Tag Archives: Washington Post

Who’s Afraid of William Barr? by Stephen Cohen

A lot of stalwart establishment-types are afraid of stalwart establishment-type Attorney General William Barr since he started investigating the origins of the Russiagate investigation. From Stephen Cohen at lewrockwell.com:

William Barr, a two-time attorney general who served at the CIA in the 1970s, would seem to be an ultimate Washington insider. According to his Wikipedia biography, he has—or he had—“a sterling reputation” both among Republicans and Democrats. That changed when Barr announced his ongoing investigation into the origins of Russiagate, a vital subject I, too, have explored.

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

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

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CNN And WaPo Demand That Trump Further Escalate Tensions With Russia, by Caitlin Johnstone

The mainstream media continues to fills its role as a shill for American militarism. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

CNN has aired a segment in which pundit Fareed Zakaria tells the network’s audience that the US president has “been unwilling to confront Putin in any way on any issue” and asks “will Venezuela be the moment when Trump finally ends his appeasement?”

The segment is a near-verbatim reading of Zakaria’s Washington Post column from a couple of days prior, so that’s two massive prongs through which this false and pernicious narrative is being driven into mainstream consciousness claiming that the Trump administration has been far too dovish toward Moscow, rather than dangerously hawkish as is actually the case.

Zakaria begins his segment by describing the Trump administration’s (completely illegitimate) efforts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, then describing Russian efforts to counter this agenda as an attempt to “taunt the United States.” He then spends the rest of the segment asking if Trump will be brave and patriotic enough to further escalate tensions against a nuclear superpower. Zakaria concludes by implying that if Trump fails to increase world-threatening nuclear tensions to effect yet another US regime change intervention in yet another oil-rich country, it will be because he is a Kremlin agent.

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Covington High School Student Files $250 Million Defamation Suit Against Washington Post, by Tyler Burden

You can bet that Nicolas Sandmann, the high student in the infamous video, had lawyers lined up around the block to work on contingency for this suit. It was filed in US District Court in Kentucky, and Sandmann’s odds of at worst a big settlement look pretty good. The Post’s lawyers would be fools to let this go to a jury trial. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

After an investigation conducted by the Covington Diocese turned up no evidence that 16-year-old high school student Nicholas Sandmann confronted Native American activist Nathan Phillips during a March for Life rally at the Lincoln Memorial last month, seemingly confirming that the mainstream press was incorrect to pillory the white, MAGA-hat wearing teen for a confrontation that never actually happened, lawyers for Sandmann filed the first of what are expected to be many defamation lawsuits demanding compensatory and punitive damages for leading an Internet mob that villified Sandmann and his peers.

According to Reuters, lawyers Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry are seeking $250 million in damages from the Washington Post on behalf of Sandmann, a sum equal to the amount that billionaire Jeff Bezos paid to buy the paper in 2013.

The suit claims that the paper – which helped publicize a now infamous photo that helped trigger an Internet mob that swiftly outed the teen and demanded he be punished – led the hate campaign against Sandmann – and failed to practice proper journalistic due diligence – “because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C. when he was unexpectedly and suddenly confronted by Nathan Phillips (‘Phillips’), a known Native American activist, who beat a drum and sang loudly within inches of his face (‘the January 18 incident’).”

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Trump and The Post: Whose Side Is Mitt On? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Mitt Romney quickly moved to destroy whatever support he might have enjoyed from the Trump wing of the Republican party, a not insubstantial part of the party. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

If there is a more anti-Trump organ in the American establishment than The Washington Post, it does not readily come to mind.

Hence, in choosing to send his op-ed attack on President Donald Trump to the Post, Mitt Romney was collaborating with an adversary of his party and his president.

And he knew it, and the Post rewarded his collusion.

“The president has not risen to the mantle of his office,” said Romney; in “qualities of character” Trump’s “shortfall has been most glaring.”

Our leaders must “inspire and unite us,” not “promote tribalism,” wrote Romney. We must defend the “free press.”

All music to Post ears.

As senator, Romney promised, “I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant.”

Sounds like a litany of media slanders against Trump, some of which, seven years ago, were lodged against a GOP presidential nominee whose name was Mitt Romney.

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MSM Is Getting Weirder, More Frantic, And More Desperate By The Day, by Caitlin Johnstone

The Deep State and its captive media grow increasingly desperate. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

When even the Washington Post is saying your Russiagate article is bad journalism, your Russiagate article is really, really bad journalism.

In an article titled “The Guardian offered a bombshell story about Paul Manafort. It still hasn’t detonated.”, WaPo writer Pul Farhi draws attention to the fact that it has been a week since the Guardian published a claim that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort met repeatedly with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, without any evidence backing up the claim, using solely anonymous sources, and despite the claims contradicting known records of Assange’s guests at the Ecuadorian embassy. Criticism and demands for answers have been growing louder and louder from both friends and enemies of WikiLeaks, with new plot holes opening up in the Guardian‘s narrative daily, and the scandal is now moving into mainstream awareness.

And the Guardian remains silent, with its editor-in-chief Katharine Viner refusing to utter so much as a peep of defense this entire time. The only comment the publication has issued has been repeated day after day verbatim to every news outlet which writes about this bizarre occurrence: “This story relied on a number of sources. We put these allegations to both Paul Manafort and Julian Assange’s representatives prior to publication. Neither responded to deny the visits taking place. We have since updated the story to reflect their denials.” Which is basically just implying that they can print any libelous nonsense they want about anyone if their denials aren’t sent to the proper email address on time.

This, clearly, is bananas.

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Journalist’s Disappearance Forces Trump’s Hand on Saudi Arabia, by Jason Ditz

The line out of the Trump administration, the mainstream media, and the well-funded Saudi Arabian public relations machine is that Saudi Arabia is becoming less repressive and is changing in other positive ways. It and Israel are the US’s strongest allies in the Middle East. From Jason Ditz at theantimedia.org:

he disappearance of high-profile Saudi journalist, and regular writer for the Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi has put the Trump Administration into an uncomfortable position, obliging them to raise the questions about the disappearance and presumptive murder of the man by Saudi officials.

Khashoggi’s connections with the Washington Post made this a much bigger story than the disappearances of most dissident journalists in the Middle East. That he was in exile for writings critical to the Saudi Crown Prince, and entered a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, but never came out, making it very likely he came to a bad end.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for a “thorough” investigation by the Saudis into Khashoggi’s disappearance as well, which also virtually obliges the US to follow through when such an investigation doesn’t happen.

The Saudis, after all, insist that nothing happened to Khashoggi, and barring the Turkish government coming across his corpse at some point in the near future, that’s a position they’re likely to stick to.

 

Making Excuses for Russiagate, by Daniel Lazare

Some of the loudest proponents of the Russiagate “conspiracy” and cheerleaders for Robert Mueller’s so far mostly fruitless investigation are starting to edge towards the exit. From Daniel Lazare at consortiumnews.com:

As months turn into nearly two years and no solid evidence emerges to nail Russia for nabbing Election 2016, some big Russia-gate cheerleaders are starting to cover their tracks, as Daniel Lazare explains.

The best evidence that Russia-gate is sinking beneath the waves is the way those pushing the pseudo-scandal are now busily covering their tracks.  The Guardian complains that “as the inquiry has expanded and dominated the news agenda over the last year, the real issues of people’s lives are in danger of being drowned out by obsessive cable television coverage of the Russia investigation” – as if The Guardian’s own coverage hasn’t been every bit as obsessive as anything CNN has come up with.

The Washington Post, second to none when it comes to painting Putin as a real-life Lord Voldemort, now says that Special counsel Robert Mueller “faces a particular challenge maintaining the confidence of the citizenry” as his investigation enters its second year – although it’s sticking to its guns that the problem is not the inquiry itself, but “the regular attacks he faces from President Trump, who has decried the probe as a ‘witch hunt.’”

And then there’s The New York Times, which this week devoted a 3,600-word front-page article to explain why the FBI had no choice but to launch an investigation into Trump’s alleged Russian links and how, if anything, the inquiry wasn’t aggressive enough.  As the article puts it, “Interviews with a dozen current and former government officials and a review of documents show that the FBI was even more circumspect in that case than has been previously known.”

It’s Nobody’s Fault

The result is a late-breaking media chorus to the effect that it’s not the fault of the FBI that the investigation has dragged on with so little to show for it; it’s not the fault of Mueller either, and, most of all, it’s not the fault of the corporate press, even though it’s done little over the last two years than scream about Russia.  It’s not anyone’s fault, evidently, but simply how the system works.

This is nonsense, and the gaping holes in the Times article show why.

The piece, written by Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos and entitled “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation,” is pretty much like everything else the Times has written on the subject, i.e. biased, misleading, and incomplete.  Its main argument is that the FBI had no option but to step in because four Trump campaign aides had “obvious or suspected Russian ties.”

To continue reading: Making Excuses for Russiagate