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Trump vs. Deep State

Deep state is now trying to convert Trump into Obama II, or Bush III

They want to eliminate his stance against neoliberal globalization, against hostility with Russia, and neoliberal wars for the expansion of US-led global neoliberal empire

Much depends on how many neocons will be slipped into his administration

The last time America saw a strong paleo-conservative was Pat Buchanan in 1996. An early win in Louisiana caused Buchanan to place second in Iowa and first in New Hampshire. Lacking money, Buchanan was steamrolled by the establishment in Arizona and, in terms of paleo-conservatism, many thought he was the Last of the Mohicans. Trump's campaign is Buchananesque with one difference: Trump has money... --  by Joseph R. Murray II (Orlando Sentinel, Aug 12, 2015)

News Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Recommended Links Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Purple revolution Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Michael Flynn Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations
False Flag Operations Anti Trump Hysteria Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Color revolutions The Deep State Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Trump foreign policy platform NGOs as brain trust of color revolutions Demonization of Putin
 Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Cold War II  American Exceptionalism  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich The Iron Law of Oligarchy Blowback against neoliberal globalization
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter Libertarian Philosophy Pluralism as a myth Anti-globalization movement Doublespeak New American Militarism Bait and Switch
TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Trump economic platform Predator state Corporatism Nation under attack meme National Security State Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Deception as an art form
Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Neocons Principal-agent problem Neoliberalism Corporatist Corruption Non-Interventionism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Events after April 6, 2017 are discussed at  Shoot first ask questions later

The fact the American people discarded the neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton is encouraging, but as it  is not clear whether Trump is capable to deliver his key foreign policy promises, such a detente with Russia, and no new wars of neoliberal empire expansion. Or he will be co-opted by Washington neocons and gradually became Bush IV or Obama II.

In this chess game, Trump will need to find  new people ready to go and skillfully navigate around the neocon swamp and land mines. Separately, Trump has put in new rules prohibiting lobbying for five years after service in his administration and total prohibition of being lobbyist of foreign states. That is really revolutionary  and this alone make Trump distinct from a typical Washington politicians.

 (Mr. Trump and the markets Econbrowser):

Wall Street and Corporate America were almost certain of a Hillary victory. The crony capitalists, who contributed to Hillary’s campaign, to protect themselves from the economic policies of liberals, gave almost nothing to Trump. He doesn’t owe them a thing. And, Trump not only ran against the powerful Democrat machine, he ran against the Republican establishment, and the broadcast and print media, who were brutally against him. Winning under those circumstances puts Trump in a very strong and independent position. He has waken enough Americans to the reality of elitism. It’s the beginning of the end of the long depression, the social destruction, and the foreign policy disasters. Trump will be a hard liner to right the ship.

The good news is that Hillary Clinton won’t be starting World War III. Also, at least for now and probably forever, we are rid of the two most obnoxious and corrupt political families in recent American history, the Bushes and the Clintons. For this, we need to thank Donald Trump. Please remember him on Thanksgiving Day.

On trade policy,   job creation,   infrastructure development and preserving the standard of living of middle class, the positions Trump took during the campaign beat anything Hillary promised. Despite running as a Republican (but more correctly he run and an independent) Trump outflanked her from the left. Can he deliver is another question.  As professor  Andrew Levine wrote in Trouble Ahead With Trump and For Himon (CounterPunch, Nov 18, 2016).  

And his views on relations with Russia and China, regime change wars, and imperial overreach, as best they can be ascertained, are a lot wiser and less lethal than hers.  These are not so much left-right issues as matters of common sense.

Clinton’s overriding concern was and always has been to maintain and expand American world domination — in the face of economic decline, and at no matter what cost.  Trump wants, or says he wants, to do business with other countries in the way that he did with sleaze ball real estate moguls and network executives, people like himself.   He wants to make deals.

The Trump way is, as they say, “transactional.”  The idea is to wheel and deal on a case-by-case basis, with no further, non-pecuniary end in view.

... ... ...

Better that, though, than a foreign policy dedicated to keeping America the world’s hegemon. That is the foreign policy establishment’s aim; it is therefore Clinton’s too. It is the way of perpetual war. Trump’s way is far from ideal, but it is less wasteful, less onerous and less reckless.

During the campaign, Trump would sometimes speak out against banksters and financiers, especially the too-big-to-fail and too-big-to-jail kind. For some time, though, the “populist” billionaire has been signaling to his class brothers and sisters in the financial “industry” that he is more likely to deregulate than to regulate their machinations.

This will become even clearer once Trump settles on key Cabinet posts and on his economic advisors. It is already plain, though, that the modern day counterparts of Theodore Roosevelt’s “malefactors of great wealth” have little to fear; they and Trump are joined by indissoluble bonds of class-consciousness and solidarity.

Many of the rich and heinous were skeptical of Trump’s candidacy at first; because he is such a loose cannon. But now that he has won, the bastards are sucking up; and glee is returning to Wall Street.

Trump is now starting too to allay the fears of the movers and shakers of the National Security State. He still has a way to go, however. We can therefore still hope that they are right to worry. What is bad for them is good for the country.

Clinton’s defeat also seems to have unnerved their counterparts in European capitals, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, and in Japan, South Korea and other countries where the presence of the American military has been very very good for the few at the top, and disastrous for ordinary people.

If he means it, then more power to him. The United States and the rest of the world would be well rid of the American dominated military alliances now in place; NATO most of all. However, having talked with him, Obama is now telling the Europeans that Trump is fine with NATO. Time will tell.

Then there is Israel. Trump thinks that the blank check the ethnocratic settler state already gets from the United States isn’t nearly enough. So much for allies paying their own way!

However, even if Trump leaves America’s perpetual war regime and its military alliances intact, some good could come just from him being at the helm – not so much because, as a wheeler and dealer, he would be less inclined actually to start wars than has become the norm, but because he is vile enough, and enough of an embarrassment, to undermine America’s prestige, hastening the day when the hegemon is a hegemon no more.

This would be good for most Americans, and good for the world.

The election he won has already done a lot to explode the idea, more widely believed at home than abroad, that American “democracy” is somehow a model for the world.

 

From LewRockwell.com.

What happens next in Washington? Trump fills out his administration. At the same time, Washington insiders attempt to capture Trump and influence his positions, policies and decisions. The presidency is an institution, not a man, not a president. The presidency is a network of enormous power with Trump now at its center. Washington insiders who live and breathe politics are now in a race for positions of power and influence. They hanker and vie for appointments. Trump must make appointments. He cannot operate alone. He must delegate power to make decisions. He cannot monitor all information pertinent to every issue in which the government has a hand.

The presidency is not 100 percent centralized. Decision-making power is allocated to levels below the president himself and to levels surrounding him. It also lies outside the presidency in Congress. Trump has his ideas and desires for actions, but their realization depends on the people he appoints. He loses control and locks himself in with every appointment that he makes. People around him want his power and want to influence him. They have a heavy influence on what he hears, whom he sees, the options presented to him, and the evaluations of competing personnel. Trump will likely form a very small team of offshoots of himself, people whom he trusts implicitly, in order to extend his capacity to choose people who will adhere to and execute his agenda.

Power in Washington is not simply the apparatus of administering the presidency that will take up headlines for the next few months. After the U.S. Treasury robs the tax-paying Americans, new robbers (the Lobby) appear to rob the Treasury using every device they can get away with. There is a second contingent, the power-seekers. Those who covet the exercise of power unceasingly work toward their own narrow aims. As long as Washington remains the place that concentrates unbelievably large amounts of money and powers, it will remain the swamp that Trump has promised to drain but won’t. He cannot drain it, not without destroying Washington’s power and he cannot accomplish that, nor does he even hint that he wants to accomplish that. His stated aims are the redirection of money and powers, not their elimination for the sake of a greater justice, a greater right, and a truly greater people and country.

The presidency is an establishment and Washington is another. By being elected, Trump struck a blow at the members of the establishment who will be packing their bags while weeping over their losses (see here and here.) But elections do not strike the roots of the presidency, the establishment or Washington. Neither will demonstrations against Trump.

The Obama establishment is dead. The Democratic establishment is dead, at least for 4 years. There was a time, a very brief time under the Articles of Confederation, when Americans recognized the evils of the establishment and avoided instituting one. This gave way almost immediately (in 1787) to the constitutional seed that planted the enormous tree that now cuts out the sun of justice from American lives. A domestic war failed to uproot that tree. Long live the establishment, the Union, the American state, and may they be possessed of immense powers over our lives — these became the social and political reality. Trump isn’t going to change it. He’s a president administering a presidency. He’s at the top of the heap. His credo is still “Long Live the Establishment!”

The Clintons And Soros Launch America's Purple Revolution by Wayne Madsen

America’s globalists and interventionists are already pushing the meme that because so many establishment and entrenched national security and military «experts» opposed Trump’s candidacy, Trump is «required» to call on them to join his administration because there are not enough such «experts» among Trump’s inner circle of advisers.

Trump must distance himself from sudden well-wishing neocons, adventurists, militarists, and interventionists and not permit them to infest his administration.

President-elect Trump cannot afford to permit those who are in the same web as Nuland, Hadley, Bolton, and others to join his administration where they would metastasize like an aggressive form of cancer. These individuals would not carry out Trump's policies but seek to continue to damage America's relations with Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, and other nations.

President-elect Trump is facing a two-pronged attack by his opponents. One, led by entrenched neo-con bureaucrats, including former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and Bush family loyalists are seeking to call the shots on who Trump appoints to senior national security, intelligence, foreign policy, and defense positions in his administration. These neo-Cold Warriors are trying to convince Trump that he must maintain the Obama aggressiveness and militancy toward Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other countries. The second front arrayed against Trump is from Soros-funded political groups and media. This second line of attack is a propaganda war, utilizing hundreds of anti-Trump newspapers, web sites, and broadcasters, that will seek to undermine public confidence in  the Trump administration from its outset.

Here is a nice anonymous story found on  Internet,  humor of which perfectly illustrates the point (What Donald Trump's First Day at the White House Might Look Like)

It is January 20th, 2017. President Donald J. Trump is presiding over his very first meeting with his national security team.

Trump : We must destroy ISIS immediately. No delays.
CIA : We cannot do that, sir. We created them.
Trump : The Democrats created them.
CIA : We created ISIS, sir. You need them or else you would lose funding from the natural gas lobby.

Trump : Stop funding Pakistan. Let India deal with them.
CIA : We can't do that.
Trump : Why is that?
CIA : India will cut Balochistan out of Pak.
Trump : I don't care.
CIA : India will have peace in Kashmir. They will stop buying our weapons. They will become a superpower. We have to fund Pakistan to keep India busy in Kashmir.

Trump : But you have to destroy the Taliban.
CIA : Sir, we can't do that. We created the Taliban to keep Russia in check during the 80s. Now they are keeping Pakistan busy and away from their nukes.

Trump : We have to destroy terror sponsoring regimes in the Middle East. Let us start with the Saudis.
Pentagon : Sir, we can't do that. We created those regimes because we wanted their oil. We can't have democracy there, otherwise their people will get that oil - and we cannot let their people own it.

Trump : Then, let us invade Iran.
Pentagon : We cannot do that either, sir.
Trump : Why not?
CIA : We are talking to them, sir.
Trump : What? Why?
CIA : We want our Stealth Drones back. If we attack them, Russia will obliterate us as they did to our buddy ISIS in Syria. Besides we need Iran to keep Israel in check.

Trump : Then let us invade Iraq again.
CIA : Sir, our friends (ISIS) are already occupying 1/3rd of Iraq.
Trump : Why not the whole of Iraq?
CIA : We need the Shi'ite govt of Iraq to keep ISIS in check.

Trump : I am banning Muslims from entering the US.
Homeland Security : We can't do that.
Trump : Why not?
Homeland Security : Then our own population will stop fearing terrorism and be harder to control.

Trump : I am deporting all illegal immigrants to south of the border.
Border patrol : You can't do that, sir.
Trump : Why not?
Border patrol : If they're gone, who will build the wall?

Trump : I am banning H1B visas.
USCIS : You cannot do that.
Trump : Why?
Chief of Staff : If you do so, we'll have to outsource White House operations to Bangalore. Which is in India.

Trump (sweating profusely by now): What the hell should I do as President???
CIA : Enjoy the White House, sir! We'll take care of the rest!


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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Jul 23, 2017] There are some indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier.

Notable quotes:
"... Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo ..."
"... A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel... ..."
"... there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier. ..."
"... A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel... ..."
"... Did MI6/CIA Collude with Chris Steele to Entrap Trump? ..."
"... Fusion GPS linked to UAE Sheikh and Rubio Donor ..."
Jul 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Murder, Spies And Weapons - Three Fascinating 'Deep State' Stories

350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for terrorists - Trud

Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo

With lots of details from obtained emails.

Ten thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition to al-Qaeda and other Takfiris in Syria also came first from Libya by ship, then on at least 160 big cargo flights via Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Turkey and during the last years by various ships under U.S. contracts from mostly east-European countries.

---

With all the Trump-Russia nonsense flowing around one person's involvement in the creation of the issue deserves more scrutiny:

McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 12:56:46 PM | 5
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier

The third time is the Charm.

I am reminded

McCain can do no wrong:

His service to his country (it's alleged, by aiding the enemy);
The Keating Five; (I dindu nuttin wrong)
The Trump-Russia Dossier (by political treason stabbing the nominee of his own Party; ignoring the words of Reagan)

McCain, once again, will be excused and forgiven. His actions were due to illness – the most aggressive cancer of the brain. How is that so?

james | Jul 21, 2017 1:00:13 PM | 8
@5 likklemore ... in an exceptional country, there is no accountability... according to obama, you have to move on and not dwell on the past, lol...
ben | Jul 21, 2017 1:07:44 PM | 9
Thanks b, the mountain of evidence you provide daily, as proof of the corporate empire's malignancy, is therapeutic and empowering, but, until this information reaches the bulk of the U$A's masses we're all just treading water here.
WorldBLee | Jul 21, 2017 1:11:43 PM | 10
@2: The last thing McCain has to worry about is prosecution or even criticism for fomenting war crimes. The cancer is real and he will be lauded for his courage and lionized if he dies. But should he survive he will carry on as usual with no apologies and no criticism.
Oui | Jul 21, 2017 2:29:43 PM | 12
Sorry b .... the "Reason" article is complete nonsense. I've covered the details the last two weeks. The "dodgy dossier" was shared by Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, with the British MI6 and the FBI starting in August 2016. That's why I claim it's not RussiaGate but IC-Gate. A complot by the Intelligence Community of the UK and US. McCain is just a distraction of the true effort to dump Trump.
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

  • there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier.
  • there is evidences that he distributed it to the CIA, FBI and to the media.
  • the issue is now in front of a British court.

Christopher Steele and Sir Andrew Wood worked in a British spy nest in Moscow during the Yeltsin years of the 90s.

Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 21, 2017 3:02:30 PM | 13
Thanks, b. Love the lede...
350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for ter'rists - Trud

What a slimy little cur John McCain (Satan's Mini-Me) turns out to be. Guess how surprised I'm not that the little skunk is up to his eyeballs in weapons proliferation & profiteering, not to mention that old Yankee favourite Gun-barrel "Diplomacy".

I suspected during the Prez Campaign that Trump had McCain well and truly scoped when he said (of Satan's Mini-Me) "I like my war "heroes" not to get captured."

This story says a lot for China & Russia's approach to long-term Strategic Diplomacy. I imagine that they both know all this stuff and a helluva lot more, but they go to all the summits, prattle about Our AmeriKKKan Friends, and then presumably laugh their asses off when the summit is over. Xi & Putin seem to truly believe that the blowback from all this Yankee Duplicity will eventually do as much harm to the American Dream as an Ru/Cn Military Solution.

likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 4:52:05 PM | 18
@james 8
[Reported by Independent.co.uk, New York Post and the Guardian.co.uk] McCain admitted he handed the dossier to Comey."

NYPost: McCain "I gave Russia blackmail dossier on Trump to the FBI"

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself

New York Post
http://nypost.com/2017/01/11/john-mccain-i-gave-russia-blackmail-dossier-on-trump-to-fbi/

Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

Yes, there will be no accountability in the U.S. for the exceptional ones. However, the British courts setting aside "special relationships" may take a different view that McCain has a case to answer.


@kpax 17

Did I mis-read? McCain's cerebral?

fast freddy | Jul 21, 2017 8:20:34 PM | 29
Craven McCain has been teflon for his entire political career and he was teflon when he wrecked airplanes in the navy. McCain is just a teflon guy. Untouchable. Probably has "dossiers" on anybody that can damage him.
Yeah, Right | Jul 22, 2017 6:40:44 AM | 45
@2 I have no doubt that McCain's medical condition is real. I well remember the news stories in early June when McCain put up a bizarre performance during testimony by James Comey - asking questions that simply didn't make any sense whatsoever and leaving everyone utterly gob-smacked regarding McCain's mental state.

So, yeah, brain tumour.

[Jul 19, 2017] Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya says Magnitsky Act lobbyist Browder behind Trump Jr. scandal

Jul 19, 2017 | gravatar.com
  1. Moscow Exile says: July 19, 2017 at 2:44 am

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZlT3kaxIlgw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

    Reply

[Jul 18, 2017] The Real Crimes of Russiagate by Patrick J. Buchanan

Any person who sites neocons like Mike Morell is very suspicious, to say the least. Pat Buchanan is no exception, for now on...
Notable quotes:
"... Just days into Trump's presidency, a rifle-shot intel community leak of a December meeting between Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia's ambassador forced the firing of Flynn. ..."
"... Not only do our Beltway media traffic in stolen secrets and stolen goods, but the knowledge that they will publish secrets and protect those who leak them is an incentive for bureaucratic disloyalty and criminality. ..."
"... journalists know exactly who is leaking against Trump, but they are as protective of their colleagues' "sources" as of their own. Thus, the public is left in the dark as to what the real agenda is here, and who is sabotaging a president in whom they placed so much hope. ..."
"... Where is the special prosecutor to investigate the collusion between bureaucrats and members of the press who traffic in the stolen secrets of the republic? ..."
"... People inside the executive branch are daily providing fresh meat to feed the scandal. Anti-Trump media are transfixed by it. It is the Watergate of their generation. They can smell the blood in the water. The Pulitzers are calling. And they love it, for they loathe Donald Trump both for who he is and what he stands for. ..."
"... Pat Buchanan does his best – but apparently he just can't bring himself to doubt the integrity of America's "intelligence" services – even after their epic failure &/or deception when it came to Iraq's non-existent WMD's. ..."
"... The Republic died a long time ago: The Empire is in that rough middle period where the Praetorians choose the leader who suits them most, but occasionally have an unsuitable one slip past them. ..."
"... Buchanan still being too reasonable towards the enemies of US democracy (the Democrats and their neocon Republican allies trying to undermine and overthrow the elected US President), imo. ..."
"... He seems to be a bit of an apologist for KNOWN liars and he doesn't seem to understand that the MSM is absolutely the mouthpiece for these agencies, populated with agents like Cooper and Mika etc etc etc ..."
Jul 18, 2017 | www.unz.com

For a year, the big question of Russiagate has boiled down to this: Did Donald Trump's campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC? And until last week, the answer was "no." As ex-CIA director Mike Morell said in March, "On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark."

Well, last week, it appeared there had been a fire in Trump Tower. On June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with Russians ! in anticipation of promised dirt on Hillary Clinton's campaign. While not a crime, this was a blunder. For Donald Jr. had long insisted there had been no collusion with the Russians. Caught in flagrante, he went full Pinocchio for four days.

And as the details of that June 9 meeting spilled out, Trump defenders were left with egg on their faces, while anti-Trump media were able to keep the spotlight laser-focused on where they want it ! Russiagate.

This reality underscores a truth of our time. In the 19th century, power meant control of the means of production; today, power lies in control of the means of communication.

Who controls the media spotlight controls what people talk about and think about. And mainstream media are determined to keep that spotlight on Trump-Russia, and as far away as possible from their agenda ! breaking the Trump presidency and bringing him down.

Almost daily, there are leaks from the investigative and security arms of the U.S. government designed to damage this president.

Just days into Trump's presidency, a rifle-shot intel community leak of a December meeting between Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia's ambassador forced the firing of Flynn.

An Oval Office meeting with the Russian foreign minister in which Trump disclosed that Israeli intelligence had ferreted out evidence that ISIS was developing computer bombs to explode on airliners was leaked. This alerted ISIS, damaged the president, and imperiled Israeli intelligence sources and methods.

Some of the leaks from national security and investigative agencies are felonies, not only violations of the leaker's solemn oath to protect secrets, but of federal law. Yet the press is happy to collude with these leakers and to pay them in the coin they seek. First, by publishing the secrets the leakers want revealed. Second, by protecting them from exposure to arrest and prosecution for the crimes they are committing.

The mutual agendas of the deep-state leakers and the mainstream media mesh perfectly. Consider the original Russiagate offense. Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks. And who was the third and indispensable party in this "Tinker to Evers to Chance" double-play combination?

The media itself. While deploring Russian hacking as an "act of war" against "our democracy," the media published the fruits of the hacking. It was the media that revealed what Podesta wrote and how the DNC tilted the tables against Bernie Sanders. If the media believed Russian hacking was a crime against our democracy, why did they publish the fruits of that crime? Is it not monumental hypocrisy to denounce Russia's hacking of the computers of Democratic political leaders and institutions, while splashing the contents of the theft all over Page 1?

Not only do our Beltway media traffic in stolen secrets and stolen goods, but the knowledge that they will publish secrets and protect those who leak them is an incentive for bureaucratic disloyalty and criminality.

Our mainstream media are like the fellow who avoids the risk of stealing cars, but wants to fence them once stolen and repainted.

Some journalists know exactly who is leaking against Trump, but they are as protective of their colleagues' "sources" as of their own. Thus, the public is left in the dark as to what the real agenda is here, and who is sabotaging a president in whom they placed so much hope.

And thus does democracy die in darkness.

Do the American people not have a "right to know" who are the leakers within the government who are daily spilling secrets to destroy their president? Are the identities of the saboteurs not a legitimate subject of investigation? Ought they not be exposed and rooted out?

Where is the special prosecutor to investigate the collusion between bureaucrats and members of the press who traffic in the stolen secrets of the republic?

Bottom line: Trump is facing a stacked deck.

People inside the executive branch are daily providing fresh meat to feed the scandal. Anti-Trump media are transfixed by it. It is the Watergate of their generation. They can smell the blood in the water. The Pulitzers are calling. And they love it, for they loathe Donald Trump both for who he is and what he stands for.

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

NoseytheDuke > , July 18, 2017 at 5:27 am GMT

Pat, you are again presenting yourself to be a disinformation asset and are truly undermining your credibility here. The DNC and Podesta emails were leaked not hacked. Please write this out in full a hundred times on the blackboard or whiteboard of your choice. Maybe then it will sink in.

Priss Factor > , Website July 18, 2017 at 5:57 am GMT

There is nothing there. Let the media cry Russia Russia Russia forever. Trump can do other things. People will lose interest in this. This is different from Watergate because there really was a burglary and a coverup. There's nothing remotely like this here.

1. If Russians really did it, they did it on their own. Trump team had nothing to do with it.

2. If Russians didn't do it, this is just the media wasting its resources and energy on nothing.

Let the media keep digging and digging and digging where they is no gold. Let them be distracted by Trump does something real. Because Buchanan lived through Watergate, I think he's over-thinking this. It's like dejavu to him. Sure, the media today are more deranged than ever. Media are also more cynical and in the control of globalists.

But they got nothing on Russia. They have the cry of Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, but unless they can provide solid evidence, this is nothing.

vinteuil > , July 18, 2017 at 8:43 am GMT

Pat Buchanan does his best – but apparently he just can't bring himself to doubt the integrity of America's "intelligence" services – even after their epic failure &/or deception when it came to Iraq's non-existent WMD's.

"Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks."

What reason do we have to believe this, other than the worthless word of these perpetually lying creeps?

The Alarmist > , July 18, 2017 at 9:37 am GMT

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

No it's not. The Republic died a long time ago: The Empire is in that rough middle period where the Praetorians choose the leader who suits them most, but occasionally have an unsuitable one slip past them. This ends with the barbarians moving in to assume all the trappings of being a Roman but lead the empire to a final crushing defeat at the hands of worse barbarians.

Randal > , July 18, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT

Buchanan still being too reasonable towards the enemies of US democracy (the Democrats and their neocon Republican allies trying to undermine and overthrow the elected US President), imo.

There's still no need, unless Buchanan knows something a lot more significant than what he covers here, to give any credence whatsoever to the "Russia influencing the US election" black propaganda campaign. It should still be laughed at, rather than given the slightest credibility, whilst, as Buchanan does indeed do repeatedly, turning the issue upon the true criminals – those in US government circles leaking US security information to try to influence US politics.

Did Donald Trump's campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC?

Clearly not, as far as anybody knows based upon information in the public domain. There's no evidence Russia's government hacked anything anyway. A meeting by campaign representatives with Russians claiming to have dirt on Trump's rival is not evidence of collusion in hacking.

Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks.

Again, Buchanan seems to be needlessly conceding ground to known liars and deluded zealots.

If there was any attempt by Russia to "influence" the US election it was trivial, and should be put into context whenever it is mentioned. That context includes the longstanding and ongoing efforts by the US to interfere massively in other countries' (including Russia's) elections and governments, and the routine acceptance of foreign interference in US politics by Israel in particular.

If Trump and his backers really wanted to put a halt to this laughable nonsense about foreign influence, he should start a high profile investigation of the nefarious "influencing" of US politics by foreign "agents of influence" in general, specifically including Israel and staffed by men who are not sympathetic to that country.

That would quickly result in the shutting down of mainstream media complaints about foreign influence.

Gg Mo > , July 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT

@NoseytheDuke Yup, His name was Seth Rich . (and let us never forget Michael Hastings and the Smith Mundt Modernization Act put in place for a Hillary win/steal.)

Gg Mo > , July 18, 2017 at 1:05 pm GMT

Yipes ! What is the matter with Buchanan? Is he taking weird prescription drugs for Alzheimers ?
He seems to be a bit of an apologist for KNOWN liars and he doesn't seem to understand that the MSM is absolutely the mouthpiece for these agencies, populated with agents like Cooper and Mika etc etc etc

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 1:45 pm GMT

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

It already didn't end well and it pains me to say this. What it may become only is worse. At this stage I don's see any "better" scenarios. The truth has been revealed.

[Jul 18, 2017] 'Boomerangski' Returns To Bite The Clintons Zero Hedge

Jul 18, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
'Boomerangski' Returns To Bite The Clintons Tyler Durden Jul 17, 2017 7:32 PM 0 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The strenuous effort of "Resistance" passengers in the Limousine-of-State to shove Donald Trump out of the driver's seat continues into what would normally be the news-wasteland of midsummer. Last week it was the smoking popgun of Trump Junior's meeting with a Russian lawyer purported (by British music promoter Rob Goldstein) to be associated with the "Russian Crown Prosecutor" (no such office in a country without a monarch).

The news caused the usual commotion among the very media mouthpieces who publish anti-Trump allegations as a staple for their "Resistance" readerships. By the way, this blog might be described as anti-Trump, too, in the sense that I did not vote for him and regularly inveigh against his antics as President - but neither is Clusterfuck Nation a friend of the Hillary-haunted Dem-Prog "Resistance," in case there's any confusion about where we stand. If anything, we oppose the entirety of the current political regime in our nation's capital, the matrix of rackets that is driving the aforementioned Limousine-of-State off the cliff of economic collapse. Just sayin'.

"Resistance" law professors, such as Lawrence Tribe at Harvard, were quick to holler "treason" over Junior's meet-up with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin. Well, first of all, and not to put too fine a point on it, don't you have to be at war with another nation to regard any kind of consort as "treason?" Last time I checked, we were not at war with Russia - though it sure seems like persons and parties inside the Beltway would dearly like to make that happen. You can't call it espionage either, of course, because that would purport the giving of secret information, not the receiving of political gossip.

Remember, the "Resistance" is not going for impeachment, but rather Section 4 of the 25 th Amendment. That legal nicety makes for a very neat-and-clean surgical removal of a whack-job president, without all the cumbrous evidentiary baggage and pain-in-ass due process required by impeachment. All it requires is a consensus among a very small number of high officials, who then send a note to the leaders in both houses of congress stating that said whack-job president is a menace to the polity ! and out he goes, snippety-snip like a colorectal polyp, into the hazardous waste bag of history. And you're left with a nice clean asshole, namely Vice President Mike Pence.

Insofar as Pence appears to be a kind of booby-prize for the "Resistance," that fateful reach for the 25 th Amendment hasn't happened quite yet. It is hoped, I'm sure, that the incessant piling on of new allegations about "collusion" with the Russians will get the 25thers over the finish line and into the longed-for end zone dance.

More interestingly, though, the meme that has led people to believe that any contact between Russians and Americans is ipso facto nefarious vectors into the very beating heart of the "Resistance" itself: the Clintons.

How come the Clintons have not been asked to explain why ! as reported on The Hill blog ! Bill Clinton was paid half a million dollars to give speech in Russia (surely he offered them something of value in exchange, pending the sure thing Hillary inaugural) ...

or what about the $2.35 million "contribution" that the Clinton Foundation received after Secretary of State Hillary allowed the Russians to buy a controlling stake in the Uranium One company, which owns 20 percent of US uranium supplies, with mines and refineries in Wyoming, Utah, and other states, as well as assets in Kazakhstan, the world's largest uranium producer?

Incidentally, the Clinton Foundation did not "shut down," as erroneously reported early this year. It was only its Global Initiative program that got shuttered. The $2.35 million is probably still rattling around in the Clinton Foundation's bank account.

Don't you kind of wonder what they did with it? I hope Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller wants to know.

nmewn -> 38BWD22 , Jul 17, 2017 7:50 PM

Patience Mr.Bearing, patience.

Susan Rice has implicated herself (and by extension Obama) in a felony. Comey has lied under oath and stolen government property. Lowrenta has commited obstruction of justice and the world now knows that Natalia V was given "a special visa" by the State Department... in June of 2016! ...in order to even be present at a meeting with Jr set up by an associate of FusionGPS one Ron Goldstone in which, a "former Soviet counter-intelligence officer" was present who also was allowed (even though the Alinsky press won't report it) to roam freely around the Obama WH in a group tour...cuz... RUSSIAN SPIES! ...lol.

Gardentoolnumber5 -> 38BWD22 , Jul 17, 2017 8:08 PM

"Something stinks..." Neocons

StarGate -> Jim in MN , Jul 17, 2017 5:35 PM

OBAMA White House played HOST to RUSSIAN associate of Russian Atty Natalia the same day as the Trump Tower meeting June 9, 2016 - according to Obama's White House log. Natalia's translator, Samochornov was a contractor with Obama's State Dept. Per FBI insider Obama speaks Russian.

White House visitor log: http://white-house-logs.insidegov.com/l/73080195/Rinat-Akhmetshin#Detail...

drstrangelove73 -> FrozenGoodz , Jul 17, 2017 4:27 PM

Yeah,you missed 'The Russians are coming the Russians are coming'24/7 7 days a week for 8 months now and counting,with no proof yet of any wrongdoing whatsoever nor any explanation in concrete terms of exactly how those pesky Rooskies could possibly have 'meddled in our elections' let alone any proof of same. No,just morning 'til night 'the russians are coming the Russians are coming.The left has collectively lost its mind in a very public way.How any sentient being could any longer pay them any mind is a mystery to me

[Jul 17, 2017] If the Kremlin interfered in the US presidential elections, how come those wily Russkies failed to make the majority of voters at the ballot box nationwide vote for Trump yet at the same time managed to make the majority of voters in the Rust Belt and rural USA not vote for that mendacious shrew Clinton?

Notable quotes:
"... "Will the DNC lose in 2018, because they're beholden to inner-party special interests? Stay tuned. " ..."
"... "It's been nearly a year since the FBI started an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, the investigation has turned toward examining links between Russia and President Donald Trump's associates and members of his campaign, and even possible obstruction of justice by Trump. ..."
"... The investigation has been the go-to news item and topic of many heated conversations since last July, at least in DC . But outside of the nation's capital, many voters aren't as concerned about possible Trump ties to Russia. ..."
"... When I recently visited my hometown and one other small town in Michigan that went for Trump, I talked with residents about the investigation. Nearly every single person I spoke with said the same thing: The media just needs to leave Trump alone, and the Russia investigation is a distraction. ..."
"... "I'm tired of hearing about the Russia thing. Let it go and move on. The media is the one that's propagating it. They just won't let it die," said Nancy Androsky, a longtime resident whose grandchildren go to school in the area. ..."
"... Conversations with residents of Linden and Argentine, which are located between the cities of Detroit and Flint, confirmed what recent polls have shown ! that Republicans don't think the Russia investigation is a big deal. More than half of Republicans think the investigation is a political distraction, according to Vox's Alexia Fernández Campbell's analysis of a June CBS News poll. Only one in five consider it a critical security issue. ..."
"... And while nine out of 10 Democratic voters said that an investigation into Russian involvement in the election is somewhat or very important, only 35 percent of Republicans agreed , according to a February poll by Quinnipiac University . ..."
"... More important to the residents of Linden and Argentine Township than the Russia investigation are promises Trump made on the campaign trail: building a stronger military, restricting immigration by refugees and asylum seekers, and creating jobs for middle-class Americans. ..."
"... And around 60 percent of people in the two towns voted for Trump in the last election, up from the approximately 50 percent of people who voted for Republican candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. ..."
"... Despite the fact that he has yet to follow through on many of his campaign promises, including softening his position on China's currency manipulation, failing to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, and struggling to repeal and replace Obamacare, his supporters keep saying "give him a chance." ..."
"... "I think Trump will be a lot better than our previous president. I think he's going to get things done," said Rich Marshbanks, the owner of a local barbershop. "I think he's basically a good man. His heart's in the right place." ..."
"... It's not surprising that nearly every person I talked with said they supported Trump. With a combined population of approximately 6,500 people, the towns of Linden and Argentine are stereotypical small-town America. They're the kind of place where you'll run into at least one person you know at the only grocery store in town and the smell of cow manure from nearby dairy farms occasionally wafts in the air. ..."
"... "This is such a close-knit community," said Sharon Stone, the editor of the Tri-County Times, a newspaper covering several towns in the area. "They love the small hometown feel, but all of the perks of having everything available to them. We have so many lakes in this area, and there's quite a bit of money in this area." ..."
"... These towns are also almost entirely white ! 96 percent of Linden residents and 97 percent of Argentine residents identified as white on the 2010 census. ..."
"... Stone described the area as "passionate," but since the last election, people have become disenchanted with politics. "It's almost like they're completely fed up with politics in general on both sides," said Stone. "It's not necessarily just the whole Russian thing that's going on. It's just politics in general." ..."
"... And based on the conversations I had with people in the area who agreed to talk with me, that definitely seems to be true. People said they feel ignored by the Washington establishment, hate the "liberal media," and couldn't care less about the Russia investigation. ..."
"... "It's a waste of time and energy for us out here in the hinterlands for us to worry about what's going on in the cesspool in Washington," said Norman Schmidt, Argentine's treasurer who has been on the board for more than 20 years. "And it's a swamp. It really is a swamp."" ..."
"... If the Kremlin interfered in the US presidential elections, how come those wily Russkies failed to make the majority of voters at the ballot box nationwide vote for Trump yet at the same time managed to make the majority of voters in the Rust Belt and rural USA not vote for that mendacious shrew Clinton? ..."
"... Russian "sleepers" in Pittsburgh, Muskogee etc? ..."
Jul 17, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Lyttenburgh , July 17, 2017 at 6:35 am

"Will the DNC lose in 2018, because they're beholden to inner-party special interests? Stay tuned. "

If they keep up their obsession with Russia – YES!

Also – relevant article, which shows that this "rural/Red State American consensus", apparently, keeps up, despite the constant propaganda barrage from the mainstream biased media. Oh, and correct me if I'm wrong, but the Vox is dye in the wool liberal outlet with handshakable agenda.

I asked Trump voters in Michigan about the Russia investigation. They said it's fake news.

"It's been nearly a year since the FBI started an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, the investigation has turned toward examining links between Russia and President Donald Trump's associates and members of his campaign, and even possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

The investigation has been the go-to news item and topic of many heated conversations since last July, at least in DC . But outside of the nation's capital, many voters aren't as concerned about possible Trump ties to Russia.

When I recently visited my hometown and one other small town in Michigan that went for Trump, I talked with residents about the investigation. Nearly every single person I spoke with said the same thing: The media just needs to leave Trump alone, and the Russia investigation is a distraction.

"I'm tired of hearing about the Russia thing. Let it go and move on. The media is the one that's propagating it. They just won't let it die," said Nancy Androsky, a longtime resident whose grandchildren go to school in the area.

Conversations with residents of Linden and Argentine, which are located between the cities of Detroit and Flint, confirmed what recent polls have shown ! that Republicans don't think the Russia investigation is a big deal. More than half of Republicans think the investigation is a political distraction, according to Vox's Alexia Fernández Campbell's analysis of a June CBS News poll. Only one in five consider it a critical security issue.

And while nine out of 10 Democratic voters said that an investigation into Russian involvement in the election is somewhat or very important, only 35 percent of Republicans agreed , according to a February poll by Quinnipiac University .

More important to the residents of Linden and Argentine Township than the Russia investigation are promises Trump made on the campaign trail: building a stronger military, restricting immigration by refugees and asylum seekers, and creating jobs for middle-class Americans.

And around 60 percent of people in the two towns voted for Trump in the last election, up from the approximately 50 percent of people who voted for Republican candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

Despite the fact that he has yet to follow through on many of his campaign promises, including softening his position on China's currency manipulation, failing to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, and struggling to repeal and replace Obamacare, his supporters keep saying "give him a chance."

"I think Trump will be a lot better than our previous president. I think he's going to get things done," said Rich Marshbanks, the owner of a local barbershop. "I think he's basically a good man. His heart's in the right place."

It's not surprising that nearly every person I talked with said they supported Trump. With a combined population of approximately 6,500 people, the towns of Linden and Argentine are stereotypical small-town America. They're the kind of place where you'll run into at least one person you know at the only grocery store in town and the smell of cow manure from nearby dairy farms occasionally wafts in the air.

"This is such a close-knit community," said Sharon Stone, the editor of the Tri-County Times, a newspaper covering several towns in the area. "They love the small hometown feel, but all of the perks of having everything available to them. We have so many lakes in this area, and there's quite a bit of money in this area."

These towns are also almost entirely white ! 96 percent of Linden residents and 97 percent of Argentine residents identified as white on the 2010 census.

Stone described the area as "passionate," but since the last election, people have become disenchanted with politics. "It's almost like they're completely fed up with politics in general on both sides," said Stone. "It's not necessarily just the whole Russian thing that's going on. It's just politics in general."

And based on the conversations I had with people in the area who agreed to talk with me, that definitely seems to be true. People said they feel ignored by the Washington establishment, hate the "liberal media," and couldn't care less about the Russia investigation.

"It's a waste of time and energy for us out here in the hinterlands for us to worry about what's going on in the cesspool in Washington," said Norman Schmidt, Argentine's treasurer who has been on the board for more than 20 years. "And it's a swamp. It really is a swamp.""

The article ends with the opinions of the locals.

moscowexile , July 17, 2017 at 7:15 am
If the Kremlin interfered in the US presidential elections, how come those wily Russkies failed to make the majority of voters at the ballot box nationwide vote for Trump yet at the same time managed to make the majority of voters in the Rust Belt and rural USA not vote for that mendacious shrew Clinton?

Russian "sleepers" in Pittsburgh, Muskogee etc?

I'm proud to be a Russkie fom Muskogee?

[Jul 17, 2017] Tucker Carlson Goes to War Against the Neocons by Curt Mills

max Book is just anothe "Yascha about Russia" type, that Masha Gessen represents so vividly. The problem with him is that time of neocon prominance is solidly in the past and now unpleasant question about the cost from the US people of their reckless foreign policies get into some newspapers and managines. They cost the USA tremedous anount of money (as in trillions) and those money consititute a large portion of the national debt. Critiques so far were very weak and partially suppressed voices, but defeat of neocon warmonger Hillary signify some break with the past.
Notable quotes:
"... Carlson's record suggests that he has been in the camp skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy intervention for some time now and, indeed, that it predates Donald Trump's rise to power. (Carlson has commented publicly that he was humiliated by his own public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.) According to Carlson, "This is not about Trump. This is not about Trump. It's the one thing in American life that has nothing to do with Trump. My views on this are totally unrelated to my views on Donald Trump. This has been going since September 11, 2001. And it's a debate that we've never really had. And we need to have it." He adds, "I don't think the public has ever been for the ideas that undergird our policies." ..."
"... But the fight also seems to have a personal edge. Carlson says, "Max Boot is not impressive. . . . Max is a totally mediocre person." Carlson added that he felt guilty about not having, in his assessment, a superior guest to Boot on the show to defend hawkishness. "I wish I had had someone clear-thinking and smart on to represent their views. And there are a lot of them. I would love to have that debate," Carlson told me, periodically emphasizing that he is raring to go on this subject. ..."
"... New York Observer ..."
"... Though he eschews labels, Carlson sounds like a foreign-policy realist on steroids: "You can debate what's in [the United States'] interest. That's a subjective category. But what you can't debate is that ought to be the basic question, the first, second and third question. Does it represent our interest? . . . I don't think that enters into the calculations of a lot of the people who make these decisions." Carlson's interests extend beyond foreign policy, and he says "there's a massive realignment going on ideologically that everybody is missing. It's dramatic. And everyone is missing it. . . . Nobody is paying attention to it, " ..."
"... : Flickr/Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. ..."
Jul 14, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

This week's primetime knife fights with Max Boot and Ralph Peters are emblematic of the battle for the soul of the American Right.

To be sure, Carlson rejects the term "neoconservatism," and implicitly, its corollary on the Democratic side, liberal internationalism. In 2016, "the reigning Republican foreign-policy view, you can call it neoconservatism, or interventionism, or whatever you want to call it" was rejected, he explained in a wide-ranging interview with the National Interest Friday.

"But I don't like the term 'neoconservatism,'" he says, "because I don't even know what it means. I think it describes the people rather than their ideas, which is what I'm interested in. And to be perfectly honest . . . I have a lot of friends who have been described as neocons, people I really love, sincerely. And they are offended by it. So I don't use it," Carlson said.

But Carlson's recent segments on foreign policy conducted with Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and the prominent neoconservative journalist and author Max Boot were acrimonious even by Carlsonian standards. In a discussion on Syria, Russia and Iran, a visibly upset Boot accused Carlson of being "immoral" and taking foreign-policy positions to curry favor with the White House, keep up his ratings , and by proxy, benefit financially. Boot says that Carlson "basically parrots whatever the pro-Trump line is that Fox viewers want to see. If Trump came out strongly against Putin tomorrow, I imagine Tucker would echo this as faithfully as the pro-Russia arguments he echoes today." But is this assessment fair?

Carlson's record suggests that he has been in the camp skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy intervention for some time now and, indeed, that it predates Donald Trump's rise to power. (Carlson has commented publicly that he was humiliated by his own public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.) According to Carlson, "This is not about Trump. This is not about Trump. It's the one thing in American life that has nothing to do with Trump. My views on this are totally unrelated to my views on Donald Trump. This has been going since September 11, 2001. And it's a debate that we've never really had. And we need to have it." He adds, "I don't think the public has ever been for the ideas that undergird our policies."

Even if Carlson doesn't want to use the label neocon to describe some of those ideas, Boot is not so bashful. In 2005, Boot wrote an essay called "Neocons May Get the Last Laugh." Carlson "has become a Trump acolyte in pursuit of ratings," says Boot, also interviewed by the National Interest . "I bet if it were President Clinton accused of colluding with the Russians, Tucker would be outraged and calling for impeachment if not execution. But since it's Trump, then it's all a big joke to him," Boot says. Carlson vociferously dissents from such assessments: "This is what dumb people do. They can't assess the merits of an argument. . . . I'm not talking about Syria, and Russia, and Iran because of ratings. That's absurd. I can't imagine those were anywhere near the most highly-rated segments that night. That's not why I wanted to do it."

But Carlson insists, "I have been saying the same thing for fifteen years. Now I have a T.V. show that people watch, so my views are better known. But it shouldn't be a surprise. I supported Trump to the extent he articulated beliefs that I agree with. . . . And I don't support Trump to the extent that his actions deviate from those beliefs," Carlson said. Boot on Fox said that Carlson is "too smart" for this kind of argument. But Carlson has bucked the Trump line, notably on Trump's April 7 strikes in Syria. "When the Trump administration threw a bunch of cruise missiles into Syria for no obvious reason, on the basis of a pretext that I question . . . I questioned [the decision] immediately. On T.V. I was on the air when that happened. I think, maybe seven minutes into my show. . . . I thought this was reckless."

But the fight also seems to have a personal edge. Carlson says, "Max Boot is not impressive. . . . Max is a totally mediocre person." Carlson added that he felt guilty about not having, in his assessment, a superior guest to Boot on the show to defend hawkishness. "I wish I had had someone clear-thinking and smart on to represent their views. And there are a lot of them. I would love to have that debate," Carlson told me, periodically emphasizing that he is raring to go on this subject.

Boot objects to what he sees as a cavalier attitude on the part of Carlson and others toward allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and also toward the deaths of citizens of other countries. "You are laughing about the fact that Russia is interfering in our election process. That to me is immoral," Boot told Carlson on his show. "This is the level of dumbness and McCarthyism in Washington right now," says Carlson. "I think it has the virtue of making Max Boot feel like a good person. Like he's on God's team, or something like that. But how does that serve the interest of the country? It doesn't." Carlson says that Donald Trump, Jr.'s emails aren't nearly as important as who is going to lead Syria, which he says Boot and others have no plan for successfully occupying. Boot, by contrast, sees the U.S. administration as dangerously flirting with working with Russia, Iran and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. "For whatever reason, Trump is pro-Putin, no one knows why, and he's taken a good chunk of the GOP along with him," Boot says.

On Fox last Wednesday, Boot reminded Carlson that he originally supported the 2003 Iraq decision. "You supported the invasion of Iraq," Boot said, before repeating, "You supported the invasion of Iraq." Carlson conceded that, but it seems the invasion was a bona fide turning point. It's most important to parse whether Carlson has a long record of anti-interventionism, or if he's merely sniffing the throne of the president (who, dubiously, may have opposed the 2003 invasion). "I think it's a total nightmare and disaster, and I'm ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it," Carlson told the New York Observer in early 2004. "It's something I'll never do again. Never. I got convinced by a friend of mine who's smarter than I am, and I shouldn't have done that. . . . I'm enraged by it, actually." Carlson told the National Interest that he's felt this way since seeing Iraq for himself in December 2003.

The evidence points heavily toward a sincere conversion on Carlson's part, or preexisting conviction that was briefly overcome by the beat of the war drums. Carlson did work for the Weekly Standard , perhaps the most prominent neoconservative magazine, in the 1990s and early 2000s. Carlson today speaks respectfully of William Kristol, its founding editor, but has concluded that he is all wet. On foreign policy, the people Carlson speaks most warmly about are genuine hard left-wingers: Glenn Greenwald, a vociferous critic of both economic neoliberalism and neoconservatism; the anti-establishment journalist Michael Tracey; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the Nation ; and her husband, Stephen Cohen, the Russia expert and critic of U.S. foreign policy.

"The only people in American public life who are raising these questions are on the traditional left: not lifestyle liberals, not the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) group, not liberals in D.C., not Nancy Pelosi." He calls the expertise of establishment sources on matters like Syria "more shallow than I even imagined." On his MSNBC show, which was canceled for poor ratings, he cavorted with noninterventionist stalwarts such as Ron Paul , the 2008 and 2012 antiwar GOP candidate, and Patrick J. Buchanan. "No one is smarter than Pat Buchanan," he said last year of the man whose ideas many say laid the groundwork for Trump's political success.

Carlson has risen to the pinnacle of cable news, succeeding Bill O'Reilly. It wasn't always clear an antiwar take would vault someone to such prominence. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney could be president (Boot has advised the latter two). But here he is, and it's likely no coincidence that Carlson got a show after Trump's election, starting at the 7 p.m. slot, before swiftly moving to the 9 p.m. slot to replace Trump antagonist Megyn Kelly, and just as quickly replacing O'Reilly at the top slot, 8 p.m. Boot, on the other hand, declared in 2016 that the Republican Party was dead , before it went on to hold Congress and most state houses, and of course take the presidency. He's still at the Council on Foreign Relations and writes for the New York Times (this seems to clearly annoy Carlson: "It tells you everything about the low standards of the American foreign-policy establishment").

Boot wrote in 2003 in the Weekly Standard that the fall of Saddam Hussein's government "may turn out to be one of those hinge moments in history" comparable to "events like the storming of the Bastille or the fall of the Berlin Wall, after which everything is different." He continued, "If the occupation goes well (admittedly a big if ), it may mark the moment when the powerful antibiotic known as democracy was introduced into the diseased environment of the Middle East, and began to transform the region for the better."

Though he eschews labels, Carlson sounds like a foreign-policy realist on steroids: "You can debate what's in [the United States'] interest. That's a subjective category. But what you can't debate is that ought to be the basic question, the first, second and third question. Does it represent our interest? . . . I don't think that enters into the calculations of a lot of the people who make these decisions." Carlson's interests extend beyond foreign policy, and he says "there's a massive realignment going on ideologically that everybody is missing. It's dramatic. And everyone is missing it. . . . Nobody is paying attention to it, "

Carlson seems intent on pressing the issue. The previous night, in his debate with Peters, the retired lieutenant colonel said that Carlson sounded like Charles Lindbergh, who opposed U.S. intervention against Nazi Germany before 1941. "This particular strain of Republican foreign policy has almost no constituency. Nobody agrees with it. I mean there's not actually a large group of people outside of New York, Washington or L.A. who think any of this is a good idea," Carlson says. "All I am is an asker of obvious questions. And that's enough to reveal these people have no idea what they're talking about. None."

Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest . Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills .

Image : Flickr/Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.

[Jul 16, 2017] Will the DNC lose in 2018, because theyre beholden to inner-party special interests? Stay tuned. Say what you will about Trump, but he certainly made politics a lot more entertaining to watch. Not sure if thats good or bad, but Im getting popcorn.

Notable quotes:
"... "We need to be talking about impeachment constantly. If you're an elected Dem & you're not talking impeachment or 25th amendment then find a new party," Scott Dworkin, senior adviser to Democratic Coalition Against Trump, on Twitter. ..."
"... "Voters are getting plenty about the Russia story, and they don't need candidates' help making that case. I think it's a fundamental mistake to make this election a referendum on impeachment. That means it's not an election on a health care bill that will raise premiums and take more than 22 million people off of their health care," Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former aide to Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... "All of that (on Russia) is going to come out, and if a politician was lacking in courage and never did anything about it, I think they will pay dearly for it, and they should. But if you're a governor candidate next year, you're a lot smarter saying, 'Here's what I'm going to do about jobs and education and wages' than weighing in every day on issues outside your control." David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party chairman. ..."
"... The only two Democrats, out of that random sample, who are going "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" I mean "Russia, Russia, Russia," are Dworkin and Galland from MoveOn. I think this blog knows quite a bit about MoveOn, so I don't need to mention it, and the only other person talking about it, is someone who is trying to make his name by impeaching Trump. ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | ucgsblog.wordpress.com
ucgsblog says: July 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm Sorry about being MIA, I'm probably going to be MIA until mid-August, but in the meantime, here's an interesting article:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/message-democrats-must-more-talk-russia-122203301.html

"We know that we can be an America that works for everyone, because we believe that our diversity is our greatest strength. And we believe that when we put hope on the ballot we do well, and when we allow others to put fear in the eyes of people we don't do so hot," Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

___

"We need to be talking about impeachment constantly. If you're an elected Dem & you're not talking impeachment or 25th amendment then find a new party," Scott Dworkin, senior adviser to Democratic Coalition Against Trump, on Twitter.

___

"We're advising groups to pay attention to Russia, but the bottom line is they're trying to take your health care away. That should be the focus. Eye on the prize," Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible.

___

"I focus a lot on good-paying jobs, student loan issues, health care and the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Those are the issues that are at the top of (voters') minds. I don't think (the Russia investigation) has to interfere with our conversation about every day matters in people's lives," Jason Crow, Democratic candidate in Colorado's 6th Congressional District.

___

"Voters are getting plenty about the Russia story, and they don't need candidates' help making that case. I think it's a fundamental mistake to make this election a referendum on impeachment. That means it's not an election on a health care bill that will raise premiums and take more than 22 million people off of their health care," Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former aide to Hillary Clinton.

___

"We will both defend the integrity of our democracy (on the Russian investigation) and we will defend access to health care for tens of millions of people. The resistance is big enough and sophisticated enough to track both of those urgent and important issues," Anna Galland, executive director of Moveon.org Civic Action.

___

"All of that (on Russia) is going to come out, and if a politician was lacking in courage and never did anything about it, I think they will pay dearly for it, and they should. But if you're a governor candidate next year, you're a lot smarter saying, 'Here's what I'm going to do about jobs and education and wages' than weighing in every day on issues outside your control." David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party chairman.

___

"We need to be able to explain what we're for just as emphatically as who we are against. Voters need to hear you talking about them more than they hear you talking about yourself, your opponent or the president." Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

!!!!!!-

The only two Democrats, out of that random sample, who are going "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" I mean "Russia, Russia, Russia," are Dworkin and Galland from MoveOn. I think this blog knows quite a bit about MoveOn, so I don't need to mention it, and the only other person talking about it, is someone who is trying to make his name by impeaching Trump.

Looks like the DNC is slowly starting to realize what voters want, despite inner party special interest groups. Levin and Crow summarize mainstream Democrats, so I'll just requote them:

"We're advising groups to pay attention to Russia, but the bottom line is they're trying to take your health care away. That should be the focus. Eye on the prize I focus a lot on good-paying jobs, student loan issues, health care and the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Those are the issues that are at the top of (voters') minds. I don't think (the Russia investigation) has to interfere with our conversation about every day matters in people's lives"

Will the DNC lose in 2018, because they're beholden to inner-party special interests? Stay tuned. Say what you will about Trump, but he certainly made politics a lot more entertaining to watch. Not sure if that's good or bad, but I'm getting popcorn.

[Jul 16, 2017] Trump's Worst Collusion Isn't With Russia ! It's With Corporations

Notable quotes:
"... Many leading liberals suspect , now with a little more evidence, that Trump worked with Russia to win his election. But we've long known that huge corporations and wealthy individuals threw their weight behind the billionaire. ..."
"... The top priority in Congress right now is to move a health bill that would gut Medicaid and throw at least 22 million Americans off their insurance ! while loosening regulations on insurance companies and cutting taxes on the wealthiest by over $346 billion . ..."
"... As few as 12 percent of Americans support that bill, but the allegiance of its supporters isn't to voters ! it's plainly to the wealthy donors who'd get those tax cuts. ..."
"... every single state ..."
"... Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of Foreign Policy In Focus. ..."
Jul 12, 2017 | fpif.org

The billionaires who backed Trump are making out a lot better than Putin.

Originally published in OtherWords Print

donald-trump-der-spiegel-cover

Der Spiegel's instantly infamous Donald Trump cover.

I've always been a little skeptical that there'd be a smoking gun about the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia. The latest news about Donald Trump, Jr., however, is tantalizingly close.

The short version of the story, revealed by emails the New York Times obtained, is that the president's eldest son was offered "some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary" and "would be very useful to your father."

More to the point, the younger Trump was explicitly told this was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." Donald, Jr.'s reply? "I love it."

Trump Jr. didn't just host that meeting at Trump Tower. He also brought along campaign manager Paul Manafort and top Trump confidante (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner.

We still don't have evidence they coordinated with Russian efforts to release Clinton campaign emails, spread "fake news," or hack state voting systems. But at the very least, the top members of Trump's inner circle turned up to get intelligence they knew was part of a foreign effort to meddle in the election.

Some in Washington are convinced they've heard enough already, with Virginia senator (and failed VP candidate) Tim Kaine calling the meeting " treason ."

Perhaps. But it's worth asking: Who's done the real harm here? Some argue it's not the Russians after all.

"The effects of the crime are undetectable," the legendary social critic Noam Chomsky says of the alleged Russian meddling, "unlike the massive effects of interference by corporate power and private wealth."

That's worth dwelling on.

Many leading liberals suspect , now with a little more evidence, that Trump worked with Russia to win his election. But we've long known that huge corporations and wealthy individuals threw their weight behind the billionaire.

That gambit's paying off far more handsomely for them ! and more destructively for the rest of us ! than any scheme by Putin.

The evidence is hiding in plain sight.

The top priority in Congress right now is to move a health bill that would gut Medicaid and throw at least 22 million Americans off their insurance ! while loosening regulations on insurance companies and cutting taxes on the wealthiest by over $346 billion .

As few as 12 percent of Americans support that bill, but the allegiance of its supporters isn't to voters ! it's plainly to the wealthy donors who'd get those tax cuts.

Meanwhile, majorities of Americans in every single congressional district support efforts to curb local pollution, limit carbon emissions, and transition to wind and solar. And majorities in every single state back the Paris climate agreement.

Yet even as scientists warn large parts of the planet could soon become uninhabitable, the fossil fuel-backed Trump administration has put a climate denier in charge of the EPA, pulled the U.S. out of Paris, and signed legislation to let coal companies dump toxic ash in local waterways .

Meanwhile, as the administration escalates the unpopular Afghan war once again, Kushner invited billionaire military contractors ! including Blackwater founder Erik Prince ! to advise on policy there.

Elsewhere, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and other architects of the housing crash are advising Trump on financial deregulation , while student debt profiteers set policy at the Department of Education.

Chomsky complains that this sort of collusion is often "not considered a crime but the normal workings of democracy." While Trump has taken it to new heights, it's certainly a bipartisan problem.

If Trump's people did work with Russia to undermine our vote, they should absolutely be held accountable. But the politicians leading the charge don't have a snowball's chance of redeeming our democracy unless they're willing to take on the corporate conspirators much closer to home. Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of Foreign Policy In Focus.

[Jul 16, 2017] RussiaGate

Notable quotes:
"... ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
RussiaGate

by Andrew Levine

by

Photo by Carnaval.com Studios | CC BY 2.0

If Vladimir Putin is half as clever as his demonizers make him out to be, he must have figured out a long time ago that, to get inside Donald Trump's head, clinical psychologists with expertise treating male adolescents would be more useful than the Russian hackers, real or imaginary, that Western media obsess over.

Why even bother with hackers? The little that goes on between Trump's ears is all there in his tweets.

But, of course, if the idea is to develop capabilities for waging wars in the cyber sphere, good hackers are worth their weight in gold. If Putin isn't working on that, he is not doing his job.

These days, hackers are everywhere ! including Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics. The United States has more than its fair share too, as do the UK and other Western countries. Some work for intelligence services, directly or indirectly; many, probably most, do not.

When governments do the hacking themselves, or sponsor others who do it for them, it is usually because they want to hone their countries' offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. In short, they are developing weapons and testing them.

Sometimes, though, they do more than that. The best known example occurred some ten years ago when the United States and Israel introduced the Stuxnet virus into Iran's Natanz nuclear facility, destroying roughly a fifth of that country's nuclear centrifuges by causing them to spin out of control.

Needless to say, governments are not the only players; far from it. Many, probably most, hackers are not connected, even indirectly, with state intelligence services. Some of them may be "terrorists," according to one or another understanding of that fraught and contested term. It is safe to assume that most of them are not. They hack for the fun of it or because they can.

There are legally binding, though sometimes ineffective, conventions that prohibit the use of a few especially heinous kinds of weapons ! poison gas is a well-known example. Cyber weapons are not similarly proscribed. Hackers can be, and sometimes are, subject to domestic prosecution, but, between state actors, anything goes.

In much the same vein, international law does not prohibit states from interfering in the political affairs, or elections, of other states. Insofar as sovereignty still matters in our globalized neoliberal world, meddling of that kind plainly violates the spirit of the law, but it is not legally proscribed.

For the stewards of the American empire, inconvenient international laws apply to others, not the United States. It is therefore unclear what, if anything would change if cyber weapons too were forbidden.

What is clear, however, is that, for at least the past seven decades, the United States has interfered in one way or another in nearly every election that American government officials wanted to influence – either to prevent outcomes they opposed or to secure results they favored.

No corner of the world has been immune, but since the demise of the Soviet Union made meddling in the political affairs of Russia and other former Soviet republics easier, Washington has been especially intent on throwing its weight around in that part of the world – always in ways that put Russian national interests in jeopardy.

The "digital revolution" has greatly exacerbated the problem, making meddling a lot easier than it used to be.

How proficient America's cyber warriors are at defending "the homeland," the post-9/11 term for the former "Land of the Free," is an open question. There is no doubt, however, that, at the very least, the United States leads the way in developing cyber surveillance capabilities.

It is no slouch either when it comes to hacking into well-protected industrial and government servers around the world – to spy or to meddle or, as with those centrifuges in Iran, to sabotage.

Russia can do those things too – perhaps just as well, more likely not, but certainly well enough.

It may therefore be time, now that the Cold War is back, to revive a version of the old Mutual Assured Destruction doctrine, updated for the digital age.

* * *

Thanks to digitalization and the many ways in which computers nowadays are able to communicate with each other, state and non-state actors can meddle – or worse – more effectively than in the past.

Inasmuch as quality emerges out of quantity, as dialecticians inspired by Hegel would say, meddling has therefore become qualitatively more problematic than it used to be.

Thus, with Cold War insanity coming back into vogue ! promoted by the entire political class, no longer just by Clinton retainers, and by the media flacks who serve them ! meddling is taking new forms.

Some things don't change, however. As long as it keeps spending more money on "defense" than the Russians do, the United States will retain the dominant position. Despite the best efforts of Cold Warriors to scare Americans into acquiescence, everyone now concedes that this was how it was with nuclear weapons and missiles and much else during the original Cold War. It is how it is today too, now that cyber weapons are added into the mix.

Nevertheless, as in the past, the War Party's spokespersons will insist that we are not spending nearly enough. Lying through their teeth, JFK and his people concocted a "missile gap" some six decades ago. No one should be surprised, with the 2018 midterm elections looming, when a "cyber weapons gap" opens up.

The death merchants and mad dog generals must be salivating at the prospect. Silicon Valley plus the military-industrial complex, Eisenhower's euphemism for death merchants and military brass, now dominate the real economy. Over them all, there is Wall Street; a far greater menace now than in Eisenhower's time. The too-big-to-fail-or-jail miscreants there must be salivating most of all.

It was public opinion that made the original Cold War possible, and so it is again. This is why the "liberal press" has been pulling out all the stops – vilifying Russia and demonizing its President.

But there are at least two reasons why they will have a harder time getting the result they want now than their counterparts had long ago.

For one, they don't have a President on board this time, except occasionally when all the stars are lined up right. Unlike his post-War predecessors, from Truman on, Trump has no geopolitical goals. Instead, he wants to make "deals" that he thinks will make him look good, but that will only make him richer.

Trump is no more anti-imperialist than Cecil Rhodes, and he doesn't have an internationalist bone in his body. But, during the campaign, he did find it expedient to strike a kind of pre-War isolationist pose.

Since that could in principle lead him sometimes to do the right thing ! albeit for bad, even noxious reasons – there were a few observers who were inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. Inasmuch as the alternative was a continuation of the liberal imperialism of the Obama era, who could blame them?

What they actually did, however, was give Trump way too much credit. The man has no ideological convictions to speak of. For all practical purposes, his mind is a blank slate, susceptible to being swayed by whomever he talked to last or by the last pundit he watched on TV.

However, where Russia is concerned, he did, and still does, seem to have sounder instincts than his rivals. For Trump, instincts are all; and his instincts are dangerously off on almost everything. But not on this.

No doubt, his business involvements have a lot to do with it. So, very likely, does the fact that he could care less what others think. It probably also helps that he has no ties to the foreign policy establishment or to the so-called deep state.

Whatever the reasons, Trump does seem less in thrall to the delusions that shape this latest outbreak of Russophobia in political and media circles than other politicians at the national level. Indeed, even at this late date, he actually does seem to want to diminish, not exacerbate, tensions between the world's two major nuclear powers.

Bravo to him for that.

The other reason why Cold Warriors today have their work cut out for them, in ways that their counterparts after the Second World War did not, is that the justifications they are obliged to offer for treating Russia as an enemy are preposterous on their face.

Half a century ago, the Soviet Union was, in Churchill's words, "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." Churchill went on to suggest that much of the mystery would dissipate if observers would think more carefully about Russia's national interests. That insight was among the first casualties of the rush to (cold) war that Churchill himself did so much to promote.

And so, an Iron Curtain descended over the Soviet Union and its "satellites," just as he said it would ! making it possible for the "free world's" propagandists to spin all kinds of yarns about Communist "subversion" and ill intent.

Cyber curtains are harder to construct. What could previously be kept opaque is therefore now ineluctably clear to anyone who cares to look.

This is why all the brouhaha over Russian meddling in the 2016 election would hardly even merit discussion, but for the fact that the stakes are so high, and because so many gullible people take it seriously.

Never mind that nothing actually came from the alleged meddling, except further confirmation of what everybody already knew: that the DNC, the Democratic National Committee, was working hard to assure that the Sanders insurgency would be defeated, and that Hillary Clinton would be the party's nominee.

Leave aside too the glaring hypocrisy of the United States, of all countries, objecting to election meddling. Evidently, the consensus view among mainstream politicians and in mainstream media circles too is that, in the United States, "what's sauce for the goose" is emphatically not also "sauce for the gander."

Forget genuinely "fake news" reports as well; for example, the claim that the Russians hacked into electoral grids in Vermont and elsewhere. There is no solid evidence for them; and, as one would expect, they disappear down the memory hole just as soon as they serve their purpose.

Reports of Russian hacking that bear on infrastructure security, financial transactions, trade, industrial processes, and other vital economic and military concerns would, if true, be genuinely worrisome were the recently revived Cold War to heat up.

With so many of the leading lights of the American political and media establishments working so diligently to make that happen, this is a cause for concern. But not even the most determined warmongers have been able to come up with a plausible story about how Russian hacking affected the election that put Donald Trump in the White House.

War Party propaganda notwithstanding, the claim that the Russians interfered with the 2016 election is hardly gospel truth. Nevertheless, it merits investigation.

The story used to be that seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that reports of Russian meddling are correct. The official line now is that only four have weighed in decisively, the four actually in the know.

Meanwhile, Putin says the Russians did not meddle; and Julian Assange has said many times that the source of the DNC documents that Wikileaks published was not the Russian state.

It has become fashionable in mainstream circles to vilify Assange, but the fact remains that his integrity, and Wikileaks', is well established.

Though portrayed as the devil incarnate, Putin is a skilled and worldly statesman, intent on advancing Russia's interests, as he understands them. He is therefore a liar by vocation, just as all serious politicians are.

For profound historical reasons, slightly different, slightly less liberal and more authoritarian, norms obtain in Russia's political sphere than in most Western countries; and, needless to say, like everyone else everywhere, Putin and his constituents are creatures of their time and place.

On the whole, though, the demon of the hour seems no less governed by moral, customary or legal constraints than others in similar positions. Even in responding to events in Ukraine and Syria, he has been more scrupulously observant of international law than Barack Obama or Donald Trump.

His word may not be as good as gold, but it is a lot better than the CIA's. Indeed, when it comes to lying, the CIA is second to none. It has been known too to politicize intelligence when it suits its purposes or the purposes of the American government, insofar as the two diverge. The Bush-Cheney administration's "weapons of mass destruction" is only the best-known recent example.

I would therefore venture that of all the relevant parties weighing in, the American intelligence community is the least credible. But we are so bombarded with the party line on Russian meddling that it is hard not to succumb to the belief that there surely must be some there there. That (ultimately irrational) consideration apart, there is every reason to remain skeptical of everybody's assessments. For the time being and perhaps for some time to come, agnosticism is the only reasonable position to take.

The news that people close to Trump ! his son, his son-in-law, his campaign manager ! met with a lawyer whom they believed to be acting on behalf of the Russian government, and who probably was, changes nothing.

According to Donald Junior's emails, they did it to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Needless to say, "opposition research" is part of electoral politics nowadays; they all do it.

The problem in this case is the involvement of someone with ties to the Kremlin. Had the story been that Trump or someone close to him hired homegrown detectives to dig up dirt on Clinton, the news probably wouldn't even have gotten Rachel Maddow's hackles up.

Or had the famiglia arranged a meeting for the same purpose with persons connected to some other country – Israel is an obvious example, but not the only imaginable one – that would be fine too.

Apparently, it is the Russian connection that is toxic.

For the anti-Trump political class and their mainstream media friends, Junior's emails are the Holy Grail, the "smoking gun."

But all they show is that there was contact between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. Except on the dubious theory that the provision of information is an emolument of the kind that the Constitution proscribes, there was nothing even remotely criminal about that meeting in Trump Tower. There was not even anything unusual; campaigns look for dirt where they can find it, and they talk to foreign sources all the time.

Trump's flacks say that the purported smoking gun is actually no big deal.

It grieves me to say it, but they are right.

What those emails provide is evidence of the stupidity of the Trump family (no surprise there!) and close Trump associates (ditto). To make anything more of it is, to say the least, a stretch.

***

Narratives that center on Russian meddling in the 2016 election are one thing; well-researched investigations of connections between Trump, the Trump family, and the Trump campaign, on the one hand, and Russian oligarchs, mobsters, spies, and assorted sleaze balls, on the other, are something else altogether.

Inasmuch as birds of a feather generally do flock together, there probably are quite a few contacts of that sort to uncover.

Unfortunately, though, in the fog of neoconservative, Russophobic propaganda that has settled in over our shores, these issues have become confounded.

On the meddling in the last election question, the jury is still out on which liars to believe. Does it really matter, though?

It does to proponents and opponents of the War Party. The former are desperate for reasons to find Putin culpable of something, anything; the latter understand the importance of not letting them have their way.

It matters too to feckless Democrats (is there any other kind?) hoping to ride anti-Trump loathing back to power in 2018. It is all they have going for them.

But it hardly matters at all for the integrity of American democracy ! notwithstanding the self-righteous blather that currently surrounds the issue.

The danger to democracy – what little of it we have ! is not coming from hackers, Russian or otherwise, government sponsored or freelance. At this historical moment, it is coming mainly from the voter suppression efforts of Republican state officials and the Trump White House.

Republican donors are culpable too. They are the ones who bankroll the governors and state legislators who are leading the charge against (small-d) democracy.

How ironic that one of the things the Russians are supposed to have hacked into are state voting rolls. It is fatally unclear why they would care about that, just as it is brutally obvious why Republicans would. But this doesn't phase the War Party's propagandists one bit.

The story they are going with for now is that Putin wants Americans to lose faith in the democratic process. Why would he even care?

During the original Cold War, when the Soviet Union was supposedly intent on world domination, there were ways of answering that question. The answers were disingenuous, to say the least, but they could at least be made to seem plausible. Good luck with that now!

In any case, if Putin really did want to undermine faith in American democracy, he would be a little late to the gate; and he would be redundant. Who needs a foreign autocrat to do what Democrats and Republicans are already doing better?

Meanwhile, even with Junior's emails, Trump is still there; and unless Republicans turn on him, which, for now, seems unlikely – or unless, more unlikely still, he decides he has had enough ! there is where he will remain.

Meanwhile too, the Democratic Party, having made itself irrelevant, is still scapegoating Russians. What a dangerous, albeit bipartisan, spectacle – unreconstructed Clintonites working side by side with the likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

All this does, though, is increase the likelihood that, in the process, the world will stumble into a war that, this time around, really will be a war to end all wars.

Is there a silver lining in any of this? If there is, it is well hidden. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Andrew Levine

ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Jul 16, 2017] The legacy media and permanent ( deep ) state are struggling to savage Trump with absurd accusations, but our cage-fighter is keeping them at bay with his smart-phone

Jul 16, 2017 | www.unz.com

annamaria > , July 15, 2017 at 3:30 am GMT

@RobinG Well said. The legacy media and permanent ("deep") state are struggling to savage Trump with absurd accusations, but our cage-fighter is keeping them at bay with his smart-phone.

Meanwhile, journalist (and that's in the best sense) Lee Stranahan is building a solid case on the DNC's crimes, including collusion with a foreign government. Please share this -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfNe5WsmKwU

The MUST SEE guide to DNC/Ukraine Collusion and Election Interference Agree.

Meanwhile, here is a sensational article re "great America:" "CIA Agent Confesses On Deathbed: 'We Blew Up WTC7 On 9/11″ http://yournewswire.com/cia-911-wtc7/

[Jul 15, 2017] Neocon chicnhawk Bill Kristol attacks Trump. That means he feels that there are pwoerful forces running this color revolution as personally he is just a despicable coward.

Notable quotes:
"... Meanwhile, journalist (and that's in the best sense) Lee Stranahan is building a solid case on the DNC's crimes, including collusion with a foreign government. Please share this ..."
"... Since the bipartisan War Party will not permit the guy to express his own preferred policies on the issues without threat of impeachment, why not try tweeting them? I'd appreciate at least a hint of what to look out for before it lands on my head. ..."
Jul 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

The quote from The Insult Wars in Washington by Tom Engelhardt

But one tweet truly caught my attention, even if it was at the very beginning of a donnybrook that, with twists and turns, including claims of attempted White House blackmail over a National Enquirer article (and Trumpian rejoinders of every kind), would monopolize the headlines and fill the yak-o-sphere of cable TV for days. That tweet came from conservative idol Bill Kristol, editor at large for the Weekly Standard . It said: "Dear @realDonaldTrump, You are a pig. Sincerely, Bill Kristol."

WorkingClass , July 10, 2017 at 4:32 pm GMT

Your side made it personal Tom. Your side made it clear they hate not just Trump but the entire white race. I never before engaged in identity politics. It has been my habit to condemn the D's and R's equally for ruining the country. But now that the DNC and the corporate media have marked me for destruction my skin color, gender and sexual orientation have become my politics. Check out CNNs ratings. Make a sober assessment of the DNCs prospects. Look at recent polling indicating the people are not buying the constant lies about Russia and Putin. You are reaping the whirlwind Tom.

Trump's foreign policy is indefensible. But his enemies remain my enemies. Trump has made it clear that he will not be a punching bag. In this way he speaks for me. If your very special prosecutor is successful in his coup attempt against our president there will be hell to pay.

RobinG , July 14, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT

@The Scalpel Funny, I thought this was going to be a balanced article that included comments about how the legacy media constantly insults Trump and spins things anyway they can to make Trump look bad, and how all that is divisive to our nation. I thought it was going to mention how all of this is an effort to subvert the will and desires of the Americans who elected Trump.

LOL. I didn't really think that - even for a second. After all, this is Tom Engelhardt. The deplorables are invisibile and inconsequential Well said. The legacy media and permanent ("deep") state are struggling to savage Trump with abssurd accusations, but our cage-fighter is keeping them at bay with his smart-phone.

Meanwhile, journalist (and that's in the best sense) Lee Stranahan is building a solid case on the DNC's crimes, including collusion with a foreign government. Please share this

The MUST SEE guide to DNC/Ukraine Collusion and Election Interference

John Smith , July 14, 2017 at 8:48 am GMT

Ah Just some more salty tears from those who hate Trump for talking to the people without going through the "ministry of truth" that Democrats and Marxist have worked so hard to build up.

DaveE , July 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm GMT

I don't tweet, but if I did, I'd write something like "Dear @Kristol, If Trump is a pig, you are the daily output of Mr. Trump. Sincerely, @DaveE"

I'd be molested (or arrested) for anti-Semitism, however.

So please cut the "we're so prosecuted" crap, Mr. Englehardt. No pun intended. The media fully deserves to wallow in its own boiling filth for all eternity.

RobinG , July 14, 2017 at 7:48 pm GMT

@El Dato Well the information is a bit spread out and M. Stranahan should have those slides ready and easily retrievable at a second's notice but he sure is a good speaker. Well, ya. Some people don't like the whole Periscope media genre. Lee is building to a final report that will be crisp and professional. He's also making a movie about George Soros (poster child of the Deep State).

Here he is on RT, very sharp.

Where's the Gate in Russiagate?

ANON , July 14, 2017 at 8:45 pm GMT

"In a way, you might say that, back in 1979, Brzezinski, the father, first ushered us into a new global age of imperial conflict. He was, after all, significantly responsible for ensuring that the U.S. would engage in a war in Afghanistan in order to give the Soviet Union its own Vietnam, or what Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev would later call its "bleeding wound."

Jews were furious about us going into Afghanistan as an anti Soviet measure because the Soviet Union with its genocide of the goyim, gulags, takeover of E Europe, plans to take over the rest of the world, was the supreme, supreme achievement of Jewry in the last 5,000 years.

The creation of the soviet union and its genocide of 100 million goyim by jews was nothing to the creation of Israel, the murder of a million or so Palestinians, a couple hundred thousand middle easterners including the American sailors on the USS Liberty and the confiscation of Palestine.

The soviet union was Jews highest and most beloved and defended achievement. Naturally Jews hate Brzezinski because in most of the 20th century to be anti Soviet was to be anti semitic.

Many Jews still claim that that Polish Pope who worked with Lech Walesa to overturn the evil empire drove the trucks that carried the gas containers to Auschwitz and hunted down Jews to
turn over to the Germans. Stalin is still the hero because he fought Hitler.

Amomynous , July 15, 2017 at 11:34 am GMT

Since the bipartisan War Party will not permit the guy to express his own preferred policies on the issues without threat of impeachment, why not try tweeting them? I'd appreciate at least a hint of what to look out for before it lands on my head. Moreover, they can't be that complex to require more than 140 characters whether he or the neocons make them up. Plus they wouldn't be filtered and distorted by the media as everything else is. No need to impinge on prime time TV, just tweet the State of the Union come January. For more innovative ideas to streamline American governance, just view the movie "Idiocracy." I understand "The Rock" wants to be our next president. Life imitating art, I suppose.

[Jul 14, 2017] Co-Founder Of Trump-Russia Dossier Firm Cancels Testimony While Lynch Claims Ignorance Zero Hedge

Jul 14, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Co-Founder Of Trump-Russia Dossier Firm Cancels Testimony While Lynch Claims Ignorance ZeroPointNow Jul 14, 2017 5:25 AM 0 SHARES

The ongoing efforts to bring down Donald Trump are unraveling at an accelerating pace...

Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS Co-Founder

After it was revealed that Rob Goldstone - the man who arranged the now infamous Trump Jr. " setup " with a shady Russian attorney, is associated with Fusion GPS - the firm behind the largely discredited 35 page Trump-Russia dossier, the co-founder of Fusion GPS abruptly canceled his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week to testify in the ongoing probe into Russian influence in the 2016 election, according to Politico .

The committee announced Wednesday that Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS was scheduled to voluntarily appear on July 19.

During the 2016 US election, Simpson's firm hired former British spy Christopher Steele to produce the 35 page dossier, accusing then-candidate Donald Trump of all sorts of salacious dealings with Russians. When Steele couldn't verify it's claims, the FBI refused to pay him $50,000 for the report - which didn't stop John McCain from hand-delivering it to former FBI director James Comey, or the Obama Administration from using it to start spying on Trump associate Carter Page .

That's two attempts to take down President Trump involving Fusion GPS.

As the Independent reported on Monday:

A spokesman for the President's legal team told The Independent they now believed Ms Veselnitskaya and her colleagues had misrepresented who they were and who they worked for.

"Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier ." -Mark Corallo

Perhaps sensing he's totally screwed and now a huge liability to the deep state, Simpson canceled his testimony next week.

Loretta Lynch Knows Nothing

After it The Hill at a press conference during his visit to France, stating "She [Veselnitskaya] was here because of Lynch, following up with "Nothing happened from the meeting... Zero happened from the meeting, and honestly I think the press made a big deal over something that many people would do."

Lynch distanced herself in a Thursday statement, with a spokesperson claiming that the former Attorney General "does not have any personal knowledge of Ms. Veselnitskaya's travel."

The spokesperson did not go into detail about Veselnitskaya's case, but followed up by saying "The State Department issues visas, and the Department of Homeland Security oversees entry to the United States at airports."

After Lynch's DOJ allowed Veselnitskaya into the country to participate in a lawsuit and nothing more , she had the now infamous meeting at Trump tower, met with current and former lawmakers from both parties, and was spotted in primo front-row seating at a House Foreign Affairs committee hearing on Russia.

What an interesting trip for Ms. Veselnitskaya...

cheech_wizard , Jul 14, 2017 8:34 PM

Lynch claims ignorance?

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/341788-exclusive-doj-let-russ...

The Moscow lawyer had been turned down for a visa to enter the U.S. lawfully but then was granted special immigration parole by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch for the limited purpose of helping a company owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, her client, defend itself against a Justice Department asset forfeiture case in federal court in New York City.

During a court hearing in early January 2016, as Veselnitskaya's permission to stay in the country was about to expire, federal prosecutors described how rare the grant of parole immigration was as Veselnitskaya pleaded for more time to remain in the United States.

"In October the government bypassed ?the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary ?permission to enter the country called immigration parole," Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni explained to the judge during a hearing on Jan. 6, 2016.

Standard Disclaimer: Lynch should be in jail...

AntiMatter , Jul 14, 2017 3:03 PM

VT had it right all along – ISIS weapons supplied by the West

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/07/12/western-states-largest-suppliers...

theprofromdover , Jul 14, 2017 2:57 PM

".. Lynch distanced herself in a Thursday statement, with a spokesperson claiming that the former Attorney General "does not have any personal knowledge of Ms. Veselnitskaya's travel."...

I suspect Loretta got some coachin' from Slippery Bill on the tarmac, how to say something that only a fool would believe means anything.

" I do not have any personal knowledge of Ms Veselnitskaya's .... breakfast plans" what does that mean?

rwe2late , Jul 14, 2017 2:56 PM

Lynch claims ignorance.

Well, who can dispute that?

pparalegal , Jul 14, 2017 2:40 PM

The drunk on DNC propaganda religious MSNBC ultra left watchers are going to get very agitated screaming "show trials" when their heroes start doing the orange jumpsuit frog march. That is when it will get ugly in the streets and on the DC mall. Cheer up comrades, it is going to get a lot worse.

Harry Paranockus , Jul 14, 2017 12:02 PM

This whole shit storm will be over soon, because if they peel back the final layer to this story, they will find that the entire apparatus of Washington, DC is on the take.

Sandmann , Jul 14, 2017 11:07 AM

and Veselnitskaya is linked to the Bill Browder/Edmund Safra Hermitage Capital Hedge Fund through her work for people affected by Magnitsky Act........this swamp is certainly deep but it is hard to know who is a swamp monster and who is being dragged in

alg0rhythm -> VideoEng_NC , Jul 14, 2017 10:48 AM

Sessions settles Magnitsky case for 6 million- pennies on the dollar.... no, nothing to see here..... lawyer- this same lady

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-was-russian-money-laundering-case-dis...

PeterLong -> alg0rhythm , Jul 14, 2017 2:36 PM

How is $ 6 million "pennies on the dollar"? If the U.S. was at one time seeking $ 12 million, is a settlement for half that amount unusual as pre-trial settlements go?

Jim in MN -> moneybots , Jul 14, 2017 10:00 AM

Also how she now insists that it's State and DHS that handle this stuff, while in filed court briefs in January, DOJ was all breathless about what an extraordinary, rare exemption Ms. V received, direct from the AG.

Someone is lying. But then, lawyers are involved so I guess it's inevitable.

[Jul 14, 2017] Republican Operative Behind WSJ Collusion Bombshell Committed Suicide Zero Hedge

Jul 14, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Republican Operative Behind WSJ Collusion "Bombshell" Committed Suicide Tyler Durden Jul 14, 2017 7:00 PM 0 SHARES according to the Chicago Tribune.

Smith left a carefully prepared file of documents, including a statement police described as a suicide note in which he said he was in ill health and that a life insurance policy was expiring.

Smith's death, which occurred on May 14, 10 days before the story was published, was one of the most bizarre developments in a hard-to-follow WSJ story that tried (and in our estimation, failed) to implicate former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in a sinister plot to enlist the help of some Russians to hack the 2016 election...thus 'proving' collusion.

In the story, Smith recounted to WSJ his mission to find Hillary Clinton's missing 30,000 emails – the holy grail of opposition research – which he organized late in the summer of 2016. The project began over Labor Day weekend when Smith, who as WSJ notes had been "active in Republican politics," assembled a group of technology experts, lawyers and a Russian-speaking investigator based in Europe to acquire emails the group theorized might have been stolen from the private server Mrs. Clinton used as secretary of state. Smith believed that, once found, at least some of the emails would prove to be relevant to her official duties at the State Department, handing the Trump campaign an enormous PR victory and possibly proving that she knowingly misled investigators.

Smith & Co. scoured hacker forums, ultimately finding 5 groups who claimed to have the missing emails, 2 of which were Russian. However, Smith seemingly doubted the authenticity of the intelligence he received and, as a result, never leaked their contents. Even more confusing, Smith says he eventually turned over the emails to Wikileaks, but the group hasn't published them, and denies ever having received them. Smith told the WSJ reporter that he'd considered Flynn an ally, but stopped short of alleging that the two worked together on the project.

Of course, it's only deep in the story that the WSJ admits they have no idea if Flynn was even involved with Smith...but no one reads an entire article so it's fairly irrelevant.

What role, if any, Mr. Flynn may have played in Mr. Smith's project is unclear. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Smith said he knew Mr. Flynn, but he never stated that Mr. Flynn was involved.

And another irrelevant detail from the WSJ:

Mr. Smith said he worked independently and wasn't part of the Trump campaign.

Smith was found with a bag over his head with a source of helium attached. A medical examiner's report gives the same account, without specifying the time, and a report from the Rochester, Minnesota police further details his suicide, according to the Chicago Tribune. Smith's death occurred at the Aspen Suites in Rochester, records show. They list the cause of death as "asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen in confined space with helium."

In the note recovered by police, Smith apologized to authorities and said that "NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER" was involved in his death. He wrote that he was taking his own life because of a "RECENT BAD TURN IN HEALTH SINCE JANUARY, 2017" and timing related "TO LIFE INSURANCE OF $5 MILLION EXPIRING."

Mystery shrouded how and where Smith had died, but the lead reporter on the stories said on a podcast he had no reason to believe the death was the result of foul play and that Smith likely had died of natural causes.

Smith had been staying at the hotel – in a room typically used by patients of the Mayo Clinic - for several days and had extended his stay at least once but was expected to check out on the day his body was found. "Tomorrow is my last day," Smith told a hotel worker on May 13 while he worked on a computer in the business center, printing documents, according to the police reports.

One of Smith's former employees told the Tribune he thought the elderly man had gone to the famed clinic to be treated for a heart condition. Mayo spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo said Thursday she could not confirm Smith had been a patient, citing medical privacy laws.

Smith had a history of doing opposition research against President Bill Clinton and had a hand in exposing the "Troopergate" allegations about Bill Clinton's sex life.

His obituary said Smith was involved in public affairs for more than 60 years and described him as a "quietly generous champion of efforts to ensure a more economically and politically secure world." Smith led private equity firms in corporate acquisitions and venture investments for more than 40 years. Earlier, he worked with DigaComm LLC from 1997 to 2014 and as the president of Peter W. Smith & Co. from 1975 to 1997. Before that, he was a senior officer of Field Enterprises Inc., a firm that then owned the Chicago Sun-Times and was held by the Marshall Field family, his obituary said.

Smith's last will and testament, signed last Feb. 21, is seven pages long and on file in Probate Court in Lake County, Illinois. The will gives his wife his interest in their residential property and his tangible personal property and says remaining assets should be placed into two trusts.

He was born Feb. 23, 1936, in Portland, Maine, according to the death record.

His late father, Waldo Sterling Smith, was a manufacturer's representative for women's apparel firms, representing them in department stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, according to the father's 2002 obituary. The elder Smith died at age 92 in St. Augustine, Fla., and his obit noted that he had been active in St. Johns County, Fla., Republican affairs and with a local Methodist church. Peter Smith wrote two blog posts dated the day before he was found dead. One challenged U.S. intelligence agency findings that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Another post predicted: "As attention turns to international affairs, as it will shortly, the Russian interference story will die of its own weight."

moorewasthebestbond , Jul 14, 2017 7:03 PM

...Like I always say, suicide can sometimes be the honorable thing to do.

Cheka_Mate -> moorewasthebestbond , Jul 14, 2017 7:04 PM

As they say in Arkansas

"It's been known to happen..."

Son of Loki -> Cheka_Mate , Jul 14, 2017 7:12 PM

His suicide note said, "No foul play whatsoever."

Q: Was it typed before or after he 'sucided' himself?

bamawatson -> Son of Loki , Jul 14, 2017 7:12 PM

"do we find the cost of freedom guried in the ground?" https://vid.me/Csej

HopefulCynical -> bamawatson , Jul 14, 2017 7:12 PM

And the lemmings traipse merrily over the cliff. Nothing to see here, people...move along...

tmosley -> HopefulCynical , Jul 14, 2017 7:22 PM

TDS claims yet another victim.

Jim Sampson -> tmosley , Jul 14, 2017 7:23 PM

I wouldn't be surpirse if the note itself said "NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER, SUPER SERIAL"

Occident Mortal -> Jim Sampson , Jul 14, 2017 7:31 PM

This whole Russia thing is a joke now.

THEY DONT EVEN HAVE A CRIME SCENE.

THE SO CALLED VICTIMS OF THIS CRIME (the DNC) REFUSED TO HAD OVER THE EVIDENCE (their hacked servers). INSTEAD THE VICTIMS DESTROYED THE EVIDENCE OF THIS ALLEDGED CRIME.

Let that sink in for a moment. The victims of the crime, destroyed the evidence of the crime, and they spent a lot of time and money to destroy it properly.

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah -> Occident Mortal , Jul 14, 2017 7:32 PM

Suicide note: "BTW - Seth Rich died of a mugging gone wrong."

Pinto Currency -> Creepy_Azz_Crackaah , Jul 14, 2017 7:46 PM

More today:

Cernovich: Klaus Eberwein Found Dead Before Testifying Against Clinton Foundation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EqdA5FFpqM

Whoa Dammit -> Pinto Currency , Jul 14, 2017 7:59 PM

How does someone get a tank of helium to kill themselves with? I don't think the average person can just go buy one.

francis_the_won... -> Whoa Dammit , Jul 14, 2017 8:19 PM

It's actually pretty hard to do. As a technical diver, one of our biggest, and growing, challenges is securing reliable sources of helium year in and year out. The stuff is finite on this planet and we are running out.....absent a few nuclear blasts.

nmewn -> Creepy_Azz_Crackaah , Jul 14, 2017 7:54 PM

Natalia V lies her way into a meeting with Trump Jr June 9 2016 and a month later Seth is murdered.

The unmistakable stench of a Clinton.

EuroPox -> Occident Mortal , Jul 14, 2017 7:35 PM

And, here's another one! http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/articl... Eberwein was supposed to appear before the Haitian Senate's Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission next Tuesday - he was expected to testify that the Clinton Foundation misappropriated Haiti earthquake donations from international donors... but clearly decided that shooting himself in the head was a better option.

Whoa Dammit -> EuroPox , Jul 14, 2017 8:04 PM

From the above article: "He was also a partner in a popular pizza restaurant in Haiti, Muncheez, and has a pizza ! the Klaus Special ! named after him."

NoDebt -> Jim Sampson , Jul 14, 2017 7:30 PM

"Smith was found with a bag over his head with a source of helium attached."

Wait, WHAT???

Great, now I gotta update my avatar again. The nail gun feels very dated compared to this. Anybody know where I can get a picture file of a "helium suicide bag"?

Jim Sampson -> NoDebt , Jul 14, 2017 7:41 PM

https://www.google.com/search?q=helium+suicide+bag&source=lnms&tbm=isch&...

I didn't know this was a thing. Kind of depressing.

Urban Roman -> Cheka_Mate , Jul 14, 2017 7:14 PM

I'm sure they'll get right on it as soon as they wrap up the Seth Rich case.

NoDebt -> Too-Big-to-Bail , Jul 14, 2017 7:32 PM

I'm so glad you asked, TBTB. I wondered the same thing. Couple google searches later and I find this:

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Suicide/Suffocation/Helium

Serious.Lee , Jul 14, 2017 7:13 PM

Just in:

Klaus Eberwein Found Dead Before Testifying Against Clinton Foundation

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2EqdA5FFpqM

Too-Big-to-Bail , Jul 14, 2017 7:13 PM

Also, If he really was wanting to commit suicide, and all his life he was trying to bring the Clintons down, you'd think he would want to plan it out in a way that wanted to implicate Hillary -- murder usually pays double for insurance and in many cases suicide can nullify the insurance policy altogether.

Youri Carma , Jul 14, 2017 7:23 PM

'Clinton death list': 33 spine-tingling cases http://www.wnd.com/2016/08/clinton-death-list-33-most-intriguing-cases/

Laughing.Man , Jul 14, 2017 7:33 PM

Bullshit. You off yourself before your insurance expires? I don't believe suicide is covered. Notice that these suicides are not in their place of residence. IMO, video of them explaining it and the act or it didn't happen.

insanelysane -> Laughing.Man , Jul 14, 2017 8:03 PM

It's completely nonsensical. My $5 million dollar policy is going to end date so I am going to put a bag over my head and kill myself to collect. ??? You would make it look like an accident. Everyone that is over 80 years old would kill themselves if insurance paid out on suicide. None of it makes sense yet the MSM "journalists" just write that there is nothing to see here, move along. See Seth Rich.

WillyGroper -> Laughing.Man , Jul 14, 2017 8:31 PM

if you've paid the premiums for 2 yrs, it's covered.

artichoke -> azusgm , Jul 14, 2017 8:06 PM

What kind of life insurance policy pays out on suicide? I'd never write such a policy, especially for a very old person who might figure he's seen enough and wants to give a nice gift to his wife or estate.

Cordeezy , Jul 14, 2017 8:02 PM

I thought suicide voided life insurance deals usually

www.escapeamazon.com

Yars Revenge -> Cordeezy , Jul 14, 2017 8:22 PM

It does, so it makes zero sense why he would mention his policy in the note.

bkboy -> Yars Revenge , Jul 14, 2017 8:55 PM

Correct, but that is why it makes sense. He may have inserted the non-sensical reference to his life insurance policy as a message to police that it was NOT suicide. And he may have been forced to write the note under threat that they would kill somebody in his family if he did not write such a note.

DjangoCat -> Yars Revenge , Jul 14, 2017 9:04 PM

Wrong. Most policies have a two year window after inception where suicide voids the poicy. After that it is a valid cause of death.

insanelysane , Jul 14, 2017 8:09 PM

How many suicide notes include verbiage that tells the authorities that there was no foul play???

I plan on killing myself because my life sucks and oh by they way, don't bother with further investigation because I'm letting you know that there was no foul play. My plan is to shoot myself multiple times in the head.

[Jul 14, 2017] House Dems plan to force Russia votes

Jul 14, 2017 | www.msn.com
House Democrats announced a new strategy on Friday to force votes in an effort to highlight President Trump's possible ties to Russia.

Democrats plan to offer measures known as resolutions of inquiry that automatically trigger floor votes if they don't get action in committee within 14 legislative days.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and several other Democratic lawmakers scheduled a press conference in the Capitol to announce the plans on Friday morning.

The announcement included members of the House Financial Services, Ways and Means, Transportation and Infrastructure, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security and Judiciary committees.

Democrats are seizing on the few tools at their disposal given their limited ability to direct congressional oversight while in the minority.

Republicans are likely to consider the resolutions in committee to avoid forcing the entire House to vote on them.

Still, the votes are meant to put a spotlight on Trump as well as House Republicans, who Democrats say aren't being aggressive enough with oversight of the administration.

For instance, one resolution unveiled as part of the strategy would request documents or records from Trump relating to his abrupt firing of James Comey as FBI director in May and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' involvement in the decision.

The resolution, offered by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), will go to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

The Judiciary panel already rejected multiple previous resolutions of inquiry earlier this year that demanded documents from the Justice Department connecting the Trump campaign with the Russian government's 2016 election interference.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) also offered a resolution of inquiry in the House Ways and Means Committee to request President Trump's tax returns from the last decade.

The party-line votes in committee to dismiss the resolutions prevented any House floor vote.

But Democrats are determined to force more votes - even if they don't go anywhere - to pressure Republicans after revelations this week involving President Trump's son.

Donald Trump Jr. released emails on Tuesday showing how he set up a meeting last year with a Russian lawyer claiming to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

A publicist with ties to a Trump family business partner who served as an intermediary said that it was "obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

[Jul 14, 2017] Ignore the Haters. Russia Is Not Our Enemy

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post ..."
Jul 14, 2017 | reason.com
The intelligence and military leakers and Trump's political enemies believe friendly relations with Vladimir Putin's government are dangerous. But since Russia can annihilate our country, the greater danger is not engaging with Putin.

The anti-Russia hyperventilation covers the political spectrum. Republican Sen. John McCain told an interviewer that Putin is a greater threat than ISIS, accusing Russia of trying to change election results in America, France and elsewhere. But Putin's regime is not decapitating or urging lone wolves to massacre Americans on US soil. And as for Russian manipulation, the pro-Russian candidate Marine LePen was crushed in the May presidential election in France.

Democrat Hillary Clinton accused the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia to "weaponize" leaked information against her with the WikiLeaks' dump of John Podesta email messages. Clinton's collusion assertion is based on her questionable assumption that WikiLeaks is an agent of Russia. Since WikiLeaks operates out of an embassy in London, one might expect our British allies to have leaked Putin's instructions to Julian Assange by now.

McCain, Clinton and others are amplifying the US intelligence community's public indictment of Russia for election meddling during the closing days of the Obama administration. That report also claims that Russian agents hacked Podesta's email and released them through WikiLeaks, but does not provide hard evidence.

Intelligence community assertions should be treated with skepticism. After all, this community concluded in 2002 that Saddam Hussein had WMD's. Further, a senior member of the intelligence community, James Clapper, lied to Congress in 2013 when he denied that the NSA collects data on Americans.

Even assuming the allegations are true, they do not lead to the immediate conclusion that Russia is an enemy. Friendly countries spy on one another and try to influence each other's elections all the time. President Obama called on British voters to reject Brexit, and the NSA appears to have bugged German Prime Minister Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

Israel spies on the US and tries to influence our elections. Jonathan Pollard's espionage "has few parallels" according to the CIA , which concluded he had "put at risk important U.S. intelligence and foreign policy interests." In 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to scuttle President Obama's re-election effort.

Most of the intelligence community memo focuses on the activities of RT, a Russian media group that operates a cable news channel, a web site and social media properties in the US. RT is accused of spreading propaganda and fake news that impacted our election. But such media are neither new nor unique to Russia.

Our Voice of America, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and other state media have been around for decades. Among the personalities on RT America are Larry King, Jesse Ventura, and former Air America hosts Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz – none of whom appear to be stooges for Vladimir Putin. Further, as Simon van Zuylen-Wood noted in his excellent overview of RT , the network "is watched by so few people that Nielsen doesn't bother to publish its ratings."

To be sure, Putin has some very undemocratic inclinations. But the US has maintained and continues to maintain friendly relations with despotic nations. President Richard Nixon visited China in 1971, not long after Mao Zedong killed tens of millions of people with his Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Today, there is widespread support for friendly relations with Saudi Arabia – an undemocratic nation that stones women to death for adultery.

It is also true that Russia is a rival for influence on the world stage. This perhaps is why our generals, intelligence operatives, representatives, think tanks and the media so dislike Putin. While the foreign affairs intelligentsia views the world as a power-playing chessboard, this approach to geopolitics is contrary to the interests of ordinary Americans who don't benefit from international conflicts.

When President Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the oval office a few weeks ago, he shared intelligence about a plot by Syrian-based ISIS operatives to place laptop bombs on civilian airplanes. Russia's presence in Syria may have helped thwart this plot. And it had an incentive to do so: ISIS previously downed a Russian civilian airliner in the Sinai Desert.

As president, Donald Trump has the legal right to declassify the intelligence. But some unelected bureaucrat in the US national security establishment decided that Trump's actions were inappropriate and leaked the story to The Washington Post . It is possible the leak alerted ISIS that its plot had been compromised, encouraging the terrorists to protect their bomb-building efforts from further scrutiny. The potential victims of this leak are civilian passengers of US airlines – the presumed target of the ISIS plot.

Russia also provided intelligence that, had it been handled properly by the FBI, could have prevented the Tsarnaev brothers from bombing the Boston marathon.

Rather than cooperating, however, the national security establishment not only seeks conflict with Russia, it looks for enemies around the world. Hostilities provide lucrative contracts and a sense of mission to those advancing them – but imposes huge costs on the rest of us. US troops are now engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

Worldwide warfare has driven national security spending toward $1 trillion a year. With a national debt approaching $20 trillion, this is a financial cost our country can ill afford. And since 2001, the US has suffered almost 7,000 deaths and over 52,000 wounded in foreign hostilities.

Democrats 50 years ago were peace organizers, fired by Martin Luther King's condemnation of the Vietnam War. And Barack Obama won the presidency promising to withdraw from Iraq.

But in their desire to rid the White House of Donald Trump, Democrats have forsaken their anti-war heritage. Instead, they are teaming up with Republican hawks and the Deep State to drive a wedge between the US and Russia.

Libertarians are the logical champions of peace and prosperity, but some have expressed sympathy for coercive US government actions to counter Russian influence. These include targeted sanctions and funding for groups in Eastern Europe that supposedly promote liberal democracy.

Although portrayed as a penalty on foreign powers, sanctions prevent US individuals and companies and individuals from doing business with those countries. A new Senate bill, S.722 , prevents US companies from working on gas pipelines between Russia and Western Europe. The bill also appropriates $500 million of US taxpayer money to a "Countering Russian Influence Fund," to be spent in Eastern Europe. The legislative language lists six possible uses for this money which sound good, but are vague and open to broad interpretation.

Libertarians recognize the state usually abuses the powers we give it. We should never advocate for restrictions on trade or appropriation of tax money for so-called democracy promotion. Peace and non-interventionism are core tenets of libertarianism that too many self-identified libertarians seem to forget. We must avoid repeating the mistakes we made in the runup to the Iraq War.

Regardless of one's position on Trump, Congress has not declared war on Russia. Russia has not invaded us. Russia is not our enemy.

[Jul 13, 2017] Progressive Democrats Resist and Submit, Retreat and Surrender by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" ..."
"... Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: " Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'. ..."
"... Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints. ..."
"... Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more! ..."
"... Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen! ..."
"... Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party. ..."
"... This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary. ..."
"... Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.) ..."
"... Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches. ..."
"... They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. ..."
"... Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990's progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US's corporate for-profit medical system into a national 'Medicare For All' public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right.

To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.

Progressives by Name and Posture

Progressives purport to embrace 'progress', the growth of the economy, the enrichment of society and freedom from arbitrary government. Central to the Progressive agenda was the end of elite corruption and good governance, based on democratic procedures.

Progressives prided themselves as appealing to 'reason, diplomacy and conciliation', not brute force and wars. They upheld the sovereignty of other nations and eschewed militarism and armed intervention.

Progressives proposed a vision of their fellow citizens pursuing incremental evolution toward the 'good society', free from the foreign entanglements, which had entrapped the people in unjust wars.

Progressives in Historical Perspective

In the early part of the 20th century, progressives favored political equality while opposing extra-parliamentary social transformations. They supported gender equality and environmental preservation while failing to give prominence to the struggles of workers and African Americans.

They denounced militarism 'in general' but supported a series of 'wars to end all wars' . Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas. By the middle of the 20th century, different strands emerged under the progressive umbrella. Progressives split between traditional good government advocates and modernists who backed socio-economic reforms, civil liberties and rights.

Progressives supported legislation to regulate monopolies, encouraged collective bargaining and defended the Bill of Rights.

Progressives opposed wars and militarism in theory until their government went to war.

Lacking an effective third political party, progressives came to see themselves as the 'left wing' of the Democratic Party, allies of labor and civil rights movements and defenders of civil liberties.

Progressives joined civil rights leaders in marches, but mostly relied on legal and electoral means to advance African American rights.

Progressives played a pivotal role in fighting McCarthyism, though ultimately it was the Secretary of the Army and the military high command that brought Senator McCarthy to his knees.

Progressives provided legal defense when the social movements disrupted the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

They popularized the legislative arguments that eventually outlawed segregation, but it was courageous Afro-American leaders heading mass movements that won the struggle for integration and civil rights.

In many ways the Progressives complemented the mass struggles, but their limits were defined by the constraints of their membership in the Democratic Party.

The alliance between Progressives and social movements peaked in the late sixties to mid-1970's when the Progressives followed the lead of dynamic and advancing social movements and community organizers especially in opposition to the wars in Indochina and the military draft.

The Retreat of the Progressives

By the late 1970's the Progressives had cut their anchor to the social movements, as the anti-war, civil rights and labor movements lost their impetus (and direction).

The numbers of progressives within the left wing of the Democratic Party increased through recruitment from earlier social movements. Paradoxically, while their 'numbers' were up, their caliber had declined, as they sought to 'fit in' with the pro-business, pro-war agenda of their President's party.

Without the pressure of the 'populist street' the 'Progressives-turned-Democrats' adapted to the corporate culture in the Party. The Progressives signed off on a fatal compromise: The corporate elite secured the electoral party while the Progressives were allowed to write enlightened manifestos about the candidates and their programs . . . which were quickly dismissed once the Democrats took office. Yet the ability to influence the 'electoral rhetoric' was seen by the Progressives as a sufficient justification for remaining inside the Democratic Party.

Moreover the Progressives argued that by strengthening their presence in the Democratic Party, (their self-proclaimed 'boring from within' strategy), they would capture the party membership, neutralize the pro-corporation, militarist elements that nominated the president and peacefully transform the party into a 'vehicle for progressive changes'.

Upon their successful 'deep penetration' the Progressives, now cut off from the increasingly disorganized mass social movements, coopted and bought out many prominent black, labor and civil liberty activists and leaders, while collaborating with what they dubbed the more malleable 'centrist' Democrats. These mythical creatures were really pro-corporate Democrats who condescended to occasionally converse with the Progressives while working for the Wall Street and Pentagon elite.

The Retreat of the Progressives: The Clinton Decade

Progressives adapted the 'crab strategy': Moving side-ways and then backwards but never forward.

Progressives mounted candidates in the Presidential primaries, which were predictably defeated by the corporate Party apparatus, and then submitted immediately to the outcome. The election of President 'Bill' Clinton launched a period of unrestrained financial plunder, major wars of aggression in Europe (Yugoslavia) and the Middle East (Iraq), a military intervention in Somalia and secured Israel's victory over any remnant of a secular Palestinian leadership as well as its destruction of Lebanon!

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act, thereby opening the floodgates for massive speculation on Wall Street through the previously regulated banking sector. When President Clinton gutted welfare programs, forcing single mothers to take minimum-wage jobs without provision for safe childcare, millions of poor white and minority women were forced to abandon their children to dangerous makeshift arrangements in order to retain any residual public support and access to minimal health care. Progressives looked the other way.

Progressives followed Clinton's deep throated thrust toward the far right, as he outsourced manufacturing jobs to Mexico (NAFTA) and re-appointed Federal Reserve's free market, Ayn Rand-fanatic, Alan Greenspan.

Progressives repeatedly kneeled before President Clinton marking their submission to the Democrats' 'hard right' policies.

The election of Republican President G. W. Bush (2001-2009) permitted Progressive's to temporarily trot out and burnish their anti-war, anti-Wall Street credentials. Out in the street, they protested Bush's savage invasion of Iraq (but not the destruction of Afghanistan). They protested the media reports of torture in Abu Ghraib under Bush, but not the massive bombing and starvation of millions of Iraqis that had occurred under Clinton. Progressives protested the expulsion of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, but were silent over the brutal uprooting of refugees resulting from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the systematic destruction of their nations' infrastructure.

Progressives embraced Israel's bombing, jailing and torture of Palestinians by voting unanimously in favor of increasing the annual $3 billion dollar military handouts to the brutal Jewish State. They supported Israel's bombing and slaughter in Lebanon.

Progressives were in retreat, but retained a muffled voice and inconsequential vote in favor of peace, justice and civil liberties. They kept a certain distance from the worst of the police state decrees by the Republican Administration.

Progressives and Obama: From Retreat to Surrender

While Progressives maintained their tepid commitment to civil liberties, and their highly 'leveraged' hopes for peace in the Middle East, they jumped uncritically into the highly choreographed Democratic Party campaign for Barack Obama, 'Wall Street's First Black President'.

Progressives had given up their quest to 'realign' the Democratic Party 'from within': they turned from serious tourism to permanent residency. Progressives provided the foot soldiers for the election and re-election of the warmongering 'Peace Candidate' Obama. After the election, Progressives rushed to join the lower echelons of his Administration. Black and white politicos joined hands in their heroic struggle to erase the last vestiges of the Progressives' historical legacy.

Obama increased the number of Bush-era imperial wars to attacking seven weak nations under American's 'First Black' President's bombardment, while the Progressives ensured that the streets were quiet and empty.

When Obama provided trillions of dollars of public money to rescue Wall Street and the bankers, while sacrificing two million poor and middle class mortgage holders, the Progressives only criticized the bankers who received the bailout, but not Obama's Presidential decision to protect and reward the mega-swindlers.

Under the Obama regime social inequalities within the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. The Police State Patriot Act was massively extended to give President Obama the power to order the assassination of US citizens abroad without judicial process. The Progressives did not resign when Obama's 'kill orders' extended to the 'mistaken' murder of his target's children and other family member, as well as unidentified bystanders. The icon carriers still paraded their banner of the 'first black American President' when tens of thousands of black Libyans and immigrant workers were slaughtered in his regime-change war against President Gadhafi.

Obama surpassed the record of all previous Republican office holders in terms of the massive numbers of immigrant workers arrested and expelled – 2 million. Progressives applauded the Latino protestors while supporting the policies of their 'first black President'.

Progressive accepted that multiple wars, Wall Street bailouts and the extended police state were now the price they would pay to remain part of the "Democratic coalition' (sic).

The deeper the Progressives swilled at the Democratic Party trough, the more they embraced the Obama's free market agenda and the more they ignored the increasing impoverishment, exploitation and medical industry-led opioid addiction of American workers that was shortening their lives. Under Obama, the Progressives totally abandoned the historic American working class, accepting their degradation into what Madam Hillary Clinton curtly dismissed as the 'deplorables'.

With the Obama Presidency, the Progressive retreat turned into a rout, surrendering with one flaccid caveat: the Democratic Party 'Socialist' Bernie Sanders, who had voted 90% of the time with the Corporate Party, had revived a bastardized military-welfare state agenda.

Sander's Progressive demagogy shouted and rasped on the campaign trail, beguiling the young electorate. The 'Bernie' eventually 'sheep-dogged' his supporters into the pro-war Democratic Party corral. Sanders revived an illusion of the pre-1990 progressive agenda, promising resistance while demanding voter submission to Wall Street warlord Hillary Clinton. After Sanders' round up of the motley progressive herd, he staked them tightly to the far-right Wall Street war mongering Hillary Clinton. The Progressives not only embraced Madame Secretary Clinton's nuclear option and virulent anti-working class agenda, they embellished it by focusing on Republican billionaire Trump's demagogic, nationalist, working class rhetoric which was designed to agitate 'the deplorables'. They even turned on the working class voters, dismissing them as 'irredeemable' racists and illiterates or 'white trash' when they turned to support Trump in massive numbers in the 'fly-over' states of the central US.

Progressives, allied with the police state, the mass media and the war machine worked to defeat and impeach Trump. Progressives surrendered completely to the Democratic Party and started to advocate its far right agenda. Hysterical McCarthyism against anyone who questioned the Democrats' promotion of war with Russia, mass media lies and manipulation of street protest against Republican elected officials became the centerpieces of the Progressive agenda. The working class and farmers had disappeared from their bastardized 'identity-centered' ideology.

Guilt by association spread throughout Progressive politics. Progressives embraced J. Edgar Hoover's FBI tactics: "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" For progressives, 'Russia-gate' defined the real focus of contemporary political struggle in this huge, complex, nuclear-armed superpower.

Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: "Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'.

Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints.

The Progressives' far right - turn earned them hours and space on the mass media as long as they breathlessly savaged and insulted President Trump and his family members. When they managed to provoke him into a blind rage . . . they added the newly invented charge of 'psychologically unfit to lead' – presenting cheap psychobabble as grounds for impeachment. Finally! American Progressives were on their way to achieving their first and only political transformation: a Presidential coup d'état on behalf of the Far Right!

Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!

In return, President Trump began to 'out-militarize' the Progressives by escalating US involvement in the Middle East and South China Sea. They swooned with joy when Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government as Damascus engaged in a life and death struggle against mercenary terrorists. They dubbed the petulant release of Patriot missiles 'Presidential'.

Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen!

Conclusion

Progressives turned full circle from supporting welfare to embracing Wall Street; from preaching peaceful co-existence to demanding a dozen wars; from recognizing the humanity and rights of undocumented immigrants to their expulsion under their 'First Black' President; from thoughtful mass media critics to servile media megaphones; from defenders of civil liberties to boosters for the police state; from staunch opponents of J. Edgar Hoover and his 'dirty tricks' to camp followers for the 'intelligence community' in its deep state campaign to overturn a national election.

Progressives moved from fighting and resisting the Right to submitting and retreating; from retreating to surrendering and finally embracing the far right.

Doing all that and more within the Democratic Party, Progressives retain and deepen their ties with the mass media, the security apparatus and the military machine, while occasionally digging up some Bernie Sanders-type demagogue to arouse an army of voters away from effective resistance to mindless collaboration.

(Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

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WorkingClass > , July 12, 2017 at 9:21 pm GMT

But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party.

This piece accurately traces the path from Progressive to Maoist. It's a pity the Republican Party is also a piece of shit. I think it was Sara Palin who said "We have two parties. Pick one." This should be our collective epitaph.

exiled off mainstreet > , July 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm GMT

This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary.

alan2102 > , July 13, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT

EXCELLENT.

Astuteobservor II > , July 13, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

at this point, are they still progressives though? they are the new far right

CCZ > , July 13, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"

Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

Carlton Meyer > , Website July 13, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

The great Jimmy Dore is a big thorn for the Democrats. From my blog:

Apr 29, 2017 – Obama is Scum!

Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.)

Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches.

Obama gets over $200,000 a year in retirement, just got a $65 million deal, so doesn't need more money. Why would a multi-millionaire ex-president fly around the globe collecting huge speaking fees from world corporations just after his political party was devastated in elections because Americans think the Democratic party represents Wall Street? The great Jimmy Dore expressed his outrage at Obama and the corrupt Democratic party in this great video.

jilles dykstra > , July 13, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

Left in the good old days meant socialist, socialist meant that governments had the duty of redistributing income from rich to poor. Alas in Europe, after 'socialists' became pro EU and pro globalisation, they in fact became neoliberal. Both in France and the Netherlands 'socialist' parties virtually disappeared.
So what nowadays is left, does anyone know ?

Then the word 'progressive'. The word suggests improvement, but what is improvement, improvement for whom ? There are those who see the possibility for euthanasia as an improvement, there are thos who see euthanasia as a great sin.

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Call me Deplorable > , July 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT

They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. But, hey, the brother now has five mansions, collects half a mill per speech to the Chosen People on Wall Street, and parties for months at a time at exclusive resorts for billionaires only.

Obviously, he's got the world by the tail and you don't. Hope he comes to the same end as Gaddaffi and Ceaușescu. Maybe the survivors of nuclear Armageddon can hold a double necktie party with Killary as the second honored guest that day.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Properly defining the concepts would impede the system's ability to keep you confused.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas.

You left out the other Roosevelt.

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act

Hilarious!

Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

This is a huge myth. All that really happened is that the INS changed some of its internal terminology to make it sound as though they were deporting more people: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.7f964acd9b0d

Stephen Paul Foster > , Website July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

The Progressives now, failing electorally, are moving on to physical violence.

See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-would-be-assassins.html

annamaria > , July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer Obama, a paragon of American scoundrel

Anonymous IV > , July 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig Agree on the bit about Obama as "deporter in chief." Even the LA Times had to admit this was misleading

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402-story.html

so it's not just conservative conspiracy theory stuff as some might argue.

Still, the overall point of this essay isn't affected all that much. Open borders is still a "right wing" (in the sense this author uses the term) policy–pro-Wall Street, pro-Big Business. So Obama was still doing the bidding of the donor class in their quest for cheap labor.

I've seen pro-immigration types try to use the Obama-deportation thing to argue that we don't need more hardcore policies. After all, even the progressive Democrat Obama was on the ball when it came to policing our borders, right?! Who needed Trump?

Agent76 > , July 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

"Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!" Nathan Meyer Rothschild

June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?

A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44864.htm

"Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people." Henry Kissenger

Alfa158 > , July 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer If Jimmy keeps up these attacks on Wall Street, the Banksters, and rent-seekers he is going to get run out of the Progressive movement for dog-whistling virulent Anti-Semitism. Look at how the media screams at Trump every time he mentions Wall Street and the banks.

yeah > , July 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

Mr. Petra has penned an excellent and very astute piece. Allow me a little satire on our progressive friends, entitled "The path to hell is paved with good intentions".

The early socialist/progressive travellers were well-intentioned but naïve in their understanding of human nature and fanatical about their agenda. To move the human herd forward, they had no compulsions about resorting to harsher and harsher prodding and whipping. They felt entitled to employ these means because, so they were convinced, man has to be pushed to move forward and they, the "progressives", were the best qualified to lead the herd. Scoundrels, psychopaths, moral defectives, and sundry other rascals then joined in the whipping game, some out of the sheer joy of wielding the whip, others to better line their pockets.

So the "progressive" journey degenerates into a forced march. The march becomes the progress, becoming both the means and the end at the same time. Look at the so-called "progressive" today and you will see the fanatic and the whip-wielder, steadfast about the correctness of his beliefs. Tell him/her/it that you are a man or a woman and he retorts "No, you are free to choose, you are genderless". What if you decline such freedom? "Well, then you are a bigot, we will thrash you out of your bigotry", replies the progressive. "May I, dear Sir/Madam/Whatever, keep my hard-earned money in my pocket for my and my family's use" you ask. "No, you first have to pay for our peace-making wars, then pay for the upkeep of refugees, besides which you owe a lot of back taxes that are necessary to run this wonderful Big Government of ours that is leading you towards greener and greener pastures", shouts back the progressive.

Fed up, disgusted, and a little scared, you desperately seek a way out of this progress. "No way", scream the march leaders. "We will be forever in your ears, sometimes whispering, sometimes screaming; we will take over your brain to improve your mind; we will saturate you with images on the box 24/7 and employ all sorts of imagery to make you progress. And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time."

TheJester > , July 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT

Knowing who is "progressive" and know who is "far-right" is like knowing who is "fascist" and who is not. For obvious historical reasons, the Russian like to throw the "fascist" slogan against anyone who is a non-Russian nationalist. However, I accept the eminent historian Carroll Quigley's definition of fascism as the incorporation of society and the state onto single entity on a permanent war footing. The state controls everything in a radically authoritarian social structure. As Quigley states, the Soviet Union was the most complete embodiment of fascism in WWII. In WWII Germany, on the other hand, industry retained its independence and in WWII Italy fascism was no more than an empty slogan.

Same for "progressives". Everyone wants to be "progressive", right? Who wants to be "anti-progressive"? However, at the end of the day, "progressive" through verbal slights of hand has been nothing more than a euphemism for "socialist" or, in the extreme, "communist" the verbal slight-of-hand because we don't tend to use the latter terms in American political discourse.

"Progressives" morphing into a new "far-right" in America is no more mysterious than the Soviet Union morphing from Leninism to Stalinism or, the Jewish (Trotskyite) globalists fleeing Stalinist nationalism and then morphing into, first, "Scoop" Jackson Democrats and then into Bushite Republicans.

As you might notice, the real issue is the authoritarian vs. the non-authoritarian state. In this context, an authoritarian government and social order (as in communism and neoconservatism) are practical pre-requisites necessity to force humanity to transition to their New World Order.

Again, the defining characteristic of fascism is the unitary state enforced via an authoritarian political and social structure. Ideological rigor is enforced via the police powers of the state along with judicial activism and political correctness. Ring a bell?

In the ongoing contest between Trump and the remnants of the American "progressive" movement, who are the populists and who the authoritarians? Who are the democrats and who are the fascists?

I would say that who lands where in this dichotomy is obvious.

RobinG > , July 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm GMT

@Alfa158 Is Jimmy Dore really a "Progressive?" (and what does that mean, anyway?) Isn't Jimmy's show hosted by the Young Turks Network, which is unabashedly Libertarian?

Anyway, what's so great about "the Progressive movement?" Seems to me, they're just pathetic sheepdogs for the war-crazed Dems. Jimmy should be supporting the #UNRIG movement ("Beyond Trump & Sanders") for ALL Americans:

On 1 May 2017 Cynthia McKinney, Ellen Brown, and Robert Steele launched

We the People – Unity for Integrity.

The User's Guide to the 2nd American Revolution.

Death to the Deep State.

https://www.unrig.net/manifesto/

Ben Banned > , July 13, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT

Petras, for some reason, low balls the number of people ejected from assets when the mafia came to seize real estate in the name of the ruling class and their expensive wars, morality, the Constitution or whatever shit they could make up to fuck huge numbers of people over. Undoubtedly just like 9/11, the whole thing was planned in advance. Political whores are clearly useless when the system is at such extremes.

Banks like Capital One specialize in getting a signature and "giving" a car loan to someone they know won't be able to pay, but is simply being used, shaken down and repossessed for corporate gain. " No one held a gun to their head! " Get ready, the police state will in fact put a gun to your head.

Depending on the time period in question, which might be the case here, more than 20 million people were put out of homes and/or bankrupted with more to come. Clearly a bipartisan effort featuring widespread criminal conduct across the country – an attack on the population to sustain militarism.

peterAUS > , July 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@yeah Nice.

If I may add:
"and you also have to dearly pay for you being white male heterosexual for oppressing all colored, all the women and all the sexually different through the history".

"And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time. If we see that you still don't get with the program we will reeducate you. Should you resist that in any way we'll incarcerate you. And, no, normal legal procedure does not work with racists/bigots/haters/whatever we don't like".

Reg Cæsar > , July 14, 2017 at 1:19 am GMT

@CCZ

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"
Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee

which itself was a progressive invention. There was no "right wing" anywhere in sight when it was estsblished in 1938.

[Jul 13, 2017] As of July 12 witch hunt continues unabated

They want to outdo Senator Joseph McCarthy (November 14, 1908 – May 2, 1957). The level of hysteria and paranoia is amazing. The only question is whether they can run it for ten years.
Obviously the author has an agenda but it's interesting how this type of fantasy continues to be 'quacked'
Notable quotes:
"... By Election Day, an automated Kremlin cyberattack of unprecedented scale and sophistication had delivered critical and phony news about the Democratic presidential nominee to the Twitter and Facebook accounts of millions of voters. Some investigators suspect the Russians targeted voters in swing states, even in key precincts. ..."
"... One source familiar with Justice's criminal probe said investigators doubt Russian operatives controlling the so-called robotic cyber commands that fetched and distributed fake news stories could have independently "known where to specifically target to which high-impact states and districts in those states." ..."
Jul 13, 2017 | www.msn.com

Originally from: Trump-Russia investigators probe Jared Kushner-run digital operation

WASHINGTON ! Investigators at the House and Senate Intelligence committees and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign's digital operation – overseen by Jared Kushner – helped guide Russia's sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Congressional and Justice Department investigators are focusing on whether Trump's campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions in key states – areas where Trump's digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton, according to several people familiar with the parallel inquiries.

Also under scrutiny is the question of whether Trump associates or campaign aides had any role in assisting the Russians in publicly releasing thousands of emails, hacked from the accounts of top Democrats, at turning points in the presidential race, mainly through the London-based transparency web site WikiLeaks .

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told McClatchy he wants to know whether Russia's "fake or damaging news stories" were "coordinated in any way in terms of targeting or in terms of timing or in terms of any other measure with the (Trump) campaign."

By Election Day, an automated Kremlin cyberattack of unprecedented scale and sophistication had delivered critical and phony news about the Democratic presidential nominee to the Twitter and Facebook accounts of millions of voters. Some investigators suspect the Russians targeted voters in swing states, even in key precincts.

Russia's operation used computer commands knowns as "bots" to collect and dramatically heighten the reach of negative or fabricated news about Clinton, including a story in the final days of the campaign accusing her of running a pedophile ring at a Washington pizzeria .

One source familiar with Justice's criminal probe said investigators doubt Russian operatives controlling the so-called robotic cyber commands that fetched and distributed fake news stories could have independently "known where to specifically target to which high-impact states and districts in those states."

All of the sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, is confidential.

Top Democrats on the committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election have signaled the same.

Schiff said he wants the House panel to determine whether Trump aides helped Russia time its cyberattacks or target certain voters and whether there was "any exchange of information, any financial support funneled to organizations that were doing this kind of work."

Trump son-in-law Kushner, now a senior adviser to the president and the only current White House aide known to be deemed a "person of interest" in the Justice Department investigation, appears to be under the microscope in several respects. His real estate finances and December meetings with Russia's ambassador and the head of a sanctioned, state-controlled bank are also being examined.

Kushner's "role as a possible cut-out or conduit for Moscow's influence operations in the elections," including his niche overseeing the digital operations, will be closely looked at, said the source knowledgeable about the Justice Department inquiry.

Kushner joined Donald Trump Jr. and Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort at a newly disclosed June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in New York.. The meeting, revealed by The New York Times, followed emails in which Trump Jr. was told the lawyer for the Russian government would provide him with incriminating information on Clinton and he replied "If it's what you say I love it."

That disclosure could only serve to heighten interest in whether there was digital collaboration.

Mike Carpenter, who in January left a senior Pentagon post where he worked on Russia matters, also has suspicions about collaboration between the campaign and Russia's cyber operatives.

"There appears to have been significant cooperation between Russia's online propaganda machine and individuals in the United States who were knowledgeable about where to target the disinformation," he said, without naming any American suspects.

Trump has repeatedly repudiated or equivocated about the finding of four key intelligence agencies – the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency and the Directorate of National Intelligence – that Russian cyber operatives meddled with the U.S. election.

Last Friday, during their first face-to-face meeting, Trump questioned Putin about Russia's role in the election meddling and Putin denied culpability, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was present. Trump then said the two countries should find ways to move forward in their relationship, Tillerson said.

A Russian official who was at the meeting said the two sides agreed to form a working group to address cybersecurity, including interference in other countries' internal affairs. However, Trump backtracked Sunday night, saying in a tweet that he doesn't believe such an effort can happen.

As more has been learned about the breadth of the Russian cyber onslaught, congressional Democrats have shown growing resolve to demand that the Republican-controlled intelligence committees fully investigate ways in which Trump associates may have conspired with the Russians.

Among other things, congressional investigators are looking into whether Russian operatives, who successfully penetrated voting registration systems in Illinois, Arizona and possibly other states, shared any of that data with the Trump campaign, according to a report in Time.

"I get the fact that the Russian intel services could figure out how to manipulate and use the bots," Virginia Sen. Mark Warner told Pod Save America recently. "Whether they could know how to target states and levels of voters that the Democrats weren't even aware (of) really raises some questions How did they know to go to that level of detail in those kinds of jurisdictions?"

The Russians appear to have targeted women and African-Americans in two of the three decisive states, Wisconsin and Michigan, "where the Democrats were too brain dead to realize those states were even in play," Warner said.

[Jul 13, 2017] I suppose Lavrov called her a lady because hes a gentleman, but for me shes just a woman who shoots the shit that shes told and paid to shoot

Jul 13, 2017 | gravatar.com
moscowexile says: July 12, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Barbie Doll Nauert commented upon by Lavrov:

'Don't lag behind real events': Lavrov hits back after State Dept says he 'gets out ahead'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has advised the US State Department to keep up with events after spokesperson Heather Nauert said that Lavrov "likes to talk a lot and get out ahead".

The Russian Foreign Minister was quick to retort, however.

"Nobody should get out ahead of things, but I suppose lagging behind real events does not help in a diplomat's job either."

"I don't understand how this lady can know what I like and don't like. We haven't been introduced", Lavrov said", speaking with the press following his meeting with the Belgian counterpart, Didier Reynders, in Brussels on Wednesday.

I suppose Lavrov called her "a lady" because he's a gentleman, but for me she's just a woman who shoots the shit that she's told and paid to shoot ! with a big, fixed smile on her Barbie-Doll face.

Big false smile, American know-nothing spokesperson.

[Jul 12, 2017] Which Campaign Truly Colluded With Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Who gave the NYT the private emails of Donald Trump junior? Would that not be a criminal offense? ..."
"... The guy, who sent Trump Jr. the emails is called Rob Goldstone and works in the music industry. Michael Goldstone, who is in that industry as well is partner of Peter Mensch, the husband of Louise Mensch, Trump and Russia hater. I wonder, if the Goldstones are related? ..."
"... It's become clear to me that the entire "Russiagate Scandal" is an elaborate operation to cover up HRC's crimes committed through her foundation and as Secretary of State--that's where a very good case for treason lies, massive tax fraud and illegal uses of a non-profit org that isn't even properly chartered in all 50 states and in numerous other nations, amid other felonious behavior. Note that since the Podesta/DNC email leak that essentially zero members of the Propaganda System have examined the mass of evidence of wrongdoing it contains. Instead, we were immediately treated to "Russiagate," and Sanders played right along with HRC et al. ..."
"... The Clintons were recruited by the Deep State and became some of its most effective members in advancing its cause--the primary Foreign and Domestic policy drive of the Outlaw US Empire was formulated and published during Clinton's second term: Joint Vision 2010 , wherein the goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the entire planet and its people--GHW Bush's "New World Order"--was put into practice. The illegal war against Serbia was its first test, which was launched after supporting Chechen terrorists to tie down Russia so it would be unable to help. Also, the prepping of TWTC for demolition by terrorists was done simultaneously. As with the OKC bombing, the motive for 911 was the destruction of evidence implicating numerous Deep State members and overall Deep State activity that would finally tear the veil from years of multi-billion dollar graft and corruption. ..."
"... So, defending the Clintons differs little from defending the Deep State since they've operated as a team for decades, which is why we've seen "Russiagate" continue on without any credible evidence to justify its existence. And, we'll continue to be plagued by it no matter how much pushback is done because of what its designed to protect. Comey did nothing with all the evidence he had because he's part of the Deep State team, which is why he hasn't been arrested for his own law breaking, http://theduran.com/comey-stole-memos-leaked-classified-information/ And the primary reason why Trump's Justice Dept. hasn't indicted either is because its head--and many others within Trump's admin.--are GOBS--Good Old Boys--that are also part of or associated with the Deep State network. ..."
"... Indeed, what we see is another deep-state leak to punish Trump and Russia, the writing of Goldstone is also just what the anti-Trump and Russia crowd needed at this time. All boils down to who this russian woman is I guess. ..."
"... CIA-Gate - thoughts? Did MI-6 and CIA Collude with Chris Steele to Entrap Trump? ..."
"... Follow-up ... 'Sir' Andrew Wood as spy chief in Moscow ..."
"... Seems to me Netanyahu is a revengeful guy and Obama interfered in the last Israeli election for the Knesset. The Democrats pushed through the Iran nuclear deal and HRC was the darling of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar, Egypt's Morsi and Erdogan of Turkey. The Saudi King was not amused and intelligence cooperation with Israel's Mossad has intensified. Thinking support for Al Nusra near the Golan Heights in the fight to overthrow Assad in Damascus. Useful "intelligence" from Unit 8200 in Ghouta gas attack, the so-called intercepts of the SAA generals. ..."
"... Both Clinton and Trump are crooks, but in different kinds of ways. Fusion GPS linked to UAE Sheikh and Paul Singer, Rubio Donor ..."
"... Cristina Lalia provides plenty of grounds for this choice by citing HRC/DNC collusion with Ukrainian officials in an attempt to get dirt on Trump, which is now conveniently forgotten, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47414.htm ..."
"... Tyler Durden's been on the trail of the massive cover-up known as "Russiagate" since his Zerohedge article illuminating the investigation done by Charles Ortel. His most recent item deals with Comey's lawbreaking and is most damning, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47405.htm ..."
"... Here's the link to Durden's piece on the Clinton Foundation, http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-07/clinton-foundation-charity-fraud-epic-proportions-analyst-charges-stunning-takedown and the link to the website Ortel made to document his investigation, http://charlesortel.com/ ..."
"... In my disappeared comment, I provided a rationale for Russiagate's purpose as a cover up for HRC & DNC crimes and Sander's willingness to go along. Alas, I should have copied before hitting post. I also provided the rationale for why Russiagate won't go away despite the lack of evidence--It's ultimate purpose is to cover up Deep State crimes and its primary purpose since GHW Bush declared the New World Order, which was left for the Clintons to organize. Also note how the running of Russiagate is bipartisan--where are the senate investigations into HRC, DNC, Podesta, Comey, Lynch, and who knows how many others: Why don't Republicans smell the blood and go for the kill of so many allegedly hated opponents? ..."
"... To me, "colluded with Russia" implies collusion with the Russian government, or state. At any rate, this is the gravamen of the current US/Western pandemic of acute Russophobia. Even the complementary, or corollary, Putinphobia isn't directed towards Putin as a person -- Putin is only the hysterics' "Great Satan" because he personifies the Russian state/government. As far as I can see, the allegations concerning both campaigns involve individual actors, some of whom happen to be Russian. ..."
"... Cannot set aside the Clinton Foundation, CGI, bankers'speeches and especially Bill w. Lynch on the tarmac and the family mail server. No matter how much the bottom-feeding deep swamp state nips at Trump's ankles, so far he's still on top. ..."
"... This operation -- and it sounds like an operation -- was obviously a trap of sorts. "There is no follow up". Yes, the genius son figured out. After changing his schedule on demand (that was a test to see how desperate he is for it) and finally meeting the person he believed was a "Russian government attorney" bring info from "Crown prosecuter", Mr. Peter Principle realizes that he was played. I bet he's sweating bullets for a while now. ..."
"... On a side note, isn't amazing that such stupid incompetents (such as D Jr.) get to enjoy the fat of the land while the rest of us work at the plantation. What a thoughtless idiot. You're fired, Donnie. ..."
"... Yes, indeed! Who gave the NY Times, Donnie Jr's emails? Will Papa Donnie investigate? ..."
"... "New meta-analysis has emerged from a document published today by an independent researcher known as The Forensicator, which suggests that files eventually published by the Guccifer 2.0 persona were likely initially downloaded by a person with physical access to a computer possibly connected to the internal DNC network. The individual most likely used a USB drive to copy the information. The groundbreaking new analysis irrevocably destroys the Russian hacking narrative, and calls the actions of Crowdstrike and the DNC into question." ..."
"... The big takeaway from all the Russiagate garbage - there was collusion between heads of intel and Obama admin to install Clinton as president, and now the same collusion to take down Trump. ..."
"... It appears the Deep State didn't trust Trump to keep its many secrets covering its illegalities secret. It also seems the Republicans want to keep them secret too since we don't see any sign of any investigation into Clinton Foundation, Comey's law breaking, or anything else of importance. ..."
"... Special And Off Limits - No Special Prosecutor for Clinton. Russia hacking DNC was determined by Crowdstrike. Crowdstrike has an odor. The DNC refused the FBI to examine the claim of Russia hacking their servers. Why? ..."
"... ...There is no evidence to suggest that the promised damaging information was related to Russian government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails...." notice that it is no longer "alleged Russian hacking", BUT "Russian government computer hacking" ..."
"... I have seen no hard evidence of that at all. Go believe what you want, the Ruling Class has decided on their stupid ignorant narrative which will/may drive us to nuclear war. ..."
"... "Both Clinton and Trump are crooks, but in different kinds of ways." ..."
"... Yep! Both these morons represent what the U$A has become. An empire who's lust for $ & power is a threat to the entire globe. ..."
"... A genuine scandal that cries for a Special Prosecutor. https://theintercept.com/2017/07/10/jared-kushner-tried-and-failed-to-get-a-half-billion-dollar-bailout-from-qatar¨> Kushner tried to shakedown the Qataris. ..."
"... The PBS Newshour led off with the dim-witted Donnie,jr meeting with a sleazy Russian lawyer, but never even mentioned the more substantive Kushner story...I wonder why. ..."
"... With a bit more thought, it seems plausible that this Russian lawyer and her promoter friends simply staged a shakedown -- evidence of the meeting, i.e. emails to Jr, held as extortion collateral. Guessing the timing was pretty close to G20 to punish Trump for being nice to Vlad, if you want to read more into it for a possible link to DNC, but the thing is coming out of left field where it otherwise makes little sense. Pretty worn-out ruse, get a shot of the mark with a hooker, threaten to reveal, etc. ..."
"... Meanwhile, Pence building support to step in when Trumpy goes down. Pence is starting to look like a backstabbing little shit, imo. ..."
"... During the meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 get-together, the concept of a joint cyber-security program was raised. My understanding is that Trump seemed OK with that, but the US establishment closed it down. Anything to do with Lavrov's comment that the cyber-security issue is intimately tied in with pornography and pedophilia? ..."
"... The email from from Rob Goldstone was so over the top in its description of the "crown prosecutor of Russia" and his government's willingness to help the Trump campaign that one could reasonably assume it was a set-up. But by whom? Was Goldstone an accomplice of the deep state? Read the fake news and find out that he's an old Trump hanger-on who's done business with the family on occasion and has operated with Russian nationals on a regular basis and currently is an agent for a Russian "aspiring" pop star. Was he turned by evil forces? What about femme fatale lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya? Another deep state operative? Or was she just acting on behalf of Russian business people looking for relief from the Magnitsky Act? What did she have to offer and where did she get it? From Hillary or the DNC? Does that even make sense? How far down the fucking rabbit hole is one prepared to go? Better get the Saker or Pepe Escobar to straighten this out. ..."
"... It already has. The Brit was a snake oil salesman, the lawyer was a mid-level commercial lawyer who was involved with Fusion GPS (see Steele Report) had nothing to show that the Russian government was interfering against Clinton, Donald Jr. is a naive moron who needs to have a sceptic like the Amazing Randi as his minder and the Clintonists demonstrate yet again that they are a bunch of deranged moronic losers who will continue losing, which we knew already anyway. So move along no, there really is nothing to see. ..."
Jul 11, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Case 1:

A Hillary Clinton campaign cut-out hires the (former?) British intelligence agent Steele to pay money to (former?) Russian intelligence agents and high-level Kremlin employees for dirt about Donald Trump. They deliver some dirty fairy tales. The resulting dossier is peddled far and wide throughout Washington DC with the intent of damaging Trump.

Case 2:

Some lobbyist for Russian business interests contacts the Trump campaign with a promise to deliver some dirt on Hillary Clinton. She meets campaign officials but no dirt on Clinton is offered. Instead the lobbyist uses the time to lobby for the business' cause. There is no follow up.

Question:

Which of the two cases stinks of "collusion with the Russians"?

Posted by b on July 11, 2017 at 01:31 PM | Permalink

Anonymous | Jul 11, 2017 1:45:08 PM | 1

This new leak on Trump Jr. actually sounds weird and will no doubt give the anti-Trump/Russia crowd lots of credit. This is what they have been waiting for.

Also...
White House: Clinton campaign colluded with Ukraine
http://freedomslighthouse.net/2017/07/10/sarah-huckabee-hits-media-for-ignoring-dnc-collusion-with-ukraine-vs-trump-nothing-inappropriate-about-don-jr-meeting-with-russian-lawyer-audio-71017/

Daniel LaRusso | Jul 11, 2017 1:50:05 PM | 2
Can someone supply a source for Case #1?

I'm kind of assuming there's no actual proof of the claim that the Steele report was commissioned by DNC or HRC but i'd like to read what the claim is.

bc | Jul 11, 2017 2:07:17 PM | 3
@2 Daniel LaRusso
Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And in 2015, Democratic ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group.

Moreover, federal records show a key co-founder and partner in the firm was a Hillary Clinton donor and supporter of her presidential campaign.

In September 2016, while Fusion GPS was quietly shopping the dirty dossier on Trump around Washington, its co-founder and partner Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary For America campaign, Federal Election Commission data show. His wife also donated money to Hillary's campaign.

More straggly bits here .

b | Jul 11, 2017 2:22:46 PM | 4
Trump junior today tweeted the email-exchange that set up the meeting the meeting with the Russian lobbyist.

He did so because the NYT had threatened to publish them:

After being told that The Times was about to publish the content of the emails, instead of responding to a request for comment, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out images of them himself on Tuesday.

Who gave the NYT the private emails of Donald Trump junior? Would that not be a criminal offense?

Anonymous | Jul 11, 2017 2:26:20 PM | 5
The guy, who sent Trump Jr. the emails is called Rob Goldstone and works in the music industry. Michael Goldstone, who is in that industry as well is partner of Peter Mensch, the husband of Louise Mensch, Trump and Russia hater. I wonder, if the Goldstones are related?
karlof1 | Jul 11, 2017 2:40:42 PM | 6
It's become clear to me that the entire "Russiagate Scandal" is an elaborate operation to cover up HRC's crimes committed through her foundation and as Secretary of State--that's where a very good case for treason lies, massive tax fraud and illegal uses of a non-profit org that isn't even properly chartered in all 50 states and in numerous other nations, amid other felonious behavior. Note that since the Podesta/DNC email leak that essentially zero members of the Propaganda System have examined the mass of evidence of wrongdoing it contains. Instead, we were immediately treated to "Russiagate," and Sanders played right along with HRC et al.

Charles Ortel is who Tyler Durden discovered as being the primary investigator into the foundation's massive fraud and wrote it up here, http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-07/clinton-foundation-charity-fraud-epic-proportions-analyst-charges-stunning-takedown And Ortel's created his own website to compile evidence and educate the public, http://charlesortel.com/

The Clintons were recruited by the Deep State and became some of its most effective members in advancing its cause--the primary Foreign and Domestic policy drive of the Outlaw US Empire was formulated and published during Clinton's second term: Joint Vision 2010 , wherein the goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the entire planet and its people--GHW Bush's "New World Order"--was put into practice. The illegal war against Serbia was its first test, which was launched after supporting Chechen terrorists to tie down Russia so it would be unable to help. Also, the prepping of TWTC for demolition by terrorists was done simultaneously. As with the OKC bombing, the motive for 911 was the destruction of evidence implicating numerous Deep State members and overall Deep State activity that would finally tear the veil from years of multi-billion dollar graft and corruption.

So, defending the Clintons differs little from defending the Deep State since they've operated as a team for decades, which is why we've seen "Russiagate" continue on without any credible evidence to justify its existence. And, we'll continue to be plagued by it no matter how much pushback is done because of what its designed to protect. Comey did nothing with all the evidence he had because he's part of the Deep State team, which is why he hasn't been arrested for his own law breaking, http://theduran.com/comey-stole-memos-leaked-classified-information/ And the primary reason why Trump's Justice Dept. hasn't indicted either is because its head--and many others within Trump's admin.--are GOBS--Good Old Boys--that are also part of or associated with the Deep State network.

So, to answer b's question, Case One is the winner by miles.

steven t johnson | Jul 11, 2017 2:46:31 PM | 7
"Which of the two cases stinks of 'collusion with the Russians'"?

If you insist on playing...the one where nobody is being paid is the one more like collusion, cooperation, conspiracy, the one where two actors have the same goals. The one where somebody gets paid is just ordinary dirty business. A payoff is not an agenda.

As to the larger nonsense about Trump, he lost the election, so obviously the Russians didn't steal it. That Electoral College BS did it. All the Russian allegations are moot, they didn't make a difference.

Anonymous | Jul 11, 2017 2:47:59 PM | 8
b

Indeed, what we see is another deep-state leak to punish Trump and Russia, the writing of Goldstone is also just what the anti-Trump and Russia crowd needed at this time. All boils down to who this russian woman is I guess.

Pnyx | Jul 11, 2017 2:51:16 PM | 9
What a nonsense all this is. But ultimately it's not essential if WW3 is started by a president Tronald or a president Pence.
Piotr Berman | Jul 11, 2017 2:56:30 PM | 10
The art of "opposition research" is a bit mysterious. "Everybody does it", at least in USA, but the results differ. The "Russian collusion" angle was a disastrous mistake of Hillary camp because it turned out to be a ho-hum story, while they could nail Trump for a ton of infractions that would be (a) easy to explain (b) have actual victims to be displayed in campaign spots.

And of course it was a disastrous mistake of DNC not to twist hands of Hillary to resign. Bernie had very nice "message discipline" and hardly any "baggage" and Hillary was tainted by e-mail problems and she did not have Trumpian flair to dismiss it. Mental experiments: get 10 refurbished car wrecks and put them on two lots. Make Trump sell on one of them, and Hillary on the other. Which lot will get empty sooner? (Devil's thought: Bernie's used car lot, what would happen there?)

CE | Jul 11, 2017 2:56:59 PM | 11
@7:

Here's rabid Bershidsky on who she is: Trump's low-level Russia connection

Even he doesn't want to be seen eating the latest nothing burger.

karlof1 | Jul 11, 2017 2:58:00 PM | 12
Gee, guess my post about "Russiagate" being a cover-up for HRC and Deep State got eaten. What a shame.
Oui | Jul 11, 2017 3:29:54 PM | 13
CIA-Gate - thoughts? Did MI-6 and CIA Collude with Chris Steele to Entrap Trump?
Oui | Jul 11, 2017 3:30:20 PM | 14
Follow-up ... 'Sir' Andrew Wood as spy chief in Moscow
Oui | Jul 11, 2017 3:48:34 PM | 16
I am waiting for new developments linking NSA/GCHQ intelligence collusion with Unit 8200 in the so-called "RussiaGate"

Seems to me Netanyahu is a revengeful guy and Obama interfered in the last Israeli election for the Knesset. The Democrats pushed through the Iran nuclear deal and HRC was the darling of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar, Egypt's Morsi and Erdogan of Turkey. The Saudi King was not amused and intelligence cooperation with Israel's Mossad has intensified. Thinking support for Al Nusra near the Golan Heights in the fight to overthrow Assad in Damascus. Useful "intelligence" from Unit 8200 in Ghouta gas attack, the so-called intercepts of the SAA generals.

The mobsters from Russia, Ukraine and Moldova are welcome guests in London and Tel Aviv ... see Katsyv, Martash Investment and money laundering thru Hapoalim Bank. NATO and Soros Crossed Russia's Red Line in Europe

RUKidding | Jul 11, 2017 3:50:04 PM | 17
Which case stinks of collusion with Russia?

Can I choose: both?

At this point, anything's possible.

Both Clinton and Trump are crooks, but in different kinds of ways. Fusion GPS linked to UAE Sheikh and Paul Singer, Rubio Donor

karlof1 | Jul 11, 2017 4:24:20 PM | 19
Since my first comment went into cyberspace and seems to have disappeared, I'll write another in similar vein.

First, to answer b's query: #1. Cristina Lalia provides plenty of grounds for this choice by citing HRC/DNC collusion with Ukrainian officials in an attempt to get dirt on Trump, which is now conveniently forgotten, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47414.htm

Tyler Durden's been on the trail of the massive cover-up known as "Russiagate" since his Zerohedge article illuminating the investigation done by Charles Ortel. His most recent item deals with Comey's lawbreaking and is most damning, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47405.htm

Here's the link to Durden's piece on the Clinton Foundation, http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-07/clinton-foundation-charity-fraud-epic-proportions-analyst-charges-stunning-takedown and the link to the website Ortel made to document his investigation, http://charlesortel.com/

In my disappeared comment, I provided a rationale for Russiagate's purpose as a cover up for HRC & DNC crimes and Sander's willingness to go along. Alas, I should have copied before hitting post. I also provided the rationale for why Russiagate won't go away despite the lack of evidence--It's ultimate purpose is to cover up Deep State crimes and its primary purpose since GHW Bush declared the New World Order, which was left for the Clintons to organize. Also note how the running of Russiagate is bipartisan--where are the senate investigations into HRC, DNC, Podesta, Comey, Lynch, and who knows how many others: Why don't Republicans smell the blood and go for the kill of so many allegedly hated opponents?

Well, my comment serves the purpose but isn't as juicy as the first. Yes, I copied this one before clicking post.

Ort | Jul 11, 2017 5:38:06 PM | 20
Which Campaign Truly Colluded With Russia?

Mu. I think this is a trick question. ;)

To me, "colluded with Russia" implies collusion with the Russian government, or state. At any rate, this is the gravamen of the current US/Western pandemic of acute Russophobia. Even the complementary, or corollary, Putinphobia isn't directed towards Putin as a person -- Putin is only the hysterics' "Great Satan" because he personifies the Russian state/government. As far as I can see, the allegations concerning both campaigns involve individual actors, some of whom happen to be Russian.

Even the ambiguous claims that Steele solicited and bribed "(former?) Russian intelligence agents and high-level Kremlin employees for dirt about Donald Trump" supports this view.

Sure, those Russian spooks and Kremlin insiders could have been acting in an official capacity, i.e. on behalf of the Russian government. But they might simply be corrupt, venal apparatchiks willing to make some money doing a private deal with Steele, et al. So, I don't think either sketchy scenario establishes true collusion with Russia.

All that said, of the two, Case 1 stinks to high heaven.

The parties described in Case 2 aren't angels, of course. If accurate, the Russian lobbyist's "tease", or "bait and switch" is deplorable-- at least Team Trump would think so, since she wasted their time.

But it's not exactly a scandal that any campaign would welcome negative information ("dirt") about an opponent. Only naïve or idealistic True Believers in "good government" would be outraged at such routine, mundane skulduggery.

The Case 1 scenario is a different, highly-scented kettle of fish: here, the campaign is orchestrating dirty tricks to injure its opponent.

Conclusion: strictly speaking, no evidence of "true collusion with Russia"-- but Case 1 stinks for the reasons given.

stumpy | Jul 11, 2017 5:44:02 PM | 21
Cannot set aside the Clinton Foundation, CGI, bankers'speeches and especially Bill w. Lynch on the tarmac and the family mail server. No matter how much the bottom-feeding deep swamp state nips at Trump's ankles, so far he's still on top.

Trump Jr. willing to testify, wonder how much leakage Congress can take if we open the foreign superPAC donation can of worms.

Piotr @ 9 -- Hillary gets 1000 idiots in black headscarves with sticks to bash the cars to pieces and hide them under a pile of Starbucks cups.

Trump sells the cars, builds a Casino.

nobody | Jul 11, 2017 5:44:42 PM | 22
Case 2:

Some lobbyist for Russian business interests contacts the Trump campaign with a promise to deliver some dirt on Hillary Clinton. She meets campaign officials but no dirt on Clinton is offered. Instead the lobbyist uses the time to lobby for the business' cause. There is no follow up.

This undermines your credibility, b. This operation -- and it sounds like an operation -- was obviously a trap of sorts. "There is no follow up". Yes, the genius son figured out. After changing his schedule on demand (that was a test to see how desperate he is for it) and finally meeting the person he believed was a "Russian government attorney" bring info from "Crown prosecuter", Mr. Peter Principle realizes that he was played. I bet he's sweating bullets for a while now.

On a side note, isn't amazing that such stupid incompetents (such as D Jr.) get to enjoy the fat of the land while the rest of us work at the plantation. What a thoughtless idiot. You're fired, Donnie.

ab initio | Jul 11, 2017 6:06:45 PM | 24
b,

Yes, indeed! Who gave the NY Times, Donnie Jr's emails? Will Papa Donnie investigate?

JSonofa | Jul 11, 2017 6:10:14 PM | 25
How Do You Spell Seth Rich?

"New meta-analysis has emerged from a document published today by an independent researcher known as The Forensicator, which suggests that files eventually published by the Guccifer 2.0 persona were likely initially downloaded by a person with physical access to a computer possibly connected to the internal DNC network. The individual most likely used a USB drive to copy the information. The groundbreaking new analysis irrevocably destroys the Russian hacking narrative, and calls the actions of Crowdstrike and the DNC into question."

Hawaiiguy | Jul 11, 2017 6:23:35 PM | 26
I'm going with option 3 Jack, the biggest collusion in the US elections was AIPAC. and it will continue to be so. Astounding people have no issue with dual citizens of Israel lobbying and actually writing bills and laws for AmeriKa!
Peter AU | Jul 11, 2017 6:37:19 PM | 27
The big takeaway from all the Russiagate garbage - there was collusion between heads of intel and Obama admin to install Clinton as president, and now the same collusion to take down Trump.
karlof1 | Jul 11, 2017 6:51:15 PM | 28
Hawaiiguy @24--

Yes, you illuminate one of several elephants in the room. Some of us can actually see them all, but apparently very few journalists or police investigators can.

Peter AU @25--

It appears the Deep State didn't trust Trump to keep its many secrets covering its illegalities secret. It also seems the Republicans want to keep them secret too since we don't see any sign of any investigation into Clinton Foundation, Comey's law breaking, or anything else of importance.

likklemore | Jul 11, 2017 7:27:32 PM | 29
There is that other country in the Gulf that is

Special And Off Limits - No Special Prosecutor for Clinton. Russia hacking DNC was determined by Crowdstrike. Crowdstrike has an odor. The DNC refused the FBI to examine the claim of Russia hacking their servers. Why?

"Something Stinks Here" - CrowdStrike Revises, Retracts Parts Of Explosive Russian Hacking Report

Last week, I published two posts on cyber security firm CrowdStrike after becoming aware of inaccuracies in one of its key reports used to bolster the claim that operatives of the Russian government had hacked into the DNC. This is extremely important since the DNC hired CrowdStrike to look into its hack, and at the same time denied FBI access to its servers.

Before reading any further, you should read last week's articles if you missed them the first time.

"Credibility of Cyber Firm that Claimed Russia Hacked the DNC Comes Under Serious Question"

"What is CrowdStrike? Firm Hired by DNC has Ties to Hillary Clinton, a Ukrainian Billionaire and Google"

"Now here are the latest developments courtesy of Voice of America:"[.]

michaelj72 | Jul 11, 2017 8:14:50 PM | 30
from the NYT story

...There is no evidence to suggest that the promised damaging information was related to Russian government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails...." notice that it is no longer "alleged Russian hacking", BUT "Russian government computer hacking"

I have seen no hard evidence of that at all. Go believe what you want, the Ruling Class has decided on their stupid ignorant narrative which will/may drive us to nuclear war.

This whole story and anything related now bores the sh*t out of me, and I will never again post anything remotely related to it

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/us/politics/donald-trump-jr-russia-email-candidacy.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=span-ab-top-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

likklemore | Jul 11, 2017 8:43:40 PM | 31
The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 outing the names

If anyone should be investigated in Washington, it ought to be Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Mark Warner and their staffers."

Democrats intentionally used disinformation from Russia to attack Trump, campaign aides

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/11/democrats-spread-false-russian-information-on-trum/

Christopher Steele says in a court filing that his accusations against the president and his aides about a supposed Russian hacking conspiracy were never supposed to be made public, much less posted in full on a website for the world" ... more >

While the liberal news media hunts for evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, the public record shows that Democrats have willfully used Moscow disinformation to influence the presidential election against Donald Trump and attack his administration.
The disinformation came in the form of a Russian-fed dossier written by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. It contains a series of unverified criminal charges against Mr. Trump's campaign aides, such as coordinating Moscow's hacking of Democratic Party computers.

Some Democrats have widely circulated the discredited information. Mr. Steele was paid by the Democrat-funded opposition research firm Fusion GPS with money from a Hillary Clinton backer. Fusion GPS distributed the dossier among Democrats and journalists. The information fell into the hands of the FBI, which used it in part to investigate Mr. Trump's campaign aides.


The same Democrats who have condemned Russia's election interference via plying fake news and hacking email servers have quoted freely from the Steele anti-Trump memos derived from creatures of the Kremlin.

In other words, there is public evidence of significant, indirect collusion between Democrats and Russian disinformation, a Trump supporter said. .

"If anyone colluded with the Russians, it was the Democrats," said a former Trump campaign adviser who asked not to be identified because of the pending investigations. "After all, they've routinely shopped around false claims from the debunked Steele dossier, which listed sources including senior Kremlin officials.
If anyone should be investigated in Washington, it ought to be Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Mark Warner and their staffers."

That is a reference to Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Sen. Mark R. Warner, Virginia Democrat and vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; and Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California, Democrat on the House intelligence panel.[.]

james | Jul 11, 2017 10:37:20 PM | 32
who needs a soap opera when you have it all on a regular thanks the usa... another friggin' usa scandal on the front pages, over and over and over... i am so tired of these wacky usa based stories and will happy when they are over..

for those who love reading these kinds of things emptywheel has a post on this.. i stopped reading her mostly as it was 24/7 as the stomach ( usa ) turns 24/7...

Perimetr | Jul 11, 2017 11:43:54 PM | 33
Re: steven t johnson | Jul 11, 2017 2:46:31 PM | 6 you write:
"As to the larger nonsense about Trump, he lost the election, so obviously the Russians didn't steal it. That Electoral College BS did it."

Sorry, Trump actually won the election according to the US Constitution. You are free to complain about the electoral system, but that doesn't negate the election results, regardless of you opinions.

ben | Jul 11, 2017 11:57:38 PM | 34
"Both Clinton and Trump are crooks, but in different kinds of ways."

Posted by: RUKidding | Jul 11, 2017 3:50:04 PM | 16

Yep! Both these morons represent what the U$A has become. An empire who's lust for $ & power is a threat to the entire globe.

joeymac | Jul 12, 2017 12:28:14 AM | 35
A genuine scandal that cries for a Special Prosecutor. https://theintercept.com/2017/07/10/jared-kushner-tried-and-failed-to-get-a-half-billion-dollar-bailout-from-qatar¨> Kushner tried to shakedown the Qataris.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/07/impeachment-president-trump-now-much-likely.html¨> Washingtonsblog´s analysis.

The PBS Newshour led off with the dim-witted Donnie,jr meeting with a sleazy Russian lawyer, but never even mentioned the more substantive Kushner story...I wonder why.

stumpy | Jul 12, 2017 12:30:16 AM | 36
With a bit more thought, it seems plausible that this Russian lawyer and her promoter friends simply staged a shakedown -- evidence of the meeting, i.e. emails to Jr, held as extortion collateral. Guessing the timing was pretty close to G20 to punish Trump for being nice to Vlad, if you want to read more into it for a possible link to DNC, but the thing is coming out of left field where it otherwise makes little sense. Pretty worn-out ruse, get a shot of the mark with a hooker, threaten to reveal, etc.

Meanwhile, Pence building support to step in when Trumpy goes down. Pence is starting to look like a backstabbing little shit, imo.

james | Jul 12, 2017 12:57:55 AM | 37
did pence look any other way previously? pence - good word for about how much he is worth..

Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 12, 2017 1:45:28 AM | 38

Leaving aside Shrillary's inherently amoral nature, and focusing solely on Trump Jr's story, I've noticed two interesting aspects.
  1. Trump Jr's story is too inconveniently innocent and plausible and The Swamp is faux-angrily determined to undermine it no matter how ridiculous the convoluted rhetoric has to become.
  2. Zio-Jazeera and BBC are being VERY CAREFUL to ensure that the pro and anti Trump camps deliver their respective messages with minimal interruption. Imo, they're both letting the Public decide who is, and who isn't telling porkies.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 12, 2017 1:45:28 AM | 38 /div

Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 12, 2017 2:02:58 AM | 39
If "nothing-burger" wasn't already in the Official Lexicon, it will be when this episode approaches its conclusion.
Peter AU | Jul 12, 2017 2:21:24 AM | 40
Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 12, 2017 1:45:28 AM | 36

Interesting UK is hedging their bets on this one. Did it also with AIIB.

PavewayIV | Jul 12, 2017 3:35:34 AM | 41
I am giddy with delight at the evil bastards in the U.S. deep state tearing themselves apart. The psychopaths won't be defeated by any means and the U.S. public will just be mildly confused by what's going on and continue to elect new ones. Obviously nobody is going to jail no matter how bad this gets - that just never happens (except for 'little people'). But it's somehow satisfying for now to watch the Washington elite punch themselves in the face and bleed for a while.

I know - very ephemeral. We'll be at war soon enough. It's the proven 'standard distraction' in political meltdowns like this and/or during financial collapse. Both are in play now. [sigh...]

Anon | Jul 12, 2017 4:02:36 AM | 42
PavewayIV

"I know - very ephemeral. We'll be at war soon enough. It's the proven 'standard distraction' in political meltdowns like this and/or during financial collapse. Both are in play now. [sigh...] "

Unfortunately yes, thats the only rational result it seems, these liberal, deep state, msm are simply psychopaths with their ongoing hate. What else are they demanding? Disgusting people..

So watch out for more attacks on Syria or perhaps North Korea.
And that Russia/US making up,.. wont happen.

Anonymous | Jul 12, 2017 6:20:01 AM | 45
During the meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 get-together, the concept of a joint cyber-security program was raised. My understanding is that Trump seemed OK with that, but the US establishment closed it down. Anything to do with Lavrov's comment that the cyber-security issue is intimately tied in with pornography and pedophilia?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5wz_56lRh4&t=9m25s

ralphieboy | Jul 12, 2017 7:07:15 AM | 46
Yunno, any purported collusion with the Russian government (as opposed to private entities from a foreign nation) is the least of the problems I have with Trump.

Most of all, my problems lie with the obvious and blatant conflicts of interest between his office and his business dealings. The Clinton Foundation is a purely charitable operation, the Trump Foundation is used as a means of recycling money to and from Trump businesses.

And people made jokes and memes about his "covfefe" tweet, but that simply demonstrates to me that a major channel of communication controlled by the executive branch is uttering nonsense and there is nobody to check or regulate it.

That indicates the extent to which Trump is not qualified, in terms of background, experience or character, for the office of the Presidency.

peter | Jul 12, 2017 7:27:15 AM | 47
After a half page of comments I have yet to see one that might even consider that there might be culpability on the part of the Trumps or Russian officialdom. Even the most thoughtful of this board's contributors won't go there. I guess the latest revelations are just more fake news but oddly enough nobody in DC is calling it that.

The email from from Rob Goldstone was so over the top in its description of the "crown prosecutor of Russia" and his government's willingness to help the Trump campaign that one could reasonably assume it was a set-up. But by whom? Was Goldstone an accomplice of the deep state? Read the fake news and find out that he's an old Trump hanger-on who's done business with the family on occasion and has operated with Russian nationals on a regular basis and currently is an agent for a Russian "aspiring" pop star. Was he turned by evil forces? What about femme fatale lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya? Another deep state operative? Or was she just acting on behalf of Russian business people looking for relief from the Magnitsky Act? What did she have to offer and where did she get it? From Hillary or the DNC? Does that even make sense? How far down the fucking rabbit hole is one prepared to go? Better get the Saker or Pepe Escobar to straighten this out.

The unalterable fact is that Trump Jr, Kushner and Manafort were all over the opportunity for Russian help like flies on shit. Whether or not there was any follow-up will be determined in due course by special counselor Mueller as he hoovers up all the email traffic and phone records surrounding this matter.

To all those who express exasperation that a year of investigation has uncovered exactly nothing I say bear in mind that none of the principals have yet to testify before Mueller or the Senate Intelligence Committee. Kushner keeps revising his list of meetings with Russian nationals as more information emerges. His security clearance may come under review. The rest of the crew are lawyered up to the nuts and waiting for their turn in the barrel. I drool at the prospect of Al Franken taking these clowns apart. I know it's anathema for posters to face the possibility that their idols might somehow be guilty of even a smidgen of what has been alleged but that says more about them than what's emerging day by day.

Ghostship | Jul 12, 2017 7:30:04 AM | 48
>>>>Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 12, 2017 2:02:58 AM | 39
If "nothing-burger" wasn't already in the Official Lexicon, it will be when this episode approaches its conclusion.
It already has. The Brit was a snake oil salesman, the lawyer was a mid-level commercial lawyer who was involved with Fusion GPS (see Steele Report) had nothing to show that the Russian government was interfering against Clinton, Donald Jr. is a naive moron who needs to have a sceptic like the Amazing Randi as his minder and the Clintonists demonstrate yet again that they are a bunch of deranged moronic losers who will continue losing, which we knew already anyway. So move along no, there really is nothing to see.

[Jul 12, 2017] The Trump Jr. Russia Scandal Ain't No Big Deal, by Stefan Molyneux (Video)

Notable quotes:
"... The best analysis of what is really going on in the world is coming out of the alternative media. Molyneux is one of the heavy hitters in this world - with his 700k Youtube subscribers and similar numbers of podcast listeners, he matters. ..."
"... One of his points is this: How could this possibly be a serious Russian government effort if they have a fat Brit moron convey the message over unencrypted email? Our staff of Russian-trained intelligence experts has to concur. ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com
The best analysis of what is really going on in the world is coming out of the alternative media. Molyneux is one of the heavy hitters in this world - with his 700k Youtube subscribers and similar numbers of podcast listeners, he matters.

One of his points is this: How could this possibly be a serious Russian government effort if they have a fat Brit moron convey the message over unencrypted email? Our staff of Russian-trained intelligence experts has to concur.

Say hi to Rob Goldstone. This will be over in a few days, and as before, the dummies who are chasing this idea, will just look stupider than they already do.

Save this video and watch it over your Wheaties tomorrow morning. Molyneux nails it.

https://youtu.be/wohYNCD4u-E

Tommy Jensen , 3 hours ago

Karl Rove said in the middle of year 2000 to VIP lawyers in Washington, that they no more would be occupied with analises of facts but forward with analising the reality Washington defined.

Due to the unipolar position Washington would from early year 2000 define the reality the world should face and spend (waste) their time on analising.

Molyneux is good to hear and see on many subjects, but this subect is in my opinion irrelevant, irrelevant as the Russia hacking US election is, the Assad Chemical attack, the HitlerPutin, the Crimea annexion hoax, the NK threat, man made clima change hoax, etc.

People with true intelligent capabilities should of course not spend their time on finding evidences on and document all Washington´s lies and defined realities.

Both Molyneux, RI and many others must have the right to dismiss obvious lies and propagandas, and go straight to the subject, that anybody with power that lie to us and the public should and must be removed and replaced.

Otherwise we are using our powers, intelligence and energy in an un-constructive way and we never learn, because we jump on the joke and hot air train again again.

[Jul 12, 2017] Flashback Clinton Allies Met With Ukrainian Govt Officials to Dig up Dirt on Trump During 2016 Election by Cristina Laila

Jul 12, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info
Flashback: Clinton Allies Met With Ukrainian Govt Officials to Dig up Dirt on Trump During 2016 Election

July 11, 2017 " Information Clearing House " - The fake news media has their knives drawn over Donald Trump Junior's meeting with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign. Never Trumper and GOP Senator, Susan Collins even called on the Senate Intelligence panel to interview Don Jr.

These media sycophants are however, silent over Hillary Clinton's antics during the presidential election which makes Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting pale in comparison.

Hillary Clinton's aides met with Ukrainian government officials and journalists specifically to dig up dirt on team Trump. The information gathered was then sent to the DNC and Hillary's camp.

Politico reported back in a January 2017 article:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation. The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort's resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump's campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine's foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia's alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.
They actually tried to downplay their efforts after Trump won the election. Certainly it was a shock to everyone working in opposition to Trump:
Shulyar vehemently denied working with reporters or with Chalupa on anything related to Trump or Manafort, explaining "we were stormed by many reporters to comment on this subject, but our clear and adamant position was not to give any comment [and] not to interfere into the campaign affairs." Shulyar said her work with Chalupa "didn't involve the campaign," and she specifically stressed that "We have never worked to research and disseminate damaging information about Donald Trump and Paul Manafort."
Evidence to the contrary
But Andrii Telizhenko, who worked as a political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy under Shulyar, said she instructed him to help Chalupa research connections between Trump, Manafort and Russia. "Oksana said that if I had any information, or knew other people who did, then I should contact Chalupa," recalled Telizhenko, who is now a political consultant in Kiev. "They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa," he said, adding "Oksana was keeping it all quiet," but "the embassy worked very closely with" Chalupa.

Everybody Is Forgetting That Clinton Allies Did The Same Thing As Don Jr. https://t.co/zxiOU3cxN6

! Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) July 10, 2017

Where is the call for Hillary Clinton and her aides to be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence panel? Why isn't the media calling for an investigation into the Democrats' and Hillary Clinton's many crimes committed during the 2016 presidential election?

The Democrats unmasked Trump and his private associates to spy on his campaign. Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton on a tarmac and a few days later, Comey exonerated Hillary Clinton.

Loretta Lynch reportedly interfered in the election when she ordered the FBI to refer to the Hillary email investigation as a 'matter'.

Comey also gave classified memos to a friend to leak to the press.

But Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer for 20 minutes and now some are calling it 'borderline treason'. Unbelievable.

Here is Don Jr.'s statement regarding his 20 minute meeting with a Russian lawyer who wanted to discuss the Magnitsky Act. According to the left, this is worth investigating. The real story underneath this is who put this lawyer up to this? Stay tuned because the Democrats will soon be regretting their witch hunt as the tables slowly begin to turn on them.

This article was first published by The Gateway Pundit -

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

[Jul 11, 2017] The Consequences of Donald Trump Jr.s Stupidity

This female lawyer probably can be characterized as anti-Russian lawyer. She is more probably MI6 asset then FSB asset ;-) (connection with William F. Browder ).
But attempts to stir the pot of Purple Color Revolution ( aka Russiagate) will continue. Neocons are pretty tenacious.
Notable quotes:
"... That it was, yes, ethically promiscuous!but, worse, incredibly stupid. One recalls the line, often incorrectly attributed to Talleyrand, in response to a burgeoning scandal at the French court: "It was worse than a crime; it was a blunder.'' ..."
"... But he didn't give up. At last week's G-20 Summit in Hamburg, in a long meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump sought to get beyond the matter of Russia's U.S. political interference and take up other serious matters of mutual interest to the two countries, with a hope of easing tensions. It was an important development in a crucial area of U.S. foreign policy. Now the president is back on the defensive, his back to the wall, with his opponents positioned to immobilize him on his Russian policy. ..."
"... But, in terms of Trump's command of his policy toward Russia, it almost doesn't matter because the new revelations will constrict his range of action irrespective of what may lie behind them. The forces that have wanted to destroy the president, or at least destroy his ability to bring about a détente with Putin, are once again in the saddle. One has to wonder at, perhaps even marvel at, the timing in all this. ..."
Jul 11, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

During a post-dinner cigar session at his elegant Cleveland mansion, Hanna reported back to McKinley on the results of his mission. Another participant recalled that the excited Hanna seemed "as keen as a razor blade.''

"Now, Major," said the political operative, addressing the governor by his Civil War title, "it's all over but the shouting. You can get both New York and Pennsylvania, but there are certain conditions." He didn't show any discomfort with the conditions, but McKinley was wary.

"What are they?" he asked. Hanna explained that Quay wanted control of all federal patronage in Pennsylvania, while others wanted to dominate government jobs in New England and Maine. But Platt wanted a bigger prize!the job of secretary of the Treasury!and he wanted a promise in writing.

McKinley stared ahead, puffing on his cigar. Then he rose from his chair, paced the room a few moments, and turned to Hanna.

"Mark," he said, "there are some things in this world that come too high. If I were to accept the nomination on those terms, the place would be worth nothing to me, and less to the people. If those are the terms, I am out of it.''

Hanna was taken aback. "Not so fast," he protested, explaining that, while it would be "damned hard" to prevail over the powerful bosses, who would surely not take kindly to a rebuff, Hanna thought it could be done and he welcomed the challenge. The men in the room pondered the situation and came up with a slogan: "The People Against the Bosses.''

McKinley ultimately beat the bosses, stirring a Washington Post reporter to write that "the big three of the Republican Party hoped to find McKinley as putty in their hands. When they failed, they vowed war on him." But now, said the reporter, their war was sputtering. "And over in the Ohio city by the lake, one Mark Hanna is laughing in his sleeve.''

This little vignette from the mists of the political past comes to mind with the latest development in the ongoing saga involving suspected Russian interference in last year's presidential campaign and the search for evidence that President Trump or his top campaign officials "colluded" with Russians to influence the electoral outcome. Now it turns out that the president's son, Donald Jr., met with a Russian lawyer, at the behest of a Russian friend, with an understanding beforehand that the lawyer could provide "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia and be very useful to your father." For good measure, Donald Jr. took along his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top Trump adviser, and his father's campaign manager at the time, Paul Manafort.

This is no small matter, and it is certain to roil the waters of the ongoing investigations. More significantly, it will roil the political scene, contributing mightily to the deadlock crisis that has America in its grip. White House officials and Trump supporters are defending young Trump with pronouncements that nothing was amiss here; every campaign collects dirt on opponents; nothing done was against the law; we must get beyond these "gotcha" political witch hunts, etc., etc.

Meanwhile. Trump opponents see skulky tendencies, nefarious intent, moral turpitude, and likely illegality. Both sides are trotting out criminal lawyers declaring, based on their prior political proclivities, that no laws were broken!or that laws were clearly broken. The cable channels are crackling with competition over who can be more definitive and sanctimonious on the air!Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity at Fox in defending the president; or Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews in attacking him on MSNBC.

Meanwhile, the country will continue to struggle with the question of what all this Sturm und Drang actually means. What to think? Whom to believe?

Let's stipulate, for purposes of analysis, that what we see is what there is, that what we know is not a harbinger of worse to come. How should we assess what we know thus far? What should we make of that meeting with the Russian lawyer?

That it was, yes, ethically promiscuous!but, worse, incredibly stupid. One recalls the line, often incorrectly attributed to Talleyrand, in response to a burgeoning scandal at the French court: "It was worse than a crime; it was a blunder.''

Consider that, after months of investigation, with leaks all over the place from those conducting the probe, no serious evidence emerged of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. The collusion story was receding in the national consciousness, and even in the Washington consciousness, with questions of "obstruction of justice" supplanting collusion as the more significant avenue of inquiry. Now the question of collusion is once again in the air.

The fate of Donald Trump Jr. is a puny matter in the scheme of things, but the state of the union is a huge matter. And the young man's stupidity of a year ago will have!indeed, is already having!a significant impact on the president's leadership. He campaigned on a pledge to improve relations with Russia, with an implicit acknowledgment that the West was probably equally responsible, along with Moscow, for the growing tensions between the two nations. He was right about that. Then came the evidence of Russian meddling in the U.S. election and the allegations of collusion, and Trump's effort at improving relations was killed in the crib.

But he didn't give up. At last week's G-20 Summit in Hamburg, in a long meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump sought to get beyond the matter of Russia's U.S. political interference and take up other serious matters of mutual interest to the two countries, with a hope of easing tensions. It was an important development in a crucial area of U.S. foreign policy. Now the president is back on the defensive, his back to the wall, with his opponents positioned to immobilize him on his Russian policy.

Now let's set aside, for just a moment, the previous stipulation that what we see is all there is. It's possible, of course, that this unfortunate meeting actually was part of a much bigger conspiracy that, if disclosed in full, could engulf the administration in revelations of such magnitude as to bring down the president. It's possible, but not likely.

But, in terms of Trump's command of his policy toward Russia, it almost doesn't matter because the new revelations will constrict his range of action irrespective of what may lie behind them. The forces that have wanted to destroy the president, or at least destroy his ability to bring about a détente with Putin, are once again in the saddle. One has to wonder at, perhaps even marvel at, the timing in all this.

Actions, even more than ideas, have consequences. That's what Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort ignored when they accepted an invitation to meet with a Russian representative with "official documents" that could harm the candidacy of the Democratic contender.

And that's precisely what William McKinley had in mind when he said he wouldn't enter into unsavory bargains with the Eastern bosses even if it meant giving up his presidential dream. Of course, McKinley was thinking in part about his own personal code of conduct!his inability to live with a decision that was beneath his concept of rectitude. But note that he also invoked the American people when he recoiled at the thought. He wouldn't take an action that he considered inconsistent with his duty to the electorate.

That was a long time ago!and a world away. Today we have the likes of the Trumps!and, for that matter, the Clintons, who leave nearly everyone in their wake when it comes to moral and ethical laxity in matters of public policy. And so it must have seemed perfectly normal for those three men, part of Donald Trump's inner circle of campaign confidantes, to accept the idea of sitting down with someone from a foreign power and talk about how official documents from that power could help upend their opponent. Did Trump himself know about all this as it was unfolding? We don't know, but probably. In any event, it probably wasn't a crime, but it was a hell of a blunder.

... ... ...

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is editor of The American Conservative. His next book, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century , is due out from Simon & Schuster in November.

[Jul 11, 2017] Russian Lawyer Who Met With Trump Jr. I Didn't Have Clinton Info They Wanted

Looks like recent leak is another fake...
www.unz.com

MOSCOW - The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. during the presidential campaign denied in an exclusive interview with NBC News that she had any connection to the Kremlin and insists she met with President Donald Trump's son to press her client's interest in the Magnitsky Act - not to hand over information about Hillary Clinton's campaign.

"I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that," Natalia Veselnitskaya said.

When asked how Trump Jr. seemed to have the impression that she had information about the Democratic National Committee, she responded:

"It is quite possible that maybe they were longing for such an information. They wanted it so badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted."

Trump Jr. has confirmed that the meeting occurred, saying in a statement to The New York Times that he attended "a short introductory meeting" with the lawyer, where the topic of conversation was primarily about adoption.

On Monday, Trump Jr. seemed to confirm that he had been offered information about Hillary or her campaign but insisted that nothing untoward in the meeting had occurred.

"Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent... went nowhere but had to listen," he tweeted, seemingly sarcastic.

The New York Times on Monday reported that Trump Jr. was told in an email before the meeting that the information Veselnitskaya had was part of a Russian government effort to help his father's candidacy.

But Veselnitskaya flatly denied any connection to the Russian government.

[Jul 11, 2017] Another day another leak, now about Ms Natalia Veselnitskaya

Jul 11, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
et Al , July 10, 2017 at 2:21 pm
Independent:
https://www.independent.co.uk/News/world/americas/us-politics/trump-jr-russian-lawyer-steele-dossier-natalia-veselnitskaya-gps-fusion-a7834541.html

A spokesman for the President's legal team told The Independent they now believed Ms Veselnitskaya and her colleagues had misrepresented who they were and who they worked for

In a statement, Mark Corallo added: "Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier."

Fusion GPS, which is based in Washington DC and was established by former Wall Street Journal reporters Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, found itself in the spotlight earlier this year after it emerged it was behind an "oppo research" dossier containing unproven and often salacious allegations about Mr Trump.

The company had originally been hired by Republican rivals of Mr Trump during the primary campaign. After he secured the party's nomination, the company was instead paid by Democratic financial supporters of Ms Clinton. In the summer of 2016, GPS hired former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, to help their work .
####

Plenty more smoke at the link. What is is with the Americans needing to have their dick in every pie? Once a dick is burnt, doesn't one learn a lesson? Apparently not.

That Fusion GPS seems to be playing both sides smells far more of arms length US intel operations, though natural greed certainly cannot be ruled out. I'm looking forward to this being dissected and Fusion GPS having its balls roasted publicly.

Everyone can play The Link Game because no actual evidence is required to be produced. Genius!

marknesop , July 10, 2017 at 7:52 pm
The Donald is in a unique position; he is not a member of the political class, and likely this term, if he makes it, will be his last fling at politics, to mutual satisfaction – I doubt it's as much of a gas as he thought it would be. He therefore owes nobody anything, and doesn't need anybody's support after he rides into the sunset; that's what independently wealthy means.

He can therefore nail anyone's hide to the barn door without fear that it will damage his political aspirations or legacy.

Do it, Donald. Drop the hammer.

[Jul 10, 2017] Steve Bannon Is Out of Trump's Doghouse and Leading the Charge Against Mueller by Joshua Green

Muller was Bush II 9/11 coverup guy. he is vulnerable.
Trump correctly identified Muller investigation to be a "witch hunt" telling Fox News that he finds Mueller's long-standing relationship with Comey "bothersome." So there should be a central figure who organizes that the defense and Bannon with his media formidable skills is suitable for this role, because he understands the political "kitchen", while Trump does not. Actually all Trump adversaries have skeletons in the closets too, so "nuclear option" is always on the table. 9/11 provides plenty such skeletons for all leading anti-Trump figures. But in the meantime it is important to know the difference between rational political move and political suicide.
The fact that Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers now bound Muller to lekk at leakers too, not only at Trump. It he does not so he is open attacks for partisanship and carrying water for Hillary.
Notable quotes:
"... Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich ..."
"... Access Hollywood. ..."
"... by Joshua Green (July 18; Penguin Press). Copyright © 2017 by Joshua Green. ..."
"... *This article appears in the July 10, 2017, issue of ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.msn.com

For Trump, Bannon's distinctive vocabulary was another point of his appeal. Bannon gloried in the slights and scorn directed at Trump supporters, proudly insisting that elitist Clintonites looked down on them as "hobbits," "Grundoons," and ! co-opting Clinton's own ill-advised term ! "deplorables." Anyone who thought otherwise was a "mook" or a "schmendrick." And Clinton herself was the subject of a steady stream of derision, carefully pitched to Trump's own biases and insecurities and delivered with the passion of a cornerman firing up a boxer for one last grueling round in the ring. Clinton, Bannon would insist, was "a résumé," "a total phony," "terrible on the stage," "a grinder, but not smart," "a joke who hides behind a complacent media," "an apple-polisher who couldn't pass the D.C. bar exam," "thinks it's her turn" but "has never accomplished anything in her life" ! and, for good measure, was "a f---ing bull dyke."

Although Trump didn't dwell on policy details, Bannon pitched in there, too. When Trump came under fire because his campaign hadn't produced a single policy paper, Bannon arranged for Nunberg and Ann Coulter, the conservative pundit, to quickly write a white paper on Trump's immigration policies. When the campaign released it, Coulter, without disclosing her role, tweeted that it was "the greatest political document since the Magna Carta."

Bannon and Breitbart also operated as shock troops for Trump's on-and-off war with Fox News. Trump's fixation with the cable network was a powerful force throughout the campaign. Although he had appeared regularly on Fox for years and had staunch backers at the network, Sean Hannity chief among them, Fox wasn't always friendly. And Trump was stung by a humiliation he'd suffered from Rupert Murdoch. He often told intimates how, as he was preparing to launch his campaign, his daughter Ivanka had arranged a lunch with Murdoch to share the news. Soon after the three of them were seated and the waiter brought their soup, Ivanka spoke up: "My father has something to tell you."

"What's that?" Murdoch said.

"He's going to run for president."

"He's not running for president," Murdoch replied without looking up from his soup.

"No, he is!" she insisted.

Murdoch changed the subject.

Trump nursed the slight for months. "He didn't even look up from his soup!" he'd complain. Nowhere was Trump's clash with the network more pronounced than in the aftermath of the first GOP debate ! sponsored by Fox News and co-moderated by Megyn Kelly ! on August 6 in Cleveland. Trump was particularly worried about Kelly, whose show he had backed out of three days earlier, complaining to a friend that she was out to get him. (Bannon had a special loathing for Kelly, just as some Fox hosts did for him. "Bannon is human garbage," one of them told me.)

When the lights went up in Cleveland, Kelly went right after Trump, confronting him with his history of sexist statements. "You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' 'slobs,' and 'disgusting animals,' " she said. "Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?"

Within minutes of the debate's end, even as Trump was still nursing his grievances on live television, reporters started to realize that the revelations of his past behavior, so bluntly excavated by Kelly, had caused an intense reaction among Republican voters ! not against Trump but against Fox News. Bannon and the Breitbart editors had the same reaction and immediately turned on Kelly with a fusillade of negative articles slamming her as a backstabbing, self-promoting betrayer of the cause. Breitbart soon became the locus of pro-Trump, anti-Fox conservative anger. Between Thursday night, when the debate took place, and Sunday evening, Breitbart published 25 stories mentioning Kelly, and the site's editor-in-chief, Alex Marlow , went on CNN to accuse Fox News of "trying to take out Donald Trump" and staging "a gotcha debate."

The intensity of Republican anger stunned Fox News executives. The debate had drawn a record 24 million viewers. Now many of them were apoplectic at the network's top talent. In a panic, Ailes called Bannon and begged him to call off the attacks. "Steve, this isn't fair, and it's killing us," Ailes said. "You have to stop it." "F--- that, that was outrageous what she did!" Bannon retorted. "She pulled every trick out of the leftist playbook."

The call ended without resolution. Bannon and Ailes would not speak again for almost a year. Even after Ailes and Trump patched up their relationship, Bannon refused to relent. In fact, Breitbart's attacks on Kelly grew uglier. "Flashback: Megyn Kelly Discusses Her Husband's Penis and Her Breasts on Howard Stern," read a Breitbart headline a week after the debate. Ailes eventually dispatched his personal lawyer, Peter Johnson Jr., to the Breitbart embassy in D.C. to deliver a message to Bannon to end the war on Kelly. When he arrived, Johnson got straight to the point: If Bannon didn't stop immediately, he would never again appear on Fox News. Bannon was incensed at the threat.

"She's pure evil," he told Johnson. "And she will turn on [Ailes] one day. We're going full-bore. We're not going to stop. I'm gonna unchain the dogs." The conversation was brief and unpleasant, and it ended with a cinematic flourish. "I want you to go back to New York and quote me to Roger," Bannon said. " 'Go f--- yourself.' "

© Provided by Daily Intelligencer

Bannon remained a loyal outsider for most of the campaign. Then in August 2016, as Trump looked to be spiraling toward a blowout loss, Rebekah Mercer, whose family put millions of dollars into both Breitbart and Trump's presidential run, helped arrange for Bannon to take over. One weakness of Trump's campaign was that it was guided almost entirely by the candidate's impulses. Bannon kept Trump focused on a clear target at which to direct his ample talent for invective: "Crooked Hillary." And he brought an encyclopedic knowledge of damaging material with which to attack her, gleaned from having masterminded Peter Schweizer's best-selling 2015 book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich (another Mercer-backed effort). The book gave Trump an overarching theme in which to fit his attacks, one that the media, thanks partly to Schweizer's and Bannon's efforts, was already predisposed to accept: that Clinton was corrupt. And because Bannon's convulsive extremism was now setting the tone, no one would hold him back. "It's not going to be a traditional campaign," he said shortly after his hiring.

It wasn't. The great test arrived on October 7, when David Fahrenthold, a reporter at the Washington Post, was leaked outtake footage from a 2005 Trump appearance on the NBC show Access Hollywood. "When you're a star, they let you do it," Trump told host Billy Bush. "You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy."

It looked like Trump had finally said something that even he couldn't rebound from, and Republican officials quickly began abandoning the campaign. "I am not going to defend Donald Trump ! not now, not in the future," Paul Ryan told his House colleagues in a private call. As New York reported , Reince Priebus urged Trump to quit or "go down with a worse election loss than Barry Goldwater's." Bannon stood firm, although even he feared Trump might be finished. Still, he told an associate, it wouldn't be a total loss. "Our backup strategy," he said of Clinton, "is to f--- her up so bad that she can't govern. If she gets 43 percent of the vote, she can't claim a mandate." Psyching himself up, he added, "My goal is that by November 8, when you hear her name, you're gonna throw up."

Trump, who never apologized for any offense, took the unprecedented step of expressing remorse about the comments on the Access Hollywood tape in a hastily produced web video. "I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize," he said to the camera. But at Bannon's urging, his apology quickly morphed into an attack on the Clintons that made it clear he would not be dropping out. "I've said some foolish things," he said, but "Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday." With Bannon by his side, Trump would navigate the greatest crisis of his campaign by putting his foot on the gas. When I reached Bannon to ask about the strategy for the upcoming debate, he didn't miss a beat: "Attack, attack, attack, attack."

Bannon had long believed that Bill Clinton's sexual history and Hillary's alleged complicity in covering it up was something that "has to be concentrated and brought up," as he'd once put it. His original thought was that relitigating the scandals would demoralize a younger generation of feminist women unfamiliar with the tawdry details. But with the Access Hollywood tape, Bannon saw that injecting Clinton's accusers into the race would force the media to devote attention to more than just Trump's damaging tape. The trick was to do it in a way that couldn't be ignored. Watching Bill Cosby's public evisceration by his accusers the year before, Bannon had noticed that their on-camera testimony was especially powerful because most of the victims had been assaulted decades earlier and were now elderly women and thus inherently sympathetic. Bannon thought a similar dynamic would apply to the Clinton accusers.

On Sunday afternoon, 90 minutes before the start of the debate at Washington University in St. Louis, word spread in the press corps that Trump was about to hold an event. As reporters squeezed into a conference room, Trump was seated at the center of a makeshift dais flanked by four women well known to veteran political reporters: Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathy Shelton, and Paula Jones. Willey, Broaddrick, and Jones had all accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault or harassment; in 1975, a judge had appointed Hillary Clinton, then a young lawyer, to defend a man accused of raping Shelton, who was then 12 years old.

After brief remarks from Trump, the women took turns defending him and assailing the Clintons. The shock of what was unfolding prompted frenzied live coverage on cable news. As cameras panned the room, they captured Bannon standing in the back, grinning wickedly. The brazenness of Bannon's gambit, and the visual of Trump seated among Clinton's accusers, ensured that the primary imagery on TV would cease to be the Access Hollywood footage.

A plan to seat the women at the front of the debate audience to rattle Clinton and assure them a steady presence in the camera shot had to be scuttled. In the end, it didn't matter. Bannon had always believed that Trump was his own greatest weapon. As 67 million people tuned in to the debate, Trump waited for the inevitable Access Hollywood question and sprung his counterattack. "If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse," he said. "Mine are words, and his was action. His was ! what he's done to women, there's never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that's been so abusive to women Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously. Four of them are here tonight."

Outside the campaign, the Clinton-accuser gambit was seen as a transparently cynical ploy to change the subject. But Trump's brain trust was seeing numbers that said attacking Clinton was succeeding. A smattering of public polls indicated the same thing: More respondents improved their opinion of Trump than of Clinton after watching the debate.

Then, within days of the debate, multiple women came forward to accuse Trump of having groped or kissed them without their consent . The wave of new accusers put the campaign on a war footing. The distinction they needed to draw, Bannon told staffers, was between Trump's "locker room" behavior and what he alleged was Bill Clinton's sexually violent behavior. "This has nothing to do with consensual sexual affairs and infidelities," Bannon said in a strategy meeting that week. "We're going to turn him into Bill Cosby. He's a violent sexual predator who physically abuses women who he assaults. And she takes the lead on the intimidation of the victims."

Trump seemed to relish the prospect of ramping up his attacks on Hillary. And then, with just over a week to go until Election Day, he got an unexpected boost when FBI director James Comey announced he was reopening the investigation into Clinton's private email server. Trump's internal polls, which showed him already ascending before the Comey letter, now had him turning sharply upward in every battleground state. Out on the stump, he ratcheted up his criticism of Clinton. In speeches and ads, he channeled Bannon's conspiratorial worldview, accusing Clinton of plotting "the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special-interest friends." When Trump won the election, the lesson the 45th president took away from the campaign seemed to be that if he fought hard enough, he could survive anything.

Just six months into his presidency, Trump's faith in that proposition is being tested. His brief tenure has been shot through with turmoil, his legislative agenda is teetering on the cusp of collapse, and Robert Mueller's special-counsel investigation is an ever-present source of frustration. The Associated Press revealed that Trump's anger has reached a point where he is yelling at television sets in the White House, upset by the tenor of his coverage.

For Bannon, though, things are looking up. Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord was a sign that nationalism still holds sway, as was his July speech in Poland warning of the decline of the West. The Supreme Court's decision in late June to allow the administration's travel ban to take partial effect was another victory for Bannon, its principal architect. The House just passed two immigration bills, and, White House officials say privately, Congress will soon act on four more. Bannon's feud with Kushner has quieted down. And so far, while at least ten White House officials and former aides, including Kushner, have retained lawyers in the special counsel's probe, distancing themselves from Trump, Bannon is not among them.

Instead, he's back in the bunker alongside a boss who is often angry, always under fire, and, on the matter of Russia, increasingly isolated from all but a handful of advisers and family members. Early on, Bannon's war room displayed characteristic aggression, with Kasowitz holding a press conference to slam Comey in response to the former FBI director's June 8 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. "[It] is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications," Kasowitz said. "Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers."

Many of Trump's current and former aides cheered this lunge for the jugular. "Kasowitz is a junkyard dog, exactly the guy Trump needs in his corner right now," says Barry Bennett, a former campaign adviser. In TV appearances, war-room attorney Jay Sekulow ! Trump's Lanny Davis ! suggested that Mueller is biased, a charge Trump amplified on Twitter by calling the investigation a "witch hunt" and telling Fox News that he finds Mueller's long-standing relationship with Comey "bothersome."

But those personal attacks diminished in late June, after John Dowd, a prominent Washington attorney and veteran of the Justice Department, joined Trump's defense. References to a "war room" have also been dropped for the more tempered "president's outside legal team." And on June 28, Trump's lawyers decided to postpone filing a Justice Department complaint against Comey for having helped leak memos about his conversations with Trump to reporters ! a move Bloomberg News attributed to a new attitude of "professional courtesy" toward Mueller. "It could become an adversarial relationship, but at present the legal team decided it was best to hold off and not file those complaints," says Mark Corallo, the spokesman for the legal team. Which is not to say that Bannon's bare-knuckled instincts have vanished, but rather that he's come to understand that going after Mueller personally isn't the best move ! at least right now.

Davis himself says this was a necessary course correction. "There is huge danger in attacking Mueller directly," says Davis. "[White House counsel] Don McGahn, Bannon, and the political side of the White House ought to be listening." For now, they seem to be. And at least for the time being, Trump, too, has shifted his target from Mueller and Comey to Mika Brzezinski and CNN.

One critical element of the Lanny Davis model, says Davis, is having a president who has a firm enough grasp of the legal and political stakes that he's willing to focus on his day job and let his lawyers do the talking for him. But even some of Trump's defenders admit that not only is the president unlikely to show such deference, he is never more than a bad news cycle away from firing Mueller.

"Bannon's a smart guy ! he knows the difference between success and political suicide," says Davis. "But could he even stop him?" When it came to Comey, the answer was no. As Mueller expands his team of investigators, the question now is how long Trump's advisers will be able to dissuade him from going after the special counsel. "One thing that's always dangerous is telling Donald Trump that he can't do something," says Roger Stone. "Because then he wants to do it."

If Trump were to fire Mueller , numerous Republicans say privately that they would break with the president. "It would be a repeat of the 'Saturday Night Massacre' when Nixon fired Archibald Cox," the Watergate special prosecutor, says Davis.

There's no question, though, who would lead the attack on Trump's critics if such a scenario were to unfold. "At the end of the day," says Sam Nunberg, "the question is, are we going to stand with Trump when he fires Mueller? Steve will do it."

Adapted from Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency , by Joshua Green (July 18; Penguin Press). Copyright © 2017 by Joshua Green.

*This article appears in the July 10, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

[Jul 10, 2017] The Media Perpetuated A Clinton Lie For 9 Months. What It Means For The Russia Narrative

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... the Associated Press ..."
"... The truth about this "17 intel agencies" claim matters, not so much because of what it says about the intelligence community's conclusion on Russian meddling, but because of what it says about the establishment media's conclusion on Russian meddling. ..."
"... The fact is many of these narratives bear all the same hallmarks as the "17 intelligence agencies" mess. ..."
"... Based on the word of one anonymous source, The Washington Post reported that Russia had hacked the U.S. electrical grid. That was quickly proven false when the electric company, which the reporter had not bothered to contact before publishing, said in a statement the grid definitely was not hacked , and the "Russian hacker" may have been no hacker at all, but an employee who mistakenly visited an infected site on a work computer. ..."
"... The media is bent on supporting already foregone conclusions about Trump and Russian meddling, no matter what they have to scoop up or parrot or claim (or ignore) to do so. ..."
"... for the media, it's also just a "basic fact" that Trump likely colluded with Russia, and that he should be impeached, and that his White House is on the verge of literally disappearing into a sinkhole. ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | dailycaller.com
When Hillary Clinton claimed "17 intelligence agencies" agree on Russian meddling in the third presidential debate, a host of media outlets including The New York Times rated the claim as 100 percent true. Nine months later, those same outlets say the stat is obviously false, and there's been a "simple" explanation as to why all along.

A closer look at how the claim survived and thrived over those nine months reveals a startling lack of skepticism in the press when it comes to the Russia narrative. The truth is the great majority of the 17 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community had nothing to do with the investigation and made no judgments about the matter.

"The reason the views of only those four intelligence agencies, not all 17, were included in the assessment is simple: They were the ones tracking and analyzing the Russian campaign," The New York Times now reports . "The rest were doing other work."

Strange admission for the paper, since its star political reporter recently reiterated the false claim as she was in the middle of writing an article characterizing President Trump as stubbornly foolish.

"The latest presidential tweets were proof to dismayed members of Mr. Trump's party that he still refuses to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help him get elected," Maggie Haberman wrote. Her story was later corrected to reflect the ! basic fact ! that only three agencies working under the Director of National Intelligence contributed to the intelligence community's conclusion.

A few days later, the Associated Press echoed that correction in a "clarification" bulletin acknowledging there's no truth to the claim the wire service had repeatedly blasted out for publication to news outlets all over the world.

The bizarrely timed corrections put the media in a bit of a truth pickle, especially after Trump drew attention to the corrections at a high-profile press conference in Poland. "They had to apologize, and they had to correct," he noted.

The New York Times, CNN and others quickly spun up articles and tweets aimed at steering the conversation away from this uncomfortable truth about their proliferation of an outright false claim, and back to the more comfortable "isn't Trump an idiot?" narrative.

"17 intel agencies or four? Either way, Russia conclusion still valid," Politifact wrote in a Thursday headline . "Trump still doesn't seem to believe his intelligence agencies," CNN blared .

The New York Times took it a step further , dismissing the truth of the claim as a "technicality" and then accusing Trump of spreading a "misleading" narrative by correcting the record. Their headline on a story about Trump calling them out for pushing a bogus claim: "Trump Misleads on Russian Meddling: Why 17 Intelligence Agencies Don't Need to Agree."

Journalists eagerly tweeted out these headlines .

But that uncomfortable truth remains. The "17 intelligence agencies" embellishment is frighteningly easy to catch. A cursory glance of the DNI website would show the truth. More importantly, the sheer length of time the falsehood stood in public record at the highest echelons of media betrays an astounding lack of scrutiny on other points in the Russia narrative, which are often sourced to political operatives and anonymous "officials."

Let's look at how this happened, and what it says about the media's overall credibility in the Russia collusion narrative, from the top.

The claim can be traced straight back to candidate Clinton in the third presidential debate, remarking on Russian meddling a few weeks after the DNI released a statement on the investigation. The press didn't demonstrate any interest in the number of agencies that signed off on the Oct. 7 statement, until Clinton unleashed the "17" number in the debate (other than a CNN report incorrectly claiming there are 19 intelligence agencies).

She was clearly trying to add some umpf to the DNI assessment and pour cold water on Trump's skepticism about Russia's attempt to influence the election. She even repeated the number twice, firmly planting it in the record.

"I think that this is such an unprecedented situation," Clinton said. "We've never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing."

Trump took the bait.

"She has no idea whether it is Russia, China or anybody else," he replied, setting off a back and forth that would be reiterated over and over in the press as evidence he was in denial about Russian meddling. "I am quoting 17, 17 ! do you doubt?" Clinton said, and Trump responded definitively: "Our country has no idea. Yeah, I doubt it. I doubt it."

With that, Hillary's claim was up and off.

Journalists highlighted the talking point on Twitter as they covered the debate. And the fact checks came rolling in. The New York Times , Politico , ABC News , Politifact and PBS all rated the claim as totally true the night of the debate. Before the night ended The New York Times was using Clinton's number with authority in its reporting, saying in a debate wrap up that Trump had "refused" to acknowledge "the unanimous conclusion of America's 17 intelligence agencies."

The following day the number popped up in reports from Politico and Defense One, quickly divorced from its context as a debate talking point and transformed into an indisputable fact attached to Trump-Russia stories.

"The Office of the Director of National Intelligence collects and coordinates for the President the information and analysis from the 17 agencies that make up U.S. national intelligence collection," a line in the Defense One report on "Trump's Denial" stated.

Politico hadn't previously used the 17 figure in reporting on Russian meddling, but now framed it as common knowledge that Clinton had to "explain" to Trump: "As Clinton tried to explain that the Russian role is the finding of 17 military and civilian intelligence agencies, Trump cut her off: 'I doubt it.'"

The fact checks continued to roll in. USA Today wrote a particularly aggressive check on the claim headlined "Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking." The article confidently asserted, "Clinton is correct."

All of these "fact checks" and reports were wrong, of course, as has since been made ultra clear. As The New York Times now concedes, the truth about her claim was obviously false from the start. Any reporter capable of operating Google could have looked up a list of the intelligence agencies in question, and ruled out almost half in just minutes.

The Department of Energy, Treasury and Drug Enforcement agencies can be dismissed out of hand. The military service intelligence organizations can't legally operate on U.S. soil. Add the Coast Guard and we're tentatively at eight remaining intel agencies under DNI. The Defense Intelligence Agency is also unlikely. Geospatial intelligence? Definitely not. National recon office? Not unless a political influence campaign has something to do with a missile launch or natural disaster.

That leaves us with State Department intelligence, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, CIA and NSA. Five tops, narrowed down at the speed of common sense and Google.

Sure, the October DNI report was presented as the conclusion of the intelligence community, which does consist of 16 separate agencies headed up by the DNI. At first glance, her claim might seem perfectly reasonable to someone unfamiliar with the makeup of the intelligence community. But it's journalistic malpractice to do a fact-check level review of her claim that each agency separately reviewed and judged the campaign, without so much as hinting at the obvious likelihood that most of them weren't involved.

Nevertheless, the claim persisted.

"All 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies believe the Russians are behind that leak," ABC host George Stephanopoulos told Trump in an October interview . "Why don't you believe it?"

"[Trump] has consistently denied any link between the hackers and the Kremlin, despite 17 intelligence agencies' claims to the contrary," the Daily Beast reported that same day .

NBC News dropped Hillary's number nugget in a December report on the Obama White House asking the intelligence community for a dossier on the hacking assessment. The resulting report would be shared with the public, White House counterterrorism advisor Lisa Monaco said at the time.

"Monaco used careful language, calling it a 'full review of what happened during the 2016 election process,'" NBC reported. "But since the U.S. government has already said that all 17 intelligence agencies agree Russia was behind the hacks, Monaco's meaning was clear."

Reuters, too, touted the number in a December report that characterizes the DNI as a "17-agency strong" operation.

The declassified DNI report that followed in January provided new details on the assessment that dumped ice-cold water on the "17 intelligence agencies agree" claim. The conclusion was drawn only from the NSA, CIA and FBI, the report said. (The New York Times conceded this in a break down of the report, although the claim would later make its way back into the paper's pages.)

A few months later former national intelligence director James Clapper reiterated the truth in a high-profile congressional hearing about Russian interference, opting to correct the record without any partisan prompting.

"As you know, the I.C. was a coordinated product from three agencies; CIA, NSA, and the FBI ! not all 17 components of the intelligence community," he said in his opening remarks. "Those three under the aegis of my former office."

And when Democrat Sen. Al Franken reiterated the false claim later in the hearing, Clapper once again made a point of correcting the record.

"The intelligence communities have concluded ! all 17 of them ! that Russia interfered with this election," Franken said. "And we all know how that's right."

Clapper interjected: "Senator, as I pointed out in my statement, Senator Franken, it was, there were only three agencies directly involved in this assessment, plus my office."

"But all 17 signed on to that?" Franken pressed.

"Well, we didn't go through that, that process," Clapper replied, again shooting down the claim as utterly false. "This was a special situation because of the time limits we decided to restrict it to those three."

So not only was the assessment only made by three of the 16 agencies working under the DNI, but also Clapper indicated here that none of the other agencies even signed off on the report before it was released. Yes, none of them dissented. But why would they, since they didn't have independent evidence to suggest otherwise?

At this point in the life of Hillary's debate talking point, there's just no credible way to rate the claim as true. The DNI report made the truth explicit, and Clapper had now reiterated that truth in a very public setting.

Yet just a few weeks later Clinton unabashedly reiterated the "17 agencies agree" claim in an interview with the tech outlet recode, and as if on cue the media once more began spreading it around.

"Read the declassified report by the intelligence community that came out in early January," Clinton said. "17 agencies, all in agreement – which I know from my experience as a senator and secretary of state is hard to get – they concluded with 'high confidence' that the Russians ran an extensive information war against my campaign to influence voters in the election."

A little while later the bogus claim showed up in an AP report , after The Daily Caller News Foundation fact checked Clinton's claim in the interview and found it false. And then twice more in June before the "clarification" memo was published. Stephanopolous was back at it as well in a June 11 interview with Republican Sen. Mike Lee. And then that Haberman report in The New York Times on the 25th echoing the claim, which was rather strangely corrected four days later.

After all this, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta actually accused Trump on Thursday of pushing "fake news" by saying the conclusion only came from "three or four" agencies. "Where does that number come from?" Acosta asked.

And all the time , the tweets from journos eager to harp on the Trump-Russia narrative kept coming .

The timing of the AP and NYT corrections are a bit of a mystery, but for whatever reason the press is now collectively saying Trump is correct in his push back on the "17 agencies" claim. And that's got the narrative a bit tangled. After initially doubling down on the "true" rating of Clinton's debate claim, Politifact is now bizarrely also rating the claim mostly false in a separate fact check.

So we're left with that uncomfortable truth. The establishment press uncritically "vetted" and embraced a Clinton campaign talking point designed to make Trump look foolish, divorced it of its political context and reiterated it word-of-God style for more than six months ! all the time either ignoring or missing entirely easily obtainable information proving it false ! and then suddenly reversed course on the claim weeks after it was unambiguously and authoritatively debunked.

We live in a world where r/the_donald ! a Reddit thread teeming with Trump supporters ! proved more shrewd than The New York Times and the Associated Press when vetting an important claim about the Russia investigation.

The truth about this "17 intel agencies" claim matters, not so much because of what it says about the intelligence community's conclusion on Russian meddling, but because of what it says about the establishment media's conclusion on Russian meddling.

Haberman and her ilk seem intent on casting Trump as a loner bordering on a nervous breakdown, maniacally watching the news at all hours, hollering at staff and generally acting like a buffoon. And there's the almost daily implication that Trump personally coordinated a hacking campaign with Russia, an implication grounded in no hard evidence despite a lengthy investigation.

The fact is many of these narratives bear all the same hallmarks as the "17 intelligence agencies" mess.

Sources often appear to be politically motivated, like Clinton. They show up in bizarre numbers, like "dozens" or "more than 30." Anecdotes seem almost questionable at face value. An astonishing number of hastily reported or vaguely sourced "scoops" turn out to be totally wrong when the subject of the story corrects the record.

In a report casting the White House as fraught and bordering on collapse, Haberman wrote that Trump likes to stew over cable news in a bathrobe. The White House refuted the anecdote in no uncertain terms the following day.

Based on the word of one anonymous source, The Washington Post reported that Russia had hacked the U.S. electrical grid. That was quickly proven false when the electric company, which the reporter had not bothered to contact before publishing, said in a statement the grid definitely was not hacked , and the "Russian hacker" may have been no hacker at all, but an employee who mistakenly visited an infected site on a work computer.

CNN reported that Former FBI Director James Comey would refute Trump's claim the director told him three separate times he was not personally under investigation. Comey did no such thing. In fact he corroborated Trump's account .

Just weeks after retracting a story on a wealthy Trump associate and Russia, CNN insisted for days Trump would not ask Putin about Russian meddling during their first meeting. Of course, the report depended on an anonymous source. Of course, it was wrong . One of the first things Trump did when he sat down with Putin was "press" him on the subject multiple times, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was in the room.

We could go on, but the point remains. The media is bent on supporting already foregone conclusions about Trump and Russian meddling, no matter what they have to scoop up or parrot or claim (or ignore) to do so. Sure, it's a "basic fact" Russia meddled in the election. But for the media, it's also just a "basic fact" that Trump likely colluded with Russia, and that he should be impeached, and that his White House is on the verge of literally disappearing into a sinkhole.

The facts they use to support these conclusions might as well be irrelevant.

Follow Rachel on Twitter Send tips to rachel@ dailycallernewsfoundation.org .

[Jul 10, 2017] Political Knockout Western Media Blasts Trump After Meeting With Putin

Notable quotes:
"... The first meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg evoked a wave of criticism from Western media, as a number of notable news outlets blasted the US President for his conduct during negotiations. ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | sputniknews.com

The first meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg evoked a wave of criticism from Western media, as a number of notable news outlets blasted the US President for his conduct during negotiations.

Advisers Avoid Saying If Trump Agreed With Putin Russia Did Not Meddle in US Election

At least several prominent newspapers took a dim view of President Trump's handling of this meeting, claiming that the Russian leader apparently managed to outplay and outsmart his US counterpart.

For example, Die Welt stated that it was clear to all professional observers that the meeting resulted in Trump's capitulation.

In an apparent effort to underscore Trump's relative inexperience in foreign affairs, the newspaper claims that the "political pro" Putin knocked out the newbie US President "by the book."

The article's author also emphasized the fact that Putin paused for a moment before shaking Trump's already extended hand.

The Guardian adds that while US politicians apparently felt relieved that Trump managed to avoid "a major gaffe" during the meeting, it was "hardly cause for celebration."

"It's an indication of how rapidly our standards are falling when we're reasonably pleased that President Trump has not made an obvious error," Thomas Countryman, former US acting undersecretary for arms control and international security, remarked.

[Jul 10, 2017] "Color Revolution" Comes Home Are Americans Also the Victims of "Regime Change" by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

Notable quotes:
"... The United States has perfected the art of regime change operations. The US is the largest empire in world history with more than 1,000 military bases and troops operating throughout the world. In addition to military force, the US uses the soft power of regime change, often through 'Color Revolutions.' The US has been building its empire since the Civil War era , but it has been in the post-World War II period that it has perfected regime change operations. ..."
Jul 03, 2017 | www.globalresearch.ca

The United States has perfected the art of regime change operations. The US is the largest empire in world history with more than 1,000 military bases and troops operating throughout the world. In addition to military force, the US uses the soft power of regime change, often through 'Color Revolutions.' The US has been building its empire since the Civil War era , but it has been in the post-World War II period that it has perfected regime change operations.

Have the people of the United States been the victims of regime change operations at home? Have the wealthiest and the security state created a government that serves them, rather than the people? To answer these questions, we begin by examining how regime change works and then look at whether those ingredients are being used domestically.

Color Revolutions and Regime Change Operations

Almost from the start, the CIA's role has been more than intelligence gathering. It has been a key player in putting in place governments friendly to the United States and conducting other operations, e.g. the CIA is currently involved in drone strikes.

One of the first regime change operations of the CIA was Operation Ajax conducted in Iran, and led by Kermit Roosevelt , the grandson of Teddy Roosevelt, who was president when the US solidified its global empire ambitions. The CIA was founded in 1947 and the regime change coup in Iran was 1953. Greg Maybury writes in "Another Splendid Little Coup ": "Placing to one side an early dress rehearsal in Syria in 1949 , the Iran coup was the first post-War exercise in regime change upon the part of Anglo-American alliance " Just this month the US government released documents showing the CIA and State Department's planning and implementation of the coup against the democratically-elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh . This release supplements one from 2013 that did not reveal the full role of the US in the coup.

The Iran coup was crude compared to more modern efforts but had the ingredients that have become common – civil society protests against the government, media reports supporting the protests, agents within the government supporting the coup and replacement of the government with a US-friendly regime. The Iran coup may have been the most costly mistake in US foreign policy because it undermined a secular democratic government in Iran that could have been the example for the region. Instead the US installed the brutal Shah of Iran, whose rule ended in the 1979 revolution, in which, as Maybury reports, the US was also implicated because it felt the Shah had overstayed his welcome.

The Iran coup was perceived as a great CIA success, so it was copied in other Middle Eastern countries as well as countries in Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Regime change is still a major tool of US foreign policy. There is a long-term ongoing coup campaign in Venezuela, with its most recent episode last week in which a helicopter attack on the Supreme Court was tied to the US DEA and CIA . The US has allied with oligarchs, supported violent protests and provided funds for the opposition, which has also worked to undermine the Venezuelan economy ! a tactic the US has used in other coups, e.g. the coup of Allende in Chile .

The coup in Ukraine , which the media falsely calls a 'democratic revolution,' was, as the head of the 'private CIA' firm Stratfor says, " the most blatant coup in history ." The CIA and State Department played the lead roles.

Victoria Nuland , an assistant secretary of state under Clinton, bragged that the US spent $5 billion to build civil society opposition against a government that leaned toward Russia. The government funded civil society opposition through US AID, which is the open vehicle for what the CIA used to do covertly, along with the National Endowment for Democracy . This funding was used to build oppositional civil society groups and create destabilization. They focused on the issue of corruption , which exists in every government, and built it up to a centerpiece for regime change. The US allied with extremist right-wing groups in Ukraine.

The US picked the new leaders of Ukraine. This included Petro Poroshenko , whom U.S. officials refer to as "Our Ukraine (OU) insider Petro Poroshenko" in a classified diplomatic cable from 2006 . The selected Prime Minister was Arseniy Yatsenyuk . Before the coup, Victoria Nuland told the US Ambassador to Ukraine that 'Yats' should be the prime minister . And, the Finance Minister was Natalia Jaresko , a long-time State Department official who moved to Ukraine after the US-inspired coup, the Orange Revolution, to become a conduit for US funding of civil society through her hedge fund. She was a US citizen whom Poroshenko made a Ukrainian on the day she was appointed Finance Minister. To top it off, fmr. Vice President Joe Biden 's son, Hunter Biden , and fmr. Secretary of State John Kerry 's longtime financial ally, Devon Archer , were put on the board of the largest private gas corporation in the Ukraine. Yet, the US media refuses to call this complete take over of the country by the United States a coup and instead describes Russia as the aggressor.

The US has perfected regime change operations from the 1950s up through today. The standard method of operation is finding an issue to cause dissent, building opposition in a well funded civil society 'movement', manipulating the media, putting in place US friendly leaders and blaming US opposition for the coup to hide US involvement. This approach is consistent no matter which party is in power in the US.

The Kleptocratic Oligarch Coup In The United States

Let's apply the lessons from around the world to the United States. There is no question the US is an oligarchy. We say no question because recent political studies have proven it in multiple ways .

One difference in the US is that money plays an outsized influence in US elections . The wealthy can buy the government they want through campaign donations and by anonymous spending but the tools of color revolutions are still needed to legitimize the government. Legitimacy is getting harder to buy. Many realize we live in a mirage democracy . The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs reported in 2016 the extent of the loss of legitimacy of US government:

"Nine in 10 Americans lack confidence in the country's political system, and among a normally polarized electorate, there are few partisan differences in the public's lack of faith in the political parties, the nominating process, and the branches of government."

Jimmy Carter has pointed to the "unlimited bribery" of government as turning the US into an oligarchy . The government needs to use the tools of regime change at home in order to create an veneer of legitimate government.

The Donald Trump presidency, which we regularly criticize , brings a lot of these tools to the forefront because Trump beat the system and defeated the elites of both parties. As a result, Democratic Party propaganda is being used to undermine Trump not only based on his policies but also through manufactured crises such as RussiaGate. The corporate media consistently hammers home RussiaGate , despite the lack of evidence to support it. Unlike the Watergate or Iran-Contra scandals, there is no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to get elected. And, the security state – the FBI and the agencies that conduct regime change operations around the world – is working to undermine Trump in a still unfolding domestic coup .

Civil society also has a strong role. John Stauber writes that :

"The professional Progressive Movement that we see reflected in the pages of The Nation magazine, in the online marketing and campaigning of MoveOn and in the speeches of Van Jones , is primarily a political public relations creation of America's richest corporate elite, the so-called 1%, who happen to bleed Blue because they have some degree of social and environmental consciousness, and don't bleed Red. But they are just as committed as the right to the overall corporate status quo, the maintenance of the American Empire, and the monopoly of the rich over the political process that serves their economic interests."

Civil society groups created or aligned with the Democratic Party are defining the new form of false-resistance as electing Democrats. The Democrats, as they have done throughout history as the oldest political party, know how to control movements and lead them into ineffectiveness to support the Democratic Party agenda. We described, in " Obamacare: The Biggest Insurance Scam in History ," how this was done skillfully during the health reform process in 2009. This new resistance is just another tool to empower the elites, not resistance to the oligarchic-kleptocrats that control both parties. In fact, a major problem in progressive advocacy is the funding ties between large non-profits and corporate interests. The corruption of money is seen in organizations that advocate for corporate-friendly policies in education , health care , energy and climate , labor , and other issues.

Color Revolution Tools Used In The US

Now the tools the US uses for regime change around the world are being used at home to funnel activist energy and efforts into the Democratic party and electoral activities. In order to resist this new "resistance" we need to be aware of it and how it operates. We need to see through propaganda, such as RussiaGate, and attempts to manipulate the masses through scripted events that are portrayed as organic, such as the recent "sit in" by Rep. John Lewis and Sen. Cory Booker on the Capitol steps, or through highly emotional cultural content that portrays the plutocratic parties as parties of the people. We have to remember that the root issue is plutocracy and the US has two plutocratic parties, often referred to as "The Duopoly."

Nonprofit industrial complex

... ... ...

The original source of this article is PopularResistance.Org Copyright © Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers , PopularResistance.Org , 2017

[Jul 09, 2017] Patching It Up With Putin by Patrick J. Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... President Eisenhower did not begin his summit with Nikita Khrushchev by berating him for crushing the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956, a more grievous crime then hacking the emails of John Podesta. ..."
"... Were Trump to start his first summit with Putin by dressing him down, why meet with him at all? ..."
"... Trump would do better to explore where we can work together, as in ending Syria's civil war and averting a new war in Korea. ..."
"... Moreover, when it comes to interference in the internal politics of other nations to bring about "regime change," understandably, Putin might see himself as more sinned against than sinning. ..."
"... Should Trump bring up the email hacking in 2016, Putin could ask him to explain U.S. support for the violent coup d'etat that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, a land with which Russia has been intimately associated for 1,000 years. ..."
"... Consider the behavior of post-Cold War America, after Moscow gave up its empire, pulled all its troops out of Europe, let the USSR dissolve into 15 nations and held out a hand in friendship. ..."
"... We gathered all the Warsaw Pact nations and three former Russian Federation republics into a NATO alliance targeted at Russia. We put troops, ships and bases into the Baltic on the doorstep of St. Petersburg. We bombed Russia's old ally Serbia for 78 days, forcing it to surrender its birth province of Kosovo. ..."
"... Among the failings of America's post-Cold War foreign policy elites are hubris, arrogance and an utter absence of that greatest of gifts that the gods can give us ! "to see ourselves as others see us." ..."
"... Can we not see why the Russian people, who saw us as friends in the 1990s, no longer do so, and why Putin, a Russia-First nationalist, has an 80 percent approval rating on the issue of standing up for his country? ..."
"... Trump cannot allow this Beltway obsession with Putin to prevent us from closing, if we can, this breach. If we do not bring Russia back into the West, where do we think she will go? ..."
"... I don't see why he should bow to political correctness by making a boiler plate acceptance of the discredited Russia hacking story in light of all of the evidence to the contrary including the unexplained murder of Seth Rich and the recent accidental disclosures by CNN executives and pundits that they knew the story was a false one. ..."
"... Trump himself has aptly compared the story to the false "weapons of mass destruction" story used to foment the Iraq war. Bearing in mind that the publisher of the Nazi rag Der Stuermer was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg in 1946 for propaganda, it seems to me that the present media leaders going on about these provably false stories are themselves guilty of war crimes. ..."
"... These Americans, of which you speak, are simply angry that Trump won and are looking for someone to blame because they cannot accept what he stands for to a large portion of the electorate. Foreign powers are of course going to fight, however they can, for the candidate they feel will be the most sympathetic to their interests. For example, Clinton was the preferred candidate for Israel and their efforts showed as much. ..."
"... Claiming that the Russians hacked the election, or meddled, or whatever, is an insult to Trump's supporters and voters. People like Buchanan should choose their words more carefully or they're just playing into the narrative. ..."
"... Finally, to those who follow Russia closely, the idea that it could influence the politics of the world's most powerful nation, while failing to prevent the rise to power of an explicitly hostile government in its next door neighbor with whom it shares millennia of history, is patently absurd. ..."
"... Nukes and credible delivery systems are Kim's insurance policy he saw what happened to leaders like Saddam and Ghadaffi when the failed to go there. ..."
"... There is no credible evidence that the Russians "hacked" our 2016 elections, but there is evidence that DHS did. But even if the Russians did, turnabout is fair play. There is credible evidence HRC's State Department hacked Russian elections in 2012, and there was even a Time Mag cover in the '90s crowing about American influence on Russian elections back then. ..."
"... Our entire government is nothing but a bunch of clowns standing in facade for the corprofacists pulling the strings. I am truly disgusted with this country. ..."
"... If I were the average Russian (or Ukrainian or Pole or German, et al), I'd be far more comfortable with aligning culturally with Putin's Russia than with the "West" of Hollywood and the kosher EU. ..."
"... "Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016." What hacking? Proof? None. ..."
"... Of these the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is not an independent intelligence-gathering organization, so that leaves three. Plus, this seems to have been a project run by a handpicked (read: politicized) group of analysts selected from the three agencies instead of independent analysts from three institutions reaching the same conclusion, we actually have just "one group of like-minded people " ..."
"... I'll echo other posters about Pat's mention of the so called "Russian hacking" of the 2016 presidential election. I don't know if Pat truly believes that or if he's throwing the loony left and neo-cons a bone on this for the appearance of objectivity and non-partisanship and/or to gain more appearances on FOX, but the claim has largely been exposed for the fraud that it is. ..."
"... So the claim "Russia hacked the election" boils down to RT posting some stories online unflattering to Hillary. Why is Buchanan participating in this dishonest shell game? ..."
"... . . .Let's begin with the continued refusal of the DNC to allow DHS or FBI to examine the computer/computers of the DNC where the alleged hack supposed took place. Instead of insisting that the FBI examine their computers, the DNC turned to a private organization–CrowdStrike. It was CrowdStrike that uncovered the "Russian hacking" of the DNC, and when the DNC refused to allow the FBI access to their servers to see the evidence for themselves, it was CrowdStrike that told the FBI that it was the Russians. ..."
Jul 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

President Donald Trump flew off for his first meeting with Vladimir Putin ! with instructions from our foreign policy elite that he get into the Russian president's face over his hacking in the election of 2016.

Hopefully, Trump will ignore these people. For their record of failure is among the reasons Americans elected him to office.

What president, seeking to repair damaged relations with a rival superpower, would begin by reading from an indictment?

President Eisenhower did not begin his summit with Nikita Khrushchev by berating him for crushing the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956, a more grievous crime then hacking the emails of John Podesta.

President Kennedy did not let Russia's emplacement of missiles in Cuba in 1962 prevent him from offering an olive branch to Moscow in his widely praised American University address of June 1963.

Were Trump to start his first summit with Putin by dressing him down, why meet with him at all?

Trump would do better to explore where we can work together, as in ending Syria's civil war and averting a new war in Korea.

Moreover, when it comes to interference in the internal politics of other nations to bring about "regime change," understandably, Putin might see himself as more sinned against than sinning.

Should Trump bring up the email hacking in 2016, Putin could ask him to explain U.S. support for the violent coup d'etat that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, a land with which Russia has been intimately associated for 1,000 years.

Consider the behavior of post-Cold War America, after Moscow gave up its empire, pulled all its troops out of Europe, let the USSR dissolve into 15 nations and held out a hand in friendship.

We gathered all the Warsaw Pact nations and three former Russian Federation republics into a NATO alliance targeted at Russia. We put troops, ships and bases into the Baltic on the doorstep of St. Petersburg. We bombed Russia's old ally Serbia for 78 days, forcing it to surrender its birth province of Kosovo.

Among the failings of America's post-Cold War foreign policy elites are hubris, arrogance and an utter absence of that greatest of gifts that the gods can give us ! "to see ourselves as others see us."

Can we not see why the Russian people, who saw us as friends in the 1990s, no longer do so, and why Putin, a Russia-First nationalist, has an 80 percent approval rating on the issue of standing up for his country?

Looking about the world today, do we really need any more crises or quarrels? Do we not have enough on our plate? As the Buddhist saying goes, "Do not dwell in the past concentrate the mind on the present moment."

Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016. But what was done cannot be undone. And Putin is not going to return Crimea to Kiev, the annexation of which was the most popular action of his long tenure as Russian president.

As D.C.'s immortal Mayor Marion Barry once said to constituents appalled by his latest episode of social misconduct: "Get over it!"

We have other fish to fry.

In Syria and Iraq, where the ISIS caliphate is in its death rattle, Russia and the U.S. both have a vital interest in avoiding any military collision, and in ending the war. This probably means the U.S. demand that Syrian President Assad be removed will have to be shelved.

Consider China. Asked by Trump to squeeze Pyongyang on its nuclear missile program, China increased trade with North Korea 37 percent in the first quarter. The Chinese are now telling us to stop sailing warships within 13 miles of its militarized islets and reefs in a South China Sea that they claim belongs to them, and demanding that we cancel our $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan.

Hong Kong's 7 million people have been told their democratic rights, secured in Great Britain's transfer of the island to China, are no longer guaranteed.

Now China is telling us to capitulate to North Korea's demand for an end to U.S. military maneuvers with South Korea and to remove the THAAD missile system the U.S. has emplaced. And Beijing is imposing sanctions on South Korea for accepting the U.S. missile system.

Meanwhile, the dispute with North Korea is going critical.

If Kim Jong Un is as determined as he appears to be to build an ICBM with a nuclear warhead that can hit Seattle or San Francisco, we will soon be down to either accepting this or exercising a military option that could bring nuclear war.

Trump cannot allow this Beltway obsession with Putin to prevent us from closing, if we can, this breach. If we do not bring Russia back into the West, where do we think she will go?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

exiled off mainstreet > , Show Comment Next New Comment July 7, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

While, as is usual, I agree with Mr. Buchanan's foreign policy views which he again effectively and convincingly expresses, I don't see why he should bow to political correctness by making a boiler plate acceptance of the discredited Russia hacking story in light of all of the evidence to the contrary including the unexplained murder of Seth Rich and the recent accidental disclosures by CNN executives and pundits that they knew the story was a false one.

Trump himself has aptly compared the story to the false "weapons of mass destruction" story used to foment the Iraq war. Bearing in mind that the publisher of the Nazi rag Der Stuermer was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg in 1946 for propaganda, it seems to me that the present media leaders going on about these provably false stories are themselves guilty of war crimes.

JL, July 7, 2017 at 8:28 am GMT

Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016.

These Americans, of which you speak, are simply angry that Trump won and are looking for someone to blame because they cannot accept what he stands for to a large portion of the electorate. Foreign powers are of course going to fight, however they can, for the candidate they feel will be the most sympathetic to their interests. For example, Clinton was the preferred candidate for Israel and their efforts showed as much.

Claiming that the Russians hacked the election, or meddled, or whatever, is an insult to Trump's supporters and voters. People like Buchanan should choose their words more carefully or they're just playing into the narrative.

Besides, if a foreign country really did manage to subvert the US' democracy to such an extent, that speaks volumes about the weakness of the US system, not its adversaries' malicious intents. Finally, to those who follow Russia closely, the idea that it could influence the politics of the world's most powerful nation, while failing to prevent the rise to power of an explicitly hostile government in its next door neighbor with whom it shares millennia of history, is patently absurd.

The Alarmist , July 7, 2017 at 10:36 am GMT

"If Kim Jong Un is as determined as he appears to be to build an ICBM with a nuclear warhead that can hit Seattle or San Francisco, we will soon be down to either accepting this or exercising a military option that could bring nuclear war."

Nukes and credible delivery systems are Kim's insurance policy he saw what happened to leaders like Saddam and Ghadaffi when the failed to go there.

"Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016. But what was done cannot be undone."

There is no credible evidence that the Russians "hacked" our 2016 elections, but there is evidence that DHS did. But even if the Russians did, turnabout is fair play. There is credible evidence HRC's State Department hacked Russian elections in 2012, and there was even a Time Mag cover in the '90s crowing about American influence on Russian elections back then.

Ludwig Watzal , Website July 7, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

How come that Pat Buchanan repeats the media lies that the Russians hacked US election? So far, this allegation is fact-free. Has he finally succumbed to the constant lies the corporate media are spreading? He is undoubtedly aware of Nazi-Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels saying: "One must only repeat a lie so long until the people believe it as true."

As the first pictures from this G-20-meeting show, Donald Trump was sidelined by Merkel. Autocrats like the Chinese President, Erdogan, and Russias Putin were standing next to her, Donald Trump has sidelined just before French's Macron.

It's funny that even the US political class regards Merkel as powerful. She is just a Stalinist and a political opportunist who would even sacrifice her loved ones when it would suit her career. The US should not be carried away and blinded by this made-up spin.

nickels, July 7, 2017 at 1:38 pm GMT

Trump and his 'Russia should stop destabilizing Ukraine.'

Our entire government is nothing but a bunch of clowns standing in facade for the corprofacists pulling the strings. I am truly disgusted with this country.

WorkingClass , July 7, 2017 at 1:49 pm GMT

I have always respected Pat Buchanan. But it's time to take away his car keys. The Russians did not hack Podesta. The Podesta files were leaked. Who killed Seth Rich?

Rurik, Website July 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm GMT

Were Trump to start his first summit with Putin by dressing him down, why meet with him at all?

exactly!

... ... ...

If we do not bring Russia back into the West, where do we think she will go?

the irony is that Russia today is far more expressive of the ancient values of the West than the zio-West of Merkel's Germany and Islamic France. Let along the home of Hollywood spiritual sewage spilling out of the ZUSA.

If I were the average Russian (or Ukrainian or Pole or German, et al), I'd be far more comfortable with aligning culturally with Putin's Russia than with the "West" of Hollywood and the kosher EU.

Anon, July 7, 2017 at 4:16 pm GMT

@WorkingClass

I have always respected Pat Buchanan. But it's time to take away his car keys. The Russians did not hack Podesta. The Podesta files were leaked. Who killed Seth Rich?

Yes, that's an odd phrase, particularly as Mr. Buchanan has expressed incredulity at this sort of accusation in the past. Perhaps he simply means that Americans' anger at Russia (which I think he exaggerates; he seems to still believe the media have some actual contact with America) is justified based on their beliefs?

Wally, July 7, 2017 at 10:51 pm GMT

"Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016." What hacking? Proof? None.

MarkinLA, July 8, 2017 at 4:02 am GMT

Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016.

Et Tu Pat? Pat, you are never going to get a network gig again no matter how much sphincter you lick. You know this is bogus.

El Dato, July 8, 2017 at 11:46 am GMT

@MarkinLA NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard

The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false.

On Thursday, the Times appended a correction to a June 25 article that had repeated the false claim, which has been used by Democrats and the mainstream media for months to brush aside any doubts about the foundation of the Russia-gate scandal and portray President Trump as delusional for doubting what all 17 intelligence agencies supposedly knew to be true.

However, on Thursday, the Times – while leaving most of Haberman's ridicule of Trump in place – noted in a correction that the relevant intelligence "assessment was made by four intelligence agencies ! the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."

Of these the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is not an independent intelligence-gathering organization, so that leaves three. Plus, this seems to have been a project run by a handpicked (read: politicized) group of analysts selected from the three agencies instead of independent analysts from three institutions reaching the same conclusion, we actually have just "one group of like-minded people "

KenH, July 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT

I'll echo other posters about Pat's mention of the so called "Russian hacking" of the 2016 presidential election. I don't know if Pat truly believes that or if he's throwing the loony left and neo-cons a bone on this for the appearance of objectivity and non-partisanship and/or to gain more appearances on FOX, but the claim has largely been exposed for the fraud that it is.

Let's make no mistake that neo-conservatism, liberal interventionism, Israelphilia and Russophobia rule Washington, D.C. with an iron fist. Any elected leaders who don't play ball quickly find themselves marginalized and under attack. Either Trump was playing us during the campaign with his calls for warmer relations with Russia and a more humble foreign policy or he saw the writing on the wall after taking office and surrendered without a fight.

I think Trump's loyalty to Israel trumps his loyalty to American first principles and that's not good.

Priss Factor , Website July 8, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT

@JL Buchanan has a kneejerk mentality on Russia as the enemy even as he argues for peace and reconciliation.

The formative and crucial period of his life was defined by the cold war.

Bill Jones, July 8, 2017 at 5:05 pm GMT

Paddy seems to take it as given that Russia hacked Podesta, despite the utter lack of evidence.

the raven, July 8, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

@KenH "Hacked the election" is a weasel phrase. You can go to shitlib sites and plenty of them think that Putin changed votes by hacking voting machines. Of course, this hasn't been alleged, let alone proved. The dishonest pundits using that phrase can claim they meant that Putin hacked the DNC emails. There's also no evidence for this, but it's hard to prove or disprove (but given that Podesta fell for a phishing scam, it could have been done by a 15 year old anywhere in the world). The only thing they can credibly claim is that Russia "interfered" in the US elections by their state media posting articles that the CIA disagrees with.

So the claim "Russia hacked the election" boils down to RT posting some stories online unflattering to Hillary. Why is Buchanan participating in this dishonest shell game?

Don Bacon, July 8, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT

from the web– No, The Russians Did Not Meddle in Our Election by Publius Tacitus

. . .Let's begin with the continued refusal of the DNC to allow DHS or FBI to examine the computer/computers of the DNC where the alleged hack supposed took place. Instead of insisting that the FBI examine their computers, the DNC turned to a private organization–CrowdStrike.
It was CrowdStrike that uncovered the "Russian hacking" of the DNC, and when the DNC refused to allow the FBI access to their servers to see the evidence for themselves, it was CrowdStrike that told the FBI that it was the Russians.

Here's the problem with this: CrowdStrike's reputation is currently unraveling. Why? It seems that CrowdStrike is as politically motivated as everyone else in Washington, D.C. The company is itself an opponent of Vladimir Putin and Russia and was recently caught fabricating a report that attempted to blame Russian hacking for problems with Urkainian military technology. . .

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/no-the-russians-did-not-meddle-in-our-election-by-publius-tacitus.html

fuzzy, July 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT

Hacked the election? How exactly? Go talk to Mr. Binney about it.

Avery, July 8, 2017 at 7:16 pm GMT

@MarkinLA { . no matter how much sphincter you lick.}

Brutal dude, brutal.

( ..well, I guess Pat asked for it: regurgitating unadulterated B____S____, to presumably appear 'balanced'.).

Bill Jones, July 8, 2017 at 9:31 pm GMT

This is worth a read

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/06/09/remarks-president-trump-regulatory-relief

The True and Original David, July 9, 2017 at 8:35 am GMT

@Ludwig Watzal Pat is an old USA conservative. The style of old USA conservatives is agree with the opponent on all essentials of fact and value then remonstrate defensively. Perfect example: "Yes, Putin hacked, but we have bigger fish to fry."

USA liberals were called "knee-jerkers," that is people whose liberal reaction is so automatic it is brain-free. But old USA conservatives also have their "knee-jerk": this is accepting the opponent's premises then quibbling.

"You're a racist!" "No, I'm certainly not, I swear."

"America is sexist!" "We are doing better lately. Salaries for women are showing progress."

"Putin hacked!" "Yes he did, but there are bigger fish to fry."

An old USA conservative would consider such replies as "fighting back"; but they are only whiny protests in response to blows.

The old USA conservative style is dated and being replaced by styles more adversarial. Pat the man is a decent guy and I wish him well.

Mr. Hack, July 9, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

Should Trump bring up the email hacking in 2016, Putin could ask him to explain U.S. support for the violent coup d'etat that overthrew a democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, a land with which Russia has been intimately associated for 1,000 years.

Buchanan here exhibits his supericial knowledge of Ukrainian/Russian history. Large swaths of Ukrainian territory never were under Russian hegemony until the middle part of the 20th century, but were part and and parcel of other European states including the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Hapsburg Empire. Also, insinuating that Trump need to cower in front of Putin during a hypothetical question and answer series regarding some sort of U.S. directed plot against Russia in Ukraine is also based on fluff and inuendo, and he should know better. Any 'cookies and milk' support offered to Ukrainian patriots who paid for their new found freedom by sacrificing their lives came long after altercations had already started on the Maidan. American ingenuity could not have created a protest movement of this scope and magnitude, and Buchanan should know better:

Realist, July 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

"Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016."

Pat,

You are just echoing and lending credence to the news media, including Fox News as well as the power elite. This is not the first time you have done this.
I fail to understand why anyone would believe anything the security(spy) agencies promote. They are incessant liars, as is most of our government. People should never take anything our government says at face value .always demand proof.

Realist, July 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm GMT

@exiled off mainstreet " . I don't see why he should bow to political correctness by making a boiler plate acceptance of the discredited Russia hacking story ."

Exactly

Realist, July 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm GMT

@nickels Trump and his 'Russia should stop destabilizing Ukraine.'
Our entire government is nothing but a bunch of clowns standing in facade for the corprofacists pulling the strings.
I am truly disgusted with this country. "I am truly disgusted with this country."

Rightly so.

[Jul 09, 2017] Washingtons Leak Mob: Current and Ex-Officials Damage National Security in Quest to Topple Trump by Kimberley A. Strassel

Notable quotes:
"... Today's Washington is overrun by two kinds of crimes. The first is the still-speculative kind, which the Washington press corps obsesses over "Trump -Russia collusion, obstruction of justice" despite no evidence of its existence. By all accounts, special counsel Robert Mueller's growing team of Democratic lawyers intends to devote itself to this fiction. ..."
"... Yet if Mr. Mueller were serious about bringing down a threat to the nation, or even carving himself a place in history, he'd be tackling the second kind of crime, the real kind. These are the crimes that occur constantly and actually harm national security, even if they're routinely ignored by a self-interested media. We are talking of course about the serial leaking of sensitive information, the daily profession of a new government elite akin to an organized crime network. ..."
"... Lucky for Mr. Mueller, he doesn't even need his army of legal investigators to get an immediate handle on this mafia. He can instead stroll down to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. That's the purview of Sen. Ron Johnson, who keeps dogged oversight of government among his many self-set tasks. ..."
"... It's a bloodless accounting of a national-security failure, perpetrated by dozens of government employees willfully breaking the law. ..."
"... The first 126 days of the Trump administration featured 125 stories that leaked harmful information. Just under one a day. The committee staff judged the stories against a 2009 Barack Obama executive order that laid out what counted as information likely to damage national security. And as it chose to not include borderline leaks or "palace intrigue" stories, that number is an understatement. ..."
"... For reference, the first 126 days of the Obama term featured 18 stories that met the criteria. Ten of those were actually leaks about George W. Bush's "torture memo," which Mr. Obama released. ..."
Jul 09, 2017 | nation.foxnews.com
Originally published by Kimberley A. Strassel, The Wall Street Journal

Today's Washington is overrun by two kinds of crimes. The first is the still-speculative kind, which the Washington press corps obsesses over "Trump -Russia collusion, obstruction of justice" despite no evidence of its existence. By all accounts, special counsel Robert Mueller's growing team of Democratic lawyers intends to devote itself to this fiction.

Yet if Mr. Mueller were serious about bringing down a threat to the nation, or even carving himself a place in history, he'd be tackling the second kind of crime, the real kind. These are the crimes that occur constantly and actually harm national security, even if they're routinely ignored by a self-interested media. We are talking of course about the serial leaking of sensitive information, the daily profession of a new government elite akin to an organized crime network.

Lucky for Mr. Mueller, he doesn't even need his army of legal investigators to get an immediate handle on this mafia. He can instead stroll down to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. That's the purview of Sen. Ron Johnson, who keeps dogged oversight of government among his many self-set tasks. That mission resulted this week in a shocking staff analysis of the recent deluge of secret-spilling, and the manner in which these unauthorized disclosures are harming national security. It's the first congressional scrutiny of the leaks and notable for its straight-up nature. This is no partisan document. It's a bloodless accounting of a national-security failure, perpetrated by dozens of government employees willfully breaking the law.

The first 126 days of the Trump administration featured 125 stories that leaked harmful information. Just under one a day. The committee staff judged the stories against a 2009 Barack Obama executive order that laid out what counted as information likely to damage national security. And as it chose to not include borderline leaks or "palace intrigue" stories, that number is an understatement.

For reference, the first 126 days of the Obama term featured 18 stories that met the criteria. Ten of those were actually leaks about George W. Bush's "torture memo," which Mr. Obama released.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal

[Jul 09, 2017] The stakes in U.S.-Russia relations could not be higher possible nuclear conflagration and the end of civilization but the U.S. mainstream media is still slouching around in mccarthyism-ville by Robert Parry

this is pure McCarthyism, not "propaganda ville". Clapper and Brennan are the leaders of Russiagate color revolution against Trump. And there is no countervailing force.
Notable quotes:
"... It wasn't until May 8 when then-former DNI Clapper belatedly set the record straight in sworn congressional testimony in which he explained that there were only three "contributing agencies" from which analysts were "hand-picked." ..."
"... The reference to "hand-picked" analysts pricked the ears of some former U.S. intelligence analysts who had suffered through earlier periods of "politicized" intelligence when malleable analysts were chosen to deliver what their political bosses wanted to hear. ..."
"... On May 23, also in congressional testimony, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper's description, saying only four of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment. ..."
"... Finally, on June 25, the Times' hand was forced when White House correspondent Maggie Haberman reverted to the old formulation, mocking Trump for "still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected." ..."
"... When this falsehood was called to the Times' attention, it had little choice but to append a correction to the article, noting that the intelligence "assessment was made by four intelligence agencies ! the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community." ..."
"... The Associated Press ran a similar "clarification" applied to some of its fallacious reporting repeating the "17-intelligence-agencies" meme. ..."
"... Though the Post did not identify the country, this reference suggests that more than one key element of the case for Russian culpability was based not on direct investigations by the U.S. intelligence agencies, but on the work of external organizations. ..."
"... Earlier, the Democratic National Committee denied the FBI access to its supposedly hacked computers, forcing the investigators to rely on a DNC contractor called CrowdStrike, which has a checkered record of getting this sort of analytics right and whose chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, is an anti-Putin Russian émigré with ties to the anti-Russian think tank, Atlantic Council. ..."
"... But the problem is not just the question of whether Russia hacked into Democratic emails and slipped them to WikiLeaks for publication (something that both Russia and WikiLeaks deny). Perhaps the larger danger is how the major U.S. news outlets have adopted a consistently propagandistic approach toward everything relating to Russia. ..."
"... The neocons delivered their payback to Putin in early 2014 by supporting a violent coup in Ukraine, overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installing a fiercely anti-Russian regime. ..."
"... The U.S. operation was spearheaded by neocon National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman and neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, with enthusiastic support from neocon Sen. John McCain. ..."
"... "On Ukraine, Mr. Trump must also display determination. Russia fomented an armed uprising and seized Crimea in violation of international norms, and it continues to instigate violence in the Donbas. Mr. Trump ought to make it unmistakably clear to Mr.Putin that the United States will not retreat from the sanctions imposed over Ukraine until the conditions of peace agreements are met." Along the same lines, even while suggesting the value of some collaboration with Russia toward ending the war in Syria, Post columnist David Ignatius wrote in a July 5 column , "Russian-American cooperation on Syria faces a huge bstacle right now. It would legitimize a Russian regime that invaded Ukraine and meddled in U.S. and European elections, in addition to its intervention in Syria." Note the smug certainty of Ignatius and the Post editors. There is no doubt that Russia "invaded" Ukraine; "seized" Crimea; "meddled" in U.S. and European elections. Yet all these groupthinks should be subjected to skepticism, not simply treated as undeniable truths. ..."
"... As offensive as this rejection of true truth-seeking may be, it also represents an extraordinary danger when mixed with the existential risk of nuclear conflagration. ..."
"... With the stakes this high, the demand for hard evidence – and the avoidance of soft-minded groupthink – should go without question. Journalists and commentators should hold themselves to professional precision, not slide into sloppy careerism, lost in "propaganda-ville." ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
Jul 09, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: The stakes in U.S.-Russia relations could not be higher – possible nuclear conflagration and the end of civilization – but the U.S. mainstream media is still slouching around in "propaganda-ville," says Robert Parry.

MSM, Still Living in Propaganda-ville By Robert Parry

As much as the U.S. mainstream media wants people to believe that it is the Guardian of Truth, it is actually lost in a wilderness of propaganda and falsehoods, a dangerous land of delusion that is putting the future of humankind at risk as tension escalate with nuclear-armed Russia.

This media problem has grown over recent decades as lucrative careerism has replaced responsible professionalism. Pack journalism has always been a threat to quality reporting but now it has evolved into a self-sustaining media lifestyle in which the old motto, "there's safety in numbers," is borne out by the fact that being horrendously wrong, such as on Iraq's WMD, leads to almost no accountability because so many important colleagues were wrong as well.

Similarly, there has been no accountability after many mainstream journalists and commentators falsely stated as flat-fact that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies" concurred that Russia did "meddle" in last November's U.S. election.

For months, this claim has been the go-to put-down whenever anyone questions the groupthink of Russian venality perverting American democracy. Even the esteemed "Politifact" deemed the assertion "true." But it was never true.

It was at best a needled distortion of a claim by President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper when he issued a statement last Oct. 7 alleging Russian meddling. Because Clapper was the chief of the U.S. Intelligence Community, his opinion morphed into a claim that it represented the consensus of all 17 intelligence agencies, a dishonest twist that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton began touting.

However, for people who understand how the U.S. Intelligence Community works, the claim of a 17-agencies consensus has a specific meaning, some form of a National Intelligence Estimate (or NIE) that seeks out judgments and dissents from the various agencies.

But there was no NIE regarding alleged Russian meddling and there apparently wasn't even a formal assessment from a subset of the agencies at the time of Clapper's statement. President Obama did not order a publishable assessment until December – after the election – and it was not completed until Jan. 6, when a report from Clapper's office presented the opinions of analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency – three agencies (or four if you count the DNI's office), not 17.

Lacking Hard Evidence

The report also contained no hard evidence of a Russian "hack" and amounted to a one-sided circumstantial case at best. However, by then, the U.S. mainstream media had embraced the "all-17-intelligence-agencies" refrain and anyone who disagreed, including President Trump, was treated as delusional. The argument went: "How can anyone question what all 17 intelligence agencies have confirmed as true?"

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

It wasn't until May 8 when then-former DNI Clapper belatedly set the record straight in sworn congressional testimony in which he explained that there were only three "contributing agencies" from which analysts were "hand-picked."

The reference to "hand-picked" analysts pricked the ears of some former U.S. intelligence analysts who had suffered through earlier periods of "politicized" intelligence when malleable analysts were chosen to deliver what their political bosses wanted to hear.

On May 23, also in congressional testimony, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper's description, saying only four of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment.

Brennan said the Jan. 6 report "followed the general model of how you want to do something like this with some notable exceptions. It only involved the FBI, NSA and CIA as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It wasn't a full inter-agency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies."

After this testimony, some of the major news organizations, which had been waving around the "17-intelligence-agencies" meme, subtly changed their phrasing to either depict Russian "meddling" as an established fact no longer requiring attribution or referred to the "unanimous judgment" of the Intelligence Community without citing a specific number.

This "unanimous judgment" formulation was deceptive, too, because it suggested that all 17 agencies were in accord albeit without exactly saying that. For a regular reader of The New York Times or a frequent viewer of CNN, the distinction would almost assuredly not be detected.

For more than a month after the Clapper-Brennan testimonies, there was no formal correction.

A Belated Correction

Finally, on June 25, the Times' hand was forced when White House correspondent Maggie Haberman reverted to the old formulation, mocking Trump for "still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected."

When this falsehood was called to the Times' attention, it had little choice but to append a correction to the article, noting that the intelligence "assessment was made by four intelligence agencies ! the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."

The Associated Press ran a similar "clarification" applied to some of its fallacious reporting repeating the "17-intelligence-agencies" meme.

So, you might have thought that the mainstream media was finally adjusting its reporting to conform to reality. But that would mean that one of the pillars of the Russia-gate "scandal" had crumbled, the certainty that Russia and Vladimir Putin did "meddle" in the election.

The story would have to go back to square one and the major news organizations would have to begin reporting on whether or not there ever was solid evidence to support what had become a "certainty" – and there appeared to be no stomach for such soul-searching. Since pretty much all the important media figures had made the same error, it would be much easier to simply move on as if nothing had changed.

That would mean that skepticism would still be unwelcome and curious leads would not be followed. For instance, there was a head-turning reference in an otherwise typical Washington Post take-out on June 25 accusing Russia of committing "the crime of the century." A reference, stuck deep inside the five-page opus, said, "Some of the most critical technical intelligence on Russia came from another country, officials said. Because of the source of the material, the NSA was reluctant to view it with high confidence." Though the Post did not identify the country, this reference suggests that more than one key element of the case for Russian culpability was based not on direct investigations by the U.S. intelligence agencies, but on the work of external organizations.

Earlier, the Democratic National Committee denied the FBI access to its supposedly hacked computers, forcing the investigators to rely on a DNC contractor called CrowdStrike, which has a checkered record of getting this sort of analytics right and whose chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, is an anti-Putin Russian émigré with ties to the anti-Russian think tank, Atlantic Council.

Relying on Outsiders

You might be wondering why something as important as this "crime of the century," which has pushed the world closer to nuclear annihilation, is dependent on dubious entities outside the U.S. government with possible conflicts of interest.

If the U.S. government really took this issue seriously, which it should, why didn't the FBI seize the DNC's computers and insist that impartial government experts lead the investigation? And why – given the extraordinary expertise of the NSA in computer hacking – is "some of the most critical technical intelligence on Russia [coming] from another country," one that doesn't inspire the NSA's confidence?

But such pesky questions are not likely to be asked or answered by a mainstream U.S. media that displays deep-seated bias toward both Putin and Trump.

Mostly, major news outlets continue to brush aside the clarifications and return to various formulations that continue to embrace the "17-intelligence-agencies" canard, albeit in slightly different forms, such as references to the collective Intelligence Community without the specific number. Anyone who questions this established conventional wisdom is still crazy and out of step.

For instance, James Holmes of Esquire was stunned on Thursday when Trump at a news conference in Poland reminded the traveling press corps about the inaccurate reporting regarding the 17 intelligence agencies and said he still wasn't entirely sure about Russia's guilt. "In public, he's still casting doubt on the intelligence community's finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 election nearly nine months after the fact," Holmes sputtered before describing Trump's comment as a "rant." So, if you thought that a chastened mainstream media might stop in the wake of the "17-intelligence-agencies" falsehood and rethink the whole Russia-gate business, you would have been sadly mistaken.

But the problem is not just the question of whether Russia hacked into Democratic emails and slipped them to WikiLeaks for publication (something that both Russia and WikiLeaks deny). Perhaps the larger danger is how the major U.S. news outlets have adopted a consistently propagandistic approach toward everything relating to Russia.

Hating Putin

This pattern traces back to the earliest days of Vladimir Putin's presidency in 2000 when he began to rein in the U.S.-prescribed "shock therapy," which had sold off Russia's assets to well-connected insiders, making billions of dollars for the West-favored "oligarchs," even as the process threw millions of average Russian into poverty.

But the U.S. mainstream media's contempt for Putin reached new heights after he helped President Obama head off neoconservative (and liberal interventionist) demands for a full-scale U.S. military assault on Syria in August 2013 and helped bring Iran into a restrictive nuclear agreement when the neocons wanted to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran.

The neocons delivered their payback to Putin in early 2014 by supporting a violent coup in Ukraine, overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installing a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. operation was spearheaded by neocon National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman and neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, with enthusiastic support from neocon Sen. John McCain.

Nuland was heard in an intercepted pre-coup phone call with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt discussing who should become the new leaders and pondering how to "glue" or "midwife this thing."

Despite the clear evidence of U.S. interference in Ukrainian politics, the U.S. government and the mainstream media embraced the coup and accused Putin of "aggression" when ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, called the Donbas, resisted the coup regime.

When ethnic Russians and other citizens in Crimea voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to reject the coup regime and rejoin Russia – a move protected by some of the 20,000 Russian troops inside Crimea as part of a basing agreement – that became a Russian "invasion." But it was the most peculiar "invasion," since there were no images of tanks crashing across borders or amphibious landing craft on Crimean beaches, because no such "invasion" had occurred.

However, in virtually every instance, the U.S. mainstream media insisted on the most extreme anti-Russian propaganda line and accused people who questioned this Official Narrative of disseminating Russian "propaganda" – or being a "Moscow stooge" or acting as a "useful fool." There was no tolerance for skepticism about whatever the State Department or the Washington think tanks were saying.

Trump Meets Putin

So, as Trump prepares for his first meeting with Putin at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, the U.S. mainstream media has been in a frenzy, linking up its groupthinks about the Ukraine "invasion" with its groupthinks about Russia "hacking" the election.

In a July 3 editorial , The Washington Post declared, "Mr. Trump simply cannot fail to admonish Mr. Putin for Russia's attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. He must make clear the United States will not tolerate it, period. Naturally, this is a difficult issue for Mr. Trump, who reaped the benefit of Russia's intervention and now faces a special counsel's investigation, but nonetheless, in his first session with Mr. Putin, the president must not hesitate to be blunt.

"On Ukraine, Mr. Trump must also display determination. Russia fomented an armed uprising and seized Crimea in violation of international norms, and it continues to instigate violence in the Donbas. Mr. Trump ought to make it unmistakably clear to Mr.Putin that the United States will not retreat from the sanctions imposed over Ukraine until the conditions of peace agreements are met." Along the same lines, even while suggesting the value of some collaboration with Russia toward ending the war in Syria, Post columnist David Ignatius wrote in a July 5 column , "Russian-American cooperation on Syria faces a huge bstacle right now. It would legitimize a Russian regime that invaded Ukraine and meddled in U.S. and European elections, in addition to its intervention in Syria." Note the smug certainty of Ignatius and the Post editors. There is no doubt that Russia "invaded" Ukraine; "seized" Crimea; "meddled" in U.S. and European elections. Yet all these groupthinks should be subjected to skepticism, not simply treated as undeniable truths.

But seeing only one side to a story is where the U.S. mainstream media is at this point in history. Yes, it is possible that Russia was responsible for the Democratic hacks and did funnel the material to WikiLeaks, but evidence has so far been lacking. And, instead of presenting both sides fairly, the major media acts as if only one side deserves any respect and dissenting views must be ridiculed and condemned.

In this perverted process, collectively approved versions of complex situations congeal into conventional wisdom, which simply cannot be significantly reconsidered regardless of future revelations.

As offensive as this rejection of true truth-seeking may be, it also represents an extraordinary danger when mixed with the existential risk of nuclear conflagration.

With the stakes this high, the demand for hard evidence – and the avoidance of soft-minded groupthink – should go without question. Journalists and commentators should hold themselves to professional precision, not slide into sloppy careerism, lost in "propaganda-ville."

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 ).

[Jul 08, 2017] Russiagate The Stink Without a Secret by Craig Murray

Neoliberal presstitutes are now completely discredited. This is just another Iraq WDM case. But people soon forgot about Iraq WDM thing. None of pressitutute went to jail for misinforming the public.
Notable quotes:
"... After six solid months of coordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged. ..."
"... As we have been repeatedly told, "17 intelligence agencies" sign up to the "Russian hacking", yet all these king's horses and all these king's men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported "hack". Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again. ..."
"... The heads of the intelligence community have said that they regard the report from Crowdstrike – the Clinton aligned private cyber security firm – as adequate. Despite the fact that the Crowdstrike report plainly proves nothing whatsoever and is based entirely on an initial presumption there must have been a hack, as opposed to an internal download. ..."
"... So those "17 agencies" are not really investigating but are prepared to endorse weird Crowdstrike claims, like the idea that Russia's security services are so amateur as to leave fingerprints with the name of their founder. If the Russians fed the material to WikiLeaks, why would they also set up a vainglorious persona like Guccifer2 who leaves obvious Russia pointing clues all over the place? ..."
"... Of course we need to add from the WikiLeaks"Vault 7" leak release, information that the CIA specifically deploys technology that leaves behind fake fingerprints of a Russian computer hacking operation. ..."
"... Crowdstrike have a general anti-Russian attitude. They published a report seeking to allege that the same Russian entities which "had hacked" the DNC were involved in targeting for Russian artillery in the Ukraine. This has been utterly discredited. ..."
"... Some of the more crazed "Russiagate" allegations have been quietly dropped. The mainstream media are hoping we will all forget their breathless endorsement of the reports of the charlatan Christopher Steele, a former middle ranking MI6 man with very limited contacts that he milked to sell lurid gossip to wealthy and gullible corporations. I confess I rather admire his chutzpah. ..."
"... The old Watergate related wisdom is that it is not the crime that gets you, it is the cover-up. But there is a fundamental difference here. At the center of Watergate there was an actual burglary. At the center of Russian hacking there is a void, a hollow, and emptiness, an abyss, a yawning chasm. There is nothing there. ..."
"... Those who believe that opposition to Trump justifies whipping up anti-Russian hysteria on a massive scale, on the basis of lies, are wrong. ..."
Jul 08, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

After six solid months of coordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged.

I do not support Donald Trump. I do support truth. There is much about Trump that I dislike intensely. Neither do I support the neo-liberal political establishment in the USA. The latter's control of the mainstream media, and cunning manipulation of identity politics, seeks to portray the neo-liberal establishment as the heroes of decent values against Trump. Sadly, the idea that the neo-liberal establishment embodies decent values is completely untrue.

Truth disappeared so long ago in this witch-hunt that it is no longer even possible to define what the accusation is. Belief in "Russian hacking" of the US election has been elevated to a generic accusation of undefined wrongdoing, a vague malaise we are told is floating poisonously in the ether, but we are not allowed to analyze. What did the Russians actually do?

The original, base accusation is that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC and Podesta emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. (I can assure you that is untrue).

The authenticity of those emails is not in question. What they revealed of cheating by the Democratic establishment in biasing the primaries against Bernie Sanders, led to the forced resignation of Debbie Wasserman Shultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee. They also led to the resignation from CNN of Donna Brazile, who had passed debate questions in advance to Clinton. Those are facts. They actually happened. Let us hold on to those facts, as we surf through lies. There was other nasty Clinton Foundation and cash for access stuff in the emails, but we do not even need to go there for the purpose of this argument.

The original "Russian hacking" allegation was that it was the Russians who nefariously obtained these damning emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. The "evidence" for this was twofold. A report from private cyber security firm Crowdstrike claimed that metadata showed that the hackers had left behind clues, including the name of the founder of the Soviet security services. The second piece of evidence was that a blogger named Guccifer2 and a website called DNCLeaks appeared to have access to some of the material around the same time that WikiLeaks did, and that Guccifer2 could be Russian.

That is it. To this day, that is the sum total of actual "evidence" of Russian hacking. I won't say hang on to it as a fact, because it contains no relevant fact. But at least it is some form of definable allegation of something happening, rather than "Russian hacking" being a simple article of faith like the Holy Trinity.

But there are a number of problems that prevent this being fact at all. Nobody has ever been able to refute the evidence of Bill Binney , former Technical Director of the NSA who designed its current surveillance systems. Bill has stated that the capability of the NSA is such, that if the DNC computers had been hacked, the NSA would be able to trace the actual packets of that information as those emails traveled over the Internet, and give a precise time, to the second, for the hack. The NSA simply do not have the event – because there wasn't one. I know Bill personally and am quite certain of his integrity.

As we have been repeatedly told, "17 intelligence agencies" sign up to the "Russian hacking", yet all these king's horses and all these king's men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported "hack". Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again.

The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SqIY8KvuoJo

The heads of the intelligence community have said that they regard the report from Crowdstrike – the Clinton aligned private cyber security firm – as adequate. Despite the fact that the Crowdstrike report plainly proves nothing whatsoever and is based entirely on an initial presumption there must have been a hack, as opposed to an internal download.

Not actually examining the obvious evidence has been a key tool in keeping the "Russian hacking" meme going. On 24 May the Guardian reported triumphantly , following the Washington Post, that

"Fox News falsely alleged federal authorities had found thousands of emails between Rich and WikiLeaks, when in fact law enforcement officials disputed that Rich's laptop had even been in possession of, or examined by, the FBI."

It evidently did not occur to the Guardian as troubling, that those pretending to be investigating the murder of Seth Rich have not looked at his laptop.

There is a very plain pattern here of agencies promoting the notion of a fake "Russian crime", while failing to take the most basic and obvious initial steps if they were really investigating its existence. I might add to that, there has been no contact with me at all by those supposedly investigating. I could tell them these were leaks not hacks. WikiLeaks The clue is in the name.

So those "17 agencies" are not really investigating but are prepared to endorse weird Crowdstrike claims, like the idea that Russia's security services are so amateur as to leave fingerprints with the name of their founder. If the Russians fed the material to WikiLeaks, why would they also set up a vainglorious persona like Guccifer2 who leaves obvious Russia pointing clues all over the place?

Of course we need to add from the WikiLeaks"Vault 7" leak release, information that the CIA specifically deploys technology that leaves behind fake fingerprints of a Russian computer hacking operation.

Crowdstrike have a general anti-Russian attitude. They published a report seeking to allege that the same Russian entities which "had hacked" the DNC were involved in targeting for Russian artillery in the Ukraine. This has been utterly discredited.

Some of the more crazed "Russiagate" allegations have been quietly dropped. The mainstream media are hoping we will all forget their breathless endorsement of the reports of the charlatan Christopher Steele, a former middle ranking MI6 man with very limited contacts that he milked to sell lurid gossip to wealthy and gullible corporations. I confess I rather admire his chutzpah.

Given there is no hacking in the Russian hacking story, the charges have moved wider into a vague miasma of McCarthyite anti-Russian hysteria. Does anyone connected to Trump know any Russians? Do they have business links with Russian finance?

Of course they do. Trump is part of the worldwide oligarch class whose financial interests are woven into a vast worldwide network that enslaves pretty well the rest of us. As are the Clintons and the owners of the mainstream media who are stoking up the anti-Russian hysteria. It is all good for their armaments industry interests, in both Washington and Moscow.

Trump's judgment is appalling. His sackings or inappropriate directions to people over this subject may damage him.

The old Watergate related wisdom is that it is not the crime that gets you, it is the cover-up. But there is a fundamental difference here. At the center of Watergate there was an actual burglary. At the center of Russian hacking there is a void, a hollow, and emptiness, an abyss, a yawning chasm. There is nothing there.

Those who believe that opposition to Trump justifies whipping up anti-Russian hysteria on a massive scale, on the basis of lies, are wrong. I remain positive that the movement Bernie Sanders started will bring a new dawn to America in the next few years. That depends on political campaigning by people on the ground and on social media. Leveraging falsehoods and cold war hysteria through mainstream media in an effort to somehow get Clinton back to power is not a viable alternative. It is a fantasy and even were it practical, I would not want it to succeed.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster, human rights activist, and former diplomat. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. The article is reprinted with permission from his website .

Read more by Craig Murray

[Jul 08, 2017] Trump says he had a tremendous meeting with Putin

AP clearly pursue a neocon line of DNC hacks and Russian meddling in the US elections.
get=
The European trip to Poland and Germany has centered around the exchange with Putin, Trump's first in-person meeting as president. But both sides offered differing explanations of what took place.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump and Putin had a "robust and lengthy" discussion about the election interference but Putin denied any involvement. His Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said Trump had accepted Putin's assurances that Russia didn't meddle in the U.S. election - a characterization that the U.S. disputed.

"I think the president is rightly focused on how do we move forward from something that may be an intractable disagreement at this point," said Tillerson, who took part in the meeting along with Lavrov.

Democrats seized upon Tillerson's remarks, saying that it was wrong to suggest the issue of Russia's role in the election meddling was unresolved. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said it was "disgraceful" and said it was a "grave dereliction of duty" to give "equal credence to the findings of the American Intelligence Community and the assertion by Mr. Putin."

U.S. officials have said Russia tried to hack election systems in 21 states and sway the election for Trump, representing a level of interference in the U.S. political system that security experts said represents a top-level threat.

Trump's meeting with Putin, which was originally scheduled for 35 minutes, wrapped up after more than 2 hours, and focused heavily on a just-announced ceasefire deal for southwestern Syria that was reached by Russia and the United States.

While the U.S. and Russia have held conflicting views on Syria in the past, Tillerson said Russia had an interest in seeing the Mideast nation become a stable place.

Tillerson said details about the ceasefire still need to be worked out, but Lavrov told reporters that Russian military police will monitor the ceasefire, with a monitoring center set up in Jordan - another party to the deal.

Both the Russians and the Americans took pains to describe the meeting as "constructive," cordial and wide-ranging, covering key topics including cyber security and North Korea.

"The two leaders connected very quickly," Tillerson said. "There was a very clear positive chemistry."

[Jul 08, 2017] Susan Rice role in Russiagate

Jul 01, 2017 | www.youtube.com

SUSAN RICE GOING TO JAIL! SEE REASONS WHY -

[Jul 07, 2017] What's really behind all the fake anti-Russia hysteria

Notable quotes:
"... However, in the wake of the Trump presidency, Deep State ..."
"... Whenever the Neocon cabal wants war, they pull out all the stops. However, in 2017, their New World Order ..."
"... As usual, the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) is coordinating the Russophobic propaganda campaign. The following data point explains why the C.I.A. is always so effective in this endeavor and institutionally oriented to forever conduct war propaganda campaigns distinguished by extreme Russophobia. ..."
"... "General Reinhard Gehlen, former head of Nazi intelligence operations against the Soviets, was hired by the US Army and later by the CIA to operate 600 ex-Nazi agents in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany. In 1948, CIA Director Roscoe Hillenkoetter assumed control of the so-called Gehlen Organization." ..."
"... "excuse of the millennium" ..."
Jul 07, 2017 | stateofthenation2012.com
March 17, 2017

Why so much naked propaganda and fake news directed against Russia especially since Trump's election?

Executive Summary:

The Deep State now fears a "partnership for peace" between the United States and Russia more than anything else. It used to fear the natural alliance between Russia and Germany, since the Anglo-American domination of the world would be genuinely threatened by such a powerful geopolitical relationship. The two World Wars were engineered to pit Russia against Germany in order to preclude such a bloc from forming. The same Neocon cabal has been very busy setting up Europe for yet a third world war by manipulating Merkel's government against Putin's Kremlin. The immigrant crisis that began with the wars in the Middle East and North Africa was literally manufactured to destabilize Europe as a precursor to World War III.

However, in the wake of the Trump presidency, Deep State now has a much bigger 'problem'-the very real prospect of a United States-Russian Federation entente. For this reason, the C.I.A. and MSM (mainstream media) have been beating the war drums like never before. Russia has, overnight, become the whipping boy for everything wrong with the Democratic Party as well as the scapegoat for every major intel security lapse in the USA. The U.S. Intelligence Community will continue to fabricate patently false stories about the Trump Administration with respect to Russia as pre-emptive strikes to make any meaningful dialogue politically precarious. At the request of the C.I.A., the MSM will also continue to publish fake news and naked propaganda about the same in order to greatly inflame anti-Russian sentiment.

Whenever the Neocon cabal wants war, they pull out all the stops. However, in 2017, their New World Order is under serious assault around the globe and war has become an apparent necessity. Populist movements and nationalist revolutions are springing up like mushrooms across the planet. After the controlled demolition of the global economic and financial system, the cabal considers war - World War III - as their only real option (just as they created the Great Depression to set the stage for World War II). Inciting extreme Russophobia has always been their means to starting the real big wars. WW3 will be no different, unless Trump and Putin meet in broad daylight and declare Deep State the archenemy of We the People everywhere. That's the short story, now read on for the extended back story.
________________________________________________________

The entire anti-Russian campaign is being quite deliberately orchestrated at the highest echelons of Deep State and the U.S. Intelligence Community.[1]

As usual, the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) is coordinating the Russophobic propaganda campaign. The following data point explains why the C.I.A. is always so effective in this endeavor and institutionally oriented to forever conduct war propaganda campaigns distinguished by extreme Russophobia.

"General Reinhard Gehlen, former head of Nazi intelligence operations against the Soviets, was hired by the US Army and later by the CIA to operate 600 ex-Nazi agents in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany. In 1948, CIA Director Roscoe Hillenkoetter assumed control of the so-called Gehlen Organization." (Source: www.cia.gov )

... ... ...

The central organizing principle , which is always followed religiously by the secret NWO ruling cabal, concerns the strict maintenance of the perpetual war economy .

Toward that end, world peace can never be achieved. Rather, only the false notion that peace may be attained - at some magical moment in the future - is ever projected.

Consequently, the imaginary split between East and West is always exploited to the max by the ruling cabal. The East is just far and foreign enough relative to the West that it can always be successfully set up as the [fictitious] bogeyman.

... ... ... Clinton and Podesta

As always, there are several levels of intrigue going on simultaneously whenever Deep State undertakes such an all-consuming global operation as the "Russian hack" psyop. The sheer domination of the daily news cycle by "Russia this; Russia that" is always a reflection of what TPTB really do fear the most. However, there is also a purely political point being scored with this completely contrived Russophobia black op.

Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign chairman was John Podesta. Both Clinton and Podesta have gone down in U.S. presidential election history as the two of the biggest losers of all time. Bear in mind that this was Clinton's second humiliating loss after being blindsided by Barack Obama in 2008. Not only did these two very bad losers need a very good excuse for all the livid donors, they were also desperate for a story that would pacify their ultra-sensitive and still-crying liberal base.

There are actually multiple reasons why these two characters required the "excuse of the millennium" as to why they just got trounced by Trump. The very best they could come up with was the "Russian election hack". This false accusation led to the baseless conclusion that the election was hacked by the Russians and, therefore, the Democrats were powerless in defeat, even though no such thing happened.

This gave Podesta, especially, something very BIG to talk about at a time when his direct involvement with Pizzagate was being virally exposed in the worldwide Alt Media, and then to a lesser extent by the MSM. Once Pizzagate was exposed as Podesta's Achilles' heel, he became like a wounded animal thrashing about in sheer desperation. This is when the anti-Russian campaign was really racheted up because the very future of the Democratic Party was hanging in the balance as was his political fate.

PIZZAGATE : The Scandal That Will Take Down the Clintons, the Democratic Party and the Obama Administration

Clinton also needed to blame anyone but herself, being the most inferior and corrupt, caustic and unlikeable, offensive and dangerous, mean-spirited and vengeful presidential candidate in U.S history. How she ever even got the nomination can only be explained by the staunch support she received from the warmongering Neocons. They prepared her over the course of her entire career to be the POTUS who would wage war on Russia, even if it meant going nuclear on them.

Key Point: HRC was actually disqualified from holding any public office based on her own admissions of fact. ( U.S. CODE: Hillary R. Clinton is disqualified from holding any public office in the United States Government )

Most expediently, the concocted "Russian hacking" narrative by Podesta perfectly plays into the Neocon machination to provoke Russia into a regional war (e.g. Ukraine) on the way to triggering a full-scale WW3. The war propaganda also feeds into their desire for massive war profiteering in the form of gun running, human trafficking, drug smuggling, artifact black marketing, oil theft and other illicit enterprises which are easily covered up in the fog of war.

Lastly, this "Russian hacking" approach, the Neocons hope, will afford them the opportunity to again take back the Motherland from the Russian people. The Neocon cabal longs for the day when they can complete their Russia exploitation project via their oligarch agents of predatory capitalism and the draconian application of neoliberal economics. What follows is the back story to this multi-decade conspiratorial movement that has brought so much death and destruction to Russia for a century, as well as to the world-at-large. STRATFOR Chief Reveals Zio-Anglo-American Plot For World Domination

The bottom line here is that neither Clinton nor Podesta would take any blame whatsoever for their epic failure. Clinton herself had issued many anti-Russian screeds during the debates in order to smear Trump so it was a very convenient excuse when they were soundly defeated at the polls. It's a well known fact that criminally insane psychopaths will never assume responsibility for their misconduct and/or unlawful actions. When such bad actors enter politics, their incorrigible criminal behavior mixes with those of similar ilk, and then all hell can break loose as it is across America today. This link explains the surreptitious process of ponerization in much greater detail: PONERIZATION: How the American Republic was taken over by political cliques of criminally insane psychopaths

Deep State

Because of so many unanticipated eventualities, the agents of Deep State are working triple time to sow seed of chaos and confusion everywhere and anywhere. It's as though Pandora's box has been opened in every nation on Earth wherein each is now plagued with so much political pandemonium and social mayhem, economic instability and financial insecurity.

Economic Sabotage & Financial Terrorism: The Primary Weapons Deep State Will Use Against The Trump Administration

In light of this rapidly devolving predicament, it's more essential than ever for President Trump and President Putin to meet face-to-face in order to meet this extraordinary global challenge. The world is truly at a crossroad: it can follow the Neocons to more war or the righteous leaders to an enduring peace.

The current generation has never witnessed two presidents of the 2 superpowers willing to sit down with each other in a mutually respectful manner. This alone bodes well for humanity; now, if only they can be compelled by their good conscience to speak to each other as members of the universal brotherhood.

Remember, Deep State knows that it will be like the Titanic colliding with the iceberg should Trump and Putin cooperate to expose the real "Beast" that has terrorized the planet for so long. And Deep State will be the Titanic. Should enough people wake up to this unfolding reality, everything can change in a day and a night. There is nothing so strong and formidable as people power in this age of populist movements and authentic revolutions. Therefore, the real mission here is to enlighten as many people as possible before things really get so out of control that we move past the point of no return.

Trump cannot allow a fake Russian conspiracy to keep him from his stated mission. He said many times on the campaign trail that there was no reason not to make peace with Russia. And Trump asked why anyone would ever want war with the nuclear superpower. Putin is his own man and quite willing to meet with Trump. The vast majority of his people only want peace and good will between the two nations.

... ... ...

[Jul 06, 2017] Bolton: Russia Hack May Have Been False Flag Operation

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post's ..."
Dec 12, 2016 | dailywire.com

In an interview with Fox News' Eric Shawn, the former ambassador used the phrase "false flag operation" in reference to the CIA's purported assessment which concluded that Russia deliberately interfered with this year's US election to help Donald Trump secure the White House.

Suggesting that the Obama administration's lack of transparency makes it impossible to definitively conclude that the Russians were behind the hacking of US political parties, Bolton, who was reportedly appointed as Trump's deputy secretary of state (the second highest position at the State Department), appeared to break away from his characteristically national security-first philosophy to assert a theory about foul play at the highest levels of government,

"It is not at all clear to me, just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC was not a false flag operation," he told Fox News.

When asked to explain what he meant by the highly suggestive phrase "false flag," Bolton gave a hazy answer.

"We just don't know," stated Bolton, refusing to say whether the US government was purposely misleading the public, or worse, had a hand in the "false flag operation."

"But I believe that intelligence has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree," said Bolton, adding:

If you think the Russians did this, then why did they leave fingerprints

We would want to know who else might want to influence the election and why they would leave fingerprints that point to the Russians. That's why I say until we know more about how the intelligence community came to this conclusion we don't know whether it is Russian inspired or a false flag

Here's the transcript, detailing the relevant part of Bolton's interview with Eric Shawn:

Bolton's comments reflected echo the skeptical attitude of the Trump team in the wake of The Washington Post's report on the CIA's unsettling findings about Russia's interference during the presidential election. Trump, himself, called the CIA's assessment "ridiculous" in a pre-taped interview that aired Sunday.

"I think it's just another excuse. I don't believe it," the president-elect told Fox News' Chris Wallace. "Every week it's another excuse." Trumped added that "nobody really knows" who was behind the hacking of emails belonging to top Clinton advisors and DNC officials.

[Jul 04, 2017] McGovern vs. Nixon has so many similarities to the 2016 Election

Jul 04, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

John S , July 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm

FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL '72 by Hunter S. Thompson is a great, easy, blast from the past .for those of you who enjoy SHATTERED type books, I think you will enjoy this ..

McGovern vs. Nixon has so many similarities to the 2016 Election and pretty much no one under 70 will remember much of the '72 election, unless they were political junkies from "their get-go" .

Some 1972/2016 parallels and wierdities:

* The DNC was burgled by the GOP (Watergate) and in '16 hacked by the Russians (??)
* The GOP had one candidate (Nixon) while the Dems had a bunch including Muskie, Hube, Wallace and McGovern was the surprise winner
* Muskie and Jeb Bush started their primaries as For Sure Winners with lots of money
* Wallace and Trump played to the same crowd
* In October 1972 only 3% of the population thought that Watergate was a "serious problem"

* The McGovern ground game in Wisconsin was a marvel of its time (see Gene Pokorney) ..so, theoretically was Hillary's

* Although the USA was/is involved in WAR, once the main campaigning began, the WAR was not a major issue in either election

* Eagleton was a big problem for McGovern and Bill was a big problem for Hillary

* The FBI was accused of releasing Eagleton's medical records and Comey, was accused of stuff, too

* The winner in 72 was impeached ..and, the winner in 2016 may well be impeached .

At any rate, this book is an easy and prescient Summer Beach Read ..and, those who like this genre, may also "Like" Tim Crouse's THE BOYS ON THE BUS ..

50 years ago, we the reading public has to wait 1-2 years for the "Inside Scoop" books to be published .today, thanks to Lambert and so many others, we can "get the haps" pretty much simultaneously with the candidates and their staffs .

Happy 4th to Lambert and thanks for all you do four us .

shinola , July 3, 2017 at 4:41 pm

I agree with you on "Fear & Loathing " – HST is one of my all time favorite authors. I do have one minor quibble about the "under 70" remark.

IIRC, '72 was the 1st prez election in which 18, 19 & 20 year olds were allowed to vote so I would trim a few years off of that figure.

charles leseau , July 3, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Muskie and Jeb Bush started their primaries as For Sure Winners with lots of money

I knew Jeb would go nowhere once the media started ignoring him 24/7 and trotted out 12 Trump stories a day. Absolutely predicted Trump's nomination close to a year before he was actually nominated.

different clue , July 3, 2017 at 9:12 pm

JohnS,

I am only 60, but here is evidence that I remember a little from that time. There was a political saying . . .
"Don't change Dicks in the middle of a screw. Nixon/ Agnew in '72!"

John S , July 3, 2017 at 9:41 pm

.shinola, if one posts here, chances are pretty good that one will know a bit about the '72 election .my current peer group of friends (68-74) had little or no memory of the '72 election as they were not "in" to politics or voting then .I wonder how many MSM or TV talkingheads are well versed in this election?

.different clue, great comment .I wonder if our current President will bring the Game of Bridge back into fashion (it was still BIG in '72) . playing Bridge in the Chevy Chase Country Club Card Room would give people a continuous opportunity to shout out their bid of :

"4 NO Trump!!!!"

even when they held 13 Spades, etc ..or, held nary an Ace or Face Card ..

Happy 4th to all .

Left in Wisconsin , July 4, 2017 at 12:38 pm

My "hippie" 7th grade social studies teacher took us on a field trip from the burbs to downtown Albany to see McGovern at a campaign rally. My first political experience.

[Jul 04, 2017] Pour it on, Mr. Trump, tweet the lying bastards and bitches straight to hell Non-Intervention.com

Notable quotes:
"... President Trump's tweets this week smacking Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough are a case in point. Among Trump's supporters, and most Americans with commonsense, those two zany, so-called journalists are detested. They and scores of other so-called journalists - the bespectacled nymphs of CNN, and Rachel "Here's Trump's Tax returns" Madow of MSNBC, for example - have for far too long been able to heap scorn on their opponents without feeling any need to worry about being attacked in return. Now, there ought to be no limits on the amount of scorn, bile, and lies they can dispense, but they should not expect to enjoy immunity from responses that are meant to, and hopefully will, demolish them. ..."
"... Trump is now slowly destroying their sense of security ..."
"... I am especially delighted when Trump takes on the privileged and protected classes, not only journalists, but women, Blacks, and other privileged minorities of all kinds. For all of my adult life, these categories of greedy, pompous, and self-righteous folks have been demanding "full equality" in the public square. Their desire, they say, is to be treated like everyone else and not like lesser human beings. There's not a lick of truth in that assertion. ..."
"... Note for example Mika Brzezinski, whose only skills seem to be to verbally scourge and lie about Trump and his family, and to exploit her late, unlamented, and war-mongering father's name. ..."
"... Trump had the nerve - and savvy - to tailor his truthful, if critical comments to be pertinent to a pretentious, self-important, and talentless woman. ..."
"... Well, some women are spoiled, perpetually adolescent, and irresponsible bitches, but many are not. While many women can and do compete as equals - and, not infrequently, as much more than equals - in politics, the media, the public sector, the military, and in government service, others appear to be genetically destined to beat a humiliating retreat when challenged. They hide and weep in a safe-space cocoon named "I can say and do what I want, but you can't attack me because I'm a woman." ..."
Jul 01, 2017 | non-intervention.com
Pour it on, Mr. Trump, tweet the lying bastards and bitches straight to hell Posted on July 1, 2017 by mike

I have to admit that on most occasions President Trump's tweets make my day. Aside from the fact that the tweets are absolutely necessary for him to keep in touch with the voters who elected him, the tweets demonstrate that there are very few holies for him in a contemporary American society that is being overwhelmed and intellectually paralyzed with newly invented and utterly demented holies.

President Trump's tweets this week smacking Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough are a case in point. Among Trump's supporters, and most Americans with commonsense, those two zany, so-called journalists are detested. They and scores of other so-called journalists - the bespectacled nymphs of CNN, and Rachel "Here's Trump's Tax returns" Madow of MSNBC, for example - have for far too long been able to heap scorn on their opponents without feeling any need to worry about being attacked in return. Now, there ought to be no limits on the amount of scorn, bile, and lies they can dispense, but they should not expect to enjoy immunity from responses that are meant to, and hopefully will, demolish them.

Trump is now slowly destroying their sense of security, as well as that of their womanish political protectors like Senator Shumer, Speaker Ryan, the Marxist moron Senator Sanders, Senator Graham., and the rest of the girly men who are so prominent in Congress. Nowadays, clowns like Mika and Joe throw rocks, and Trump, praise God, responds by throwing boulders that reduces these creatures, whose only skill is reading the news-scripts smarter people write, to a quivering state in which they whine and whimper about how unfairly the president is using the bully pulpit to attack them.

I am especially delighted when Trump takes on the privileged and protected classes, not only journalists, but women, Blacks, and other privileged minorities of all kinds. For all of my adult life, these categories of greedy, pompous, and self-righteous folks have been demanding "full equality" in the public square. Their desire, they say, is to be treated like everyone else and not like lesser human beings. There's not a lick of truth in that assertion.

Note for example Mika Brzezinski, whose only skills seem to be to verbally scourge and lie about Trump and his family, and to exploit her late, unlamented, and war-mongering father's name. Mika and the noble steed she rides - I think his name is Joe––have been damning the president, his family members, anyone associated with him, and those who voted for him since long before last November's election. Trump now chooses to respond in kind, and ol' unhinged and stitched-up Mika is reduced to multiple on-air breakdowns, while the rest of those demanding "equality" in the public square rally to her defense because Trump had the nerve - and savvy - to tailor his truthful, if critical comments to be pertinent to a pretentious, self-important, and talentless woman.

Well, some women are spoiled, perpetually adolescent, and irresponsible bitches, but many are not. While many women can and do compete as equals - and, not infrequently, as much more than equals - in politics, the media, the public sector, the military, and in government service, others appear to be genetically destined to beat a humiliating retreat when challenged. They hide and weep in a safe-space cocoon named "I can say and do what I want, but you can't attack me because I'm a woman."

When I worked for the CIA, there were any number of brave and talented women who were extraordinarily able, competitive, and every bit the equal of any man. They were always ready go toe-to-toe with men to debate important issues, won as often as they lost, and would neither shed tears nor shrilly scream misogyny, win, lose, or draw. One sacrificed her life on the Afghan battlefield, leaving behind three young kids. All Americans should recall that it was female CIA officers that gave the girly man Clinton ten untaken chances to kill bin Laden in 1998-99, who facilitated UBL's killing in 2011, and who, since 1994, have taken untold numbers of Islamist fighters from the streets of the world, dead or alive. What risks were you taking for your country while those events were going on, Ms. Mika?

But instead of these heroic, self-confident women serving as role models, we now have the great, brave, equality-seeking Mika, who is bent on being womanhood's role model, even while she acts as a clearly aging and cowering crybaby, and is now drowning in crocodile tears because Trump thoroughly thrashed her at own game.

Likewise, we have Susan Rice - apparently the great "unmasker" - denying the crimes that she and others seem to have willingly committed under Thug Obama's orders, and claiming that she is under attack only because she's a woman and black. We also have Hillary Clinton, who now claims she lost the 2016 election because of rampant misogyny and Russia's evil-doing, and not because of the basic and irrefutable facts that she is a repellent semi-human being, a criminal, and a man-dependent bitch.

These three women are the Ms. Flotsam, Ms. Jetsam, and Grandma Detritus of a vast herd of child-like women, journalists, blacks, and minorities of all kinds who do not want equality in the public square - which requires courage, hard work, and a certain manliness - but rather want all the benefits that would accrue there to brave and well-balanced adults, while not recognizing the right of anyone they publicly hate, castigate, lie about, and dehumanize to respond in kind.

As Nathan Detroit, Sam Spade, or some other savant once said, "Dames is trouble", and, as I say, a whining bitch remains a whining bitch until she grows up and acts like a man.

[Jul 04, 2017] Foisting Blame for Cyber-Hacking on Russia by Gareth Porter

Notable quotes:
"... Recent hearings by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees reflected the rising tide of Russian-election-hacking hysteria and contributed further to it. Both Democrats and Republicans on the two committees appeared to share the alarmist assumptions about Russian hacking, and the officials who testified did nothing to discourage the politicians. ..."
"... The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a record of spreading false stories about alleged Russian hacking into US infrastructure , such as the tale of a Russian intrusion into the Burlington, Vermont electrical utility in December 2016 that DHS later admitted was untrue. There was another bogus DHS story about Russia hacking into a Springfield, Illinois water pump in November 2011. ..."
"... So, there's a pattern here. Plus, investigators, assessing the notion that Russia hacked into state electoral databases, rejected that suspicion as false months ago. Last September, Assistant Secretary of DHS for Cybersecurity Andy Ozment and state officials explained that the intrusions were not carried out by Russian intelligence but by criminal hackers seeking personal information to sell on the Internet. ..."
"... Illinois is the one state where hackers succeeded in breaking into a voter registration database