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The purpose of superdelegates, according to DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is to suppress grassroots candidates in favor of the establishment choice

One in 10 DNC superdelegates were registered lobbyists. ( Washington Examiner)

Nearly one in 10 superdelegates who voted in the Democratic presidential primaries were registered lobbyists, according to a new report, adding some support to Bernie Sanders's claim that "the system is rigged."

At least 63 of 712 superdelegates were registered at some point as lobbyists on the state or federal level, according to an analysis conducted this year by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Sunlight Foundation.

These individuals represented interests that span across big banks, healthcare insurers, the telecommunications industry and unions, including Goldman Sachs and Planned Parenthood.

The list includes former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who is currently registered for the healthcare insurance company Aetna, former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, a registered lobbyist with the Gephardt Group and former DNC General Chairman and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who was registered for Ballard Spahr LLP as recently as 2012.

Sunlight also found an additional 32 individuals it classified as "shadow lobbyists," which it says are superdelegates who "aren't officially registered as lobbyists, but are heavily involved in the influence industry."

This group includes the likes of former Vermont Gov. and DNC Chairman Howard Dean, who is a "senior adviser" for Dentons, a law firm.

While the rules surrounding superdelegates for the next presidential primary will see some changes — with Democrats agreeing to significantly reduce the number of superdelegates not bound by primary voters — critics of superdelegate system have complained that it put the establishment in a position to throw the 2016 Democratic nomination into Hillary Clinton's lap.

More than 600 superdelegates backed the former secretary of state, and in some cases handed her more delegates than Sanders in states where he won a majority of the primary vote. A total of 2,383 delegates were needed to clinch the nomination.

Much of Sanders' 14-month progressive campaign to become the Democratic Party's nominee was spent railing against a political system in which the wealthy and special interests determine the result of the election.

"In the year 2016, with a political campaign finance system that is corrupt and increasingly controlled by billionaires and special interests, I fear very much that, in fact, government of the people, by the people, and for the people is beginning to perish in the United States of America," Sanders said.

The findings of the Sunlight Foundation also show that despite a common refrain from Democrats that Republicans are controlled by lobbyists and special interests, such as the National Rifle Association, when it comes to delegates who are unaccountable to voters, the opposite is true. While the Republican Party does have its own version of superdelegates, they must vote for the candidate that their state's party members picked.

To view the Sunlight Foundation's entire list of lobbyist superdelegates, click here.

Superdelegate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In American politics, a "superdelegate" is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention that is seated automatically and chooses for whom they want to vote. These Democratic Party superdelegates include distinguished party leaders and elected officials, including all Democratic members of the House and Senate and sitting Democratic governors. Other superdelegates are chosen during the primary season. Democratic superdelegates are free to support any candidate for the nomination.

This contrasts with convention "pledged" delegates that are selected based on the party primaries and caucuses in each U.S. state, in which voters choose among candidates for the party's presidential nomination. Because they are free to support anyone they want, superdelegates could potentially swing the results to nominate a presidential candidate that did not receive the majority of votes during the primaries.

At least in name, superdelegates are not involved in the Republican Party nomination process. There are delegates to the Republican National Convention that are seated automatically, but they are limited to three per state, consisting of the state chairsperson and two district-level committee members. Republican Party superdelegates are obliged to vote for their state's popular vote winner under the rules of the party branch to which they belong.[1]

Although the term superdelegate was originally coined and created to describe a type of Democratic delegate, the term has become widely used to describe these delegates in both parties,[2] even though it is not an official term used by either party.

... ... ...

For Democrats, superdelegates fall into two categories:

For Republicans, there are delegates in each state, consisting of the state chairman and two RNC committee members. However, according to the RNC communications director Sean Spicer, convention rules obligate those RNC members to vote according to the result of primary elections held in their states.

... ... ...

Democratic Party rules distinguish pledged and unpledged delegates. Pledged delegates are selected based on their announced preferences in the contest for the presidential nomination. In the party primary elections and caucuses in each U.S. state, voters express their preference among the contenders for the party's nomination for President of the United States. Pledged delegates supporting each candidate are chosen in approximate ratio to their candidate’s share of the vote. They fall into three categories: district-level pledged delegates (usually by congressional districts);[4] at-large pledged delegates; and pledged PLEO (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) delegates.

In a minority of the states, delegates are legally required to support the candidate to whom they are pledged.[5] In addition to the states' requirements, the party rules state (Rule 12.J): "Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them."[3]

By contrast, the unpledged PLEO delegates (Rule 9.A) are seated without regard to their presidential preferences, solely by virtue of being current or former elected officeholders and party officials. Many of them have chosen to announce endorsements, but they are not bound in any way. They may support any candidate they wish, including one who has dropped out of the presidential race.[6] The other superdelegates, the unpledged add-on delegates (Rule 9.B), who need not be PLEOs, are selected by the state parties after some of the pledged delegates are chosen,[3] but they resemble the unpledged PLEO delegates in being free to vote as they wish.

... ... ...

At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, superdelegates cast approximately 823.5 votes, with fractions arising because superdelegates from Michigan, Florida, and Democrats Abroad are entitled to half a vote each. Of the superdelegates' votes, 745 are from unpledged PLEO delegates and 78.5 are from unpledged add-on delegates, although the exact number in each category is subject to events.


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[Dec 16, 2017] Seth Rich murder: The facts so far by Kit

Aug 11, 2016 | OffGuardian

Last month Seth Rich, a data analyst who worked for the DNC, was shot near his home in Washington DC. He was on the phone to his girlfriend when it happened. Police were called to the scene and discovered the young man's body at roughly 4.20am. It was reported that Rich was "covered in bruises", shot "several times" and "at least once in the back".

The New York Daily News reported:

" police have found little information to explain his death. At this time, there are no suspects, no motive and no witnesses in Rich's murder.

While initial theories were that the killing was robbery or mugging gone wrong, the Washington Post said:

" There is no immediate indication that robbery was a motive in the attack but it has not been ruled out as a possibility."

Rich's family have also reported that nothing was taken:

" [Rich's] hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything."

On August 9th Julian Assange gave an interview on Dutch television in which he seemed to imply that Rich's death was politically motivated, and perhaps suggest he had been a source for the DNC e-mail leak:

That same day wikileaks tweeted that they were offering a $20,000 dollar reward for information on the killing of Mr Rich.

These are the facts of the case, so far. And they are undisputed.

I'm not going to take a position on the motive for Mr Rich's killing, or possible suspects. But I do want to point out the general level of media silence. Take these facts and change the names – imagine Trump's email had been hacked, and then a staffer with possible ties to wikileaks was inexplicably shot dead. Imagine this poor young man had been a Kremlin whistleblower, or a Chinese hacker, or an Iranian blogger.

If this, as yet unsolved, murder had ties to anyone other than Hillary Clinton, would it be being so ritually and rigourously ignored by the MSM?

[Dec 15, 2017] Wikileaks has offered a reward to speed up a search for the Seth Rich murderers, whereas DNC did nothing. Nothing! But the DNC was very active when certain Mr. Awan needed legal protection

Notable quotes:
"... How is your Debbie Wasserman doing -- did not she threatened the DC police investigator for doing his job of investigating the Awan affair? Debbie has been a major protector of the Awan family that accomplished the greatest breach of the US cybersecurity. And how is your Nobel Peace Laureate doing -- collecting nice fees from banksters for his betrayal of democracy in the US? ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Anna , December 14, 2017 at 1:27 am

Are you shocked about Seth Rich murder? Wikileaks has offered a reward to speed up a search for the murderers, whereas DNC did nothing. Nothing! But the DNC was very active when certain Mr. Awan needed legal protection.

How is your Debbie Wasserman doing -- did not she threatened the DC police investigator for doing his job of investigating the Awan affair? Debbie has been a major protector of the Awan family that accomplished the greatest breach of the US cybersecurity. And how is your Nobel Peace Laureate doing -- collecting nice fees from banksters for his betrayal of democracy in the US?

[Dec 11, 2017] Strzok-Gate And The Mueller Cover-Up by Alexander Mercouris

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... If there were secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence such as might give rise to genuine concern that the national security of the United States might be compromised – for example because they were intended to swing the US election from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump – then the FBI would have a legitimate reason to investigate those contacts even if no actual crimes were committed during them. ..."
"... The point is however is that eighteen months after the start of the Russiagate investigation no evidence either of criminal acts or of secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy has come to light. ..."
"... There is no evidence of a criminal conspiracy by anyone in the Trump campaign involving the Russians. or the hacking of John Podesta's and the DNC's computers in order to steal emails from those computers and to have them published by Wikileaks; ..."
"... There is also no evidence of any secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the election which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy. ..."
"... If no evidence either of a criminal conspiracy or of inappropriate secret contacts by the Trump campaign and the Russians has been found after eighteen months of intense investigation by the biggest and mightiest national security and intelligence community on the planet, then any reasonable person would conclude that that must be because no such evidence exists. ..."
"... Some months I expressed doubts that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would countenance fishing expeditions . It turns out I was wrong. On any objective assessment it is exactly such fishing expeditions that the Mueller investigation is now engaging in. ..."
"... Deutsche Bank is a German bank not a Russian bank. To insinuate that the Russians control Deutsche Bank – one of the world's leading international banks – because Deutsche Bank has had some previous financial dealings with various Russian banks and businesses is quite simply preposterous. I doubt that there is a single important bank in Germany or Austria of which that could not also be said. ..."
"... Which again begs the question why? Why are Mueller and the Justice Department resorting to these increasingly desperate actions in order to prove something which it ought to be obvious by now cannot be proved? ..."
"... My colleague Alex Christoforou has recently pointed out that the recent indictment of Michael Flynn seems to have been partly intended to shield Mueller from dismissal and to keep his Russiagate investigation alive. Some time ago I made exactly the same point about the indictments against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and about the indictment against George Papadopoulos. ..."
"... Those indictments were issued directly after the Wall Street Journal published an editorial saying that Mueller should resign. ..."
"... It is the Wall Street Journal editorial which in fact provides the answer to Mueller's and Rosenstein's otherwise strange behaviour and to the way that Mueller has conducted the investigation up to now. The Wall Street Journal's editorial says that Mueller's past as the FBI's Director means that he is too close to the FBI to take an objective view of its actions. ..."
"... It is universally agreed that the FBI's then Director – Mueller's friend James Comey – broke protocols by the way he announced that Hillary Clinton had been cleared. ..."
"... By failing to bring charges against Hillary Clinton the FBI ensured that she would win the Democratic Party's nomination, and that she not Bernie Sanders would face off against Donald Trump in the election in the autumn. That is important because though the eventual – completely unexpected – election outcome was that Donald Trump won the election, which Hillary Clinton lost, every opinion poll which I have seen suggests that if the election had been between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump then Bernie Sanders would have won by a landslide. ..."
"... They played Sessions like a violin. Sessions recluses himself for a bullcrap Kisnyak speech, where he did not even meet him. Rosenstein then recommends Trump fire Comey -- who wanted to be fired so they would appoint a special prosecutor -- which Rosenstein does -- Mueller, to the acclamation of ALL of Con and the Senate-including Republicans. ..."
"... Trump was pissed because they removed his only defender from Mueller -- the head of the DOJ. He knew it was a setup, so went ballistic when he found out about Sessions recusing. ..."
"... Strzok was obviously at a VERY senior pay grade. It would be very surprising if HR had any jobs at Strzok's pay grade. ..."
"... once this special prosecutor is done, congress needs to rewrite the special prosecutor law to narrow their mandate to just the item allowed to be investigated - no fishing expeditions - enough of this stupidity - and maybe put a renewal clause in there so that it has to be renewed every 12 months... ..."
"... This is, and always has been a sideshow for the "true believers" in the Democrap party and all Hitlary supporters to accuse Trump of EXACTLY what Hitlary did ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alexander Mercouris via TheDuran.com,

Almost eighteen months after Obama's Justice Department and the FBI launched the Russiagate investigation, and seven months after Special Counsel Robert Mueller took the investigation over, the sum total of what it has achieved is as follows

(1) an indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates which concerns entirely their prior financial dealings, and which makes no reference to the Russiagate collusion allegations;

(2) an indictment for lying to the FBI of George Papadopoulos, the junior volunteer staffer of the Trump campaign, who during the 2016 Presidential election had certain contacts with members of a Moscow based Russian NGO, which he sought to pass off – falsely and unsuccessfully – as more important than they really were, and which also does not touch on the Russiagate collusion allegations; and

(3) an indictment for lying to the FBI of Michael Flynn arising from his perfectly legitimate and entirely legal contacts with the Russian ambassador after the 2016 Presidential election, which also does not touch on the Russiagate collusion allegations, and which looks as if it was brought about by an act of entrapment .

Of actual evidence to substantiate the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election Mueller has so far come up with nothing.

Here I wish to say something briefly about the nature of "collusion".

There is no criminal offence of "collusion" known to US law, which has led some to make the point that Mueller is investigating a crime which does not exist.

There is some force to this point, but it is one which must be heavily qualified:

(1) Though there is no crime of "collusion" in US law, there most certainly is the crime of conspiracy to perform a criminal act.

Should it ever be established that members of the Trump campaign arranged with the Russians for the Russians to hack the DNC's and John Podesta's computers and to steal the emails from those computers so that they could be published by Wikileaks, then since hacking and theft are serious criminal acts a criminal conspiracy would be established, and it would be the entirely proper to do to bring criminal charges against those who were involved in it.

This is the central allegation which lies behind the whole Russiagate case, and is the crime which Mueller is supposed to be investigating.

(2) The FBI is not merely a police and law enforcement agency. It is also the US's counter-espionage agency.

If there were secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence such as might give rise to genuine concern that the national security of the United States might be compromised – for example because they were intended to swing the US election from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump – then the FBI would have a legitimate reason to investigate those contacts even if no actual crimes were committed during them.

Since impeachment is a purely political process and not a legal process, should it ever be established that there were such secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy, then I have no doubt that Congress would say that there were grounds for impeachment even if no criminal offences had been committed during them.

The point is however is that eighteen months after the start of the Russiagate investigation no evidence either of criminal acts or of secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy has come to light.

Specifically:

(1) There is no evidence of a criminal conspiracy by anyone in the Trump campaign involving the Russians. or the hacking of John Podesta's and the DNC's computers in order to steal emails from those computers and to have them published by Wikileaks; and

(2) There is also no evidence of any secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the election which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy.

Such contacts as did take place between the Trump campaign and the Russians were limited and innocuous and had no effect on the outcome of the election. Specifically there is no evidence of any concerted action between the Trump campaign and the Russians to swing the election from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.

As I have previously discussed, the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya is not such evidence .

If no evidence either of a criminal conspiracy or of inappropriate secret contacts by the Trump campaign and the Russians has been found after eighteen months of intense investigation by the biggest and mightiest national security and intelligence community on the planet, then any reasonable person would conclude that that must be because no such evidence exists.

Why then is the investigation still continuing?

Some months I expressed doubts that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would countenance fishing expeditions. It turns out I was wrong. On any objective assessment it is exactly such fishing expeditions that the Mueller investigation is now engaging in.

How else to explain the strange decision to subpoena Deutsche Bank for information about loans granted by Deutsche Bank to Donald Trump and his businesses?

Deutsche Bank is a German bank not a Russian bank. To insinuate that the Russians control Deutsche Bank – one of the world's leading international banks – because Deutsche Bank has had some previous financial dealings with various Russian banks and businesses is quite simply preposterous. I doubt that there is a single important bank in Germany or Austria of which that could not also be said.

Yet in the desperation to find some connection between Donald Trump and Russia it is to these absurdities that Mueller is reduced to.

Which again begs the question why? Why are Mueller and the Justice Department resorting to these increasingly desperate actions in order to prove something which it ought to be obvious by now cannot be proved?

My colleague Alex Christoforou has recently pointed out that the recent indictment of Michael Flynn seems to have been partly intended to shield Mueller from dismissal and to keep his Russiagate investigation alive. Some time ago I made exactly the same point about the indictments against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and about the indictment against George Papadopoulos.

Those indictments were issued directly after the Wall Street Journal published an editorial saying that Mueller should resign.

The indictment against Manafort and Gates looks sloppy and rushed. Perhaps I am wrong but there has to be at least a suspicion that the indictments were issued in a hurry to still criticism of Mueller of the kind that was now appearing in the Wall Street Journal.

Presumably the reason the indictment against Flynn was delayed was because his lawyers had just signaled Flynn's interest in a plea bargain, and it took a few more weeks of negotiating to work that out.

It is the Wall Street Journal editorial which in fact provides the answer to Mueller's and Rosenstein's otherwise strange behaviour and to the way that Mueller has conducted the investigation up to now. The Wall Street Journal's editorial says that Mueller's past as the FBI's Director means that he is too close to the FBI to take an objective view of its actions.

In fact the Wall Street Journal was more right than it perhaps realised. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the FBI's actions are open to very serious criticism to say the least, and that Mueller is simply not the person who can be trusted to take an objective view of those actions.

Over the course of the 2016 election the FBI cleared Hillary Clinton over her illegal use of a private server to route classified emails whilst she was Secretary of State though it is universally agreed that she broke the law by doing so.

The FBI does not seem to have even considered investigating Hillary Clinton for possible obstruction of justice after it also became known that she had actually destroyed thousands of her emails which passed through her private server, though that was an obvious thing to do.

It is universally agreed that the FBI's then Director – Mueller's friend James Comey – broke protocols by the way he announced that Hillary Clinton had been cleared.

By failing to bring charges against Hillary Clinton the FBI ensured that she would win the Democratic Party's nomination, and that she not Bernie Sanders would face off against Donald Trump in the election in the autumn. That is important because though the eventual – completely unexpected – election outcome was that Donald Trump won the election, which Hillary Clinton lost, every opinion poll which I have seen suggests that if the election had been between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump then Bernie Sanders would have won by a landslide.

In other words it was because of the FBI's actions in the first half of 2016 that Bernie Sanders is not now the President of the United States.

In addition instead of independently investigating the DNC's claims that the Russians had hacked the DNC's and John Podesta's computers, the FBI simply accepted the opinion of an expert – Crowdstrike – paid for by the DNC, which it is now known was partly funded and was entirely controlled by the Hillary Clinton campaign, that hacks of those computers had actually taken place and that the Russians were the perpetrators.

As a result Hillary Clinton was able to say during the election that the reason emails which had passed through those computers and which showed her and her campaign in a bad light were being published by Wikileaks was because the Russians had stolen the emails by hacking the computers in order to help Donald Trump.

It is now known that the FBI also met with Christopher Steele, the compiler of the Trump Dossier, who is now known to have been in the pay of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign. The first meeting apparently took place in early July 2016, shortly before the Russiagate investigation was launched.

Whilst there is some confusion about whether the FBI actually paid Steele for his information, it is now known that Steele was in contact with the FBI throughout the election and continued to be so after, and that the FBI gave credence to his work.

Recently it has also come to light that Steele was also directly in touch with Obama's Justice Department, a fact which was only disclosed recently.

The best account of this has been provided by Byron York writing for The Washington Examiner

The department's Bruce Ohr, a career official, served as associate deputy attorney general at the time of the campaign. That placed him just below the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, who ran the day-to-day operations of the department. In 2016, Ohr's office was just steps away from Yates, who was later fired for defying President Trump's initial travel ban executive order and still later became a prominent anti-Trump voice upon leaving the Justice Department.

Unbeknownst to investigators until recently, Ohr knew Steele and had repeated contacts with Steele when Steele was working on the dossier. Ohr also met after the election with Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, the opposition research company that was paid by the Clinton campaign to compile the dossier.

Word that Ohr met with Steele and Simpson, first reported by Fox News' James Rosen and Jake Gibson, was news to some current officials in the Justice Department. Shortly after learning it, they demoted Ohr, taking away his associate deputy attorney general title and moving him full time to another position running the department's organized crime drug enforcement task forces.

It is also now known that over the course of the election the FBI – on the basis of information in the Trump Dossier – obtained at least one warrant from the FISA court which made it possible for it to undertake surveillance during and after the election of persons belonging to involved the campaign team of Hillary Clinton's opponent Donald Trump.

In response to subpoenas issued at the instigation of the Congressman Devin Nunes the FBI has recently admitted that the Trump Dossier cannot be verified .

However the FBI and the Justice Department have so far failed to provide in response to these subpoenas information about the precise role of the Trump Dossier in triggering the Russiagate investigation.

The FBI's and the Justice Department's failure to provide this information recently provoked an angry exchange between FBI Director Christopher Wray and Congressman Jim Jordan during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

During that hearing Jordan said to Wray the following

Let's remember a couple of things about the dossier. The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which we now know were one and the same, paid the law firm who paid Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele who then paid Russians to put together a report that we call a dossier full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage and it's been reported that this dossier was all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA court and presented as a legitimate intelligence document -- that it became the basis for a warrant to spy on Americans.

In response Wray refused to say officially whether or not the Trump Dossier played any role in the FBI obtaining the FISA warrants.

This was so even though officials of the FBI – including former FBI Director James Comey – have slipped out in earlier Congressional testimony that it did.

This is also despite the fact that this information is not classified and ought already to have been provided by the Justice Department and the FBI in response to Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.

There is now talk of FBI Director Christopher Wray and of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein being held in contempt of Congress because of the failure of the Justice Department and the FBI to comply with Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.

During the exchanges between Wray and Jordan at the hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Jordan also had this to say

Here's what I think -- I think Peter Strozk (sic) Mr. Super Agent at the FBI, I think he's the guy who took the application to the FISA court and if that happened, if this happened , if you have the FBI working with a campaign, the Democrats' campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document so they can take it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign, if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets

Peter Strzok is the senior FBI official who is now known to have had a leading role in both the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's misuse of her private server and in the Russiagate investigation.

Strzok is now also known to have been the person who changed the wording in Comey's statement clearing Hillary Clinton for her misuse of her private email server to say that Hillary Clinton had been "extremely careless'" as opposed to "grossly negligent".

Strzok – who was the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence – is now also known to have been the person who signed the document which launched the Russiagate investigation in July 2016.

Fox News has reported that Strzok was also the person who supervised the FBI's questioning of Michael Flynn. It is not clear whether this covers the FBI's interview with Flynn on 24th January 2017 during which Flynn lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. However it is likely that it does.

If so then this is potentially important given that it was Flynn's lying to the FBI during this interview which made up the case against him and to which he has now pleaded guilty. It is potentially even more important given the strong indications that Flynn's interview with the FBI on 24th January 2017 was a set-up intended to entrap him by tricking him into lying to the FBI.

As the FBI's deputy director of counter-intelligence it is also highly likely that it was Strozk who was the official within the FBI who supervised the FBI's contacts with Christopher Steele, and who would have been the official within the FBI who was provided by Steele with the Trump Dossier and who would have made the first assessment of the Trump Dossier.

Recently it has been disclosed that Special Counsel Mueller sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation supposedly after it was discovered that Strzok had been sending anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer with whom he was having an affair.

These messages were sent by Strzok to his lover during the election, but apparently only came to light in July this year, when Mueller supposedly sacked Strzok because of them.

It seems that since then Strzok has been working in the FBI's human resources department, an astonishing demotion for the FBI's former deputy director for counter-intelligence who was apparently previously considered the FBI's top expert on Russia.

Some people have questioned whether the sending of the messages could possibly be the true reason why Strzok was sacked. My colleague Alex Christoforou has reported on some of the bafflement that this extraordinary sacking and demotion has caused.

Business Insider reports the anguished comments of former FBI officials incredulous that Strzok could have been sacked for such a trivial reason. Here is what Business Insider reports one ex FBI official Mark Rossini as having said

It would be literally impossible for one human being to have the power to change or manipulate evidence or intelligence according to their own political preferences. FBI agents, like anyone else, are human beings. We are allowed to have our political beliefs. If anything, the overwhelming majority of agents are conservative Republicans.

This is obviously right. Though the ex-FBI officials questioned by Business Insider are clearly supporters of Strzok and critics of Donald Trump, the same point has been made from the other side of the political divide by Congressman Jim Jordan

If you get kicked off the Mueller team for being anti-Trump, there wouldn't be anybody left on the Mueller team. There has to be more

Adding to the mystery about Strzok's sacking is why the FBI took five months to confirm it.

Mueller apparently sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation in July and it was apparently then that Strzok was simultaneously sacked from his previous post of deputy director for counter-espionage and transferred to human resources. The FBI has however only disclosed his sacking now, five months later and only in response to demands for information from Congressional investigators.

There is in fact an obvious explanation for Strzok's sacking and the strange circumstances surrounding it, and I am sure that it is the one which Congressman Jordan had in mind during his angry exchanges with FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Recently the FBI has admitted to Congress that it has failed to verify the Trump Dossier.

I suspect that Congressman Jordan believes that the true reason why Strzok was sacked is that Strzok's credibility had become so tied to the Trump Dossier that when its credibility collapsed over the course of the summer when the FBI finally realised that it could not be verified his credibility collapsed with it.

If so then I am sure that Congressman Jordan is right.

We now know from a variety of sources but first and foremost from the testimony to Congress of Carter Page that the Trump Dossier provided the frame narrative for the Russiagate investigation until just a few months ago.

We also know that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report about supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 election which was shown by the US intelligence chiefs to President elect Trump during their stormy meeting with him on 8th January 2017.

The fact that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report shows that at the start of this year the top officials of the FBI and of the US intelligence community – Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the rest – believed in its truth.

The June 2017 article in the Washington Post (discussed by me here ) also all but confirms that it was the Trump Dossier that provided the information which the CIA sent to President Obama in August 2016 which supposedly 'proved' that the Russians were interfering in the election.

As the BBC has pointed out , it was also the Trump Dossier which Congressman Adam Schiff – the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Community, who appears to be very close to some of the FBI investigators involved in the Russiagate case – as well as the FBI's Russiagate investigators were using as the narrative frame when questioning witnesses about their supposed role in Russiagate.

These facts make it highly likely that it was indeed the Trump Dossier which provided the information which the FBI used to obtain all the surveillance warrants the FBI obtained from the FISA court during the 2016 election and afterwards.

Strzok's position as the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence makes it highly likely that he was the key official within the FBI who decided that the Trump Dossier should be given credence, whilst his known actions during the Hillary Clinton private server investigation and during the Russiagate investigation make it highly likely that it was he who was the official within the FBI who sought and obtained the FISA warrants.

Given Strzok's central role in the Russiagate investigation going back all the way to its start in July 2016, there also has to be a possibility that it was Strzok who was behind many of the leaks coming from the investigation which so destabilised the Trump administration at the start of the year.

This once again points to the true scandal of the 2016 election.

On the strength of a fake Dossier paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community carried out surveillance during the election of US citizens who were members of the campaign team of Hillary Clinton's opponent Donald Trump.

Given the hugely embarrassing implications of this for the FBI, it is completely understandable why Strzok, if he was the person who was ultimately responsible for this debacle – as he very likely was – and if he was responsible for some of the leaks – as he very likely also was – was sacked and exiled to human resources when it was finally concluded that the Trump Dossier upon which all the FBI's actions were based could not be verified.

It would also explain why the FBI sought to keep Strzok's sacking secret, so that it was only disclosed five months after it happened and then only in response to questions from Congressional investigators, with a cover story about inappropriate anti-Trump messages being spread about in order to explain it.

This surely is also the reason why in defiance both of evidence and logic the Russiagate investigation continues.

Given the debacle the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community are facing, it is completely understandable why they should want to keep the Russiagate investigation alive in order to draw attention away from their own activities.

Put in this way it is Robert Mueller's investigation which is the cover-up, and the surveillance which is the wrongdoing that the cover up is trying to excuse or conceal, which is what I said nine months ago in March .

Congressman Jordan has again recently called for a second Special Counsel to be appointed .

When the suggestion of appointing a second Special Counsel was first floated last month the suggestion was that the focus of the second Special Counsel's investigation would be the Uranium One affair.

That always struck me as misconceived not because there may not be things to investigate in the Uranium One case but because the focus of any new investigation should be what happened during the 2016 election, not what happened during the Uranium one case.

Congressman Jordan has now correctly identified the surveillance of US citizens by the US national security bureaucracy during the election as the primary focus of the proposed investigation to be conducted by the second Special Counsel.

In truth there should be no second Special Counsel. Since there is no Russiagate collusion to investigate the Russiagate investigation – ie. the investigation headed by Mueller – should be wound up.

There should be only one Special Counsel tasked with looking into what is the real scandal of the 2016 election: the surveillance of US citizens carried out during the election by the US national security bureaucracy on the basis of the Trump Dossier.

I remain intensely skeptical that this will happen. However the fact that some members of Congress such as Congressman Nunes (recently cleared of charges that he acted inappropriately by disclosing details of the surveillance back in March) and Congressman Jordan are starting to demand it is a hopeful sign.

BennyBoy -> MozartIII , Dec 10, 2017 1:29 PM

Top Clinton Aides Face No Charges After Making False Statements To FBI

Neither of the Clinton associates, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, faced legal consequences for their misleading statements, which they made in interviews last year with former FBI section chief Peter Strzok.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/04/clinton-aides-went-unpunished-after-making-false-statements-to-anti-trump-fbi-supervisor/

zorba THE GREEK -> Cynicles II , Dec 10, 2017 12:53 PM

These are acts to overthrow the legitimate government of the USA and therefore constitute treason. Treason is still punishable by death. It is time for some public hangings. Trump should declare martial law. Put Patraeus and Flint in charge and drain the swamp like he promised...

Oldwood -> zorba THE GREEK , Dec 10, 2017 2:57 PM

Absolutely. This is not political, about justice or corruption or election coercion, this is about keeping the fires lit under Trump, no matter how lame or lying, in the hopes that something, anything, will arise that could be used to unseat Trump. Something that by itself would be controversial but ultimately a nothing-burger, but piled upon the months and years of lies used to build a false consensus of corruption, criminality and impropriety of Trump. Their goal has always been to undermine Trump by convincing the world that Trump is evil and unfit using nothing but lies, that without Trump's endless twitter counters would have buried him by now. While they know that can't convince a significant majority that these lies are true, what they can do is convince the majority that everyone else thinks it true, thereby in theory enabling them to unseat Trump with minimal resistance, assuming many will simply stand down in the face of a PERCEIVED overwhelming majority.

This is about constructing a false premise that they can use minimal FACTS to confirm. They are trying and testing every day this notion with continuing probes and jabs in hopes that something....anything, sticks.

Hikikomori -> zorba THE GREEK , Dec 10, 2017 3:26 PM

Just part of the War on Men. Trump is a man. He lost to It's Her Turn. Therefore he must be taken down.

robertsgt40 -> Cynicles II , Dec 10, 2017 1:03 PM

Solve the Seth Rich murder and we'll know who "hacked" the DNC emails. Paging John Podesta.

Lumberjack -> NoDebt , Dec 10, 2017 12:44 PM

More Clinton ties on Mueller team: One deputy attended Clinton party, another rep'd top aide

https://www.google.com/amp/www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/08/more-clin...

turbojarhead -> NoDebt , Dec 10, 2017 2:12 PM

I have a question, if someone could answer.

Mueller is a lot of things, but he is a politician, and skilled at that, as he has survived years in Washington.

So why choose KNOWN partisans for your investigation? He may not have known about Strzok, but he surely knew about Weitsmann's ties to HRC, about Rhee being Rhodes personal attorney,..so why put them on, knowing that the investigations credibility would be damaged? No way most of this would not come out, just due to the constant leaks from the FBI/DOJ.

What is the real goal, other than taking Trump down and covering up FBI/DOJ/Obama Admin malfeasance? These goons are all highly experienced swamp dwellers, so I think there is something that is being missed here..

MissCellany , Dec 10, 2017 1:03 PM

" The fact that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report shows that at the start of this year the top officials of the FBI and of the US intelligence community – Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the rest – believed in its truth. "

Oh, bull crap. None of them believed a word of it, and at least some of them were in on the dossier's creation.

They just wanted to put over their impeach/resist/remove scam on us deplorables so they could hang on to power and maintain secrecy over all their years of criminal activity.

lester1 , Dec 10, 2017 1:33 PM

Obama weaponized the NSA and FBI to try and take out Trump.

Obama figured Hillary would win and everything would be swept under the rug.

Hopefully Trump fires Mueller over the Christmas weekend!

Reaper , Dec 10, 2017 1:34 PM

The FBI is a fraud on the sheeple. Indoctrinated sheeple believe FBI testimony. The M.O. of the FBI is entrapment of victims and entrapped witnesses against victims using their Form 302 interrogations. The FBI uses forensic evidence from which gullible juries trust the FBI financed reports. Power corrupts. The power to be believed because of indoctrination corrupts absolutely.

https://boingboing.net/2013/05/07/dont-ever-speak-to-the-fbi-w.html

https://www.nationofchange.org/2015/04/21/doj-admits-fbi-forensic-examin...

Trump as Chief Executive can end the FBI policy of interviews without recordings being used to entrap victims and witnesses.

thebigunit , Dec 10, 2017 1:34 PM

EXCELLENT ANALYSIS! A+++

Strzok-Gate And The Mueller Cover-Up

It makes perfect sense.

Stopdreaming -> loveyajimbo , Dec 10, 2017 1:54 PM

They have the goods on Sessions...he was blackmailed. No other logical explanation for his lack of fortitude.

thebigunit -> loveyajimbo , Dec 10, 2017 2:03 PM

Keep your powder dry. Hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes.

All this crap comes down to ONE THING: Sessions ... why he refuses to fire a mega-conflicted and corrupt POS Mueller...

Investigative reporter Sarah Carter hinted (last Friday?) that something big would be happening "probably within the next forty-eight hours". She related this specifically to a comment that Sessions had been virtually invisible.

I will make a prediction:

THE COMING WEEK WILL BE A TUMULTUOUS WEEK FOR THOSE OBSESSED BY THE "RUSSIA COLLUSION CONSPIRACY" .

First, Sessions will announce significant findings and actions which will directly attack the Trump-Russia-Collusion narrative.

And then, the Democrats/Media/Hillary Campaign will launch a hystierical, viscious, demented political counter attack in a final onslaught to take down Trump.

Expect to see Soros mobs in the streets.

Either Mueller goes, or Trump goes.

turbojarhead -> loveyajimbo , Dec 10, 2017 2:37 PM

They played Sessions like a violin. Sessions recluses himself for a bullcrap Kisnyak speech, where he did not even meet him. Rosenstein then recommends Trump fire Comey -- who wanted to be fired so they would appoint a special prosecutor -- which Rosenstein does -- Mueller, to the acclamation of ALL of Con and the Senate-including Republicans.

When Trump tries to get out of the trap by leaking he is thinking about firing Sessions, Lispin Lindsey goes on television to say that will not be allowed too happen. If he fires Sessions, Congress would not approve ANY of Trump's picks for DOJ-leaving Rosenstein in charge anyway.

Trump was pissed because they removed his only defender from Mueller -- the head of the DOJ. He knew it was a setup, so went ballistic when he found out about Sessions recusing.

thebigunit , Dec 10, 2017 1:40 PM

There is good reason for optimism: Trumpus Maximus is on the case.

I remain intensely skeptical that this will happen. However the fact that some members of Congress such as Congressman Nunes (recently cleared of charges that he acted inappropriately by disclosing details of the surveillance back in March) and Congressman Jordan are starting to demand it is a hopeful sign.

The design has been exposed. It is now fairly clear WHAT the conspirators did.

We now enter the neutralization and mop-up phase.

And, very likely, people who know things will be EAGER to talk:

FBI agents, like anyone else, are human beings. We are allowed to have our political beliefs. If anything, the overwhelming majority of agents are conservative Republicans.

ClowardPiven2016 , Dec 10, 2017 1:51 PM

Strozk demoted to HR...but his take home pay is probably the same

thebigunit -> ClowardPiven2016 , Dec 10, 2017 2:02 PM

EXACTLY!

Strozk demoted to HR...but his take home pay is probably the same

Strzok was obviously at a VERY senior pay grade. It would be very surprising if HR had any jobs at Strzok's pay grade.

Mzhen , Dec 10, 2017 1:57 PM

Bloomberg fed a fake leak that Mueller had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank. Democrats (Schiff) on the House Intelligence Committee fed fake information about Don Jr. that was leaked to CNN. Leading to an embarrassing retraction. ABC's Brian Ross fed a fake leak about the Flynn indictment. Leading to an embarrassing retraction.

Maybe the operation that Sessions set up some time ago to catch leakers is bearing fruit after all. And Mueller should realize that the ice is breaking up all around him.

Angelo Misterioso , Dec 10, 2017 1:57 PM

once this special prosecutor is done, congress needs to rewrite the special prosecutor law to narrow their mandate to just the item allowed to be investigated - no fishing expeditions - enough of this stupidity - and maybe put a renewal clause in there so that it has to be renewed every 12 months...

Nunyadambizness , Dec 10, 2017 2:34 PM

This is, and always has been a sideshow for the "true believers" in the Democrap party and all Hitlary supporters to accuse Trump of EXACTLY what Hitlary did, in the classic method of diversion. Sideshow magicians have been doing it for millenia--"Look over there" while the real work is done elsewhere. The true believers don't want to believe that Hitlary and the Democrap party are complicit in the selling of Uranium One to the Ruskies for $145 million. No, no, that was something completely different and Hitlary is not guilty of selling out the interests of the US for money. Nope, Trump colluded with the Russians to win the election. Yep, that's it.

Mueller is now the official head of a shit show that's coming apart at the seams. He was too stupid to even bring on ANY non-Hitlary supporting leftists which could have given him a smidgen of equibility, instead he stacked the deck with sycophant libtard leftists who by their very nature take away ANY concept of impartiality, and any jury on the planet would see through the connivance like glass. My guess is he's far too stupid to stop, and I happily await the carnage of his actions as they decimate the Democrap party.

Show's on, who's bringing the chips?

[Dec 09, 2017] DNC's Unity Commission Further Dividing the Party

Currently in the USA only nationalist politicians display some level of courage and authenticity. That's why they attract people.
The problem with superdelegates in Democratic Party is just the tip of the iceberg of the "Clinton transformation" of the party. The Part is now neoliberal party that have nothing to do with the democracy. At best it would qualify as a moderate Republican wing.
Notable quotes:
"... This endless compromise won't work. The odds of the Dems intentionally trading their Big Money Corporate Supporters like Monsanto for the Working Class is somewhere between slim and none, at least in my lifetime. ..."
"... If the superdelegates were limited to currently serving Democratic members of Congress, currently serving Democratic state governors, and current or former Democratic Presidents and Vice-Presidents, it would be a huge improvement. ..."
"... No lobbyists, no big city mayors, and no state party bosses (unless they are also in one of the other permitted categories). ..."
"... I suppose it doesn't help that I watched the Truman & Wallace episodes of Oliver Stone's "Untold History of the United States" last night. But even before that I've been haunted by the image of shadow on the steps of Sumitomo Bank in Hiroshima, Japan. Recalling that image, the DNC's betrayals of the American people, and the short-sighted and self-serving actions of those who rule us -- detailed in trivialities by Norman Solomon -- combined these give fuller meaning to the comment Bernie Sanders made about those who rule us and their greatest concern about their place on the Titanic. ..."
"... Team D cares not a whit for its voters, but it cares very much for the concerns of big donors. ..."
"... under the new rules, those superdelegates would have to tie their votes on the convention's first ballot to the outcome of primaries and caucuses. In 2016, all superdelegates were allowed to support either candidate. ..."
"... In other words, will the practice of Clinton or the Clintonites locking the superdelegate vote up early just be merely reshaped by this process, with a new sheen of faux democracy, rather than inhibited? ..."
"... This is why the comment above by Quanka is astute: You have to tell the Democrats (and Republicans) that you won't owe your vote to them. And that you are going to burn down the party if it doesn't serve the commonwealth. ..."
"... See my post below when it comes out of moderation; Our country does have a progressive/populist tradition, but everything possible is done to erase it from contemporary memory. Now buried to memory is the history of the Non-Partisan League of North Dakota, the Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota, and even the Reform Republicanism of the early 1900's (Wisconsin's Robert M. La Follette for instance). ..."
"... I hate to tell you, but the New York City subway actually costs $2.75. Another testament to the neoliberal con game, as practiced by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. ..."
"... What is ironic about this issue of superdelegates is that the so called "Democratic" party has them and the party of the elite, the Republicans, do not (well, they do, but at a much smaller % and they are required to vote for whoever won their respective state primary). What is also ironic is that the reason the Dems came up with this system was to prevent blowouts in the election. Carter and McGovern had gotten trounced. The feeling was that "wiser" heads, i.e. experienced politicians could steer the party toward a more electable candidate. And how did that work out for them? First time superdelegates voted in 1984, Mondale lost 49 out of 50 states to Reagan. ..."
"... The Democrat Party is run by a bunch of careerist hacks. This is why the GOP is actually more "democratic" (and got hijacked by Trump): because it's not run by careerist hacks who are more concerned about protecting their rice bowls than they are about being responsive to the electorate. These hacks got paid a billion dollars to run the losing 2016 campaign -- they "won" the election by their self-serving metric, and now get to pay themselves to "resist" the administration that they caused to be elected through their self-serving careerism. ..."
"... And now with current 'RussiaGate' nonsense and the rest of it, and all the wars, including the genocidal destruction of Libya, and some other things, I can never again vote for a Democrat, and I won't vote for a Republican either. I voted for a Socialist once but those votes were not counted because he could not satisfy the requirements to get on the ballot -- petitions and registering in over 200 districts in the state. No one decent gets through the machine. ..."
"... The DNC's Unity Commission's behavior confirms that the real goal of the leadership of the DNC is exactly the opposite of the name of the commission. So what is their real goal? To prevent the emergence of a progressive majority. In fact, this has been their goal for decades; and in fairness, they have been very successful in realizing it to the detriment of the majority of We the People. ..."
"... While I was at the post office, I had a conversation with a longtime friend who is now in the Arizona House of Representatives. She just got elected last year. Even though she is officially a Democratic Party member, she ran as a progressive and that's how she rolls in the House. Get this, she spent this morning addressing a conservative youth group and they loved it. Compared to what they usually hear from politicians, they found her speech refreshing. It was all about balanced policy, and if she posts a video, I will share it. Perhaps the DNC will pay attention. ..."
"... I approve of bringing up this suppressed history of our country's leftist, progressive, socialist, even communist strands, not to mention the multi racial and class political alliance, social organizations, and very frequently personal connections including marriages. Don't forget that the power structure used propaganda, legislation, the law, and armed mobs that often especially, but not only, in the South with rope necklaces, lead poisoning, or if you were "lucky" multi-decade prison terms, or just merely having your home/church/business burnt. This has never really stopped. Like when Jim Crow continues by other means, so did the anti-organization. Chicago, Detroit, the South,etc. Sadly, the black misleadership also help, albeit without the violence, after MLK and others, were no longer a problem. ..."
"... So centuries of poor whites, blacks, native Americans, religious leaders, even some business leaders and some upper class people, struggling together, usually dealing with violence and murder have been dropped into the memory hole. ..."
"... Some days I just want to start screaming and not stop. ..."
Dec 09, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

JCC , December 9, 2017 at 8:59 am

Having just read the Autopsy report at https://democraticautopsy.org/wp-content/uploads/Autopsy-The-Democratic-Party-In-Crisis.pdf I couldn't agree more.

The Report is fair, but supporting things like reduction of Super Delegates from the mid-700s to mid-200s is wrong! Complaining about lack of democracy within the Party means getting rid of them altogether! That's just one small example.

This endless compromise won't work. The odds of the Dems intentionally trading their Big Money Corporate Supporters like Monsanto for the Working Class is somewhere between slim and none, at least in my lifetime.

John k , December 9, 2017 at 10:34 am

Reducing to 200 supers is a good start. Bernie woulda likely won on that basis.

Vatch , December 9, 2017 at 1:02 pm

It is a good start. If the superdelegates were limited to currently serving Democratic members of Congress, currently serving Democratic state governors, and current or former Democratic Presidents and Vice-Presidents, it would be a huge improvement.

No lobbyists, no big city mayors, and no state party bosses (unless they are also in one of the other permitted categories).

Jeremy Grimm , December 9, 2017 at 12:25 pm

I can't point to any particulars -- but I felt something disingenuous about Norman Solomon -- something 'off'. An even meaner thought came to mind as I listened to his complaints and details of the DNC machinations -- Norman Solomon would be perfect to work for unity in the Green Party. He could make theater of herding the Green cats and accomplish nothing in particular.

I suppose it doesn't help that I watched the Truman & Wallace episodes of Oliver Stone's "Untold History of the United States" last night. But even before that I've been haunted by the image of shadow on the steps of Sumitomo Bank in Hiroshima, Japan. Recalling that image, the DNC's betrayals of the American people, and the short-sighted and self-serving actions of those who rule us -- detailed in trivialities by Norman Solomon -- combined these give fuller meaning to the comment Bernie Sanders made about those who rule us and their greatest concern about their place on the Titanic.

But this time the DNC has no dying Roosevelt to tack a Truman onto.

Amfortas the Hippie , December 9, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Aye! and you can't burn a thing down by continuing to send it money, or lend it undying support, or by continuing to vote for their horrible lesser evil moderate republican candidates.

I quit the damned party as loudly as i could in november 2016 emails to all and sundry, chewing them all new ones, as it were.

i never heard a word back, of course and the AI that runs the damned thing keeps sending me emails begging for cash; and surveys,lol which i send back to them with my chicken scratch all in the margins with my outrage and my considered opinions. i assume all that goes unread, as well. perhaps if i incorporated and obtained a po box in the caymans or pulau or somewhere

Ted Whittemore , December 9, 2017 at 8:38 am

Short-term (2018)–Norman Solomon is right. Only the Democratic party is in a position to defeat the rightists. In the longer term, Howie Hawkins's recent argument for a new, genuinely working-class party is more convincing to me. It's a lot more work, though.

John Wright , December 9, 2017 at 10:06 am

What may push the Democrats to eventual reform is poor fundraising. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/08/21/the-dncs-abysmal-fundraising/ But one wonders if Dems will amp up their willingness to do the bidding of the donor class in a last ditch effort to increase their personal wealth.

The DNC may be becoming irrelevant, but individual Democratic politicians can monetize their current positions as they stock their personal lifeboats before the Bernie Sanders mentioned Titanic goes down..

Sid_finster , December 9, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Team D cares not a whit for its voters, but it cares very much for the concerns of big donors.

WobblyTelomeres , December 9, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Substitute R for D and your statement remains true.

oh , December 9, 2017 at 10:18 am

Instead of thinking short term and trying stay in the Dim party real left wing people need to take the long term view and start a new party which will be the only way forward.

lb , December 9, 2017 at 10:20 am

I peeked at the News Hour coverage from PBS to check the official line:

In the draft proposal, a special national party commission calls for keeping some 400 members of the Democratic National Committee as automatic delegates to the convention.

But under the new rules, those superdelegates would have to tie their votes on the convention's first ballot to the outcome of primaries and caucuses. In 2016, all superdelegates were allowed to support either candidate.

And yet

Cohen and other Democrats stressed, however, that commission members have been busy circulating amendments ahead of the commission's weekend gathering in metro Washington.

So, which superdelegates will remain and with what actual constraints, and how far does this move the system away from the status quo? In light of Solomon's interview, I do wonder about actuarial sleigh-of-hand here. Is there a way of affecting a likely purge of 2020 Sanders/"grass-roots" aligned superdelegates now? Is there a way of suggesting that the superdelegates must vote as the states' primaries/caucuses (thus defanging them) but then not actually imposing any real penalty of these "party elders" and such? (Will 2020 be about "unfaithful superdelegates voting their conscience against the party rules for the greater good"?)

In other words, will the practice of Clinton or the Clintonites locking the superdelegate vote up early just be merely reshaped by this process, with a new sheen of faux democracy, rather than inhibited?

DJG , December 9, 2017 at 10:24 am

The report itself is worth reading. I downloaded it a while back when Lambert and Yves first posted it.

Solomon gets Moore wrong. Moore is not a neo-fascist or fascist. Moore represents some very deep-seated religious ideas that are prevalent in the South and in the border states. When Naked Capitalism and other sources report a bishop of an African-American church making rather ambiguous comments about the rock with the Ten Commandments, we see an ancient religious attitude emerging:

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/12/roy_moore_speaks_at_a_black_ch.html

Yet as many Southerners point out, the South has a progressive / populist tradition. And where are the Democrats? To me, this is part of the thorough corruption of the party and its deterioration into a fan club. Too many Democrats are looking for fascists and Rooskies. People are fleeing the party, and various Democrats living the "Don't know much about history" aspect of U.S. culture are desperately trying to pin the fascist label on people. And what is the solution being offered? Fly in Jon Ossoff? He didn't live in the congressional district where he ran anyway, going counter to another deeply held U.S. tradition, that you live in your district.

This isn't about "smart" or not smart thinking. This is about people being so thoroughly corrupt in their thinking that they can only frame questions corruptly and give corrupt answers. Maybe I'm being hard on Solomon, but looking for Benito Mussolini in Alabama is wrong history, wrong metaphor, wrong diagnosis, wrong meme.

Next up? The question and and answer of "gentle" "entitlement" "reform." Corrupt from its very inception.

This is why the comment above by Quanka is astute: You have to tell the Democrats (and Republicans) that you won't owe your vote to them. And that you are going to burn down the party if it doesn't serve the commonwealth.

Watt4Bob , December 9, 2017 at 11:39 am

/\x2

See my post below when it comes out of moderation; Our country does have a progressive/populist tradition, but everything possible is done to erase it from contemporary memory. Now buried to memory is the history of the Non-Partisan League of North Dakota, the Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota, and even the Reform Republicanism of the early 1900's (Wisconsin's Robert M. La Follette for instance).

DJG , December 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Watt4Bob: You refer here and below to the states along the inland sea, in a sense, the rather eccentric Great Lakes States. I'd add:

–Chicago agitators and the Haymarket "Riot" (which the police caused)
–The United Auto Workers (Flint strike among others).
–Unions and Youngstown.
–Jane Addams and her own ideas about building community and building peace.
–The Milwaukee Socialists and the mayoralty there.
–The whole rambunctious structure (if it's a structure) of neighborhood associations in Chicago, where many of those involved in the Harold Washington campaign got their start.
–Henry Gerber, the Society for Human Rights, and the first agitation for acceptance of gay people, 1924, Chicago. Who even knew that midwesterners thought about politico-sexual themes?

Yes, there is very talented group of people here who simply have to cut down on the distractions and get back to work.

Big River Bandido , December 9, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Socialism was actually a powerful movement -- with elected officials -- all throughout the Upper Midwest during the so-called Progressive Era and the 1920s. Part of this was a result of German settlements; any Midwestern town with a significant population of Germans (especially from Hamburg) had a strong socialist impulse. Often this was manifest in the elected officials, but even where the Socialists didn't win elections, they were able to influence policy.

I have little patience for the so-called "Democrats" who, as you said above "don't know much about history".

Rosario , December 9, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Thank you for bringing those points up. I'd say that buzzwords like fascist and Nazi are bull horned (as opposed to Republican dog whistles) only as a means to distract from actual policy issues (vis-a-vis Bernie), but I wonder if it is the case that even the most cynical Clintonites believe their own BS at this point. These narratives have taken on a life of their own.

I don't think Norman Solomon has bad intentions. If anything he is appealing to pragmatism and reason too strongly in a political environment that is unreasonable. Bernie does a much better job at blowing the emotional horn just enough to fit the political zeitgeist while maintaining an engine of actual policy issues to move his political machine. Historically, this has always been a successful strategy for socialists, Americans love fire-brands.

As far as Norman's claims of fascism I just don't see how tossing around those terms adds any strategic value to the political struggle against the right. It just comes across as preaching to the choir. We (the left) all know Moore is an ass, calling him fascist doesn't make that any more evident. The trick is trying to understand why he is still viable politically to a significant number of people despite being an ass. This was the mistake made with Trump. To loosely paraphrase Adolph Reed, calling something fascist or Nazi and $2.25 will get me a ride on the subway but it does nothing to develop action to counter right wing agendas. The normalization of the right (Republicans) does not occur because they have "better ideas" (their current tax bill shows they aren't even trying to appeal to 99% of society) it is because the current left option in the USA (Democrats) are offering no ideas , or certain members are not allowed to express ideas because of corporate power and corporate-supported political power. Assuming I am directing this at the DNC, then who is actually supporting the so-called fascists?

As goes fascism in the United States, I don't really think anyone has a good definition. Some see it as a politics that are largely aesthetic as opposed to based on discourse or debate. Some see it as a marriage of corporate power with state power with police and military supremacy. By those two measures I think the USA is already deeply fascist. Though it seems by the current measures, the only thing that make someone unequivocally fascist (or Nazi) is their being a bigot. This simplistic view of fascism is an insult to history, and all the people that either died fighting fascism or were sacrificed at its political altar.

Big River Bandido , December 9, 2017 at 8:51 pm

I hate to tell you, but the New York City subway actually costs $2.75. Another testament to the neoliberal con game, as practiced by the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Jack , December 9, 2017 at 10:56 am

What is ironic about this issue of superdelegates is that the so called "Democratic" party has them and the party of the elite, the Republicans, do not (well, they do, but at a much smaller % and they are required to vote for whoever won their respective state primary). What is also ironic is that the reason the Dems came up with this system was to prevent blowouts in the election. Carter and McGovern had gotten trounced. The feeling was that "wiser" heads, i.e. experienced politicians could steer the party toward a more electable candidate. And how did that work out for them? First time superdelegates voted in 1984, Mondale lost 49 out of 50 states to Reagan.

Watt4Bob , December 9, 2017 at 11:19 am

I think a little history would be useful at this point to help us understand that we've been this way before.

As concerns the Minnesota Farmer-Labor party which later merged with the Minnesota Democratic Party to form the DFL, which has lately devolved, IMO, Wellstone and Franken not withstanding, to much more closely resemble the party of Clintonism than the party of the young Hubert Humphrey.

Quotes are from Wikipedia ;

The Minnesota Farmer–Labor Party emerged from the Nonpartisan League in North Dakota and the Union Labor Party in Duluth, Minnesota, on a platform of farmer and labor union protection, government ownership of certain industries, and social security laws.[2] One of the primary obstacles of the party, besides constant vilification on the pages of local and state newspapers, was the difficulty of uniting the party's divergent base and maintaining political union between rural farmers and urban laborers who often had little in common other than the populist perception that they were an oppressed class of hardworking producers exploited by a small elite.

That 'divergent base' thing ring a bell anyone?

"The farmer approached problems as a proprietor or petty capitalist. Relief to him meant a mitigation of conditions that interfered with successful farming. It involved such things as tax reduction, easier access to credit, and a floor under farm prices. His individualist psychology did not create scruples against government aid, but he welcomed it only as long as it improved agricultural conditions. When official paternalism took the form of public works or the dole, he openly opposed it because assistance on such terms forced him to abandon his chosen profession, to submerge his individuality in the labor crew, and to suffer the humiliation of the bread line. Besides, a public works program required increased revenue, and since the state relied heavily on the property tax, the cost of the program seemed likely to fall primarily on him.

At the opposite end of the seesaw sat the city worker, who sought relief from the hunger, exposure, and disease that followed the wake of unemployment. Dependent on an impersonal industrial machine, he had sloughed off the frontier tradition of individualism for the more serviceable doctrine of cooperation through trade unionism. Unlike the depressed farmer, the unemployed worker often had no property or economic stake to protect. He was largely immune to taxation and had nothing to lose by backing proposals to dilute property rights or redistribute the wealth. Driven by the primitive instinct to survive, the worker demanded financial relief measures from the state."

The upper-midwest was fly-over land long before the Wright brothers, and it makes perfect sense that the the Minnesota Farmer-Labor, and its predecessor, the Non-Partisan League of North Dakota should sprout here, where the effects of elite neglect/abuse and the related Great Depression had left We the People feeling mis/unrepresented by the two national parties.

Of course it's good to remember that Hubert Humphrey, and the Minnesota Democratic party did not embrace the populist revolt until it had been successful on its own, in electing multiple Minnesota Governors, Senators, and Representatives in the 1920-30's, but embrace it they did, and from 1944 until the 1970's, the DFL stood for something a bit more than the local franchise of the National Party.

I strongly encourage you to follow the links in the quotes above, you'll find the history of, among other things, the Bank of North Dakota, still the only state-owned bank in the country, founded in 1919 to allow ND farmers to break the strangle-hold that banks in Minneapolis and Chicago held over the farmers of the northern plains, and demand of working people for free, universal health-care.

So far, the Democratic party, sadly, including the DFL, seems dedicated to putting down the populist revolt by its neglected base, but with some hard work maybe this time around we can figure out how to shorten the time between being resisted and being embraced.

The enemies are perennial, so are the solutions, but populism did have a season of successes in the first half of the 20th century, and there is no reason to think it couldn't happen again.

Remember too, the Non Partisan League of Alberta Canada, and was one of the principal champions of universal healthcare that Canadians now enjoy.

Jerry , December 9, 2017 at 11:19 am

I think incumbent Governors and Congress members have earned the right to be a super delegate by virtue of having won their own election. Their re-election will be affected by the top of the ticket.

If Repubs had been blessed with super delegates, would Trump have still won?

Vatch , December 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Yes! I missed your comment when I posted a reply to another comment at 1:02 pm.

flora , December 9, 2017 at 1:19 pm

July 2016, after the primaries were over, the WaPo, that bastion of Dem estab groupthink, suggested the GOP adopt super delegates to avoid another surprise primary outcome. And we see how well not having super delegates turned out for the GOP.

"There are probably a few missteps I am forgetting. Priebus's spinelessness may well result in an irretrievably divided party, not to mention a humiliating loss in a critical, entirely winnable election. Priebus's successor had better learn some lessons from 2016. He or she might also consider using super delegates. It turns out party grownups are needed. This cycle they've been AWOL."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/07/08/ten-mistakes-reince-priebus-made/?utm_term=.0c7187bd122d

Fast forward to today. Yeah, not having super delegates really cost the GOP in the general election. not.

Sluggeaux , December 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm

The Democrat Party is run by a bunch of careerist hacks. This is why the GOP is actually more "democratic" (and got hijacked by Trump): because it's not run by careerist hacks who are more concerned about protecting their rice bowls than they are about being responsive to the electorate. These hacks got paid a billion dollars to run the losing 2016 campaign -- they "won" the election by their self-serving metric, and now get to pay themselves to "resist" the administration that they caused to be elected through their self-serving careerism.

They're not going to let go of the self-licking ice cream cone that the Democrat Party has become until their comprehensive election losses make it obvious to the Wall Street Wing that they're wasting their money. That day may be coming soon; however, the current coup d'etat in Washington may render a party of $27 donors irrelevant

Amfortas the Hippie , December 9, 2017 at 4:28 pm

This: "until their comprehensive election losses make it obvious to the Wall Street Wing that they're wasting their money. "^^^

A similar sentiment was included in all of the flurry of angry emails i sent hither and yon when I quit the demparty right after the election. ie: the current course of pleasing the donors is unsustainable if they continue to chase off their own base. what are the donors paying for?

one would presume a voice in gooberment .meaning won seats,lol.
without voters, why would any self respecting conglomerate continue to shell out dough to the demparty?
of course, all the hippie-punching and other abuse of their base makes perfect sense if the demparty is, in truth, a ringer party for the oligarchs a pressure relief valve, like on the side of a water heater
if, in other words, they pretend to be the "opposition" and "for the people"(tm) so all us'n's don't go rabid and Wobbly.
This seems a more and more likely explanation every week.

Blue Pilgrim , December 9, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Perhaps old age and failing memory is to blame, but I can't remember not hearing the nonsense arguments of 'vote for the lesser of two evils and reform from within', and the fear mongering about the right or Republicans winning. (Republicans used to have sort-of 'liberal' members, like Lowell Weicker, who would make current Democrats look like fascists -- well, a lot of them are really ). It never worked and everything just gets worse.

And now with current 'RussiaGate' nonsense and the rest of it, and all the wars, including the genocidal destruction of Libya, and some other things, I can never again vote for a Democrat, and I won't vote for a Republican either. I voted for a Socialist once but those votes were not counted because he could not satisfy the requirements to get on the ballot -- petitions and registering in over 200 districts in the state. No one decent gets through the machine.

I've given up on both parties, and their phony elections -- there are no solutions there. What is needed is to see through the games and destroy the machine. Not easy but there is no other way. Solomon is part of the machine, and the so-called 'progressives' are not progressive. We are at the point where the only possible solutions are radical -- striking at the root. The collapse of the empire and capitalism (corporatism -- just a larval stage of fascism) is coming one way or another because it is not sustainable -- and that which cannot be sustained will not be. It's like how slavery and feudalism reached a point where they could no longer survive as dominant systems, nor returned to as such (similar to how the gold standard, or non-tech agricultural society can not be universally restored). The writing finger moves on.

We can either see how the global wind of history and culture is blowing and intelligently move ahead with it, or we can destroy ourselves. The action must be on the streets, in the workplace, from the masses, in collective consciousness, and world wide. Democrat shills like Solomon and clowns like Trump should be ignored as symptomatic noise.

Interview of Richard Wolff by Jimmy Dore has some hints:
https://subtletv.com/baajhiq/Jimmy_Dore_Show_goes_full_socialist_with_Prof_Richard_Wolff

Chauncey Gardiner , December 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm

The DNC's Unity Commission's behavior confirms that the real goal of the leadership of the DNC is exactly the opposite of the name of the commission. So what is their real goal? To prevent the emergence of a progressive majority. In fact, this has been their goal for decades; and in fairness, they have been very successful in realizing it to the detriment of the majority of We the People.

Thank you for shining the light on this latest episode of their actions for their financial benefactors.

Arizona Slim , December 9, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Just got back from running errands. While I was at the post office, I had a conversation with a longtime friend who is now in the Arizona House of Representatives. She just got elected last year. Even though she is officially a Democratic Party member, she ran as a progressive and that's how she rolls in the House. Get this, she spent this morning addressing a conservative youth group and they loved it. Compared to what they usually hear from politicians, they found her speech refreshing. It was all about balanced policy, and if she posts a video, I will share it. Perhaps the DNC will pay attention.

JBird , December 9, 2017 at 5:51 pm

it's really not possible for the leaders at the national level of the Democratic Party to have a close working relationship with the base when it's afraid of the base.

And strangely, this is a big reason for why after three plus decades, I am no longer an active member of the party. If you treat the majority of American nation as dangerous, deplorable, or at best just dumb, please don't be shocked when people start either start ignoring you, or just try to get rid of.

I approve of bringing up this suppressed history of our country's leftist, progressive, socialist, even communist strands, not to mention the multi racial and class political alliance, social organizations, and very frequently personal connections including marriages. Don't forget that the power structure used propaganda, legislation, the law, and armed mobs that often especially, but not only, in the South with rope necklaces, lead poisoning, or if you were "lucky" multi-decade prison terms, or just merely having your home/church/business burnt. This has never really stopped. Like when Jim Crow continues by other means, so did the anti-organization. Chicago, Detroit, the South,etc. Sadly, the black misleadership also help, albeit without the violence, after MLK and others, were no longer a problem.

So centuries of poor whites, blacks, native Americans, religious leaders, even some business leaders and some upper class people, struggling together, usually dealing with violence and murder have been dropped into the memory hole.

Some days I just want to start screaming and not stop.

[Dec 08, 2017] AMERICA-HYSTERICA

Notable quotes:
"... Pentagon "weaponised information" years ago: " Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media ".) ..."
"... The collapse of the Fusion GPS operation will unravel the whole construction. And it's coming . ( And don't forget Awan .) All this because the Dems fixed their nomination and then lost anyway. ..."
Dec 08, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

AMERICA-HYSTERICA I. It's not working. 52% believe it's better to have Russia on "our side" than not ; 76% of Republicans and 51% of independents agree but only 29% of Democrats. (I presume Dems find it easier to believe that Trump won because Putindunnit than that he beat their candidate fair and square). It's not working in Europe either: another poll show large majorities in Germany, Poland, France and UK would like better relations with Russia . But the effluent is still pumped out: " weaponised information ". (As a readers' guide to this sort of thing, you won't go wrong assuming that whatever US/NATO accuse Russia of doing, they are actually doing. For example, the Pentagon "weaponised information" years ago: " Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media ".)

AMERICA-HYSTERICA II. " FBI and Justice Department officials have told congressional investigators in recent days that they have not been able to verify or corroborate the substantive allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign outlined in the Trump dossier. " The collapse of the Fusion GPS operation will unravel the whole construction. And it's coming . ( And don't forget Awan .) All this because the Dems fixed their nomination and then lost anyway.

[Nov 11, 2017] Trump Points To Falsehoods In Russian Hacking Claims - Media Still Ignore Them

Possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats. If for a moment one could remove the often justified hatred many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been devised by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims. In other words this is a sophisticated false flag operation.
Even more alarmingly (what really smells like a part on intelligence agencies coup d'ιtat against Trump ) is the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies - the CIA, the FBI and the NSA - not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama's intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saving so.)
Notable quotes:
"... Well its three . And one is Brennan . And one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks . So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey . Comey's proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. ..."
"... Trump gets it. He knows the weak points of the propaganda claims of "Russian hacking": Podesta and the fake Steele dossier, the DNC server, the lack of any FBI investigation of the alleged hack, the NYT's long false insistence on the '17 agencies' assessment, the "political hacks" who fitted their claims to the Obama/Clinton narrative. ..."
"... But neither the Washington Post nor the NY Times or others mention the crucial points Trump spelled out in their write-ups of the gaggle. There is no word on the DNC servers in them. Instead they create a claim of "Putin says and Trump just believes him". The do not name the facts and questions Trump listed to support his position. Taking up the valid questions Trump asked would of course require the news outlets to finally delve into them. We can't have that. ..."
"... Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else. ..."
"... I guess it could be that the DNC really was hacked, but maybe they faked the hack story, fed the story to Crowdstrike, then paid Crowdstrike a lot of money to fabricate a fairytale about Russian hacking... ..."
"... This Russian fairytale would be the bedrock of Hillary's campaign, and it gave her a reason to badmouth trump who intended to get along with Putin, which deeply offended the neocon Bolsheviks who've been running things since 9/11 ..."
"... If the hacking really happened, it's maybe more likely to have been the US NSA that did the hacking... that might explain why the DNC and Hillary were not alarmed by the hacking --if it happened-- and did nothing about it, and continued to write incriminating emails... ..."
"... Russia gate is Really Hillary Gate... And that's just the beginning as we consider the DNC lid coming off via Donna Brazile and the Uranium scandal. Mueller has been gatekeeper for the Deep State for OKC bombing, 911,...other False Flag...and now today's Intrigues. ..."
"... Back when Trump looked like he was in the running in the US presidential election, I wondered how one man, even if he was genuine, could without the backing of US intelligence, take down the deepstate/borg/whatever. Putin pulled Russia out of the nineties with key backing from patriotic intelligence and military leadership, but Trump even if genuine would be on his own. Just ordered 'Art of the deal' to try and understand Trump a bit more. Looks like he has just destroyed a big chunk of deep state financing so will be interesting to see how long he can stay alive. ..."
"... well, Mueller declined to find 9/11 evidence against bin laden... or maybe we should say, "he declined to manufacture evidence"... for some unkown reason... ..."
"... Can we just face the facts here that there is a coordinated effort by these elite to get Trump dethroned? What reason for this? Simple...he's a threat. ..."
"... Mike Whitney posted a great piece this week suggesting Brennan, Obama's political 'hack', is behind this mess - "Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48172.htm ..."
"... These are but a few sources digging and reporting on these bogus charges against Putin. I'd like to believe the majority of the U.S. electorate isn't being fooled by the nonsense. I can't speak for those who choose to remain inside the brainwashing corporate media bubble, but for those of us who divorced ourselves from their propaganda long ago ain't buying nor ever did buy into the muh Russia crap. ..."
"... Meanwhile, USG declares RT and Sputnik to be foreign agents and must register as such -- and Trump had nothing to do with that?!? ..."
"... The media is now now in permanent psy op mode, colonizing the public's mind and jamming people's ability to reason, think critically and even tell fact from fiction. It is only a matter of time before overt repression becomes widespread (to protect our freedoms of course) and the last remnants of democracy give way to an Orwellian/Huxleyite dystopia. ..."
"... CNN covers the Binney/Pompeo meeting, and describes Binney in the headline as a "conspiracy theorist": http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/mike-pompeo-william-binney-meeting/index.html ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trump Points To Falsehoods In "Russian Hacking" Claims - Media Still Ignore Them

During the flight of his recent Asia tour U.S. President Donal Trump held a press gaggle on board of the plane. Part of it were questions and answers about the alleged "Russian hacking" of the U.S. election.

There is no public transcript available yet but the Washington Post's Mark Berman provided a screenshot of some relevant parts:

Mark Berman @markberman - 6:20 AM - 11 Nov 2017

Full comment from @realDonaldTrump again questioning the US intel community conclusion that Russia meddled last year

In the attached transcript Trump talks about his very short encounter with the Russian President Putin in Hanoi:

Q: When did you bring up the issue of election meddling? Did you ask him a question?

A: Every time he sees me he says he didn't do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, I didn't do that. I think he is very insulted by it, ...
...
He says that very strongly and he really seems to be insulted by it he says he didn't do it.

Q: Even if he didn't bring it up one-on-one, do you believe him?

A: I think that he is very, very strong on the fact that didn't do it. And then you look and you look what's going on with Podesta , and you look at what's going on with the server from the DNC and why didn't the FBI take it ? Why did they leave it? Why did a third party look at the server and not the FBI ? You look at all of this stuff, and you say, what's going on here? And you hear it's 17 agencies. Well its three . And one is Brennan . And one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks . So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey . Comey's proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently say he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.

Trump gets it. He knows the weak points of the propaganda claims of "Russian hacking": Podesta and the fake Steele dossier, the DNC server, the lack of any FBI investigation of the alleged hack, the NYT's long false insistence on the '17 agencies' assessment, the "political hacks" who fitted their claims to the Obama/Clinton narrative.

But neither the Washington Post nor the NY Times or others mention the crucial points Trump spelled out in their write-ups of the gaggle. There is no word on the DNC servers in them. Instead they create a claim of "Putin says and Trump just believes him". The do not name the facts and questions Trump listed to support his position. Taking up the valid questions Trump asked would of course require the news outlets to finally delve into them. We can't have that.

Instead we get more "Russian influence" claptrap. Like this from the once honorable Wired which headlines:

Here's the first evidence Russia used Twitter to influence Brexit

Russian interference in Brexit through targeted social media propaganda can be revealed for the first time. A cache of posts from 2016, seen by WIRED, shows how a coordinated network of Russian-based Twitter accounts spread racial hatred in an attempt to disrupt politics in the UK and Europe.

Interesting, enthralling, complicate and sensational ...
... until you get down to paragraph 14(!):

Surprisingly, all the posts around Brexit in this small snapshot were posted after the June vote

"Russian agents" influenced the U.S. election by buying mostly irrelevant Facebook ads - 25% of which were never seen by anyone and 56% of which were posted AFTER the election

"Russian-based Twitter accounts" influenced the Brexit vote in the UK by tweeting affirmative AFTER the vote happened

Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else.

Tannenhouser | Nov 11, 2017 2:15:01 PM | 1

"Trump is not the brightest bulb and he is not well informed. I dislike nearly all of his policies. But he understands that the "Russian hacking" narrative is false and is carried by lunatic political hacks who want to push the U.S. back into a cold, or maybe even hot war with Russia, China, Iran and probably everyone else."

I couldn't agree more B. The distraction to cover up the DNC crimes and the 'pay to play' antics during HRC's tenure at SECState are part of this nonsense as well.

james | Nov 11, 2017 2:21:31 PM | 2
thanks b.. i 2nd @1 tannenhousers comment above..
wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 2:31:10 PM | 3
the term "hacked" implies that someone came in on the internet, right?

I guess it could be that the DNC really was hacked, but maybe they faked the hack story, fed the story to Crowdstrike, then paid Crowdstrike a lot of money to fabricate a fairytale about Russian hacking...

This Russian fairytale would be the bedrock of Hillary's campaign, and it gave her a reason to badmouth trump who intended to get along with Putin, which deeply offended the neocon Bolsheviks who've been running things since 9/11

If the hacking really happened, it's maybe more likely to have been the US NSA that did the hacking... that might explain why the DNC and Hillary were not alarmed by the hacking --if it happened-- and did nothing about it, and continued to write incriminating emails...

...they assumed the hackers were on their side

OK, then, if the hacking was a fairytale, made up by Debbie and Hillary, and reinforced by Crowdstrike, then what? Maybe it doesn't make any difference in the long run, if the DNC was hacked or not

Whatever happened, the emails got out, Assange strongly hints that Seth Rich was the leak, Seth Rich was murdered, and his murder was intended to be a warning to people like Donna Brazile, who, after Seth was murdered, started drawing her office blinds because she didn't want to be sniped... presumably by the people who murdered Seth Rich

broders | Nov 11, 2017 2:33:17 PM | 4
the real question is : what is j.sessions doing ? and if nothing , why trump doesn't fire him ?
Brad | Nov 11, 2017 2:55:42 PM | 5
Russia gate is Really Hillary Gate... And that's just the beginning as we consider the DNC lid coming off via Donna Brazile and the Uranium scandal. Mueller has been gatekeeper for the Deep State for OKC bombing, 911,...other False Flag...and now today's Intrigues.

Will Podesta and Hillary escape?...or get Prison? John McCain with ISIS and photo opp,.. Evil in your face 24. If certain people are not in Prison....Mueller could wear the label Satan's guardian. ..and it wouldn't be exaggeration

Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 3:00:44 PM | 6
Back when Trump looked like he was in the running in the US presidential election, I wondered how one man, even if he was genuine, could without the backing of US intelligence, take down the deepstate/borg/whatever. Putin pulled Russia out of the nineties with key backing from patriotic intelligence and military leadership, but Trump even if genuine would be on his own. Just ordered 'Art of the deal' to try and understand Trump a bit more. Looks like he has just destroyed a big chunk of deep state financing so will be interesting to see how long he can stay alive.
wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 3:05:39 PM | 7

well, Mueller declined to find 9/11 evidence against bin laden... or maybe we should say, "he declined to manufacture evidence"... for some unkown reason...

whatever, if seth rich's murder was an attempt to terrorize politicians and the media into parroting the party line --like the anthrax letters did after 9/11-- it worked

donna is still saying, "the Russians dun it".

NemesisCalling | Nov 11, 2017 3:07:36 PM | 8
b, it is so funny that everytime you allude to Trump being in the right against the teeming hordes or globalist, anti-Russia elites, you always offer the caveat: "but...he's a bastard and I hate him."

Can we just face the facts here that there is a coordinated effort by these elite to get Trump dethroned? What reason for this? Simple...he's a threat.

Enemy of my enemy anyone?

P.s. I view him as an opportunist. a chameleon. At the very least, perhaps he realizes the absolute absurdity of trying to keep the house of cards aloft in the ME. So far, no wars, and a de-escalation in Syria. Pundits are talking about 3+% growth in US for first time in decade. I dont't know...perhaps Donald can cut and run in time to salvage some of the US prosperity.

PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2017 3:22:45 PM | 9
I'm almost inclined to think Trump is letting this Russian hack thing play out on purpose despite his Tweets to the contrary. Preventing the feds from 'investigating' it wouldn't make it go away, it would just cement the notion of guilt and a cover-up into the anti-Trump, anti-Russian segment of the public. More importantly, the similarly-inclined political/government leaders (pro-Hillary, DNC, politicized FBI and intel, neocons, deep state, whatever...) and MSM slowly expose themselves for what they are. They get too confident in the big lie actually working and go into a feeding frenzy. Trump trolls them on Twitter and they go insane.

When you want to catch sharks, you don't chase them around the ocean to hunt them. You chum the waters and wait for them to come to you. Trump isn't the one chumming the waters here - he's letting the sharks do that themselves.

I scratched my head like everyone else trying to figure out Trump's earlier incomprehensible hiring/firing volley his first few months. Maybe that was just a bit of theatre. Trump might not understand the 'little people' too much, but he does understand his opponent psychopaths (corporate, banking or government/intel) and how to use their basic flaws against them. 'Draining the swamp' sells well, but letting his opponents stick their necks out far enough before Trump's own Night of the Long Knives would (to me) be a far more effective strategy towards his ends. And probably much safer for him than Kennedy's approach.

Kind of worrying that one has to rely on outsider psychopaths to cull other psychopath's well-entrenched herds within the US government. Does that ever turn out well?

Laguerre | Nov 11, 2017 3:30:12 PM | 10
Was anything Trump did really illegal? It hasn't been demonstrated yet. The US does much the same in Russia.
h | Nov 11, 2017 3:31:16 PM | 11
Only the most strident partisans hold tightly to the Russian interference nonsense.

Those who simply want to deal in facts bother ourselves to self inform using multiple sources who have been trying to make sense of the dastardly twists and turns in this muh Russia whodunit scandal. The DNC emails, dossier, collusion the whole escapade, from the beginning, could be seen as being built on nothing more than quicksand.

Mike Whitney posted a great piece this week suggesting Brennan, Obama's political 'hack', is behind this mess - "Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?" - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48172.htm

Then you have Joe Lauria's outstanding piece which lived less than 24 hours at HuffPo before being disappeared - http://raymcgovern.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/CLEANOn-The-Origins-of-Russia-gate-_-HuffPost.pdf

And then you have the Intercept's piece on Binney's meeting with CIA's Pompeo with Ray McGovern providing a lot more detail and an interview with his favorite news outlet RT - http://raymcgovern.com/

Oh, and about Binney's meeting with Pompeo? Trump requested Pompeo meet with him. He did. But Pompeo, as of today, remains steadfast in supporting the ICA crap report Obama's political intel hacks put out.

These are but a few sources digging and reporting on these bogus charges against Putin. I'd like to believe the majority of the U.S. electorate isn't being fooled by the nonsense. I can't speak for those who choose to remain inside the brainwashing corporate media bubble, but for those of us who divorced ourselves from their propaganda long ago ain't buying nor ever did buy into the muh Russia crap.

wadosy | Nov 11, 2017 3:36:47 PM | 12
we got to wonder why donna brazile made such a fuss about Seth Rich. She's being way too cagey for comfort but even if we leave seth rich out of it, none of it make any sense

... ... ...

Muslim Dude | Nov 11, 2017 3:42:36 PM | 13
According to journalist, Liz Crokin and others online, Trump is pulling the biggest sting operation in history.

https://www.lizcrokin.com/hillaryclinton/mueller-president-trump-pulling-biggest-sting-history/

Also from a Youtube video I saw earlier there are claims this is what is happening.

1. Obama regime was chronically corrupt including sell of Uranium to Russia for bribes. Elements of the US military and intelligence were disgusted by this and approached Trump BEFORE the elections as a figure who could help them.

2. Trump decided to work with them and during his election campaign he deliberately made constant exaggerated claims of his supposed friendship with Putin, this was bait for the Democrats to smear him as a Putin-lover, Putin puppet.

3. Once elected, the whole "Trump is a Putin puppet" was allowed to run so that a huge demand for some sort of investigation in to Trump and his Russia links could be built. Only this investigation would in fact be used to target the Democrats and Clinton including for their corruption over the Uranium sales with the Russians.

4. This was apparently (according to these claims) the game plan from the beginning and Mueller is apparently going to work to convict Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats.

I don't know how true this is, but it does answer a lot of questions and anomalies and also ties in with B's thesis that we are essentially seeing a quasi-military government in D.C. under Trump.

psychohistorian | Nov 11, 2017 3:49:19 PM | 14
@ PavewayIV who ended his comment with: "Kind of worrying that one has to rely on outsider psychopaths to cull other psychopath's well-entrenched herds within the US government. Does that ever turn out well? "

Yep! And we add our textual white noise to the rearranging of the deck chairs on the top deck of the good ship Humanity as it careens over the falls/into the shoals/pick-your-metaphor

PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2017 4:30:10 PM | 15
psychohistorian@14 - Captain to crew: "I will not have this ship go down looking like a garbage scow. Deck chairs will be arranged in a neat and orderly manner at all times!"
Augustin L | Nov 11, 2017 4:32:46 PM | 16
The orange Chump is using diversionary tactics. Will the mafia Front goy thief disclose his extensive exposure/links to Russian and foreign banks ?

The same media you're decrying here is also ignoring this week's paradise papers revelations about Wilbur Ross, Trump's commerce secretary and business links with Russian Israeli mobsters and oligarchs like Mogilevich. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMhzkvWuXEM

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what is not true. The other is to refuse to believe what is true. Can't fix stupid sociopathy. I pity deplorable goyims, They deserve their plight...

renfro | Nov 11, 2017 5:10:26 PM | 17
Please someone end this idiot circus! Russia hacked THE ELECTION ...hacked THE ELECTION ??? For the love of gawd..the ELECTION, meaning the voting was hacked.....it was NOT. Nothing has focused on Russian 'hacking' of VOTES. Russia 'if' they hacked, at best hacked some emails and info used to expose Hillary. And posted negative info on the net. So, so what? How many leakers weren't doing that?

I have had it with the Dems, they have IQs somewhere below that of cabbages. But I guess there are a certain number of citizens that will believe anything if it is repeated enough by their herd leaders.

notheonly1 | Nov 11, 2017 5:31:12 PM | 18
All this pathetic, lousy street theater resembling staging can only serve one important reason: Distraction. What is it that people need to be distracted from? That the US has turned openly into a military dictatorship? That the extermination proceedings are speeding up?

Hitler used gas chambers, as did the US after the war. While the first was a psychopathic dictator, the latter is a psychopathic society. It has spend trillions in research and design of lethal weapons and systems to exterminate any 'enemy'.

With all the technological progress, people do no longer need to be dragged to a gas chamber. The gas chamber will come to them. Sprayed into the atmosphere and making its way into earth's life systems.

Trump, Dump, Busch, Koch, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon - plutocratic hand puppets. It is not the people who decide where and when the ship sinks. It will be sunken for them - with all the useless eaters on board.

Jack Oliver | Nov 11, 2017 6:03:23 PM | 19
Trump is too stupid to realize that the very reason the election was rigged in his favour was - the derailment of ANY ZIO/US/Russia relations !! Their top priority ( as always) has been to keep Russia and Germany apart ! Russia's 'resources' and German 'innovation' is a match made in heaven - would spell the end of the US economy !
karlof1 | Nov 11, 2017 6:27:43 PM | 20
Not only did the Propaganda System refuse to correctly report as b details, but nowhere has it mentioned the defeat of Daesh, as Pepe Escobar discloses: "This is History in the making.

"And right on cue, VIRTUALLY NOTHING about this REAL ON THE GROUND VICTORY OF A REAL WAR ON TERROR is being covered by Western corporate media.

"No wonder. Because this was the work of Damascus, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran advisers, Baghdad and the PMUs – actually the "4+1" - and not the US-led "coalition" that includes Wahhabi mongrels House of Saud and UAE - that totally smashes to bits the monochord Washington narrative.

"So History in the making must be silenced." [Emphasis in original.] http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48186.htm

Meanwhile, USG declares RT and Sputnik to be foreign agents and must register as such -- and Trump had nothing to do with that?!?

Temporarily Sane | Nov 11, 2017 6:30:23 PM | 21
The war on Syria and the Russian "hacking" debacle has corrupted the entire western media. Not that it was ever squeaky clean - far from it - but it was at least somewhat independent from the dominant establishment. There were pauses between the outrageous lies and blatant fact twisting and it did not overtly shill for neoliberal political parties and work overtime pushing massive amounts of propaganda on the public 24/7/365 and relentlessly demonize, in the most crude fashion imaginable, the leaders of some of the the world's most powerful countries and any sovereign nation that values its independence and freedom from Western exploitation.

The media is now now in permanent psy op mode, colonizing the public's mind and jamming people's ability to reason, think critically and even tell fact from fiction. It is only a matter of time before overt repression becomes widespread (to protect our freedoms of course) and the last remnants of democracy give way to an Orwellian/Huxleyite dystopia.

jayc | Nov 11, 2017 6:32:58 PM | 22
CNN covers the Binney/Pompeo meeting, and describes Binney in the headline as a "conspiracy theorist": http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/mike-pompeo-william-binney-meeting/index.html
Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2017 6:37:08 PM | 23
karlof1 20

If by chance Trump or anyone is genuine about taking down the deep state, they cannot do it by running around in a pathetic attempt trying to fix small issues. They would have to leave the machine to carry on as normal and go for its foundations. I thought about this months ago, and now looking at the latest events, this could be what is happening.

gut bugs galore | Nov 11, 2017 6:52:35 PM | 24
Meanwhile a revolution threatening the federation of Australia is taking place in Canberra utilizing a formless and compliant press corps and a fake issue of dual citizenship. Chaos is a disease agent which has jumped out of the Middle Eastern laboratory into all western nations.
Krollchem | Nov 11, 2017 7:13:34 PM | 25
Educational Youtube videos on how the world works at "Rules for rulers"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig_qpNfXHIU

[Nov 11, 2017] On The Origins of Russia-gate by Joe Lauria

Notable quotes:
"... As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know that the "scandal" started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference, notes Joe Lauria. ..."
"... Voice of America reported ..."
"... How I Lost By Hillary Clinton ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | kickthemallout.com

As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know that the "scandal" started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference, notes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election -- without providing convincing evidence -- were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers. Think about that for a minute.

We have long known that the DNC did not allow the FBI to examine its computer server for clues about who may have hacked it – or even if it was hacked – and instead turned to CrowdStrike, a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian. Within a day, CrowdStrike blamed Russia on dubious evidence.

And, it has now been disclosed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for opposition research memos written by former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele using hearsay accusations from anonymous Russian sources to claim that the Russian government was blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump in a scheme that presupposed that Russian President Vladimir Putin foresaw Trump's presidency years ago when no one else did.

Since then, the U.S. intelligence community has struggled to corroborate Steele's allegations, but those suspicions still colored the thinking of President Obama's intelligence chiefs who, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, "hand-picked" the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 "assessment" claiming that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims.

Absent new evidence based on forensic or documentary proof, we could be looking at a partisan concoction devised in the midst of a bitter general election campaign, a manufactured "scandal" that also has fueled a dangerous New Cold War against Russia; a case of a dirty political "oppo" serving American ruling interests in reestablishing the dominance over Russia that they enjoyed in the 1990s, as well as feeding the voracious budgetary appetite of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Though lacking independent evidence of the core Russia-gate allegations, the "scandal" continues to expand into wild exaggerations about the impact of a tiny number of social media pages suspected of having links to Russia but that apparently carried very few specific campaign messages. ( Some pages reportedly were devoted to photos of puppies. )

'Cash for Trash'

Based on what is now known, Wall Street buccaneer Paul Singer paid for GPS Fusion, a Washington-based research firm, to do opposition research on Trump during the Republican primaries, but dropped the effort in May 2016 when it became clear Trump would be the GOP nominee. GPS Fusion has strongly denied that it hired Steele for this work or that the research had anything to do with Russia.

Then, in April 2016 the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid its Washington lawyer Marc Elias to hire Fusion GPS to unearth dirt connecting Trump to Russia. This was three months before the DNC blamed Russia for hacking its computers and supposedly giving its stolen emails to WikiLeaks to help Trump win the election.

"The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS to research any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his businesses, his campaign team and Russia, court filings revealed this week," The New York Times reported on Friday night.

So, linking Trump to Moscow as a way to bring Russia into the election story was the Democrats' aim from the start.

Fusion GPS then hired ex-MI6 intelligence agent Steele, it says for the first time, to dig up that dirt in Russia for the Democrats. Steele produced classic opposition research, not an intelligence assessment or conclusion, although it was written in a style and formatted to look like one.

It's important to realize that Steele was no longer working for an official intelligence agency, which would have imposed strict standards on his work and possibly disciplined him for injecting false information into the government's decision-making. Instead, he was working for a political party and a presidential candidate looking for dirt that would hurt their opponent, what the Clintons used to call "cash for trash" when they were the targets.

Had Steele been doing legitimate intelligence work for his government, he would have taken a far different approach. Intelligence professionals are not supposed to just give their bosses what their bosses want to hear. So, Steele would have verified his information. And it would have gone through a process of further verification by other intelligence analysts in his and perhaps other intelligence agencies. For instance, in the U.S., a National Intelligence Estimate requires vetting by all 17 intelligence agencies and incorporates dissenting opinions.

Instead Steele was producing a piece of purely political research and had different motivations. The first might well have been money, as he was being paid specifically for this project, not as part of his work on a government salary presumably serving all of society. Secondly, to continue being paid for each subsequent memo that he produced he would have been incentivized to please his clients or at least give them enough so they would come back for more.

Dubious Stuff

Opposition research is about getting dirt to be used in a mud-slinging political campaign, in which wild charges against candidates are the norm. This "oppo" is full of unvetted rumor and innuendo with enough facts mixed in to make it seem credible. There was so much dubious stuff in Steele's memos that the FBI was unable to confirm its most salacious allegations and apparently refuted several key points.

Perhaps more significantly, the corporate news media, which was largely partial to Clinton, did not report the fantastic allegations after people close to the Clinton campaign began circulating the lurid stories before the election with the hope that the material would pop up in the news. To their credit, established media outlets recognized this as ammunition against a political opponent, not a serious document.

Despite this circumspection, the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign. More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies – the CIA, the FBI and the NSA – not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama's intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saying so.)

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all. It could be that because the three agencies knew the dossier was dodgy that there was no substantive proof in the Jan. 6 "assessment." Even so, a summary of the Steele allegations were included in a secret appendix that then-FBI Director James Comey described to then-President-elect Trump just two weeks before his inauguration.

Five days later, after the fact of Comey's briefing was leaked to the press, the Steele dossier was published in full by the sensationalist website BuzzFeed behind the excuse that the allegations' inclusion in the classified annex of a U.S. intelligence report justified the dossier's publication regardless of doubts about its accuracy.

Russian Fingerprints

The other source of blame about Russian meddling came from the private company CrowdStrike because the DNC blocked the FBI from examining its server after a suspected hack. Within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian "fingerprints" in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by an Internet site called DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia.

CrowdStrike also claimed that the alleged Russian intelligence operation was extremely sophisticated and skilled in concealing its external penetration of the server. But CrowdStrike's conclusion about Russian "fingerprints" resulted from clues that would have been left behind by extremely sloppy hackers or inserted intentionally to implicate the Russians.

CrowdStrike's credibility was further undermined when Voice of America reported on March 23, 2017, that the same software the company says it used to blame Russia for the hack wrongly concluded that Moscow also had hacked Ukrainian government howitzers on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine.

"An influential British think tank and Ukraine's military are disputing a report that the U.S. cyber-security firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election," VOA reported. Dimitri Alperovitch, a CrowdStrike co-founder, is also a senior fellow at the anti-Russian Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.

More speculation about the alleged election hack was raised with WikiLeaks' Vault 7 release, which revealed that the CIA is not beyond covering up its own hacks by leaving clues implicating others. Plus, there's the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has declared again and again that WikiLeaks did not get the Democratic emails from the Russians. Buttressing Assange's denials of a Russian role, WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said he met a person connected to the leak during a trip to Washington last year.

And, William Binney, maybe the best mathematician to ever work at the National Security Agency, and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern have published a technical analysis of one set of Democratic email metadata showing that a transatlantic "hack" would have been impossible and that the evidence points to a likely leak by a disgruntled Democratic insider. Binney has further stated that if it were a "hack," the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.

Fueling Neo-McCarthyism

Despite these doubts, which the U.S. mainstream media has largely ignored, Russia-gate has grown into something much more than an election story. It has unleashed a neo-McCarthyite attack on Americans who are accused of being dupes of Russia if they dare question the evidence of the Kremlin's guilt.

Just weeks after last November's election, The Washington Post published a front-page story touting a blacklist from an anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that alleged that 200 news sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other leading independent news sources, were either willful Russian propagandists or "useful idiots."

Last week, a new list emerged with the names of over 2,000 people, mostly Westerners, who have appeared on RT, the Russian government-financed English-language news channel. The list was part of a report entitled, "The Kremlin's Platform for 'Useful Idiots' in the West," put out by an outfit called European Values, with a long list of European funders.

Included on the list of "useful idiots" absurdly are CIA-friendly Washington Post columnist David Ignatius; David Brock, Hillary Clinton's opposition research chief; and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report stated: "Many people in Europe and the US, including politicians and other persons of influence, continue to exhibit troubling naοvetι about RT's political agenda, buying into the network's marketing ploy that it is simply an outlet for independent voices marginalised by the mainstream Western press. These 'useful idiots' remain oblivious to RT's intentions and boost its legitimacy by granting interviews on its shows and newscasts."

The intent of these lists is clear: to shut down dissenting voices who question Western foreign policy and who are usually excluded from Western corporate media. RT is often willing to provide a platform for a wider range of viewpoints, both from the left and right. American ruling interests fend off critical viewpoints by first suppressing them in corporate media and now condemning them as propaganda when they emerge on RT.

Geopolitical Risks

More ominously, the anti-Russia mania has increased chances of direct conflict between the two nuclear superpowers. The Russia-bashing rhetoric not only served the Clinton campaign, though ultimately to ill effect, but it has pushed a longstanding U.S.-led geopolitical agenda to regain control over Russia, an advantage that the U.S. enjoyed during the Yeltsin years in the 1990s.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wall Street rushed in behind Boris Yeltsin and Russian oligarchs to asset strip virtually the entire country, impoverishing the population. Amid widespread accounts of this grotesque corruption, Washington intervened in Russian politics to help get Yeltsin re-elected in 1996. The political rise of Vladimir Putin after Yeltsin resigned on New Year's Eve 1999 reversed this course, restoring Russian sovereignty over its economy and politics.

That inflamed Hillary Clinton and other American hawks whose desire was to install another Yeltsin-like figure and resume U.S. exploitation of Russia's vast natural and financial resources. To advance that cause, U.S. presidents have supported the eastward expansion of NATO and have deployed 30,000 troops on Russia's border.

In 2014, the Obama administration helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the elected government of Ukraine and installed a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. also undertook the risky policy of aiding jihadists to overthrow a secular Russian ally in Syria. The consequences have brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate offensive was intended not only to explain away Clinton's defeat but to stop Trump -- possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage -- because he had talked, insincerely it is turning out, about detente with Russia. That did not fit in well with the plan at all.

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and the Wall Street Journal among other newspapers. He is the author of How I Lost By Hillary Clinton published by OR Books in June 2017. He can be reached at joelauria@gmail.com and followed on Twitter at @unjoe .

[Nov 11, 2017] Is Hillary Just the "Fall Guy" for the Intel Agencies and their Moneybags Bosses by Mike Whitney

See Wikipedia article CIA influence on public opinion . The role on Brennan probably deserves a special prosecutor and/or a Congressional commettee similar to Church Committee
The question arise: "Was hacking DNC another CIA false flag operation with the specific goal to poison US-Russian relations and using Hillary Clinton as a patsy?"
According fo church committee report: "Approximately 50 of the [Agency] assets are individual American journalists or employees of U.S. media organizations. Of these, fewer than half are "accredited" by U.S. media organizations ... The remaining individuals are non-accredited freelance contributors and media representatives abroad ... More than a dozen United States news organizations and commercial publishing houses formerly provided cover for CIA agents abroad. A few of these organizations were unaware that they provided this cover. [7] "
"Journalist Carl Bernstein , writing in an October 1977 article in the magazine Rolling Stone , claims that the Church Committee report "covered up" CIA relations with news media, and names a number of journalists whom he says worked with the CIA [10] Like the Church Committee report, however, Bernstein does not refer to any Operation Mockingbird."
Notable quotes:
"... "Russian meddling" became the perfect rallying cry for the CIA's broader information operation (IO) that was designed to poison public opinion against "Russian aggression" and to reign in Trump's plans to normalize relations with Moscow. ..."
"... Clinton became the "fall guy" in a darker, deep-state propaganda campaign for which she is only partially responsible. ..."
"... the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign. ..."
"... More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies -- the CIA, the FBI and the NSA -- not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved ..."
"... The article proves that the nation's premier law enforcement agency was using parts of a discredited "raw intelligence" report that was paid for by the DNC and was clearly commissioned as a part of a smear campaign -- to spy on members of the opposition party. Clearly, one could easily make the case that the FBI was abusing its extraordinary police-state powers to subvert the democratic process. ..."
"... The FBI, under James Comey, also attempted to use agent Steele for future research but abandoned the idea after parts of the dossier began to surface in the media making it politically impossible to maintain the relationship. ..."
"... The fact that the FBI was willing to build its investigation on the sensational and unverified claims in the DNC-bought-and-paid-for dossier, suggests that the real motive was not to reveal collusion between Trump and Moscow or even to uncover evidence related to the hacking claims. The real goal was to vilify Russia and derail Trump's efforts at détente. ..."
"... Steele's July report helped to prop up the threadbare "hacking" storyline that was further reinforced by the dubious cyber-forensic analysis of DNC servers performed by CrowdStrike, "a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian." ..."
"... Russia-gate is entirely a Democratic Party invention. Both sources of information (Crowdstrike and Steele) were chosen by members of the Democratic hierarchy (through their intermediaries) to create stories that coincided with their political objectives. Due to the obvious bias of the people who funded the operations, neither the methods nor the information can be trusted. But that's just part of the story. The bigger story relates to the role played by the nation's premier intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And that's where we see signs of institutional corruption on a truly colossal scale. ..."
"... Nov. 18: Arizona Sen. John McCain and a former assistant, David Kramer, are told about the existence of the dossier by an associate of Steele's, former British diplomat Sir Andrew Wood. Kramer travels to London later that month to meet with Steele and find out more about the dossier. Steele forwards a copy of the dossier to Fusion, Kramer and McCain. ..."
"... This is a damning admission that the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that was released on January 6, and was supposed to provide rock-solid proof of Russia hacking and collusion, was built (at least, in part) on the thin gruel and specious allegations found in the sketchy "Trump dossier". Former CIA Director John Brennan has refuted this claim, but there's significant circumstantial evidence to suggest that it is true. ..."
"... On December 9, 2016, The Washington Post reported that the CIA determined that Russian hacking was conducted to boost Trump and hurt Clinton during the presidential campaign. This same theory that was propounded in the ICA report just a month later. It appears that Brennan and his "hand-picked" intelligence analysts decided to carefully comb the dossier cherry-picking the most credible allegations to weave into their dubious intelligence Assessment. So even though large sections of the dossier were scrapped, the report itself was used as the foundation for the ICA. ..."
"... It's clear that Brennan had no "information or intelligence" that would lead a reasonable man to think that anyone in Trump's entourage was colluding with Russian officials or agents. The whole story is spun from whole cloth. The disturbing implication however is that Brennan, who was an outspoken supporter of Hillary and equally harsh critic of Trump, was using the CIA's intrusive surveillance powers to spy on a rival political party in the heat of a presidential campaign. If that is not a flagrant example of subverting democracy, then what is? ..."
"... It all started with Brennan, he's the ringleader in this dodgy caper. But Brennan was not operating as a free agent pursuing his own malign political agenda, but as a strong-arm facilitator for the powerful foreign policy establishment which includes leaders from Big Oil, Wall Street, and the giant weapons manufacturers. These are the corporate mandarins who pull Brennan's chain and give Brennan his marching orders. This is how power trickles down in America. ..."
"... So while the moneytrail may lead back to the DNC and Hillary's Campaign, the roots of Russia-gate extend far beyond the politicians to the highest-ranking members of the permanent state. ..."
Nov 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

For nearly a year, Hillary Clinton failed to admit that her campaign and the Democratic National Committee had provided funding for the notorious dossier that alleged Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. Then, two weeks ago, the Washington Post published a blockbuster article that proved that Clinton had been misleading the public about her Campaign's role in producing the report.

Following the article's publication, Clinton went into hiding for more than a week during which time she huddled with her political advisors to settle on a strategy for dealing with the crisis.

"Russian meddling" became the perfect rallying cry for the CIA's broader information operation (IO) that was designed to poison public opinion against "Russian aggression" and to reign in Trump's plans to normalize relations with Moscow.

The fact that the CIA had essentially extracted a credible narrative from sections of the notorious dossier, left Hillary with no other option except to play-along even after the votes had been counted. As a result, Clinton became the "fall guy" in a darker, deep-state propaganda campaign for which she is only partially responsible. Here's a little background from Joe Lauria's "must read" article "The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate":

" the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump's campaign.

More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence "assessment" by those "hand-picked" analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies -- the CIA, the FBI and the NSA -- not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved .

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all." (Consortium News)

So, were "the Steele memos the primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump"? This is the pivotal question that still remains largely unanswered. As Lauria notes, the FBI did in fact use the "salacious and unverified" dossier to obtain at least one FISA warrant. This is from The Hill:

"The FBI used the dossier alleging Russian ties to President Trump's campaign associates to help convince a judge to grant a warrant to secretly monitor former campaign aide Carter Page, CNN reports.

FBI Director James Comey has cited the dossier in some of his briefings with lawmakers in recent weeks as one of the information sources used by his bureau to bolster its probe, U.S. officials briefed on the investigation told CNN." ("FBI used Trump dossier to help get warrant to monitor ex-aide: report", The Hill)

The article proves that the nation's premier law enforcement agency was using parts of a discredited "raw intelligence" report that was paid for by the DNC and was clearly commissioned as a part of a smear campaign -- to spy on members of the opposition party. Clearly, one could easily make the case that the FBI was abusing its extraordinary police-state powers to subvert the democratic process.

The FBI, under James Comey, also attempted to use agent Steele for future research but abandoned the idea after parts of the dossier began to surface in the media making it politically impossible to maintain the relationship. This is from a February article in the Washington Post:

"The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier on behalf of Donald Trump's political opponents alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work, according to several people familiar with the arrangement. The agreement to compensate former MI6 agent Christopher Steele came as U.S. intelligence agencies reached a consensus that the Russians had interfered in the presidential election by orchestrating hacks of Democratic Party email accounts ..

Ultimately, the FBI did not pay Steele. Communications between the bureau and the former spy were interrupted as Steele's now-famous dossier became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials, according to the people familiar with the arrangement, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter." ("FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier", Washington Post)

The fact that the FBI was willing to build its investigation on the sensational and unverified claims in the DNC-bought-and-paid-for dossier, suggests that the real motive was not to reveal collusion between Trump and Moscow or even to uncover evidence related to the hacking claims. The real goal was to vilify Russia and derail Trump's efforts at détente.

It's also worth noting , that Steele's earliest report implausibly alleges that the "Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US presidential candidate Trump for at least 5 years." (No one had any idea that Trump would run for president 5 years ago.) The report also details perverted sexual acts involving Trump and urinating prostitutes in a hotel in Moscow. (All fake, of course) The point we are trying to make, is that Steele's first report focused on corruption, perversion and blackmail, whereas, his second installment completely changed direction to cyber-espionage operations on foreign targets.

Why?

It was because, on July 22, 2016, just days before the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks published 20,000 emails hacked from DNC computers revealing the corrupt inner-workings of the Democratic establishment. In response, Steele decided to craft a story that would support the Dems plan to blame the Russians for the moral cesspit they-alone had created. In other words, his report was a way of "passing the buck".

Steele's July report helped to prop up the threadbare "hacking" storyline that was further reinforced by the dubious cyber-forensic analysis of DNC servers performed by CrowdStrike, "a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian."

The hacking theme was also aided by the deluge of unsourced, evidence-lite articles cropping up in the media, like this gem in the Washington Post:

"Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.

The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC's system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.

The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies " ("Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump", Washington Post)

What's remarkable about the above excerpt is that it follows the same basic approach to propaganda as nearly all the other pieces on the topic. Unlike the lead-up to the Iraq War, where journalists at the New York Times made every effort to create a believable storyline that included references to aluminum tubes, Niger uranium, mobile weapons labs, etc. The media no longer tries to support their narrative with evidence or eyewitnesses. The major media now simply tells people what they want them to think and leave it at that. Even so, it doesn't require much critical thinking to see the holes in the Russia hacking story. One merely needs to suspend judgment long enough to see that main claims all emerge from (Democratic) sources who have every reason to mislead the public. Here's an excerpt from Joe Lauria's article that sums it up perfectly:

"The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers.

Think about that for a minute .

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama's intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims." ("The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate", Consortium News)

Russia-gate is entirely a Democratic Party invention. Both sources of information (Crowdstrike and Steele) were chosen by members of the Democratic hierarchy (through their intermediaries) to create stories that coincided with their political objectives. Due to the obvious bias of the people who funded the operations, neither the methods nor the information can be trusted. But that's just part of the story. The bigger story relates to the role played by the nation's premier intelligence and law enforcement agencies. And that's where we see signs of institutional corruption on a truly colossal scale.

As we noted earlier, the Clinton smear campaign would probably have ended after the votes were counted had not the intel agencies, particularly the CIA, decided the hacking story could be used to inflict more damage on Russia. It wasn't Clinton's decision to gather more information for the dossier, but others whose motives have remained largely concealed. Who are they?

According to a timeline in the Daily Caller:

November: The contract between the Democrats, Fusion and Steele ends along with the presidential campaign.

Nov. 18: Arizona Sen. John McCain and a former assistant, David Kramer, are told about the existence of the dossier by an associate of Steele's, former British diplomat Sir Andrew Wood. Kramer travels to London later that month to meet with Steele and find out more about the dossier. Steele forwards a copy of the dossier to Fusion, Kramer and McCain.

Dec. 9: McCain provides a copy of the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey during a meeting at the latter's office.

Dec. 13: Steele writes the final memo of the dossier. It alleges that a Russian tech executive used his companies to hack into the DNC's email systems. The executive, Aleksej Gubarev, denied the allegations after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed on Jan. 10, 2017. He is suing both BuzzFeed and Steele.

Jan. 6: Comey and other intelligence community officials brief then-President-elect Trump on some of the allegations made in the dossier.

Jan. 10: CNN reports that the briefing of Trump took place four days earlier. Citing that reporting as justification, BuzzFeed publishes the dossier. (The Daily Mail)

John McCain? Is that who we're talking about? Was it McCain who paid former M16 agent Christopher Steele to add another report to the dossier? Why?

Is it that hard to imagine that a Russophobic foreign policy wonk like McCain -- who has expressed his vehement hatred for Vladimir Putin on the floor of the senate -- would hire a mud-slinging free agent like Steele to craft a story that would further demonize Russia, discourage Trump from normalizing relations with Moscow, and reinforce the theory that the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 elections?

Does that mean that McCain may have told Steele (or his intermediaries) precisely what he wanted the final draft to say? It certainly seems probable. And here's something else to mull over. This is from the Business Insider:

Steele gave the dossier to Republican Sen. John McCain. McCain then gave it to the FBI director at the time, James Comey. Comey, along with the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, briefed both President Barack Obama and then-President elect Trump on the dossier's allegations in January.

Intelligence officials purposefully omitted the dossier from the public intelligence report they released in January about Russia's election interference because they didn't want to reveal which details they had corroborated, according to CNN." ("Mueller reportedly interviewed the author of the Trump-Russia dossier -- here's what it alleges, and how it aligned with reality", Business Insider)

This is a damning admission that the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that was released on January 6, and was supposed to provide rock-solid proof of Russia hacking and collusion, was built (at least, in part) on the thin gruel and specious allegations found in the sketchy "Trump dossier". Former CIA Director John Brennan has refuted this claim, but there's significant circumstantial evidence to suggest that it is true.

On December 9, 2016, The Washington Post reported that the CIA determined that Russian hacking was conducted to boost Trump and hurt Clinton during the presidential campaign. This same theory that was propounded in the ICA report just a month later. It appears that Brennan and his "hand-picked" intelligence analysts decided to carefully comb the dossier cherry-picking the most credible allegations to weave into their dubious intelligence Assessment. So even though large sections of the dossier were scrapped, the report itself was used as the foundation for the ICA.

Brennan spearheaded the anti-Russia campaign from the get-go. As early as August 2016, Brennan was providing classified briefings to ranking members of Congress expressing his conviction that Moscow was helping Trump to win the election. The former Director offered no proof to back up his claims nor has he since then. It was also Brennan who gradually persuaded Clapper, Comey and Morrell to join his anti-Russia jihad, although all were reluctant participants at first. Were they won over by compelling secret evidence that has been been withheld from the public?

Not likely. It's more probable that Brennan was merely able to convince them that the powerful foreign policy establishment required their cooperation on an issue that would have grave impact on Washington's imperial plan for Syria, Ukraine, Central Asia and beyond?

Some readers might remember when Brennan testified before Congress way-back on May 23 and boldly stated:

BRENNAN: "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals and it raised questions in my mind, again, whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals."

It's clear that Brennan had no "information or intelligence" that would lead a reasonable man to think that anyone in Trump's entourage was colluding with Russian officials or agents. The whole story is spun from whole cloth. The disturbing implication however is that Brennan, who was an outspoken supporter of Hillary and equally harsh critic of Trump, was using the CIA's intrusive surveillance powers to spy on a rival political party in the heat of a presidential campaign. If that is not a flagrant example of subverting democracy, then what is? Here's a clip from the Washington Times:

"It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians

But he said he believed the contacts were numerous enough to alert the FBI, which began its probe into Trump associates that same July, according to previous congressional testimony from then-FBI director James B. Comey." (The Washington Times)

It all started with Brennan, he's the ringleader in this dodgy caper. But Brennan was not operating as a free agent pursuing his own malign political agenda, but as a strong-arm facilitator for the powerful foreign policy establishment which includes leaders from Big Oil, Wall Street, and the giant weapons manufacturers. These are the corporate mandarins who pull Brennan's chain and give Brennan his marching orders. This is how power trickles down in America.

So while the moneytrail may lead back to the DNC and Hillary's Campaign, the roots of Russia-gate extend far beyond the politicians to the highest-ranking members of the permanent state.

[Nov 07, 2017] Dem Pundits Spent Yesterday Lying About DNC Primary Rigging Document by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... Their argument, if you can call it that, rests on the claim that a document which unquestionably shows inappropriate bias and collusion does not show inappropriate bias and collusion because it contains a paragraph which says the document should not be construed as containing inappropriate bias and collusion. This is really boring and stupid, but since the Clinton cult is circulating this nonsense all over social media I figure I should probably write something for people to refute it with. ..."
Nov 07, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. Reply , November 07, 2017 at 11:20 AM

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/dem-pundits-spent-yesterday-lying-about-dnc-primary-rigging-document-d60019c59c3e

Nov 4

Dem Pundits Spent Yesterday Lying About DNC Primary Rigging Document

The establishment liberal spin machine has been working overtime the last 24 hours to make it seem as though former acting DNC chair Donna Brazile had not admitted what she'd admitted in an excerpt from her book published by Politico on Thursday.

Their argument, if you can call it that, rests on the claim that a document which unquestionably shows inappropriate bias and collusion does not show inappropriate bias and collusion because it contains a paragraph which says the document should not be construed as containing inappropriate bias and collusion. This is really boring and stupid, but since the Clinton cult is circulating this nonsense all over social media I figure I should probably write something for people to refute it with.

...

[Nov 07, 2017] Donna Brazile, the Rigged Democratic Primary, and Relitigating 2016 naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente ..."
"... The agreement -- signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to [DNC lawyer] Marc Elias -- specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings. ..."
"... A second difference in substance: Let's remember that for Clinton, the JFA enabled her campaign to circumvent contribution limits for large donors (Brazile: "Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400"). The Sanders campaign , by contrast, had no issue with maxed out donors: "During fall '15, 99.8% of Bernie donors could give again" (because it's awful hard to max out $27 at a time). ..."
"... That's pretty amazing, isn't it? Personnel is policy, as they say, and the Clinton campaign has made sure that the DNC's Communications Director and new hires in the senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments will be acceptable to it. The Clinton campaign will also review all mass email and communcations (which explains why Brazile, as interim DNC chair, couldn't send out a press release without checking with Brooklyn. Since the notorious debate schedule was already controlled by Wasserman Schultz, there was no point messing about with it, I assume.) There is one place in this passage where the general election is mentioned, so let's look at it: ..."
"... Second, the DNC itself does not ..."
"... But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved. ..."
"... It has been a while since I handled a criminal defense case, but I am not sure that the agreement is not in fact, criminal. When the Sanders for President campaign signed an agreement and paid money in consideration of getting access to the voter file and when the state parties agreed to merge their fundraising efforts with the DNC and HFA, the commercial fraud laws applied to that relationship. Since the fundraising was done using interstate phone calls, letters, and emails and the voter file access was provided by electronic transmissions from servers in DC to end users in Burlington, Vermont that includes 18 USC 1341, 1343 and 1346 (mail, wire and honest services fraud). These laws do not just ban outright lying, but also the concealment of material facts that one has a duty to disclose. ..."
"... The DNC got into the position of selling themselves to the Clintons as they were $20 million in debt, right? I have read that the major reason for these debts was that the DNC had not shrunk itself since the last campaign and was paying out a ton of money for consultants doing Christ knows what. In fact, Obama also used the DNC to support a stack of his consultants as well as grifters gotta grift, right? ..."
"... My question is whether this was a deliberate ploy on Obama and the Clinton factions to put the DNC into such a vulnerable position before 2016 came along that when the time came, they had to take up an offer that they could not refuse. I have not heard if Obama has made any comments on this fiasco that took place on his watch and it seems nobody wants to call him out on it. In the Brazile case, it is not a matter of following the money but following the lack of money. ..."
"... "Both sides in the Democratic Party's current faction fight, as I see it, are in denial about the true nature and scope of the problem "Both responses are essentially utopian: They rest on the premise that the Democratic Party is still a functioning political organization and that the United States is still a functioning democracy." ..."
Nov 07, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Donna Brazile, the "Rigged" Democratic Primary, and Relitigating 2016 Posted on November 6, 2017 by Lambert Strether By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Long-time Democratic[1] operative Donna Brazile, interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) after Debbie Wasserman Schultz was defenestrated[2], has, like two other participants in the 2016 Presidential election and at least one set of observers , written a book, Hacked , and published a long excerpt from it four days ago, in Politico . Here is the key passage, in which Brazile paraphrases and quotes a conversation with Gary Gensler, former of Goldman Sachs and the CFTC, and then the chief financial officer of the Clinton campaign:

[Gensler] described the party as fully under the control of Hillary's campaign , which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party's national committee.

Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund -- that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states' parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement -- $320,000 -- and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.

Yes, you read that right. Although the Hillary Victory Fund was billed as aiding the states, in fact the states were simply pass-throughs, and the money went to the Clinton campaign. (This is not news; Politico covered the Victory Fun in 2016 : "The Democratic front-runner says she's raising big checks to help state committees, but they've gotten to keep only 1 percent of the $60 million raised.")

"Wait," I said. "That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You're telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?"

Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.

"That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie," he explained, referring to campaign manager Robby Mook. "It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election."

After some research, Brazile finds a document ("the agreement") that spells out what "fully under the control of Hillary's campaign" meant operationally:

The agreement -- signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to [DNC lawyer] Marc Elias -- specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

I had been wondering why it was that I couldn't write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.

(Importantly, Gensler has not disputed this account, of which, assuming he's not vacationing Antarctica, he must have been aware of, given the media uproar. We can therefore assume its accurate). Note two aspects of this passage, which I'm quoting at such length to ensure we know what Brazile actually charged. I've helpfully underlined them: (1) Brazile leads with the money; that is, the Clinton Victory Fund, and (2) Brazile describes the DNC as "fully under the control" of the Clinton campaign.

Predictably, an enormous controversy erupted, much of it over the weekend just passed, but I'm not going to do a blow-by-blow of the talking points. (Glenn Greenwald provides an excellent media critique in "Four Viral Claims Spread by Journalists on Twitter in the Last Week Alone That Are False "; all four have to do with this controversy[3].) I think the following three quotes are key, the first two being oft-repeated talking points by Clinton loyalists:

First, from the current DNC chair, Tom Perez :

"The joint fundraising agreements were the same for each campaign except for the treasurer, and our understanding was that the DNC offered all of the presidential campaigns the opportunity to set up a JFA and work with the DNC to coordinate on how those funds were used to best prepare for the general election."

Question: Were the agreements "the same" for each campaign? (Perez focuses only on the JFA, but that omits a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DNC and the Clinton campaign, as we shall see below.)

Second, from 2005-9 DNC chair Howard Dean:

Question: Did the agreement apply only to the general election, and not the primary? (Dean says "this memo," but he also omits the distinction between the MOU and the JFA.)

Third, from Elizabeth Warren. CNN :

"We learned today from the former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile that the Clinton campaign, in her view, did rig the presidential nominating process by entering into an agreement to control day-to-day operations at the DNC," Tapper said, continuing on to describe specific arms of the DNC the Clinton camp had a say over, including strategy and staffing, noting that the agreement was "entered into in August of 2015," months before Clinton won the nomination .

Tapper then asked, "Do you agree with the notion that it was rigged?" And Warren responded simply: "Yes."

Question: Can we say that the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged? (Tapper uses the word "rigged," and Warren adopts it, but a careful reading of Brazile's article shows that although she uses the word, she does not actually make the claim.[4])

In this post, I'm going to answer each of these three questions by looking at the documents, plural, in question (Spoiler: My answers are "No," "No," and "Yes," respectively.) Here is a timeline of the documents:

In summary, the Clinton JFA set up the Hillary Victory Fund scam , the MOU gave Clinton control of (much of) the DNC apparatus, and ( according to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver ) the Sanders JFA bought their campaign access to the DNC voter list, and was never used for fundraising because the DNC never asked the campaign to do any. So to answer the our first question, we'll look at the JFA. To answer the second, we'll look at the MOU. And to answer the third, we'll see how all the evidence balances out.

Were the Agreements "the Same" for Each Campaign?

Perez is wrong. The agreements were not at all the same, either formally or substantively.

Formally, the agreements were not the same because the Clinton JFA had an MOU (the "side deal") and the Sanders JFA did not. ABC :

[T]he Clinton campaign Friday afternoon confirmed the existence of a memo between the DNC and their campaign, which specifically outlines an expanded scope and interpretation of their funding agreement . [R]epresentatives from Sanders' former campaign say they only signed a basic, formulaic fundraising agreement that did not include any additional language about joint messaging or staffing decision-making [as does the MOU].

Substantively, the agreements weren't the same either. The substance of the JFA was a scheme enable the Hillary Victory Fund to collect "big checks" (as Politico puts it), supposedly behalf of the state parties, but in reality treating them as conduits to the coffers of the Clinton campaign. Page 3:

From time to time and in compliance with FECA, after expenses have been deducted from the gross proceeds, the Victory Fund will transfer the net proceeds to the Committees according to the Allocation Formula, as modified by any reallocation required.

"[T]he Committees" being the state party political committees, into whose accounts the contributions were deposited, only to be immediately removed and transferred to the Clinton campaign (at least for the states that signed entered into the agreement; a few did not).

However, the Sanders campaign wasn't in the business of collecting "big checks," being small-donor driven. Hence the substance of the agreement could not have been the same. ABC once more :

Former Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told ABC News Friday night that the campaign entered the agreement with the party in November 2015 to facilitate the campaign's access to the party's voter rolls. Weaver claims the DNC offered to credit any fundraising the senator did for the party against the costs of access to the party's data costs, priced at $250,000. But, Weaver continued, the party did not follow up about fundraising appearances for the independent senator.

Instead, the Sanders campaign raised the $250,000 from small donors. WaPo :

Weaver said the Sanders campaign decided early on to ignore the joint fundraising program and raise small dollars on its own to pay for access to the voter file. "Who are the wealthy people Bernie was going to bring to a fundraiser?" Weaver asked. "We had to buy the voter file right before the primaries."

A second difference in substance: Let's remember that for Clinton, the JFA enabled her campaign to circumvent contribution limits for large donors (Brazile: "Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400"). The Sanders campaign , by contrast, had no issue with maxed out donors: "During fall '15, 99.8% of Bernie donors could give again" (because it's awful hard to max out $27 at a time).

Suppose you were comparing two mortgages on different houses: One mortgage has a side deal attached, the other does not. One is for a lavish facility and demands a complex financing arrangement involving a third party. The other is for a fixer-upper and a lump sum is paid in cash. Would you say those two mortgages are "the same," or not? Even if they both had the word "Mortage" at the top of page one?

Did the Agreement Apply Only to the General Election, and not the Primary?

We now turn our attention to the MOU. Howard Dean, sadly , is wrong. The MOU contains two key passages; the first describes the relationship between Hillary for America (HFA; the Clinton campaign) and the DNC (Brazile: "fully under the control of Hillary's campaign"), and the second is language on the general election. Let's take each in turn. On control, pages 1 and 2:

With respect to the hiring of a DNC Communications Director , the DNC agrees that no later than September 11, 2015 it will hire one of two candidates previously identified as acceptable to HFA.

2. With respect to the hiring of future DNC senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments , in the case of vacancy, the DNC will maintain the authority to make the final decision as between candidates acceptable to HFA. 3. Agreement by the DNC that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research. The DNC will provide HFA advance opportunity to review on-line or mass email, communications that features a particular Democratic primary candidate . This does not include any communications related to primary debates – which will be exclusively controlled by the DNC. The DNC will alert HFA in advance of mailing any direct mail communications that features a particular Democratic primary candidate or his or her signature .

That's pretty amazing, isn't it? Personnel is policy, as they say, and the Clinton campaign has made sure that the DNC's Communications Director and new hires in the senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments will be acceptable to it. The Clinton campaign will also review all mass email and communcations (which explains why Brazile, as interim DNC chair, couldn't send out a press release without checking with Brooklyn. Since the notorious debate schedule was already controlled by Wasserman Schultz, there was no point messing about with it, I assume.) There is one place in this passage where the general election is mentioned, so let's look at it:

Agreement by the DNC that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election[-]related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research.

At the most generous reading, the Clinton campaign has "joint authority" with the DNC over "strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures." At the narrowest reading, given that the "general-election[-]related qualifier applies only to "communications," the joint authority applies to "strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and data, technology, analytics, and research." And given that the Clinton campaign is writing the checks that keep the DNC afloat, who do you think will have the whip hand in that "joint authority" relationship?

Now to the clause that supposedly says the agreement (JFA + MOU) applies only to the general election. Here it is, from page 3:

Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate the DNC's obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process. All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary. Further we understand you may enter into similar agreements with other candidates

(Pause for hollow laughter, given Wasserman Schultz's defenestration, Brazile passing debate questions to the Clinton campaign, etc.). First, even though Hoho seems to think it's exculpatory, the clause is an obvious fig leaf. Glenn Greenwald explains :

DNC and Clinton allies pointed to the fact that the agreement contained self-justifying lawyer language claiming that it is "focused exclusively on preparations for the General," but as Fischer noted that passage "is contradicted by the rest of the agreement." This would be like creating a contract to explicitly bribe an elected official ("A will pay Politician B to vote YES on Bill X"), then adding a throwaway paragraph with a legalistic disclaimer that "nothing in this agreement is intended to constitute a bribe," and then have journalists cite that paragraph to proclaim that no bribe happened even though the agreement on its face explicitly says the opposite.

Second, the DNC itself does not believe that it has any "obligation of impartiality and neutrality" whatever. From Wilding et al. v. DNC Services Corporation, D/B/A Democratic National Committee and Deborah "Debbie" Wasserman Schultz (as cited in Naked Capitalism here ), the DNC's lawyer, Mr. Spiva:

MR. SPIVA: [W}here you have a party that's saying, We're gonna, you know, choose our standard bearer, and we're gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are voluntarily deciding, we could have -- and we could have voluntarily decided that, Look, we're gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way . That's not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right, and it would drag the Court well into party politics, internal party politics to answer those questions.

Third, look at the institutional realities from point one on control. The Clinton campaign had control over the Communications Director slot and major strategic decisions from the moment the agreement was signed. Are we really to believe that they were behaving as neutral parties? (One obvious way to have shown that would have been to release the MOU either when it was signed.)

Can We Say that the 2016 Democratic Primary Was Rigged?

Brazile herself says no . She says, of "rigging":

I found no evidence, none whatsoever. 'The only thing I found, which I said, I've found the cancer but I'm not killing the patient,' was this memorandum that prevented the DNC from running its own operation," Brazile added

I think Brazile is either overly charitable, or overly legalistic (perhaps confusing "rigged" with "fixed," where only in the latter case is the outcome absolutely determined). I also think she's wrong. The dictionary definition of rigged is:

to manipulate fraudulently

There's ample evidence of rigging in both the JFA and the MOU. The JFA enabled the Hillary Victory Fund, which was a fraudulent scheme to allow big donors to contribute to the Clinton campaign by using the states as passthroughs. And the MOU enabled to Clinton campaign to fraudulently manipulate the public and the press into the belief that the DNC was an independent entity, when in fact it was a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of the Clinton campaign.

Conclusion

I know we're not supposed to "relitigate" the 2016 campaign ; we're supposed to look forward and not back. However, the demand not to "relitigate" assumes that the case is closed; as Brazile shows, we're hardly through with the depositions, let alone prepared to render judgment. So, when you hear "relitigate," think "silencing tactic," and ask yourself who and what silence serves. And perhaps this post will provide a basis for further discussion. 119 comments

Moocao , November 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Another reason why it will be a long time until I can vote Democrat again. The betrayal of trust is enormous.

David, by the lake , November 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Likewise, confirms my decision to wash my hands of the party. If, by some miracle, a candidate acceptable to my priorities is nominated, I will still vote for him/her, but the party isn't getting any default support or any $.

Elizabeth Burton , November 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm

People need to stop conflating the DNC with the Democratic Party. I realized I was doing so and stopped.

The DNC is an organization for raising money to support Democratic Party candidates for US President; its subsidiaries are, of course, the DCCC and the DSCC. The only reason they have power to dictate to the actual party is because they hold the purse strings. That Bernie and others have run successful campaigns, to one degree or another, without their "help" is one of the reasons they're fighting so hard to maintain the status quo. If they're shown to be redundant, the power of those who currently run it evaporates.

Saying "I'll never vote Democrat again" is, as my sainted mother used to say, cutting off your nose to spite your face. Right now, if we're going to at least slow down the rocketing juggernaut that is GOP/plutocratic ownership of our governments, we need to elect progressive candidates. There's no time to create a third party that can compete, so we need to vote for the candidates who are advancing a non-neoliberal/neocon agenda whatever party they run under. It's mostly Democrats, at the moment, but a social media acquaintance spoke of a clearly progressive candidate running for a local office as a Republican because that's how she's registered.

One of the ways the GOP was so successful in conning the working people and small business owners and others into buying their hogwash was by demonizing "the Democrats." Now, their message that "Democrats" are nothing but crazy-headed hippies who want to take their money and give it to other people is so deeply ingrained it's a hard row to how convincing them just how big a lie it is. Indeed, I suspect I shocked a raging right-winger the other day when I told him we agreed about Obama and Clinton, because his Fox-muddled mind firmly believes a Democrat thinks Obama rules the heavens.

If we don't "vote Democrat" in the upcoming primaries, then the establishment local and state parties are going to throw more New Democrats against the GOP and lose. That can't happen.

Vatch , November 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Yes, thank you! People need to vote for the progressive candidates in the Democratic primaries. If they don't, then the establishment candidates will easily win, and the national government will continue to be dominated by both Republican and Democratic lap dogs of the billionaires. And if there are a few progressive Republicans out there, sure, vote for them, too.

I often wonder whether some of the people who admonish us to stop voting for Democrats are really employed by one of the many Koch brothers organizations. Not all of them, of course, and I'm not making an accusation against anyone who is commenting here. But if people don't vote for progressive Democrats, the billionaires and the corporate advocates of financialization will win.

nippersmom , November 6, 2017 at 5:09 pm

You're presupposing the presence of "progressive democrats". In many races, they don't exist.

animalogic , November 6, 2017 at 10:53 pm

Of course, appearances can be deceptive: Obama ran as a progressive candidate . As a quick ready-reckoner -- the more a candidate bloviates on Identity issues, the less likely they are (should they be elected) to be "progressive" on issues of substance: the economy, tax, war/imperialism

ArcadiaMommy , November 6, 2017 at 11:51 pm

Right! Where are these progressive democrats? I would love to support one other than Bernie Sanders (yes I know he is not perfect and he is too old). But they don't seem to exist at the national level. There seem to be mayoral and other municipal candidates on the right track – just have no idea how to move those ideas onto the state or national level. Maybe I am just cranky and pessimistic right now.

BoycottAmazon , November 7, 2017 at 6:16 am

Here, here!

TYT did several interviews of "Justice Democrats", newbies running on a progressive platform. Some of the interviews you could see Cenk Uynger almost cringing, and the usually voluble Jimmy Dore very quiet as the candidates lacked public speaking skills, and demonstrating a probable lack of political smarts necessary to maneuver any bureaucracy.

Without trial by fire at lower levels, learning how to run a government and get results, then there is no way to judge the candidates.

Unless candidates like Roza Calderon a faster learn that is apparent at this point, they the Justice Democrats can only win when "anyone but him/her" applies ,

witters , November 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Progressive Democrats. Square Circle. 2+2=5. "We Can Make it Happen!" All we need? "The Audacity of Hope".

witters , November 7, 2017 at 12:10 am

So it was our apathy that did it. It was our moral failure. "Really," says Algernon, in The Importance of Being Earnest, "if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility."

bronco , November 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

no your democratic party is also a party of plutocrats . That's why it needs to be burned to the ground.

annenigma , November 6, 2017 at 4:52 pm

There's an important difference between being and voting Democrat. Actually, we already have a defacto 3rd party, Independents/Unaffiliated, a larger block of voters than either Republicans or Democrats.

With even greater numbers of Independents/Unaffiliated, we could be a force to be reckoned with. Actually, we should recognize and own our power right now because we could decimate the ranks of the Duopoly and make room for an actual third party. We can still vote for Democrats of course, but they'll realize that they can't continue to take our votes for granted.

There's actually no good reason to remain a registered Democrat. You can still vote for Democrats as an Independent/Unaffiliated voter. It's only for some presidential primaries and caucuses that party registration is a limitation. If you live in one of those states, you can temporarily register as a Democrat to vote, then revert to independent/unaffiliated afterwards. Other than that, all other elections are open without regard to affiliation.

The Democrats and Republicans are two wings of the same bird of prey, and we're the prey only because we haven't yet learned to fly to escape their talons. If we start owning our power as free agents/Independent voters, that can change. While deep pocketed donors may have the power to make the wheels turn for the Duopoly, those wheels can't go anywhere without our votes. Since we don't have the power of money, we can at least exercise our political power to stay out of their talons.

Independence is the way to fly. It's not just leverage, it's also the only way to clear more space and demand for official third parties. Since the Duopoly refuses to change their ways and repair the rigged system they created to keep only themselves in power, we can and should abandon them in droves.

Let's spread our wings and fly.

mrsyk , November 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm

In order to vote in the New York State Democrat party primary you must be a registered Democrat. In NY the primary is where most seats are won and lost. Being registered as a Democrat is a necessary evil in some cases.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 7, 2017 at 3:53 am

It has never been clear to me why a hostile takeover of the Democrats, followed by a management purge and seizure of its assets, should be framed as "saving" the Democrat Party. I think that's what a lot of Sanders people would like to do. It's also not clear to me why people think the Democrats can simply be by-passed , and don't need to be assaulted, and if from the inside, all the better.

As readers know, my experience with the Greens was poor (as it has been with others I have talked to). This is especially sad since the GP in Maine had seemed to be viable. So, my fear of the Greens is not fear of the un known, but fear of the known ; I worked at dysfunctional non-profits before, and I don't need to do it again. Others, especially CP activists, may differ in their experience, but that's mine. (Note that I was reinforced in my priors by Stein's lawyer adopting the "Russian hacking" meme in Stein's post-election lawsuits.)

Vatch , November 7, 2017 at 10:04 am

if Bernie's primary campaign and support had been transferred to the Green Party, he would have been a very serious contender,

I agree. But Sanders couldn't join the Green ticket, because he made a promise to support the Democratic candidate, and unlike some politicians, he tries to keep his promises. So what did the Greens do? Instead of actively trying to gain the support of Sanders primary voters, they nominated ideological purist Ajamu Baraka as their Vice Presidential candidate, and he would not back down from unrealistic insulting criticism of Sanders. In effect, the Greens chose to fail.

todde , November 7, 2017 at 10:20 am

I am not interested in keeping the two party system. Either the country breaks apart, or we will have regional parties that can compete with the Democrats and the Republicans.

Audacity of Hope , November 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm

How many clowns can dance on the head of a pin? Debating whether it feels better to have a donkey or an elephant standing on your neck is a fools errand. Neither the Democrat or Republican party is democratic or representative of any more than a handful of families from the Billionaires Club. While they may favor different individuals in the ruling class, neither faux-party has the slightest interest in the rabble who don't line their pockets and provide protection against electoral defeat.

Elections are a stage managed charade in our kleptocracy. Expecting them to change anything that matters, or alter the course of the Warfare State is pure delusion. First we must have Collapse, then Chaos before we can have Change that we can believe in.

animalogic , November 6, 2017 at 11:07 pm

"First we must have Collapse, then Chaos before we can have Change that we can believe in." You are right -- although hopefully mere "crisis" will be sufficient for radical change rather than complete collapse & chaos . Collapse & chaos may void any chance of organised positive change. Having said that the signs are not good: see https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/06/the-ecosystem-is-breaking-down/ for the less than cheery news on ecosystem breakdown. Both parties must be revealed unambiguously to the whole public as the completely morally bankrupt, treasonous & vicious entities that socialists & progressives have known them to be for decades.

zapster , November 6, 2017 at 9:03 pm

The big problem with the Democrats is that they just kicked all the Progressives out and actively oppose them. Voting for blue dogs doesn't get us anywhere.

Vatch , November 6, 2017 at 9:36 pm

Yes, that's a genuine problem. Here are some possible solutions:

https://www.ourrevolution.com/candidates/

https://now.justicedemocrats.com/candidates

http://brandnewcongress.org/candidates/

Vatch , November 7, 2017 at 10:07 am

You are correct about Carter. Zbigniew Brzezinski was a creature of the Rockefellers, and he was Carter's Special Assistant for National Security. Prior to becoming President, Carter was a member of the Trilateral Commission.

sharonsj , November 6, 2017 at 2:27 pm

The rigging was obvious from the start. When nearly all the super delegates declared for Clinton before a single primary was held, I read numerous reports that said the reason was quid pro quo. The super delegates were to be given campaign money in exchange for their support. The agreement proves it.

That, and what the DNC did to Bernie supporters during the convention, made me swear I'd never give them a penny. I have only donated to specific candidates directly. Meanwhile, the Dem establishment stubbornly remains clueless as to why it cannot regain the House and Senate.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 6, 2017 at 4:38 pm

I have seen portions of the agreement (not sure if JFA or MOU) characterized as a "slush fund" for consultants. Naturally, of course, but one might also wonder if that slush fund was used to purchase any superdelegate votes. Pure speculation I didn't have time to run down, so I left it on the cutting room floor.

SpringTexan , November 6, 2017 at 11:06 pm

G, a lot happened to Sanders supporters at the convention, too much to recap but you can probably find stories about it. Many walked out but their seats were filled by paid seat-fillers so the hall didn't look empty, also from what I understand paid seat-fillers sometimes didn't let them take their seats. Signs were blocked, white noise was used to muffle boos, etc.

Before the convention, many of the primaries had a lot of funny business (not all, I know of no problems here in Texas). But California, Arizona, New York, Puerto Rico, Nevada and others all had SERIOUS problems with things such as efforts to prevent Sanders supporters from voting, questionable vote counting (such as at Nevada caucuses), efforts to make voting difficult by having few poll places, etc., etc.

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:32 am

..actually, while all you intone is accurate, we did clearly hear the boos from Senator Sanders supporters of which I was one.

Vatch , November 7, 2017 at 10:12 am

I think there were irregularities in Illinois, too. I recall that 6 counties did not have enough Democratic ballots, and the Democratic Attorney General, a Clinton supporter, sued to prevent voters in those counties from voting after election day. In Massachusetts, Bill Clinton illegally electioneered near or in a polling place. But the authorities let him get away with it.

Steve from CT , November 6, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Great article Lambert. TheGreenwald article was helpful but yours is the icing on the cake. Hopefully many will read this so that they do not get confused with all of the Clintonista response to Brazile. Howard Dean must be suffering from early Alzheimer's to write such a lie. But he has done it before.

Fiery Hunt , November 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm

It's hard for me to believe anyone can, with a straight face, suggest the 2 agreements are equal.How can you have more than one agreement giving "the authority to make the final decision " ??!! Final means last, no? #corruptlosers

ChrisAtRU , November 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm

From no less than Joy Ann Reid w.r.t. "DNC Collusion":

"YOU CAN'T TRICK PEOPLE INTO VOTING FOR WHO THEY VOTED FOR"

I wonder if this type of logic can and should be applied to #Russian Collusion/Interference ;-)

#ProbablyNotCoolByMSNBC

hemeantwell , November 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm

I know we're not supposed to "relitigate" the 2016 campaign; we're supposed to look forward and not back. However, the demand not to "relitigate" assumes that the case is closed; as Brazile shows, we're hardly through with the depositions, let alone prepared to render judgment. So, when you hear "relitigate," think "silencing tactic," and ask yourself who and what silence serves.

Well said. Regular contact with the centrist MSM recently is like being subjected to hypnotism routines from 50s movies. "You are thinking forward, forward, forward. When I snap my fingers you will feel fresh, eager to believe in the promises of the party of Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama."

Elizabeth Burton , November 6, 2017 at 5:50 pm

A case could be made that the party of FDR is not the same one as the party of Barack Obama. :-)

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:43 am

and yet FDR stood by while his own "Senator Sanders" – Henry Wallace was sidetracked from his vice-presidency and legacy as FDR's successor (to the chagrin of Eleanor, among many) by corporate dems James Byrnes, stooge for big oil and U.S. steel, who replaced Wallace with Truman at 1944 dem convention

However, there certainly is no comparison, as you note, between obama's complete lack of "transparency, oversight, accountability" regarding bush-cheney war crimes, Wall Street frauds, destabilization of entire Middle-East, leading to republican trump administration, and FDR

Most authors-historicans I have encountered believe FDR had no real idea how ill he was

jsba , November 6, 2017 at 3:04 pm

A while ago, I read a story about the DNC's misuse of unpaid interns. The story itself was barfy enough, but what really shocked me was an aside asserting that even official elected DNC members were barred from viewing the DNC's budget. ( http://paydayreport.com/unpaidinternsatdnc/ )

"Surely that can't be true," I said to myself. But it is! I looked up the DNC's charter and bylaws and the standing budget committee is specifically exempted from article 9 section 12, which says that all official meetings of the DNC and its committees must be open to the public and cannot involve voting by secret ballot. http://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.democrats.org/Downloads/DNC_Charter__Bylaws_9.17.15.pdf

"WTF kind of an organization is this?!" I thought. How on earth is that even legal?

Well, after the Brazile disclosure of the Clinton MOU, I went back to look at the DNC charter/bylaws. You'll note on the first page the date the current version was adopted–2 days after the MOU was signed!

Anyone wanna take a bet that the budget committee carveout was one of things that was changed?

Anonymous , November 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

jsba, suggest you use the Wayback machine or another internet archive and look at prior historical copies of DNC charter/bylaws, to identify the changes. Could be very illuminating as to (possible) criminal intent?

jsba , November 6, 2017 at 5:46 pm

I did find a 2009 dated version ( https://www.demrulz.org/wp-content/files/DNC_Charter__Bylaws_9.11.2009.pdf ).

I was wrong about the budget committee carveout–it's in this version as well (still completely insane!).

The fact that it was amended 2 days after the MOU is, obviously, still extremely suspicious. I don't have time to, but the 2009 version would be useful to identify possible changes.

Di Modica's Dumb Steer , November 6, 2017 at 3:09 pm

As much as I'd like to switch parties (hah) so as to add to the greater numbers of fleeing formerly party faithful, I'm in one of those 'closed primary' states. My vote is already nearly worthless (though I exercise my right every chance I get); to switch to a third party would make sure I'm both excluded from the more interesting local party contests AND drowned out in national contests. Lose/lose. Maybe if something like Maine's (currently under attack) Ranked Choice Voting existed all over, I'd be less sour about the whole thing.

Donald , November 6, 2017 at 9:04 pm

Yeah, you need people like Lambert willing to do the work. It is exhausting keeping up with the truths, half truths and lies promulgated in the press and trying to figure out what is true and what isn't.

EricT , November 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm

I find it interesting that the agreement involved control of the IT/data infrastructure of the DNC. Doesn't the DNC administer the democratic party registry? And with that observation, wasn't there a lot of illegal party switching that caused a problem for some Democrats voting in party restricted primaries that had their registration switched, so that they couldn't take part in the primaries. Wouldn't it be interesting if the switched parties were on the DNC record as donating to Bernie's campaign? Fixed, indeed.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 7, 2017 at 1:13 am

I'm not sure I understand your scenario, but the DNC "voter file" and the state's list of registered voters are two different things.

JCC , November 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm

It just goes to show you

Skip in DC , November 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Manipulations of the deplorable superdelegate system, with its covert quid pro quo payoffs after the Clintons take power, was part of a seamless fix. Premature coronation by media and party wigs after primary victories in red states no Democrat would win in the general election helped ice it.

Perhaps revelations will turn up on mainstream media, from the Sabbath Gasbags to NPR, knifing Bernie with Hillary talking points at every opportunity, when he wasn't being ignored. Thomas Frank wrote persuasively on WaPo's bias in Swat Team in Harper's, and there have been tidbits on off-record Clinton media cocktail parties and such. But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved. Certainly Jeff Bezos has a Washington wish list. I marveled at how many journalists suddenly sounded like breathless valley girl propagandists. And still do. What faster way to tank journalism's credibility than that perception?

I guess that's why after catching headlines more of my reading time shifts to alternative offerings such as those presented here.

Mark P. , November 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm

But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved.

I worked as a journalist in America for over a decade. I cannot stress enough how unnecessary such a literal fix would be. (Though doubtless words were and are exchanged between concerned parties when needed.)

The hive-mind position of most U.S. journalists -- and especially of editors, who tend to be the most compliant with the power-structure and often the stupidest people in the room -- was (and is) an automatical default to unquestioning support -- even worship -- of the Democratic Party, its elite, and Clintonite neoliberalism.

I once wrote a long feature that got a crush-letter from Joe Lieberman's office. The editors at the magazine in question were ecstatic and printed that letter as its own separate feature in the next issue. Personally, I thought Leiberman was scum, but kept my qualms to myself and was glad I used a byline.

Samuel Conner , November 6, 2017 at 3:28 pm

It seems to me that the HRC campaign's JFA was expressly designed to -- and succeeded in its design -- circumvent the statutory $2700 limit on direct campaign contributions. Yet I have not seen commentary that suggests any laws were violated. What am I missing?

AnnieB , November 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm

To me, it seemed that the Democratic Party had already decided for clinton before the primaries, as at my local caucus the party had planted each neighborhood group with a party faithful, not from the neighborhood, who would argue for clinton and fear monger about Trump. I know this because I talked to the plant in my group, asked her where she lived, and discovered it was not in my neighborhood; it was a different town. Others reported the same.

Also, a Dem party leader came up to me and said "Sanders is not going to be the nominee" and "When this is over (meaning the primary), then you'll be supporting Hillary, right?" I told her to never assume anything.

So, thanks to Brazile, no matter her motivation, for providing proof of what we already knew.

Richard , November 6, 2017 at 9:33 pm

I think you don't see that skill set very much in party leaders because they so rarely need for the party to win elections. They do need to be able to maintain control over their parties, so they're great at being cutthroat and cheating. But apart from certain important individual elections, the success of the party as a whole isn't a big priority for them. There are spoils to divide either way.

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:49 am

fyi, Lambert, the two political parties, while both far too corrupt, are different-your own false-equivalencies aside

Sam Adams , November 6, 2017 at 5:37 pm

I worked on the Sanders primary campaign in my city. I watched as the state/regional leadership consistently tanked the gotv and other Sanders ground outreach while a few local leaders working in smaller areas worked their hearts out on the ground. Surprisingly (or not) the state/ regional leadership bailed to work on the HRC campaign within hours of closing the primary office.

Nancy Sutton , November 6, 2017 at 3:31 pm

I swear, in one of her interviews on the past weekend, Brazile made a quick, underbreath, reference to 'poor Seth Rich' in recounting the death threats aimed at her. Glad someone has not forgotten that connection.

jalrin , November 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm

It has been a while since I handled a criminal defense case, but I am not sure that the agreement is not in fact, criminal. When the Sanders for President campaign signed an agreement and paid money in consideration of getting access to the voter file and when the state parties agreed to merge their fundraising efforts with the DNC and HFA, the commercial fraud laws applied to that relationship. Since the fundraising was done using interstate phone calls, letters, and emails and the voter file access was provided by electronic transmissions from servers in DC to end users in Burlington, Vermont that includes 18 USC 1341, 1343 and 1346 (mail, wire and honest services fraud). These laws do not just ban outright lying, but also the concealment of material facts that one has a duty to disclose.

Considering the importance of voter file access, it is impossible to imagine that your chief competitor having joint authority over hiring the people who handle all your customer service and monitor your compliance with voter file contract is not a material fact. If, under DC contract law or FTC commerical regulations, these kinds of conflicts of interest are mandatorily disclosable (I do not practice in DC but I doubt DC applies caveat emptor to that degree), then 18 USC 1343 was broken and Jeff Sessions could indict everyone involved.

It is even worse for the state parties agreement. The DNC arguably has a duty of loyalty to its state affiliates which makes agreeing to encourage them all to sign up even though it is concealing its knowledge that the money will be allocated in a way that will be bad for at least some of them seem utterly inconsistent with the honest services provisions of 1346. All in all, it is probably a good thing for the DNC that the Sessions aides I went to law school with paid less attention in criminal law that I did.

Jeff W , November 6, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Thanks!

It seemed to me that the nondisclosure of material facts and of conflicts of interest might, arguably, constitute some type of criminal activity and that Donna Brazile's characterization of the agreement as "not a criminal act" was, perhaps, a bit too facile but I did not know the specific statutes or claims that might be involved. I really appreciate your detailed observations here.

a different chris , November 6, 2017 at 9:41 pm

>that the Sessions aides I went to law school with paid less attention in criminal law

Did they? Does it really make sense to destroy the Democratic Party and open up space for something new and dangerous? I would just make popcorn.

PS: thanks for the excellent post, btw.

Oregoncharles , November 7, 2017 at 2:13 am

"Not a dime's worth of difference."
When it comes to politics, it isn't Russians we need to worry about, it's Americans. That's where the collusion is – between the parties.

It was the Republicans' turn, period. Jeff Sessions doubtless knows that.

dk , November 6, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Rigged, fixed, defrauded I like "compromised".

Just want to point out that the state-party=>DNC pass-through is not at all new. Has been active in some form and proportion in every presidential campaign since 1992 (mainly, or at least nominally due to changes in FEC regulation), but really ramped up in and after 2008.

Pushback by states has decreased over time, as state party executive directors are now almost always (even in off-cycle years) routed in from DC, instead of staffing from the local pool of operatives.

One of the important impacts is on state legislatures. Gutted of necessary funding, and discouraged (and sometimes contractually inhibited) from soliciting further funds on the national level, state parties have little left in their coffers to support their legislative candidates and committees (and forget about the bottom of the ticket).

So this kind of money hoovering is a significant factor in the national net loss of Dem seats in state houses in non-"battleground" states.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm

> the state-party=>DNC pass-through is not at all new

I believe the amounts are new. Campaign Legal Center :

During oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC three years ago, Justice Samuel Alito dismissed the Campaign Legal Center's analysis showing how, absent limits on the total amount that donors could give to multiple political committees, candidates could use joint fundraising schemes to raise huge, potentially corrupting contributions.

These scenarios, Justice Alito claimed, are "wild hypotheticals that are not obviously plausible." Hillary Clinton, though, is proving that the Campaign Legal Center was right all along.

I'm not at all a campaign finance expert. Perhaps readers will weigh in?

dk , November 6, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Yes, the amounts are new. Just saying this was the direction things were going for a while already. Good will between DNC and state parties already at a low ebb, DWS a big part of that.

Kris Alman , November 6, 2017 at 7:58 pm

As we know, the Citizens United Supreme Court decision allows corporations, individuals and labor unions to make unlimited contributions to independent organizations that use the money to support or defeat a candidate. Rules prohibit coordination between a candidate committee and an individual or organization making "independent expenditures."

Clearly this was not the arrangement between the HVF, State Democratic Central Committees participating in the PAC and the DNC. Hillary was pulling the strings at the DNC. But I'm just now appreciating that the Hillary Victory Fund is not a Super PAC.

https://www.fec.gov/updates/joint-fundraising-2/

Joint fundraising is fundraising conducted jointly by a political committee and one or more other political committees or unregistered organizations. Joint fundraising rules apply to:

Party committees;
Party organizations not registered as political committees;
Federal and/or nonfederal candidate committees;
Nonparty, unauthorized political committees (nonconnected PACs); and
Unregistered nonparty organizations. 11 CFR 102.17(a)(1)(i) and (2).

The HVF was the first joint fundraising committee between a presidential candidate and the Democratic party since the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision McCutcheon v FEC. A horrible precedent at that!

McCutcheon declared a total limit on how much an individual can give federal candidates and parties in a two-year cycle unconstitutional. Chief Justice Roberts opined, "The existing aggregate limits may in fact encourage the movement of money away from entities subject to disclosure."

Right!

The HVF demonstrates how rechanneling dark money from super PACs toward candidates and parties doesn't stop unethical and undemocratic processes.

That the HVF was needed to balance the Obama debt is one thing. That the HVF can pass through money from State committees to the DNC and then coordinate activities there while passing off as a joint fundraising committee is another thing.

The rechanneling of hundreds of millions of dollars donated by rich D elites to bypass individual contribution limits was a brilliant financial engineering feat–one that the Rs will surely emulate.

Before conducting a joint fundraiser, all participants must enter into a written agreement that identifies the JFR and states the allocation formula -- the amount or percentage that the participants agree to use for allocating proceeds and expenses. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(1).

What was the allocation formula of the joint fundraising committee?

As the HVF fairy tale plays out, Clinton is the witch who lures Hansel and Gretel to the forest with a castle of confections, with the intention to eat them.

Are Democrats capable of outsmarting the witches that want to cannibalize the party?

Down2Long , November 6, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Thanks Lambert for this. As usual, you have seen around corners and cleared the mud from the water. Thank God you like crawling through this sh*t, so that I at least don't have to.

Our local radio host Warren Olney, on KCRW who started his show "To The Point" (which is syndicated nationally on Public Radio International) during the 2000 Bush v Gore Supreme Court crowning of Bush fiasco is doing a week long retrospective of the disintegration of Americans' faith in "our" institutions (ha!) before he goes to a once a week podcast.

I have listened to him for 17 years and I don't know how he could stomach covering U.S. society, politics, and culture during those years of non-ending sh*t show. He was fair to all guests including some right wing loonies, but you never got the feeling he was going for "balance." He always seemed to get the truth. Gonna sorely miss him.

So glad you are still on the case, and loving it. You have my gratitude, and soon, a contribution.

Edward , November 6, 2017 at 4:33 pm

How much of the $250,000 the Sanders campaign paid for the DNC voter list went to the Clinton campaign? I am still wondering if this kind of thing has occurred in other elections?

Deadl E Cheese , November 6, 2017 at 5:08 pm

As far as relitigating the primary goes, we should've had that fight back, if not in 2000, then definitely in 2004. After Team Clinton, people who justified their sellouts and perfidy with 'we must never have another McGovern or Carter', gave the GOP a gift of a unified government that should have been the permanent end of their credibility. Because while McGovern, Carter, and Mondale went down in flames they didn't so thoroughly destroy the anti-reactionary institutions as badly as the Third Way did.

The endless 2016 primary is our punishment for giving these centrist vipers a second chance.

Hana M , November 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm

I appreciate Lambert going through these documents and laying out the timeline. One of the things that this read sparked for me was the realization the Joe Biden was elbowed out just as much as Bernie Sanders. I didn't follow the Biden decision-making process at the time but checking back on the timeline it seems like Clinton pre-empted any attempt by dear old Joe to actually decide to run. Correct me if I'm wrong (as I may well be. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden#2016_presidential_race

Jen , November 7, 2017 at 4:51 am

It doesn't take much elbowing to oust someone who was polling in single digits in his home state. I donated to O'Malley's campaign before Bernie got in, and, regrettably, am still on his mailing list.

Altandmain , November 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm

The bottom line is that the political system is owned by the ruling oligarchy and that the Democratic Establishment is in bed with them. If a serious candidate from the left poses a challenge, they will rig the Primary against that candidate.

The Democratic Establishment is pretty much paid to lose and to make the consultant class rich. Equally as importantly, they exist to co-opt the left.

Sure there are a few voices talking that make sense like Tulsi Gabbard. They are the exception to a very corrupt party.

A big part of why the middle class has declined is because of the total betrayal of the Democratic Party from the ideas behind the New Deal.

The Rev Kev , November 6, 2017 at 5:48 pm

The DNC got into the position of selling themselves to the Clintons as they were $20 million in debt, right? I have read that the major reason for these debts was that the DNC had not shrunk itself since the last campaign and was paying out a ton of money for consultants doing Christ knows what. In fact, Obama also used the DNC to support a stack of his consultants as well as grifters gotta grift, right?

My question is whether this was a deliberate ploy on Obama and the Clinton factions to put the DNC into such a vulnerable position before 2016 came along that when the time came, they had to take up an offer that they could not refuse. I have not heard if Obama has made any comments on this fiasco that took place on his watch and it seems nobody wants to call him out on it. In the Brazile case, it is not a matter of following the money but following the lack of money.

Summer , November 6, 2017 at 6:23 pm

https://www.alternet.org/human-rights/demo-catastrophe-it-was-worse-we-thought-and-bigger-bernie-vs-hillary/
By Andrew O'Hehir / Salon

O'Hehir flails around until he nails it:

"Both sides in the Democratic Party's current faction fight, as I see it, are in denial about the true nature and scope of the problem "Both responses are essentially utopian: They rest on the premise that the Democratic Party is still a functioning political organization and that the United States is still a functioning democracy."

VietnamVet , November 6, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Thanks. This was plain and simple money laundering to get around the Federal Election Commission rules and regulations. That no one has been brought to justice shows how corrupt the American political process is. It would great if you could post how you would reform it. I would start with paper ballots counted in public and halt corporations from buying elections.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 7, 2017 at 4:03 am

> This was plain and simple money laundering

If I understand the law correctly, this really wasn't money laundering, since laundered money becomes dirty by virtue of its being the result of a crime (like drug dealers depositing cash at HSBC (IIRC)). Handling money in a complex and obfuscated way is not, in itself, money laundering. I'm not sure what the word is, though.

John k , November 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Violating campaign laws is a crime. Circumventing can often be shown to be violating. Need a prosecutor willing to prosecute white collar crime, a rare breed for at least the last decade. But trump has been attacked by Clintons, and he has DOJ but nothing is happening.

makedoanmend , November 7, 2017 at 5:23 am

Some very good points are made here. Carping about the inequities of the Democrat Party establishment isn't going to change their behaviour. Too much lucre. One needs to change the people running the party. From the ground up and with concrete regulatory features. Full stop.

However, one might look to the UK Labour party to see how it reacted when J. Corbyn, a lifelong member and activist, became leader of the party through grandee miscalculation. The Thatcherist Blairites went ballastic and basically decided to destroy the party rather than let a fairly mild democratic socialist offer an alternative to their beloved neoliberal economic policies. Too much lucre. They almost destroyed Labour in Scotland and were intent on defenestrating Labour in England, whilst retaining some feeble structure as a mock substitute, so that the Tories would, in fact, become the one and only alternative.

The forces aligned against the democratic tendencies of ordinary citizens are formidable and reach into every nook and cranny of our lives. They have the money, technological reach and hence the power of capital and its persuasive abilities.

Ain't going to be easy. Never is.

pretzelattack , November 7, 2017 at 9:46 am

i dont think a campaign had owned the dnc like that before. i think it had nothing to do with hilary being a good team player, and everything to do with money and juicy consulting/lobbying jobs. and pointing this out is not "sulking". know your enemy, and don't excuse their crimes and predations by an argument that "that's just the way things are".

audrey jr , November 6, 2017 at 8:26 pm

I am a Bernie supporter. He was pushed to the side by the Dem's – a party to which I belonged for forty years – in a total panic when it was shown to the Dem's that Bernie was able to reach disaffected party members as myself by raising a large amount of money through individual small donors.
That Bernie accomplished this feat was a huge factor, IMO, in why and how my former party felt it necessary to malign and derail Bernie and his supporters before, during and after the Democratic -meh – Nominating Convention.
The Dem's should have just named the Hillary for America Fund the Hillary for Hillary Fund.
Hillary cares only for and about Hillary. She's the reason Trump is POTUS today.
My family has been Democrat for many generations. Most of my family members have, unfortunately, BTFD on this one. I used to find them to be reasonable folk. Trump derangement syndrome has infected them all. This is a common complaint these days.

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:57 am

truth of trump actions-legislation, appointees, is not "trump derangement syndrome" trump has succeeded in swamping the drain

and yes, it is obama's fault HC opted for a losing, "more of same" campaign policy

audrey jr , November 6, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Forgot to thank Lambert for all of his great care and hard work in putting this together for us. Thank you, Lambert.
In Brazile's account I do believe I remember reading that my home state, CA, did not sign off on the agreement with regard to the HFV fund. But I seem to remember that Naked Capitalism, or perhaps in the commentariat here, did state that the Dem's here in CA were in an uproar over Hillary Victory Fund taking all of the state party monies. Am I having a flashback or did I actually remember this wrong? Anyone know?

JTFaraday , November 6, 2017 at 10:23 pm

I thought the most interesting thing about Brazile's comments to date was that Obama left the DNC indebted and therefore more vulnerable to the highest bidder. Not easy to bail that out on $27 donations. So typical of these Goldmanite administrations, this use of finance as a political weapon.

MLS , November 7, 2017 at 9:29 am

a feature not a bug? Is it completely implausible that Obama deliberately left the party in shambles just so Clinton could ride to the "rescue"?

[Nov 05, 2017] Donna Brazile says critics of Hillary Clinton revelations can go to hell by Martin Pengelly

Presstitutes from guardian have no shame. Look, for example, at the following statement "The former Clinton staffers – among them high-profile figures such as Huma Abedin, Jennifer Palmieri and campaign manager Robby Mook, the target of stringent criticism from Brazile – wrote: "It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponent , about our candidate's health."
It is widely suspected that Hillary Clinton has second stage of Parkinson or some other serious neurological diseases?
It is telling that Guardian is afraid to open comments on this article.
Notable quotes:
"... Regarding the primary, in which Sanders – a Vermont independent – mounted a surprisingly strong challenge, Brazile writes in her book that a joint fundraising agreement between Clinton and the DNC "looked unethical" and she felt Clinton had too much influence on the party. ..."
Nov 05, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

She also said she "got sick and tired of people trying to tell me how to spend money" as DNC chair, when she "wasn't getting a salary. I was basically volunteering my time".

"I'm not Patsey the slave," Brazile said, referring to a character in the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave.

In her book, Brazile writes that she did not ultimately try to make the change of candidate because: "I thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them."

On ABC, she admitted she had not had the power to make the change but said: "I had to put in on the the table because I was under tremendous pressure after Secretary Clinton fainted to have a quote-unquote plan B. I didn't want a plan B. Plan A was great for me. I supported Hillary and I wanted her to win. But we were under pressure."

Brazile writes that on 12 September 2016, Biden's chief of staff called saying the vice-president wanted to speak with her. Her thought, she writes, was: "Gee, I wonder what he wanted to talk to me about?"

On ABC, she said she did not mention the possible switch. "I mean, look, everybody was called in to see, do you know anything? How is she doing? And of course my job at the time was to reassure people, not just the vice-president but also reassure the Democratic party, the members of the party, that Hillary was doing fine and that she would resume her campaign the following week."

It is unclear if Biden was ever willing to step into the race. The former vice-president, who many believe could a run for the presidency in 2020, made no immediate comment.

Asked if she still thinks a Biden-Booker ticket could have won, Brazile equivocated, saying: "Well, you know, I had a lot of other combinations. This was something you play out in your mind."

Regarding the primary, in which Sanders – a Vermont independent – mounted a surprisingly strong challenge, Brazile writes in her book that a joint fundraising agreement between Clinton and the DNC "looked unethical" and she felt Clinton had too much influence on the party.

[Nov 03, 2017] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Donna Brazile's DNC Bombshell by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

Notable quotes:
"... the DNC agreed to let the Clinton campaign control the party's finances, strategy, donations, and staffing decisions in exchange for the Clinton campaign's financial help. ..."
"... At a time when many people and many voices are calling for unity within the Democratic party, it was really disturbing to see that there was kind of a purge of party officials from both the at large committee, as well as the executive committee within the DNC. That really had one common thread of the people who were booted out of those seats that they had held. Some for decades. The commonality was that these were people who had either supported Bernie Sanders for president or supported Keith Ellison for DNC chair, or both. ..."
"... Getting rid of the non democratic superdelegates who make up one third of all of the votes cast that a nominee needs to secure the nomination, and to secure open or same day registration primaries so that again, open the doors. Let's let everybody in and get involved in the process. ..."
"... In Roger Stone's book, The Making of the President 2016 ..."
"... Every piece of what we've learned so far, unfolding over months, is as bad as or worse than we had thought: The DNC works to engineer a Clinton/Trump match-up, the combination most likely to assure a Democratic loss . It vehemently denies that it is tilted favorably toward Clinton -- which turns out to be true, in a technical sense, because it is controlled by Clinton. ..."
"... Debbie will be the sacrificial lamb. Still waiting for anyone in the mainstream to publish the name "Awan". ..."
"... she's put her money where her mouth is numerous times now, beginning with leaving the DNC in protest over its unethical practices ..."
Nov 03, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
In this Real News Network interview , Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) responds to former interim chair Donna Brazile's revelation that the Clinton campaign had effective control of the DNC. Gabbard was a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee until February 28, 2016, when she resigned to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primary.

Brazile published her book excerpt in Politico, Inside Hillary Clinton's Secret Takeover of the DNC . If you've yet to read it, don't miss.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/S2PHwuIERms

AARON MATÉ: It's The Real News. I'm Aaron Maté. During the 2016 Democratic primary, supporters of Bernie Sanders complained that the Democratic National Committee was plagued by internal corruption, and rigging the nomination for Hillary Clinton. Well today, the former interim chair of the DNC has come out to say exactly that. Writing for Politico, Donna Brazile details a scheme wherein the Clinton campaign effectively took over the DNC. Facing a major funding shortfall, the DNC agreed to let the Clinton campaign control the party's finances, strategy, donations, and staffing decisions in exchange for the Clinton campaign's financial help.

But, this did not happen after Clinton became the nominee. In fact, this agreement was made in August 2015, months before a single primary vote was cast. Among many things, this meant that the DNC was able to act as a money laundering operation for the Clinton campaign. Tens of millions of dollars in donations to state democrats across the country ultimately was kicked back to Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn, well, earlier I spoke to someone who has been a prominent vocal critic of the DNC process from the start. Congressmember Tulsi Gabbard represents Hawaii's second congressional district. She was vice chair of the DNC until February 2016 when she resigned to endorse senator Bernie Sanders. I spoke to her about Donna Brazil's revelations. Congressmember Gabbard, welcome. Your response, what we've heard from Donna Brazile today.

TULSI GABBARD: I was not surprised to read what she was detailing in what was printed today. This was something that when I was vice chair of the DNC I didn't have knowledge of the details, but it was something that some folks were actually talking about and were concerned about at that time

AARON MATÉ: I want to quote more from Donna Brazile. She writes "If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity." She's referring especially to this financial arrangement in which the Clinton camp gives the DNC money but in exchange, the DNC hands over control of basically every single decision. Your thoughts on that? Were you surprised by her revelation?

TULSI GABBARD: Again, this is not something I wasn't privy to the inner workings of how these decisions were made, because at that time the decisions were really ultimately coming from the chair of the DNC. But I had heard some concerns from folks from different state parties actually. Executive directors and chairs and people who were involved in the grassroots organizing and trying to again increase involvement in the process. Their concerns around this joint fundraising agreement that Donna Brazile talked about in her article and her book was that the funds that were being raised through this agreement were not actually benefiting the party, but they were kind of being used as a pass through for lack of a better word. Their concerns again were about getting more support for the work that parties do on the ground and grassroots organizing. Turning out the vote, going and knocking on doors. Doing all the things that happened on the ground in states all across the country. Again, this was not something that I was terribly surprised by in reading that Donna detailed, but it's something that hasn't been laid out in the way that she has in this way.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah. She provides a figure when it comes to the money element. She says that of $82 million that was raised in state fundraisers, less than half of 1%, half of 1% got to go to the state parties, and said the rest went back to Brooklyn for the Clinton campaign. What kind of difference do you think that made on the election outcome when it comes to democratic efforts at the state level?

TULSI GABBARD: It's hard to say. I can't exactly quantify that. But I do know that some of the state party officials who I had spoken to at different times during the campaign had actually expressed these concerns and decided not to sign onto this joint fundraising agreement for that specific reason. They saw at that point, look we're not going to be used by anyone's campaign. If you want to talk about how to help strengthen local parties, let's have that conversation, but this was clearly not an effort in that direction.

AARON MATÉ: You recently spoke out about some more decisions by the DNC at the national level, in terms of their staffing of key committees. Can you comment there on what you were most upset by, and your thoughts on what should be done?

TULSI GABBARD: At a time when many people and many voices are calling for unity within the Democratic party, it was really disturbing to see that there was kind of a purge of party officials from both the at large committee, as well as the executive committee within the DNC. That really had one common thread of the people who were booted out of those seats that they had held. Some for decades. The commonality was that these were people who had either supported Bernie Sanders for president or supported Keith Ellison for DNC chair, or both. If the message is that we're going to get rid of people who may have dissenting opinions, or may be calling for different kinds of reform or retaliating for positions that they've taken this is not the direction that the democratic party should be going in. The democratic party should be going in the direction of openness, inclusiveness, transparency, accountability, which is why I've been calling for two major but very basic kinds of reform. Getting rid of the non democratic superdelegates who make up one third of all of the votes cast that a nominee needs to secure the nomination, and to secure open or same day registration primaries so that again, open the doors. Let's let everybody in and get involved in the process.

... ... ... ...

Elizabeth Burton , November 3, 2017 at 3:58 pm

All three major networks ignored it as well.

David , November 3, 2017 at 6:52 am

She says that of $82 million that was raised in state fundraisers, less than half of 1%, half of 1% got to go to the state parties, and said the rest went back to Brooklyn for the Clinton campaign.

Note that among the state parties that signed up to the Hillary Victory Fund ,

Florida – Trump +1%
Michigan – Trump +0.3%
Pennsylvania – Trump +0.7%
Wisconsin – Trump +0.7%
and Puerto Rico

Emorej a Hong Kong , November 3, 2017 at 7:39 am

Great dot-connecting. Incredible irony that HRC's diversion of funds from swing states to her high-spending campaign was one of the proximate causes of her losing the electoral college.

fresno dan , November 3, 2017 at 8:04 am

David
November 3, 2017 at 6:52 am

excellent insight!

Ernie , November 3, 2017 at 10:56 am

Yep. Here in Maine, where the state party was part of the Victory Fund kick-back scheme, Trump ended up winning one of the state's electoral votes (Maine allows splitting by congressional district) -- the first time a Republican took a Maine electoral vote since 1988.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm

The End Justifies the Means.

Would any of this have come out had we been 'with her?'

Kris Alman , November 3, 2017 at 3:09 pm

The link at the FEC was dated 9/16/15 and shows only 32 states and the Democratic Party of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Open Secrets shows 38 states eventually signed on to the Hillary Victory Fund shows 38 states (Iowa, NJ, Del, KS, NM and SD added), with each participating state a "beneficiary" of around $3M. Nada to the Democratic Party of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
https://www.opensecrets.org/jfc/summary.php?id=C00586537

Georgia, OR, RI, Miss., and WV were among the top "vendors/recipients," netting ~$2M. Does that mean these states only churned ~$1M back to Hillary in this money laundering scheme? https://www.opensecrets.org/jfc/expenditures.php?id=C00586537&cycle=2016

These $3M expenditures pale to Hillary for America ($120,822,326), DNC Services Corp ($55,639,930), Bully Pulpit Interactive ($40,881,995), and Chapman, Cubine et al ($25,432,057).

Every penny of DNC Services Corp's (d/b/a DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE) Independent Expenditures, Communication Costs and Coordinated Expenses went to Hillary: $22,813,448. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/indexpend.php?cycle=2016&cmte=C00010603

Incidentally, I was not able to track these funds at the Oregon Secretary of State with Orestar, the online tool to search campaign finances. As I looked closely at the filings, it appears the FEC requires expenditures by (not contributions to) the Democratic Party of Oregon to federal political committees be recorded. I only see ~$275K contributed back (aggregated expenditures) to "Democratic Party of Oregon Federal Account" and "Democratic Party of Oregon Forward Oregon Transfer Down Acct." in the 2015 and 2016 calendar years (though an additional $123,404.48 has gone to Democratic Party of Oregon Federal Account in 2017).

flora , November 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm

"Open Secrets shows 38 states eventually signed on to the Hillary Victory Fund shows 38 states (Iowa, NJ, Del, KS, NM and SD added) "

Oh, so that's why the KS Dem party officials claimed they couldn't afford $20k for a mailer for Thompson in the KS-04 special election race this spring . A race he almost won, without that help!

Good job, KS Dem party officials! /s
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/republicans-kansas-special-election-2017-236961

Left in Wisconsin , November 3, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Here is one example, from the 2016 financials of the Wisconsin Dem Party. Unity is the name of the joint fundraising project:

Unity Income: $8,595,958
Unity Expenses: $8,591,262
DPW contributions to Unity: $282,000

So for Wisconsin at least, it is not true that the state party made anything (even half of 1 percent) from the "joint" fundraising. Clinton took all but $4700 of the proceeds AND took another $282,000 from the state party.

Watt4Bob , November 3, 2017 at 6:53 am

She says that of $82 million that was raised in state fundraisers, less than half of 1%, half of 1% got to go to the state parties, and said the rest went back to Brooklyn for the Clinton campaign.

Just like Charles Koch, she just wanted her fair share; all of it.

Tell me please, how is this different from republican efforts to exterminate Obama Care by de-funding every bit of its supporting infrastructure?

Whether it was Hilary's intent to exterminate the Democratic party or not, the effect seems quite similar.

JTMcPhee , November 3, 2017 at 11:49 am

Though it seems Obama"Care" was, as an "infrastructure," doing a fine job of self-extermination. https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/09/sickness-american-healthcare.html

Eureka Springs , November 3, 2017 at 12:44 pm

82 mil
410k total paid to 33 States
12,400 per State.

Seems like at least 33 States party peeps who agreed to this should be shown the door if they haven't bowed their heads and left in shame.

PKMKII , November 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Whether it was Hilary's intent to exterminate the Democratic party or not, the effect seems quite similar.

She didn't want to exterminate it, she wanted to become it. Dictator of the party, and then pass the mantle on to Chelsea when the time came.

WheresOurTeddy , November 3, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Her goal does seem to be "L'etat c'est moi"

Disturbed Voter , November 3, 2017 at 6:58 am

Too bad she isn't my congressman.

Arizona Slim , November 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Raul Grijalva is mine.

At first, I didn't think that he was anything more than your classic identity politician. Then I needed constituent service. Matter of fact, I needed it a couple of times. Let me tell you, his staff aced it. They were that good.

As far as I am concerned, Raul has my vote for as long as he wants to stay in office.

Quentin , November 3, 2017 at 7:50 am

Finally one shoe has dropped. The second one about to drop is that the DNC emails were not hacked by Russia in any capacity, directly or indirectly by the Kremlin, whatever. They were most probably leaked. HRC started the Russia hysteria when she called President Trump a pupped of Putin in one of the debates. This is only one small example of her manipulative arrogance.

Arizona Slim , November 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm

In Roger Stone's book, The Making of the President 2016 , Stone said that he thought that the e-mails were leaked by Seth Rich.

Jeff W , November 3, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Every piece of what we've learned so far, unfolding over months, is as bad as or worse than we had thought: The DNC works to engineer a Clinton/Trump match-up, the combination most likely to assure a Democratic loss . It vehemently denies that it is tilted favorably toward Clinton -- which turns out to be true, in a technical sense, because it is controlled by Clinton.

The establishment Democrats accuse Sanders of not working for down-ballot Democrats while the DNC is siphoning money from the states to help Clinton's campaign. "Maintaining ties to Wall Street makes economic sense for Democrats and keeps their coffers full," one "pollster and senior political adviser to President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 2000" helpfully assures us two weeks ago in the NYT , except when it doesn't, such as when Donna Brazile discovers, to her horror, that the party is, fact, broke, probably due, in no small part, to paying consultants -- like the one writing in the Times -- whose expertise has led the decimation of the party. (And, on top of all that, the DNC, professing "unity," purges long-time members who supported Bernie Sander or Keith Ellison and appoints anti-minimum wage lobbyist Dan Halpern to the Finance Committee.)

Every part of the story turns out to be a colossal train wreck -- and all this from establishment/élite types who spent the entire campaign season reminding everyone else that they knew what was realistic, pragmatic, achievable, so on and so forth. It's unreal, really.

moving left , November 3, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Nice synopsis.

fresno dan , November 3, 2017 at 7:59 am

" but it was something that some folks were actually talking about and were concerned about at that time"
===================================
Why does this remind me of Harvey Weinstein? its like deja vu or something

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 3, 2017 at 12:55 pm

I think we have to go back and find out who 'endorsed' Harvey. How many? And we go back, research and publish the names of those who knew, and yet still endorsed Hillary.

Wisdom Seeker , November 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm

To be fair to Rep. Gabbard, the excerpt published by Ms. Brazile clearly indicates that Rep. Wasserman-Shulz (DWS) was not keeping the rest of the DNC leadership fully informed of relevant business and financial arrangements.

If Brazile's account is accurate, the question arises, why did the DNC board tolerate that situation for so long, given their legal responsibilities? Given the anomalous behavior by DWS, you have to wonder how the DNC board could have been comfortable in their roles, and why action wasn't taken against DWS earlier. That leads one to a suspicion is that there was an outside force supporting (controlling?) DWS and intimidating the others.

WheresOurTeddy , November 3, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Ah yes, but Brazile's account is a self-serving CYA attempt to get ahead of a story that was obvious as it was happening to anyone paying attention 18 months ago. Notice no mention of passing debate questions from CNN to Clinton ahead of time. It undercuts your "bombshell" if you have to say "it was rigged and I helped"

Debbie will be the sacrificial lamb. Still waiting for anyone in the mainstream to publish the name "Awan".

Chauncey Gardiner , November 3, 2017 at 9:18 am

Nearly a year after the Nov 2016 general election, this issue is finally beginning to be elevated. Senator Elizabeth Warren also responded affirmatively to a question about whether some primary elections were rigged against Sanders on PBS Newshour yesterday evening.

flora , November 3, 2017 at 9:47 am

Somewhat related in terms of the scramble to get ahead of the Den estab breakdown: In an interesting coincidence the recent meeting of the AFL-CIO saw labor leaders say it's time to stop automatically giving Dems support.

"The time has passed when we can passively settle for the lesser of two evils," reads the main political resolution passed Tuesday by delegates. Lee Saunders, chair of the AFL-CIO's political committee and president of AFSCME (link is external), and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (link is external), introduced the resolution. They lead the labor federation's two largest unions. Convention managers yoked the resolution to another measure it also approved discussing a labor party, though not by name. "

https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/afl-cio-calls-for-a-break-with-lesser-of-two-evils-politics/

Many AFT members were very unhappy (understatement) when Weingarten announced support for Hillary without first polling members. AFT lost a lot of members over that. I'm not sure this isn't a PR scramble by labor leaders to keep their jobs, instead of any real change in outlook. But it's an interesting data point about the current state-of-play.

Oregoncharles , November 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

LONG past time. This is just an example of the reason the unions are in such bad shape.

Big River Bandido , November 3, 2017 at 2:18 pm

AFT member here. I was livid about the sham endorsement "process" that happened; it was rushed through, months before the first contest, with absolutely no consultation from the rank and file. Weingarten's infamous text messages about the National Nurses Union basically solidified for me that she's nothing but pond scum. She's not a teacher, she's an attorney. And clearly, not a very clever one, at that. I am obligated to be an AFT member, and if I were only to become a "partial" member I'd still be paying about 88% of the dues anyway. I still support my AFT local.

The national AFT and its pathetic misleadership can go to hell.

Elizabeth Burton , November 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm

If it's any consolation, your situation appears to be the norm with the long-established unions. Their clearly-stated bias aside, the World Socialist Web Site covers labor disputes and has shown over and over that the mainstream unions have sold their rank-and-file out. Ironically, just this week I read where an activist group has done some major housecleaning at the Teamsters -- and it only took them 41 years.

During the primary, the outrage among SEIU members when their Fearless Leader not only announced for HRC but tried to pretend it was "what our people want" by posting to Facebook photos of a half-dozen blue-shirted members heading out to knock on doors. It didn't go over well.

Steven Greenberg , November 3, 2017 at 10:16 am

Did Senator Warren admit that her refusal to endorse Bernie was bought by the Hillary Victory Fund? In other words, does this indicate that the great fighter against Wall Street corruption was bought off by Wall Street?

jrs , November 3, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Got any proof of that?

Elizabeth Burton , November 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Was Massachusetts one of the participating states? She wouldn't have made any friends there exposing the money-laundering, if so. And had Clinton beaten the odds and won, she would have been toast, especially given she has a huge target on her back painted by the GOP. The Clintons notoriously hold grudges, and have long memories.

Jeff W , November 3, 2017 at 6:18 pm

The Margot Kidder piece in Counterpunch linked to in Montanamaven's comment lists 31 of the 33 participating states. Massachusetts is one of them. (It's not clear which are the other two states or why they aren't listed.)

Yves Smith , November 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm

*Sigh*. Warren is a blockbuster fundraiser for the party. She is a net contributor to them. She doesn't need the DNC.

Montanamaven , November 3, 2017 at 9:42 am

Margot Kidder was on this last spring. I wonder what Montana Democratic State party officials are saying now? Clinton Bought Loyalty of 33 State Dem Parties
I'll ask.

Watt4Bob , November 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Thanks so much for that link.

How is it that such a plain-spoken explanation of what was really happening was totally ignored until Donna Brazile fesses up?

MSM had to be actively ignoring/burying this story ever since then.

Makes me wonder what you have to do to be heard in this country? /snrk

JacobiteInTraining , November 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm

I remember reading these things back then, and trying to forward them to HillBots I knew. Without exception I was poo-poo'ed as a tinfoil-hat-wearing-conspiracy-theorist-berniebro-whiner-misogynist-right-wing-conspiracy-member.

I'd love to say 'I told you so' to those peeps, but most of them are now fully occupied looking under their beds for Russkis. :/

Not that I know Joseph Cannon, but check out his Cannonfire site .hysteric hysteria, deny, RUSSKIS!, Brazile is a liar!!!, deny again, MORE RUUUUSSSKKKIIIIS!!!

to me it seems to be the 'I'm With Her' version of a Trumpsters pizzagate rantings .I dunno, maybe I am missing something and my brain has already been washed and taken over by Cyrillic Control Mechanisms

http://cannonfire.blogspot.com

Jack , November 3, 2017 at 9:50 am

I read about this on Politico yesterday. Donna Brazile? This is the lady who leaked debate topics to Clinton and was fired from CNN, right? It makes you wonder why she is writing about this now. Opportunism in order to sell books? Revenge on Clinton? Or does she sense the wind changing direction in the Democratic party?

j84ustin , November 3, 2017 at 9:59 am

All of the above? Which of course doesn't necessarily mean it's not true! :)

Notorious P.A.T. , November 3, 2017 at 10:24 am

Sure, it's worth wondering, alright. But if you want to learn about dirty deals, you often have to go to dirty people.

Linda Amick , November 3, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Personally I think Donna Brazile, via her story and book, is trying get her version out as she probably knows the Clinton Mafia will throw her under the bus as this story is finally getting legs..with or without Donna Brazile's revelations.

L , November 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm

As I've noted before her name is Mud with CNN, noone wants her to be a talking head. And Clinton can no longer shelter her. What does she have left but airing the dirty laundry and hoping for a payout?

Steven Greenberg , November 3, 2017 at 10:12 am

Donna Brazile is wrong that this was not illegal, but only unethical. The Hillary Victory Fund was set up to evade the campaign financing laws. There is a legal limit on how much an individual can give to a candidate. Hillary's big donors had reached those limits. She directed her donors who had exceeded the legal limits on direct contributions to her to give to the DNC and state parties with the agreement that those entities would funnel the money back to her.

That would seem to me to be evidence of intent to violate the law.

Eureka Springs , November 3, 2017 at 10:59 am

RICO? Would seem the big donors had to know what they were doing as well. But then I recall the recent lawsuit where the party claimed it could do anything and the judge agreed.

There is just no good reason for a party to operate in such a manner. Complete financial transparency in real time whilst functioning in a democratic process among binding terms with real membership seems to be the least people should expect.

All of which is why I am a member/participant of no party and find the process illegitimate across the board. It really does come back to it's not just if you win or lose, but how it's played.

Jim Haygood , November 3, 2017 at 11:57 am

" If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act ." -- Donna Brazile

I, too, beg to differ. Naturally a perp doesn't see their own twisted actions as criminal.

But the basic principle behind campaign finance laws is transparency. Both the D and R parties receive extensive direct and in-kind government financing, such as the free primary elections which states run on their behalf. Consequently they are obliged to provide an accurate accounting of funds received and paid.

Does anyone think Robert "Torquemada" Mueller couldn't indict both Hillary and Donna Brazile on a whole laundry list of federal offenses, if he were actually looking for gross electoral wrongdoing?

Lock her up!

Wisdom Seeker , November 3, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Re "Naturally a perp doesn't see their own twisted actions as criminal."

Remember Brazile is famous for complaining that people were trying to "criminalize behavior that is normal", when they complained about the blatant pay-to-play behavior revealed during the election.

flora , November 3, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Slightly off topic: The neolib Dem estab has just discovered – much to their surprise, no doubt – that's it's one thing to run the neoliberal economic playbook on the deplorables, but quite another thing to run the neoliberal playbook on their own establishment's finances and organization, each for their own personal benefit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tyvhq7uhTM

WobblyTelomeres , November 3, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Strangely, it sounds like Sears.

Elizabeth Burton , November 3, 2017 at 4:14 pm

The judge dismissed the lawsuit because federal court wasn't, in his opinion, the proper channel for seeking redress, not because he agreed with the DNC's assertion it wasn't required to abide by its charter.

todde , November 3, 2017 at 7:14 pm

the judge ruled they didn't have standing:

"But not one of them alleges that they ever read the DNC's charter or heard the statements they now claim are false before making their donations. And not one of them alleges that they took action in reliance on the DNC's charter or the statements identified in the First Amended Complaint (DE 8). Absent such allegations, these Plaintiffs lack standing."

Ernie , November 3, 2017 at 11:00 am

+1

Harm Magin , November 3, 2017 at 11:08 am

"ding, ding, ding" We have a winner!

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Violating the law.

People who knew and did not speak, would they be accessories?

From Wikipedia:

Knowledge of the crime[edit]
To be convicted of an accessory charge, the accused must generally be proved to have had actual knowledge that a crime was going to be, or had been, committed. Furthermore, there must be proof that the accessory knew that his or her action, or inaction, was helping the criminals commit the crime, or evade detection, or escape. A person who unknowingly houses a person who has just committed a crime, for instance, may not be charged with an accessory offense because they did not have knowledge of the crime.

Is Sanders guilty, as an accessory, as well?

Scott , November 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm

I believe you are most correct & thanks for altering the direction of the comments.
The support for Sanders was a resonate echo of
support many of us felt for President Jimmy Carter.
How far we have traveled is well acknowledged when you see that Sanders lost.

For the purposes of the Naked Capitalism readers, who are studying how real money is captured & used by the Jet Setter Classes, here we have a Politico so entrenched her Unit used coercion & tricks to take for themselves all of the main tool, money, required to make the Democratic Party a real Party.

(I refuse to see Hillary Clinton as the First Woman Nominated for the Presidency, & consider her & her husband Bill, the Clinton Unit.)
I do chalk it up to the Clinton Unit's long & destructive influence as law makers & breakers. What the Unit is about is clear when you look at their history in Haiti. We are to get the leadership & economy same as the Haitians get.

The leak that in many cases there was no sincere link at all between what Clinton Unit II said, and what she really believed & intended, meant we were to get another cipher.

"Look out kid/They keep it all hid. -Bob Dylan, comes to mind.

After Obama it is clear that the Democratic Party is and will be in the pocket of the pirate parasites of the US Financial System.

The revolution has to take place below the jet setter classes stranglehold on who writes the checks for what. (I'd be interested in knowing how much of whose money paid for the Clinton Unit's Boeing.)

In the end we as a bunch of honest people who like justice in that form it takes in the day to day demonstration of good ethical moorings, liked how Sanders got the money for his campaign.

The Clinton Unit by taking money from down ballot candidates crippled the necessary revolution being attempted by those actually fighting to strengthen the nation.

Notorious P.A.T. , November 3, 2017 at 10:24 am

Go, Tulsi, Go!

JTMcPhee , November 3, 2017 at 11:44 am

Is there a large and notable set of organized people who vote, lining up behind Tulsi Gabbard as the next Great Hope of the Mope (GHOTM)? Able and willing to go to the mat for her? Trusting that she is not just another screen on which people can project their images?

Got to have leaders, don't we? Because most of us just go along, go along, go along But leaders are just other flawed humans, so easy to corrupt and failing that, to remove from the game board by other means Too bad the Occupy model, whatever that actually was/is, seems not to work effectively, especially against the organized on the other side of the crowd-control technologies

Eureka Springs , November 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm

I don't think people learned/practiced an occupy model for the most part. Folk were expected to bite off more than they could chew in due haste. Remember the media immediately asking what are your demands before people could figure out wtf was going on beyond we are the 99 percent? Establishing a new practice was of course difficult to do while wondering if you would be busted for just being there. Like the problems with parties people just keep rolling with what they know (top-down), hammering their familiar square peg in a round hole – rather than attempt/establish new process.

We really have no idea what a democratic process looks like.

JTMcPhee , November 3, 2017 at 1:39 pm

"We" have no idea what a democratic process looks like:" And that is after what, 50,000 years of humans organizing in groups of increasing size and what we call "sophistication"? "Democrats And The Iron Law Of Institutions: Read this if you're driven insane by the Democrats," http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/001705.html , for one interesting thread, and this set of observations: "Why Hierarchies Must Sign Their Own Death Warrant To Survive," https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2013/12/02/why-hierarchies-must-sign-their-own-death-warrant-to-survive/#32212bcf4d68

And one more for fun: "Under The Rainbow: The Inevitability of the Modern World," https://killtoparty.com/2015/12/31/under-the-rainbow-the-inevitability-of-the-modern-world/

Notorious P.A.T. , November 3, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Trusting that she is not just another screen on which people can project their images?

Always a valid concern, but she's put her money where her mouth is numerous times now, beginning with leaving the DNC in protest over its unethical practices.

Mel , November 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm

And also, it's not up to her, is it? That screen thing is not about what she is, it's about what people do. On a practical level, that move that Gabbard decries -- killing off local party organizations -- is truly a step the wrong way. Real citizens have more to do than just project their images.

Big River Bandido , November 3, 2017 at 2:24 pm

she's put her money where her mouth is numerous times now, beginning with leaving the DNC in protest over its unethical practices

That isn't why Tulsi Gabbard resigned as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. She resigned because the person in that position is supposed to remain neutral in presidential primaries, and she decided she wanted to publicly endorse Sanders.

In other words, she was following the party rules. This separates her from all those DNC officers who stayed on board while putting their thumbs on the scale for Clinton.

Norb , November 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm

In order to survive, you have to trust SOMEBODY! Whom do you trust JT? I get what you are saying and agree 100%, but what next? I think that is the meaning of accountability. You have to trust someone and make that trust the basis for your life. Screw me over and you are out. Mopes are mopes because they keep placing their trust in the wrong place or for whatever social reason, don't have an option.

The twisted logic of Margaret Thatchers now famous line-" there is no society", is a case in point. The entire quote is,"I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, the champions of Neoliberalism and the recasting of the Divine right of Kings as a means of ordering society. The Market is Supreme, the Noble Families (Corporations and Insiders, the 10%, are in direct communion with the divine, and the rest of us need to worship and obey. We have no power because we have not earned it. It is a recasting of the Feudal order. But what she fails to articulate is the obligation of the system to the people? In her ideology, there is no reciprocal obligation. The systems owes nothing. It is a system where the powerful hold control and the subjects are held in check by blind faith.

Thatcher is right for the wrong reasons. Trust starts with the family and successful, healthy families have a better chance of surviving over time due to the natural support they provide. But she takes for granted, or is totally blinded by her own history. The Feudal order failed for a reason. It breeds war and corruption. It thrived on ignorance and violence. Offer a different vision, and the power center shifts.

Leadership is important as everyone knows. With proper leadership, much is possible. Leadership is achieved when guided by some vision or goal. Is it any wonder why individuals that can communicate a vision of brotherhood and solidarity are killed or marginalized by Authoritarians? Where collectivism is shunned at every turn. How the meaning of family values is cynically turned on its head.

Obligation is right. What is screwed up is how obligations have been distorted, and continue to be distorted in a capitalist system. If you believe in social evolution, then the strength of the family unit can serve as the fundamental immortal unit that provides the basis for continued human existence. It is a buffer against the excesses of the capitalist system. It is the source from which positive change will come. Support the family unit by guaranteeing affordable housing, healthcare, and work. A basic income firmly grounded in social contribution. What institutions are left that have not been corrupted by the Neoliberal disease?

The problem making inroads is that the current political power still thinks this is a game. It is not. The first duty for people who desire a better world for themselves, their families, and their future generations need to see the obligation to protect the commons, their families being the basic unit connected to a larger whole.

By destroying the middle class, capitalists have sown the seeds of their own destruction. How many people are willingly going to walk into bondage? The promise of Neoliberalism is failing and the mopes/masses know it- they live it. They just don't know where to turn. It is a slow motion grinding into dust.

Communities are begging for relief. The organizations that need to be constructed are ones that allow people to extend themselves out into the world and take risks, at the same time, providing them with the assurance and concrete reality that if they fail, there is a place or institution that will not let them perish. Capitalists buy loyalty. Individuals in their club always fail upwards. No one is EVER left behind.

There is nothing to prevent other groups from achieving that same sense of solidarity except fear.

Louis Fyne , November 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

The Democratic Party at the national level needs to be thrown out. It's beyond reform. Dissolve the org.

New articles of incorporation, new bylaws, new people, new bank accounts, new everything.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 3, 2017 at 12:59 pm

You know that scandal-ridden Hollywood production company?

Nobody would even buy it for next to nothing.

We kid ourselves, I believe, to think anyone can come along and take over this party.

Vatch , November 3, 2017 at 7:54 pm

The same is true of the Republican party -- nationally it's owned by the Koch brothers and other billionaires, and locally, pretty much the same. Neither organization is going away in the near future.

Norb , November 3, 2017 at 12:13 pm

The most powerful aspect of the last election cycle is the eye opening role that money plays in politics. Everyone knows the fundamental influence money has, but the false narrative that has been acting for decades was finally turned on its head. Namely, that large sums of money are needed to compete in the political process and only by funneling that capital flow into the pockets of corporate entities can anything get done. Sanders campaign proved without a doubt that self financing is possible and money alone is not enough to carry victory. Its who controls that money, and what can be done with it, are the important factors. Money didn't win the election for Trump, corruption did.

The lies and crookedness of the existing power structure has been laid bare and only the completely uninformed still believe it or are directly paid off by the process. No wonder silence and an outside forces- RUSSIA- must be deployed. There is nothing left to mask the class warfare. This process reminds me of rats fleeing a sinking ship, and good riddance- they all need to drown or just scatter away into obscurity.

But until those money flows can be directed towards the commons, the corruption will not be driven out of our society. Democracy will die.

The silence and obfuscation on these important developments just highlight the crisis capitalism, as a system, is facing and how the existing political structure is incapable of dealing with the problem. The level of corruption is the problem, along with the extent lies and misinformation are needed to maintain control. It is dysfunctional.

Once again, the rallying cry is for a social guarantee. A guarantee for work, healthcare, housing, and a basic standard of living. Neoliberalism says no to all the above. Their worldview is that there are no guarantees. Only competition where the strong prevail and the weak perish. Boiled down once again to the fight between socialism and capitalism. Third way politics is no longer functional. Hard choices must be made.

But what is the source of that power? Physical strength? Intellect? Mind control- the ability to convince others? All of the above? The mind returns to social evolution. Forces trying to maintain the status quo and counter forces seeking to alter the system. The constant tension of forces exerting pressure until something gives. The faults and cracks are everywhere. What holds it together is the peoples willingness to exert pressure where they are directed to by their leadership. There is a crisis of leadership.

Finally, people are waking up to the notion that following crooks and thieves does not make their lives better or secure. The nation needs leaders who are not cynical opportunists, here in America and around the world. As the Trump administration makes painfully obvious, America's standing in the world diminishes in proportion to its level of naked corruption. We have become that which we professed we were against. The next true Revolution must be that Scoundrels cannot run the world. Yea, I know Utopia. But if you can't dream about Utopia what do humans have? All that comes to mind is a capitalist nightmare. ( As seen from the Bottom)

Just as the Soviet Union collapsed in a breathtaking short time, the Rube Goldberg construction that is todays capitalist system might meet the same speedy end. Just as the old guard soviet apparatchiks held on for dear life, supporting a known failed experiment due to their privileged position, if feels like the capitalist system is headed for a similar fate. A quick, catastrophic failure instead of a slow, incremental adjustment. A failure brought about form outside forces and the system not being able to deal or cope.

Donna Brazile can now make money revealing how she and the Democratic party screwed over working people in this country and lied to the constituency she was supposed to serve. If this helps people understand how they are fundamentally mislead, if only indirectly and unintended, all the better. Its NOT about the money alone, it shows what the cynical manipulation of money makes you become.

Wisdom Seeker , November 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Re "Once again, the rallying cry is for a social guarantee. A guarantee for work, healthcare, housing, and a basic standard of living. Neoliberalism says no to all the above. Their worldview is that there are no guarantees. Only competition where the strong prevail and the weak perish."

One cannot get a government controlled by special interests and large corporations to provide social guarantees that are worth a damn and won't be corrupted. Indeed, the heart of the problem is that the New Deal guarantees and post-Depression regulations (e.g. Glass-Steagall), or even the earlier antitrust laws, have all been eroded.

There is a historical American worldview, not neoliberal, but also not "Third Way", in which there are no Big Brother guarantees, yet there is strong social protection of those in need. It contains a greater level of self-reliance, in the sense that one does not place one's hope in corruptible governments as the solution. And yet not self-reliance, because it trusted in neighbors to help neighbors. And it also renounces personal greed as a prime motivator. The pioneers had this worldview – self reliance with a recognition of a common interest, and thus a moral duty, leading to a willingness to help others, building an entire nation, one barn raising party at a time, so that their children would have a better life.

Norb , November 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm

I am no historian, but gut experience informs me that what you are talking about is a true American sentiment. The desire for individual freedom struggling simultaneously to forge a lasting social bond with your fellow countrymen. At its heart, our nation was formed in the embrace of a contradiction. The promise of freedom connected to the chains of bondage. The age old dilemma of the rights of the rulers over the ruled. Freedom was sought above all else and the historical opportunity presented itself for a great experiment. Open land available for occupation, far from a ruling power, devoid of a powerful local social force.

The delusion, and betrayal, is the fact that reconciling this contradiction is no longer the driving force of American politics. Neoliberal ideology has short circuited the political system- on should we say, perfected it in that the ruling elite in America never intended to share power with the unwashed masses. With the destruction of a functioning two party system, even the pretense cannot be upheld any longer. Without a viable opposition party, the power of private property can do as it pleases- and is doing it.
In America, we just had lots of space to spread out into and put off the day of reckoning. Well, that day has arrived.

You mention barn raising, but that is an Amish tradition, to my limited understanding, the Amish rejected American culture and wished to separate themselves from the broader culture to ensure that their values could be preserved. It is an honest attempt to live christian values. They are a-political and want to be left alone. I can't say much for other christian denominations other than they are connected at the hip to capitalist values. That is not working out so well on a cognitive dissonance level.

The cooperation that you speak of is more along socialist lines. And once again on an intuitive level, most sane and healthy human beings, this is their normal state. The default desire is to aid a person in need or to take satisfaction from assisting your neighbor instead of abusing them. This natural human desire is prevented from becoming embodied in a political force because that would spell the end to individual opulence, and we can't have that. Charity is acceptable, a natural state of care and social equality is unacceptable.

The question is can you have a secular society that is dedicated to human care? Or a theocratic society that does not become bogged down in religious dogma. American Democracy seemed to point in that direction but appears to have stalled out due to resistance and lack of trying.

Big Brother guarantees is code language for destroying the social responsibilities embodied in New Deal legislation. Functioning Democracy is supposed to protect from corruption by being able to vote the crooks out. This becomes impossible when the crooks take control of the government and citizens are convinced that their government itself is the problem. You have the revolving door policy that we see today. National government captured by special interests.

Until a two-pronged attack can be instituted on a large scale- communities taking care of one another along with demand for honest representation by the government, only small scale resistance will be possible. Evil and hardship will prevail.

jrs , November 3, 2017 at 6:55 pm

As far as a greater level of self-reliance and not placing all one's hopes in corruptible governments I definitely think that's what the radical labor movement aimed at, a lot of bottom up left movements do, just have limited power these days. This is fighting back to reclaim the wealth the 1% (or 1% of the 1%) have captured.

Charity likely doesn't even work with such inequality for several reasons: Although you can always give a dollar to a homeless person, charity fails to do that much good when almost all of the wealth in a society is controlled by fewer and fewer people to a greater and greater degree. A bunch of paupers can only do so much in helping each other (except in trying to fight to reclaim the wealth from the 1% of the 1%). They can't do much else when the very few control the businesses, the agriculture, own most of the property and use their charity (Bill Gate's charity as it were) as a means of control (whatever little good it may or may not also do).

Edward , November 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Has this happened in other elections? Is this a first? The counterpart of this story is the nuts and bolts of how the U.S. press is controlled by various interests.

This is a story which should not disappear down the memory hole.

Oregoncharles , November 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm

" This was something that when I was vice chair of the DNC I didn't have knowledge of the details, but it was something that some folks were actually talking about and were concerned about at that time"

Boy, is there a big question mark hanging over THAT. Apparently she didn't respond to the rumors by asking impertinent questions. And if the vice-chair didn't know who really owned the joint, it was a purely ornamental office. Rather like Ellison's now.

John k , November 3, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Ellison should quit with as big a stink as possible.

Big River Bandido , November 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Brazile said in her Politico article that even she had a hard time finding out what was going on. She said she couldn't even issue a press release without an okay from Brooklyn.

sharonsj , November 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm

I knew the cat was in the bag the moment nearly all of the super delegates publicly supported Hillary Clinton before a single primary was held. (Are you listening, Sen. Shumer?) I also knew it had to be a quid pro quo because it was obvious they were doing it for campaign money for their re-elections. A lot of this appeared in print long before Donna Brazile "discovered" the affirming document. This, and the way Bernie supporters were treated at the convention, is why I will never give the DNC a penny.

John k , November 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Tulsi seemed a bit tongue tied on some questions in her position and not knowing what was going on? Not credible to me.
She gets credit for quitting and endorsing Bernie, and big credit for anti war, but she does not have history as a progressive, though moving in that direction.
Similarly Liz is no progressive irrespective of anti bank position, though similarly inching in that direction.
Both want to move up, seem to be sensing changing winds.
If Bernie runs, who would he pick? Both usefully female, but neither brings any ev's he won't get anyway. Tulsi brings looks and youth and she endorsed Liz better at treasury, and she might be happy there.

Arizona Slim , November 3, 2017 at 2:38 pm

I think Liz would be a great Treasury Secretary. As for Bernie's VP pick, I think that Tulsi would, ahem, appeal to a certain portion of our male electorate.

I also think that he could also do well by choosing Nina Turner as his VP. Unlike Tulsi, whose oratorical style puts me to sleep, Nina knows how to sign, seal, and DELIVER a speech.

Elizabeth Burton , November 3, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Look up Pramila Jayapal, whose history, unlike that of Tulsi Gabbard, is solidly progressive.

Vatch , November 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Here are four bills in the House that could be considered litmus tests for progressives:

H.R.676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act

H.R.790 – Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2017

H.R.1587 – Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2017

H.J.Res.48 – Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing that the rights extended by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only.

Gabbard is a co-sponsor of all 4, and Jayapal is a co-sponsor of all but HR1587. I believe you that Gabbard isn't always progressive, but she does pretty well most of the time, and (for now) she's better than Jayapal on the very dangerous issue of antibiotic overuse.

jrs , November 3, 2017 at 6:26 pm

I don't know people taking positions on things that aren't likely to pass isn't all that. Ok if enough Dems were on board and they controlled congress or some Reps were AND they had a president who wouldn't veto then maybe Medicare for All etc. Even getting enough Dems on board to pass it even if they had the majority is a long way from where we are now.

However a constitutional amendment is in a whole other category of unlikely than that as the requirement to get one passed are super majorities we are never going to see. So some of the former may be difficult and mostly grandstanding at this point, but I really regard the last as impossible.

Vatch , November 3, 2017 at 7:50 pm

Another way to take a public position is to refuse to co-sponsor high profile bills such as these. People in the PACs notice if a member of Congress co-sponsors something that they don't like, or if the member chooses to avoid co-sponsoring it.

Of course none of these bills will pass in the current Congress. However, it is important to get some momentum for them so that they will have a greater chance in future Congresses, and co-sponsorship is a way to generate some of that momentum.

HR676 has been introduced in every Congress since 2003, and this is the first Congress in which it has gained more than 100 co-sponsors. HR1587 has also been introduced since 2003, although it has always had a different bill number. Its number of co-sponsors has gone up and down.

Perhaps too many people are paying too much attention to Trump's twitter account, and not enough attention to the wonkish reality of how bills can become laws. People need to push their Representatives to support these bills.

Tomonthebeach , November 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm

DNC has long stood for Democratic National CLUB not Committee. Under Perez, I see little evidence of movement toward a "democratic" "committee." This is not about Anti-Sanders it is apparently about maintaining Clintonism when the electorate wants more progressivism. DNC is pushing many of us to vote for a qualified Republican over a Clintonite Democrat. That is very stupid – very sad.

Scott , November 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Good laws make a good society, bad laws make a bad society. Good people make better laws than bad people.
All people are good, but some do more bad, sure, go ahead and think of it that way.
I only get to vote for people.

MarkE , November 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm

"The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats." Steve Bannon

It's not often your opponent does you the favor of telling you why you are losing. I pissed away some money on the Democrats last election (not because I liked Hillary; I just despise Trump). What I got for my money was four or five emails a day asking for more money. That and the ignominious, gut-wrenching loss. Many of the emails were from Donna Brazile and almost all of them were about identity politics issues, usually tsk-tsk'ing some nasty thing Trump said about one group or another. I remember thinking how dumb this was. They already had the identity politics voters and getting them to turn out was going to be a ground game play. While they sang to their choir, Trump and Bannon were out energizing an aggrieved white middle and working class, which could have been Hillary's. Non-stop ads with Trump's ugly face on the screens of Pennsylvania and Ohio saying "you're fired" would have been good. Every time the Democrats waxed indignant about an identity issue, they lost some more aggrieved white voters, who took the message as further confirmation that the Dems really didn't care about them and their problems. Trump walked right in. Comey's timing, the Russians, etc all mattered, but net net the Democrats gave Trump the win. The top of their organization is full of people who seem to be better at identity politics than anything else, except maybe backstabbing. They're crap at strategy.

Vatch , November 3, 2017 at 5:37 pm

I strongly encourage those who have Democratic friends and relatives to be sure that those friends and relatives have seen the article by Donna Brazile. Don't be afraid to be a pest (although I do recommend politeness). Many of those friends and relatives will be voting in primaries next year, and they need to know what is happening in the Democratic party.

jrs , November 3, 2017 at 6:15 pm

It doesn't just indict Hillary, although that is what gets the focus, it is a condemnation of Obama as well for leaving the Dem party in so much debt. So Obama as well sacrificed the Dem party for his own campaign. By slightly different means (running up debt rather than funneling money) but to the same end. What a self-seeking bunch, to the destruction of even their own party, the Dem top ticket has been (yea cheeto is no better, but that's it's own thing).

todde , November 3, 2017 at 5:51 pm

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2989759-Impartiality-Clause-DNC-Charter-Bylaws-Art-5-Sec-4.html

DNC Bylaws state that the Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party
Presidential nominating process.

Since that obviously didn't happen, I would assert that Hillary being the Democrat nominee is null and void.

todde , November 3, 2017 at 6:01 pm

so if you donated to the DNC I am pretty sure you could sue DWS personally to get your money back.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 3, 2017 at 7:09 pm

When they rig an election, everyone participates in the election (voting or running) is a victim.

Even people watching it become victimized (like the quiz shows in the 1950s, TV viewers were victims).

(So, you, me and all the other guys had the primary election stolen.)

And if Donna Brazile tells you it's rigged, it's not up to you, but up to all of us, to absorb the insider information (you can't withhold all those secret details) and to decide on the verdict.

It can not be 'What are her chances?'

It's up to all of us.

todde , November 3, 2017 at 6:12 pm

nevermind – we've already litigated this

pretzelattack , November 3, 2017 at 7:33 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/03/trump-fbi-clinton-russia-donna-brazile

the guardian finally noticed it happened! in the context of an article attacking trump, but baby steps.

pretzelattack , November 3, 2017 at 7:35 pm

"The victory fund agreement was signed in August 2015 and widely reported during the course of the campaign, amplifying the friction between Sanders and the DNC that had already been fueled by disagreements over the primary debate schedule and access to the party's voter database."

oh well then nothing to see here, let's just go back to bashing russia.

chicagogal , November 3, 2017 at 7:36 pm

Wasn't Brazile the one who said that while the DNC is supposed to be neutral, she was working on behalf of Clinton over Bernie? So as we all knew, then and now, grifters gotta grift and Brazile is no better than anyone else at the DNC who keeps failing upwards and being rewarded for her part in the grift.

[Nov 02, 2017] The Democratic Law Firm Behind the Russian Collusion Narrative by Scott Ritter

The real question is so much Russian influence as the US intelligence agencies influence on 2016 presidential elections. Brennan in particular. He bet of Hillary Clinton and lost. After that he was instrumental in launching "color revolution" against Trump. In which the the critical step was to appoint "special prosecutor".
Notable quotes:
"... But even more is emerging that could take the Russia story in a totally new direction -- namely that the infamous dossier compiled by former British Secret Intelligence Service officer Christopher Steele was bought and paid for by a law firm , Perkins Coie, working on behalf of both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). ..."
"... The extent to which the Steele Dossier influenced the intelligence underpinning Mueller's probe has yet to be determined with any certainty. In January, the U.S. intelligence community published the unclassified ICA, which was derived from a compilation of intelligence reports and assessments conducted by the FBI, CIA, and NSA. Many of the allegations made in the ICA mirror reporting contained in the Steele Dossier. So striking are the similarities that there are real concerns among some senior Republican lawmakers that the ICA merely reflects "echoes" of the Steele Dossier reported back via liaison with foreign intelligence services who had access to it (namely the British Secret Intelligence Service) or whose own sources were also utilized by Steele. ..."
"... An examination of the nexus between the dossier and the publication of the Russian ICA, however, shows that Litt was less than truthful in his denials. Material from the Steele Dossier was, in fact, shared with the FBI and U.S. intelligence community in July of 2016, and seems to have been the driving force behind the intelligence briefings provided to the so-called Gang of Eight who served as the initial impetus for an investigation into Russian meddling that eventually morphed into the 2017 Russian ICA. ..."
"... Moreover, while Perkins Coie had its hands all over the dossier, it was also massaging the Russian hack narrative for mainstream media primetime. ..."
"... The political law practice of Perkins Coie was started in 1981 under the leadership of Bob Bauer , who went on to become the White House Counsel to President Barack Obama. Today, the practice is headed by Marc Elias , who has been described as "the Democrats' go-to attorney an indispensable figure in the party." Elias oversees the work of 18 attorneys representing nearly every Democratic senator, as well as the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Hillary for America, which oversaw the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... Sussman, after coordinating with Wasserman-Schultz, approached the FBI and tried to get them to publicly attribute the intrusion to Russia. ..."
"... When the FBI refused, citing a need to gain access to the DNC servers before it could make that call, Sussman balked and, again with the full support of the DNC, instead coordinated a massive publicity effort intended to link Russia to the DNC breach through an exclusive to the Washington Pos t ..."
"... According to the Washington Post , in early August 2016, the CIA director John Brennan came into possession of "sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race." This intelligence was briefed to the Gang of Eight. Almost immediately, information derived from this briefing began to leak to the media. "Russia's hacking appeared aimed at helping Mr. Trump win the November election," officials with knowledge of Brennan's intelligence told the New York Times . The intelligence, referred to as "bombshell," allegedly "captured Putin's specific instructions on the operation's audacious objectives -- defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump." ..."
"... The question is was the investigation supposed to uncover whatever it uncovere, or was it supposed to fabricate the discovery? If it was fabrication, yes, they should be condemned. ..."
"... My best guess is that some part of the US intelligence community is involved in the election manipulation. Overthrowing foreign governments or undermining the EU is one thing, colluding with a foreign power to manipulate the US election is quite another. Note, by the way, the absence of any reference to George Papadopulous or Viktor Yanukovych. ..."
"... But it is obvious that most of the Beltway including the spook world badly wants a proxy war with Russia, Iran, and Syria. As usual we are killing people overseas under Presidents of both parties and as usual the United States of narcissism can only complain about what dastardly foreigners allegedly did to us. ..."
"... Someone help me out here. If Clinton (or her very close associates) pay huge bucks to Russians to get dirt (even if it is made up dirt) on Trump, that is good, because it hurts Trump. But if Trump associates simply have conversations with Russians, full stop (cf. Michael Flynn, or anyone else who spoke with the Russian ambassador), that is criminal. Is this not sort of a double standard? ..."
"... We're expected to believe Crowdstrike's report on Russian hacking but we can't examine the evidence. We're expected to believe that Perkins Coie went rogue and decided to spend $12 million without informing any of its clients. ..."
"... What a bunch of hogwash. There's a cover up here, but it's not what the complicit media is portraying. The cover up is of the past 8 years of misdeeds by the Deep State, the Clintons and the Obama Administration. ..."
"... I think the story is even more obvious than this. They wanted to spy on aspects of the Trump campaign but they legally couldn't. The FBI told them they needed a reason to tap the phones and read the mail. They paid a guy to put together a dossier that would allow them to get FISA warrants to do the spying they wanted to do illegally. They just needed the dossier to say certain things to get it past a FISA judge. They did this and tapped his phones and read his emails and texts for the purpose of beating him in the election. It is really that simple of a story. ..."
"... Given Hillary's past pay to play lobbying and her disregard for national security, it would seem appropriate to have investigate if members of the Clinton campaign had contacts with the Russian Ambassador or Russian "operatives. We now know that the dossier relied on collaboration with Russian officials. ..."
"... In my opinion, Mueller has disgraced his former and present positions by collaborating in this conjured affair that obfuscates the real crimes occurring during the Obama administration. ..."
"... Crooked Hillary and her klan never thought for a second they wouldn't be able to cover up democrat crimes. The Clinton Crime Family is in full panic mode. No one seems to remember why Mueller quit as director of the FBI. He was disgusted by the Obama administration covering up lawlessness. ..."
"... Why didn't the FBI insist on examining the DNC servers? Something's not right. ..."
"... I voted for Clinton, but as the lesser evil on various issues, chiefly domestic and environmental. Clinton is not in Putin's pocket. She is in the pocket of Netanyahu, and the Saudis. Trump doesn't really seem to be in Putin's pocket -- he has neocons and others working hard to ensure that he gets into a confrontation with Iran. Basically he too is in the pocket of the Israelis and the Saudis. ..."
"... The mainstream ignores this. The countries with real influence on our policies don't have to favor one party over the other. They have them both in their pocket. ..."
"... As time goes on, I don't think Russia "meddled" in US elections as much as US politicians of both parties corruptly attempted to rig the elections. Seems to me that the demonization of Russia is bi-partisan because the US military industrial complex needs a "bogey man" to justify its billions$$$$ and just about ALL politicians need that money to stay in power. ..."
Oct 31, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Democratic Law Firm Behind the Russian Collusion Narrative How a high-powered practice contracted oppo-research on Trump -- and then pushed a hack story.

Credit: Shutterstock/ Mark Van Scyoc The ongoing investigation headed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller into alleged collusion between the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump and the Russian government has moved into a new phase, with a focus on purported money laundering. On Monday, indictments were filed against former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime associate Rick Gates.

But even more is emerging that could take the Russia story in a totally new direction -- namely that the infamous dossier compiled by former British Secret Intelligence Service officer Christopher Steele was bought and paid for by a law firm , Perkins Coie, working on behalf of both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The current controversy isn't so much over the contents of the dossier -- despite some of the reporting, none of the relevant claims contained within have been verified. Rather, the issue in question is how opposition research derived from foreign intelligence sources and paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC ended up influencing the decision to prepare the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, the contents of that assessment, and the subsequent investigations by the U.S. Congress and a special prosecutor.

The extent to which the Steele Dossier influenced the intelligence underpinning Mueller's probe has yet to be determined with any certainty. In January, the U.S. intelligence community published the unclassified ICA, which was derived from a compilation of intelligence reports and assessments conducted by the FBI, CIA, and NSA. Many of the allegations made in the ICA mirror reporting contained in the Steele Dossier. So striking are the similarities that there are real concerns among some senior Republican lawmakers that the ICA merely reflects "echoes" of the Steele Dossier reported back via liaison with foreign intelligence services who had access to it (namely the British Secret Intelligence Service) or whose own sources were also utilized by Steele.

According to Robert Litt , who served as general counsel to former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, this mirroring was nothing more than coincidence. "The dossier itself," Litt wrote in a recent Lawfare blog , "played absolutely no role in the coordinated intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in our election. That assessment, which was released in unclassified form in January but which contained much more detail in the classified version that has been briefed to Congress, was based entirely on other sources and analysis."

Moreover, Litt noted, the decision in December 2016 to brief President-elect Trump on the existence of the Steele Dossier and provide him with a two-page summary of that document, was not a reflection that "the Intelligence Community had relied on it in any way, or even made any determination that the information it contained was reliable and accurate." It was rather, Litt said, a need to share with Trump the fact that the document existed and was being passed around Congress and the media.

An examination of the nexus between the dossier and the publication of the Russian ICA, however, shows that Litt was less than truthful in his denials. Material from the Steele Dossier was, in fact, shared with the FBI and U.S. intelligence community in July of 2016, and seems to have been the driving force behind the intelligence briefings provided to the so-called Gang of Eight who served as the initial impetus for an investigation into Russian meddling that eventually morphed into the 2017 Russian ICA.

Moreover, while Perkins Coie had its hands all over the dossier, it was also massaging the Russian hack narrative for mainstream media primetime.

The political law practice of Perkins Coie was started in 1981 under the leadership of Bob Bauer , who went on to become the White House Counsel to President Barack Obama. Today, the practice is headed by Marc Elias , who has been described as "the Democrats' go-to attorney an indispensable figure in the party." Elias oversees the work of 18 attorneys representing nearly every Democratic senator, as well as the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Hillary for America, which oversaw the Clinton campaign.

It was in the latter two roles that Elias, acting on behalf of his clients, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C.-based company that, according to its website , "provides premium research, strategic intelligence, and due diligence services." Fusion GPS had previously been contracted by the Washington Free Beacon "to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary." However, when it became clear that Trump was going to secure the Republican Party nomination, the contract with Fusion GPS was terminated. According to a letter sent by Perkins Coie to Fusion GPS sometime in March 2016, Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, met with Elias and lobbied for the job of conducting opposition research on behalf of the Clinton campaign. In April 2016, Simpson's company was retained by the firm through the end of the election cycle.

Perkins Coie is also home to Michael Sussman , a partner in the firm's Privacy and Data Security Practice, who was retained by the DNC to respond to the cyber-penetration of their server in the spring of 2016. When, in late April 2016, the DNC discovered that its servers had been breached, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, then chairwoman of the DNC, turned to Perkins Coie and Sussman for help. Sussman chaired the meetings at the DNC regarding the breach, and, on May 4, 2016, he reached out to Shawn Henry , a former FBI agent who headed the incident response unit for the private cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, for assistance in mitigating the fallout from the breach. According to CrowdStrike, it was immediately able to detect the presence of hostile malware that it identified as Russian in origin. Sussman, after coordinating with Wasserman-Schultz, approached the FBI and tried to get them to publicly attribute the intrusion to Russia.

When the FBI refused, citing a need to gain access to the DNC servers before it could make that call, Sussman balked and, again with the full support of the DNC, instead coordinated a massive publicity effort intended to link Russia to the DNC breach through an exclusive to the Washington Pos t , which was published in concert with a dramatic CrowdStrike technical report detailing the intrusion, ominously named "Bears in the Midst."

This public relations campaign started the media frenzy over the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC server, enabling every facet of the story that followed to be painted with a Russian brush -- normally with a spokesperson from either the DNC or Hillary for America taking the lead in promulgating the story.

It was about this same time that Elias decided to expand the scope of Fusion GPS's opposition research against Trump, going beyond the simple mining of open-source information that had been the hallmark of the firm's work up until that time, and instead delving into the active collection of information using methodologies more akin to the work of spy agencies. The person Fusion GPS turned to for this task was Steele

Key persons within the Clinton campaign and the DNC denied any knowledge of either the decision by Perkins Coie to hire Fusion GPS for the purpose of gathering opposition research, or to tap Steele to conduct this task. Elias reportedly made use of money already paid to the firm by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to fund the work of Fusion GPS, creating the conditions for deniability on the part of his clients. This decision meant that Perkins Coie, as a firm, had ownership of the Steele Dossier; expenditures of firm assets require the approval of either the management or executive committee of the firm (Elias sits on the executive committee).

But as far as intelligence products go, the Steele Dossier is as sketchy as it gets. It's an amalgam of poorly written "reports" cobbled together from what Vanity Fair called "angry ιmigrιs," "wheeling and dealing oligarchs," and "political dissidents with well-honed axes to grind." These are precisely the kind of sources intelligence professionals operating in Russia in the early 1990s -- Steele was assigned to Moscow from 1990 to 1993 -- would have had access to. Such sources also produce information that professional analysts normally treat with more than a modicum of skepticism when preparing national-level intelligence products.

The very first report produced by Steele, dated June 20, 2016, was chock full of the kind of salacious details justifying its explosive title, "Republican Candidate Donald Trump's Activities in Russia and Compromising Relationship with the Kremlin." The substantive charges leveled in the report centered on three unnamed sources -- a senior Foreign Ministry official, a former top-level Russian intelligence officer, and a senior Russian financial official -- whom Steele accessed through a "trusted compatriot." The report alleged that Russia had been feeding the Trump campaign "valuable intelligence" on Clinton, and that this effort was supported and directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. A second report, dated June 26, 2016, focused exclusively on "Russian State Sponsored and Other Cyber Offensive (Criminal) Operations."

These reports were delivered to Elias at a critical time -- on July 22, when Wikileaks released thousands of emails believed to have been sources from the DNC hack . These emails detailed the internal deliberations of the DNC that proved to be embarrassing to both Clinton and the DNC leadership -- Wasserman-Schultz was compelled to resign due to the revelations set forth in these emails. This leak took place on the eve of the Democratic National Convention when Clinton was to be selected as the Democrats' candidate for president. The Clinton campaign blamed Russia. "Russian state actors," Robby Mook, the Clinton campaign manager told the press , "were feeding the email to hackers for the purpose of helping Donald Trump."

If Elias thought the publication of the DNC emails would spur the U.S. intelligence community to join both the DNC and the Clinton campaign in pointing an accusatory finger at Russia, he would be disappointed. When questioned by CNN's Jim Sciutto at the 2016 Aspen Security Forum as to whether or not the DNI shared the White House's view that there was no doubt Russia was behind the hack of the DNC emails, Clapper responded, "I don't think we are quite ready to make a call on attribution I don't think we are ready to make a public call on that yet." Noting that there was still some uncertainty about exactly who was behind the DNC cyber-penetration, Clapper stated that he was taken aback by the media's "hyperventilation" over the DNC email issue, pointing out that the intelligence community did not "know enough to ascribe motivation" at that time.

According to the Washington Post , in early August 2016, the CIA director John Brennan came into possession of "sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race." This intelligence was briefed to the Gang of Eight. Almost immediately, information derived from this briefing began to leak to the media. "Russia's hacking appeared aimed at helping Mr. Trump win the November election," officials with knowledge of Brennan's intelligence told the New York Times . The intelligence, referred to as "bombshell," allegedly "captured Putin's specific instructions on the operation's audacious objectives -- defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump."

This intelligence, allegedly from a "human source" linked to a foreign intelligence service, is at the center of the current spate of Russian meddling investigations. Was this source a product of the CIA's own efforts, as DNI General Counsel Litt contends, or was this an "echo" of the work done by Steele? The answer may lie in the actions of both Elias and Steele, who in the aftermath of the Democratic National Convention, and on the heels of the statement by DNI Clapper that he wasn't ready to commit to Russian attribution, shared the first two reports with both the FBI and members of the intelligence community. Steele also sat down with U.S. officials to discuss the details of these reports , which presumably included the sourcing that was used.

The parallels between the information contained in the initial report filed by Steele and the "bombshell" intelligence that prompted Brennan's decision to brief the Gang of Eight are too close to be casually dismissed. Of particular note is Steele's "Source C," a senior Russian "financial official" who had "overheard Putin talking" on at least two occasions. Was this the source that Brennan cited when it came to Putin's "specific instructions"? The cause and effect relationship between the decision by Marc Elias to brief U.S. intelligence officials on the aspects of the Steele Dossier, and Brennan's coming into possession of intelligence that virtually mirrors the reporting by Steele, cannot be dismissed out of hand.

The future of the Trump presidency will be determined by the various investigations currently underway. Those efforts have been influenced, in one way or another, by reporting sourced to Perkins Coie, including the designation of Russia as the responsible party behind the DNC cyber-breach and the Steele Dossier. These investigations are linked in their unquestioning embrace of the conclusions set forth in the 2017 Russia Intelligence Community Assessment that Russia was, in fact, meddling in the election. However, the genesis of that finding, both in terms of Russian involvement in the DNC hack and the "bombshell" intelligence introduced by Brennan in August 2016, has gone largely unquestioned by the investigators.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War (Clarity Press, 2017). MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Youknowho , says: October 30, 2017 at 11:09 pm

The question is was the investigation supposed to uncover whatever it uncovere, or was it supposed to fabricate the discovery? If it was fabrication, yes, they should be condemned. But if it was a question of "tell us what you find, good, bad, or indifferent" then uncovering what might be treasonable activity would be called a patriotic act.
SpecialAgentA , says: October 31, 2017 at 9:00 am
Was it a 'leak' or a 'hack'? Both terms are used here, almost interchangeably, but isn't that an essential issue to explain and clarify?
balconesfault , says: October 31, 2017 at 9:35 am
All of this and not one mention of how much of the controversy Donald Trump could defuse by simply releasing his tax returns and allowing more transparency into his financial relationships with the Russian oligarchy.
Bob Salsa , says: October 31, 2017 at 10:48 am
Ritter's underlying 'logic' here extended would have us believe Alan Turin's breaking of the Enigma Machine was done in collusion with Nazi U-boat commanders.
Michael Kenny , says: October 31, 2017 at 11:28 am
The spooks are still scared silly of Russiagate. "Hillary paid" doesn't mean "Hillary fabricated". That Mr Ritter is reduced to such a manifestly silly argument shows just how spooked the spooks are. My best guess is that some part of the US intelligence community is involved in the election manipulation. Overthrowing foreign governments or undermining the EU is one thing, colluding with a foreign power to manipulate the US election is quite another. Note, by the way, the absence of any reference to George Papadopulous or Viktor Yanukovych.
David G. , says: October 31, 2017 at 12:26 pm
Given that Russia's insiders (not to mention former-officials) are no more lined up with Putin than US counterparts and political actors are behind any current US administration or opponent, within and without the party in power, there are presumably Russian actors who would like to undermine Putin.

To the extent "the Russians" may be behind particular efforts – including information/disinformation – related to the 2016 US election, might they not have sought to undermine foreign and (Russian) domestic proponents of US-Russian detente?

Donald (the left leaning one) , says: October 31, 2017 at 12:42 pm
" Overthrowing foreign governments or undermining the EU is one thing, colluding with a foreign power to manipulate the US election is quite another. "

This is a joke. I have no concern one way or the other about whether Trump colluded with Russia – if laws were broken, prosecute the lot of them. But it is obvious that most of the Beltway including the spook world badly wants a proxy war with Russia, Iran, and Syria. As usual we are killing people overseas under Presidents of both parties and as usual the United States of narcissism can only complain about what dastardly foreigners allegedly did to us.

In DC we have a vicious fight between the McCain-Clinton forces and the Trump forces. It's a choice between warmongers.

m , says: October 31, 2017 at 1:16 pm
Donald (the left leaning one), I agree with your concluding comment that we are left with a choice between two warmongers, no question about that. However if you look at the corruption in the deep state in the Uranium One deal, how it was approved and now nobody, I mean nobody knows anything about FBI informant and gag order on him for the last 8 years it is just mind boggling. Oh well after all these years I think the African dictators have more integrity than our elected officials.
a person who once spoke to a Russian but regrets it now , says: October 31, 2017 at 1:58 pm
Someone help me out here. If Clinton (or her very close associates) pay huge bucks to Russians to get dirt (even if it is made up dirt) on Trump, that is good, because it hurts Trump. But if Trump associates simply have conversations with Russians, full stop (cf. Michael Flynn, or anyone else who spoke with the Russian ambassador), that is criminal. Is this not sort of a double standard?
Laramie , says: October 31, 2017 at 3:12 pm
I've worked at large law firms, been a partner at several and litigated against Perkins Coie, so I know a bit about them. Knowing the industry and this firm in particular, I can say without reservation that this statement is ridiculous: "Elias reportedly made use of money already paid to the firm by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to fund the work of Fusion GPS, creating the conditions for deniability on the part of his clients." That does not and would not happen with a $12 million expense.

Mr. Ritter does not come out and say it, but there's a plausible explanation for all of this Russia nonsense we've been hearing about for the past year. Until the day after the election, 99.9% of Democrats were convinced that Hillary Clinton would win. Once enshrined in office, all of the misdeeds that they'd been getting away with for the past decade -- the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, the Pay-to-Play politics, etc. -- would be swept under the rug.

November came, and that didn't happen. Democrats were both floored and caught with their pants down. Now, all of their dirty laundry was going to come out into the open. It was only a matter of time.

So, what did they do? The same thing Democrats always do. The best defense is an offense. 'Always accuse your opponents of doing whatever wrong you've committed.' All of the sudden, it wasn't just that 'Russians hacked the election.' It became, 'the Trump campaign secretly colluded with the Russians.' The Steele dossier was leaked, the FBI was briefed which in turn briefed Obama, the Gang of Eight and Trump. Next, a Special Prosecutor had to be appointed to investigate.

But, where does it all lead? Back to Hillary, through Perkins Coie, and through many of the same Deep State players who were complicit in the misdeeds.

We now learn that Comey, Mueller and Rosenstein all knew about Russians attempting to buy influence through donations to the Clinton "charity," but they turned a blind eye when Uranium One was up for approval.

We now learn that Clinton and the DNC paid for the Steele dossier then fed it to Comey, who leaked it.

We're expected to believe Crowdstrike's report on Russian hacking but we can't examine the evidence. We're expected to believe that Perkins Coie went rogue and decided to spend $12 million without informing any of its clients.

What a bunch of hogwash. There's a cover up here, but it's not what the complicit media is portraying. The cover up is of the past 8 years of misdeeds by the Deep State, the Clintons and the Obama Administration.

Carolinatarheel , says: October 31, 2017 at 3:35 pm
I find it curious that Crooked Mueller charged two republicans just as Crooked Hillary and the DNC were identified for paying Russians for smear documents! America First!
Nick , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:06 pm
I love how the origins of the project (Free Beacon/Paul Singer) are merely a footnote in this terribly written piece.
Jake , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:14 pm
How is it not true? Reports indicate that Mr. Steele did indeed use paid sources within Russia to compile the "dossier" on Trump. Steele used money paid by the Clinton campaign labeled as "legal fees". There is a reason Hillary, DWS, Podesta and the others have all lied.
Quek , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:40 pm
I think the story is even more obvious than this. They wanted to spy on aspects of the Trump campaign but they legally couldn't. The FBI told them they needed a reason to tap the phones and read the mail. They paid a guy to put together a dossier that would allow them to get FISA warrants to do the spying they wanted to do illegally. They just needed the dossier to say certain things to get it past a FISA judge. They did this and tapped his phones and read his emails and texts for the purpose of beating him in the election. It is really that simple of a story.
Cjones1 , says: October 31, 2017 at 4:51 pm
Did Obama's White House Counsel Bauer and Perkins Coie's Elias engage in a conspiracy to smear Trump and benefit the Clinton campaign?

Did they orchestrate a campaign trick, using the Fusion GPS dossier and an insider leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks,that falsely smeared the Trump team?

Hillary and Fusion GPS both lobbied against business restrictions proposed and imposed by the Magnitsky legislation and both received bonuses and payments from Russian entities with ties to the Putin gang.

Given Hillary's past pay to play lobbying and her disregard for national security, it would seem appropriate to have investigate if members of the Clinton campaign had contacts with the Russian Ambassador or Russian "operatives. We now know that the dossier relied on collaboration with Russian officials.

Given that several levels under the 17 intelligence heads of the Obama administration, including former FBI Director Mueller, participated in suppressing known Russian bribery, obfuscated and obstructed the investigation into Hillary's national security violations & pay to play schemes, and apparently conspired using a dossier, containing Russian supplied information, to throw the last Presidential election, it is time to bring the Obama political appointees and Clinton campaign officials to justice and stop the interference affecting the Trump administration.

In my opinion, Mueller has disgraced his former and present positions by collaborating in this conjured affair that obfuscates the real crimes occurring during the Obama administration.

Zardoz , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:13 pm
The Russian SVR RF was no doubt inside the DNC's server, just as it was no doubt inside of Hillary Clinton's private unsecured email server on which she did all of her State Department business.

But that does not necessarily mean that the SVR RF released the damning evidence about the corruption of the DNC & its machinations to influence the outcome of the Election to Wikileaks. I believe Seth Rich was the source of that damning evidence.

Since there was allegedly some evidence of the Russian hacking, the DNC conveniently blamed the Wikileaks story on them.

But the fact the Democrats refused to turn over the supposedly hacked DNC server to the FBI suggests there is something seriously wrong with the Democ"rats" story.

Don Juan , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:23 pm
Crooked Hillary and her klan never thought for a second they wouldn't be able to cover up democrat crimes. The Clinton Crime Family is in full panic mode. No one seems to remember why Mueller quit as director of the FBI. He was disgusted by the Obama administration covering up lawlessness.
CapitalistRoader , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:49 pm
All of this and not one mention of how much of the controversy Hillary Clinton could defuse by simply releasing all of the government emails she kept on a private server in order to keep them away from FOIA requests and allowing more transparency into her financial relationships with the Russian oligarchy.
swb , says: October 31, 2017 at 5:57 pm
Nice try at deflection, but it is not likely to stop Muller because he has an actual brain. On the other hand, the comments indicate that the conspiracy types are on board. Now I have it on good authority that there are ties between Steele and Benghazi as well so it is time to wrap this all up together into a unified story.
Virginia Farmer , says: October 31, 2017 at 6:08 pm
Since most of the posters here seem to be partisan I'm sure that no one will like my preference: Lock both Trump and HRC up and put them in the same cell to save us money. They are both crooked and any attempt to accuse one and defend the other is futile.
MM , says: October 31, 2017 at 6:38 pm
Karen Finney, formerly of the Clinton 2016 campaign, on October 29th:

"I think what's important, though, is less who funded it than what was in the dossier."

In the same interview:

"We also learned this week that Cambridge Analytica, the company that was basically the data company for the [Trump] campaign, reached out to Julian Assange of Wikileaks."

Did everybody catch that?

In today's Democratic Party, it is perfectly acceptable to pay foreign sources for dirt, fabricated or not, on your domestic political opponent.

But it is totally unacceptable to reach out to Wikileaks, with no money involved, for dirt on your domestic political opponent. I'll note that Wikileaks has relied on whistle-blower sources and has not been shown to have published any false information in its entire 10-year existence.

Absolutely gorgeous

Zardoz , says: October 31, 2017 at 7:01 pm
The Russian SVR RF was likely inside the DNC's server, just as it was likely inside of Hillary Clinton's private unsecured email server on which she did all of her State Department business.

But that does not necessarily mean that the SVR RF released the evidence about the rotten corruption of the DNC & its machinations to influence the outcome of the Election to Wikileaks. I believe Seth Rich was the source of that evidence.

Since there was allegedly some evidence of the Russian hacking, the DNC conveniently blamed the Wikileaks story on them.

But the fact the Democrats refused to turn over the supposedly hacked DNC server to the FBI suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the Democ"rats" story.

Lenny , says: October 31, 2017 at 7:10 pm
To all of those who think that paying a foreign informant money to give you info is the same thing as accepting help from a foreign government, you have some screws lose.

Furthermore, the help that Trump received was in the form of emails that have been stolen from an American citizen, a federal offence.

The whole Uranium one non story is based on a book that his own author admitted he has no evidence of malfeasance by HRC , and who was paid for his effort by the Mercers.

Also, the Uranium cannot be exported outside the USA anyway, because the law prevents it, no matter who owns the company

JR , says: October 31, 2017 at 7:31 pm
To all those who think what Hillary campaign did is the same thing as what Trump campaign did: Can you with a straight face think that Hillary is in Putin's pocket? I don't think so. The issue, if you're being honest, is that a lot of people on the other side can easily see Trump being in Putin's pocket. And so far he (Trump) has done nothing to disprove that. Remember the Glee that the neocons had when Trump ordered a few missiles at Syria..guess what nothing came off it and Assad is still very much in power and no one cares anymore (an outcome that I am fine with). You think things would have been the same if Hillary was in power?

But at the end of the day, we're left to wonder whether Trump is doing Putin's bidding Just because so far he has done nothing that has been antagonistic towards Russian interests (Iran notwithstanding because nothing is going to come off it, all it is going to do is make US look impotent, which will be fine by Putin).

jlee67 , says: October 31, 2017 at 8:46 pm
Why didn't the FBI insist on examining the DNC servers? Something's not right.
b. , says: October 31, 2017 at 9:21 pm
If only Sanders had ever exclaimed something like "The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn Russians!"

If there is any kind of actual evidence of state actors in the various efforts to force transparency on the Clinton campaign and the DNC, it is now tainted by the association with Steele, Simpson, Elias, which appear to have repeatedly acted against client privileges and privacy – peddling results paid for by one client to another, leaking information paid for by clients to the press, Congress, the FBI – or have acted with client permission, while a former "spy" is accessing and potentially endangering networks maintained by his former employer, a foreign intelligence service known for its ability to find yellowcake.

Only the Democrats can show such staggering ineptitude.

The plot needs some new, exciting turn at this point. Let us speculate that the Steele Dossier was in fact a false flag operation, allowing "Russians" to discredit not one, but two presidential campaigns, not one, but two presidential candidates, a twofer that makes whomever becomes President look like an idiot. One of the most ridiculous propositions of this whole affair has been the claim that Putin would seriously care which incompetent and corrupt American gets to prosecute the self-inflicted ruin of this blighted nation for the next four years.

It's morons all the way down.

Central Virginia Cantor Ejector! , October 31, 2017 at 11:16 pm
@Virginia Farmer : "Lock both Trump and HRC up and put them in the same cell to save us money. They are both crooked and any attempt to accuse one and defend the other is futile."

Right on! "Virginia Farmer" for President!

Donald ( the left leaning one) , says: November 1, 2017 at 12:09 am
"To all those who think what Hillary campaign did is the same thing as what Trump campaign did: Can you with a straight face think that Hillary is in Putin's pocket?"

I'm not very partisan. I voted for Clinton, but as the lesser evil on various issues, chiefly domestic and environmental. Clinton is not in Putin's pocket. She is in the pocket of Netanyahu, and the Saudis. Trump doesn't really seem to be in Putin's pocket -- he has neocons and others working hard to ensure that he gets into a confrontation with Iran. Basically he too is in the pocket of the Israelis and the Saudis.

The mainstream ignores this. The countries with real influence on our policies don't have to favor one party over the other. They have them both in their pocket.

Donald ( the left leaning one) , says: November 1, 2017 at 12:14 am
M --

Yeah, I can't keep up with all the twists and turns. I read just enough to see both sides ( the partisan ones) live in closed cognitive universes. I suspect there is plenty of corruption and dishonesty to go around, even if we restricted ourselves to real or alleged Russian ties. But I wonder what would turn up if we really looked into how our foreign policy sausage is made?

VikingLS , says: November 1, 2017 at 1:14 pm
@Donald ( the left leaning one)

In my annoyance I overstated it a little, but this thread is a good example of what I was saying about a lot of the liberal commenters on TAC. I don't read a lot of these comments and see people who are giving the article much thought.

BTW I was about to write the exact same thing to JR you did regarding the Saudis and the Israelis.

Cynthia McLean , says: November 1, 2017 at 1:17 pm
As time goes on, I don't think Russia "meddled" in US elections as much as US politicians of both parties corruptly attempted to rig the elections. Seems to me that the demonization of Russia is bi-partisan because the US military industrial complex needs a "bogey man" to justify its billions$$$$ and just about ALL politicians need that money to stay in power.

[Nov 02, 2017] Twitter Admits It Buried Podesta Email, DNC Tweets Ahead Of The Presidential Election Zero Hedge

Nov 02, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

It was approximately one year ago, when angry tweeters alleged that Jack Dorsey et al., were purposefully censoring and "suppressing" certain content on Twitter, namely anything to do with the leaked DNC and John Podesta emails , as well as hashtags critical of Hillary Clinton while "shadow-banning" pro-Donald Trump content. We can now confirm that at least one part of the above was true, because during today's Senate hearing, Twitter admitted it "buried", which is another word for censored, significant portions of tweets related to hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in the months heading into the 2016 presidential campaign.

As Daily Caller's Peter Hasson reports, Twitter's systems hid 48 percent of tweets using the #DNCLeak hashtag and 25 percent of tweets using #PodestaEmails , Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett said in his written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Before the election, we also detected and took action on activity relating to hashtags that have since been reported as manifestations of efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. For example, our automated spam detection systems helped mitigate the impact of automated Tweets promoting the #PodestaEmails hashtag , which originated with Wikileaks' publication of thousands of emails from the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's Gmail account.

The core of the hashtag was propagated by Wikileaks, whose account sent out a series of 118 original Tweets containing variants on the hashtag #PodestaEmails referencing the daily installments of the emails released on the Wikileaks website. In the two months preceding the election, around 57,000 users posted approximately 426,000 unique Tweets containing variations of the #PodestaEmails hashtag.

Approximately one quarter (25%) of those Tweets received internal tags from our automation detection systems that hid them from searches.

As described in greater detail below, our systems detected and hid just under half (48%) of the Tweets relating to variants of another notable hashtag, #DNCLeak, which concerned the disclosure of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee

And yet, this glaring act of censorship was not aimed at the sources of the alleged propaganda, but the content: Just 2% of the tweets using the #DNCLeak hashtag came from "potentially Russian-linked accounts," Edgett said.

He also explained that Twitter hid the tweets as " part of our general efforts at the time to fight automation and spam on our platform across all areas.

...And Hillary still lost?

Just over a year ago, on the same day that Donald Trump's "grab them by the pussy tape" was released, WikiLeaks dumped over 30,000 hacked Podesta emails, which were damaging to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, throughout the election. A prior Wikileak of DNC emails, which revealed party officials secretly aided Hillary Clinton during her primary battle against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders , eventually cost then-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz her job. The leaks also exposed supposedly "neutral" journalists as pro-Clinton partisans.

The U.S. intelligence community concluded that Russian operatives were behind the original hacking of both the DNC and Podesta emails, which were part of Russian influence operations meant to disrupt the American electoral system.

* * * A question emerges: did Jack Dorsey, with his arbitrary decision to censor specific content damaging to Democrats, interfere with the election, and a funnier question: if Hillary lost with Twitter censoring anti-Hillary content, what would the outcome have been if Twitter actually respected the First Amendment?

nmewn -> fightapathy , Nov 1, 2017 9:25 PM

LMAO!...funny ain't it?

I mean, just how bad does a candidate have TO REALLY SUCK when, they have the establishment media panting on their every word, they're outspending the opponent 2:1 and they've got the intelligence apparatus of a world superpower spying on the opponent for them ...and she still loses?...lol.

And...

Hillary-Will-Never-Ever-Be-President...Ever.

Thats gotta suck ;-)

Nekoti , Nov 1, 2017 9:27 PM

Orwell should have named the book,2016.

SweetDoug , Nov 1, 2017 10:28 PM

Wow... Just plain ol' fuggin' wow... And this is EXACTLY the reason we can't allow these organizations, FB, Twitter, Google, to control everything on the net. This is so fucking dangerous to our freedom and the new media, that these pricks are creating and then censuring. And what the fuck do we do?

Google is getting a 1000 journanalists together to start 'creating' news. What do we do when this monster starts to bury alternative, unwanted thought. The snowflakes will be in charge.

Fire up the ovens! 'Cause that's where people like you and me are gonna end up if we don't stop this, somehow.

OJO

V-V

Pernicious Gold... -> SweetDoug , Nov 1, 2017 10:39 PM

They already control everything on the Web. Fuckbook and Goolag filter everything, preventing you from finding and seeing what you want. They only allow you to see what they want you to see.

Atomizer , Nov 1, 2017 10:54 PM

Desperation Has Set In, The Cabal Is Pushing All Agendas - Episode ...

Atomizer , Nov 1, 2017 10:54 PM

The Demonisation of the Elderly (and the exaltation of the young ) - YouTube

TeraByte , Nov 1, 2017 11:07 PM

I have found from many observations that our liberals are incapable of allowing anyone to have his own convictions and immediately answer their opponent with abuse or something worse. FEYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY, THE IDIOT (1868)

Vlad the Inhaler , Nov 1, 2017 11:17 PM

The government doesn't need to squash the 1st Amendment, their crony capitalist tech monopolies will do it for them in exchange for not being regulated.

moorewasthebestbond -> Vlad the Inhaler , Nov 1, 2017 11:18 PM

Hookers, blow, and immunity from prosecution... second only to Wall Street.

CalifornianSeven , Nov 1, 2017 11:38 PM

Did they wipe those tweets....like with a cloth...?

[Oct 29, 2017] US senator wants former DNC head, Clinton campaign manager to testify on Trump-Russia dossier

Notable quotes:
"... "absolutely need to be recalled." ..."
"... "It's difficult to imagine that a campaign chairman, that the head of the DNC would not know of an expenditure of this magnitude and significance. But perhaps there's something more going on here. But certainly it's worth additional questioning of those two witnesses," ..."
"... "more than anyone." ..."
"... On the same day, Elias' law firm, Perkins Coie, which represented the Clinton campaign and the DNC, confirmed it had hired Fusion GPS in April 2016. The funding arrangement brokered in the spring of 2016 lasted until right before the election, AP reported earlier this week, citing sources familiar with the matter. ..."
"... The document, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, alleged a compromising relationship between Trump and the Kremlin. It was finalized in December 2016, and published online by BuzzFeed in January. It contained unsubstantiated claims of links and allegations of deals between Moscow and the Trump campaign. ..."
"... It was funded initially by a Republican-funded journalism website, The Washington Free Beacon. However, the website insisted the enquiry had no Russian angle at that time. The alleged collusion between Trump and Russia became the focal point of the research after it was taken over by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). ..."
"... The Clinton campaign paid more than $5.6 million to Perkins Coie, recording the expenditures as "legal services," ..."
"... "legal and compliance consulting" ..."
"... "fake dossier," ..."
"... "Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier," ..."
"... "so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out." ..."
"... "commonly agreed" ..."
Oct 29, 2017 | www.rt.com

Several top Democrats should be summoned to testify before the US Senate Intelligence Committee on the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has said. Her remarks were prompted by new revelations linking the file to the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, Collins, who is a member of the Senate's Intelligence Committee, was emphatic that Hillary Clinton's election campaign manager, John Podesta, and the former head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Debbie Wasserman Schultz, "absolutely need to be recalled."

She added that they were most likely aware of the Democrats role in the preparation of this document.

"It's difficult to imagine that a campaign chairman, that the head of the DNC would not know of an expenditure of this magnitude and significance. But perhaps there's something more going on here. But certainly it's worth additional questioning of those two witnesses," she told CBS' Face the Nation.

Read more © Alex Edelman / Global Look Press Senate to examine financial records of firm behind notorious Trump-Russia dossier

She said further that Marc Elias, a lawyer representing Hillary for America and the DNC, should be questioned "more than anyone." On Tuesday, the Washington Post alleged that Elias retained research firm Fusion GPS in April 2016 to continue research into Trump's alleged coordination with Russia; and which later became known as the Steele dossier.

On the same day, Elias' law firm, Perkins Coie, which represented the Clinton campaign and the DNC, confirmed it had hired Fusion GPS in April 2016. The funding arrangement brokered in the spring of 2016 lasted until right before the election, AP reported earlier this week, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The document, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, alleged a compromising relationship between Trump and the Kremlin. It was finalized in December 2016, and published online by BuzzFeed in January. It contained unsubstantiated claims of links and allegations of deals between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

It was funded initially by a Republican-funded journalism website, The Washington Free Beacon. However, the website insisted the enquiry had no Russian angle at that time. The alleged collusion between Trump and Russia became the focal point of the research after it was taken over by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The Clinton campaign paid more than $5.6 million to Perkins Coie, recording the expenditures as "legal services," according to the Federal Election Commission. The DNC paid the law firm more than $2.9 million for "legal and compliance consulting" and reported $66,500 for research consulting.

Clinton/DNC paid for the Trump-Russia dossier - DETAILS https://t.co/dPBsSDfOIf

-- RT (@RT_com) October 25, 2017

Taking note of the recent revelations concerning the dossier, the US House Intelligence Committee has been granted access to Fusion GPS bank account records as part of its investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

On Sunday, Donald Trump lashed out in a series of tweets at the dossier and said something should be done about Hillary Clinton's links to the "fake dossier," as the US president put it.

"Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier," he wrote, later adding, that there is "so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out."

Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier (now $12,000,000?),....

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2017

Earlier this week, Trump said it is "commonly agreed" that there was no collusion between his presidential bid and the Russian government, and accused Clinton of being the one who really colluded with Russia.

[Oct 25, 2017] The Definitive Demise of the Debunked Dodgy Dossier on The Donald

Notable quotes:
"... For Donald Trump, all attempts to gain a foothold in the USSR and then in Russia in 30 years of travel and negotiations failed. Moscow did not have a Trump Tower of its own, although Trump boasted every time that he had met the most important people and was just about to invest hundreds of millions in a project that would undoubtedly be successful. ..."
"... Trumps' largest business success in Russia was the presentation of a Trump Vodka at the Millionaire Fair 2007 in Moscow. This project was also a cleansing; In 2009 the sale of Trump Vodka was discontinued. ..."
"... puts his name on stuff ..."
"... (2) Zhirinovsky Is The Very Last Person Putin Would Use For A Proxy ..."
"... Such a delicate plan – to reach the election of a President of the US by means of Zhirinovsky – ensures a skeptical smile for every Russian at best. He is already seventy and has been at the head of a party with a misleading name for nearly thirty years. The Liberal Democratic Party is neither liberal nor democratic. If their policies are somehow characterized, then as right-wing populism. Zhirinovsky is known for shrill statements; He threatened, for example, to destroy the US by means of "gravitational weapons". ..."
"... Why Would Russian Intelligence Agencies Sources Have Talked to Steele? ..."
"... But the report, published on the BuzzFeed Internet portal, is full of inconsistencies and contradictions. The problem is not even that there are a lot of false facts. Even the assumption that agents of the Russian secret services are discussing the details with a former secretary of a hostile secret service in the midst of a highly secret operation by which a future President of the US is to be discredited appears strange. ..."
"... Exactly. For the intelligence community and Democrat reliance on Steele's dossier to be plausible, you have to assume 10-foot tall Russkis (1) with incredibly sophisticated strategic, operational, and technical capabilities, who have (2) performed the greatest intelligence feat of the 21st and ..."
"... Donald Trump went on Howard Stern for, like, decades. The stuff that's right out there for whoever wants to roll those tapes is just as "compromising" as anything in the dodgy dossier, or the "grab her by the pussy" tape, for that matter. As Kowaljow points out, none of it was mortally wounding to Trump; after all, if you're a volatility voter who wants to kick over the table in a rigged game, you don't care about the niceties. ..."
"... transition ..."
"... And that's before we get to ObamaCare, financial regulation, gutting or owning the CIA (which Trump needs to do, and fast), trade policy, NATO, China, and a myriad of other stories, all rich with human interest, powerful narratives, and plenty of potential for scandal. Any one of them worthy of A1 coverage, just like the Inaugural crowd size dogpile that's been going on for days. ..."
"... Instead, the press seems to be reproducing the last gasps of the Clinton campaign, which were all about the evils of Trump, the man. That tactic failed the Clinton campaign, again because volatility voters weren't concerned with the niceties. And the same tactic is failing the press now. ..."
Jan 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
by Lambert Strether of Corrente .

In the midst of the hysteria about Russian interference in the 2016 election - 52% of Democrat voters believe it's definitely or probably true that "Russia tampered with vote tallies" , a view for which there is no evidence whatever, and which is a depressing testimony to the power of propaganda to produce epistemic closure in liberals as well as conservatives - came Buzzfeed's 35-page "dodgy dossier" on Donald Trump, oppo that the researcher, Christopher Steele , peddled during the election proper, but was unable to sell, not even to an easy mark like Jebbie. (There's a useful debunking of Steele's report in the New York Review of Books , of all places.) Remember the piss jokes? So two-weeks ago Amazingly, or not, a two-page summary to Steele's product had been included in a briefing given to Trump (and Obama). A weary Obama was no doubt well accustomed to the intelligence community's little ways, but the briefing must have been quite a revelation to Trump. I mean, Trump is a man who knows shoddy when he sees it, right?

In any case, a link to the following story in Hamburg's ridiculously sober-sided Die Zeit came over the transom: So schockiert von Trump wie alle anderen ("So shocked by Trump like everyone else"). The reporter is Alexej Kowaljow , a Russian journalist based in Moscow. Before anyone goes "ZOMG! The dude is Russian !", everything Kowaljow writes is based on open sources or common-sense information presumably available to citizens of any nation. The bottom line for me is that if the world is coming to believe that Americans are idiots, it's not necessarily because Americans elected Trump as President.

I'm going to lay out two claims and two questions from Kowaljow's piece. In each case, I'll quote the conventional, Steele and intelligence community-derived wisdom in our famously free press, and then I'll quote Kowaljow. I think Kowaljow wins each time. Easily. I don't think Google Translate handles irony well, but I sense that Kowaljow is deploying it freely.

(1) Trump's Supposed Business Dealings in Russia Are Commercial Puffery

Here's the section on Russia in Time's article on Trump's business dealings; it's representative. I'm going to quote it all so you can savor it. Read it carefully.

Donald Trump's Many, Many Business Dealings in 1 Map

Russia

"For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia," Trump tweeted in July, one day before he called on the country to "find" a batch of emails deleted from Hillary Clinton's private server. Nonetheless, Russia's extraordinary meddling in the 2016 U.S. election-a declassified report released by U.S. intelligence agencies in January disclosed that intercepted conversations captured senior Russian officials celebrating Trump's win-as well as Trump's complimentary remarks about Russian President have stirred widespread questions about the President-elect's pursuit of closer ties with Moscow. Several members of Trump's inner circle have business links to Russia, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who consulted for pro-Russia politicians in the Ukraine. Former foreign policy adviser Carter Page worked in Russia and maintains ties there.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's incoming national security adviser, has been a regular guest on Russia's English-language propaganda network, RT , and even dined with Putin at a banquet.

During the presidential transition, former Georgia Congressman and Trump campaign surrogate Jack Kingston told a gathering of businessmen in Moscow that the President-elect could lift U.S. sanctions.

According to his own son, Trump has long relied on Russian customers as a source of income. "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," Donald Trump Jr. told a Manhattan real estate conference in 2008 , according to an account posted on the website of trade publication eTurboNews. "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." Back to map .

Read that again, if you can stand it. Do you see the name of an actual business, owned by Trump? Do you see the name of any businessperson who closed a deal with Trump? Do you, in fact, see any reporting at all? At most, you see commercial puffery by Trump the Younger: "Russians [in Russia?] make up a pretty [qualifier] disproportionate [whatever that means] cross-section [whatever that means] of a lot of [qualifier] our assets."

Now Kowaljow (via Google Translate, so forgive any solecisms):

For Donald Trump, all attempts to gain a foothold in the USSR and then in Russia in 30 years of travel and negotiations failed. Moscow did not have a Trump Tower of its own, although Trump boasted every time that he had met the most important people and was just about to invest hundreds of millions in a project that would undoubtedly be successful.

Trumps' largest business success in Russia was the presentation of a Trump Vodka at the Millionaire Fair 2007 in Moscow. This project was also a cleansing; In 2009 the sale of Trump Vodka was discontinued.

Because think about it: Trump puts his name on stuff . Towers in Manhattan, hotels, casinos, golf courses, steaks. Anything in Russia with Trump's name on it? Besides the failed vodka venture? No? Case closed, then.

(2) Zhirinovsky Is The Very Last Person Putin Would Use For A Proxy

From The Hill's summary of Russian "interference" in the 2016 election:

Five reasons intel community believes Russia interfered in election

The attacks dovetailed with other Russian disinformation campaigns

The report covers more than just the hacking effort. It also contains a detailed list account of information warfare against the United States from Russia through other means.

Political party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who the report lists as a "pro-Kremlin proxy," said before the election that, if Trump won, Russia would 'drink champagne' to celebrate their new ability to advance in Syria and Ukraine.

Now Kowaljow:

The report of the American intelligence services on the Russian interference in the US elections, published at the beginning of January, was notoriously neglected by Russians, because the name of Vladimir Zhirinovsky was mentioned among the "propaganda activities of Russia", which had announced that in the event of an election victory of Trump champagne to want to drink.

Such a delicate plan – to reach the election of a President of the US by means of Zhirinovsky – ensures a skeptical smile for every Russian at best. He is already seventy and has been at the head of a party with a misleading name for nearly thirty years. The Liberal Democratic Party is neither liberal nor democratic. If their policies are somehow characterized, then as right-wing populism. Zhirinovsky is known for shrill statements; He threatened, for example, to destroy the US by means of "gravitational weapons".

If, therefore, the Kremlin had indeed had the treacherous plan of helping Trump to power, it would scarcely have been made known about Zhirinovsky.

The American equivalent would be. Give me a moment to think of an American politician who's both so delusional and such a laughingstock that no American President could possibly consider using them as a proxy in a devilishly complex informational warfare campaign Sara Palin? Anthony Weiner? Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Na ga happen.

And now to the two questions.

(3) Why Would Russian Intelligence Agencies Sources Have Talked to Steele?

Kowaljow:

But the report, published on the BuzzFeed Internet portal, is full of inconsistencies and contradictions. The problem is not even that there are a lot of false facts. Even the assumption that agents of the Russian secret services are discussing the details with a former secretary of a hostile secret service in the midst of a highly secret operation by which a future President of the US is to be discredited appears strange.

Exactly. For the intelligence community and Democrat reliance on Steele's dossier to be plausible, you have to assume 10-foot tall Russkis (1) with incredibly sophisticated strategic, operational, and technical capabilities, who have (2) performed the greatest intelligence feat of the 21st and 20th centuries, suborning the President of the United States, and whose intelligence agencies are (3) leakly like a sieve. Does that make sense? (Of course, the devilish Russkis could have fed Steele bad data, knowing he'd then feed it to the American intelligence agencies, who would lap it up, but that's another narrative.)

(4) How Do You Compromise the Uncompromisable?

Funny how suddenly the word kompromat was everywhere, wasn't it? So sophisticated. Everybody loves to learn a new word! Regarding the "Golden Showers" - more sophistication! - Kowaljow writes:

But even if such a compromise should exist, what sense should it have, since the most piquant details have long been publicly discussed in public, and had no effect on the votes of the elected president? Like all the other scandals trumps, which passed through the election campaign, they also remained unresolved, including those who were concerned about sex.

This also includes what is known as a compromise, compromising material, that is, video shots of the unsightly nature, which can destroy both the political career and the life of a person. The word Kompromat shines today – as in the past Perestroika – in all headlines; It was not invented in Russia, of course. But in Russia in the Yeltsin era, when the great clans in the power gave bitter fights and intensively used the media, works of this kind have ended more than just a brilliant career. General Prosecutor Jurij Skuratov was dismissed after a video had been shown in the country-wide television channels: There, a person "who looks like the prosecutor's office" had sex with two prostitutes.

Donald Trump went on Howard Stern for, like, decades. The stuff that's right out there for whoever wants to roll those tapes is just as "compromising" as anything in the dodgy dossier, or the "grab her by the pussy" tape, for that matter. As Kowaljow points out, none of it was mortally wounding to Trump; after all, if you're a volatility voter who wants to kick over the table in a rigged game, you don't care about the niceties.

Conclusion

It would be nice, wouldn't it, if our famously free press was actually covering the Trump transition , instead of acting like their newsrooms are mountain redoubts for an irrendentist Clinton campaign. It would be nice, for example, to know:

  1. The content and impact of Trump's Executive Orders.
  2. Ditto, regulations.
  3. Personnel decisions below the Cabinet level. Who are the Flexians?
  4. Obama policies that will remain in place, because both party establishments support them. Charters, for example.
  5. Republican inroads in Silicon Valley.
  6. The future of the IRS, since Republicans have an axe to grind with it.
  7. Mismatch between State expectations for infrastructure and Trump's implementation

And that's before we get to ObamaCare, financial regulation, gutting or owning the CIA (which Trump needs to do, and fast), trade policy, NATO, China, and a myriad of other stories, all rich with human interest, powerful narratives, and plenty of potential for scandal. Any one of them worthy of A1 coverage, just like the Inaugural crowd size dogpile that's been going on for days.

Instead, the press seems to be reproducing the last gasps of the Clinton campaign, which were all about the evils of Trump, the man. That tactic failed the Clinton campaign, again because volatility voters weren't concerned with the niceties. And the same tactic is failing the press now. Failing unless, of course, you're the sort of sleaze merchant who downsizes the newsroom because, hey, it's all about the clicks.

[Oct 25, 2017] Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele in hiding after Trump dossier

Jan 12, 2017 | www.bbc.com

An ex-MI6 officer who is believed to have prepared memos claiming Russia has compromising material on US President-elect Donald Trump is now in hiding, the BBC understands.

Christopher Steele, who runs a London-based intelligence firm, is believed to have left his home this week.

The memos contain unsubstantiated claims that Russian security officials have compromising material on Mr Trump.

The US president-elect said the claims were "fake news" and "phoney stuff".

Mr Steele has been widely named as the author of a series of memos - which have been published as a dossier in some US media - containing extensive allegations about Mr Trump's personal life and his campaign's relationship with the Russian state.

... ... ...

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said Mr Steele had previously been an intelligence officer - rather than agent - in MI6, who would have run a team of agents as an intelligence gatherer.

However, as Mr Steele was now working in the private sector, our correspondent said, there was "probably a fair bit of money involved" in the commissioning of the reports.

He said there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations and it was still possible the dossier had been based on what "people had said" about Mr Trump "without any proof".

Donald J. Tump Twit

@realDonaldTrump

James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. Made up, phony facts. Too bad!

... ... ...

Obama briefing

The 35-page dossier on Mr Trump - which is believed to have been commissioned initially by Republicans opposed to Mr Trump - has been circulating in Washington for some time.

Media organisations, uncertain of its credibility, initially held back from publication. However, the entire series of reports has now been posted online, with Mr Steele named as the author.

Intelligence agencies considered the claims relevant enough to brief both Mr Trump and President Obama last week.

But the allegations have not been independently substantiated or verified and some details have been challenged as incorrect by those who are mentioned.

Mr Trump himself was briefed about the existence of the allegations by the US intelligence community last week but has since described them as fake news, accusing the US intelligence services of leaking the dossier.

[Oct 25, 2017] Former MI6 agent behind Trump dossier returns to work by Luke Harding and Nick Hopkins

So guardian clearly supports Steele dossier. Nice... So the guy clearly tried to influence the US election and Guardian neoliberal honchos and their Russophobic presstitutes (like Luke Harding) are OK with it. They just complain about Russian influence. British elite hypocrisy in action...
Notable quotes:
"... Published in January by BuzzFeed , the dossier suggested that Donald Trump's team had colluded with Russian intelligence before the US election to sabotage Hillary Clinton's campaign. Citing unidentified sources, it said Trump had been "compromised" by Russia's FSB spy agency during a trip to Moscow in 2013. ..."
"... Trump dismissed the dossier as fake news and said Steele was a "failed spy". Vladimir Putin also rejected the dossier. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed Russia did not collect kompromat – compromising material – on Trump or anyone else. ..."
"... As head of MI6's Russia desk, Steele led the inquiry into Litvinenko's polonium poisoning, quickly concluding that this was a Russian state plot. He did not meet Litvinenko and was not his case officer, friends said. ..."
Mar 07, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Christopher Steele speaks publicly for first time since the file was revealed and thanks supporters for 'kind messages'

The former MI6 agent behind the controversial Trump dossier has returned to work, nearly two months after its publication caused an international scandal and furious denials from Washington and Moscow.

Christopher Steele posed for a photograph outside the office of his business intelligence company Orbis in Victoria, London on Tuesday. Speaking for the first time since his dossier was revealed , Steele said he had received messages of support.

"I'm now going to be focusing my efforts on supporting the broader interests of our company here," he told the Press Association. "I'd like to say a warm thank you to everyone who sent me kind messages and support over the last few weeks."

Steele, who left British intelligence in 2009 and co-founded Orbis with an MI6 colleague, said he would not comment substantively on the contents of the dossier: "Just to add, I won't be making any further statements or comments at this time."

Published in January by BuzzFeed , the dossier suggested that Donald Trump's team had colluded with Russian intelligence before the US election to sabotage Hillary Clinton's campaign. Citing unidentified sources, it said Trump had been "compromised" by Russia's FSB spy agency during a trip to Moscow in 2013.

It alleged that Trump was secretly videoed with Russian prostitutes in a suite in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow. The prostitutes allegedly urinated on the bed used by Barack Obama during a presidential visit.

Trump dismissed the dossier as fake news and said Steele was a "failed spy". Vladimir Putin also rejected the dossier. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed Russia did not collect kompromat – compromising material – on Trump or anyone else.

Steele's friends say he has been keen to go back to work for some weeks. They insist he has not been in hiding but has been keeping a low profile to avoid paparazzi who have been camped outside his family home in Surrey.

Several of the lurid stories about him that have appeared in the press have been wrong, said friends. The stories include claims that Steele met Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian dissident who was murdered in 2006 with a radioactive cup of tea, probably on Putin's orders .

As head of MI6's Russia desk, Steele led the inquiry into Litvinenko's polonium poisoning, quickly concluding that this was a Russian state plot. He did not meet Litvinenko and was not his case officer, friends said.

[Oct 25, 2017] There is a Coup Underway Against President Trump by Harley Schlanger

Notable quotes:
"... Despite more than twelve months of non-stop charges against the Russians, and claims of Trump's collusion with Russia, not a shred of hard evidence has yet been presented to back these allegations, which are at the heart of the coup plot being run against the President. ..."
"... Brennan set up a task force to look into the Russian meddling charges after a former British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Andrew Wood, delivered a fraudulent dossier, prepared by an "ex"-MI6 operative, to Brennan, through anti-Trump Senator John McCain. ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | steemit.com

, LaRouchePac, SGTreport.com:

In a desperate attempt to defend its collapsing "Russiagate" narrative, the Washington Post launched an attack on The Nation magazine for its August 9 article by Patrick Lawrence, "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack." Lawrence's article, in the most prestigious left/progressive magazine in the U.S., broke the attempted media blackout of the memo sent by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) on July 24 to President Trump, which effectively refutes the claims of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, allegedly through "hacking" Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and releasing them to Wikileaks.

Despite more than twelve months of non-stop charges against the Russians, and claims of Trump's collusion with Russia, not a shred of hard evidence has yet been presented to back these allegations, which are at the heart of the coup plot being run against the President.

The Nation article was followed by a prominent story in Bloomberg News and one in Salon magazine, which both reported on the Nation article, and the VIPS memo, and how it challenges the narrative that Trump owes his election victory to Putin and Russia. That story was concocted by leading figures in British intelligence, and leaked to the U.S. media by corrupt elements of Obama's intelligence team, led by the trio of Brennan, Clapper and Comey, as part of the "regime change" against Trump they launched after his November 2016 election victory.

Brennan set up a task force to look into the Russian meddling charges after a former British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Andrew Wood, delivered a fraudulent dossier, prepared by an "ex"-MI6 operative, to Brennan, through anti-Trump Senator John McCain.

The attack on The Nation was posted on the Post's "Eric Wemple Blog" on August 15, and is a blatant attempt to force The Nation's editors to not merely repudiate the Lawrence article, but to join the campaign against Trump's desire for cooperation with Russia. Wemple's attempt to dismiss the authoritative report of the VIPS has no substance, and is written to bludgeon the magazine's editors to adopt the talking points of the coup plotters. As such, it presents the same weak, sophistical argument presented by the DNC, which released a statement on the VIPS memo which simply reasserted the conclusion reached by "U.S. intelligence agencies" of Russian interference, adding, "Any suggestion otherwise is false, and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration."

Such dangerous silliness was countered by Salon's Danielle Ryan, who wrote on August 15,

"For the media and mainstream liberals to dismiss information presented in The Nation as lacking in evidence would be breathtakingly ironic, given how little evidence they required to build a narrative" against Trump and Putin. She concluded that if the VIPS memo is right, "those who pushed the Russia hacking narrative with little evidence have a lot to answer for."

[Oct 24, 2017] Hillary Clinton Lied, Paid For Trump Dossier

Is this CIA against Hillary Clinton. Did she cross some red line ? Why this revelation happened now? What changed in deep state to allow such a revelation to surface.
Notable quotes:
"... Though neither the DNC nor the Clinton campaign worked directly with former British spy Christopher Steele as he compiled the document, the fact that Democrats funded the dossier – which includes information primarily gleaned from sources in Russia – ironically suggests the Democrats indirectly leveraged Russian sources to try and spread information of dubious veracity about a political opponent to try and sway an election ..."
"... Even though the scandalous accusations contained within the dossier weren't made public until after the vote, presumably waiting to see what foot the shoe would end up on, this would've provided serious grist for the collusion narrative, which we imagine would've been stretched to include the entire Republican establishment as accomplices. ..."
"... While it's impossible to determine exactly how much money was spent on the dossier, the Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie – the law firm of Clinton superattorney Marc Elias - $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign finance records, and the DNC paid the firm $3.6 million in "legal and compliance consulting'' since Nov. 2015. Some of that money was presumably used to pay for the dossier. ..."
"... Steele previously worked in Russia for British intelligence. The dossier, which was primarily compiled in Moscow, is a compilation of reports Steele prepared for Fusion. Allegations contained in the dossier included claims the Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and the Kremlin was engaged in an active effort to assist his campaign for president. ..."
"... House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Dunes has tried to compel Fusion's founders to disclose who paid for the dossier, but all three of them pled the fifth during public testimony last week. Nunes has also tried subpoenaing the firm's bank records. ..."
"... The most salacious accusations contained in the dossier have not been verified, and may never be. Still, after the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence about Trump and Russia, but the bureau pulled out of the arrangement after Steele was publicly identified in news reports ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign jointly financed the creation of the infamous "Trump dossier," which helped inspire the launch of the floundering investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.

Though neither the DNC nor the Clinton campaign worked directly with former British spy Christopher Steele as he compiled the document, the fact that Democrats funded the dossier – which includes information primarily gleaned from sources in Russia – ironically suggests the Democrats indirectly leveraged Russian sources to try and spread information of dubious veracity about a political opponent to try and sway an election.

Sound familiar?

Even though the scandalous accusations contained within the dossier weren't made public until after the vote, presumably waiting to see what foot the shoe would end up on, this would've provided serious grist for the collusion narrative, which we imagine would've been stretched to include the entire Republican establishment as accomplices.

While it's impossible to determine exactly how much money was spent on the dossier, the Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie – the law firm of Clinton superattorney Marc Elias - $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign finance records, and the DNC paid the firm $3.6 million in "legal and compliance consulting'' since Nov. 2015. Some of that money was presumably used to pay for the dossier.

Fusion GPS's work researching Trump began during the Republican presidential primaries when an unidentified GOP donor reportedly hired the firm to dig into Trump's background. The Republicans who were involved in the early stages of Fusion's efforts have not yet been identified. Fusion GPS did not start off looking at Trump's Russia ties, but quickly realized that those relationships would be a fruitful place to start, WaPo reported.

Steele previously worked in Russia for British intelligence. The dossier, which was primarily compiled in Moscow, is a compilation of reports Steele prepared for Fusion. Allegations contained in the dossier included claims the Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and the Kremlin was engaged in an active effort to assist his campaign for president.

Fusion turned over Steele's reports and other research documents to Elias, and it's unclear how much of it he shared with the campaign.

The revelation about who funded the dossier comes just days after Trump tweeted that the FBI and DOJ should publicly reveal who hired Fusion GPS. And lo and behold, that information has now been made public.

Officials behind the now discredited "Dossier" plead the Fifth. Justice Department and/or FBI should immediately release who paid for it.

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Dunes has tried to compel Fusion's founders to disclose who paid for the dossier, but all three of them pled the fifth during public testimony last week. Nunes has also tried subpoenaing the firm's bank records.

The most salacious accusations contained in the dossier have not been verified, and may never be. Still, after the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence about Trump and Russia, but the bureau pulled out of the arrangement after Steele was publicly identified in news reports. Officials also decided to withhold information from the dossier in an intelligence community report published in January alleging that Russian entities had tried to sway the US election on behalf of the Russian government.

Of course, we still don't know who leaked the dossier to Buzzfeed and CNN back in January. John McCain – one of the primary suspects – has repeatedly denied it, and Fusion GPS has said in court documents that it didn't share the document with Buzzfeed. However, we do known that in early January, then-FBI Director James B. Comey presented a two-page summary of Steele's dossier to President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump.

It therefore strongly suggests that it was the FBI that was instrumental in spreading the dossier to the media, most of which was too embarrassed to publish it until Buzzfeed came along and did it... for the clicks.

So to summarize:

[Oct 24, 2017] Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

Another day, another scandal in Washington, DC. Simultaneous opening of inquires that are designed to hurt Hillary and Bill were complete surprise.
Why now? There was some change on deep state level that is now reflected in this news. Suddenly Uranium 1 scandal comes into the forfront. And along with Steele dossier it is damaging to Clinton. Were Clintons "Weinsteinalized"? Should be expect "50 women" phenomena to be replayed.
There is some storm hitting the US "deep state". The reasons for this storm remains hidden. But attempt of Clintons to preserve their leadership in Democratic Party after Hillary fiasco in 2016 now are again became questionable.>
Notable quotes:
"... Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier - The Washington Post The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump's connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said. ..."
"... After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ..."
"... Fusion GPS gave Steele's reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and the DNC and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier - The Washington Post The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump's connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS's research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS's research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele compiled the dossier on President Trump's alleged ties to Russia. (Victoria Jones/AP)

Fusion GPS gave Steele's reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and the DNC and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele. One person close to the matter said the campaign and the DNC were not informed by the law firm of Fusion GPS's role.

[Oct 22, 2017] John Brennan's Police State USA

Notable quotes:
"... Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers. ..."
"... Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer. ..."
"... The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway. ..."
"... No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way ..."
"... " ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people." ..."
"... All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests. ..."
"... A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops. ..."
"... The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter. ..."
"... "The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result " ..."
"... But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world. ..."
"... I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter! ..."
"... Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them. ..."
"... The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself. ..."
"... Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. ..."
"... That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era. ..."
"... The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it. ..."
"... [The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank. ..."
"... Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran. ..."
"... Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington. ..."
"... Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say. ..."
"... Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse. ..."
"... Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.) ..."
"... Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress? ..."
"... Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies. ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Fran Macadam , October 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

A credible reading of the diverse facts, Mike.
Kirk Elarbee , October 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm GMT
Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/everyone-hacked-everyone-hacked-everyone-spy-spin-fuels-anti-kaspersky-campaign.html

utu , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:18 am GMT
Again Mike Whitney does not get it. Though in the first part of the article I thought he would. He was almost getting there. The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope.

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer.

Pamela Geller: Thank You, Larry David

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/10/19/pamela-geller-thank-larry-david/

anon , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT
OK.

The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway.

No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way

The one thing I am not positive about. If the elite really believe that Russia is a threat, then Americans have done psych ops on themselves.

The US was only interested in Ukraine because it was there. Next in line on a map. The rather shocking disinterest in investing money -- on both sides -- is inexplicable if it was really important. Most of it would be a waste -- but still. The US stupidly spent $5 billion on something -- getting duped by politicians and got theoretical regime change, but it was hell to pry even $1 billion for real economic aid.

ThereisaGod , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:37 am GMT
" ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people."

All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests.

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT
I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA, 1492 to the Present. A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops.
Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

You should be aware that Zinn's book is not, IMO, an honest attempt at writing history. It is conscious propaganda intended to make Americans believe exactly what you are taking from it.

DESERT FOX , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT
The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter.

Until that fact changes Americans will continue to fight and die for Israel.

TG , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:03 pm GMT
"The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result "

But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world.

I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter!

Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them.

Anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm GMT
Whitney is another author who declares the "Russians did it" narrative a psyop. He then devotes entire columns to the psyop, "naww Russia didn't do it". There could be plenty to write about – recent laws that do undercut liberty, but no, the Washington Post needs fake opposition to its fake news so you have guys like Whitney in the less-mainstream fake news media.

So Brennan wanted revenge? Well that's simple enough to understand, without being too stupid. But Whitney's whopper of a lie is what you're supposed to unquestionably believe. The US has "rival political parties". Did you miss it?

Jake , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT
The US is doing nothing more than acting as the British Empire 2.0. WASP culture was born of a Judaizing heresy: Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. That meant that the WASP Elites of every are pro-Jewish, especially in order to wage war, physical and/or cultural, against the vast majority of white Christians they rule.

By the early 19th century, The Brit Empire's Elites also had a strong, and growing, dose of pro-Arabic/pro-Islamic philoSemitism. Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

So, by the time of Victoria's high reign, the Brit WASP Elites were a strange brew of hardcoree pro-Jewish and hardcore pro-Arabic/islamic. The US foreign policy of today is an attempt to put those two together and force it on everyone and make it work.

The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself.

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

Fair enough. I didn't know that about the foreword. If accurate, that's a reasonable approach for a book.

Here's the problem.

Back when O. Cromwell was the dictator of England, he retained an artist to paint him. The custom of the time was for artists to "clean up" their subjects, in a primitive form of photoshopping.

OC being a religious fanatic, he informed the artist he wished to be portrayed as God had made him, "warts and all." (Ollie had a bunch of unattractive facial warts.) Or the artist wouldn't be paid.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/nov/08/cromwell-portraitist-samuel-cooper-exhibition

Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so.

All I am asking is that American (and other) history be written "warts and all." The triumphalist version is true, largely, and so is the Zinn version. Gone With the Wind and Roots both portray certain aspects of the pre-war south fairly accurately..

America has been, and is, both evil and good. As is/was true of every human institution and government in history. Personally, I believe America, net/net, has been one of the greatest forces for human good ever. But nobody will realize that if only the negative side of American history is taught.

Wally , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Hasbarist 'Kenny', you said:

"There must be something really dirty in Russigate that hasn't yet come out to generate this level of panic."

You continue to claim what you cannot prove.

But then you are a Jews First Zionist.

Russia-Gate Jumps the Shark
Russia-gate has jumped the shark with laughable new claims about a tiny number of "Russia-linked" social media ads, but the US mainstream media is determined to keep a straight face

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/10/robert-parry/jumping-the-shark/

Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

+ review of other frauds

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Jake

Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

Thanks for the laugh. During the 19th century, the Sauds were toothless, dirt-poor hicks from the deep desert of zero importance on the world stage.

The Brits were not Saudi proponents, in fact promoting the Husseins of Hejaz, the guys Lawrence of Arabia worked with. The Husseins, the Sharifs of Mecca and rulers of Hejaz, were the hereditary enemies of the Sauds of Nejd.

After WWI, the Brits installed Husseins as rulers of both Transjordan and Iraq, which with the Hejaz meant the Sauds were pretty much surrounded. The Sauds conquered the Hejaz in 1924, despite lukewarm British support for the Hejaz.

Nobody in the world cared much about the Saudis one way or another until massive oil fields were discovered, by Americans not Brits, starting in 1938. There was no reason they should. Prior to that Saudi prominence in world affairs was about equal to that of Chad today, and for much the same reason. Chad (and Saudi Arabia) had nothing anybody else wanted.

Grandpa Charlie , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

'Putin stopped talking about the "Lisbon to Vladivostok" free trade area long ago" -- Michael Kenney

Putin was simply trying to sell Russia's application for EU membership with the catch-phrase "Lisbon to Vladivostok". He continued that until the issue was triply mooted (1) by implosion of EU growth and boosterism, (2) by NATO's aggressive stance, in effect taken by NATO in Ukraine events and in the Baltics, and, (3) Russia's alliance with China.

It is surely still true that Russians think of themselves, categorically, as Europeans. OTOH, we can easily imagine that Russians in Vladivostok look at things differently than do Russians in St. Petersburg. Then again, Vladivostok only goes back about a century and a half.

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:39 pm GMT
@utu

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration.

I generally agree with your comment, but that part strikes me as a bit of an exaggeration. While relations with Russia certainly haven't improved, how have they really worsened? The second round of sanctions that Trump reluctantly approved have yet to be implemented by Europe, which was the goal. And apart from that, what of substance has changed?

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era.

Ludwig Watzal , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT
It's not surprising that 57 percent of the American people believe in Russian meddling. Didn't two-thirds of the same crowd believe that Saddam was behind 9/11, too? The American public is being brainwashed 24 hours a day all year long.

The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it.

This disinformation campaign might be the prelude to an upcoming war.
Right now, the US is run by jerks and idiots. Watch the video.

anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT
Only dumb people does not know that TRUMP IS NETANYAHU'S PUPPET.

The fifth column zionist jews are running the albino stooge and foreign policy in the Middle East to expand Israel's interest against American interest that is TREASON. One of these FIFTH COLUMNISTS is Jared Kushner. He should be arrested.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/donald-trumps-likudist-campaign-against-iran/5614264

[The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank.

Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran.

Bolton spoke with Trump by phone on Thursday about the paragraph in the deal that vowed it would be "terminated" if there was any renegotiation, according to Politico. He was calling Trump from Las Vegas, where he'd been meeting with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the third major figure behind Trump's shift towards Israeli issues. Adelson is a Likud supporter who has long been a close friend of Netanyahu's and has used his Israeli tabloid newspaper Israel Hayomto support Netanyahu's campaigns. He was Trump's main campaign contributor in 2016, donating $100 million. Adelson's real interest has been in supporting Israel's interests in Washington -- especially with regard to Iran.]

Miro23 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm GMT
A great article with some excellent points:

Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington.

American dominance is very much tied to the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency, and the rest of the world no longer want to fund this bankrupt, warlike state – particularly the Chinese.

First, it confirms that the US did not want to see the jihadist extremists defeated by Russia. These mainly-Sunni militias served as Washington's proxy-army conducting an ambitious regime change operation which coincided with US strategic ambitions.

The CIA run US/Israeli/ISIS alliance.

Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say.

They are given the political line and they broadcast it.

The loosening of rules governing the dissemination of domestic propaganda coupled with the extraordinary advances in surveillance technology, create the perfect conditions for the full implementation of an American police state. But what is more concerning, is that the primary levers of state power are no longer controlled by elected officials but by factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people. That can only lead to trouble.

At some point Americans are going to get a "War on Domestic Terror" cheered along by the media. More or less the arrest and incarceration of any opposition following the Soviet Bolshevik model.

CanSpeccy , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT
@utu

On the plus side, everyone now knows that the Anglo-US media from the NY Times to the Economist, from WaPo to the Gruniard, and from the BBC to CNN, the CBC and Weinstein's Hollywood are a worthless bunch of depraved lying bastards.

Thales the Milesian , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm GMT
Brennan did this, CIA did that .

So what are you going to do about all this?

Continue to whine?

Continue to keep your head stuck in your ass?

So then continue with your blah, blah, blah, and eat sh*t.

You, disgusting self-elected democratic people/institutions!!!

AB_Anonymous , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm GMT
Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse.

The thing is, no matter how thick the mental cages are, and how carefully they are maintained by the daily massive injections of "certified" truth (via MSM), along with neutralizing or compromising of "troublemakers", the presence of multiple alternative sources in the age of Internet makes people to slip out of these cages one by one, and as the last events show – with acceleration.

It means that there's a fast approaching tipping point after which it'd be impossible for those in power both to keep a nice "civilized" face and to control the "cage-free" population. So, no matter how the next war will be called, it will be the war against the free Internet and free people. That's probably why N. Korean leader has no fear to start one.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT
An aside:

All government secrecy is a curse on mankind. Trump is releasing the JFK murder files to the public. Kudos! Let us hope he will follow up with a full 9/11 investigation.

Think Peace -- Art

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm GMT
@utu

The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Good point. That was probably one of the objectives (and from the point of view of the deep-state, perhaps the most important objective) of the "Russia hacked our democracy" narrative, in addition to the general deligitimization of the Trump administration.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:11 pm GMT
And, keep in mind, Washington's Sunni proxies were not a division of the Pentagon; they were entirely a CIA confection: CIA recruited, CIA-armed, CIA-funded and CIA-trained.

Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.)

Are committees of six congressman and six senators, who meet in secret, just avoiding the grave constitutional questions of war? We the People cannot even interrogate these politicians. (These politicians make big money in the secrecy swamp when they leave office.)

Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress?

Spying is one thing – covert action is another – covert is wrong – it goes against world order. Every year after 9/11 they say things are worse – give them more money more power and they will make things safe. That is BS!

9/11 has opened the flood gates to the US government attacking at will, the various peoples of this Earth. That is NOT our prerogative.

We are being exceptionally arrogant.

Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies.

Think Peace -- Art

Rurik , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT
@Ben10

right at 1:47

when he says 'we can't move on as a country'

his butt hurt is so ruefully obvious, that I couldn't help notice a wry smile on my face

that bitch spent millions on the war sow, and now all that mullah won't even wipe his butt hurt

when I see ((guys)) like this raging their inner crybaby angst, I feel really, really good about President Trump

MAGA bitches!

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA

A Peoples History of the USA? Which Peoples?

Tradecraft46 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT
I am SAIS 70 so know the drill and the article is on point.

Here is the dealio. Most reporters are dim and have no experience, and it is real easy to lead them by the nose with promises of better in the future.

[Oct 22, 2017] Reason FBI Denied Access DNC Server

Youtube video
Jun 22, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Integrity Now , 3 months ago

We need Y'all at #UNRIG . Stop the deep state and two party tyranny. Unite and #UNRIG

Thomas Rocco , 3 months ago

Savage is the best

[Oct 20, 2017] Blaming Russia for the Internet 'Sewer' by Robert Parry

Notable quotes:
"... With the U.S. government offering tens of millions of dollars to combat Russian "propaganda and disinformation," it's perhaps not surprising that we see "researchers" such as Jonathan Albright of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University making the absurd accusation that the Russians have "basically turned [the Internet] into a sewer." ..."
"... I've been operating on the Internet since 1995 and I can assure you that the Internet has always been "a sewer" -- in that it has been home to crazy conspiracy theories, ugly personal insults, click-bait tabloid "news," and pretty much every vile prejudice you can think of. Whatever some Russians may or may not have done in buying $100,000 in ads on Facebook (compared to its $27 billion in annual revenue) or opening 201 Twitter accounts (out of Twitter's 328 million monthly users), the Russians are not responsible for the sewage coursing through the Internet. ..."
"... Even former Clinton political strategist Mark Penn has acknowledged the absurdity of thinking that such piddling amounts could have any impact on a $2.4 billion presidential campaign, plus all the billions of dollars worth of free-media attention to the conventions, debates, etc. Based on what's known about the Facebook ads, Penn calculated that "the actual electioneering [in battleground states] amounts to about $6,500." ..."
"... In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday, Penn added, "I have 40 years of experience in politics, and this Russian ad buy mostly after the election anyway, simply does not add up to a carefully targeted campaign to move voters. It takes tens of millions of dollars to deliver meaningful messages to the contested portion of the electorate." ..."
"... Occasionally, the U.S. mainstream media even acknowledges that fact. For instance, last November, The New York Times, which was then flogging the Russia-linked "fake news" theme , ran a relatively responsible article about a leading "fake news" Web site that the Times tracked down. It turned out to be an entrepreneurial effort by an unemployed Georgian student using a Web site in Tbilisi to make some money by promoting pro-Trump stories, whether true or not. ..."
"... The owner of the Web site, 22-year-old Beqa Latsabidse, said he had initially tried to push stories favorable to Hillary Clinton but that proved unprofitable so he switched to publishing anti-Clinton and pro-Trump articles, including made-up stories. In other words, the Times found no Russian connection. ..."
"... But the even larger Internet problem is that many "reputable" news sites, such as AOL, lure readers into clicking on some sensationalistic or misleading headline, which takes readers to a story that is often tabloid trash or an extreme exaggeration of what the headline promised. ..."
"... This reality about the Internet should be the larger context in which the Russia-gate story plays out, the miniscule nature of this Russian "meddling" even if these "suspected links to Russia" – as the Times initially described the 470 Facebook pages – turn out to be true. ..."
"... And, there is the issue of who decides what's true. PolitiFact continues to defend its false claim that Hillary Clinton was speaking the truth when – in referencing leaked Democratic emails last October – she claimed that the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies "have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election." ..."
"... That claim was always untrue because a reference to a consensus of the 17 intelligence agencies suggests a National Intelligence Estimate or similar product that seeks the judgments of the entire intelligence community. No NIE or community-wide study was ever done on this topic. ..."
"... Only later – in January 2017 – did a small subset of the intelligence community, what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described as "hand-picked" analysts from three agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation – issue an "assessment" blaming the Russians while acknowledging a lack of actual evidence . ..."
"... In other words, the Jan. 6 "assessment" was comparable to the "stovepiped" intelligence that influenced many of the mistaken judgments of President George W. Bush's administration. In "stovepiped" intelligence, a selected group of analysts is closeted away and develops judgments without the benefit of other experts who might offer contradictory evidence or question the groupthink. ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
Oct 18, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: As the Russia-gate hysteria spirals down from the implausible to the absurd, almost every bad thing is blamed on the Russians, even how they turned the previously pristine Internet into a "sewer," reports Robert Parry.

With the U.S. government offering tens of millions of dollars to combat Russian "propaganda and disinformation," it's perhaps not surprising that we see "researchers" such as Jonathan Albright of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University making the absurd accusation that the Russians have "basically turned [the Internet] into a sewer."

I've been operating on the Internet since 1995 and I can assure you that the Internet has always been "a sewer" -- in that it has been home to crazy conspiracy theories, ugly personal insults, click-bait tabloid "news," and pretty much every vile prejudice you can think of. Whatever some Russians may or may not have done in buying $100,000 in ads on Facebook (compared to its $27 billion in annual revenue) or opening 201 Twitter accounts (out of Twitter's 328 million monthly users), the Russians are not responsible for the sewage coursing through the Internet.

Americans, Europeans, Asians, Africans and pretty much every other segment of the world's population didn't need Russian help to turn the Internet into an informational "sewer." But, of course, fairness and proportionality have no place in today's Russia-gate frenzy.

After all, your "non-governmental organization" or your scholarly "think tank" is not likely to get a piece of the $160 million that the U.S. government authorized last December to counter primarily Russian "propaganda and disinformation" if you explain that the Russians are at most responsible for a tiny trickle of "sewage" compared to the vast rivers of "sewage" coming from many other sources.

If you put the Russia-gate controversy in context, you also are not likely to have your "research" cited by The Washington Post as Albright did on Thursday because he supposedly found some links at the home-décor/fashion site Pinterest to a few articles that derived from a few of the 470 Facebook accounts and pages that Facebook suspects of having a link to Russia and shut them down. (To put that 470 number into perspective, Facebook has about two billion monthly users.)

Albright's full quote about the Russians allegedly exploiting various social media platforms on the Internet was: "They've gone to every possible medium and basically turned it into a sewer."

But let's look at the facts. According to Facebook, the suspected "Russian-linked" accounts purchased $100,000 in ads from 2015 to 2017 (compared to Facebook's annual revenue of about $27 billion), with only 44 percent of those ads appearing before the 2016 election and many having little or nothing to do with politics, which is curious if the Kremlin's goal was to help elect Donald Trump and defeat Hillary Clinton.

Even former Clinton political strategist Mark Penn has acknowledged the absurdity of thinking that such piddling amounts could have any impact on a $2.4 billion presidential campaign, plus all the billions of dollars worth of free-media attention to the conventions, debates, etc. Based on what's known about the Facebook ads, Penn calculated that "the actual electioneering [in battleground states] amounts to about $6,500."

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday, Penn added, "I have 40 years of experience in politics, and this Russian ad buy mostly after the election anyway, simply does not add up to a carefully targeted campaign to move voters. It takes tens of millions of dollars to deliver meaningful messages to the contested portion of the electorate."

Puppies and Pokemon

And, then there is the curious content. According to The New York Times, one of these "Russian-linked" Facebook groups was dedicated to photos of "adorable puppies." Of course, the Times tried hard to detect some sinister motive behind the "puppies" page.

Similarly, CNN went wild over its own "discovery" that one of the "Russian-linked" pages offered Amazon gift cards to people who found "Pokémon Go" sites near scenes where police shot unarmed black men -- if you would name the Pokémon after the victims.

"It's unclear what the people behind the contest hoped to accomplish, though it may have been to remind people living near places where these incidents had taken place of what had happened and to upset or anger them," CNN mused, adding:

"CNN has not found any evidence that any Pokémon Go users attempted to enter the contest, or whether any of the Amazon Gift Cards that were promised were ever awarded -- or, indeed, whether the people who designed the contest ever had any intention of awarding the prizes."

So, these dastardly Russians are exploiting "adorable puppies" and want to "remind people" about unarmed victims of police violence, clearly a masterful strategy to undermine American democracy or – according to the original Russia-gate narrative – to elect Donald Trump.

A New York Times article on Wednesday acknowledged another inconvenient truth that unintentionally added more perspective to the Russia-gate hysteria.

It turns out that some of the mainstream media's favorite "fact-checking" organizations are home to Google ads that look like news items and lead readers to phony sites dressed up to resemble People, Vogue or other legitimate content providers.

"None of the stories were true," the Times reported. "Yet as recently as late last week, they were being promoted with prominent ads served by Google on PolitiFact and Snopes, fact-checking sites created precisely to dispel such falsehoods."

There is obvious irony in PolitiFact and Snopes profiting off "fake news" by taking money for these Google ads. But this reality also underscores the larger reality that fabricated news articles – whether peddling lies about Melania Trump or a hot new celebrity or outlandish Russian plots – are driven principally by the profit motive.

The Truth About Fake News

Occasionally, the U.S. mainstream media even acknowledges that fact. For instance, last November, The New York Times, which was then flogging the Russia-linked "fake news" theme , ran a relatively responsible article about a leading "fake news" Web site that the Times tracked down. It turned out to be an entrepreneurial effort by an unemployed Georgian student using a Web site in Tbilisi to make some money by promoting pro-Trump stories, whether true or not.

The owner of the Web site, 22-year-old Beqa Latsabidse, said he had initially tried to push stories favorable to Hillary Clinton but that proved unprofitable so he switched to publishing anti-Clinton and pro-Trump articles, including made-up stories. In other words, the Times found no Russian connection.

The Times article on Wednesday revealed the additional problem of Google ads placed on mainstream Internet sites leading readers to bogus news sites to get clicks and thus advertising dollars. And, it turns out that PolitiFact and Snopes were at least unwittingly profiting off these entrepreneurial ventures by running their ads. Again, there was no claim here of Russian "links." It was all about good ole American greed.

But the even larger Internet problem is that many "reputable" news sites, such as AOL, lure readers into clicking on some sensationalistic or misleading headline, which takes readers to a story that is often tabloid trash or an extreme exaggeration of what the headline promised.

This reality about the Internet should be the larger context in which the Russia-gate story plays out, the miniscule nature of this Russian "meddling" even if these "suspected links to Russia" – as the Times initially described the 470 Facebook pages – turn out to be true.

But there are no lucrative grants going to "researchers" who would put the trickle of alleged Russian "sewage" into the context of the vast flow of Internet "sewage" that is even flowing through the esteemed "fact-checking" sites of PolitiFact and Snopes.

There are also higher newspaper sales and better TV ratings if the mainstream media keeps turning up new angles on Russia-gate, even as some of the old ones fall away as inconsequential or meaningless (such as the Senate Intelligence Committee dismissing earlier controversies over Sen. Jeff Sessions's brief meeting with the Russian ambassador at the Mayflower Hotel and minor changes in the Republican platform).

Saying 'False' Is 'True'

And, there is the issue of who decides what's true. PolitiFact continues to defend its false claim that Hillary Clinton was speaking the truth when – in referencing leaked Democratic emails last October – she claimed that the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies "have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election."

That claim was always untrue because a reference to a consensus of the 17 intelligence agencies suggests a National Intelligence Estimate or similar product that seeks the judgments of the entire intelligence community. No NIE or community-wide study was ever done on this topic.

Only later – in January 2017 – did a small subset of the intelligence community, what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described as "hand-picked" analysts from three agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation – issue an "assessment" blaming the Russians while acknowledging a lack of actual evidence .

In other words, the Jan. 6 "assessment" was comparable to the "stovepiped" intelligence that influenced many of the mistaken judgments of President George W. Bush's administration. In "stovepiped" intelligence, a selected group of analysts is closeted away and develops judgments without the benefit of other experts who might offer contradictory evidence or question the groupthink.

So, in many ways, Clinton's statement was the opposite of true both when she said it in 2016 and later in 2017 when she repeated it in direct reference to the Jan. 6 assessment. If PolitiFact really cared about facts, it would have corrected its earlier claim that Clinton was telling the truth, but the fact-checking organization wouldn't budge -- even after The New York Times and The Associated Press ran corrections.

In this context, PolitiFact showed its contempt even for conclusive evidence – testimony from former DNI Clapper (corroborated by former CIA Director John Brennan) that the 17-agency claim was false. Instead, PolitiFact was determined to protect Clinton's false statement from being described for what it was: false.

Of course, maybe PolitiFact is suffering from the arrogance of its elite status as an arbiter of truth with its position on Google's First Draft coalition, a collection of mainstream news outlets and fact-checkers which gets to decide what information is true and what is not true -- for algorithms that then will exclude or downplay what's deemed "false."

So, if PolitiFact says something is true – even if it's false – it becomes "true." Thus, it's perhaps not entirely ironic that PolitiFact would collect money from Google ads placed on its site by advertisers of fake news.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

David G , October 18, 2017 at 5:57 pm

I bet the Russians are responsible for all the naked lady internet pictures as well. Damn you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, for polluting our purity.

TS , October 19, 2017 at 5:43 am

Two-thirds of a century ago, Arthur C. Clarke, who besides being a famous SF author, conceived the concept of the communications satellite, published a short story in which the Chinese use satellite broadcasting to flood the USA with porn in order spread moral degeneracy. Wadya think?

Mr. Mueller! Mr. Mueller! Investigate who the owners of YouPorn are!
It's all a Chinese plot, not a Russian one!

Broompilot , October 19, 2017 at 1:55 pm

I second the motion!

Antiwar7 , October 19, 2017 at 7:48 pm

"Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure-grain alcohol?"

richard vajs , October 20, 2017 at 7:50 am

And Vladimir keeps tempting me with offers of money that he found abandoned in Nigerian banks and mysteriously bequeathed to me.

Paul Fretheim , October 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm

This sounds eerily similar to newspeak described by George Orwell "1984" in

Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 7:20 pm

The failure of Russia bashers to rank all nations on FB ads and accounts, proves that they know they are lying. Random Russians (about 2% of the world population) may have spent 100K on mostly apolitical ads on FB (about 0.0004%) and may have 470 accounts on FB (about 0.000025%). So Russians have far fewer FB ads and accounts per capita than the average nation. Probably most developed nations have a higher per capita usage of FB, and many individuals and companies may have a higher total usage of FB.

The fact that 160 million is spent to dig up phony evidence of Russian influence (totaling about 0.13% of the investigation cost), proves that such "researchers" are paid liars; they are the ones who should be prosecuted for subversion of democracy for personal gain.

The fact that all views may be found on internet does not make it a "sewer" because one can view only what is useful. The Dems and Repubs regard the People as a sewer, because they believe that power=virtue=money no matter how unethically they get it, to rationalize oligarchy. They keep the most abusive and implausible ads out of mass media only because no advertiser wants them, but of course they don't want the truth either.

JWalters , October 18, 2017 at 9:03 pm

Add MSNBC to the sources of sewage on the internet. I checked out MSNBC today, and they are full-throttle on any kind of Russia-phobia. For those who read somewhat widely, it is obvious they are not even trying to present a balanced picture of the actual evidence. It is completely one-sided, and includes the trashiest trash of that one side. Their absolute lack of integrity matches Fox on its worst days.

As someone who formerly watched MSNBC regularly, I am sickened at the obvious capituation to the criminal Zionists who own the network. Have these people no decency? Apparently not. Historians will judge them harshly.

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 11:28 am

JWalters –

Yes. I completely agree with you. I am beginning to wonder if these people who are spitting out this trashiest trash at MSNBC from their mouths every day for over a year now are really sane people. I believe that along with politicians like Adam Schiff, these talk show hosts have slid into complete madness. The way it is going now, I am afraid that If these people are not removed, there is a danger of the whole country sliding into some form of madness.

anonymous , October 20, 2017 at 2:12 pm

"Historians will judge them harshly."

The western civilisation galloped to worldly success on the twin horses of Greed and Psychopathy. This also provided them the opportunity to write history as they wished.

Are historians judging them harshly now? They are themselves whores to whichever society they belong to.

Anna , October 19, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Jonathan Albright, the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, j.albright@columbia.edu . https://towcenter.org/about/who-we-are/
Mr. Albright is preparing for himself a feathered nest among other presstitutes swarming the many ziocons' "think tanks," like the viciously russophobic (and unprofessional) Atlantic Council that employs the ignoramus Eliot Higgins (a former salesman of ladies' underwear and college dropout) and Dmitry Alperovitch of CrowdStrike fame, a Russophobe and threat to the US national security
One can be sure that Jonathan Albright knows already all the answers (similar to Judy Miller) and he is not interested in any proven expertise like the one provided by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/
.

Dan Kuhn , October 18, 2017 at 6:17 pm

Can anyone out there please supply me with a couple of Russian hit pieces that crippled Hillary´s campaigne. Just askin, because I have never seen one.

Michael K Rohde , October 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm

You obviously haven't looked hard enough. I just finished the book "Shattered" and she had no problem blaming the Russians when the emails of Podesta came out in the summer. It took her a day or 2 to figure out that she couldn't blame the Arabs so the Russians were next up. How could you have missed it?

Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 9:38 pm

He is likely asking for ads from Russia that actually could have served as "hit pieces" against Clinton, versus her accusations.

Elizabeth Burton , October 18, 2017 at 6:21 pm

I fear we must set aside our sarcasm and understand that this entire Russian narrative has the ultimate goal of silencing any oppositional news sources to the corporate media. When we hear that Facebook is seeking to hire people with national security clearances, which is made to sound as if it's a good, responsible reaction to the "Russian ads" and is cheered on by people who should know better, we need to get our tongues out of our cheeks and stay alert.

A good friend, who is an activist battling the fracking industry in Colorado and blogging about it, was urging people this week to sign petitions demanding more censorship on Facebook to "prevent Russian propaganda." When I pointed out that, based on the Jan. 6 "report," which condemned RT America for "criticizing the fracking industry" as proof it was a propaganda organ, her blog is Russian propaganda. Did that change her mind? Nope. Her response was in the category of "Better safe."

So, it appears Russia is not replacing "Muslim terrorists" as the "great danger" our beloved and benevolent government must ask us to hand over our rights to combat. And people who can't seem to get it through their heads the government is NOT their friend are marching in lock-step to agree because it never occurs to them they, too, are a target.

Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 7:39 pm

Yes, the purpose of Russia bashing is to distract from the revelations of DNC corruption by oligarchy (top ten Clinton donors all zionists), attack leakers as opponents of oligarchy, and attack Russia in hope of benefits to the zionists in the Mideast.

Perhaps you meant to say that "Russia is [not] replacing "Muslim terrorists" as the 'great danger' our beloved and benevolent government must ask us to hand over our rights to combat." Or perhaps you meant that the Russia-gate gambit is not working.

Abe , October 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm

American psychologist Gustave Gilbert interviewed high-ranking Nazi leaders during the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. In 1947, Gilbert published part of his diary, consisting of observations taken during interviews, interrogations, "eavesdropping" and conversations with German prisoners, under the title Nuremberg Diary.

Hermann Goering, one of the most powerful figures in the Nazi Party, was founder of the Gestapo and Head of the Luftwaffe.

From an 18 April 1946 interview with Gilbert in Goering's jail cell:

Hermann Goering: "Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

Gilbert: "There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

Hermann Goering: "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 12:44 am

Abe –

Good post. Yes, from all the wars initiated during the last half century what Hermann Goring said is very true of U.S. The opposition to the Vietnam War later on was largely because of the draft.

Bertrand Russell in his autobiography describes in length how they prepared the U.K. public with outrageously false propaganda for War – World War I – against Germany in 1914. Bertrand Russell was vehemently against the War with Germany and spent some time in Jail for his activities to oppose the war.

Brad Owen , October 19, 2017 at 3:58 am

Based on what I have read about him, in his own words,on EIR, he was probably opposed to war with Germany because he was already looking ahead to a revival of the "Imperial Rome" situation we have in the Trans-Atlantic Community today, with its near-global Empire (enforced by America), working on breaking up the last holdout:the Eurasian Quarter with Russia, China, India, Iran, etc.

Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 2:21 am

Yes Brad, Bertrand Russell did love England and was very proud of English Civilization and it's contributions to the World. Considering his very aristocratic background, his contributions to mathematics and Philosophy are laudable. And he was very much involved in World peace and nuclear disarmament movements.

BobH , October 19, 2017 at 9:47 am

(Goering quote) ahh yes, sometimes it takes a cynical scoundrel to tell the truth!

T.Walsh , October 20, 2017 at 11:09 am

the major war criminals' trial ended in 1946, with the execution of the 10 major war criminals taking place on October 16, 1946.

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 8:48 pm

Elizabeth for the mere fact you are on this site may possibly be your reason for your escape from the MSM as it is a propaganda tool, to be used by the Shadow Government to guide your thought processes. (See YouTube Kevin Shipp for explanation for Shadow Government and Deep State) other than that I think it safe to say we are living in an Orwellian predicted state of mass communications, and for sure we are now living in a police state to accompany our censored news. Joe

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Here is something I feel may ring your bell when it comes to our maintaining a free press. Read this .

"From the PR perspective, releasing one anti-Russia story after another helps cement a narrative far better than an all-at-once approach to controlling the news cycle. The public is now getting maximum effect from what I believe is a singular and cohesive effort to lay the groundwork for global legislation to eradicate any dissent and particular dissent that is pro-Russia or pro-Putin. The way the news cycle works, a campaign is best leveled across two weeks, a month, or more, so that the desired audience is thoroughly indoctrinated with an idea or a product. In this case, the product is an Orwellian eradication of freedom of speech across the swath of the world's most used social media platforms. This is a direct result of traditional media and the deep state having failed to defeat independents across these platforms. People unwilling to bow to the CNN, BBC and the controlled media message, more or less beat the globalist scheme online. So, the only choice and chance for the anti-Russia message to succeed is with the complete takeover of ALL channels. As further proof of a collective effort, listen to this Bloomberg interview the other day with Microsoft CEO Brad Smith on the same "legislation" issues. Smith's rhetoric, syntax, and the flow of his narrative mirror almost precisely the other social CEOs, the US legislators, and especially the UK Government dialogue. All these technocrats feign concern over privacy protection and free speech/free press issues, but their real agenda is the main story."

Here is the link for the rest of the essay to Phil Butler's important news story ..

https://journal-neo.org/2017/10/18/globalist-counterpunch-going-for-the-media-knockout/

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 10:20 pm

Here is a great example of American politicians colluding with the Russians.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-18/fbi-informant-says-he-was-threatened-after-offering-details-linking-clinton-foundati

When you read this keep in mind that the Russians weren't doing any backroom illegal deals, because the Russians thought that they were dealing on the upside with the Obama White House State Department. Where you may question this, is where our Obama State Department side stepped the law to make money for those couple of Americans who fronted this deal. This is the epitome of hypocrisy of the worst kind.

Disclaimer; please Clinton and Trump supporters try and attempt to see this scandal for what it is. This fudging of the law to make a path for questionable donations is not a party platform issue. It is an issue of integrity and honesty. Yes Trump is the worst, but after you dig into the above link I provided, please don't come back at me screaming partisan politics. This scandal doesn't deserve a two sided political debate, as much as it deserves our attention, and what we do all should do about it.

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Joe Tedesky –

Reading about this Russian Bribery case in buying interest in "Uranium One" reminds me that Russians came a century or two late into this Capitalist Game. And they must be novices and rather crude in this business of bribing. This Russia bribery case is just a puddle in this vast Sea of Corruption to sell weapons, fighter jets, commercial airplanes, and other things by U.S., U.K., French, Swedes or other Western Nations to the Third World countries like India, Egypt, Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria etc. To make a sale of three or four billion dollars they would bribe the ministers and other officials in those countries probably with a 100 million dollars easily. Those of us who belong to the two worlds know it much better. The Indian Newspapers used to be always full of it, whenever I visited.

And the bribe money stays in the Western banks with which those ministers and officials sons and daughters buy extensive properties in these countries. In fact, these kind of issues are the topic of conversation at these Ethnic parties of rather prosperous people to which we do get invited once in a year or so – which minister or official bought what property and where with this kind or other type of corruption money. There used to be stories about Egyptian Presidents Sadat and Mubarak's sons playing around in U.S. having bought extensive properties with the bribe money. For Indian Ministers and Officials U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., and New Zealand are the preferred destinations to buy the properties.

And as we know with the corruption money, rich Russians are buying all these homes and other properties in Spain, U.S., U.K. and other Western Countries. It seems like Putin and his team have stopped most of big time corruption but it is very hard to stop the other corruption in this globalized free market economy, especially in countries where corruption is the norm.

Same is true of these IMF loans to those Third World Countries. Most of the money ends up in these Western Countries. The working class of those countries end up in paying back the high interest loans.

This is the World we are trying to defend with these endless wars and Russia-Gate.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 11:20 pm

Dave I concur that even the Russians are not beyond corruption, but we are not talking about the bad habits of the Russians, no we are talking about U.S. officials possibly breaking the law. I'll bet Dave if I had taken you on a vandalizing spree when we were young bad ass little hoodlums, and we got caught, that your father wouldn't have come after me, as much as he would come after you, as he would have given you a well deserved good spanking for your bad actions. So with that frame of mind I am keeping my focus with this Clinton escapade right here at home.

I like that you did point out to how the Russians maybe new to this capitalistic new world they suddenly find themselves in, but I would not doubt that even an old Soviet Commissar would have reached under the table for a kickback of somekind to enrich himself, if the occasion had arisen to do so. You know this Dave, that bribery has no political philosophy, nor does it have a democratic or communist ideology to prevent the corrupted from being corrupt.

I am not getting my hopes up that justice will be served with this FBI investigation into Hillary and Bill's uranium finagling. Although I'm surmising this whole thing will get turned around as a Sessions Trump attack upon the Clintons, and with that this episode of selling off American assets for personal wealth benefits, will instead fade away from our news cycles altogether. Just like the torture stuff went missing, and where did that go?

Dave I always look forward to hearing from you, because I think that you and I often have many a good conversation. Joe

Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 2:07 am

Yes Joe. I agree with you. The reason I wrote my comments was to make a point that Russian businessmen are not the only one who are in the bribery business, the businessmen of other Western Nations are doing the same thing. Yesterday on the Fox News the "Uranium One" bribery case was the main News. Shawn Hannity was twisting his words to make it look like that it is Putin who did it, and that it is Putin who gave all this 140 million as bribery to Clinton Foundation. Actually , I think the 140 millions was given to the Clinton Foundation by the trustees of the Company in Canada. And Russian officials probably greased the hands of a few of them too.

Of course Clintons are directly involved in this case. Considering how Hillary Clinton has been perpetuating this Russia-Gate hysteria, I hope some truth comes out to show that she may be the real center of this Russia-Gate affair. But way the things in Washington are now, probably they are going to whitewash the Hillary Clinton's role in this bribery scandal.

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 10:55 pm

While my one comment i wanted for you to read is being moderated, and it is an important comment, read how the Israeli's handle unwanted news broadcasting. When you read this think of the Kristallnacht episode, and then wonder why the Israeli's would do such a terrible thing similar to what they had encountered under Hitler's reign.

http://theduran.com/rt-provider-off-air-palestine-israeli-regime-takes-palestinian-broadcasters/

Be sure to see my comment I left above, which is being moderated. In the meantime go to NEO New Eastern Outlook and read Phil Butler's shocking story, 'Globalist Counterpunch: Going for the Media Knockout'.

backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 3:41 am

Joe Tedesky – the Zionists had been working (long before Hitler) on getting the Jews into Palestine. Read up on the Balfour Declaration. Hitler was helping them get out to Palestine. During World War II, one of the top German officials (can't remember which one right now) went to Palestine to have discussions with the Zionists. The Zionists basically said to him: "Look, you're sending us lazy Jews. These guys aren't interested in construction. Can't you raise more hell so that the harder-working Jews will want to leave Germany and come to Palestine?"

I think if we ever find out the truth about what happened, we will be shocked.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:11 am

Edmund de Rothschild who was a big financier of Zionism in 1934 on the subject of Palestine had said, "the struggle to put an end to the Wandering Jew, could not have as its result, the creation of the Wandering Arab."

I personally can't see the legality of the 'Balfour Declaration', but before Zionist trolls attack me, I must admit I'm no legal scholar.

I'll need to research that episode you speak of about the Germans meeting the Zionist. It's not an easy part of the Zionist history to study. Unless, you backwardsevolution can provide some references that would help to learn more about this fuzzy history.

Good to see you posting, for awhile your absence gave me concern that you are doing okay. Joe

Skip Scott , October 19, 2017 at 8:38 am

Thanks for the links Joe. Both great articles.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:14 am

Your welcome Skip I'll apologize for my posting all these links, but I kind of went nuts getting into the subject we are all talking about here, and more. Joe

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 11:21 pm

Although this article by the Saker talks about the U.S. being prepared for war against Iran it speaks to the bigger problem of who is America's puppet master.

http://thesaker.is/trump-goes-full-shabbos-goy/

Tannenhouser , October 19, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Joe start with a book called The Transfer Agreement by Edwin Black

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 11:25 pm

I put it on my next book to read. Thanks Tannerhouser appreciate your recommendation. Joe

dfc , October 18, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Elizabeth: Tell your good friend that once they get rid of the Russian propaganda on Facebook they will coming after those that oppose the Fracking Industry next:

How Hillary Clinton's State Department Sold Fracking to the World

h**p://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/hillary-clinton-fracking-shale-state-department-chevron/

Why Obama's top scientist just called keeping fossil fuels in the ground 'unrealistic'

h**ps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/07/12/why-obamas-top-scientist-just-called-keeping-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground-unrealistic/

Protesting the Dakota pipeline is not cut and dried

h**ps://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/protesting-the-dakota-pipeline-is-not-cut-and-dried/2016/11/06/2872e228-a207-11e6-8832-23a007c77bb4_story.html

Sorry, but how naive or deeply in the bubble can one be? lol :(

Beverly Voelkelt , October 19, 2017 at 2:50 am

I agree Elizabeth. The ultimate objective is censorship and control, using the pretext of keeping America safe from external meddling just like they enacted the Patroit Act to protect us from the terrists they created.

Daniel , October 19, 2017 at 5:04 am

Thank you Elizabeth. Shutting down alternative voices is clearly the end game here.

David G , October 18, 2017 at 6:25 pm

I'm not crazy about Robert Parry's phrase, "the mistaken judgments of President George W. Bush's administration".

The lying, murdering bastards were lying. It's their parents that made the mistake.

But I'll let it slide.

Tayo , October 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

I've said this before and I'll say it again: I suggest Mueller focuses on Tinder too. I'm betting there's something on there. Russians have been known to use honey pot plots.

D.H. Fabian , October 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Ah, but who is better at it -- Russia or the US? (And dare we even consider the power of China to infiltrate political powers and the media?)

anon , October 18, 2017 at 7:46 pm

So do Martians and every other national, religious, and ethnic group on the planet, with the US out in front. You will not trick more careful thinkers by attacking the target du jour.

D.H. Fabian , October 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Yes, and over the past week or two, it appears that work is being redirected into holding the vast military behemoth (?), Israel, accountable for our own political/policy choices. Either way, the US is clearly in its post-reality era.

anon , October 18, 2017 at 7:49 pm

zio-alert

Abe , October 18, 2017 at 10:06 pm

The naked gun of post-reality Hasbara propaganda:

When Israeli influence on US foreign policy choices may be discussed, Hasbara troll "D.H. Fabian" pops up to insist:

"Please disperse! There's nothing for you to see here. Keep moving!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSjK2Oqrgic

WC , October 19, 2017 at 12:05 am

And what do you want to discuss Abe? That there is undue influence from Israel on the US government? Maybe, but you could say the same thing about the pharmaceuticals, the MIC, big oil and the bankers, just to begin the list.

If you and others wish to focus in on a single culprit (defined as anyone fighting for their own self interests), fine. But there are opposing views that believe the picture is bigger than the one you would like to paint.

Curious , October 19, 2017 at 1:26 am

WC, I don't want to speak for Abe, but I am wondering about your use of the word "maybe". Since the last count of US politicians was 13 Senators, and 27 House Reps who are dual citizens of Israel, does that not imply a conflict of interest just in those stats alone? Israel doesn't allow dual citizenship in their political system as it is a security risk, so why do we? I will wait for your reply.

WC , October 19, 2017 at 4:23 am

Curious.

I can't speak for the legalities that led to allowing dual citizenship in the House and Senate, nor why Israel doesn't allow dual citizenship in their political system. Like a lot of laws it is probably serving someone's best interests. ;)

As for the word "maybe" and how it relates to your overall question. Just because there are dual citizen reps in government, does that automatically say they all vote in the interests of Israel exclusively? And even if that were the case what makes them any different from the rep sold out to the MIC, big oil, pharmaceuticals, bankers, etc., or combination of? We'd then need to do a study of all of the sold-out politicians and chart the percentage of each to the various interests they sold out to. At what percentage does Israel come into the big picture?

No one is denying Israel has a certain influence on the US government, but given all of the vested interests involved, the US also has a big stake in what happens in the region. I also don't know what the overall game plan is, not just for the middle east but all of the sordid shit going on everywhere. If old George is right about "The Big Club", I'm assuming some group or combination of groups have some master plan for us all, so I am not ready to label any group, country or entity good or bad at this stage of the game. If this somehow leaves out the moral question, I am not idealistic enough to believe morality and Geo-politics often work hand in hand. :)

Brad Owen , October 19, 2017 at 4:41 am

WCs point is valid and correct. The picture is MUCH bigger than a tiny desert country of a few million Semites ruling the World. The actual picture is the outgrowth of the several, world-wide, European Empires having united into one, gigantic "Roman Empire" (under Synarchist directorship) and CAPTURED America, post WWII, to be its enforcer, working to break the last holdout: the Eurasian Quarter including Iran, into a truly global Empire. Israel was a strategy of the British Empire to preclude any revival of a Muslim Empire, threatening its MENA holdings. The enemy is still the British Empire of the 1%er oligarchs in City-of-London and Wall Street. The fact that NOBODY pays attention to this situation, and obsesses over Israel, guarantees the success of the Plan.

anon , October 19, 2017 at 7:29 am

No, the problem of Mideast policy and oligarchy control of mass media is entirely due to zionist influence, including all top ten donors to Clinton 2016. Ukraine and the entire problem of surrounding and opposing Russia is due primarily to zionist influence, due to their intervention in the Mideast, although the MIC is happy to join the corruption for war anywhere. The others on your list "pharmaceuticals, big oil and the bankers" are involved in other problems.

WC seeks to divert discussion from zionist influence by changing the subject.

anon , October 19, 2017 at 7:33 am

Brad, you will have a hard time explaining why US wars in the Mideast and surrounding Russia are always for the benefit of Israel, if you think that ancient Venetians and British aristocracy are running the show. Looks like a diversionary attack to me.

Abe , October 20, 2017 at 2:05 am

The naked solo of "D.H. Fabian" has surged into a Hasbara chorus. Where to begin.

Let's start with "Curious", who definitely does not speak for me.

The "dual citizens" canard is a stellar example of Inverted Hasbara (false flag "anti-Israel", "anti-Zionist", frequently "anti-Jewish" or "anti-Semitic") propaganda that gets ramped up whenever needed, but particularly Israel rains bombs on the neighborhood.

Like Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel or pro-Zionist) propaganda, the primary purpose of Inverted Hasbara false flag propaganda is to divert attention from Israeli military and government actions, and to provide cover for Israel Lobby activities

The Inverted Hasbara canard inserted by "Curious" came into prominence after the Israel-initiated war Lebanon in 2006. Israel's shaky military performance, flooding of south Lebanon cluster munitions, use of white phosphorus in civilian areas brought censure. Further Israeli attacks on Gaza brought increasing pressure on the neocon-infested Bush administration for its backing of Israel.

A Facebook post titled, "List of Politicians with Israeli Dual Citizenship," started circulating. The post mentioned "U.S. government appointees who hold powerful positions and who are dual American-Israeli citizens."

With the change of US administration in 2008, new versions of the post appeared with headlines such as "Israeli Dual Citizens in the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration." Common versions included 22 officials currently or previously with the Obama administration, 27 House members and 13 senators.

The posts were false for a variety of reasons, not least of which was the misrepresentation of Israeli nationality law. Israel does allow its citizens to hold dual (or multiple) citizenship. A dual national is considered an Israeli citizen for all purposes, and is entitled to enter Israel without a visa, stay in Israel according to his own desire, engage in any profession and work with any employer according to Israeli law. An exception is that under an additional law added to the Basic Law: the Knesset (Article 16A) according to which Knesset members cannot pledge allegiance unless their foreign citizenship has been revoked, if possible, under the laws of that country.

The Law of Return grants all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel and almost automatic Israeli citizenship upon arrival in Israel. In the 1970s the Law of Return was expanded to grant the same rights to the spouse of a Jew, the children of a Jew and their spouses, and the grandchildren of a Jew and their spouses, provided that the Jew did not practice a religion other than Judaism willingly. In 1999, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that Jews or the descendants of Jews that actively practice a religion other than Judaism are not entitled to immigrate to Israel as they would no longer be considered Jews under the Law of Return, irrespective of their status under halacha (Jewish religious law).

Israeli law distinguishes between the Law of Return, which allows for Jews and their descendants to immigrate to Israel, and Israel's nationality law, which formally grants Israeli citizenship. In other words, the Law of Return does not itself determine Israeli citizenship; it merely allows for Jews and their eligible descendants to permanently live in Israel. Israel does, however, grant citizenship to those who immigrated under the Law of Return if the applicant so desires.

A non-Israeli Jew or an eligible descendant of a non-Israeli Jew needs to request approval to immigrate to Israel, a request which can be denied for a variety of reasons including (but not limited to) possession of a criminal record, currently infected with a contagious disease, or otherwise viewed as a threat to Israeli society. Within three months of arriving in Israel under the Law of Return, immigrants automatically receive Israeli citizenship unless they explicitly request not to.

In short, knowingly or not, "Curious" is spouting Inverted Hasbara propaganda.

Conventional Hasbara (pro-Israel, pro-Zionist) propagandists constantly attempt to portray Israeli military threats against its neighbors, Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, Zionist claims of an "unconditional land grant covenant" for Israel, or the manipulations of the Israel Lobby, as somehow all based on "the way the world really works".

"WC" slithered into the CN comments srael's land grab "solution" was under scrutiny here:
Israel's Stall-Forever 'Peace' Plan (September 23, 2017)
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/23/israels-stall-forever-peace-plan/

"WC" has repeatedly promoted a loony "realism" in the CN comments, claiming for example that "The Jews aren't doing anything different than the rest have done since the beginning of time."

The Conventional Hasbara troll refrain is that whatever Israel does "ain't no big thing".

"D.H. Fabian", "WC" and others are not Hasbara trolls because we somehow "disagree". They are Hasbara trolls because they promote propaganda for Israel.

Fellow travellers round out the Hasbara chorus.

Commenter anon discourses in absolutes such as "entirely due to zionist influence" and "always for the benefit of Israel".

Commenter Brad Owen just can't understand why everyone "obsesses" over that "tiny desert country" when "the Plan" outlined by LaRouche is sooo much more interesting.

Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 11:55 am

Abe – An excellent analysis – very penetrating. Yes, I understand it very clearly.

I am one of those who does not have the background in this area. However, reading the largely British view oriented newspapers since I was fourteen , in a different land where at that time during 1950's and early 60's, all viewpoints were discussed including the communist Russian/Soviet side, and the Communist Chinese side too, one develops a balanced outlook on the World events.

Reading your comments on Israel's citizenship laws, is very eye opening for me. Israel is a very Racist State, which is kind of the opposite of what Jewish Writers write books in this country about America being the melting pot. Some of us have already melted here. I sometimes wonder, Jewish writers are writing all these books, but why don't they melt! Are they special chosen people?

WC , October 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Let me first dispel the notion that I am trying to change the subject, as "anon" would like to imply. What I am after is a proper perspective as opposed to something blown out of proportion.

When it comes to the subject of Israel, Jews and Zionism, Abe would appear to be well versed on the subject. He certainly cleared up "Curious"s question on dual citizenship!

With Abe and others on this site, Zionism is the big daddy culprit in the world today. I, on the other hand, see it as simply one part of a bigger picture, which I am still trying to get my head around, but I am quite certain it goes far beyond just a regional issue. In reading what Abe has to say on this subject over the past few months, he may very well be right about Zionist influence and a take no prisoners-type of resolve in pursuing their aims (whatever that may be). But none of this has yet to convince me they are entirely wrong either.

Which brings us to the subject of morality. Take a second look at what Abe has chosen to cherry pick from what he sees as the "Hasbara chorus" – all pointing to "trolls" who (he thinks) are in support of an all powerful and heartless sect. This is what is known as being overly dramatic and speaks volumes about what Abe (and others on this site) view as the most objectionable of all – the moral wrongs being committed. For the sake of clarification "morality" is defined as "principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior". Most of us who are not suffering from a mental disorder can agree on what constitutes right and wrong at its purist level, but thrown into a world filled with crime, corruption, greed, graft, hate, lust, sociopaths and psychopaths vying for power, sectarian violence, a collapsing economy, inner city decay, and all of the vested special interests jockeying to save their piece of the pie, what is right and wrong becomes far more convoluted and mired in mud. Simply throwing perfect world idealism at the problem will not fix it. In fact, it will get you as far as the miles of crucified Christians that lined the road to Rome. Which is a hell of a way to prove you are so right in a world filled with so much wrong.

Since the day I "slithered in" here, I have asked the same question over and over – what are your REAL world solutions to REAL world problems? So far, the chorus of the Church Of The Perfect World has offered up nothing. :)

Abe , October 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Making the same statements over and over again, "WC" is clearly "after" a Hasbara "proper perspective" on Israel.

For example, in the CN comments on How Syria's Victory Reshapes Mideast (September 30, 2017), "WC" advanced three key Hasbara propaganda talking points concerning the illegal 50-year military occupation of Palestinian territory seized by Israel during the 1967 War:
– Spurious claims about "what realistically (not idealistically) can be done"
– Insistence that "Israel is not going to go back to the 1948 borders"
– Claims that the US "depends on a strong Israeli presence"

A leading canard of Hasbara propaganda and the Israeli right wing Neo-Zionist settlement movement is the notion of an "unconditional land grant covenant" entitlement for Israel.

Land ownership was far more widespread than depicted in the fictions of Israeli propaganda. In reality, the Israeli government knowingly confiscated privately owned Palestinian land and construct a network of outposts and settlements.

Israel's many illegal activities in occupied Palestinian territory encompass Neo-Zionist settlements, so-called "outposts" and declared "state land".

The United Nations has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel's construction of settlements constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (which provides humanitarian protections for civilians in a war zone).
The 1967 "border" of Israel refers to the Green Line or 1949 Armistice demarcation line set out in the Armistice Agreements between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

The Green Line was intended as a demarcation line rather than a permanent border. The 1949 Armistice Agreements were clear (at Arab insistence) that they were not creating permanent borders. The Egyptian–Israeli agreement, for example, stated that "the Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question."

Similar provisions are contained in the Armistice Agreements with Jordan and Syria. The Agreement with Lebanon contained no such provisions, and was treated as the international border between Israel and Lebanon, stipulating only that forces would be withdrawn to the Israel–Lebanon border.

United Nations General Assembly Resolutions and statements by many international bodies refer to the "pre-1967 borders" or the "1967 borders" of Israel and neighboring countries.

According to international humanitarian law, the establishment of Israeli communities inside the occupied Palestinian territories – settlements and outposts alike – is forbidden. Despite this prohibition, Israel began building settlements in the West Bank almost immediately following its occupation of the area in 1967.

Defenders of Israel's settlement policies, like David Friedman, the current United States Ambassador to Israel, argue that the controversy over Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory is overblown.

The Israeli government and Israel Lobby advocates like Ambassador Friedman claim the built-up area of settlements comprises only around 2% of the West Bank.

This Hasbara "2%" argument is at best ignorant, and at worst deliberately disingenuous.

The "2%" figure is misleading because it refers restrictively to the amount of land Israeli settlers have built on, but does not account for the multiple ways these settlements create a massive, paralytic footprint in the illegally occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

Since 1967, Israel has taken control of around 50% of the land of the West Bank. And almost all of that land has been given to the settlers or used for their benefit. Israel has given almost 10% of the West Bank to settlers – by including it in the "municipal area" of settlements. And it has given almost 34% of the West Bank to settlers – by placing it under the jurisdiction of the Settlement "Regional Councils."

In addition, Israel has taken hundreds of kilometers of the West Bank to build infrastructure to serve the settlements, including a network of roads that crisscross the entire West Bank, dividing Palestinian cities and towns from each other, and imposing various barriers to Palestinian movement and access, all for the benefit of the settlements.

Israel has used various means to do this, included by declaring much of the West Bank to be "state land," taking over additional land for security purposes, and making it nearly impossible for Palestinians to register claims of ownership to their own land.

The Israeli Supreme Court has repeatedly used the term "belligerent occupation" to describe Israel's rule over the West Bank and Gaza. Indeed, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the question of a previous sovereign claim to the West Bank and Gaza is irrelevant to whether international laws relating to occupied territories should apply there.

Rather, the proper question – according to Israel's highest court – is one of effective military control. In the words of the Supreme Court decision, "as long as the military force exercises control over the territory, the laws of war will apply to it." (see: HCJ 785/87, Afo v. Commander of IDF Forces in the West Bank).

The Palestinian territories were conquered by Israeli armed forces in the 1967 war. Whether Israel claims that the war was forced upon it is irrelevant. The Palestinian territory has been controlled and governed by the Israeli military ever since.

Who claimed the territories before they were occupied is immaterial. What is material is that before 1967, Israel did not claim the territories.

Ariel Sharon, one of the principal architects of Israel's settlement building policy in the West Bank and Gaza, recognized this reality. On May 26, 2003, then Israeli Prime Minister Sharon told fellow Likud Party members: "You may not like the word, but what's happening is occupation [using the Hebrew word "kibush," which is only used to mean "occupation"]. Holding 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation is a bad thing for Israel, for the Palestinians and for the Israeli economy."

Whether one believes that these territories are legally occupied or not does not change the basic facts: Israel is ruling over a population of millions of Palestinians who are not Israeli citizens. Demographic projections indicate that Jews will soon be a minority in the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

Real world solutions:

An end to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

An end to apartheid government and the beginning of real democracy in Israel.

What can be done now?

United States government sanctions against Israel for its 50-year military occupation of Palestine, its apartheid social regime, and its arsenal of nuclear weapons.

The United States can require Israel to withdraw its forces to the 1967 line, and honor the right of return to Palestinians who fled their homeland as a result of Israel's multiple ethnic cleansing operations.

In addition, the United States can demand that immediately surrender its destabilizing nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons arsenal or face severe U.S. action.

Hasbara trolls will keep trying to change the subject, continue muttering about "opposing views" and some "bigger picture" picture", and repeatedly insist that an Israel armed with weapons of mass destruction routinely attacking its neighbors "ain't no big thing".

Tannenhouser , October 20, 2017 at 10:30 am

Most of the ones in control of "pharmaceuticals, the MIC, big oil and the bankers" are Israel firsters as well. Round and round we go eh?

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , October 19, 2017 at 4:31 am

This is probably as good a place as any to point out that it isn't just Russophobia at work; Congress is hard at work to protect Israel's abominable human rights record from public criticism as well. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is squarely aimed at criminalizing advocates of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement and has 50 co-sponsors in the Senate. See https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/720?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22israel+anti-boycott+act%22%5D%7D&r=2

The Act is squarely aimed at our First Amendment right to boycott and to advocate for boycotts. See https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/first-amendment-protects-right-boycott-israel?redirect=blog/speak-freely/first-amendment-protects-right-boycott-israel

dahoit , October 19, 2017 at 12:33 pm

wapo says Hamas disarm because us and israel want them to.israel won't disarm though.Boy.

Curious , October 18, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Thank you Mr Parry for actually taking the time to read the NYT or WaPo for your readers, so we don't have to. There is only so much disinformation one can cram into our 'cranium soft drives' regarding journalists with no ethics nor moral rudders.
It reminds me of watching Jon Stewarts Daily Show to check out the perverse drivel on Fox News since to watch Fox myself would have damaged me beyond repair. Many of my friends are already Humpty-Dumptied by the volume of fragmented info leeching into their bloodstreams by 140 character news.
Thank you for your fortitude in trying to debunk the news and 'outing' those editors who feel they are insulated from critical analysis.

dahoit , October 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

jon stewart?WTF?

Curious , October 19, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Well dahoit,
Just chalk it up to a historical reference as that is around the time I stopped watching TV, having worked in the biz for some 30 years. I don't miss it either. Jon gave us a lot of humor and a lot of clever, surreptitious info, and the way they captured the talking points of the politicians by the use of their fast cuts was remarkable. There was a lot of political content in a show meant to just be humorous. Sorry you feel otherwise.

fudmier , October 18, 2017 at 6:59 pm

EITHER OR, INC. (EOI) a secret subsidiary of Deep Sewer Election Manipulators, Inc (DSEMI), a fraudulent make believe Russia company, that changes election outcomes, in foreign countries, to conform the leadership of the foreign country with Russia foreign policy, studied the most recent USA candidates and concluded Russia could not have found persons more suited to Russian foreign policy than the candidates the USA had selected for its American governed, to vote on. The case is not yet closed, EOI is still trying to decide if there is or was a difference between the candidates..

Charles Misfeldt , October 18, 2017 at 7:44 pm

Our election process is so completely corrupted I doubt that a few thousand dollars of Facebook ads that no one pays any attention to could sway the vote, I am much more concerned about bribery, Israel, American Zionists, racists, corporations, evangelicals, dominionists, white nationalists, anarchist's, conservatives, war profiteers, gerrymanders, vote purges, vote repressors, voting machine hackers, seems like Russian's are pretty far down the list.

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm

Now you talking, let's get to the real stuff. Good one Charles. Joe

Peter Loeb , October 19, 2017 at 6:08 am

I don't have "FACEBOOK". Or any other "social media (whatever that may be.)
I don't "tweet" and the technology which we were once told would save
the world, has left me behind. I don't text. I have no smart phone
or cell.

I no longer have a TV of any description. Or cable with millions of things
you don't want to see anyway.

Only my mind is left. For some more years.

(J.M. Keynes: " in the long run we will all be dead."

Perhaps one has to have "social media" to be born in
this generation. Do you need it to exit?

Please accept my thoughts with my "asocial" [media]
appologies.

-- -Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

My "tweet"/message is only my fear that the NY Yankees
will be in the World Series where I can hate them with complete
impunity. (I was created a fan of the Washington Senators,
morphed into a Brooklyn Dodgers fan so the usually failing
Boston Red Sox fits me well. Being for that so-called "dodgers"
team on the west coast is a forced marriage at best.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:27 am

Peter screw Facebook and all the rest of that High Tech Big Brother Inc industry, and the garbage they are promoting.

Also Peter do you have a little Walter Francis O'Malley voodoo doll to stick pins in it? I also haven't followed baseball since Roberto Clemente died.

We kids use to skip school to go watch Clemente play. In fact in 1957 a young ball player who the Pirates had acquired in somekind of trade with the Brooklyn Dodgers chased my seven year old little butt out of right field when I wandered all confused onto the field. That young rookie who chased my loss little being off the field, was none other than the great number 21 Roberto Clemente.

Actually the only thing you left out Peter was the Braves moving to Atlanta. Take care Peter, and let's play more ball in the daylight, and let's make it more affordable game to watch again. Play ball & BDS. Joe

Thomas Phillips , October 19, 2017 at 12:30 pm

I'm envious now Joe. Roberto Clemente was one of my favorite baseball players. My no. 1 favorite, though, was Willie Mays. And speaking of the Braves moving to Atlanta, my father took my brother and I there the first year the team was in Atlanta. The Giants were there for a series with the Braves, and I got to see Mays play (my first and only time). I would have loved to have been able to skip school and watch Clemente play.

On the subject of concern here, The Hill has a couple of stories on the zerohedge.com story you referenced above. From what I read, it appears to me that if this is still an open case with the FBI, Ms. Clinton (and Obama?) could possibly face criminal charges in this matter. We can only hope. To Peter – I do have an old 1992 console TV, but no cable; so I have no television to speak of. I have a VHS and DVD player though and watch old movies and such on the old TV.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Thomas how cool. My buddies and I would purchase the left field bleacher seats for I think fifty cents or maybe it was a dollar. Then around the third inning we would boogie on over into the right field stands overlooking the great Roberto, and yell 'hey Roberto'. From right field we kids would eye up the empty box seats off of third base. Somewhere about the sixth or seventh inning we would sneakily slide into those empty box seats along third base side, where you could see into the Pirate dugout along first. Now the Pirate dugout is along third. The box seat ushers would back then justbsimply tell us kids to be good, and that they got a pat on the back from management for filling up those empty box seats, because the television cameras would pick that up. The best part was, we little hooky players did all of this on our school lunch money.

About that FBI thing with Hillary I'm hoping this doesn't get written off as just another Trump attack, and that this doesn't turn into another entertaining Benghazi hearing for Hillary to elevate her status among her identity groupies. Joe

mark , October 18, 2017 at 7:46 pm

All this nonsense will soon die an evidence-free natural death, but rather than admit to the lies the MSM will divert the Deplorables with some convenient scandal like the Weinstein affair.

The effect of all this will be to hammer the final nails in the coffin of the political establishment and its servile MSM. This process began with the Iraqi WMD lies, and now 6% of the population believes what it sees in the MSM.

Skip Scott , October 19, 2017 at 8:47 am

mark-

I wish you were right, but with all the money being thrown around, and scumbag Mueller in the mix, how this will end is anybody's guess. I'm also curious where you got the 6% figure. Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

Stephen J. , October 18, 2017 at 7:49 pm

We have sewer rats in our depraved "democracy."
More info at link below:
October 18, 2017
Is This The "Democracy" of the Depraved?
http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/10/is-this-democracy-of-depraved.html

falcemartello , October 18, 2017 at 7:54 pm

Great take Mr Parry
Smoke and mirrors to distract we the sheeple of this dying paradigm. Fascism alive and well in the land of the free. The sheeple r now entering the critical stage, they have hit 20 percent. Dangerous times for the western masters of the universe. Get ready for more false flags to keep the sheeple blinded from reality. The recent events globally with regards to Iran, Syria and the DPRK are all their for distractions add the Russians ate my homework and viola distraction heaven. But like I said more and more people in the US and the west are turning off 1/5 to be exact and that spells trouble for the masters. They want war at all costs 600 percent debt is not a sustainable economic system . IMF warning just the other day that all it will take is one major European bank to crash and viola. So dangerous and interesting times we r living. Is it by design in order to get their way.?I would say yes to that.

Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Good notes. Incidentally you may intend the French "voila" rather than the musical instrument "viola."

Skip Scott , October 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Voila, viola. Didn't Curly of the three stooges do a bit on that?

Michael K Rohde , October 18, 2017 at 8:27 pm

Should I say it? Shocker. NYT and HIllary are a potent team. Add on Google and CNN and you have a formidable propaganda organization that is going to influence millions of American. Plus Face Book and you have most of America covered without a dissenting voice. I used to be one of their customers, reading and believing everything they put out until Judith Miller was exposed with W and Scooter. I confess to a jaundiced eye since then. Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot out there if you like to read good writers of relevant material. We have a problem, Houston.

Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm

If it is possible to consider Russia helped throw the 2016 presidential election with 100k spent over a three year period, then why not suspect and investigate the American MSM, who gave Donald Trump 4.9 billion dollars worth of free media coverage? Surely you all may recall the wall to wall commercial free cable network coverage Trump used to receive during the way too long of a presidential campaign? Now we are being led to believe that a few haphazard placed Russian adbuys on FB stool the election from 'it's my turn now boys' Hillary. Here I must admit that as much as I would love to have a woman President, I would choose almost any qualified women other than Hillary. But yeah, this Russia-gate nonsense is a creation of the Shadow Government, who wants so badly to see Putin get thrown out of office, that they would risk starting WWIII doing it.

Larry Gates , October 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm

A single person started all this nonsense: Hillary Clinton.

Jessica K , October 18, 2017 at 9:46 pm

No need for America to be influenced to turn the internet into a sewer, America is doing just fine on that with no help at all. The Russians are just mocking us over there, which is perfectly understandable. In fact, from what I read, Russians are actually more religious and concerned about immorality than Americans.

This whole thing is a joke, we know it, it's an attempt to control people, and I for one am pretty sick of it and don't mind telling anyone just that. Let them sputter, stomp their feet, or whatever. Keep it up, United States, and you'll be playing in the schoolyard all by yourself!

Stephen J. , October 18, 2017 at 10:04 pm

Was the article below in corporate media? Link below:
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
Thousands of govt docs found on laptop of sex offender married to top Clinton adviser
Published time: 18 Oct, 2017 16:45Edited time: 18 Oct, 2017 18:37
https://www.rt.com/usa/407120-fbi-found-3k-docs-weiner/

Sam , October 19, 2017 at 12:10 am

It's amazing how the "mainstream media" has pushed this Russian collusion nonsense. What's more amazing is how every time an article is published my these outlets claiming some new evidence of Russian collusion, within 24 hours there's evidence to the contrary. I think the whole Pokemon and Facebook claims are the lowest point in this Russian collusion nonsense. The worst part is we won't see it end anytime soon

Sam F , October 19, 2017 at 7:38 am

Good points, Sam. There are many named "Sam" so please distinguish your pen name from mine, perhaps with an initial. Thanks!

Drew Hunkins , October 19, 2017 at 12:46 am

Absolutely crucial and outstanding piece by Mr. Parry. His well thought out dissection of Politifact is invigorating.

backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 12:52 am

Peter Schweizer, author of "Clinton Cash", has been talking about the biggest Russian bribe of all, the one no one wants to talk about – Uranium One. This deal may have been the reason why $145 million ended up in Clinton Foundation coffers, all while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

Here is Peter Schweizer today on Tucker Carlson's program talking about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNTdlyx7EMQ

Daniel , October 19, 2017 at 5:21 am

Her emails showed that HRC's internal polling proved her greatest vulnerability with her supporters was when they were told the details of her uranium deal.

Skip Scott , October 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

Thanks for the link. Great interview. The real Russia-gate!

flip diving , October 19, 2017 at 12:54 am

Your site has a lot of useful information for myself. I visit regularly. Hope to have more quality items.

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 1:33 am

Joe – I never had interest in conspiracy type stories and narratives like that. However, after reading the zerohedge article in the link in your post, I am beginning to seriously doubt the Seth Rich murder investigation findings by the Washington DC police – I had some misgivings before about it too. I think there was not any significant involvement by FBI in the case. And the Justice department under Loretta Lynch did not pursue the investigation.

Knowing all kind of stories in the news about Clintons friend Vince Foster's death during 1990's , and many other episodes in Bill and Hillary Clinton's political life, I wonder about the power and reach of this couple. And now this article and no investigation of this bribery and corruption scandal during Obama's presidency. It all smells fishy.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 1:58 am

Dave not only as what you had mentioned, but the Seth Rich story seems to have become taboo in our news. I realize what the Rich family requested, but when did ever a request from the family ever get honored by the big media ever before? I'm not suggesting anything more, than why is the Seth Rich murder appearing to be off limits, and further more with Seth's death being in question and implicated to the Wikileaks 'Hillary Exposures' being Seth one of those 'leakers', then take responsibility DNC and ask the same questions, or at least answer the questions asked. I hope that made sense, because somehow it made sense to me.

The suggestion of any alternative to the establish narrative gets tossed to the wind. I think this drip, drip, flood, of Russia collusion into the gears of American Government is a way of America's Establishment, who is now in charge, way of going out with a bang. The world is starting to realize it doesn't need the U.S., and the U.S. is doing everything in it's power to help further that multi-polar world's growing realization that it doesn't.

Okay Dave. Joe

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 2:57 am

Joe, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has the power to initiate investigations into these cases. However, it seems to me that the Ruling Elite/Deep State does not want to wash the dirty linen in front of the whole World. It would be very embarrassing; it will show the true picture of this whole sewage/swamp it is. Jeff Sessions or others in high places, have no independence at all, even if they want to pursue their own course – which they rarely do.

It seems like that all these investigations are a kind of smoke screen to hide the real issues. During 1950's or 60's , people in this country mostly trusted the leaders and elected officials. And majority of the leaders, whatever their policies or sides they took on issues, had some integrity, depth, solidity and dignity about them. But it seems to me that these days politicians do not have any of it. The same is true of the Media. This constant mindless Russia-Gate hysteria being perpetuated by the elected leaders, Media, and pundits without any thought or decorum is not worthy of a civilized country. Also, it is not good for the Country or the World.

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:34 am

Yes Dave the quality of accountability and responsibility in DC is sorely lacking of concern to be honest, and do the right thing by its citizens. This is another reason why it's good to talk these things over with you, and many of the others who post comments here. Joe

BobH , October 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

Joe,Dave, glad you bring it up Russiagate seems to be providing a full eclipse of any investigation into the Seth Rich murder and just whatever happened to his laptop?

Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 10:45 am

I think Bob the Rich investigation got filed under 'conspiracy theory do not touch' file. Joe

backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 1:39 am

Hours ago:

"Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley asked the attorney of a former FBI informant Wednesday to allow her client to testify before his committee regarding the FBI's investigation regarding kickbacks and bribery by the Russian state controlled nuclear company that was approved to purchase twenty percent of United States uranium supply in 2010, Circa has learned.

In a formal letter, Grassley, an Iowa Republican, asked Victoria Toensing, the lawyer representing the former FBI informant, to allow her client, who says he worked as a voluntary informant for the FBI, to be allowed to testify about the "crucial" eyewitness testimony he provided to the FBI regarding members of the Russian subsidiary and other connected players from 2009 until the FBI's prosecution of the defendants in 2014. [ ]

FBI officials told Circa the investigation could have prevented the sale of Uranium One, which controlled 20 percent of U.S. uranium supply under U.S. law. The deal which required approval by CFIUS, an inter-agency committee who reviews transactions that leads to a change of control of a U.S. business to a foreign person or entity that may have an impact on the national security of the United States. At the time of the Uranium One deal the panel was chaired by then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and included then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Attorney General Eric Holder."

https://www.circa.com/story/2017/10/18/judiciary-committee-calls-on-former-fbi-informant-to-testify-about-uranium-one

This FBI informant was apparently gagged from speaking to Congress by either Loretta Lynch or Eric Holder (I've heard both names). Why would they have done this?

Sven , October 19, 2017 at 1:44 am

Very well written article

Lee Francis , October 19, 2017 at 2:41 am

The whole Russia-Gate brouhaha has become a monumental bore. How anyone with a modicum of intelligence and moral integrity can believe this garbage is beyond me. I salute Mr Parry for his fortitude in clearing the Augean stables of this filth; it reminds of the old Bonnie Raitt song, to wit – 'It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it." personally I can't be bothered reading it anymore.

backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 2:51 am

Stefan Molyneux does a great job in this 25-minute video where he outlines the absolute corruption going on in the Banana Republic of Americastan on both the left and right.

He ends up by saying that all of the same actors (Rosenstein, McCabe, Mueller, Comey, Lynch, Clinton) who were part of covering up Hillary's unsecured servers and Uranium One are the very same people who are involved with going after Trump and his supposed collusion with Russia. Same people. And the media seem to find no end of things to say about the latter, while virtually ignoring the former.

https://www.sgtreport.com/articles/2017/10/18/shocking-fbi-corruption-exposed-true-news

Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 3:39 am

backwardsevolution –

Yes, Media ignores the other scandal while beating up 24/7 on Russian inference/collusion in the Presidential Election. It is the same with the Foreign News. There was this more than 10,000 strong torchlit Neo-Nazi March in Kiev last Saturday. The pictures in the Sputnik News of these neo-Nazis in the march were very threatening. I think that most of the Russians have probably left West Ukraine. There was not even a mention of this March in the Los Angeles Times.

However, a week before Alexander Navalny had this protest – 500 figure as given the Western media – in Moscow. The picture was splashed across the entire page of Los Angeles Times with a half page article, mostly beating up on Putin.

I rarely watch TV shows. However, this Tuesday, because of the some work going on our house, I was home most of the day. My wife was watching TV starting in the afternoon well into the evening – MSNBC, CNN, PBS newshour; Wolg Blitzer, Lawrence O'Donnell, Don Lemon, Rachel Maddow, and others with all these so called experts invited to the shows. Just about most of it was about beating up on Trump and Russia as if it is the only news in the Country and in the World to report. It was really pathetic to hear all these nonsensical lies and garbage coming out the mouths of these talk show hosts and experts. It is becoming Banana Republic of Americanistan as you wrote.

backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 4:04 am

Hi, Dave P. Yeah, I swear they have things on the shelf that are ready-to-go stories whenever there's a lull in the Trump/Russia collusion nonsense. This last week they pulled Harvey Weinstein off the shelf and crucified the guy (not that he shouldn't have been). If this Uranium One deal gets legs, watch for some huge false flag to coincidentally appear to take our minds off of it.

The biggest thing separating a "first world" country from a "third world" country is the rule of law. Without it, you might as well hoist up a flag with a big yellow banana on it and call it a day. Bananastan has a nice ring to it.

Cheers, Dave.

Lee Francis , October 19, 2017 at 8:10 am

"There was this more than 10,000 strong torchlit Neo-Nazi March in Kiev last Saturday." It never happened, well according to the Washington Post (aka Pravda on the Potomac) or New York Times (aka The Manhattan Beobachter) who, like the rest of the establishment media lie by omission. Other things that didn't happen – the Odessa fire where 42 anti-Maidan demonstrators were incinerated by the Banderist mob who actually applauded as the Union Building went up like a torch with those unfortunate people not only trapped inside with the entrances barricaded, but those who jumped out of windows to escape the flames (a bit like 9/11 in New York) were clubbed to death as they lie injured on the ground. The film is on youtube if you can bear to watch it, I could only bear to watch it once. According to the website of Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh, it was "another bright day in our national history." A Svoboda parliamentary deputy added, "Bravo, Odessa . Let the Devils burn in hell." These people are our allies, along of course with Jihadis in the middle east.

In his the British playwright Harold Pinter's last valediction nailed the propaganda methodology of the western media with the phrase, 'even while it was happening it wasn't happening.'

Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 2:31 am

Lee Francis –

yes. The words : 'even while it was happening it wasn't happening.' It is from his Nobel lecture. I read the text of Nobel Lecture by Harold Pinter at that time – very passionate lecture. Pinter had terminal throat cancer, he could not go to Sweden. I think he sent his video of the Nobel lecture to be played.

Jessica K , October 19, 2017 at 7:14 am

It will be interesting to see how the so-called left leaning media like MSNBC and CNN spin the Uranium One/Obama-Clinton State Department story. The right, especially Hannity on Fox, are on it, also Tucker Carlson who is moderate mostly. When these pundits say "Russia", they seem to imply "Putin" but that may not be the case. And they always want to imply the US is beyond corrupt business deals, which is a joke. It's about time the Clinton case is cracked, but with corruption rampant, who knows?

JeffS , October 19, 2017 at 9:34 am

The targeting of Pokemon Go users was especially nefarious because aren't about half of those people below voting age? But when they finally are old enough to vote we can say that they were influenced by Russia! And this is always reported in a serious tone and with a straight face. I find the aftermath of the 2016 election to be 'Hillary'ous. The obviously phony from the get-go Russia story was invented out of whole cloth to allow stunned Democrat voters to engage in some sort extended online group therapy session. After a year many are still working through the various stages of the grieving process, and some may actually reach the final stage -- Acceptance (of the 2016 Election results)

mike k , October 19, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Good one!

Jamila Malluf , October 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Excellent Report! Consortium needs a video outlet somebody to give these reports. There are many places other than YouTube you could use and I could become one of your Amateur video editor :)

mike k , October 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm

The Rulers fear the internet.

Liam , October 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm

#MeToo – A Course In Deductive Reasoning: Separating Fact From Fiction Through The Child Exploitation Of 8 Year Old Bana Alabed

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/10/19/metoo-a-course-in-deductive-reasoning-separating-fact-from-fiction-through-the-child-exploitation-of-8-year-old-bana-alabed/

rosemerry , October 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm

I was glad to see that when H Clinton was in England, the RT ads all around were making fun of the blame game. Someone needs to lighten up and stop the ludicrous nonsensical year-long concentration on blaming Russia for the deep defects in almost all aspects of US presence in our world. Observe Pres. Putin and nearly every other real leader getting on with negotiations, agreements, constructive trade deals, ignoring the sinking ship led by the Trumpet and the Republican Party, while the Dems slide down with them.

Realist , October 19, 2017 at 7:20 pm

I think the "Powers that be" in America actually believed it when Karl Rove announced to the world that the U.S. government had the godlike power to create any reality of its own choosing, the facts be damned, and the entire world would come to accept it and live by it, like it or not. They've been incessantly trying to pound this square peg of a governing philosophy into holes of a wide spectrum of geometric shapes ever since, believing that mere proclamation made it so. Russia, China, Iran and any other country that does business with this troika are evil. Moreover, any country that does not kowtow to Israel, or objects to its extermination campaign against the Palestinian people, is evil. Even simply pursuing an independent foreign policy not approved by Washington, as Iraq, Libya and Syria felt entitled to do, is evil. Why? Because we say so. That should suffice for a reason. Disagree with us at your peril. We have slaughtered millions of "evil-doers" in Middle Eastern Islamic states who dared to disagree, and we have economically strapped our own "allies" in Europe to put the screws to Russia. The key to escape from this predicament is how much more blowback, in terms of displaced peoples, violated human rights, abridged sovereignty and shattered economies, is Europe willing to tolerate in the wake of Washington's megalomaniacal dictates before it stands up to the bully and stops supporting the madness. When does Macron, Merkel and May (assuming they are the leaders whom others will follow in Europe) say "enough" and start making demands on Washington, and not just on Washington's declared "enemies?"

And, if the internet has indeed become the world's "cloaca maxima," I'd say first look to its inventors, founders, chief administrators and major users of the service, all of which reside in the United States. In terms of volume, Russia is but a small-time user of the service. If the object is to re-create a society such as described in the novel "1984," it is certainly possible to censor the damned thing to the point where its just a tool of tyranny. The "distinguished" men and corporations basically running the internet planetwide have already conferred such authority to the Chinese government. Anything they don't want their people to see is filtered out, compliments of Microsoft, Google, Facebook and the other heavy hitters. Just looking at trends, rhetoric and the fact that the infrastructure is mostly privately-owned, I can see the same thing coming to the West, unless the users demand otherwise, vociferously and en masse.

Tannenhouser , October 20, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Trump is running point on the distraction op currently being run, to distract from the actual crimes committed by the Blue section of the ruling political party. So far he played his part brilliantly, knowingly or unknowingly, matters not.

Jerry Alatalo , October 19, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Readers of Consortium News come from around the world, from very small towns with populations in the few 1,000's to major cities with populations in the millions, and everything size category in between. In each of those categories of population size, the power is controlled by those possessing the greatest wealth inside that particular population, whether small town, medium, semi-large or major city. One can describe each category of population center as pyramidal in power structure, with those at the top of the pyramid the wealthiest few who "pull the strings" of societies, and, as relates to war and peace, the people who literally fire the first shots.

Identify those at the top of the world category pyramid, call them out for their war crimes, and then humanity has a fighting chance for peace.

Curious , October 19, 2017 at 7:56 pm

For WC,
Thank you for your answer to my question. The 'reply' tab is gone on the thread so I will reply here.
I believe I was trying to figure out the difference between "lawmakers" and the corporate entities you mentioned. Obviously the lawmakers are heavily influenced by the money and the lobbyists from the large corps which muddies the waters and makes it even more difficult to find clarity between politicians and the big money players. When the US sends our military into sovereign countries against international law, it's fair to ask whether it is at the behest of corporate interests, or even Israels' geopolitical agenda, especially in the Middle East.
The large corps you mentioned don't have the legal authority to send our military to foreign lands and perform duties that have nothing to do with US defense (or do they?) and that is why I try to understand the distinction between 40 dual citizens of Israel within the 'lawmakers' of our country and large corporations. When Israels 'allowance' from US tax payers goes remarkably up in value, one has to wonder how and why that occurs when our own country is suffering. That's all I wonder about. I won't distract any more from Mr. Parrys' article.

GM , October 19, 2017 at 9:31 pm

If I recall correctly, Politifact is owned by the majority owners of the St Petersburg times, which family is a major big Clinton donor.

Kevin Beck , October 20, 2017 at 9:01 am

I am curious whether Russia is really able to employ all these "marketing geniuses" to affect elections throughout the world. If so, then America's greatest ad agencies need to look to Moscow for new recruits, instead of within our business schools.

Riikka Söyring , October 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Maybe Politifact declares it? stance is based on an alternative fact?

But greetings from Finland. In here is in full swing a MSM war against so called fake media, never mind the fact that many are the stories in fake media that have turned out to be the truth -- or that we are supposed to be a civilized country with free speech.

Our government with the support of the MSM is using a term hatespeech to silence all tongues telling a different tale; some convictions have been given even though our law does not recognise hatespeech as a crime. The police nor the courts can not define exactly what hatespeech is -- so it is what they want it to be.

[Oct 17, 2017] Google launches advanced Gmail security features for high-risk users

Notable quotes:
"... The program would include additional reviews and requests in the account recovery process to prevent fraudulent access by hackers who try to gain access by pretending they have been locked out. ..."
Oct 17, 2017 | www.msn.com

Alphabet's Google Inc said on Tuesday that it would roll out an advanced protection program in order to provide stronger security for some users such as government officials and journalists who are at a higher risk of being targeted by hackers.

The internet giant said that users of the program would have their account security continuously updated to deal with emerging threats.

The company said it would initially provide three defenses against security threats, which include blocking fraudulent account access and protection against phishing.

The program would include additional reviews and requests in the account recovery process to prevent fraudulent access by hackers who try to gain access by pretending they have been locked out.

... ... ...

[Oct 16, 2017] Instead of blaming herself for selling herself to Wall Street and converting into yet another warmonger Hillary is still acusing the Kremlin. What a pathetic loser

It is so convenient to blame Russians ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... "We know Russian agents used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Pinterest to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not to hurt just me but to fan the flames of division in our society. Russians posed as Americans pretending to be LGBT and gun rights activists, even Muslims, saying things they knew would cause distress." ..."
"... She said some of the basics of the Russian interference in the 2016 election had been known, but "we were in the dark about the weaponisation of social media". She cited new research from Columbia University showing that attack ads on Facebook paid for in roubles were seen by 10 million people in crucial swing states and had been shared up to 340m times. ..."
"... Clinton said the matter of whether Trump's campaign cooperated with Russian interference was a subject for congressional investigation. But she called for anyone found guilty of such cooperation with Moscow to be subject to civil and criminal law. "The Russians are still playing on anything and everything they can to turn Americans against each other," she said. ..."
"... "In addition to hacking our elections, they are hacking our discourse and our unity. We are in the middle of a global struggle between liberal democracy and a rising tide of illiberalism and authoritarianism. This is a kind of new cold war and it is just getting starting." ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Originally from: Cyber cold war is just getting started, claims Hillary Clinton

This power hungry woman are just plain vanilla incompetent: "The Russian campaign was leading to nationalism in Europe, democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, and a loss of faith in democracy, she said."

Democrats had urged her to be silent after her defeat to Trump but she was not going to go away, said Clinton. She vowed to play her part in an attempt to win back Democratic seats in the forthcoming midterm elections. She admitted she "just collapsed with real grief and disappointment" after her election defeat.

Clinton, who is touring the country to promote What Happened – her memoir reflecting on the election defeat, told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "Looking at the Brexit vote now, it was a precursor to some extent of what happened to us in the United States."

She decried the amount of fabricated information voters were given: "You know, the big lie is a very potent tool and we've somewhat kept it at bay in western democracies, partly because of the freedom of the press. There has to be some basic level of fact and evidence in all parts of our society."

She urged Britain to be cautious about striking a trade deal with Trump, saying he did not believe in free trade.

In other comments during the Cheltenham literary festival, she accused the Kremlin of waging an information war throughout the 2016 US election process. The tactics "were a clear and present danger to western democracy and it is right out of the Putin playbook", she said.

"We know Russian agents used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Pinterest to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not to hurt just me but to fan the flames of division in our society. Russians posed as Americans pretending to be LGBT and gun rights activists, even Muslims, saying things they knew would cause distress."

She said some of the basics of the Russian interference in the 2016 election had been known, but "we were in the dark about the weaponisation of social media". She cited new research from Columbia University showing that attack ads on Facebook paid for in roubles were seen by 10 million people in crucial swing states and had been shared up to 340m times.

Clinton said the matter of whether Trump's campaign cooperated with Russian interference was a subject for congressional investigation. But she called for anyone found guilty of such cooperation with Moscow to be subject to civil and criminal law. "The Russians are still playing on anything and everything they can to turn Americans against each other," she said.

"In addition to hacking our elections, they are hacking our discourse and our unity. We are in the middle of a global struggle between liberal democracy and a rising tide of illiberalism and authoritarianism. This is a kind of new cold war and it is just getting starting."

The Russian campaign was leading to nationalism in Europe, democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, and a loss of faith in democracy, she said.

[Oct 16, 2017] Assange: It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen

Lady Makbeth of the USA?
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
In an interview with the ABC's Four Corners program, to air on Monday night, Clinton alleges that Assange cooperated with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin , to disrupt the US election and damage her campaign for president.

"WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence," Clinton told the ABC's Sarah Ferguson .

Describing Putin as a "dictator", Clinton said the damaging email leaks that crippled her 2016 candidacy were part of a coordinated operation against her, directed by the Russian government.

Our intelligence community and other observers of Russia and Putin have said he held a grudge against me because as secretary of state, I stood up against some of his actions, his authoritarianism," Clinton told the ABC.

"But it's much bigger than that. He wants to destabilise democracy, he wants to undermine America, he wants to go after the Atlantic alliance, and we consider Australia an extension of that."

WikiLeaks received thousands of hacked emails from accounts connected to the Democratic campaign allegedly stolen by Russian operatives. The emails were released during a four-month period in the lead-up to the US election.

Emails from the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, were leaked on the same day – 7 October 2016 – the director of national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security released a statement concluding the Russian government had been attempting to interfere in the election.

It was also the day the Washington Post published the 2005 Access Hollywood recording of Donald Trump's lewd comments about sexually harassing women .

Clinton told the ABC she believed the email leak was coordinated to disrupt the influence of the Access Hollywood tape.

"WikiLeaks, which in the world in which we find ourselves promised hidden information, promised some kind of secret that might be of influence, was a very clever, diabolical response to the Hollywood Access tape," she said. "And I've no doubt in my mind that there was some communication if not coordination to drop those the first time in response to the Hollywood Access tape."

Clinton is promoting her election memoir, What Happened, in which she details her thoughts on her unsuccessful campaign for president .

In September she told David Remnick from the New Yorker that she believed the Australian founder of WikiLeaks may be "on the payroll of the Kremlin" .

"I think he is part nihilist, part anarchist, part exhibitionist, part opportunist, who is either actually on the payroll of the Kremlin or in some way supporting their propaganda objectives, because of his resentment toward the United States, toward Europe," she said.

"He's like a lot of the voices that we're hearing now, which are expressing appreciation for the macho authoritarianism of a Putin. And they claim to be acting in furtherance of transparency, except they never go after the Kremlin or people on that side of the political ledger."

Assange has denied the emails came from the Russian government or any other "state parties".

In response to Clinton's comments, Assange said on Twitter there was "something wrong with Hillary Clinton".

"It is not just her constant lying," he wrote. "It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement.

"Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen."

Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange)

There's something wrong with Hillary Clinton. It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Watch closely. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen. https://t.co/JNw2dkXgdu

October 15, 2017

[Oct 15, 2017] Could we reverse a hacked presidential election by Vinay Nayak and Samuel Breidbart

Those two "propaganda solders" from Yale release outright lies about "stealing information from 90,000 voting records in the state of Illinois alone. " as it this is a fact. Looks like those students learned quickly from their Yale "color revolution" teachers ;-)
The USA perfected election interference technique in dozen of color revolution in xUSSR republics and other areas of the globe. Actually the first color revolution was organized in 1974.
Now DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats of Clinton wing of the party) and elements of intelligence agencies and MS who support them simply can not quit... Now quitting involved potential significant PR damage... McCarthyism has its own internal dynamics. The danger for DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats of Clinton wing of the party) now is that if Russian were investigated why Israelis and Saudies (along with other Gulf monarchies) were not.
Please note that Yale is the main US educational institution that teaches foreign students color revolution theory and practice... See, for example Sott.net and Kerry Re-writes History of U.S. Support for Color Revolutions
Notable quotes:
"... Setting Trump aside, what if a foreign government succeeds in the future in electing an American president through active vote manipulation? ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.msn.com

In the past few weeks, we have learned that the Russian government reached more than 10 million Americans with a misinformation campaign on Facebook, and that hackers targeted 21 state election systems , stealing information from 90,000 voting records in the state of Illinois alone. These are just the latest of many revelations about Russia's unprecedented interference in the election.

It is cold comfort that we have no evidence so far that Moscow actually manipulated vote tallies to change the election's outcome.

But what if it emerges that Russian operatives were successful on that front as well? Setting Trump aside, what if a foreign government succeeds in the future in electing an American president through active vote manipulation?

The Constitution offers no clear way to remedy such a disaster.

Any evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia raises its own set of important issues -- now being assiduously investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller. But the disturbing scenario in which hackers manipulate election results, conceivably rendering the true vote tally unrecoverable, would pose a unique threat to a foundational principle of our democracy: rule by the consent of the governed. We would in no sense have a government "by the people."

Although such a constitutional crisis now seems all too plausible, we have yet to seriously consider provisions that might protect our democracy -- measures that could allow us to reverse such a result.

... ... ...

Vinay Nayak and Samuel Breidbart are students at Yale Law School.

[Oct 15, 2017] The Mysterious World of Social Media Manipulation by Samuel Earle

When people stop to trust MSM, rumor mill emerges as a substitute. Neoliberal MSM lost people trust. Now what ?
Notable quotes:
"... But social media manipulation did not begin or end with the election. As early as 2011, the US government hired a public relations firm to develop a " persona management tool " that would develop and control fake profiles on social media for political purposes. ..."
"... The British parent company of Cambridge Analytica, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), has been a client of the government for years, working with the Department of Defense, and The Washington Post ..."
"... There is also growing awareness of hundreds of thousands of so-called "sleeper" bots: Accounts that have tweeted only once or twice for Trump, and which now sit silently, waiting for a trigger -- a key political moment -- to spread disinformation and drown out opposing views. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.msn.com

Now the focus is less on Trump's extensive personal social media following and more on the roles that Facebook and Twitter may have played in alleged Russian interference in the election. Congress is calling on Facebook and Twitter to disclose details about how they may have been used by Russia-linked entities to try to influence the election in favor of Trump.

But despite the much-publicized case in the U.S., the pervasiveness of these political strategies on social media, from the distribution of disinformation to organized attacks on opponents, the tactics remain largely unknown to the public, as invisible as they are invasive. Citizens are exposed to them the world over, often without ever realizing it.

Drawing on two recent reports by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and independent research, Newsweek has outlined the covert ways in which states and other political actors use social media to manipulate public opinion around the world, focusing on six illustrative examples: the U.S., Azerbaijan, Israel, China, Russia and the U.K.

It reveals how "Cyber-troops" -- the name given to this new political force by the OII -- are enlisted by states, militaries and parties to secure power and undermine opponents, through a combination of public funding, private contracts and volunteers, and how bots -- fake accounts that purport to be real people -- can produce as many as 1,000 social media posts a day.

By generating an illusion of support for an idea or candidate in this way, bots drive up actual support by sparking a bandwagon effect -- making something or someone seem normal and like a palatable, common-sense option. As the director of the OII, Philip Howard, argues : "If you use enough of them, of bots and people, and cleverly link them together, you are what's legitimate. You are creating truth."

On social media, the consensus goes to whoever has the strongest set of resources to make it.

The U.S.: Rise of the bots

America sees a wider range of actors attempting to shape and manipulate public opinion online than any country -- with governments, political parties, and individual organizations all involved.

In its report, the OII describes 2016's Trump vs. Hillary Clinton presidential contest as a " watershed moment " when social media manipulation was "at an all-time high."

Many of the forces at play have been well-reported: whether the hundreds of thousands of bots or the right-wing sites like Breitbart distributing divisive stories. In Michigan, in the days before the election, fake news was shared as widely as professional journalism . Meanwhile firms like Cambridge Analytica, self-described specialists in "election management," worked for Trump to target swing voters, mainly on Facebook.

While Hillary Clinton's campaign also engaged in such tactics, with big-data and pro-Clinton bots multiplying in number as her campaign progressed, Trump's team proved the most effective. Overall, pro-Trump bots generated five times as much activity at key moments of the campaign as pro-Clinton ones. These Twitter bots -- which often had zero followers -- copied each other's messages and sent out advertisements alongside political content. They regularly retweeted Dan Scavino, Trump's social media director.

One high-ranking Republican Party figure told OII that campaigning on social media was like "the Wild West." "Anything goes as long as your candidate is getting the most attention," he said. And it worked: A Harvard study concluded that overall Trump received 15 percent more media coverage than Clinton.

Targeted advertising to specific demographics was also central to Trump's strategy. Clinton spent two and a half times more than Trump on television adverts and had a 73% share of nationally focused digital ads.

But Trump's team, led by Cambridge Analytica for the final months, focused on sub-groups. In one famous example, an anti-Clinton ad that repeated her notorious speech from 1996 describing so-called "super-predators" was shown exclusively to African-American voters on Facebook in areas where the Republicans hoped to suppress the Democrat vote -- and again, it worked.

"It's well known that President Obama's campaign pioneered the use of microtargeting in 2012," a spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica tells Newsweek . "But big data and new ad tech are now revolutionizing communications and marketing, and Cambridge Analytica is at the forefront of this paradigm shift."

"Communication enhances democracy, not endangers it. We enable voters to have their concerns heard, and we help political candidates communicate their policy positions."

The firm argues that its partnership with American right-wing candidates -- first Ted Cruz and then Trump -- is purely circumstantial. "We work in politics, but we're not political," the spokesperson said.

The company is part-owned by the family of Robert Mercer, which was one of Trump's major donors, while Stephen K. Bannon sat on the company's board until he was appointed White House chief strategist (he was dismissed from his post seven months later). According to Bannon's March federal financial disclosure, he held shares worth as much as $5 million in the company . On October 11, it was also revealed that the House Intelligence Committee has asked the company to provide information for its ongoing probe into Russian interference.

But social media manipulation did not begin or end with the election. As early as 2011, the US government hired a public relations firm to develop a " persona management tool " that would develop and control fake profiles on social media for political purposes.

The British parent company of Cambridge Analytica, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), has been a client of the government for years, working with the Department of Defense, and The Washington Post reports that it recently secured work with the State Department.

There is also growing awareness of hundreds of thousands of so-called "sleeper" bots: Accounts that have tweeted only once or twice for Trump, and which now sit silently, waiting for a trigger -- a key political moment -- to spread disinformation and drown out opposing views.

Emilio Ferrara, an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Southern California Computer Science department, even suggests the possibility of "a black-market for reusable political disinformation bots," ready to be utilitized wherever they are needed, the world over. These fears appeared to be confirmed by reports that the same bots used to back Trump were then deployed against eventual winner Emmanuel Macron in this year's French presidential election.

[Oct 14, 2017] The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished by Mike Whitney

Anybody who subscript of NYT, or WaPo after this fiasco is simply paying money for state propaganda.
Notable quotes:
"... Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. " ..."
"... Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. ..."
"... This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. ..."
"... The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. ..."
"... How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any." ..."
"... Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. ..."
"... Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype? ..."
"... It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war. ..."
"... If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact. ..."
"... This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome. ..."
"... In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves. ..."
"... But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us. ..."
"... Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater. ..."
"... The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished. ..."
"... The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years. ..."
"... Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying. ..."
"... So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London ..."
"... Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff. ..."
"... If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco? ..."
Oct 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The Senate Intelligence Committee Finds No Evidence of Russian Hacking or Collusion

The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. "

Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that's been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23, the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what's the point? Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in "feeling confident" in the ICA's accuracy. From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. It's also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be taken seriously.

Here's more from the ICA:

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn't think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA's authors had avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the former seriously impacts the report's credibility.

To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:

"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA," said Burr. "We've spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together. We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and, in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have found appropriate for the ICA, but we may have found relevant to our investigation." Burr added that the committee's review included "highly classified intelligence reporting," and they've interviewed every official in the Obama administration who had anything to do with putting it together. ("Democrats and Republicans in Congress Agree: Russia Did It", The Nation)

That's great, but where' the beef? How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any."

Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story?

Could it be that Burr's admission doesn't mesh with the media's "Russia did it" narrative so they decided to scrub the story altogether?

But it's not just collusion we're talking about here, there's also the broader issue of Russia meddling. And what was striking about the press conference is that –after all the interviews, all the testimony, and all the stacks of transcripts– the Committee has come up with nothing; no eyewitness testimony supporting the original claims, no smoking gun, no proof of domestic espionage, no evidence of Russian complicity, nothing. One big goose egg.

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

If the Senate Intelligence Committee has not found any proof that Russia hacked the 2016 elections, then why do senators' Burr and Warner still believe the ICA is reliable? It doesn't really make sense, does it? Don't they require evidence to draw their conclusions? And doesn't the burden of truth fall on the prosecution (or the investigators in this case)? Isn't a man innocent until proven guilty or doesn't that rule apply to Russia?

Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype?

Don't bet on it.

What about former UK ambassador Craig Murray, a WikiLeaks colleague, who has repeatedly admitted that he knows the source of the DNC emails. Murray hasn't been asked to testify nor has he even been contacted by the FBI on the matter. Apparently, the FBI has no interest in a credible witness who can disprove the politically-motivated theory expounded in the ICA.

Then there's 30-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern has done extensive research on the topic and has produced solid evidence that the DNC emails were "leaked" by an insider, not "hacked" by a foreign government. McGovern's work squares with Assange and Murray's claim that Russia did not hack the 2016 elections. Has McGovern been invited to testify?

How about Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager and Information Technology expert, whose excellent report titled "Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge" also disproves the hacking theory, as does The Nation's Patrick Lawrence whose riveting article at The Nation titled "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack" which thoroughly obliterates the central claims of the ICA.

Finally, there's California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and who was assured that Assange would provide hard evidence (in the form of "a computer drive or other data-storage device") that the Russians were not involved in the DNC email scandal.

Wouldn't you think that senate investigators would want to talk to a trusted colleague and credible witness like Rohrabacher who said he could produce solid proof that the scandal, that has dominated the headlines and roiled Washington for the better part of a year, was bogus?

Apparently not. Apparently Burr and his colleagues would rather avoid any witness or evidence that conflicts with their increasingly-threadbare thesis.

So what conclusions can we draw from the Committee's behavior? Are Burr and Warner really conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russia hacking or is this just a witch hunt?

It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war.

Beckow > , October 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm GMT

Where is this going? At some point in the next few years there will be a 'damning' report that will regurgitate what has already been endlessly publicised: VIP's meet each other (the horror!), somehow DNC emails got published, Facebook sold ads to 'Russia-linked' users, and Pokemon Go, whatever. That will be described in sinister terms and RT will be thrown in. How dare RT not to have the same views as CNN?

But what then? Let's even say that Trump is removed – he is at this point so emasculated that keeping him in the White House is the most stabilising thing the establishment could do. Is Congress going to declare a war on Russia? Or more sanctions? Are they going to ban RT? Break diplomatic relations? None of that makes sense because any of those moves would be more costly than beneficial, some dramatically so. Therefore nothing will happen.

All that will remain is permanent bitterness towards Russia, and vice-versa. And much reduced ability to do what the West has done for 75 years: heavy interference and media campaigns inside foreign countries to influence elections. If 'meddling' is so bad, the biggest meddlers – by far – will be less able to meddle. So how is this hysteria helping?

Sanity in public life is a precious thing. Once abandoned, all kinds of strange things start happening. Yeah, Pokemon GO – Putin was personally naming the characters to 'sow division'. It sounds like something Stalin would accuse his 'cosmopolitan' enemies of doing. This is really embarrassing.

utu > , October 14, 2017 at 4:35 am GMT

Incorrect parsing of reality. It was not about getting Trump but it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration.

Greg Bacon > , Website October 14, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT

If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact.

jacques sheete > , October 14, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT

@Johnny Rico

I have been convinced of the ridiculousness of the Russian-hacking/collusion narrative/scandal since it was created in 2016.

I, too, smelled a rat and figured that it was all BS right from the get go. So much so that I haven't followed it a bit. In fact it's so ridiculous on its face, that I have not and probably will not, waste time reading the article even though MW is a good guy, an unimpeachable source, a true journalist, and a fine writer.

Bless you, Mr Whitney, for having the energy to document what is no doubt a pack of lies from the usual suspects.

I stumbled on this yesterday, and it suggests, to no one's surprise, that it's always deja vu all over again. You'd think our "high IQ" masters would show a little originality once in a while, and that we, "Low IQ" as we are, would finally learn that it's all BS from the get-go.

Note the date.:

THESE books all belong to that literature of Katzenjammer which now flourishes so amazingly in the United States t hey all embody attempts to find out what is the matter with the Republic. I wish I could add that one or another of them solves the problem, or at least contributes something to its illumination , but that would be going somewhat beyond the facts.

-H.L. Mencken, Autopsy (4 Reviews), , September 1927 , pp. 123-125 – PDF

http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1927sep-00123

jacques sheete > , October 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm GMT

@Thorfinnsson

This makes me suspect that Mike Whitney is a censorious coward on the model of Razib Khan (thankfully expelled from unz.com) or even worse Paul Craig Roberts (who prohibits comments entirely).

While I agree with you about the latter two, and have written them off accordingly, along with Mercer, who I suspect "edits" (really, "purges" ) her comments too, I highly doubt that MW falls into the same categories as those mentioned. At least MW doesn't use the word, "insouciant" 3 or 4 times in every article!

If I am wrong and this article is simply strangely unpopular please let me know and I will apologize.

The article isn't so much unpopular as the subject is wearying. It's the same crud all over again,obviously false, and I suspect virtually everyone knows it. It's utterly boring and I give MW a lot of credit for having the persistence to even face the mindless mess, let alone think and write about it. He really is to be admired for that.

I've always thought it was a distraction as usual from other much more more important things but utu has a better take on it.

it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration. [ed note:And Flynn is gone too.]

I think that's a "Bingo!" and I also think you better formulate an apology and plan on getting on yer knees to deliver it!

PS: I'm curious as to why you think this is of much interest at all. (Aside from utu's take.)

Michael Kenny > , October 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT

We don't know who this author really is but, once again, what's interesting is that so many people are still so scared of an investigation which is supposedly producing "no evidence" (leaving aside Trump Junior's evidence, of course). If all this was a load of nonsense, why make such a fuss about it? If there's nothing to this, an "effort to support a theory", however "determined" will come up with nothing. The frantic attempts to kill off Russiagate suggest that those who are making such attempts know, or believe, that there actually is something to it which has not yet come to light. Probably something pretty dirty by the sound of it. What if some part of the US intelligence services took part in the manipulation of the election, either in collusion with the Russians or posing as Russians, and Putin can prove it? That would certainly explain the plethora of retired intelligence agents who are so assiduously defending a foreign government. If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course.

Captain Nemo > , October 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT

Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia.

Really? Only "now"?! I thought it was pretty much clear from the beginning.

Ludwig Watzal > , Website October 14, 2017 at 1:59 pm GMT

This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome.

In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves.

TG > , October 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

Indeed, well said. But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us.

Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater.

The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished.

Flavius > , October 14, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

Mike – good article. The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years.

If it can be gotten wrong, the Borg will get it wrong; it will be gotten wrong at the worst possible time; it will move on to get it wrong again. These are three things that you can absolutely count on.

Joe Hide > , October 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying.

jilles dykstra > , October 14, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London

Pericles > , October 14, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Russia collusion does lack credibility, but you're still doing us a great service by following the twists and turns of this beheaded snake. The details are worth reading about, even if there isn't much to argue about regarding the conclusion. So thanks for that.

Biff > , October 14, 2017 at 7:36 pm GMT

Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff.

Beckow > , October 14, 2017 at 7:49 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

"If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course."

Innocent of what? What is it exactly that Russia supposedly did? Let me list a few things that are still perfectly legal in our world (that would include US, I hope):

None of the above is either unusual or illegal. It might not look good to some people, but it is what international life has consisted for at least 200 years. If you call that 'meddling', you just might be too naive for the world as it is.

What is the 'natural course' for the investigation? If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco?

Putin named Pokemon GO characters after BLM victims to stir up racial hatreds in US. How does one answer that? Where would you even start dealing with people who are capable of this level of nonsense?

[Oct 13, 2017] Sympathy for the Corporatocracy by C. J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Biting satire...
Notable quotes:
"... The Tonight Show ..."
"... Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook. ..."
"... No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that. ..."
"... a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without ..."
"... Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'. ..."
"... A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. ..."
"... "Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories. ..."
Oct 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Well all right, let's review what happened, or at least the official version of what happened. Not Hillary Clinton's version of what happened, which Jeffrey St. Clair so incisively skewered , but the Corporatocracy's version of what happened, which overlaps with but is even more ridiculous than Clinton's ridiculous version. To do that, we need to harken back to the peaceful Summer of 2016, (a/k/a the "Summer of Fear" ), when the United States of America was still a shiny city upon a hill whose beacon light guided freedom-loving people, the Nazis were still just a bunch of ass clowns meeting in each other's mother's garages, and Russia was, well Russia was Russia.

Back then, as I'm sure you'll recall, Western democracy, was still primarily being menaced by the lone wolf terrorists, for absolutely no conceivable reason, apart from the terrorists' fanatical desire to brutally murder all non-believers. The global Russo-Nazi Axis had not yet reared its ugly head. President Obama, who, during his tenure, had single-handedly restored America to the peaceful, prosperous, progressive paradise it had been before George W. Bush screwed it up, was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon slow jamming home the TPP . The Wall Street banks had risen from the ashes of the 2008 financial crisis, and were buying back all the foreclosed homes of the people they had fleeced with subprime mortgages. American workers were enjoying the freedom and flexibility of the new gig economy. Electioneering in the United States was underway, but it was early days. It was already clear that Donald Trump was literally the Second Coming of Hitler , but no one was terribly worried about him yet. The Republican Party was in a shambles. Neither Trump nor any of the other contenders had any chance of winning in November. Nor did Sanders, who had been defeated, fair and square, in the Democratic primaries, mostly because of his racist statements and crazy, quasi-Communist ideas. Basically, everything was hunky dory. Yes, it was going to be terribly sad to have to bid farewell to Obama, who had bailed out all those bankrupt Americans the Wall Street banks had taken to the cleaners, ended all of Bush and Cheney's wars, closed down Guantanamo, and just generally served as a multicultural messiah figure to affluent consumers throughout the free world, but Hope-and-Change was going to continue. The talking heads were all in agreement Hillary Clinton was going to be President, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Little did we know at the time that an epidemic of Russo-Nazism had been festering just beneath the surface of freedom-loving Western societies like some neo-fascist sebaceous cyst. Apparently, millions of theretofore more or less normal citizens throughout the West had been infected with a virulent strain of Russo-Nazi-engineered virus, because they simultaneously began exhibiting the hallmark symptoms of what we now know as White Supremacist Behavioral Disorder, or Fascist Oppositional Disorder (the folks who update the DSM are still arguing over the official name). It started with the Brexit referendum, spread to America with the election of Trump, and there have been a rash of outbreaks in Europe, like the one we're currently experiencing in Germany . These fascistic symptoms have mostly manifest as people refusing to vote as instructed, and expressing oppressive views on the Internet, but there have also been more serious crimes, including several assaults and murders perpetrated by white supremacists (which, of course, never happened when Obama was President, because the Nazis hadn't been "emboldened" yet).

Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook.

No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that.

This hypothetical leftist analysis might want to focus on how Capitalism is fundamentally opposed to Despotism, and is essentially a value-decoding machine which renders everything and everyone it touches essentially valueless interchangeable commodities whose worth is determined by market forces, rather than by societies and cultures, or religions, or other despotic systems (wherein values are established and enforced arbitrarily, by the despot, the church, or the ruling party, or by a group of people who share an affinity and decide they want to live a certain way). This is where it would get sort of tricky, because it (i.e., this hypothetical analysis) would have to delve into the history of Capitalism, and how it evolved out of medieval Despotism, and how it has been decoding despotic values for something like five hundred years. This historical delving (which would probably be too long for people to read on their phones) would demonstrate how Capitalism has been an essentially progressive force in terms of getting us out of Despotism (which, for most folks, wasn't very much fun) by fomenting bourgeois revolutions and imposing some semblance of democracy on societies. It would follow Capitalism's inexorable advance all the way up to the Twentieth Century, in which its final external ideological adversary, fake Communism, suddenly imploded, delivering us to the world we now live in a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without , and where any opposition to that global ideology can only be internal, or insurgent, in nature (e.g, terrorism, extremism, and so on). Being a hypothetical leftist analysis, it would, at this point, need to stress that, despite the fact that Capitalism helped deliver us from Despotism, and improved the state of society generally (compared to most societies that preceded it), we nonetheless would like to transcend it, or evolve out of it toward some type of society where people, and everything else, including the biosphere we live in, are not interchangeable, valueless commodities exchanged by members of a global corporatocracy who have no essential values, or beliefs, or principles, other than the worship of money. After having covered all that, we might want to offer more a nuanced view of the current neo-nationalist reaction to the Corporatocracy's ongoing efforts to restructure and privatize the rest of the planet. Not that we would support this reaction, or in any way refrain from calling neo-nationalism what it is (i.e., reactionary, despotic, and doomed), but this nuanced view we'd hypothetically offer, by analyzing the larger sociopolitical and historical forces at play, might help us to see the way forward more clearly, and who knows, maybe eventually propose some kind of credible leftist alternative to the "global neoliberalism vs. neo-nationalism" double bind we appear to be hopelessly stuck in at the moment.

Luckily, we don't have to do that (i.e., articulate such a leftist analysis of any such larger historical forces). Because there is no corporatocracy not really. That's just a fake word the Russians made up and are spreading around on the Internet to distract us while the Nazis take over. No, the logical explanation for Trump, Brexit, and anything else that threatens the expansion of global Capitalism, and the freedom, democracy, and prosperity it offers, is that millions of people across the world, all at once, for no apparent reason, woke up one day full-blown fascists and started looking around for repulsive demagogues to swear fanatical allegiance to. Yes, that makes a lot more sense than all that complicated stuff about history and hegemonic ideological systems, which is probably just Russian propaganda anyway, in which case there is absolutely no reason to read any boring year-old pieces, like this one in The European Financial Review , or this report by Corporate Watch , from way back in the year 2000, about the rise of global corporate power.

So, apologies for wasting your time with all that pseudo-Marxian gobbledygook. Let's just pretend this never happened, and get back to more important matters, like statistically proving that Donald Trump got elected President because of racism, misogyny, transphobia, xenophobia, or some other type of behavioral disorder, and pulling down Confederate statues, or kneeling during the National Anthem, or whatever happens to be trending this week. Oh, yeah, and debating punching Nazis, or people wearing MAGA hats. We definitely need to sort all that out before we can move ahead with helping the Corporatocracy remove Trump from office, or at least ensure he remains surrounded by their loyal generals, CEOs, and Goldman Sachs guys until the next election. Whatever we do, let's not get distracted by that stuff I just distracted you with. I know, it's tempting, but, given what's at stake, we need to maintain our laser focus on issues related to identity politics, or else well, you know, the Nazis win.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

jilles dykstra, October 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

Yesterday evening on RT a USA lady, as usual forgot the name, spoke about the USA. In a matter of fact tone she said things like 'they (Deep State) have got him (Trump) in the box'.

They, Deep State again, are now wondering if they will continue to try to control the world, or if they should stop the attempt, and retreat into the USA.
Also as matter of fact she said 'the CIA has always been the instrument of Deep State, from Kenndy to Nine Eleven'.

Another statement was 'no president ever was in control'.

How USA citizens continue to believe they live in a democracy, I cannot understand.

Yesterday the intentions of the new Dutch government were made public, alas most Dutch also dot not see that the Netherlands since 2005 no longer is a democracy, just a province of Brussels.

You can fool all people .

Che Guava, October 13, 2017 at 4:22 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Jilles,

I am thinking you take the article too literally.

jacques sheete, October 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT

Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'.

No doubt many do want their country back, but what concerns me is that all of a sudden we have the concept of "independence" plastered all over the place. Such concepts don't get promoted unless the ruling elites see ways to turn those sentiments to their favor.

A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. (And everything else.)

"Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories.

Does anyone else smell a rat or two?

Anon-og , October 13, 2017 at 5:16 pm GMT

"Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook."

Very impressed with this article, never really paid attention to CJ's articles but that is now changing!

[Oct 10, 2017] MoA - Russia Interfered! - By Purchasing Anti-Trump Ads

Notable quotes:
"... Russia is for and against Trump, and is thus destroying American democracy! We have always been at war with Eurasia! Freedom is slavery! ..."
"... The dangerous projection from the US elites where anyone and anything can be turned into something "evil" through the mere suggestion of any connection to Russia is no longer shocking--but that makes it no less disturbing and insidious. ..."
"... the whole thing is quite laughable, if it wasn't taken so seriously by so many doorknobs... ..."
"... b you are right to continue to focus on this issue. The Russia hysteria is beginning to burn itself out. However the msn and the Democrats are now beginning to focus on Google, Twitter and Facebook instead. Hillary last week gave a talk at Stanford calling for those companies to censure false news reports. If her plan was put into effect one of its targets would obviously be MoA along with hundreds of other outlets on both the left and the right that challenge the usual deep state "news" promoted by the mainstream news monopolies. ..."
"... Identifying all of the ways in which it was rigged is still open to debate, but we know for sure that during the primary the DNC manipulated the schedule for "Super Tuesday" so as to pad Clinton's lead with meaningless red states which would never turn out for her in the general, that numerous states also executed suspect purges of their voter roles in precincts leaning heavily toward Bernie Sanders, and that Clinton fraudulently secured the electoral votes of some 400 so-called "super delegates" in order to create the illusion she had popular support. ..."
"... Furthermore, we know that the DNC itself promoted Trump because they wrongly believed that he would be easier to beat in the general election. If anyone really adulterated our democracy during this election, it was the DNC and, as usual, the corporate media apparatus. But as with any large-scale CYA operation, the first order of business is to distract attention away from the domestic perpetrators by hyping up an external threat and projecting all manner of crimes to this shadowy enemy. ..."
"... If one looks at the recent history of which bills pass in congress, and how close the votes lie, it is very easy to see the BIG LIE that these people represent anything other than the corporate interests that pay them the most money. ..."
"... Trump is a symptom, not the disease. Hillary was the same, and I fully expect the next bunch of politicians to show even more stark symptoms. To expect the MSM to do other than purvey the lies and obfuscate and distract is simply an illogical and fallacious expectation - an expectation that money will never allow to be met. ..."
"... This entire Russiagate thing is a distraction, canard, red herring - pick your noun for falsity. It's purpose is to obfuscate other things the corporations and governments are doing elsewhere. Caveat emptor ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

After the ludicrous "Russian hacking" claims have died down for lack of evidence, the attention was moved to even more ludicrous claims of "Russian ads influenced the elections". Some readers are upset that continue to debunk the nonsense the media spreads around this. But lies should not stand without response. If only to blame the reporters and media who push this dreck.

As evidence is also lacking for any "Russian interference" claims the media outlets have started to push deceiving headlines. These make claims that are not covered at all by the content of the related pieces. The headlines are effective because less than 20% of the viewers ever read beyond them.

On the NYT Homepage today we find another one of these: Google Finds Russia Bought Ads to Interfere in Election .

Google has found no ads that "Russia", the state or nation, has bought. There is also no evidence that the ads in question interfered in any way with the election. There is evidence that any of the ads in questions aimed to achieve that. The opener of the piece repeats the false headline claims. But now we have "Russian agents", not "Russia", which allegedly did something.

Google has found evidence that Russian agents bought ads on its wide-ranging networks in an effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign.

The term "Russian agents" is not defined at all. Where these "secret agents" or Public Relation professionals in Washington DC hired by some Russian entity?

Using accounts believed to be connected to the Russian government, the agents purchased $4,700 worth of search ads and more traditional display ads, according to a person familiar with the company's inquiry ...

"Accounts believed to be connected to the Russian government." Believed by whom? And how is "connected" defined? Isn't any citizen "connected" to his or her government?

Those believed , connected accounts bought a whopping $4,700 of ads? Googles 2016 revenue was $89,000,000,000. The total campaign expenditures in 2016 were some $6,000,000,000. The Clinton campaign spent some $480,000 on social network ads alone. But something "Russian" spending $4,700 was "interference"?

But wait. There is more:

Google found a separate $53,000 worth of ads with political material that were purchased from Russian internet addresses, building addresses or with Russian currency. It is not clear whether any of those were connected to the Russian government, and they may have been purchased by Russian citizens, the person said.

So now we are on to something. A full $53,000 worth of ads. But ....

The messages of those ads spanned the political spectrum. One account spent $7,000 on ads to promote a documentary called "You've Been Trumped," a film about Donald J. Trump's efforts to build a golf course in Scotland along an environmentally sensitive coastline. Another spent $36,000 on ads questioning whether President Barack Obama needed to resign. Yet another bought ads to promote political merchandise for Mr. Obama.

The film is anti-Trump. Obama not resigning would have been anti-Trump. Selling Obama merchandise may have been good business, but is certainly not pro-Trump. So at least $43,000 of a total of $53,000 mentioned above was spent by believed , connected "Russians" on ads that promoted anti-Trump material. How does that fit with the claims that "Russia" wished to get Trump elected? Putin pushed the wrong button?

The allegedly "Russian" Facebook ads were just a click-bait scheme by some people trying to make money. The allegedly "Russian" Goggle ads were of a volume that is unlikely to have made any difference in anything. They were also anti-Trump.

Clinton lost because people on all sides had learned to dislike her policies throughout the years. She was unelectable. Her party was and is acting against the interest of the common people. No claim of anything "Russian" can change those facts.

Yul | Oct 10, 2017 11:59:10 AM | 1

But, But, But
It is OK when the US of A ( via NED, USAID aka CIA covert ops) does it in Iran, some African countries, South American and even in Western Europe circa the '60's, to elect puppets
steven t johnson | Oct 10, 2017 12:24:54 PM | 2
Clinton won the election. Trump winning the Electoral College doesn't change that. If anybody has been repudiated by popular vote, it is Trump. It wasn't a huge win because the Democratic Party platform of how great the economy is is not going to win big for the good and simply reason it's BS. And black voters weren't going to turn out for a white candidate. If winning the election is a moral endorsement and losing is conviction of sin, then it is Clinton who was the angel and Trump who was the devil in the judgment of the American people. Seeing Clinton supporters as demons serving evil just means you hate the American people.

Either the Trumpists are getting exactly what they wanted, which exposes them as shameful. Or they got blindly picked the biggest liar because, stupid. It's a lose/lose situation. Since the Electoral College has made the election moot, what is the point of savaging Clinton except a desperate effort to apologize for Trump?

WorldBLee | Oct 10, 2017 12:33:02 PM | 3
Russia is for and against Trump, and is thus destroying American democracy! We have always been at war with Eurasia! Freedom is slavery!

The dangerous projection from the US elites where anyone and anything can be turned into something "evil" through the mere suggestion of any connection to Russia is no longer shocking--but that makes it no less disturbing and insidious.

anon | Oct 10, 2017 12:40:38 PM | 4
if the Dems wanted to campaign for the NEXT election rather than the LAST one, they could try opposing Trump on an actual issue... but I don't see Clinton doing squat for Puerto Rico, EPA standards, Black Lives, health care, Yemen, education, etc. The truth is, she and her party don't oppose Trump on anything except who won the last election and which country to threaten next.

I stopped listening to Amy Goodman over a year ago when I got sick of hearing nothing but this partisan BS, though once in a while I turn it on for a few minutes, and Goodman is STILL going on and on about Trump v Clinton! but today I got to hear Julian Assange tell her off, so it was worth it.

james | Oct 10, 2017 12:41:08 PM | 5
thanks b.. this highlights the pettiness of the american press, and people like steven @2 as well..

the whole thing is quite laughable, if it wasn't taken so seriously by so many doorknobs...

ToivoS | Oct 10, 2017 1:07:57 PM | 6
b you are right to continue to focus on this issue. The Russia hysteria is beginning to burn itself out. However the msn and the Democrats are now beginning to focus on Google, Twitter and Facebook instead. Hillary last week gave a talk at Stanford calling for those companies to censure false news reports. If her plan was put into effect one of its targets would obviously be MoA along with hundreds of other outlets on both the left and the right that challenge the usual deep state "news" promoted by the mainstream news monopolies.

Johnson #2. You obviously do not understand the US constitution. It was crafted to distribute political power to all of the States, not to just those with the largest populations. That was done deliberately and carefully in order to get the 13 former colonies to agree to joining a united states. That is why we have the electoral college and why each of the states have exactly two US senators irrespective of their population. So you want to abolish the electoral college? Well then change the US constitution. Of course keep in mind that the constitution has a rule for that process too -- it requires that 2/3 of the states agree. Good luck with trying that! Well you loyal Hillary sycophants should just go back and continue to cry in your beers like the pathetic losers that you all are.

SlapHappy | Oct 10, 2017 1:12:19 PM | 7
The 2016 election, as with every federal election since at least 2000, was rigged.

Identifying all of the ways in which it was rigged is still open to debate, but we know for sure that during the primary the DNC manipulated the schedule for "Super Tuesday" so as to pad Clinton's lead with meaningless red states which would never turn out for her in the general, that numerous states also executed suspect purges of their voter roles in precincts leaning heavily toward Bernie Sanders, and that Clinton fraudulently secured the electoral votes of some 400 so-called "super delegates" in order to create the illusion she had popular support.

Furthermore, we know that the DNC itself promoted Trump because they wrongly believed that he would be easier to beat in the general election. If anyone really adulterated our democracy during this election, it was the DNC and, as usual, the corporate media apparatus. But as with any large-scale CYA operation, the first order of business is to distract attention away from the domestic perpetrators by hyping up an external threat and projecting all manner of crimes to this shadowy enemy.

It's been the same tired song and dance in this country since forever, and I don't think it'll ever change, especially not with almost universal control of the government, media, finance, and industry by the money-printing fifth column.

/div
/div
Oilman2 | Oct 10, 2017 1:50:54 PM | 9
If one looks at the recent history of which bills pass in congress, and how close the votes lie, it is very easy to see the BIG LIE that these people represent anything other than the corporate interests that pay them the most money.

The 'differences' they postulate and promulgate across media are of things inconsequential, or of things that can never be wholly resolved with laws and regulations. When important things arise, they are locked away in committee or alleged 'deadlock'. What bills do pass are always, not sometimes, but always those that enrich their own pockets in some way.

Those that believe in either cause, Democrat or Republican, are avoiding the truth staring them in the face. They prefer the old reality we lived in where news could be controlled via 5 or 6 media outlets. They prefer The Matrix to the reality of where we exist today.

The truth is slowly oozing out, even as these parasitic creatures shovel and shove it back under rocks and into overflowing waste bins. The result of this is apathy in extremis. This will continue until a disaster or collapse of some part of the existing system forces people to act for change.

Trump is a symptom, not the disease. Hillary was the same, and I fully expect the next bunch of politicians to show even more stark symptoms. To expect the MSM to do other than purvey the lies and obfuscate and distract is simply an illogical and fallacious expectation - an expectation that money will never allow to be met.

This entire Russiagate thing is a distraction, canard, red herring - pick your noun for falsity. It's purpose is to obfuscate other things the corporations and governments are doing elsewhere. Caveat emptor

[Oct 09, 2017] A Visit to Russia Can Relations Be Improved

The official US doctrine is and has been containment of Russia. that excludes any friendship. The best that can be done is to avoid WWIII. And due to Putin patience that might be possible. After Putin is gone, who knows. If nationalist come to power, the neocon might really feel the depth of Russian anger at the US imperial policies.
Bunch of neocons travel to Moscow to test waters for rapprochement. After then pissed Russia and launched neo-McCarthyism campaign for the last two years... such a great diplomats.
Those neocons completely poisoned the well and now want to drink clean water. No way.
Notable quotes:
"... President Vladimir Putin's recent hint that the Kremlin could cut another 155 people from the number permitted to work at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. ..."
"... because Mr. Putin does not seem to feel real pressure from U.S. sanctions, he is unlikely to be disposed to offer major concessions to the United States simply to reach agreement, especially in the runup to Russia's 2018 presidential elections ..."
"... Keep pretending that Russia has hacked your elections. There is zero interest from the US side in improving relations and we know this quite well here. There is no question that the fat defense and intelligence budgets and all the extra power that the spooks now got is a direct outcome of destroyed Russia-US relations. The democrats sour grapes and election rigging cover up with Russiagate is also undeniable. Keep living the lie ..."
"... It is sad that the media, the Democratic party, and the "deep state" are all working together to try to keep the phony Trump-Russia collusion story alive - but it has almost run its course and less and less people believe it. ..."
"... The US doctrine is and has been containment of Russia. That is a very foolish and self defeating way in the 21st century. The West would have been better off when the bankers did not have such controls and the American congress grew real courage and paid down the national debt. ..."
"... I don't know to what degree the author of this article and those he went with have real influence on either side, but we, the American public, have yet to be presented with any real proof that Russia (and specifically its government, directly) actually did anything significant with regard to the election. To the degree that we've been shown any evidence, it appears completely inconsequential, extremely minor dabbling at most. The latest is that "Russia" (nebulously defined) spent $100,000 on Facebook ads... Meanwhile the Clinton campaign spent $1 BILLION. This is a joke. ..."
"... The situation in Ukraine is a million times more of a significant obstacle to improved relations. ..."
"... Russia and US have all the reasons to be adversaries. Because US seeks global domination but will never be able to achieve it as long as Russia exists as subject of global politics. US invests huge resources into making harm to Russia in every possible way. And it been this way at least since Truman administration. ..."
"... NATO cannot save a non-existent failed state. There are at least three different and geographically separate Ukraines. Catholic Galicia has nothing to do with the rest of the country. And the East wants to separate. It is another case of former Yugoslavia. ..."
"... trump was given a choice by the deep state of you either work with us or else... so he has become a puppet of the swamp ..."
"... Swamp Puppet! That's catchy! ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com
Russian officials were largely dismissive of U.S. and European economic sanctions, which some indirectly credit with significantly strengthening Russia's agricultural sector -- to such an extent that they claimed Russian products may fiercely compete in Europe if and when the European Union eases it sanctions and Russia lifts its protectionist counter-sanctions. Indeed, the U.S. Department of State itself asserted in 2016 that a loss of "at most 1 percent of GDP can be potentially explained by sanctions" as opposed to declining global energy prices. The combination of "at most" and "potentially" in this sentence suggests that there is little empirical evidence that sanctions have caused real damage to Russia's economy. Moreover, since U.S. sanctions could account for only a small part of this -- because Europe's economic relationship with Russia is far larger than America's -- there is no reason to think that new U.S. sanctions, which have yet to be fully implemented, will make a material difference at the macroeconomic level. (The State Department did find that sanctioned companies appeared to lose significant revenue and assets.) Still, some officials did privately admit that the sanctions undermine Russia's investment climate, especially among foreign investors.

At the same time, however, some officials reacted quite strongly to the Trump administration's decision to close Russia's consulate in San Francisco, the latest move in an escalating diplomatic spat that began with the Obama administration's expulsion of thirty-five Russian diplomats and seizure of two diplomatic properties in December, following a widely publicized intelligence community report on Russia's election interference.

Even in this area, however, our interlocutors seemed to prefer curtailing the dispute over extending it -- notwithstanding President Vladimir Putin's recent hint that the Kremlin could cut another 155 people from the number permitted to work at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Yet containing this battle between the State Department and Russian Foreign Ministry bureaucracies may well be the easiest step in working toward a functional U.S.-Russia relationship. Far more important and more challenging will be addressing Russia's election interference, which has poisoned the relationship to an extent that Russian officials -- who describe the matter strictly as a U.S. partisan slugfest brought on by sour-grapes Democrats -- did not seem to appreciate....

... Russia's diplomatic, economic, military and security officials will each seek to pursue their own objectives, sometimes contradicting one another. Also, because Mr. Putin does not seem to feel real pressure from U.S. sanctions, he is unlikely to be disposed to offer major concessions to the United States simply to reach agreement, especially in the runup to Russia's 2018 presidential elections .

Thus "getting to yes" on these or other issues will take persistence and creativity.

Paul J. Saunders, associate publisher of the National Interest, is executive director of the Center for the National Interest.

pavel , October 7, 2017 3:36 AM

Keep pretending that Russia has hacked your elections. There is zero interest from the US side in improving relations and we know this quite well here. There is no question that the fat defense and intelligence budgets and all the extra power that the spooks now got is a direct outcome of destroyed Russia-US relations. The democrats sour grapes and election rigging cover up with Russiagate is also undeniable. Keep living the lie

dannyboy116 -> pavel , October 7, 2017 9:52 AM

I agree with you that Russia probably did not hack the US elections. Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks, has made it quite clear that he received the Clinton campaign emails from elsewhere. (and he has a 100% history of being truthful with regard to what he releases) But I would say to Russia to not give up on better relations with America. It is true that the "deep state" and the Military Industrial Complex make a lot of money from "bad relations" with Russia, but I think Trump understands that improving relations will be good for both sides and potentially save a lot of money for America's citizens. Give it some time.....

sergey_hv -> dannyboy116 , October 7, 2017 2:34 PM

It's not the time he needs, but an adequate congress and fewer idiots of Russophobes who rule the US foreign policy, twisting Trump's hands.

pavel -> dannyboy116 , October 7, 2017 3:49 PM

Wow, good to hear a sober voice! I have felt some backlash personally in the commercial world, and it really feels nasty (basically just like racism), especially since I feel like 1/2 American, having lived in the US for 11 years. So this has gone very deep even in private sector.

Not too sure about good prospects coming up soon. I'm following both the foreign and domestic policies of the current government in Washington and its a bit scary - Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, NK, China, Iran - all are becoming enemies, sanctions reintroduced, and all the ultra-right wing stuff home like getting rid of health insurance, removing all regulations, now 20% poverty rate in CA, I don't recognize the country I used to live a couple decades ago!

dannyboy116 -> pavel , October 9, 2017 7:38 PM

It is sad that the media, the Democratic party, and the "deep state" are all working together to try to keep the phony Trump-Russia collusion story alive - but it has almost run its course and less and less people believe it. It is now looking like it was the Obama Admin's justice department that actually paid for the phony "Trump Dossier" that was used as an excuse to wiretap the Trump campaign. Once that story blows up (Senator Grassley has subpoenaed the background docs) I think you will see a rapid improvement in relations.

KlingOn2K -> pavel , October 8, 2017 9:46 PM

pavel , Russia made its choices. The onus is not on the US to pacify Russia with any standard of proof that it may find convincing. Its up to the US authorities to interpret the Russian actions as being either confrontational or friendly. Russia has no say over it.

cvxxx -> KlingOn2K , October 9, 2017 3:38 PM

The US doctrine is and has been containment of Russia. That is a very foolish and self defeating way in the 21st century. The West would have been better off when the bankers did not have such controls and the American congress grew real courage and paid down the national debt.

bscook111 , October 7, 2017 10:57 AM

It is testimony to the gross malfeasance of American media and pols (both sides but especially Ds like both idiotic Clintons) that America has no working relationship with Russia. The good news, once again in time Trump will be proved right.

JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 10:09 PM

I don't know to what degree the author of this article and those he went with have real influence on either side, but we, the American public, have yet to be presented with any real proof that Russia (and specifically its government, directly) actually did anything significant with regard to the election. To the degree that we've been shown any evidence, it appears completely inconsequential, extremely minor dabbling at most. The latest is that "Russia" (nebulously defined) spent $100,000 on Facebook ads... Meanwhile the Clinton campaign spent $1 BILLION. This is a joke.

But apparently this group went over there and acted as if the American people are outraged. No, dishonest Democrat hacks and never-Trump Republicans inside the Beltway are obsessed with it, because they hate the outcome of the election and want to discredit Trump. But they've been fishing for a year and a half and can't find anything, despite furiously leaking every innuendo they can, that turns out to be a false smear against Trump and completely falls apart on inspection.

The situation in Ukraine is a million times more of a significant obstacle to improved relations.

... ... ...

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 10:31 PM

"If Russia can't be trusted to respect the borders of its neighbors, we can't have good relations."

Says who? Citizen of a country which invaded 100+ countries since 1890, including Russia twice? Learn how to respect borders and sovereignity or others yourself. Otherwise it is not going to end well for you.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 10:41 PM

Given your namesake, I'm not sure what point you think you're making. My point is that now, today, the US and Russia have no reason to be adversaries. The past is the past. This is just practical reality. We have allies in Europe who are worried about Russian expansionism. Again, because of your namesake. If Russia makes moves to its west, relations cannot improve.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 10:52 PM

"My point is that now, today, the US and Russia have no reason to be adversaries."

Russia and US have all the reasons to be adversaries. Because US seeks global domination but will never be able to achieve it as long as Russia exists as subject of global politics. US invests huge resources into making harm to Russia in every possible way. And it been this way at least since Truman administration.

'This is just practical reality."

Exactly. And reality is that US stirs up troubles all over the world, including sphere of vital interests of Russia like Ukraine.

"We have allies in Europe who are worried about Russian expansionism."

Russian expansionism? Oh please, there never was any at all. Its been EXACTLY Europe which hundreds of times tried to expand into Russia. The only way Russia expanded over centuries was by defeating and absorbing those who tried to conquer Russia first. If western degenerate elites will not learn this important lesson, of cource Russia will defeat and absorb the west. It will be civilizational self defense.
You better leave Russia alone, and stop meddling in its business.

" If Russia makes moves to its west, relations cannot improve."

Russia does not need any improvement in relations with the west. At all. Over centuries we learned that force is only language you barbarians do understand. You can not be reasoned with. That is why we will always keep you at the gunpoint. And out gun will always be bigger than yours.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 10:59 PM

If you are, presumably, Russian, it doesn't sound as if your government shares your mindset. Which is good. I can tell you that the American people do not "seek global domination". And European nations basically have no military to speak of, so the idea that they would expand into Russia is ridiculous. You are very much stuck far in the past. In the modern world, with the threat of Islamic terrorism and the rising economic power of China, the US and Russia, as allies, would be an insurmountable bulwark. To the extent there would be "global domination", it would be mutual.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:20 PM

"government shares your mindset."

As imperfect as our goverment is, it still orders of magnitude more intelligent and competent than yours. Especialy when it comes to geopolitics. Russia always plays chess, while your nations can`t handle checkers nowadays.

"American people do not "seek global domination""

Every people has government which it deserves. So do not try to shift blame to your government as if you are not responsible for it. You gave them mandate.

"European nations basically have no military to speak of"

Nice excuse to expand NATO east it was, wasn`t it? So much for this "Russian expansionism" B-S.

"so the idea that they would expand into Russia is ridiculous"

Sorry, but we are not buying that. NATO heavily expanded east breaking all past promises. NATO now tries to sиck in even Ukraine. So please, we are not going to just sit idle and watch how your goverments loom another 1812 or 1941.

" You are very much stuck far in the past"

Because we have memory. Do not take us for idlots who was born yesterday.

" In the modern world, with the threat of Islamic terrorism "

Which your goverment created and keeps massively supporting. Oh yes we know that better than you can imagine.

"rising economic power of China"

Nothing wrong with rising economic power of China.

", the US and Russia, as allies,"

US and Russia are not allies.

"To the extent the would be "global domination", it would be mutual."

Russia seeks no global domination. It just wants to be left completely alone on its backyard and mainland which has size of a planet.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:24 PM

You have plenty of knowledge of history, but no wisdom. I did not say the US is blameless in the continued conflicts. What I said is that both governments have shown short sightedness, and are stuck in the past - and you provide an extreme example of someone stuck in the past.

You have also said numerous things that are not true, but it's not worth the time to argue. You should go out for a walk, breathe some fresh air and relax.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:28 PM

"both governments have shown short sightedness"

Yes. Our government used to be naive enough to trust west and expect it to live up their promises. And yours by poking the Bear in every possible way. When you poking sleeping Bear with a short sight and shorter stick, do not complain whole situation exploding into your face.

"and are stuck in the past "

No. Only your government stuck in its past, past dreams about "the end of history" and unrestrained global domination. Russia exactly learned from the past and moved on, that is why your elites are panicking trying to hold on to their sweet illusions.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:34 PM

If you had more wisdom and less hostility, you would see that what I'm saying is more favorable to you than you think. The ideal outcome, ultimately, would be for Russia to join NATO. Putin has voiced that idea himself, as have past US presidents. But the continual back and forth of spats been the US, Europe and Russia prevents it. I'm talking about a bigger, more positive vision of the future, and you can only see small bitterness about the past.

Sane people want peace and prosperity. You do not seem to be one of them.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:40 PM

"The ideal outcome, ultimately, world be for Russia to join NATO."

The ideal outcome, ultimately, would be for NATO to join Russia. Perfectly without Russia making it the hard way.

"Putin has voiced that idea himself, as have past US presidents. "

Look up what does sarcasm means.

"more positive vision of the future"

Russia has only two allies, its army and fleet. - Tsar Alexander III.

Today its also RuASF and SRF. We do not need any more allies than that. You choose if you want to be or enemy. It was not Russia who started all this mess.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:43 PM

I've seen Putin talk about this, on video. He was not being sarcastic. You are an extreme example of the mindset I'm criticizing, on both sides. The people of both of our countries are not served by it, at all. It's a useless waste of energy and resources.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:47 PM

" He was not being sarcastic."

For any native Russian speaker who has even slightest idea on what happening during historic period he was talking about his sarcasm was clear and transparent. The very idea of "Russia joining NATO" is an insult.

" The people of both of our countries are not served by it, at all."

We had no choice but to arm ourselves. You however always had. Russia and the USSR used to lend you a hand with an olive branch many times. You choosen to spit on it.

JoeS54 Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:49 PM

What is the ultimate outcome of your mindset? Nuclear war, wiping out both countries? You can't see any better solution?

Your namesake was a mass murderer, of his own people. I'm not sure why I'm arguing with you. If you actually cared about the Russian people, you would not use that name.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:55 PM

" Nuclear war, wiping out both countries? "

We will not fire it first, but if it will ever come to this, Russia has all means it needs to win it.

"You can't see any better solution?"

Yes, accept the idea that we are simply not interested in playing your ball. And we are against you playing your ball on our lawn too. So figuratively speaking, we need you to get lost from our horizon and never come back without an invitation. Your "civilization" reminds me of jehovah`s whitness preachers annoying everybody with their nonsense. With the difference that you tend to kill those who not agree to listen to your gospel.

"Your namesake was a mass murderer, of his own people."

See? Jehova's whitness mode on again. Sorry but he was not any kind of mass murderer, he is ultimate hero for us Russians, and we do not need you to lecture us on our own history. We can figure it out ourselves.

JoeS54 -> KlingOn2K , October 9, 2017 12:35 AM

" Russia is attempting to subvert the process that stands at the very heart of the US democratic system"

Still waiting for any real evidence, much less actual proof. As the calendar flips by.

What we've been told so far is that Hillary's $1B campaign was apparently helpless against a few internet memes, which we're told were sponsored by the Russian government, without any proof.

WTF -> JoeS54 , October 9, 2017 12:51 AM

Proof? Its too inconvenient. Get on with the times. We don't need proof in the 21st century.

MAGA Big League , October 7, 2017 11:43 AM

Russia is not going to unilaterally apologize for perceived influence in the US election. Quite the contrary. Their tiny amount of influence will simply continue with tiny Facebook purchases and commenters as well as RT coverage etc. becoming a permanent fixture of US politics (if it wasn't before, which it likely was, but as long as Democrats were winning no one in the media cared).

It shouldn't be hard for a US politician to win an election going up against this small degree of influence which is probably less influential than that of other foreign countries in America (Israel, Saudi and China come to mind). Hillary Clinton, however, was just that awful of a candidate that she needed the whole system rigged for her just to get close. If even one world power center was against her she couldn't win. One wasn't and she didn't.

Meanwhile Donald Trump's foreign policy is dangerous without Russian rapprochement. We are antagonizing other rivals that in the past we have had to keep isolated from cooperating with Russia (Iran, China).

This is what the Russians are waiting for Washington to realize. No current American policy goal in the world can be achieved cheaply (less than an Iraq War level of engagement and cost) without a working relationship with Russia. Our strategy becomes a binary trade off- do we sacrifice our interests everywhere but Europe (Russia) or do we sacrifice them in Europe for everywhere else?

My sense is that the Trump policy is a natural consequence of the Asian continent becoming equal to Europe in economic might by 2020 (it already nearly is). We can no longer treat the rest of the globe as ancillary to our objectives in Europe (although that is certainly our habit now).

Whoever follows Trump will fall into this same strategic trap. Hemming in Russia is now quite painful for Washington to accomplish. Ham fisted half measures don't work and bringing to bear the full measure of our influence entails great sacrifice in areas equally or more important.

Primavera Allie Youpe , October 9, 2017 3:41 AM

None of the recent terror attacks in Europe and US have been traced to Iran. Please stop beating the war drum against this country, chances are you will lose again.

siberiankitten Allie Youpe , October 9, 2017 7:09 PM

Iran is a #1 perceived threat to Israel, and a sponsor to Hezbollah. Beyond Hezbollah support there is nothing that qualifies Iran as a sponsor of terrorism

VadimKharichkov Allie Youpe , October 9, 2017 4:11 AM

Allie, is your worldview formed solely by mainstream media? Have you tried independent media? You sure you get the other side's story? You know, you can't really claim you comprehend the situation without hearing both sides?

Edward Easterling Allie Youpe , October 8, 2017 2:26 PM

How is the Syrian government a "genocidal regime"?

Edward Easterling Allie Youpe , October 8, 2017 9:24 PM

I can't recall which one it was, but one of the chemical attacks has been proven to be carried out by rebels. Also, a chemical attack has been proven to be a hoax. Like I said, I can't recall all the details. If you are interested you are free to look them up.

Primavera Edward Easterling , October 9, 2017 3:42 AM

Ghouta attack I think

siberiankitten Primavera , October 9, 2017 7:11 PM

Read what Seymour Hersh and Theodore Postol had to say about this attack

Sascha Gruss , October 9, 2017 4:15 PM

Russia will never support the imperial ambitions of the USA. The current situation is a result of a long chain of anti-Russian decisions by the US. The USA tries to assault the Russian economy, its harming the people, destroying families and futures. No Russian citizen should forget that.

enoch arden -> timmay timmy , October 8, 2017 9:43 AM

NATO cannot save a non-existent failed state. There are at least three different and geographically separate Ukraines. Catholic Galicia has nothing to do with the rest of the country. And the East wants to separate. It is another case of former Yugoslavia.

Stalinist -> timmay timmy , October 7, 2017 11:17 PM

"We have American and NATO boots on the Ground. "

I have bad news for ya http://freetexthost.com/m6b ... NATO can not stop Russia from doing whatever it wants.

" Our NATO training base we are setting up in Ukraine will ensure the Russians do not encroach. "

Adolf Hitler told something like that around 1944 when the Red Army was steam rolling his goons and his Ostwall. You are even more deluded than him if you believe that few twirpy little bases where your deуenerate men will get drunk and do local рrostitutes can scare RussiaLOL

"Any drain on the Russian economy such as supporting the Crimea is less money for the military."

Russian economy is booming since 2014. Russian reserves are growing. And Russian average living standards are higher than US has it. But whatever makes you sleep at nights, keep dwelling in russophrenic fantasies induced by your elites.

CB -> Stalinist , October 8, 2017 7:06 PM

You are deluded if you think living standards in Russia are higher than the USA. It's not even close. I guess you are spoon fed a steady diet of propaganda. The USA is by far the most professional military in the world, and this military constantly foils Russian plans at expansion.

Stalinist -> CB , October 8, 2017 7:17 PM

"You are deluded if you think living standards in Russia are higher than the USA. "

No, i just well i