Tag Archives: Russiagate

So Deep It’s Sunk, by Robert Gore

If you strike the king but do not kill him, by definition your position is weak.

There has never have been a deeper deep state than the Soviet Union’s. It controlled everything: the military, intelligence, the judicial system, the rest of the government, the press, and the economy. It operated in shadows and darkness; there was no loyal opposition or media to shine the occasional light. Yet at 7:32 p.m., December 26, 1991, the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin and replaced with the Russian flag. The Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union’s declaration number 142-H recognized the independence of the Soviet republics. Mikhail Gorbachev had resigned, handing power to Boris Yeltsin. The Soviet Union and its deep state were no more.

There are still lessons to be generally recognized from the fall of the Soviet Union. First and foremost: command and control doesn’t work. That’s a lesson US commanders and controllers and their media and academic fellow travelers ignore at their peril. They cling to their cherished vision of American life directed from above, with the infamous Deep State at the apex of the power pyramid, the ultimate string pullers. Recent maneuvers, however, suggest a Deep State so tangled in its own strings that any attempt to free itself will only make the situation worse.

A deep state operates submerged from public view. The US deep state had to emerge in its effort to topple Trump, an emergence that screams weakness (see “Plot Holes”). The ineptitude of the effort made the weakness that much more apparent. A claim that Russia had hacked the Democratic Nation Committee (DNC) last summer and then used Wikileaks to disseminate what it had hacked, all in collusion with Donald Trump’s campaign, was the cornerstone of this maladroit coup. It should have raised more eyebrows than it did that the DNC refused to turn over its servers to the FBI for analysis, and that the only confirmation of the hacking claim came from a contractor, Crowdstrike, which had numerous conflicts of interest, including that it was paid by the DNC.

No objective, scientific analysis of the evidence was performed until that of the Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). That group forensically analyzed the metadata associated with the alleged hack. The speed with which the material was downloaded precluded an Internet based hack. The only way it could have been downloaded so quickly was onto an external storage device. That’s a leak, not a remote hack. It had to have been done by someone with direct access to the DNC’s computer system, which suggests a DNC insider, perhaps Seth Rich.

Alternative news site consortiumnews.com published the VIPS’ analysis and conclusions . Mainstream “confirmation” followed at the left-leaning thenation.com. With its cornerstone gone, the Russian collusion story collapsed. For form’s sake Special Prosecutor Mueller will fan the embers for the next few months, perhaps uncovering a technical violation or two of this or that inconsequential law, perhaps releasing some sort of face saving report, but even the most rabid anti-Trumpers appear to recognize that the Russian hack dog won’t hunt.

If this is the best the supposed all-powerful deep state could come up with, then the deep state isn’t nearly as powerful as supposed. The way this affair was handled buttresses that conclusion, because it opens deep staters to serious legal liability.

Before the election they thought they would be shielded by a Clinton administration, but now they’re wide open to prosecution for a number of possible crimes. There is the FBI’s dereliction of duty, not performing its own analysis of DNC servers and accepting Crowdstrike’s conclusions without further scrutiny. (It was apparently in bed with the Clinton camp from the get-go.) There are the multiple leaks to friendly news outlets of classified information. There are the intelligence reports with their damning and much-reported, but evidence free, best assessments and probable conclusions. Potentially the most legally troublesome: a cabal of deep state insiders concocted their story to unseat a duly elected United States president. That makes out a prima facie case of treason.

If you strike the king but do not kill him, by definition your position is weak. He can exact ultimate retribution and your head is in a basket, or he can let you twist in the wind. The best guess is that Trump will do both, depending on the specifics of each conspirator’s situation and which course will be most useful to him.

When California Senator Diane Feinstein says conciliatory things about Trump, infuriating her base, you know things have changed. As ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, she has also joined chairman Charles Grassley requesting interviews with two high-ranking FBI officials concerning the discredited Trump dossier. She’s one of the shrewdest power players in Washington, a deep state stalwart. Her effort with Grassley and her conciliation aren’t magnanimous gestures from the bottom of her black heart. Rather she’s bending the knee; Trump has won the game of thrones.

When the major mainstream media outlets in unison condemn Antifa’s violent tactics, you know things have changed. George Soros, meet Donald Trump and the new order. The condemnations toss the latest kerfuffle about what Trump said after Charlottesville down the memory hole, and give Trump cover to do something about fringe violence in the future. The extremists are by no means finished; that wouldn’t serve anyone’s purposes. They’ll make handy scapegoats; you never know when there’s going to be a fire at the Reichstag.

There has been a tiresome litany of articles about Trump’s capture by the deep state, characterizing him as a puppet for the military and Goldman Sachs. Whatever idealism motivated his run for president is gone and he’s now supposedly just an errand boy. The commentators who bemoaned the firing of Michael Flynn dusted off their articles, changed and rearranged a few things, and bemoaned the departure of Steve Bannon. Poor Donald’s all by himself in big, bad Washington. Except he’s mowing down his enemies one by one (it looks like James Comey may be next), and he’s got the deep state cornered. As for his associates, if there’s one clear lesson from Trump’s life it’s that everyone—wives, employees, Goldman Sachs flunkies, generals, you name it—is expendable. Some of those he’s terminated in the past probably thought they had the upper hand.

Many of the same Trump-as-puppet commentators dusted off their articles bemoaning Trump’s bombing of the Syrian air base, changed and rearranged a few things, and bemoaned Trump’s Afghanistan escalation. Few of those latter articles mentioned that the Syrian government, with the aid of Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, has turned the corner on quashing the rebellion, ISIS is on the run, and Syrian refugees are returning home. All of which sets the stage for the US to eventually leave Syria. Look for something similar to eventually play out in Afghanistan, and to go similarly unremarked upon.

Donald Trump didn’t risk all for the Iron Throne to let Goldman Sachs and the military run the show. He has allied with those power centers, but he’s calling the shots. Trump has allied with another power center: state and local police departments. He has given them fulsome, vocal support, encouragement to be more brutal, rescission of President Obama’s civil asset forfeiture rollback, and promises of more military gear. This is what one would expect of a ruler bent on consolidating his power—secure the praetorians. The Bill of Rights won’t stand in the way of sealing that alliance.

Trump’s supporters can’t believe their man’s primary motivation is acquiring power. Trump’s enemies, other than Senator Feinstein, can’t believe how good he is at it. Neither side will recognize the real danger until it’s too late. Legions of worrywarts fret that an erratic, captured Trump will go off half-cocked and press a nuclear button or do something else almost as stupidly devastating. What should worry them are the precise calculations and bloodless strategies of the most ruthlessly Machiavellian president since Franklin D. Roosevelt as he further consolidates and extends his power. Given present jurisprudence, nothing in the Constitution stands in his way.

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More Misleading Russia-gate Propaganda, by Robert Parry

By now you’d think the Russiagate would be officially declared dead and given a not very respectful funeral. However, like a cat picking over a chicken bone, the media keeps finding miniscule morsels to chew on. Robert Parry shoots down the latest, at consortiumnews.com.

Exclusive: The U.S. mainstream media is touting a big break in Russia-gate, emails showing an effort by Donald Trump’s associates to construct a building in Moscow. But the evidence actually undercuts the “scandal,” reports Robert Parry.

There is an inherent danger of news organizations getting infected by “confirmation bias” when they want something to be true so badly that even if the evidence goes in the opposite direction they twist the revelation to fit their narrative. Such is how The Washington Post, The New York Times and their followers in the mainstream media are reacting to newly released emails that actually show Donald Trump’s team having little or no influence in Moscow.

President Trump discusses his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. (Screenshot from Whitehouse.gov)

On Tuesday, for instance, the Times published a front-page article designed to advance the Russia-gate narrative, stating: “A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.”

Wow, that sounds pretty devastating! The Times is finally tying together the loose and scattered threads of the Russia-influencing-the-U.S.-election story. Here you have a supposed business deal in which Putin was to help Trump both make money and get elected. That is surely how a casual reader or a Russia-gate true believer would read it – and was meant to read it. But the lede is misleading.

The reality, as you would find out if you read further into the story, is that the boast from Felix Sater that somehow the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow would demonstrate Trump’s international business prowess and thus help his election was meaningless. What the incident really shows is that the Trump organization had little or no pull in Russia as Putin’s government apparently didn’t lift a finger to salvage this stillborn building project.

To continue reading: More Misleading Russia-gate Propaganda

 

British spy behind Trump-Russia dossier could be forced to talk after US court ruling, by Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz

At the very least, it would be interesting to find out who paid for the dossier. From Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz at abcnews.go.com:

A U.S. District court judge has put a former British spy one step closer to facing questions under oath about the controversial dossier he authored alleging President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team plotted with Russian agents.

A ruling by Judge Ursula Ungaro allows lawyers for a Russian technology executive named in the dossier to seek British approval to question onetime MI6 agent Christopher Steele about the funding and sourcing of the dossier under oath. The request was made as part of a libel suit brought by Webzilla CEO Aleksej Gubarev against the website Buzzfeed, which was first to publish the dossier Steele prepared.

“I suspect that I’ll be the first to speak to him,” Gubarev’s attorney, Valentin Gurvits, told ABC News this week. “I know that he is trying very hard to prevent that from happening.”

The potential interview with Steele is part of a widening effort to pierce the secrecy surrounding the now infamous dossier that raised the first questions about then-candidate Trump’s ties to Russia. The 35-page document contains a range of unverified allegations – some of which have been discredited – laying out a history of ties between several Trump associates and Russia operatives. It also levels salacious claims about Trump’s own behavior during a visit to Moscow in 2013 – claims Trump later refuted and denounced during a Jan. 11 news conference.

“I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out,” Trump said.

Interest in the funding and sourcing for the dossier led the Senate Judiciary Committee to summon Glenn Simpson, the head of the Washington, D.C.-based research firm Fusion GPS that commissioned Steele’s work, to a closed session meeting scheduled for Tuesday. In a letter to Simpson, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, indicated he wants Simpson to reveal who first hired him to investigate Trump’s Russia ties and which government agencies received copies when it was completed.

“We are interested in the history of the dossier, including how it was funded, compiled and how it was used,” a Grassley aide told ABC News.

To continue reading: British spy behind Trump-Russia dossier could be forced to talk after US court ruling

 

Russia-gate’s Evidentiary Void, by Robert Parry

Can the mainstream media stoop any lower? Now the New York Times is relying on unsupported assertions from Ukraine’s notoriously unreliable government, which regards Russia as an enemy, concerning the alleged Russian “hacks” of the election. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

The New York Times’ unrelenting anti-Russia bias would be almost comical if the possible outcome were not a nuclear conflagration and maybe the end of life on planet Earth.

A classic ample of the Times’ one-sidecoverage was a front-page article on Thursday expressing the wistful hope that a Ukrainian hacker whose malware was linked to the release of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails in 2016 could somehow “blow the whistle on Russian hacking.”

Though full of airy suspicions and often reading like a conspiracy theory, the article by Andrew E. Kramer and Andrew Higgins contained one important admission (buried deep inside the “jump” on page A8 in my print edition), a startling revelation especially for those Americans who have accepted the Russia-did-it groupthink as an established fact.

The article quoted Jeffrey Carr, the author of a book on cyber-warfare, referring to a different reality: that the Russia-gate “certainties” blaming the DNC “hack” on Russia’s GRU military intelligence service or Russia’s FSB security agency lack a solid evidentiary foundation.

“There is not now and never has been a single piece of technical evidence produced that connects the malware used in the DNC attack to the GRU, FSB or any agency of the Russian government,” Carr said.

Yet, before that remarkable admission had a chance to sink into the brains of Times’ readers whose thinking has been fattened up on a steady diet of treating the “Russian hack” as flat fact, Times’ editors quickly added that “United States intelligence agencies, however, have been unequivocal in pointing a finger at Russia.”

The Times’ rebuke toward any doubts about Russia-gate was inserted after Carr’s remark although the Times had already declared several times on page 1 that there was really no doubt about Russia’s guilt.

To continue reading: Russia-gate’s Evidentiary Void

 

 

A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack, by Patrick Lawrence

A comprehensive, well-written report packed with supporting evidence on why the DNC could not have been “hacked” last year. From Patrick Lawrence at thenation.com:

It is now a year since the Democratic National Committee’s mail system was compromised—a year since events in the spring and early summer of 2016 were identified as remote hacks and, in short order, attributed to Russians acting in behalf of Donald Trump. A great edifice has been erected during this time. President Trump, members of his family, and numerous people around him stand accused of various corruptions and extensive collusion with Russians. Half a dozen simultaneous investigations proceed into these matters. Last week news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had convened a grand jury, which issued its first subpoenas on August 3. Allegations of treason are common; prominent political figures and many media cultivate a case for impeachment.

The president’s ability to conduct foreign policy, notably but not only with regard to Russia, is now crippled. Forced into a corner and having no choice, Trump just signed legislation imposing severe new sanctions on Russia and European companies working with it on pipeline projects vital to Russia’s energy sector. Striking this close to the core of another nation’s economy is customarily considered an act of war, we must not forget. In retaliation, Moscow has announced that the United States must cut its embassy staff by roughly two-thirds. All sides agree that relations between the United States and Russia are now as fragile as they were during some of the Cold War’s worst moments. To suggest that military conflict between two nuclear powers inches ever closer can no longer be dismissed as hyperbole.

All this was set in motion when the DNC’s mail server was first violated in the spring of 2016 and by subsequent assertions that Russians were behind that “hack” and another such operation, also described as a Russian hack, on July 5. These are the foundation stones of the edifice just outlined. The evolution of public discourse in the year since is worthy of scholarly study: Possibilities became allegations, and these became probabilities. Then the probabilities turned into certainties, and these evolved into what are now taken to be established truths. By my reckoning, it required a few days to a few weeks to advance from each of these stages to the next. This was accomplished via the indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly in our leading media.

To continue reading: A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack

Refuse to Accept the Lies – Before It Is Too Late, by Kurt Schlichter

Women are not men, politicians and bureaucrats are just as greedy and self-interested as the rest of us, and there’s nothing to the Russiagate investigation. From Kurt Schlichter at theburningplatform.com:

A woman gave birth the other day, and the liberal media squeed in delight, which is weird – usually the media only cares about babies in the context of waxing them in the womb. Plus, don’t the sacraments of the Weird Weather Religion deem babies bad for Mother Earth, just like pets? Yeah, you can take Bitey when you pry her leash out of my cold, dead hands. Better pry my guns out first.

But this particular birth was celebrated because the mother was pretending to be a man, and her delusion was so intense that she apparently partook of surgical mutilation and chemical intervention to (not really) conform her body to her delusion. I guess we’re supposed to marvel at her physical transformation, but that would be a lie too. She looks like a woman with some surgery and a scraggly goatee. It’s not beautiful. It’s sad. But we’re not supposed to tell that obvious truth. We’re supposed to join in the lie and praise the Emperor’s New Secondary Sex Characteristics.

Of course, the media is delighting in debasing and humiliating itself by proudly and ostentatiously announcing that “A Father Has Given Birth.” Those broken by Orwell’s villains used to exclaim, with tear-streaked faces, how they now loved Big Brother. Today, they writhe in thunderous prog-gasms, ecstatic in their submission, shrieking that they love Beard Mother.

I don’t care what you do to yourself; you don’t get to make me lie.

See, this is where we’re supposed to nod and mouth the word “father” too, where we are supposed to become complicit in what we all know to be a ridiculous falsehood. And by doing so, we are expected to cede our dignity and our sovereignty by giving them the power to make us lie. To enforce it, you get fascists like Lena Dunham waddling about, eavesdropping for heresy, pausing occasionally to remove the bran muffins from her stupid mouth to point and shout “THOUGHTCRIME!”

To continue reading: Refuse to Accept the Lies – Before It Is Too Late

Has Seymour Hersh Debunked ‘Russia-gate’? by Justin Raimondo

This is probably the best of a spate of recent articles about Seymour Hersh’s take on the DNC’s emails, who disclosed them and how they were disclosed. From Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Hersh says Seth Rich contacted WikiLeaks

Journalist Seymour Hersh has given us good reason to believe what many have long suspected: that the “hacking” of the Democratic National Committee, which supposedly delivered the White House to Donald Trump, was an inside job. In a recorded phone conversation (here’s a transcript) with Ed Butowsky, a Republican operative who has been financing an investigation of the Seth Rich affair, Hersh told Butowsky that Seth Rich, who worked for the DNC and was murdered on July 10, 2016, was in contact with WikiLeaks, and wanted money for access to the DNC emails.

Hersh doesn’t buy the conspiracy theory surrounding Rich’s death: he sees it as a random event, one that wasn’t too unusual given the neighborhood Rich lived in – and yet this haphazard tragedy may have led to the unraveling of the mystery that is, today, at the core of our politics: the controversy over who delivered the DNC/Podesta emails to WikiLeaks.

The Democrats, the media, and the War Party contend that the Russians hacked into the DNC, and fooled John Podesta into handing the keys to his emails over to them: a full-fledged federal investigation, complete with a special counsel, is now busy trying to find evidence of the Trump campaign’s collusion with this nefarious plot. On the other hand, the case for Russian “hacking” has been fragile from the start, and has only gotten less tenable as time goes on. Now another blow has been delivered to the “Putin did it” conspiracy theory, one that may indeed prove fatal.

Hersh contends that, upon Rich’s death, the District of Colombia police went into his apartment – with a warrant — and examined his computer, but they couldn’t get into it. So they called in the DC cyber unit, which didn’t do much better, and so they called in the FBI’s Washington field office, the cyber unit, and they got in. “What I know came off an FBI report,” says Hersh. “Don’t ask me how. You can figure it out.” Well, yes, we can indeed. He goes on to say:

“And so what the report says is that sometime in late spring, we’re talking June you know summers in June 21st, late spring would be after, I presume, I don’t know, I’d just say late spring, early summer and he makes contact with WikiLeaks. That’s in his computer and he makes contact.”

To continue reading: Has Seymour Hersh Debunked ‘Russia-gate’?