have not been committed by anyone at all. We will only stop taking your bank accounts and consulates and let you play games with us if you confess and repent every crime we accuse you of. No questions permitted.

This is not a serious framework for respectful international relations between two sovereign nations. It's downright childish. It paints everyone, including the party trying to impose it, into an impossible corner. Is Russia ever going to abandon Crimea, confess that it shot down the Malaysian jet, tricked us into electing Donald Trump, murdered the Skripals, is secretly arming the Taliban, et. al .? Is the U.S. ever going to say: "Never mind"? What's the next step? It's the predicament of the bully.

This is not, either, an approach that really seeks to address any of the "crimes" charged. As Victoria Nuland (a Clintonite John Bolton) put it on NPR, it's about, "sending a message" to Russia. Well, as Russia's ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov said , with this latest mass expulsion of diplomats, the United States is, "Destroying what little remained of US-Russian ties." He got the message.

All of this looks like a coordinated campaign that began in response to Russia's interruption of American regime-change projects in Ukraine and especially Syria, that was harmonized -- over the last 18 to 24 months -- with various elite and popular motifs of discontent over the 2016 election, and that has reached a crescendo in the last few weeks with ubiquitous and unconstrained " enemization " [1] of Russia. It's hard to describe it as anything other than war propaganda -- manufacturing the citizenry's consent for a military confrontation.

Destroying the possibility of normal, non-conflictual, state-to-state relations and constituting Russia as "the enemy" is exactly what this campaign is about. That is its "message" and its effect -- for the American people as much as for the Russia government. The heightened danger, I think, is that Russia, which has for a long time been reluctant to accept that America wasn't interested in "partnership", has now heard and understood this message, while the American people have only heard but do not understand it.

It's hard to see where this can go that doesn't involve military conflict. This is especially the case with the appointments of Mike Pompeo, Gina Haspel, and John Bolton -- a veritable murderers' row that many see as the core of a Trump War Cabinet. Bolton, who does not need Senate confirmation, is a particularly dangerous fanatic, who tried to get the Israelis to attack Iran before even they wanted to, and has promised regime change in Iran by 2019. As mentioned, he considers that Russia has already given him a " casus belli. " Even the staid New York Times warns that, with these appointments, "the odds of taking military action will rise dramatically."

The second presumption in the American mindset today makes military confrontation more likely than it was during the Cold War: Not only is there a presumption of guilt, there is a presumption of weakness . The presumption of guilt is something the American imperial managers are confident they can induce and maintain in the Western world; the presumption of weakness is one they -- or, I fear, too many of them -- have all-too blithely internalized.

This is an aspect of the American self-image among policymakers whose careers matured in a post-Soviet world. During the Cold War, Americans held themselves in check by the assumption, that, militarily, the Soviet Union was a peer adversary, a country that could and would defend certain territories and interests against direct American military aggression -- "spheres of interest" that should not be attacked. The fundamental antagonism was managed with grudging mutual respect.

There was, after all, a shared recent history of alliance against fascism. And there was an awareness that the Soviet Union, in however distorted a way, both represented the possibility of a post-capitalist future and supported post-colonial national liberation movements, which gave it considerable stature in the world.

American leadership might have hated the Soviet Union, but it was not contemptuous of it. No American leader would have called the Soviet Union, as John McCain called Russia, just "a gas station masquerading as a country." And no senior American or British leader would have told the Soviet Union what British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told Russia last week: to "go away and shut up."

This is a discourse that assumes its own righteousness, authority, and superior power, even as it betrays its own weakness. It's the discourse of a frustrated child. Or bully. Russia isn't shutting up and going away, and the British are not -- and know they're not -- going to make it. But they may think the Big Daddy backing them up can and will. And daddy may think so himself.

Like all bullies, the people enmeshed in this arrogant discourse don't seem to understand that it is not frightening Russia. It's only insulting the country, and leading it to conclude that there is indeed nothing remaining of productive, non-conflictual, US-Russian "partnership" ties. The post-Skripal worldwide diplomatic expulsions, which seem deliberately and desperately excessive, may have finally convinced Russia that there is no longer any use trying. Those who should be frightened of this are the American people.

The enemy of my enemy is me.

The United States is only succeeding in turning itself into an enemy for Russians. Americans would do well to understand how thoroughly their hypocritical and contemptuous stance has alienated the Russian people and strengthened Vladimir Putin's leadership -- as many of Putin's critics warned them it would. The fantasy of stoking a "liberal" movement in Russia that will install some nouveau-Yeltsin-ish figure is dissipated in the cold light of a 77% election day. Putin is widely and firmly supported in Russia because he represents the resistance to any such scheme.

Americans who want to understand that dynamic, and what America itself has wrought in Russia, should heed the passion, anger, and disappointment in this statement about Putin's election from a self-described "liberal" (using the word, I think, in the intellectual tradition, not the American political, sense), Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT TV (errors in translation by another person):

Essentially, the West should be horrified not because 76% of Russians voted for Putin, but because this elections have demonstrated that 95% of Russia's population supports conservative-patriotic, communist and nationalist ideas. That means that liberal ideas are barely surviving among measly 5% of population.

And that's your fault, my Western friends. It was you who pushed us into "Russians never surrender" mode

[W]ith all your injustice and cruelty, inquisitorial hypocrisy and lies you forced us to stop respecting you. You and your so called "values."

We don't want to live like you live, anymore. For fifty years, secretly and openly, we wanted to live like you, but not any longer.

We have no more respect for you, and for those amongst us that you support, and for all those people who support you.

For that you only have yourself to blame.

In meantime, you've pushed us to rally around your enemy. Immediately, after you declared him an enemy, we united around him .

It was you who imposed an opposition between patriotism and liberalism. Although, they shouldn't be mutually exclusive notions. This false dilemma, created by you, made us to chose patriotism.

Even though, many of us are really liberals, myself included.

Get cleaned up, now. You don't have much time left.

In fact, the whole "uprising"/color revolution strategy throughout the world is over. It's been fatally discredited by its own purported successes. Everybody in the Middle East has seen how that worked out for Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and the Russians have seen how it worked out for Ukraine and for Russia itself . In neither Russia nor Iran (nor anywhere else of importance) are the Americans, with their sanctions and their NGOs and their cookies ,going to stoke a popular uprising that turns a country into a fractured client of the Washington Consensus. More fantasy politics.

The old new world Washington wants won't be born without a military midwife. The U.S. wants a compliant Russia ( and "international community") back, and it thinks it can force it into being.

Fear Knot

Consider this quote from The Saker , a defense analyst who was born in Switzerland to a Russian military family, "studied Russian and Soviet military affairs all [his] life," and lived for 20 years in the United States. He's been one of the sharpest analysts of Russia and Syria over the last few years. This was his take a year ago, after Trump's cruise missile attack on Syria's Al Shayrat airfield -- another instant punishment for an absolutely, positively, proven-in-a day, chemical crime:

For one thing, there is no US policy on anything.

The Russians expressed their total disgust and outrage at this attack and openly began saying that the Americans were "недоговороспособны". What that word means is literally "not-agreement-capable" or unable to make and then abide by an agreement. While polite, this expression is also extremely strong as it implies not so much a deliberate deception as the lack of the very ability to make a deal and abide by it. But to say that a nuclear world superpower is "not-agreement-capable" is a terrible and extreme diagnostic.

This means that the Russians have basically given up on the notion of having an adult, sober and mentally sane partner to have a dialog with.

In all my years of training and work as a military analyst I have always had to assume that everybody involved was what we called a "rational actor". The Soviets sure where. As were the Americans.

Not only do I find the Trump administration "not agreement-capable", I find it completely detached from reality. Delusional in other words.

Alas, just like Obama before him, Trump seems to think that he can win a game of nuclear chicken against Russia. But he can't. Let me be clear here: if pushed into a corner the Russian will fight, even if that means nuclear war.

There is a reason for this American delusion. The present generation of American leadership was spoiled and addled by the blissful post-Soviet decades of American impunity.

The problem is not exactly that the U.S. wants full-on war with Russia, it's that America does not fear it. [2]

Why should it? It hasn't had to for twenty years during which the US assumed it could bully Russia to stay out of its imperial way anywhere it wanted to intervene.

After the Soviet Union broke up (and only because the Soviet Union disappeared) the United States was free to use its military power with impunity. For some time, the U.S. had its drunken stooge, Yeltsin, running Russia and keeping it out of America's military way. There was nary a peep when Bill Clinton effectively conferred on NATO (meaning the U.S. itself) the authority to decide what military interventions were necessary and legitimate. For about twenty years -- from the Yugoslavia through the Libya intervention -- no nation had the military power or politico-diplomatic will to resist this.

But that situation has changed. Even the Pentagon recognizes that the American Empire is in a "post-primacy" phase -- certainly "fraying," and maybe even "collapsing." The world has seen America's social and economic strength dissipate, and its pretense of legitimacy disappear entirely. The world has seen American military overreach everywhere while winning nothing of stable value anywhere. Sixteen years, and the mighty U.S. Army cannot defeat the Taliban. Now, that's Russia's fault!

Meanwhile, a number of countries in key areas have gained the military confidence and political will to refuse the presumptions of American arrogance -- China in the Pacific, Iran in the Middle East, and Russia in Europe and, surprisingly, the Middle East as well. In a familiar pattern, America's resultant anxiety about waning power increases its compensatory aggression. And, as mentioned, since it was Russia that most effectively demonstrated that new military confidence, it's Russia that has to be dealt with first.

The incessant wave of sanctions and expulsions is the bully in the schoolyard clenching his fist to scare the new kid away. OK, everyone's got the message now. Unclench or punch?

Let's be clear about who is the world's bully. As is evident to any half-conscious person, Russia is not going to attack the United States or Europe. Russia doesn't have scores of military bases, combat ships and aircraft up on America's borders. It doesn't have almost a thousand military bases around the world. Russia does not have the military forces to rampage around the world as America does, and it doesn't want or need to. That's not because of Russia's or Vladimir Putin's pacifism, but because Russia, as presently situated in the political economy of the world, has nothing to gain from it.

Nor does Russia need some huge troll-farm offensive to "destabilize" and sow division in Western Europe and the United States. Inequality, austerity, waves of immigrants from regime-change wars, and trigger-happy cops are doing a fine job of that. Russia isn't responsible for American problems with Black Lives Matter or with the Taliban.

All of this is fantasy politics.

It's the United States, with its fraying empire, that has a problem requiring military aggression. What other tools does the U.S. have left to put the upstarts, Russia first, back in their places?

It must be hard for folks who have had their way with country after country for twenty years not to think they can push Russia out of the way with some really, really scary threats, or maybe one or two "bloody nose" punches. Some finite number of discrete little escalations. There's already been some shoving -- that cruise missile attack, Turkey's downing of a Russian jet, American attacks on Russian personnel (ostensibly private mercenaries) in Syria -- and, look, Ma, no big war. But sometimes you learn the hard way the truth of the reverse Mike Tyson rule: "Everyone has a game plan until they smack the other guy in the face."

Consider one concrete risk of escalation that every informed observer is, and every American should be, aware of.

The place where the United States and Russia are literally, geographically, closest to confrontation is Syria. As mentioned, the U.S. and its NATO ally, Turkey, have already attacked and killed Russians in Syria, and the U.S. and its NATO allies have a far larger military force than Russia in Syria and the surrounding area. On the other hand, Russia has made very effective use of its forces, including what Reuters calls "advanced cruise missiles" launched from planes, ships , and submarines that hit ISIS targets with high precision from 1000 kilometers.

Russia is also operating in accordance with international law, while the U.S. is not. Russia is fighting with Syria for the defeat of jihadi forces and the unification of the Syrian state. The United States is fighting with its jihadi clients for the overthrow of the Syrian government and the division of the country. Russia intervened in Syria after Obama announced that the U.S. would attack Syrian army troops, effectively declaring war. If neither side accepts defeat and goes home, it is quite possible there will be some direct confrontation over this. In fact, it's hard to imagine that there won't.

A couple of weeks ago Syria and Russia said the U.S. was planning a major offensive against the Syrian government, including bombing the government quarter in Damascus. Valery Gerasimov, head of Russia's General Staff, warned: "In the event of a threat to the lives of our servicemen, Russia's armed forces will take retaliatory measures against the missiles and launchers used." In this context, "launchers" means American ships in the Mediterranean.

Also a couple of weeks ago, Russia announced a number of new, highly-advanced weapons systems. There's discussion about whether some of the yet-to-be-deployed weapons announced may or may not be a bluff, but one that has already been deployed, called Dagger ( Kinzhal, not the missiles mentioned above), is an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile that files at 5-7,000 miles per hour, with a range of 1200 miles. Analyst Andrei Martyanov claims that: "no modern or perspective air-defense system deployed today by any NATO fleet can intercept even a single missile with such characteristics. A salvo of 5-6 such missiles guarantees the destruction of any Carrier Battle Group or any other surface group, for that matter." Air-launched. From anywhere.

The U.S. attack has not (yet) happened, for whatever reason (Sputnik reporter Suliman Mulhem, citing "a military monitor," claims that's because of the Russian warnings). Great. But given the current state of America's anxiously aggressive "post-primacy" policy -- including the Russiamania, the Zionist-driven need to destroy Syria and Iran, and the War Cabinet -- how unlikely is that the U.S. will, in the near future, make some such attack on some such target that Russia considers crucial to defend?

And Syria is just one theater where, unless one side accepts defeat and goes home, military conflict with Russia is highly likely. Is Russia going to abandon the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass if they're attacked by fascist Kiev forces backed by the U.S.? Is it going to sit back and watch passively if American and Israeli forces attack Iran? Which one is going to give up and accept a loss: John Bolton or Vladimir Putin?

Which brings us to the pointed question: What will the U.S. do if Russia sinks an American ship? How many steps before that goes full-scale, even nuclear? Or maybe American planners (and you, dear reader) are absolutely, positively sure that will never happen, because the U.S. has cool weapons, too, and a lot more of them, and the Russians will probably lose all their ships in the Mediterranean immediately, if not something worse, and they'll put up with anything rather than go one more step. The Russians, like everybody, must know the Americans always win.

Happy with that, are we? Snug in our homeland rug? 'Cause Russians won't fight, but the Taliban will.

This is exactly what is meant by Americans not fearing war with Russia (or war in general for that matter). Nothing but contempt.

The Skripal opera, directed by the United States, with the whole of Europe and the entire Western media apparatus singing in harmony, makes it clear that the American producers have no speaking role for Russia in their staging of the world. And that contempt makes war much more likely. Here's The Saker again, on how dangerous the isolation the U.S. and its European clients are so carelessly imposing on Russia and themselves is for everybody:

Right now they are expelling Russian diplomats en mass e and they are feeling very strong and manly.

The truth is that this is only the tip of a much bigger iceberg. In reality, crucial expert-level consultations, which are so vitally important between nuclear superpowers, have all but stopped a long time ago. We are down to top level telephone calls. That kind of stuff happens when two sides are about to go to war. For many months now Russia and NATO have made preparations for war in Europe. Very rapidly the real action will be left to the USA and Russia. Thus any conflict will go nuclear very fast. And, for the first time in history, the USA will be hit very, very hard, not only in Europe, the Middle-East or Asia, but also on the continental US.

Mass diplomatic expulsions, economic warfare, lockstep propaganda, no interest whatsoever in respectfully addressing or hearing from the other side. What we've been seeing over the past few months is the "kind of stuff that happens when two sides are about to go to war."

The less Americans fear war, the less they respect the possibility of it, the more likely they are to get it.

Ready or Not

The Saker makes a diptych of a point that gets to the heart of the matter. We'd do well to read and think on it carefully:

1/ The Russians are afraid of war. The Americans are not.

2/ The Russians are ready for war. The Americans are not.

Russia is afraid of war. More than twenty million Soviet citizens were killed in WWII, about half of them civilians. That was more than twenty times the number of Americans and British casualties combined. The entire country was devastated. Millions died in the 872-day siege of Leningrad alone, including Vladimir Putin's brother. The city's population was decimated by disease and starvation, with some reduced to cannibalism. Wikileaks calls it "one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history [and] possibly the costliest in casualties." Another million-plus died in the nine-month siege of Stalingrad.

Every Russian knows this history. Millions of Russian families have suffered from it. Of course, there was mythification of the struggle and its heroes, but the Russians, viscerally, know war and know it can happen to them . They do not want to go through it again. They will do almost anything to avoid it. Russians are not flippant about war. They fear it. They respect it.

The Americans are not (afraid of war). Americans have never experienced anything remotely as devastating as this. About 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War, 150 years ago. (And we're still entangled in that!) The American mainland has not been attacked by a significant military force since the War of 1812. Since then, the worst attacks on American territory are two one-off incidents (Pearl Harbor and 9/11), separated by seventy years, totaling about six-thousand casualties. These are the iconic moments of America Under Siege.

For the American populace, wars are "over there," fought by a small group of Americans who go away and either come back or don't. The death, destruction, and aroma of warfare -- which the United States visits on people around the world incessantly -- is unseen and unexperienced at home. Americans do not, cannot, believe, in any but the most abstract intellectual sense, that war can happen here , to them. For the general populace, talk of war is just more political background noise, Morgan Freeman competing for attention with Stormy Daniels and the Kardashians.

Americans are supremely insouciant about war: They threaten countries with it incessantly, the government routinely sells it with lies, and the political parties promote it opportunistically to defeat their opponents -- and nobody cares. For Americans, war is part of a game. They do not fear it. They do not respect it.

The Russians are ready for war. The Nazi onslaught was defeated -- in Soviet Russia, by Soviet Citizens and the Red Army -- because the mass of people stood and fought together for a victory they understood was important. They could not have withstood horrific sieges and defeated the Nazis any other way. Russians understand, in other words, that war is a crisis of death and destruction visited on the whole of society, which can only be won by a massive and difficult effort grounded in social solidarity. If the Russians feel they have to fight, if they feel besieged, they know they will have to stand together, take the hits that come, and fight to the finish. They will not again permit war to be brought to their cities while their attacker stays snug. There will be a world of hurt. They will develop and use any weapon they can. And their toughest weapon is not a hypersonic missile; it's that solidarity, implied by that 77%. (Did you read that Simonyan statement?) They may not be seeking it, but, insofar as anybody can be, they are ready to fight.

Americans are not (ready for war): Americans experience the horror of wars as a series of discrete tragedies visited upon families of fallen soldiers, reported in human-interest vignettes at the end of the nightly news. Individual tragedies, not a social disaster.

It's hard to imagine the social devastation of war in any case, but American culture wants no part of thinking about that concretely. The social imagination of war is deflected into fantastic scenarios of a super-hero universe or a zombie apocalypse. The alien death-ray may blow up the Empire State Building, but the hero and his family (now including his or her gender-ambivalent teenager, and, of course, the dog) will survive and triumph. Cartoon villains, cartoon heroes, and a cartoon society.

One reason for this, we have to recognize, is the victory of the Thatcherite/libertarian-capitalist "no such thing as society" ideology. Congratulations, Ayn Rand, there is no such thing as American society now. It's every incipient entrepreneur for him or herself. This does not a comradely, fighting band of brothers and sisters make.

Furthermore, though America is constantly at war, nobody understands the purpose of it. That's because the real purpose can never be explained, and must be hidden behind some facile abstraction -- "democracy," "our freedoms," etc. This kind of discourse can get some of the people motivated for some of the time, but it loses its charm the minute someone gets smacked in the face.

Once they take a moment, everybody can see that there is nobody with an army threatening to attack and destroy the United States, and if they take a few moments, everybody can see how phony the "democracy and freedom" stuff is and remember how often they've been lied to before. There's just too much information out there. (Which is why the Imperial High Command wants to control the internet.) Why the hell am I fighting? What in hell are we fighting for? These are questions everybody will ask after, and too many people are now asking before, they get smacked in the face.

This lack of social understanding and lack of political support translates into the impossibility of fighting a major, sustained war that requires taking heavy casualties -- even "over there," but certainly in the snug. American culture might be all gung-ho about Seal Team Six kicking ass, but the minute American homes start blowing up and American bodies start falling, Hoo-hah becomes Uh-oh , and it's going to be Outta here .

Americans are ready for Hoo-hah and the Shark Tank and the Zombie Apocalypse. They are not ready for war.

You Get What You Play For

"Russiagate," which started quite banally in the presidential campaign as a Democratic arrow to take down Trump, is now Russiamania -- a battery of weapons wielded by various sectors of the state, aimed at an array of targets deemed even potentially resistant to imperial militarism. Trump himself -- still, and for as long as he's deemed unreliable -- is targeted by a legal prosecution of infinite reach (whose likeliest threat is to take him down for something that has nothing to do with Russia). Russia itself is now targeted in full force by economic, diplomatic, ideological -- and, tentatively, military -- weapons of the state. Perhaps most importantly, American and European people, especially dissidents, are targeted by a unified media barrage that attacks any expression of radical critique, anything that "sows division" -- from Black Lives Matter, to the Sanders campaign, to "But other countries could have made it" -- as Russian treachery.

The stunning success of that last offensive is crucial to making a war more likely, and must be fought. To increase the risk of war with a nuclear power in order to score points against Donald Trump or Jill Stein -- well, only those who neither respect, fear, nor are ready for war would do such a stupid and dangerous thing.

It's impossible to predict with certainty whether, when, or with whom a major hot war will be started. The same chaotic disarray and impulsiveness of the Trump administration that increases the danger of war might also work to prevent it. John Bolton may be fired before he trims his moustache. But it's a pressure-cooker, and the temperature has spiked drastically.

In a previous essay , I said that Venezuela was a likely first target for military attack, precisely because it would make for an easy victory that didn't risk military confrontation with Russia. That's still a good possibility. As we saw with Iraq Wars 1 (which helped to end the "Vietnam Syndrome") and 2 (which somewhat resurrected it), the imperial high command needs to inure the American public with a virtually American-casualty-free victory and in order to lure them into taking on a war that's going to hurt.

But the new War Cabinet may be pumped for the main event -- an attack on Iran. Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton are all rabid proponents of regime-change in Iran. We can be certain that the Iran nuclear deal will be scrapped, and everyone will work hard to implement the secret agreement the Trump administration already has with Israel to "to deal with Iran's nuclear drive, its missile programs and its other threatening activities" -- or, as Trump himself expresses it: "cripple the [Iranian] regime and bring it to collapse." (That agreement, by the way, was negotiated and signed by the previous, supposedly not-so-belligerent National Security Advisor, H. R. McMaster.)

Still, as I also said in the previous essay, an attack on Iran means the Americans must either make sure Russia doesn't get in the way or make clear that they don't care if it does. So, threatening moves -- not excluding probing military moves -- against Russia will increase, whether Russia is the preferred direct target or not.

The siege is on.

Americans who want to continue playing with this fire would do well to pay some respectful attention to the target whose face they want to smack. Russia did not boast or brag or threaten or Hoo-Hah about sending military forces to Syria. When it was deemed necessary -- when the United States declared its intention to attack the Syrian Army -- it just did it. And American10-dimensional-chess players have been squirming around trying to deal with the implications of that ever since. They're working hard on finding the right mix of threats, bluffs, sanctions, expulsions, "Shut up and go away!" insults, military forces on the border, and "bloody nose" attacks to force a capitulation. They should be listening to their target, who has not tired of asking for a "partnership," who has clearly stated what his country would do in reaction to previous moves (e.g., the abrogation of the ABM Treaty and stationing of ABM bases in Eastern Europe), whose country and family have suffered from wartime devastation Americans cannot imagine, who therefore respects, fears, and is ready for war in ways Americans are not, and who is not playing their game:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9QxWYIAtCMU

Notes.

[1] Ironically, given current drivers of Russiamania, this is a reference to remarks by Janet Napolitano. " The Enemization of Everything or an American Story of Empathy & Healing? "

[2] Though it's ridiculous that it needs to be said: I'm not talking here about the phony fear engendered by the media presentation of the "strongman," "brutal dictator" Vladimir Putin. This is part and parcel of comic-book politics -- conjuring a super-villain, who, we all know, is destined to be defeated. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jim Kavanagh

Jim Kavanagh edits The Polemicist .

[Jun 19, 2019] Bias bias the inclination to accuse people of bias by James Thompson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Early in any psychology course, students are taught to be very cautious about accepting people's reports. A simple trick is to stage some sort of interruption to the lecture by confederates, and later ask the students to write down what they witnessed. Typically, they will misremember the events, sequences and even the number of people who staged the tableaux. Don't trust witnesses, is the message. ..."
"... The three assumptions -- lack of rationality, stubbornness, and costs -- imply that there is slim chance that people can ever learn or be educated out of their biases; ..."
"... So, are we as hopeless as some psychologists claim we are? In fact, probably not. Not all the initial claims have been substantiated. For example, it seems we are not as loss averse as previously claimed. Does our susceptibility to printed visual illusions show that we lack judgement in real life? ..."
"... Well the sad fact is that there's nobody in the position to protect "governments" from their own biases, and "scientists" from theirs ..."
"... Long ago a lawyer acquaintance, referring to a specific judge, told me that the judge seemed to "make shit up as he was going along". I have long held psychiatry fits that statement very well. ..."
"... Here we have a real scientist fighting the nonsense spreading from (neoclassical) economics into other realms of science/academia. ..."
"... Behavioral economics is a sideline by-product of neoclassical micro-economic theory. It tries to cope with experimental data that is inconsistent with that theory. ..."
"... Everything in neoclassical economics is a travesty. "Rational choice theory" and its application in "micro economics" is false from the ground up. It basically assumes that people are gobbling up resources without plan, meaning or relevant circumstances. Neoclassical micro economic theory is so false and illogical that I would not know where to start in a comment, so I should like to refer to a whole book about it: Keen, Steve: "Debunking economics". ..."
"... As the theory is totally wrong it is really not surprising that countless experiments show that people do not behave the way neoclassical theory predicts. How do economists react to this? Of course they assume that people are "irrational" because they do not behave according to their studied theory. (Why would you ever change your basic theory because of some tedious facts?) ..."
"... The title of the 1st ed. of Keen's book was "Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences" which was simply a perfect title. ..."
Jun 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Early in any psychology course, students are taught to be very cautious about accepting people's reports. A simple trick is to stage some sort of interruption to the lecture by confederates, and later ask the students to write down what they witnessed. Typically, they will misremember the events, sequences and even the number of people who staged the tableaux. Don't trust witnesses, is the message.

Another approach is to show visual illusions, such as getting estimates of line lengths in the Muller-Lyer illusion, or studying simple line lengths under social pressure, as in the Asch experiment, or trying to solve the Peter Wason logic problems, or the puzzles set by Kahneman and Tversky. All these appear to show severe limitations of human judgment. Psychology is full of cautionary tales about the foibles of common folk.

As a consequence of this softening up, psychology students come to regard themselves and most people as fallible, malleable, unreliable, biased and generally irrational. No wonder psychologists feel superior to the average citizen, since they understand human limitations and, with their superior training, hope to rise above such lowly superstitions.

However, society still functions, people overcome errors and many things work well most of the time. Have psychologists, for one reason or another, misunderstood people, and been too quick to assume that they are incapable of rational thought?

Gerd Gigerenzer thinks so.

https://www.nowpublishers.com/article/OpenAccessDownload/RBE-0092

He is particularly interested in the economic consequences of apparent irrationality, and whether our presumed biases really result in us making bad economic decisions. If so, some argue we need a benign force, say a government, to protect us from our lack of capacity. Perhaps we need a tattoo on our forehead: Diminished Responsibility.

The argument leading from cognitive biases to governmental paternalism -- in short, the irrationality argument -- consists of three assumptions and one conclusion:

1. Lack of rationality. Experiments have shown that people's intuitions are systematically biased.

2. Stubbornness. Like visual illusions, biases are persistent and hardly corrigible by education.

3. Substantial costs. Biases may incur substantial welfare-relevant costs such as lower wealth, health, or happiness.

4. Biases justify governmental paternalism. To protect people from theirbiases, governments should "nudge" the public toward better behavior.

The three assumptions -- lack of rationality, stubbornness, and costs -- imply that there is slim chance that people can ever learn or be educated out of their biases; instead governments need to step in with a policy called libertarian paternalism (Thaler and Sunstein, 2003).

So, are we as hopeless as some psychologists claim we are? In fact, probably not. Not all the initial claims have been substantiated. For example, it seems we are not as loss averse as previously claimed. Does our susceptibility to printed visual illusions show that we lack judgement in real life?

In Shepard's (1990) words, "to fool a visual system that has a full binocular and freely mobile view of a well-illuminated scene is next to impossible" (p. 122). Thus, in psychology, the visual system is seen more as a genius than a fool in making intelligent inferences, and inferences, after all, are necessary for making sense of the images on the retina.

Most crucially, can people make probability judgements? Let us see. Try solving this one:

A disease has a base rate of .1, and a test is performed that has a hit rate of .9 (the conditional probability of a positive test given disease) and a false positive rate of .1 (the conditional probability of a positive test given no disease). What is the probability that a random person with a positive test result actually has the disease?

Most people fail this test, including 79% of gynaecologists giving breast screening tests. Some researchers have drawn the conclusion that people are fundamentally unable to deal with conditional probabilities. On the contrary, there is a way of laying out the problem such that most people have no difficulty with it. Watch what it looks like when presented as natural frequencies:

Among every 100 people, 10 are expected to have a disease. Among those 10, nine are expected to correctly test positive. Among the 90 people without the disease, nine are expected to falsely test positive. What proportion of those who test positive actually have the disease?

In this format the positive test result gives us 9 people with the disease and 9 people without the disease, so the chance that a positive test result shows a real disease is 50/50. Only 13% of gynaecologists fail this presentation.

Summing up the virtues of natural frequencies, Gigerenzer says:

When college students were given a 2-hour course in natural frequencies, the number of correct Bayesian inferences increased from 10% to 90%; most important, this 90% rate was maintained 3 months after training (Sedlmeier and Gigerenzer, 2001). Meta-analyses have also documented the "de-biasing" effect, and natural frequencies are now a technical term in evidence-based medicine (Akiet al., 2011; McDowell and Jacobs, 2017). These results are consistent with a long literature on techniques for successfully teaching statistical reasoning (e.g., Fonget al., 1986). In sum, humans can learn Bayesian inference quickly if the information is presented in natural frequencies.

If the problem is set out in a simple format, almost all of us can all do conditional probabilities.

I taught my medical students about the base rate screening problem in the late 1970s, based on: Robyn Dawes (1962) "A note on base rates and psychometric efficiency". Decades later, alarmed by the positive scan detection of an unexplained mass, I confided my fears to a psychiatrist friend. He did a quick differential diagnosis on bowel cancer, showing I had no relevant symptoms, and reminded me I had lectured him as a student on base rates decades before, so I ought to relax. Indeed, it was false positive.

Here are the relevant figures, set out in terms of natural frequencies

Every test has a false positive rate (every step is being taken to reduce these), and when screening is used for entire populations many patients have to undergo further investigations, sometimes including surgery.

Setting out frequencies in a logical sequence can often prevent misunderstandings. Say a man on trial for having murdered his spouse has previously physically abused her. Should his previous history of abuse not be raised in Court because only 1 woman in 2500 cases of abuse is murdered by her abuser? Of course, whatever a defence lawyer may argue and a Court may accept, this is back to front. OJ Simpson was not on trial for spousal abuse, but for the murder of his former partner. The relevant question is: what is the probability that a man murdered his partner, given that she has been murdered and that he previously battered her.

Accepting the figures used by the defence lawyer, if 1 in 2500 women are murdered every year by their abusive male partners, how many women are murdered by men who did not previously abuse them? Using government figures that 5 women in 100,000 are murdered every year then putting everything onto the same 100,000 population, the frequencies look like this:

So, 40 to 5, it is 8 times more probable that abused women are murdered by their abuser. A relevant issue to raise in Court about the past history of an accused man.

Are people's presumed biases costly, in the sense of making them vulnerable to exploitation, such that they can be turned into a money pump, or is it a case of "once bitten, twice shy"? In fact, there is no evidence that these apparently persistent logical errors actually result in people continually making costly errors. That presumption turns out to be a bias bias.

Gigerenzer goes on to show that people are in fact correct in their understanding of the randomness of short sequences of coin tosses, and Kahneman and Tversky wrong. Elegantly, he also shows that the "hot hand" of successful players in basketball is a real phenomenon, and not a stubborn illusion as claimed.

With equal elegance he disposes of a result I had depended upon since Slovic (1982), which is that people over-estimate the frequency of rare risks and under-estimate the frequency of common risks. This finding has led to the belief that people are no good at estimating risk. Who could doubt that a TV series about Chernobyl will lead citizens to have an exaggerated fear of nuclear power stations?

The original Slovic study was based on 39 college students, not exactly a fair sample of humanity. The conceit of psychologists knows no bounds. Gigerenzer looks at the data and shows that it is yet another example of regression to the mean. This is an apparent effect which arises whenever the predictor is less than perfect (the most common case), an unsystematic error effect, which is already evident when you calculate the correlation coefficient. Parental height and their children's heights are positively but not perfectly correlated at about r = 0.5. Predictions made in either direction will under-predict in either direction, simply because they are not perfect, and do not capture all the variation. Try drawing out the correlation as an ellipse to see the effect of regression, compared to the perfect case of the straight line of r= 1.0

What diminishes in the presence of noise is the variability of the estimates, both the estimates of the height of the sons based on that of their fathers, and vice versa. Regression toward the mean is a result of unsystematic, not systematic error (Stigler,1999).

Gigerenzer also looks at the supposed finding that people are over-confidence in predictions, and finds that it is another regression to the mean problem.

Gigerenzer then goes on to consider that old favourite, that most people think they are better than average, which supposedly cannot be the case, because average people are average.

Consider the finding that most drivers think they drive better than average. If better driving is interpreted as meaning fewer accidents, then most drivers' beliefs are actually true. The number of accidents per person has a skewed distribution, and an analysis of U.S. accident statistics showed that some 80% of drivers have fewer accidents than the average number of accidents (Mousavi and Gigerenzer, 2011)

Then he looks at the classical demonstration of framing, that is to say, the way people appear to be easily swayed by how the same facts are "framed" or presented to the person who has to make a decision.

A patient suffering from a serious heart disease considers high-risk surgery and asks a doctor about its prospects.

The doctor can frame the answer in two ways:

Positive Frame: Five years after surgery, 90% of patients are alive.
Negative Frame: Five years after surgery, 10% of patients are dead.

Should the patient listen to how the doctor frames the answer? Behavioral economists say no because both frames are logically equivalent (Kahneman, 2011). Nevertheless, people do listen. More are willing to agree to a medical procedure if the doctor uses positive framing (90% alive) than if negative framing is used (10% dead) (Moxeyet al., 2003). Framing effects challenge the assumption of stable preferences, leading to preference reversals. Thaler and Sunstein (2008) who presented the above surgery problem, concluded that "framing works because people tend to be somewhat mindless, passive decisionmakers" (p. 40)

Gigerenzer points out that in this particular example, subjects are having to make their judgements without knowing a key fact: how many survive without surgery. If you know that you have a datum which is more influential. These are the sorts of questions patients will often ask about, and discuss with other patients, or with several doctors. Furthermore, you don't have to spin a statistic. You could simply say: "Five years after surgery, 90% of patients are alive and 10% are dead".

Gigerenzer gives an explanation which is very relevant to current discussions about the meaning of intelligence, and about the power of intelligence tests:

In sum, the principle of logical equivalence or "description invariance" is a poor guide to understanding how human intelligence deals with an uncertain world where not everything is stated explicitly. It misses the very nature of intelligence, the ability to go beyond the information given (Bruner, 1973)

The key is to take uncertainty seriously, take heuristics seriously, and beware of the bias bias.

One important conclusion I draw from this entire paper is that the logical puzzles enjoyed by Kahneman, Tversky, Stanovich and others are rightly rejected by psychometricians as usually being poor indicators of real ability. They fail because they are designed to lead people up the garden path, and depend on idiosyncratic interpretations.

For more detail: http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-tricky-question-of-rationality/

Critics of examinations of either intellectual ability or scholastic attainment are fond of claiming that the items are "arbitrary". Not really. Scholastic tests have to be close to the curriculum in question, but still need to a have question forms which are simple to understand so that the stress lies in how students formulate the answer, not in how they decipher the structure of the question.

Intellectual tests have to avoid particular curricula and restrict themselves to the common ground of what most people in a community understand. Questions have to be super-simple, so that the correct answer follows easily from the question, with minimal ambiguity. Furthermore, in the case of national scholastic tests, and particularly in the case of intelligence tests, legal authorities will pore over the test, looking at each item for suspected biases of a sexual, racial or socio-economic nature. Designing an intelligence test is a difficult and expensive matter. Many putative new tests of intelligence never even get to the legal hurdle, because they flounder on matters of reliability and validity, and reveal themselves to be little better than the current range of assessments.

In conclusion, both in psychology and behavioural economics, some researchers have probably been too keen to allege bias in cases where there are unsystematic errors, or no errors at all. The corrective is to learn about base rates, and to use natural frequencies as a guide to good decision-making.

Don't bother boosting your IQ. Boost your understanding of natural frequencies.


res , says: June 17, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT

Good concrete advice. Perhaps even more useful for those who need to explain things like this to others than for those seeking to understand for themselves.
ThreeCranes , says: June 17, 2019 at 3:34 pm GMT
"intelligence deals with an uncertain world where not everything is stated explicitly. It misses the very nature of intelligence, the ability to go beyond the information given (Bruner, 1973)"

"The key is to take uncertainty seriously, take heuristics seriously, and beware of the bias bias."

Why I come to Unz.

Tom Welsh , says: June 18, 2019 at 8:36 am GMT
@Cortes Sounds fishy to me.

Actually I think this is an example of an increasingly common genre of malapropism, where the writer gropes for the right word, finds one that is similar, and settles for that. The worst of it is that readers intuitively understand what was intended, and then adopt the marginally incorrect usage themselves. That's perhaps how the world and his dog came to say "literally" when they mean "figuratively". Maybe a topic for a future article?

Biff , says: June 18, 2019 at 10:16 am GMT
In 2009 Google finished engineering a reverse search engine to find out what kind of searches people did most often. Seth Davidowitz and Steven Pinker wrote a very fascinating/entertaining book using the tool called Everybody Lies

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28512671-everybody-lies

Everybody Lies offers fascinating, surprising, and sometimes laugh-out-loud insights into everything from economics to ethics to sports to race to sex, gender, and more, all drawn from the world of big data. What percentage of white voters didn't vote for Barack Obama because he's black? Does where you go to school effect how successful you are in life? Do parents secretly favor boy children over girls? Do violent films affect the crime rate? Can you beat the stock market? How regularly do we lie about our sex lives, and who's more self-conscious about sex, men or women?

Investigating these questions and a host of others, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz offers revelations that can help us understand ourselves and our lives better. Drawing on studies and experiments on how we really live and think, he demonstrates in fascinating and often funny ways the extent to which all the world is indeed a lab. With conclusions ranging from strange-but-true to thought-provoking to disturbing, he explores the power of this digital truth serum and its deeper potential – revealing biases deeply embedded within us, information we can use to change our culture, and the questions we're afraid to ask that might be essential to our health – both emotional and physical. All of us are touched by big data every day, and its influence is multiplying. Everybody Lies challenges us to think differently about how we see it and the world.

dearieme , says: June 18, 2019 at 11:25 am GMT
I shall treat this posting (for which many thanks, doc) as an invitation to sing a much-loved song: everybody should read Gigerenzer's Reckoning with Risk. With great clarity it teaches what everyone ought to know about probability.

(It could also serve as a model for writing in English about technical subjects. Americans and Britons should study the English of this German – he knows how, you know.)

Inspired by "The original Slovic study was based on 39 college students" I shall also sing another favorite song. Much of Psychology is based on what small numbers of American undergraduates report they think they think.

Anon [410] • Disclaimer , says: June 18, 2019 at 3:47 pm GMT
" Gigerenzer points out that in this particular example, subjects are having to make their judgements without knowing a key fact: how many survive without surgery. "

This one reminds of the false dichotomy. The patient has additional options! Like changing diet, and behaviours such as exercise, elimination of occupational stress , etc.

The statistical outcomes for a person change when the person changes their circumstances/conditions.

Cortes , says: June 18, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh A disposition (conveyance) of an awkwardly shaped chunk out of a vast estate contained reference to "the slither of ground bounded on or towards the north east and extending two hundred and twenty four meters or thereby along a chain link fence " Not poor clients (either side) nor cheap lawyers. And who never erred?

Better than deliberately inserting "errors" to guarantee a stream of tidy up work (not unknown in the "professional" world) in future.

Tom Fix , says: June 18, 2019 at 4:25 pm GMT
Good article. 79% of gynaecologists fail a simple conditional probability test?! Many if not most medical research papers use advanced statistics. Medical doctors must read these papers to fully understand their field. So, if medical doctors don't fully understand them, they are not properly doing their job. Those papers use mathematical expressions, not English. Converting them to another form of English, instead of using the mathematical expressions isn't a solution.
SafeNow , says: June 18, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT
Regarding witnesses: When that jet crashed into Rockaway several years ago, a high percentage of witnesses said that they saw smoke before the crash. But there was actually no smoke. The witnesses were adjusting what they saw to conform to their past experience of seeing movie and newsreel footage of planes smoking in the air before a crash. Children actually make very good witnesses.

Regarding the chart. Missing, up there in the vicinity of cancer and heart disease. The third-leading cause of death. 250,000 per year, according to a 2016 Hopkins study. Medical negligence.

Anon [724] • Disclaimer , says: June 18, 2019 at 9:48 pm GMT

1. Lack of rationality. Experiments have shown that people's intuitions are systematically biased.

2. Stubbornness. Like visual illusions, biases are persistent and hardly corrigible by education.

3. Substantial costs. Biases may incur substantial welfare-relevant costs such as lower wealth, health, or happiness.

4. Biases justify governmental paternalism. To protect people from theirbiases, governments should "nudge" the public toward better behavior.

Well the sad fact is that there's nobody in the position to protect "governments" from their own biases, and "scientists" from theirs.

So, behind the smoke of all words and rationalisations, the law is unchanged: everyone strives to gain and exert as much power as possible over as many others as possible. Most do that without writing papers to say it is right, others write papers, others books. Anyway, the fundamental law would stay as it is even if all this writing labour was spared, wouldn't it? But then another fundamental law, the law of framing all one's drives as moral and beneffective comes into play the papers and the books are useful, after all.

Curmudgeon , says: June 19, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT
An interesting article. However, I think that the only thing we have to know about how illogical psychiatry is this:

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) asked all members attending its convention to vote on whether they believed homosexuality to be a mental disorder. 5,854 psychiatrists voted to remove homosexuality from the DSM, and 3,810 to retain it.

The APA then compromised, removing homosexuality from the DSM but replacing it, in effect, with "sexual orientation disturbance" for people "in conflict with" their sexual orientation. Not until 1987 did homo