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Posts Tagged ‘Russiagate’

Adam Schiff’s Very Scary Warmongering Speech – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on January 24, 2020

The same goes for arguments that it’s actually NATO’s aggressive expansion to the east that has led to a needless buildup of tensions, not Russia’s drive to the west. Recent examples include an article in the National Interest arguing that NATO has “empowered some of the most historically anti-Russian elements in that region – Ukrainian Banderites [i.e. followers of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera], Polish nationalists, Balkan Islamists” – elements that, not unreasonably, have sparked Russia’s worst fears – or one in the Nation stating that NATO’s drang nach osten is “the primary cause for the new and very dangerous Cold War.”

Articles like those are verboten as well because they go counter to the new line that Russia is entirely to blame.

https://original.antiwar.com/daniel_lazare/2020/01/23/adam-schiffs-very-scary-warmongering-speech/

All the usual suspects are praising Adam Schiff’s marathon two-and-a-half-hour Senate speech on Wednesday to the skies. Neocon columnist Jennifer Rubin calls it “a grand slam” in the Washington Post. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin describes it as “dazzling” on CNN. New York Times columnist Gail Collins says it was “a great job” and that Schiff is “a rock star” for pulling it off.

But in fact it was the opposite – a fear-mongering, sword-rattling harangue that will not only raise tensions with Russia for no good reason, but sends a chilling message to dissidents at home that if they deviate from Russiagate orthodoxy by one iota, they’ll be driven from the fold.

What is that orthodoxy? It’s that Russia invaded poor innocent Ukraine in 2014, that it interfered in the US presidential election in 2016 in order to hurt Hillary Clinton and propel Donald Trump into the White House, and that it’s now trying to smear Joe Biden merely because he had allowed his son to take a high-paying job with a notorious Ukrainian oligarch at a time when he was supposedly heading up the Ukrainian anti-corruption effort.

As Schiff put it with regard to Donald Trump’s famous July 25 phone call urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into Biden’s activities:

“This investigation was related to a debunked conspiracy theory alleging that Ukraine not Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. This narrative propagated by the Russian intelligence services contends that Ukraine sought to help Hillary Clinton and harm then-candidate Trump…. This tale is also patently false and, remarkably, it is precisely the inverse of what the US intelligence community’s unanimous assessment was that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in sweeping and systemic fashion in order to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.”

So even though the Financial Times reported during the 2016 election campaign that the threat of a Trump victory was spurring “Kiev’s wider political leadership to do something they have never attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a US election,” articles like that are now down the memory hole because Schiff says they’re Russian propaganda that US intelligence agencies have determined to be false.

The same goes for arguments that it’s actually NATO’s aggressive expansion to the east that has led to a needless buildup of tensions, not Russia’s drive to the west. Recent examples include an article in the National Interest arguing that NATO has “empowered some of the most historically anti-Russian elements in that region – Ukrainian Banderites [i.e. followers of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera], Polish nationalists, Balkan Islamists” – elements that, not unreasonably, have sparked Russia’s worst fears – or one in the Nation stating that NATO’s drang nach osten is “the primary cause for the new and very dangerous Cold War.”

Articles like those are verboten as well because they go counter to the new line that Russia is entirely to blame. Declared Schiff:

“Russia is not a threat … to Eastern Europe alone. Ukraine has become the de facto proving ground for just the types of hybrid warfare that the twenty-first century will become defined by: cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, efforts to undermine the legitimacy of state institutions, whether that is voting systems or financial markets. The Kremlin showed boldly in 2016 that with the malign skills it honed in Ukraine, they would not stay in Ukraine. Instead, Russia employed them here to attack our institutions, and they will do so again.”

As for Biden, a New York Times editorial said about his son’s unfortunate new job back in 2015:

“Sadly, the credibility of Mr. Biden’s [anti-corruption] message may be undermined by the association of his son with a Ukrainian natural-gas company, Burisma Holdings, which is owned by a former government official suspected of corrupt practices…. Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, has been under investigation in Britain and in Ukraine. It should be plain to Hunter Biden that any connection with a Ukrainian oligarch damages his father’s efforts to help Ukraine. This is not a board he should be sitting on.”

We must all put such sentiments behind us now Russia is seeking to “weaponize” such information, according to Schiff, and deploy it “against Mr. Biden just like it did against Hillary Clinton in 2016 when Russia hacked and released emails from her presidential campaign.” If Russia wants to weaponize it, then it’s best for the rest of us not to breathe a word of it lest people think we’ve been weaponized as well.

Bottom line: we must impeach Trump, according to Schiff’s epic presentation, not only because he’s overstepped his proper constitutional bounds, but because he’s part of a grand Russian conspiracy to spread disinformation, undercut US security, undermine faith in US intelligence agencies, and “remake the map of Europe by dent of military force.” In order to counter this all-encompassing threat, it is our patriotic duty to do the opposite by believing the CIA and redoubling US defense. If anyone tells us that Biden was guilty of a flagrant conflict of interest, we must stop up our ears because that’s what Moscow wants us to think. If anyone says that the entire Russian-interference narrative is just a silly conspiracy theory based on a paucity of facts and an abundance of paranoid speculation, we must do likely because it’s just the Kremlin trying to worm its way into our minds.

When in doubt, just remember to bleat: America good, Russia baa-aa-aad.

But while it would be nice to dismiss this as a joke, it’s not. Schiff’s emergence as leader of the Democratic impeachment drive means that the party is re-grouping along the most retrograde Cold War lines. As reckless and appalling as Trump’s behavior is in the Persian Gulf, the emerging Democratic worldview is shaping up as no less extreme. Because it sees Russia as mounting a multi-pronged offensive, the clear implication is that the US must respond in kind. This means more troops deployments, more forces mobilized to counter Russian threats from Venezuela to the Middle East, more TV talking heads going on and on about this or that Kremlin conspiracy, and more labelling of people like Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein as Russian assets.

Remember, this is the Los Angeles neocon who backed the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, and Saudi Arabia’s unprovoked war against Yemen, an assault that, since March 2015, has cost 100,000 lives and brought half the country to the brink of starvation. He supported Obama’s war in Libya and called for the establishment of a no-fly zone in Syria and relies on arms manufacturers and military contractors for major financial support.

But while Bernie supporters may have thought that Democrats were edging away from such views, they’re plainly in the wrong. Schiff’s new-found prominence shows that the neocons are back in the saddle. Impeachment advocates should be careful of what they wish for because the anti-Trump forces are turning out to be no less dangerous than those helping him to remain.

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The Justice Department Is Devoid of Justice – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on January 9, 2020

The Horowitz report of the Justice (sic) Department’s lies to the FISA court did not recommend a six-month prision sentence for those Justice (sic) Deplartment officials who lied to the government.  Horowitz covered up the crimes by converting them into “mistakes.”

Trials take time and provide a test of often unreliable police and prosecutorial evidence.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/01/08/the-justice-department-is-devoid-of-justice/

Paul Craig Roberts

In the United States the criminal justice (sic) system is itself not subject to law.  We see immunity to law continually as police commit felonies against citizens and even murder children and walk away free.  We see it all the time when prosecutors conduct political prosecutions and when they prosecute the innocent in order to build their conviction record.  We see it when judges fail to prevent prosecutors from withholding exculpatory evidence and bribing witnesses and when judges accept coerced plea deals that deprive the defendant of a jury trial.

We just saw it again when federal prosecutors recommended a six month prison sentence for Lt. Gen. Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency accused of lying to the FBI about nothing of any importance, for being uncooperative in the Justice (sic) Department’s effort to frame President Trump with false “Russiagate” charges.  The Justice (sic) Department prosecutor said: “The sentence should adequately deter the defendant from violating the law, and to promote respect for the law. It is clear that the defendant has not learned his lesson. He has behaved as though the law does not apply to him, and as if there are no consequences for his actions.”

That is precisely what the Justice (sic) Department itself did for years in their orchestration of the fake Russiagate charges against Trump.

The prosecutor’s hypocrisy is overwhelming.

The Justice (sic) Department is a criminal organization.  It has no sense of justice.  Convicting the innocent builds the conviction rate of the prosecutor as effectively as convicting the guilty. The Horowitz report of the Justice (sic) Department’s lies to the FISA court did not recommend a six-month prision sentence for those Justice (sic) Deplartment officials who lied to the government.  Horowitz covered up the crimes by converting them into “mistakes.”  Yes, they are embarrassing “mistakes,” but mistakes don’t bring prison sentences.

Gen. Flynn, who was President Trump’s National Security Advisor for a couple of weeks before Mueller and Flynn’s attorneys manuevered him into a plea bargain, allegedly lied to the FBI about whether he met with a Russian.  Flynn and his attorneys should never have accepted the proposition that a National Security Advisor shouldn’t meet with Russians.  Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski met with Russians all the the time.  It was part of their job.  Trump originally intended to normalize the strained relations with Russia.  Flynn should have been meeting with Russians. It was his job.

Ninety-seven percent of felony cases are resolved with plea bargains.  In other words, there is no trial.  The defendant admits to guilt for a lighter sentence, and if he throws in “cooperation,” which generally means giving false evidence against someone else in the prosecutor’s net, no sentence at all.  Flynn was expected to help frame Trump and Flynn’s former business partner, Bijan Rafiekian, on an unrelated matter.  He didn’t, which means he is “uncooperative” and deserving of a prison sentence.

Plea bargains have replaced trials for three main reasons.  One is that the defense attorney doesn’t want the hard work of defending his client.  One is that the majority of defendants cannot afford to pay the cost of defense.  One is that refusing to plea guilty and demanding a trial angers both the prosecutor and judge.  Trials take time and provide a test of often unreliable police and prosecutorial evidence.  They mean work for the prosecutor.  Even if he secures a conviction, during the same time he could have obtained many more plea bargain convictions.  For the judge, trials back up his case docket.  Consequently, a trial means for the defendant very high risks of a much longer and more severe sentence than he would get in exchange for saving prosecutor and judge time and energy.  All of this is explained to the defendant by his attorney.

It was explained to Gen. Flynn.  He agreed to a plea, most likely advised that his “offense” was so minor, no sentence would be forthcoming.  Flynn later tried to revoke his plea, saying it was coerced, but the Clinton-appointed  judge refused to let him out of the trap.

Now that we know the only Russiagate scandal was its orchestration by the CIA, Justice (sic) Department, and Democrats, failing to cooperate with the special counsel investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election is nonsensical as we  know for a definite fact that there was no such interference.

This is how corrupt American law has become.  A man is being put in prison for 6 months for not cooperating with an investigation of an event that did not happen!

If Trump doesn’t pardon Flynn (and Manafort and Stone), and fire the corrupt prosecutors who falsely prosecuted Flynn, Trump deserves no one’s support.  A president who will not defend his own people from unwarranted prosecution is not worthy of support.

In Flynn’s case, we cannot dismiss the suspicion that revenge against Flynn was the driving factor. Gen. Flynn is the official who revealed on television that Obama made the willful decision to send ISIS or whatever we want to call them into Syria.  Of course, the Obama regime pretended that the jihadists were moderates seeking to overthrow the alleged dictator Assad and bring democracy to Syria.  Washington then pretended that it was fighting the mercenaries it had sent into Syria.  Even though the presstitutes did their best to ignore Flynn’s information, Flynn gave extreme offense by letting this information out. That bit of truth-telling was Flynn’s real offense.

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An End to the World as We Know It?, by Philip Giraldi – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2019

Congress and the White House compete in year-end stupidity sweepstakes.

The U.S., to be sure, has been adept at turning adversaries into enemies and disappointing friends, and it is all done with a glib assurance that doing so will somehow bring democracy and freedom to all.

https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/an-end-to-the-world-as-we-know-it/

At the end of the nineteenth century, Lord Palmerston stated what he thought was obvious, that “England has no eternal friends, England has no perpetual enemies, England has only eternal and perpetual interests.” Palmerston was saying that national interests should drive the relationships with foreigners. A nation will have amicable relations most of the time with some countries and difficult relations with some others, but the bottom line should always be what is beneficial for one’s own country and people.

If Palmerston were alive today and observing the relationship of the United States of America with the rest of the world, he might well find Washington to be an exception to his rule. The U.S., to be sure, has been adept at turning adversaries into enemies and disappointing friends, and it is all done with a glib assurance that doing so will somehow bring democracy and freedom to all. Indeed, either neoliberal democracy promotion or the neoconservative version of the same have been seen as an overriding and compelling interest during the past twenty years even though the policies themselves have been disastrous and have only damaged the real interests of the American people.

The U.S. relationship with Israel is, for example, driven by a powerful and wealthy domestic lobby rather than by any common interests at all yet it is regularly falsely touted as being between two “close allies” and “best friends.” It has cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies for the Jewish state and Israeli influence over U.S. policy in the Middle East region has led to catastrophic military interventions in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Mogadishu and Libya. Currently, Israel is agitating for U.S. action against the nonexistent Iranian “threat” while also unleashing its lobby in the United States to make illegal criticism of any of its war crimes, effectively curtailing freedom of speech and association for all Americans.

Far more dangerous is the continued excoriation of the Kremlin over the largely mythical Russiagate narrative. Congress has recently approved a bill that would give to Ukraine $300 million in supplementary military assistance to use against Russia. The money and authorization appear in the House of Representatives version of the national defense authorization act (NDAA) that passed last week.

The bill is a renewal of the controversial Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative that Donald Trump allegedly manipulated to bring about an investigation of Joe Biden’s son Hunter. The new version expands on the former assistance package to include coastal defense cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles as offensive weapons that are acceptable for export to Kiev. It also authorizes an additional $50 million in military assistance on top of the $250 million congress had granted in last year’s bill, “of which $100 million would be available only for lethal assistance.”

Ukraine sought the money and arms to counter Russian naval dominance in the Black Sea through its base at Sevastopol in the Crimea. One year ago the Russian navy captured three Ukrainian warships and Kiev was unable to push back against Moscow because it lacked weapons designed to attack ships. Now it will have them and presumably it will use them. How Russia will react is unknowable.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, has been in Washington lobbying for the additional military assistance. He has had considerable success, particularly as there is bipartisan support in Congress for aid to Kiev and also because the Trump Departments of Defense and State as well as the National Security Council are all on board in countering the “Russian threat” in the Black Sea. President Trump signed the NDAA last week, which completed the process.

Far more ominously, Kuleba and his interlocutors in the administration and congress have been revisiting a proposal first surfaced under Bill Clinton, that Ukraine and Georgia should be admitted to the NATO alliance. Like the $300 million in military aid, there appears to be considerable bipartisan support for such a move. NATO already has a major presence on the Black Sea with Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey all members. Adding Ukraine and Georgia would completely isolate the Russian presence and Moscow would undoubtedly see it as an existential threat.

The NDAA also provides seed money to initiate the so-called Space Force, which President Trump inaugurated by describing it as “the world’s newest war-fighting domain. Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. We’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, but very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot. The Space Force will help us deter aggression and control the ultimate high ground.”

If that isn’t bad enough, the new defense budget ominously also requires the Trump administration to impose sanctions “with respect to provision of certain vessels for the construction of certain Russian energy export pipelines.” Last week the House of Representatives and Senate approved specific sanctions relating to the companies and governments that are collaborating on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will cross the Baltic Sea from Vyborg to Greifswald to connect Germany with Russian natural gas. President Trump has signed off on the legislation.

The United States has opposed the project ever since it was first mooted, claiming that it will make Europe “hostage” to Russian energy, will enrich the Russian government, and will also empower Russian President Vladimir Putin to be more aggressive. Engineering companies that will be providing services such as pipe-laying will be targeted by Washington as the Trump administration tries to halt the completion of the $10.5 billion project.

Now that the NDAA has been signed, the Trump administration has 60 days to identify companies, individuals and even foreign governments that have in some way provided services or assistance to the pipeline project. Sanctions would block individuals from travel to the United States and would freeze bank accounts and other tangible property that would be identified by the U.S. Treasury. One company that will definitely be targeted for sanctions is the Switzerland-based Allseas, which has been contracted with by Russia’s Gazprom to build the offshore section of pipeline. It has suspended work on the project while it examines the implications of the sanctions.

Bear in mind that Nord Stream 2 is a peaceful commercial project between two countries that have friendly relations, making the threats implicit in the U.S. reaction more than somewhat inappropriate. Increased U.S. sanctions against Russia itself are also believed to be a possibility and there has even been some suggestion that the German government and its energy ministry might be sanctioned. This has predictably resulted in pushback from Germany, normally a country that is inclined to go along with any and all American initiatives. Last week German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas asked Congress not to meddle in European energy policy, saying “We think this is unacceptable, because it is ultimately a move to influence autonomous decisions that are made in Europe. European energy policy is decided in Europe, not in the U.S.”

German Bundestag member Andreas Nick warned that “It’s an issue of national sovereignty, and it is potentially a liability for trans-Atlantic relations.” That Trump is needlessly alienating important countries like Germany that are genuine allies, unlike Israel and Saudi Arabia, over an issue that is not an actual American interest is unfortunate. It makes one think that the wheels have definitely come off the cart in Washington.

The point is that Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence and Mike Esper (admittedly too many Mikes) wouldn’t know a national interest if it hit them in the face. Their politicization of policy to “win in 2020” promoting apocalyptic nonsense like war in space has also reinforced an existing tunnel vision on what Russia under Vladimir Putin is all about that is extremely dangerous. Admittedly, Team Trump throws out sanctions in all directions with reckless abandon, mostly aimed at Russia, Iran, North Korea and, the current favorite, Venezuela. No one is immune. But the escalation going from sanctions to arming the Kremlin’s enemies is both reckless and pointless. Russia will definitely strike back if it is attacked, make no mistake about that, and war could easily escalate with tragic consequences for all of us. That war is perhaps becoming thinkable is in itself deplorable, with Business Insider running a recent piece on surviving a nuclear attack. New homes in target America will likely soon come equipped with bomb shelters, just like in the 1950s.

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Two for One Holiday Special – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on December 14, 2019

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/two-for-one-holiday-special/

James Howard Kunstler

Hillary Clinton sure got her money’s worth with the Fusion GPS deal: it induced a three-year psychotic break in the body politic, destroyed the legitimacy of federal law enforcement, turned a once-proud, free, and rational press into an infernal engine of bad faith, and is finally leading her Democratic Party to an ignominious suicide. And the damage is far from complete. It’s even possible that Mrs. Clinton will return to personally escort the party over the cliff when, as is rumored lately, she jumps into the primary contest and snatches the gonfalon of leadership from the ailing old man of the sclerotic status quo, Uncle Joe Biden.

The citizens of this foundering polity have been subjected to a stunning doubleheader of political spectacle clear through the week. On Monday, the Horowitz Report was briefly celebrated by the Left for claiming “no bias” and a “reasonable predicate” for the RussiaGate mess — until auditors actually got to read the 400-plus-page document and discovered that it was absolutely stuffed with incriminating details that Mr. Horowitz was too polite, too coy, or too faint-hearted to identify as acts worthy of referral for prosecution.

Mr. Barr, the attorney general, and US attorney John Durham immediately stepped up to set the record straight, namely, that this was hardly the end of the matter and that they were privy to fact-trains of evidence that would lead, by-and-by, to a quite different conclusion. This reality-test was greeted, of course, with shrieking for their dismissal from the Jacobin Left. But then at mid-week, Mr. Horowitz put in a personal appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee and left no doubt that entire RussiaGate extravaganza was spawned by Fusion GPS’s utterly false Steele dossier and the so-called “Intel Community’s” zeal for weaponizing it to overthrow the president…

The utter falsity of the Steele dossier seems not to have yet penetrated the minds of Dean Baquet and Martin Baron, editors of The New York Times and The Washington Post, the head cheerleaders for the seditious coup by the security state. Their obdurate mendacity can no longer be attributed to a simple quest for clicks and eyeballs. It speaks to a sickness of mind that has infected the whole thinking class of America as it succumbed to the ultimate smashing of boundaries: the one between what is real and what is not real (or what is true and what is not true.)…

A trial in the senate would be a ripe entertainment fer sure! Bring it on! For one thing, the procedure would ascertain finally that Mr. Eric Ciaramella does not qualify as a “whistleblower” but is rather a rogue CIA agent (from a rogue agency) helping to carry out a seditious conspiracy. The defense should call him to the stand, along with his enabler Michael Atkinson, the “Intel Community” Inspector General who flouted and altered the rules in the whistleblower ploy — and who, by the way, was formerly at the center of the RussiaGate mess when he worked as chief counsel to then assistant attorney general John P. Carlin, one of the instigators of the “Crossfire Hurricane” overture to RussiaGate. It could benefit the nation to hear testimony from shrinking violet Gina Haspel, the current CIA Director nobody has ever heard of. What does she know about Mr. Ciaramella’s role in this melodrama, who detailed him to the National Security Council, who supervised him, and who exactly were his associates?

And, of course, not a few fair-minded people would be interested to hear from Rep. Adam Schiff, who engineered the “whistleblower’s” entry into his concocted UkraineGate sequel to the now discredited RussiaGate ruse. Get Mr. Schiff under oath. He is almost certain to lie about his activities, and that will certainly get him expelled from congress in disgrace, along with losing his license to practice law. Bring in Hunter Biden and ask him to explain whether he was busted for crack cocaine in a rent-a-car before-or-after he was hired to serve on the board of directors of a Ukrainian gas company. Bring in Lt. Col. Vindman, bring in Daniel Goldman, bring them all in and compel their testimony under penalty of perjury. This will eventually get America right in its weakened mind.

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Inconvenient Truths – Alarming things we have learned under Trump, but not always about him.

Posted by M. C. on November 8, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/stephen-f-cohen/inconvenient-truths/

By

The Nation

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump’s life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core “Russiagate” allegation that “Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election” on Trump’s behalf—an “attack” so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no “attack” in 2016, only, as I have previously explained, ritualistic “meddling” of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other’s elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been “attacked by a hostile” entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party’s discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising.

We have also learned that the heads of America’s intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation “Intelgate,” and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book. Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

§ We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream “free press” cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media—leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular—chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr’s critics accuse him of fabricating a “conspiracy theory” on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of “collusion” between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was—or should have been—discredited by the Robert Mueller report.

§ And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia’s new “hyper-sonic” missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so.But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the “Putin puppet” and “Kremlin stooge” accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis—anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria—will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia’s Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here—a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations—and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.

Opponents of Barr’s investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to “investigate the investigators.” But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.

However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump’s attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It’s time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

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CIA Analysts Lawyer Up As Brennan, Clapper Ensnared In Expanding Russiagate Probe | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on October 20, 2019

Dunham, Barr and associates better watch their backs.

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/cia-analysts-lawyer-brennan-clapper-ensnared-expanding-russiagate-probe

CIA analysts involved in the intelligence assessment of Russia’s activities during the 2016 US election have begun to hire attorneys, as Attorney General William Barr expands his investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, led by US Attorney John Durham.
US Attorney John Durham

The prosecutor conducting the review, Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, has expressed his intent to interview a number of current and former intelligence officials involved in examining Russia’s effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including former CIA Director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper, Brennan told NBC News. –NBC

NBC learned of the ‘lawyering up’ from three former CIA officials “familiar with the matter,” while two more anonymous leakers claim there’s tension between the Justice Department and the CIA over what classified documents Durham has access to….

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We’re in a permanent coup

Posted by M. C. on October 14, 2019

My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with
Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people
pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump.
Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a
country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall.
They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having a bad
president.

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/were-in-a-permanent-coup

Matt Taibbi

Americans might soon wish they just waited to vote their way out of the Trump era

I’ve lived through a few coups. They’re insane, random, and terrifying, like watching sports, except your political future depends on the score.

The kickoff begins when a key official decides to buck the executive. From that moment, government becomes a high-speed head-counting exercise. Who’s got the power plant, the airport, the police in the capital? How many department chiefs are answering their phones? Who’s writing tonight’s newscast?

When the KGB in 1991 tried to reassume control of the crumbling Soviet Union by placing Mikhail Gorbachev under arrest and attempting to seize Moscow, logistics ruled. Boris Yeltsin’s crew drove to the Russian White House in ordinary cars, beating KGB coup plotters who were trying to reach the seat of Russian government in armored vehicles. A key moment came when one of Yeltsin’s men, Alexander Rutskoi – who two years later would himself lead a coup against Yeltsin – prevailed upon a Major in a tank unit to defy KGB orders and turn on the “criminals.”

We have long been spared this madness in America. Our head-counting ceremony was Election Day. We did it once every four years.

That’s all over, in the Trump era.

On Thursday, news broke that two businessmen said to have “peddled supposedly explosive information about corruption involving Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden” were arrested at Dulles airport on “campaign finance violations.” The two figures are alleged to be bagmen bearing “dirt” on Democrats, solicited by Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman will be asked to give depositions to impeachment investigators. They’re reportedly going to refuse. Their lawyer John Dowd also says they will “refuse to appear before House Committees investigating President Donald Trump.” Fruman and Parnas meanwhile claim they had real derogatory information about Biden and other politicians, but “the U.S. government had shown little interest in receiving it through official channels.”

For Americans not familiar with the language of the Third World, that’s two contrasting denials of political legitimacy.

The men who are the proxies for Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani in this story are asserting that “official channels” have been corrupted. The forces backing impeachment, meanwhile, are telling us those same defendants are obstructing a lawful impeachment inquiry.

This latest incident, set against the impeachment mania and the reportedly “expanding” Russiagate investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham, accelerates our timeline to chaos. We are speeding toward a situation when someone in one of these camps refuses to obey a major decree, arrest order, or court decision, at which point Americans will get to experience the joys of their political futures being decided by phone calls to generals and police chiefs.

My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having a bad president.

The Trump presidency is the first to reveal a full-blown schism between the intelligence community and the White House. Senior figures in the CIA, NSA, FBI and other agencies made an open break from their would-be boss before Trump’s inauguration, commencing a public war of leaks that has not stopped.

The first big shot was fired in early January, 2017, via a CNN.com headline, “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him.” This tale, about the January 7th presentation of former British spy Christopher Steele’s report to then-President-elect Trump, began as follows:…

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Impeachment…or CIA Coup?

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2019

The Democrats have suddenly come out in praise of whistleblowers – well not exactly. Pelosi still wants to prosecute actual whistleblower Ed Snowden. But she’s singing the praises of this fake CIA “whistleblower.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer once warned Trump that if “you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” It’s hard not to ask whether this is a genuine impeachment effort…or a CIA coup!

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/september/30/impeachment-or-cia-coup/

Written by Ron Paul

You don’t need to be a supporter of President Trump to be concerned about the efforts to remove him from office. Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment proceedings against the President over a phone call made to the President of Ukraine. According to the White House record of the call, the President asked his Ukrainian counterpart to look into whether there is any evidence of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election and then mentioned that a lot of people were talking about how former US Vice President Joe Biden stopped the prosecution of his son who was under investigation for corruption in Ukraine.

Democrats, who spent more than two years convinced that “Russiagate” would enable them to remove Trump from office only to have their hopes dashed by the Mueller Report, now believe they have their smoking gun in this phone call.

It this about politics? Yes. But there may be more to it than that.

It may appear that the Democratic Party, furious over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, is the driving force behind this ongoing attempt to remove Donald Trump from office, but at every turn we see the fingerprints of the CIA and its allies in the US deep state.

In August 2016, a former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, wrote an extraordinary article in the New York Times accusing Donald Trump of being an “agent of the Russian Federation.” Morell was clearly using his intelligence career as a way of bolstering his claim that Trump was a Russian spy – after all, the CIA should know such a thing! But the claim was a lie.

Former CIA director John Brennan accused President Trump of “treason” and of “being in the pocket of Putin” for meeting with the Russian president in Helsinki and accepting his word that Russia did not meddle in the US election. To this day there has yet to be any evidence presented that the Russian government did interfere. Brennan openly called on “patriotic” Republicans to act against this “traitor.”

Brennan and his deep state counterparts James Comey at the FBI and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper launched an operation, using what we now know is the fake Steele dossier, to spy on the Trump presidential campaign and even attempt to entrap Trump campaign employees.

Notice a pattern here?

Now we hear that the latest trigger for impeachment is a CIA officer assigned to the White House who filed a “whistleblower” complaint against the president over something he heard from someone else that the president said in the Ukraine phone call.

Shockingly, according to multiple press reports the rules for CIA whistleblowing were recently changed, dropping the requirement that the whistleblower have direct, first-hand knowledge of the wrongdoing. Just before this complaint was filed, the rule-change allowed hearsay or second-hand information to be accepted. That seems strange.

As it turns out, the CIA “whistleblower” lurking around the White House got the important things wrong, as there was no quid pro quo discussed and there was no actual request to investigate Biden or his son.

The Democrats have suddenly come out in praise of whistleblowers – well not exactly. Pelosi still wants to prosecute actual whistleblower Ed Snowden. But she’s singing the praises of this fake CIA “whistleblower.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer once warned Trump that if “you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” It’s hard not to ask whether this is a genuine impeachment effort…or a CIA coup!

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I Will Splinter the CIA Into a Thousand Pieces and Scatter ...

JFK got splintered.

 

 

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Adam Schiff Epitomizes the Total Collapse of Democratic Party Integrity – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on September 27, 2019

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/09/26/adam-schiff-epitomizes-the-total-collapse-of-democratic-party-integrity/

Paul Craig Roberts

US Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrat from California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, had no qualms about lying through his teeth in his opening statement prior to the testimony of Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.  Everyone present had read the transcript of the telephone conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky, and everyone knew that what Schiff, who said he was reading from the transcript of the telephone call, was saying was not in the transcript.  How can it be that the chairman of a House committee in a room full of newspersons and TV cameras has no qualms about intentionally misrepresenting the written record in order to make it conform to the lies the Democrats and their stable of corrupt presstitutes have spread about a telephone call revealed by an alleged whistleblower, a likely Democrat operative, who claimed to have heard it second hand. https://www.foxnews.com/media/schiff-parody

When I was a member of the Congressional staff, any Representative who so dishonered a committee of the House and the House itself as Schiff has done would have been reprimanded, brought before the Ethics Committee, and forced to resign.  But the Democrats have ground integrity under their heel in their fanatical determination to prevent Trump’s reelection.

In his opening statement Adam Schiff further showed his total lack of integrity in his assault on the integrity and character of Joseph Maguire and made wild and irresponsible charges probably never witnessed previously in the halls of Congress.

The transcript of the telephone call shows that what the alleged whistleblower said is false.  Yet in the face of the evidence Adam Schiff speaks as if the evidence does not exist and that the alleged whistleblower’s second hand statement is true.  Once again we hear the Democratic Party say, “Evidence? We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence.” They don’t need evidence because the presstitutes support their lies and control the explanations given to Americans.

The Democrats are betting their future on their lies being shielded by their media whores and that the  insouciant American people will hear nothing but false allegations against Trump repeated endlessly, as was the case with Russiagate.  If the people realize that the “impeachment investigation” is another hoax like Russiagate, Schiff will have destroyed the Democrats’ chances in the next election.

The extraordinary rudness and incivility of Democrat members of the committee toward Maguire, cutting him off before he could answer their accusatory questions, thus leaving the accusation unanswered, together with Schiff’s lies demonstrate that political and social collapse in the United States is far advanced.  American democracy was never very democratic, but when an entire political party disrespects truth and is determined to gain power at all cost,  we know that the end is near.

The Republican ranking member of the committee, Devin Nunes, explained what the successor to the failed Russiagate witchhunt is all about.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZODiMjDKLY

For those with the stomach for it, the hearing can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsPzPzk8chM

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Rep. Adam Schiff and the Russian (Hacking) Fairy Tale ...

 

 

 

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Another Day, Another Scandal. What the ‘Trump-Ukraine Collusion’ Is Really About — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on September 26, 2019

Still, profiting off a family connection in this manner is plainly corrupt, and Biden is obviously attempting to deflect attention from his own misdeeds by screaming about Trump. The upshot is yet another tedious pseudo-scandal in which Democrats will only succeed in embarrassing themselves.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/25/another-day-another-scandal-what-the-trump-ukraine-collusion-is-really-about/

Daniel Lazare

 

For nearly a week, Washington has been consumed by reports that Donald Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.

The furor began on Wednesday, Sept. 18, when the Washington Post disclosed that Trump had said something to an unknown foreign leader that “was so alarming that a US intelligence official who had worked at the White House went to the inspector general of the intelligence community.” Two days later, the Wall Street Journal reported that the foreign leader was Zelensky and that Trump had asked him “about eight times” in the course of a single phone conversation to look into allegations that then-Vice President Biden had pushed for the removal of a public prosecutor investigating a Ukrainian company that employed his son, Hunter. A day after that, Biden complained that Trump was trying to “smear me,” while on Sunday, Adam Schiff, Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, declared that Trump might be guilty of “the most profound violation of the presidential oath of office … during just about any presidency.”

From initial report to America’s greatest scandal ever in just four days – surely this was some sort of Washington speed record. Since the moment Trump was elected, Democrats have been searching for “the Big One,” as New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd put it, the scandal “that’s going to finally bring Donald Trump down” – and now at last they found it.

Of course, Democrats said the same about Russiagate, the scandal that dominated headlines for two and a half years but fizzled when special prosecutor Robert Mueller said he was unable to come up with evidence “that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.” But now that Trump stood accused of conspiring or coordinating with the Ukrainian government – or at least trying to – surely the Big One was finally at hand.

But it’s not. One reason is that there’s no sign of a quid pro quo. The Washington Post suggested in its initial report that the purpose of the July 25 phone call was to “manipulate the Ukrainian government into helping Trump’s reelection campaign.” The means, supposedly, was $250 million in military aid that he was threatening to withhold if the Ukraine failed to cooperate. But the Wall Street Journal’s source specifically denied that Trump had threatened a cut-off while the New York Times reported that a decision to end military aid – subsequently revoked – had actually occurred weeks earlier.

Another reason for skepticism is that charges of a smear job clearly misplaced. If anyone’s activities are suspicious, it’s Biden’s, and Trump can hardly be blamed for wanting to get to the bottom of them.

To briefly recap: in February 2014, a US-backed coup spearheaded by ultra-rightists sent Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing and installed billionaire Petro Poroshenko in his place. This was bad news for a wealthy Yanukovych supporter named Mykola Zlochevsky who was widely accused of corruption and was in danger of losing all or some of his holdings. In an attempt to smooth things over with the Americans, Zlochevsky appointed Hunter Biden to a lucrative post with Burisma Holdings, a natural-gas company he founded in 2002. Hunter had just been discharged from the US Navy after testing positive for cocaine. He had no experience in the natural-gas business and knew nothing about the Ukraine. But he got the job anyway along with a salary of $50,000 a month.

But when the Ukrainian prosecutor general launched an investigation into Burisma, the Obama administration demanded that Viktor Shokin, the man who took over the office a year later, be removed. Indeed, Biden bragged that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees during a visit to Kiev if Poroshenko didn’t do as he was told.

“I said, ‘We’re leaving in six hours,’” he said last year. “If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch, he got fired.”

If anyone’s guilty of a quid pro quo, it would seem to be Biden.

Questions remain. Washington says it wanted Shokin because he was impeding the Ukraine’s anti-corruption drive and that it pushed for someone more vigorous even though the results for Burisma might have been negative. But the New York Times says the company was pleased by Shokin’s dismissal, and that a year later it was able to reach an amicable settlement with his successor. Hunter Biden’s job was safe.

Still, profiting off a family connection in this manner is plainly corrupt, and Biden is obviously attempting to deflect attention from his own misdeeds by screaming about Trump. The upshot is yet another tedious pseudo-scandal in which Democrats will only succeed in embarrassing themselves.

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